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One week from today, the new line from L.L. Bean launches.  It’s called Signature, and early indicators are that it’s going to be really good.  Check it out at llbeansignature.com.

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I’ve worn LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoes (Bean Boots, Duck Boots) for years and years, and I basically love them.  The pair I’m wearing right this very second I’ve had since I lived in Michigan (where I grew up) and they’ve traveled with me to North Carolina, Texas and back to North Carolina.  They are 10-inchers with the light-duty Thinsulate lining from about 1992.  I love these boots.  But… yes, there is always a but… I’ve developed a wandering eye.  Here’s the deal, I’ve got a few issues:

  1. My foot has grown and my boots are only comfortable with thin to medium socks.  I can’t wear my good, thick hunting socks for extra warmth without feeling like my I’ve pulled my car too far in to the garage.
  2. They’re not 100% waterproof.  I think they were, but not any more.  They are like 98%.
  3. They are not super-warm.  They are fine if you are staying pretty active and it’s not to0 far below freezing.  But sitting or standing around and my feet get downright cold.
  4. I wear them every morning to walk the dogs during the cold months.  I am SOOO sick of lacing and tieing these every morning at 5:30 AM, then take them off soon afterwards.  What a pain.  And my dogs are complaining about how long it takes me.

I thought I had a plan.  I’ll get a fleece-line pair of the Bean Boots that are the pull-on style.  Well, turns out they don’t make those any more.  WHAT?  I know.  They do make a zippered pull-on that could work, but they are not going to be shipping until April.  WHAT again.  I know.  So I had to look elsewhere.  I am forced to go back to playing the field and find a new boot that will make my dreams come true.

So, I made my move.  Yep.  Sorel.  Here is what I went for:

Not exactly a Bean Boot, but in the same neighborhood.  I ordered a 9.5 which should allow me to wear any socks, or even multiple pairs if I get all crazy.  The Sorel website says they are 100% waterproof, so I’ll not need to steer the pups away from those puddles anymore.  And they have more Thinsulate, so they should be good and warm.  And, most importantly, they are pull-ons so they are quick and easy.  I’m excited to see how I like them.

Could these replace my beloved Bean Boots?  We’ll see.

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The L.L. Bean Maine Hunting Shoe.  Welcome to the last pair of boots you will ever need.

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Maybe I’m reliving my college days?  Maybe I’m simply getting back to timeless style and proven quality?  Who cares, I guess.  Yesterday I received a box in the mail from L.L. Bean.  I had ordered a pair of the Bean Blucher Mocs, and they had arrived.  I had a pair of these classic shoes back in my MSU days.  Along with a pair of Ray Ban Aviators, crumpled chinos and an untucked worn blue oxford hanging out from a reverse-weave Champion Michigan State sweatshirt, it was part of my standard gear circa 1988.

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