About the Author: Jason P. spends his days working in the creative marketing department of a big telecom company. He also does a bit of real estate investing on the side. He and his wife love hiking with their dog and shopping at local small businesses and antique stores when they travel. Jason is a practitioner of muay thai and traditional boxing, and his favorite drink is a piney, dank West Coast IPA.
For over a century, L.L. Bean has been offering their legendary Bean Boots to help people brave inclement weather. But are they worth buying in 2023 when footwear companies are pioneering seemingly annual innovations in weather protection? Read on for 7 reasons – one for each day of the week you can wear a pair of Bean Boots – to see why the answer is a definitive “yes.”
1. They looked good a hundred years ago, and will look good a hundred years from now.
They’re an icon. Born in 1912, the Bean boot has been a staple of classic American style for over a century, and is the quintessential New England shoe. It’s a product that receives recognition in nearly any crowd for it’s time-tested style and functional build. Proof that timeless style can stand out in today’s fast fashion world.
2. Born, In the USA! Still.
L.L.Bean is committed to keeping these Made in The USA, and doing so with a personal touch. That typically brings a higher price point, and while the price of the Bean boot has risen the past decade, it’s still offered at a relatively affordable price for a domestic-made good. On that note…
3. Absolute bang for your buck.
At a time everything is skyrocketing in price, good value is hard – and more important than ever – to find. Bean Boots are not immune to price increases, as they have risen from $109 in 2014 to $149 today. Yet given L.L.Bean’s commitment to quality goods and the hard-wearing durability, the product is worth the price of entry. Everything from the leather uppers to the feel of the laces to the off-white thread they use for the stitching… they’re a great way to dip your toes into the “buy nice, buy less” way of consumerism.
4. There’s a Bean Boot for every taste.
- Men’s Bean Boots, 8″ in Basil/Black/Sail Orange – $149
- Men’s Bean Boots, 6″ – $139
- Men’s Bean Boots 8″, Flannel-Lined Insulated – $179
- Men’s Bean Boots, 8″ Shearling-Lined Insulated – $249
The classic brown/tan pair at the very top of post are the essential 8″ Bean Boots available for purchase year-round, but L.L.Bean does an excellent job creating new colors, different heights, lined, and insulated options to choose from. They’ve even collaborated with designers like Todd Snyder. There’s a Bean Boot for everyone.
5. These boots work as good as they look.
With a puritan triple stitch, rubber vamp and toe, and the infamous chain-link rubber outsole (above), these bad boys are the real deal when it comes to waterproof boots. Whether you’re standing in 6 inches of snow or bounding through puddles on city crosswalks, the Bean Boots will keep you dry.
6. They’ll keep kicking for years to come.
This is a photo of my trusty, navy leather Bean Boots after 8 years of heavy use. Look at these beauts. This is a limited edition pair L.L.Bean released in the Winter of 2014. In those 8 years, these have seen season after season of winter beatdowns in the rain, slush, and snow. Yet, they remain functional and maintain their classic good looks.
7. The fit is accommodating (sizing = a bit confusing at first)
Part of the beauty of a pair of Bean Boots is their simplicity. They’re easy to slip on and off for quick jaunts outside with just a quick cinch and tie of the laces, and they’re made to fit multiple foot shapes. Now, sizing is a bit wonky and can be confusing:
- With light or midweight socks: Whole sizes, order one size down. Half sizes, order 1½ size down. (Example: 9 or 9½, order a size 8)
- With heavyweight socks: Whole sizes, order your normal size. Half sizes, order one size down. (Example: 9 or 9½, order a size 9.)
Got all that?
But with that generous fit, the Bean Boot can accommodate just about all shapes and sizes of foot. Narrower foot? Size down at least full size. Wide foot? Maybe go true to size, or half size down.
And for the sake of balance, 3 reasons Bean Boots may NOT be for you…
- You live in a hot, arid climate, or somewhere else without significant snow or rain. Unless you’re making some sort of fashion statement in your desert home-town, you won’t get much use out of these.
- You wear a suit or sport coat every day. These just can’t be dressed up. It’s a bulky, foul-weather boot half constructed with rubber. While I’m sure some do it, most won’t want to mix styles like that.
- You already have a pair. These last for years, and the most responsible and sustainable form of consumerism is to wear the stuff you already own.
Clearly, there are far more reasons to own a pair of these than not. And with winter hitting hard and a wet spring probably on the way, consider a resolution to keep your feet clean, dry, and stylish with a pair of classic boots from Leon Leonwood Bean.