I didn’t grow up wearing Bean boots. Unlike many of my fellow east coasters, I can’t claim them as a staple of my childhood (or adolescence). But, they were a lifelong go-to of my mother’s. So, when the time came for me to leave for college, and trade in the streets of my native Brooklyn for the corn fields of rural Ohio, she saw to it that I departed with a pair of Bean boots in tow (the Gore-Tex / Thinuslate model at that – she’s a good mom). That was in December of 1999 (I matriculated in the fall of 2000). And I am only now, after over a decade of regular wear (literally seven days a week for six to nine months a year), finally replacing that very first pair
Amazingly, almost nothing about the boots has changed; aside from the updated eyelets, I haven’t been able to spot a single difference between the old and new. For L.L.Bean to still be turning out the same product – built to the same specifications – despite its age, size and standing is a pretty remarkable thing. Say what you will about the brand moving the bulk of its clothing production overseas, the label knows what makes its most enduring item great, and, year after year, it continues to deliver. It’s comforting to know that ten years from now, when I’m in need of my next replacement, I’ll still be able to pick up a pair of made in Maine L.L.Bean Bean boots, and that the tradition can live on.
A big thanks to James for the photo help.