The UGG Shaye boots are fashionable, of decent height, and are also reasonably comfortable. While they have been outperformed in weather protection, traction, and warmth, they are still a high-quality competitor. Made in the U.S., they are classically UGG, complete with a sheepskin and lambswool insole. We are very fond of the glossy finish and modest design, an elegant alternative to loud patterns. Relatively easy to carry and walk in, this classy pair is more than enough rain boot to get you around town.
The green Shaye boot we tested is no longer made, but you can still get the classic glossy black pictured above.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The UGG Shaye is a 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. On the distal side of the shaft, there is a metal brand emblem. Of simple, molded construction, there aren't any other added features to these boots. 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 in the product description.
While not the tallest, weather protection is more than sufficient in the Shaye. We would label these boots as mid-calf-height, measuring 13.75 inches from the ground. UGG does label them as a tall rain boot, however. But since they did not rise to our knees, they did not receive the same weather protection scores as taller competitors. In addition, the Shaye has the biggest non-adjustable circumference of all the boots, at 15.5 inches. This makes for 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 will actually be a plus, as it will fit more snugly to your leg, preventing weather from sneaking in.
This pair ranks above average in comfort but runs slightly large, creating heel slippage and hot spots for our lead tester. Even with the PVC upper being fairly flexible, the boots are noticeably stiffer than many of the others we tested. The foot box is fairly low-volume, which could be an issue if you have high-volume feet or super thick socks. Either way, their comfort lands them pretty much in the middle of the pack, despite the enticing fur-lined footbed.
While the Shaye doesn't offer the best performance in traction, they performed above average when it came to our snow and river tests. They did well on wet grass and with incline, though they fared the best on flat surfaces. It was encouraging to know that such a high-style boot still had traction functionality across a variety of terrain, but it's important to keep in mind that they are designed for casual, and most likely, urban use.
Warmth is the metric in which the Shaye scores the lowest. In our below-freezing tests, they failed to maintain heat for extended periods of time in the snow or a river. Obviously, 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 of our tests, no matter the temperature. The flip-side of this is that when the summer sun does come out, you're less likely to overheat.
Available in quite a few different glossy colors at the time of our testing, it's best to double-check the manufacturer's website for current themes. For the Shaye, there is a metal emblem on the outside of the shaft, and the uppers are of molded construction. They are elegant and high scoring when it comes to being both fashionable and versatile. From running errands to dressing up, our lead tester wore these to a Thanksgiving dinner and received many compliments. They are easy to pair with a variety of outfits, and they accommodate pants without much fuss due to the wider circumference.
Sizing wise, these boots are only 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. With room for thicker socks, the drawback is that heel slippage did happen regularly and brought about hot spots. With adequately thick socks, that concern was resolved to an extent. The shaft itself is wider than the other models we've tested, but it also means a noticeably noisier slap of the shaft into the calf as you walk and a more rubbery, baggy feel.
Manufactured in the United States, it's always a pleasure to support "local" businesses. They do import sheepskin and lambswool from Australia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, but sometimes these materials also come from the U.S. This model is of exceptional value. With high style and reliable weather protection, comfort, and sufficient traction, they are certainly worth the moderate price.
A growing favorite, the UGG Shaye combines style and function in a fairly affordable package. While slightly outperformed in certain cases, they are a high-quality pair of rain boots, finishing near the top in overall rankings.
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