Hands-on Gear Review

UGG Cecile Review

Top Pick Award
Price:  $170 List | $118.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Cute, low-profile, waterproof leather outsole, versatile with many outfits, three season wear
Cons:  Not great for deep water or snow, not suitable for below freezing temperatures
Bottom line:  This is the cutest low-profile leather winter boot tested perfect for all-day casual wear.
Editors' Rating:   
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Measure Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft, size nine):  7 inches
Measured Weight (ounces, one boot, size nine):  1 lb. 0.70 ounces
Upper Material:  Waterproof full grain leather
Manufacturer:   UGG

Our Verdict

Boasting high-performance and comfort for all-day wear, the UGG Cecile is our Top Pick for Style. This 7-inch low profile duck boot compliments many outfits and is a favorite among our testers. Cast in a waterproof leather upper and coupled with a warm wool liner, it performed well in moderately cold temperatures and kept feet dry on the street. The outsole is infused with a cork material and over-layed in a rubber composite that kept our feet on the ground over surfaces of soft and hard-packed snow.

That said, it is not a top performer in comparison to other winter boots on the market. While traction is decent in town, the lug design is not very technical and not suitable for super steep or slippery terrain. Cute contenders like the Keen Elsa did better in our traction tests and was also well-loved by our testers. Overall, this boot is excellent for casual wear through the Fall, Winter, and Spring.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's Winter Boots of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Wednesday
February 14, 2018

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This Top Pick for Style is versatile and adorable. Wear it all day while at work or while performing simple winter chores around town.

Performance Comparison


This Top Pick for Style is versatile and goes well with a plethora of outfits.
This Top Pick for Style is versatile and goes well with a plethora of outfits.

Warmth


The Cecile does not have many warmth features, earning a four out of ten in this category. With a simple UGG wool lining and a fairly thin sole, it's not meant for the coldest of days. In fact, we wore them out while hiking on a frozen lake during the Polar Vortex in Ontario this past winter where temperatures dipped to the negative tens.


While wearing a simple pair of wool socks and winter pants, the tootsies were frozen after just five minutes. We managed about fifteen minutes outside before we were forced to come inside. Manufactured as a duck boot, suitable for rainy walks in the city, this is not a super warm model. That said, it did just fine in temperatures that hovered around 30 degrees Fahrenheit (freezing). Wear them around town for most winter days, but leave them at home if you plan on being in super severe or cold weather.

Here we test the UGG Cecile in sub-zero temperatures in Northern Canada. On this cold winter walk  the mercury sat at about -10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here we test the UGG Cecile in sub-zero temperatures in Northern Canada. On this cold winter walk, the mercury sat at about -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

While duck boot is warmer than the Keen Elsa, it's not as warm as the super cute faux-fur collared Sorel Tofino II. The Sorel features a thicker sole, longer shaft, and faux-fur collar that all work together to lock in warmth. The Sorel is a lot heavier than the UGG and has a completely different style. The Sorel is an excellent option if you want better warmth and better protection with a faux-fur, Eskimo-style look. That said, its one of the cutest boots in this review with its contrasting color schemes and feminine flair.

The wool liner is cozy and warm.
The wool liner is cozy and warm.

If you search for one of the warmest boots that still boasts a stylish flair, check out the Sorel Joan of Arctic, our Top Pick for Severe Weather. While it is much heavier than the UGG Cecile, it's far more protective and warm. A great option if you need a winter boot for standing or walking around town in temperatures that reach all the way down to the sub-zeros.

Weather Protection


The UGG Cecile did fine in our winter field days tests but failed in our more rigorous water tests. While the leather is waterproof, major water leakage occurred where the laces meet the body of the boot when we stood out in a reservoir. Our socks were immediately soaked, performing poor in comparison to other watertight contenders. We can't recommend it for super deep snow (as the height of the boot is low), nor can we recommend it for super wet days outside. While it did just fine walking around town, there are better boots that offer better weather protection. It scores a five out of ten in this category.


Even though the UGG Cecile doesn't have as bomber an outsole as the rubber outsole in the Keen Elsa, it performs better in this metric. The UGG's leather outsole is waterproof from rainfalls and puddles, while the Keen Elsa has a fabric upper that is water resistant at best that allowed water to flow freely during our puddle tests. Sadly, both of these lower profile boots did not perform as well as other Pac boots and winter hikers in our tests.

This is about the level this boot protects to.
This is about the level this boot protects to.

If you seek a super weatherproof boot that offers a cute style, check out either the Sorel Tofino II or Sorel Joan of Arctic. Both provide a faux-fur collar, with the Joan of Arctic providing better weather protection overall (more extended boot height, thicker outsole). The super lightweight Columbia Heavenly Omni-Heat is also another excellent choice. It is surprisingly waterproof for its fabric construct and has a plush faux fur liner and collar. If you prefer a boot without the faux-fur collar, the The North Face Shellista II Mid, our Editors' Choice winner is relatively weather-proof with a cute-knit upper on the shaft of the leather boot.

Comfort & Fit


The lightweight and simple nature of this boot make it one of the most comfortable boots to wear all day! It is a favorite for wearing to work, commuting, and casual nights out with friends. The UGG liner isn't by any means plush, but thin and fairly cozy. The 7-inch height (from the bottom of the boot) makes it easy to wear over a pair of skinny jeans or underneath a boot-cut pant. The fit accommodates both narrow and wide-footed ladies. The heel cup provides a snug fit while the forefoot is fairly voluminous making wear of thick or thin wools socks easy. All our tester agreed this boot is true to size without the need to size up. The sole is fairly flat without much arch support and lacks cushioning underfoot; it will also take a couple of wears before fully breaking in. Overall, because of its versatile fit and overall lightweight comfort, it earned a solid nine out of ten as we commonly chose it for daily winter wear and travel. The highest score in this review.


While the Cecile boasts comfort unmatched by other contenders, we also enjoyed the lightweight design of the Keen Elsa. On a daily basis, this was another boot we chose to wear that received many style points on the street.

The furry tongue is cozy and comfortable all day long.
The furry tongue is cozy and comfortable all day long.

It has a wider fit with a bit of a taller shaft height. That said, this award winner is simple, thin, and not very cushioned. If you seek a super cozy boot, check out the lightest boot tested, the Columbia Heavenly Omni-Heat, weighing less than a pound per boot.

This shoe is lightweight and simple  making it comfortable for all-day wear.
This shoe is lightweight and simple, making it comfortable for all-day wear.

The interior is 100% lined with fur, featuring a fur collar. If you prefer a more technical boot, the The North Face Chilkat III is one of the most comfortable winter hiking boots tested alongside the Keen Durand Polar, our Editors' Choice winner. However, neither of these hiking boots are particularly stylish.

Ease of Use


Once again scoring the highest in this category for a lace-up boot, the UGG Cecile is super easy to use. The lower shaft height makes lacing simple. Slide your foot in (without using your hands) and simply pull. Simply untie the laces and kick the boot off without much effort; since it's lightweight, it's easy to wear all day long. If you don't feel like lacing it up, you don't have to as the long laces will stay in its eyelets. It scores a nine out of ten in this category for its simple design and lightweight.


By comparison, the only boot to score just as high is the Kamik Momentum, our Best Buy award winner. This boot has a laceless design. Simply slip your foot in and kick it off at the door. The Keen Elsa is another lower boot option with just a few more eyelets. We thought it was relatively easy to pull on and wore it for all-day wear on a daily basis.

Pull the laces just once to tighten with the UGG Cecile.
Pull the laces just once to tighten with the UGG Cecile.

Traction


With a rubber outsole infused with a cork material and lugs that aren't particularly deep, this boot earns a measly four out of ten. While testing over hard packed, soft packed, and ice inlaid conditions, it grabbed and stuck to the surface, making travel around town safe and simple. That said, when we took it to the trails, serious performance differences were noted. Other hiking boots and Pac Boots with a deeper lug design obviously performed better, gripping slippery surfaces better than the UGG. As a result, we'd recommend this boot for casual wear or the occasional hike on less technical surfaces. But, we can't recommend it for severe weather, steep terrain, or snowshoeing.


If you seek the ultimate in traction, boots with big lugs are the way to go. The Keen Durand Polar and the Kamik Momentum have super large lugs that grab all sorts of steep and flat surfaces. Both boots perform better than the Cecile in our traction tests. That said, no contender did particularly well over snow.

A look at the traction of the UGG Cecile.
A look at the traction of the UGG Cecile.

The Keen Elsa features better traction utilizing deeper and more plentiful lugs. In our tests, this similarly designed low-profile boot did better in hiking tests and grabbed snowy surfaces particularly well. This is a great alternative for those seeking a more stylish low-profile winter boot with better traction.

Testing over snow.
Testing over snow.

No boot performed well over snow. Make sure to pair them with a set of YakTrax to ensure solid grip over any surface including ice.

Style


Earning a perfect ten in this metric, this Top Pick for Style is a favorite among our testers. Cast in a waterproof leather with a duckbill toe box and shaft height of 7-inches, this super cute contender was chosen for work and social events on several occasions. We wore it to work, out to dinner with friends, around town, and even out to the bar. Wear it with a cute winter dress or skirt or sport it under a pair of bootcut jeans. These boots did complete several ensembles throughout the winter seasons, with the most compliments of any boot tested.


If the short duckbill leather boot is not your thing, be sure to check out more 'wintry boot' options. Faux-fur provides that cute winter look that many ladies either love or hate. If a tall faux-fur boot that fits over top of tight jeans or leggings is your scene, the Sorel Tofino II is by far the cutest winter boot and our top recommendation for style. While it's not the warmest boot out there, it received a ton of compliments at work and on the street for its multicolored faux fur collar, water-resistant quilted shaft, and feminine outsole. The Sorel Joan of Arctic is also super cute, but it has a much bulkier look with a less feminine outsole. Our tests did love the taller shaft and the suede-upper that gives this a "Northern" look.

A look at the relative height and compatibility with a cute skirt.
A look at the relative height and compatibility with a cute skirt.

If you still like a lower boot profile, but you're not keen (pun intended) on the UGG Cecile, the Keen Elsa is another excellent choice. Our testers love the colorful upper that contrasts with the rubber outsole. This boot is sleek and straightforward in design, also earning a high score in this category.

Best Applications


This boot is our go-to for casual wear around town and to work. It's stylish enough to wear out to a casual dinner with friends and ready to take on slushy snow puddles. That said because it's not a tall boot, nor did it perform well for warmth or weather protection, we wouldn't recommend it for days where snowbanks are high or when the mercury plummets anywhere below freezing. Our favorite for around town use, it is capable of tackling super mellow trails but is not fit for winter hiking. It's a great option to wear during rainy weather in the Fall or Spring, which is an added bonus!

This boot completes any outfit for a winter-chic look.
This boot completes any outfit for a winter-chic look.

Value


If style is what you seek, the $170 may not seem too daunting. That said, there are winter boots that perform much better for a lower price, but aren't as stylish or cute. For example; the Kamik Momentum is only $90 and performs much better in the nasty. Though, it's not nearly as stylish. The Keen Elsa has similar performance with a bit of a different look and is only $130 retail.

We didn't note any signs for durability issues during our testing period. That said, be sure to treat this leather boot at least twice a season to ensure its longevity.

Conclusion


This Top Pick for Style is a duck boot with a low-profile design that goes right above the ankle. The soft lining provides comfort while it's lightweight design makes it easy to wear all day. This boot is our favorite to wear to work and around town because of its super cute look and simple comforts.

Amber King

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Most recent review: February 14, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
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