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Hands-on Gear Review
UGG Shaye Review
Cons: No insulation, run a bit large
Bottom line: A stylish rain boot that still covers all the basics.
Weight (for pair tested): 3.08 lbs
Mouth Circumference: 15.5 in
The UGG Shaye could have certainly won an award for a great combination of style and functionality. They are fashionable, of an exceptional height, and also reasonably comfortable for all your rainy needs. While they were outperformed in weather protection, traction, and warmth, they are a high-quality competitor. Made in the U.S., they are a classic UGG boot, complete with a sheepskin and lambswool insole and lining of the footbox. We were also very fond of the glossy color choices.
RELATED REVIEW: The 10 Best Rain Boots for Women
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The UGG Shaye is a classic block-color rain boot with a glossy finish. In traditional UGG fashion, the footbed and removable insole are lined with imported sheepskin and lambswool that has been artificially dyed and treated. The lining of the main shaft is textile, and both the upper and outsole are apparently made from PVC, a thermoplastic that is often lighter and more affordable than rubber. While PVC as a material is not as durable as rubber, it may be a case where rubber has been added to the PVC, although UGG does not specify on their website. Other sites, like Amazon, label the material as synthetic rubber. This mid-height boot comes in five different glossy colors: blue jay, pine, black, tango, and garnet. On the distal side of the shaft, there is a metal UGG emblem. Of simple, molded construction, there aren't any added features to these boots.
While not as tall as the Hunter Original Back Adjustable, weather protection is still highly sufficient. We would label these boots as a mid-calf-height, measuring only 13.75 inches from the ground, which is 1.75 inches taller than the Kamik Heidi. However, UGG does label them as a tall rain boot. Since they did not rise to our knees, they did not receive the same weather protection scores as the taller Hunter or the L.L. Bean Wellies. They also had the biggest non-adjustable circumference of all the boots, at 15.5 inches; this provided a large gap between the leg and the rim of the boot, potentially allowing for sideways rain, snow, or puddles to splash into the boot. If you have wider calves, this would be a plus and would fit more snugly to your leg, preventing foul weather from sneaking in.
The rank above average in comfort and ran slightly large, allowing for heel slippage and hot spots. Even with the PVC upper being fairly flexible, the boots were noticeably stiffer than the flexible Hunter or the Xtratuf Legacy. Then again, they were still more flexible than the L.L. Bean Wellies, or the Helly Hansen Veierland 2. The footbox was low-volume, which could be an issue if you have high-volume feet. Either way, their comfort landed them pretty much in the middle of the pack, despite the cozy fur-lined footbed. Weighing in at 3.08 lbs for the size 8 pair we tested, they were the lightest of both the mid-height and tall classes, with the one true exception being the Kamik Heidi.
The Shaye is available in five different glossy colors: pine, blue jay, black, garnet, and tango. There is a metal UGG emblem on the distal side of the shaft, and the uppers are of molded construction. They are quite elegant looking and are as fashionable and versatile as the Kamik Heidi. From running errands to dressing up, our lead tester wore these to a Thanksgiving dinner and received many compliments. Easy to pair with the wardrobe and fit pants into with the wider circumference, we were very pleased. The color we purchased was pine, a very catchy forest green.
While they didn't offer the best performance in traction, they performed above average when it came to our snow and icy river tests. They performed well on wet grass or on a bit of an incline; they fared the best on flat surfaces. It was encouraging to know that such a high-style boot still had confident-inducing functionality across a variety of terrain. The Hunter Original and Kamik Heidi were the top performers in the traction metric; we recommend them if traction is of the utmost importance.
Warmth is the metric in which they scored the lowest. In our below-freezing tests, they failed to maintain heat for extended periods in the snow or river. They are not designed for cold climates and are ideal for temperatures above 50F. Nonetheless, the lambswool footbed and insole noticeably helped them score consistently the same for all our tests, no matter the temperature.
The Shaye is available in whole sizes ranging from 5-12. Running true to size, we purchased an 8. Our lead tester, a size 7.5, found that sizing up was a good choice. There was room for thicker socks, and the footbox was overall a snug fit. Heel slippage did happen regularly and brought hot spots, but thicker socks helped solve that problem - at least to an extent. The shaft is wider than the other models, allowing for easier wear over pants, but it also meant a noisier slap of the shaft into the calf, similar to that of the Xtratuf Legacy.
Ideal for mild or warmer climates with temperatures above 50F, the Shaye is an incredibly versatile boot. With fashionable appeal and reliable practicality, you can run around town while also feeling confident for the occasional slush or off-road venture.
Manufactured in the United States, it's always a pleasure to support "local" businesses. They do import sheepskin and lambswool from Australia, United Kingdom, and Ireland, but sometimes these materials come the U.S. Listing for $80, this model is an exceptional value. With high style and reliable weather protection, comfort, and traction, they are certainly worth the price.
A growing favorite, the UGG Shaye combines style and function - all in an affordable package. While slightly outperformed in certain cases, they are high-quality and finished third in overall rankings.
— Sara Aranda
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