As fall turns into winter, keeping your feet warm and dry will keep you happy as fall 2020 turns into winter 2021. Waterproof, weatherproof boots are a must-have for fall, winter, and, depending on where you live, spring.
One of the best-known and best-loved manufacturers of sturdy, waterproof boots is L.L. Bean. Is their faithful following deserved? We’ve done the research for you on how well L.L. Bean boots perform in wet, wintry weather.
About L.L. Bean
The iconic American manufacturer of clothing, boots, and outdoor gear was founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, hence the name L.L. Bean. The company is still headquartered in the city of its birth, Freeport, Maine.
Duck boots, a necessity for hunting in Maine, were among L.L. Bean’s first products and remain among its most popular items.
Waterproof boots have taken L.L. Bean on a growth trek. The company now has more than 5,000 employees and 55 retail stores, and those duck boots are sold worldwide from www.llbean.com.
L.L. Bean started as and remains a privately held, family-owned company. They’ve been set in their ways for more than a century, and since the Beans are still in control, L.L. Bean will continue their traditions of American craftsmanship.
What We Like Best
You’ll spend more than $100 on your L.L. Bean boots, so you’re paying for the quality on the front end. However, L.L. Bean boots have been known to last a lifetime! If you divide the price by the years of happy use, they’re a bargain.
L.L. Bean’s duck boots will also do what they claim to: keep your feet warm and dry. Having comfortable feet when spending time outdoors or just running errands on a rainy day keeps L.L. Bean customers happy.
These boots are also comfortable to wear, making long walks in cold, wet weather easy. Each pair is made by hand in Maine, a state known for cold, wet weather.
There’s also the classic duck boot look that L.L. Bean fans love. The uppers come in colors that will blend in with nature or stand out in the case of the women’s moccasin in red. If you’d like something easier to slip on and more geared to keeping dry than keeping warm and dry, a moccasin style is available for men and women.
What We Don't Like
While some love the duck boot form as well as its function, not everyone does. Some see the boots as clunky and not as versatile as other styles of boots. Sure, it’s functional in the woods, but will it work with a business suit during a wet commute to work?
As L.L. Bean boots are well-known for their durability and value, you will spend more than $100 on them. That can be a drawback for the budget-conscious shopper.
L.L. Bean is known for its use of premium leather and other top-quality materials, but that, along with L.L. Bean boots’ thick soles, can make them notoriously hard to break in and a little stiff at the first wearing.
What kind of socks do you plan to wear? We ask because that will have something to do with the size boot you’ll need. The L.L. Bean website suggests ordering a whole size down if you plan to wear light- to medium-weight socks or your regular size if you plan to wear heavy socks. This can cause some sizing confusion when ordering, especially if you plan to give them as a gift.
The iconic L.L. Bean boot is a classic, but it doesn’t hold a lot of variations. The colors are limited and other than being available in a moccasin style – an excellent choice for those in warmer but wet climates – this boot comes as is.
These boots are all handmade, so prepare to wait for your order, as there is a good chance it will be sold out. Call it the price of popularity and being handcrafted. Reviewers advise that if you want to have a pair at Christmas, order no later than September to be safe.
For more than a century, L.L. Bean has enjoyed a loyal following for its classic boot, which is made in the same style as the original 1912 model.
The Maine-based family-owned business hasn’t seen fit to change the boot over the years since it functions so well as a warm, waterproof boot. Some say that one pair of these durable boots will last a lifetime, so buying a pair is an investment for plenty of winters to come.
The cons of this boot are their cost and the advance ordering time needed as well as sock-related sizing differences. For fans, these can all be forgiven.
While you can’t please everybody, these sturdy boots do an excellent job of trying.