- Flickr/Anna Chernichko
It’s deja vu for Bean Boot fans.
Certain sizes of the popular L.L. Bean rubber boot are already sold out online.
Although customers can still place orders for these sizes, they’re on backorder until October or November.
Bean Boot loyalists will remember that this same situation happened last year, when L.L. Bean had a backlog of 100,000 boot orders to get through and didn’t deliver the goods until summer.
Part of the reason for this backlog is the shoe’s sudden trendy status.
“They’re all over college campuses and high schools,” L.L. Bean spokeswoman Carolyn Beem told Boston.com last year. “Without changing anything, they’re back in style.”
Why are the 100-year-old boots so popular now? There are a few reasons:
Legacy products are hot right now. Consumers – especially millennials – connect to the product’s history and bulletproof track record. The origin of the Bean Boot goes back to 1911, when brand founder Leon Leonwood Bean sold his Maine Hunting Shoe, which the Bean Boot is descended from.The slightly goofy aesthetic is back in style. The all-American boots fall into the still-going-strong “normcore” trend that’s popular among young urbanites.The boots are an incredible value. The most basic model is only $99, and it comes with L.L. Bean’s unconditionalsatisfaction guarantee, meaning you can return the boots at any time for virtually any reason.Speaking of bulletproof, that’s exactly what Bean Boots are. They’re known to be completely flawless from a functionality perspective. Many owners see the boots perform for decades without replacement.
L.L. Bean sold 450,000 pairs of Bean Boots last year. This year, with ramped-up production, they plan to sell 500,000 more. But the boots are still handmade by less than 500 craftsman in L.L. Bean’s two factories in Maine. One hundred additional boot makers have been hired and more will be brought on.
“We realize we could outsource, but that will never happen,” L.L. Bean spokesman Mac McKeever told Bloomberg. “The boots have been hand-sewn in Maine by our own skilled boot workers, and they always will be.”
Instead of outsourcing, the company has invested in a $1 million molding injection machine to make its rubber soles faster. A third shift has also been added to attempt to meet demand, Bloomberg reports.
If you want to get a pair of Bean Boots before winter, we recommend ordering now.