UGG Australia usually connotes one thing: soft shearling boots worn by everyone from A-list celebrities to snazzily dressed toddlers. So when UGG approached me about their “Let’s Get Lost” initiative to outfit select families with shoes and then send them to a zoo to get lost in an adventure, my first thought was “Of course” and then my second thought was “Boots in May? How’s that going to work?” Luckily for me, UGG Australia has way more than their classic boots available.

Last Saturday morning, my family trekked to Washington D.C.’s Georgetown store (1249 Wisconsin Ave NW, between Prospect & N St.), where store manager Sean and his staff Gabi, Julio, and Kidist paid undivided attention to us as we looked for sturdy Spring shoes to wear to the National Zoo on a rainy, cloudy day.

My daughter, 8, had the easiest time picking out shoes with Gabi’s help (it should be noted that she’s the only one of us who actually owned a pair of UGG shoes already, the Classic boots in black) . A budding fashionista, she quickly narrowed her choices to a pair of tan loafers and pink Gladiator sandals. To my surprise, she picked the Marin loafers (retail price, $65) in Fawn. She said they were “comfy” and “cute,” plus she didn’t want to wear sandals on a rainy day.

daughter in UGG

The girl knows what she wants.

My oldest son, 11, asked Sean to help him pick out a pair, since he’s already a men’s 8.5, and Sean pointed him in the direction of a perfect pair of leather black sneakers, the Men’s Vanowen ($120). He put them on and didn’t want to take them off. He’s not exactly into shoes, but he knows what he likes, and the sneakers were perfect for him — nothing fancy or overly adult looking. The “baby” (well, he’s 5, but we still think of him that way) had a much harder time finding anything to wear, but after a lot of persistence, Kidist found him the Halfhitch ($60), a simple navy boat shoe with a velcro strap instead of laces.

kids in UGG

The kids at the National Zoo in their new UGG kicks.

My husband was ogling the motorcycle boots but fell in love with the much more season-appropriate Barren loafers ($150). And I decided to also go with Gabi’s suggestion and ended up with these ridiculously comfortable Azin boat shoes in Seal grey ($100). After we huddled together for a snapshot of all our new shoes, we drove a couple of miles up to the National Zoo and had an easy going afternoon looking at the animals, because the weather kept most people away. Our favorite stops were looking at the pandas, the zebras and the elephants.

UGG shoes for 5

UGG shoes for my party of 5

Even the Spring shoes we picked had a tiny swath of signature UGG shearling in the heel. We were all impressed at how comfortable the shoes were, even walking 10,000+ steps for a couple of hours around the zoo. And then after the zoo, we had a long day of birthday parties, spring fairs and family dinners to attend, and each of us got complimented at least twice without prompting. So thanks UGG for not only providing us with beautiful, stylish shoes, but for encouraging us to visit our awesome National Zoo, which is F-R-E-E to all.

I realize UGG shoes aren’t inexpensive, but the kids’ shoes were only $10-$15 more than most of the shoes I get them. And my husband and I will be able to wear our shoes for years. As for my 11-year-old son, yes he’ll grow out of the $120 leather sneakers, but he’s been wearing them A LOT, so at least they won’t be sitting in the closet for special occasions. If you’re looking to splurge on a pair of high quality shoes that are stylish, well crafted and comfortable, consider UGG Australia for more than their ubiquitous boots!

UGG shoes

The kids lined up the shoes when we got home.

FTC Disclosure: UGG Australia sponsored this post by providing me with five pairs of shoes from their Georgetown retail store. The zoo trip was free, and all opinions about the shoes and our experience are my own.