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Best LL Bean Boot for NYC weather

6642 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Guest-625056

I haven't posted in a long time.

I'm considering the classic unlined Bean Boot, in brown and tan. I live in NYC.

Two areas I'd like to get your thoughts on:

6" or 8"?

I ordered the 6" and I like general look and feel, though I'm getting the sense that the 8" is more practical as a snow boot, and you can tuck your pants in it.

Yet, the 6" seems better for most of NYC weather, very light snow and rain, and perhaps more versatile.

But.... wouldn't a waterproof Merrell hiking shoe or boot accomplish pretty much the same thing with better grip, fit and ankle support that a 6" Bean boot would accomplish?

Also, during the week for work I'd wear a rubber soled leather shoe or put my swims on my leather soled ones. Seems like it's going to be mostly a weekend shoe, or the rare snow/slush boot for work.

Anyone out there really love the 6"? Does the 8" seem too much for rain?

Haven't tried the 8" yet, only the 6". Do some of you have both? Is it worth it to get both?

LL Bean Boot Sizing Advice?

I'm an 11 EEE on a Brannock device. The nice folks at LL Bean told me that their sizing goes only to EE in the wide and there was a chance it probably wouldn't fit me - but try the 11W since 11W is a little wider than 10W.

They said you need a little space in the boot to trap the warm air. I ordered the 10W and 11W for comparion, and both seem to fit well. The 10W is more like a sneaker with a mid-weight wool sock and is slightly snugger against my foot.

The 11W is a more generous "sloppy" fit and can accomodate a ragg wool or Bean boot sock, but with a mid-weight sock feels a little loose.

I can see walking longer distances in the 10W, since it feels more like a shoe, whereas, I think the 11W might be better for winter use since I can go with a thicker sock. So...6" 10W for rain and 8" 11W for snow?

Again, these are first world problems, but I'd appreciate your opinions.

Glad to be back.
Thanks, Theoden
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As a fellow New Yorker and someone who owns five different pairs of Bean boots, I have some thoughts that might help you.

I assume we are talking about versions of the traditional Bean hunting boot (the classic, as Bean does sell modern boots as well)?

First, the one negative, there is no way around this, the bottom of the boot is fine, even good, on NYC pavement and sidewalks in rain and snow, but it is - and this is the only word for it - terrible on the various metal surfaces on NYC streets and sidewalks (manhole covers, grates, those huge metal construction plates they put down over incomplete road work, etc.). For me, I enjoy the classic boot so much and find it has enough good features, that I just accept this negative (and am careful, very careful, as the Bean boots slide on metal surfaces like they are glass).

As to your questions, your instinct is correct in that the six inch height is fine for NYC rain and most snow, except for the one, two or three times a year we get a real snow storm. And, yes, a Merrell (which I used to own) can serve the same purpose (but without the fun or "style" of the Bean boot).

Additionally, your instincts are also correct in that - to truly cover every situation - you need at least two boots. I've acquired mine overtime, but the two I use the most are the six inch unlined one for, as noted above, all but the big snow storm. For those storms, I have the 10" Shearling-lined boot - both the height and lining are great in those situations. I'd buy the unlined 6" first and, then, the 10" Shearling - once you have those, you've pretty much got it all covered.

As to sizing, once again, your instincts are, IMHO, spot on. I'm a 11.5D in a shoe and I have the 11M Bean for my unlined ones as I want those to fit more "normal-shoe" like so that I can wear them with a mid-weight sock (especially in the summer) and walk a lot in them comfortably. Then, I have the lined 10" ones in 12M so that I can wear a very thick sock with them and still have the "air pocket" Bean mentioned as I only wear these on very cold days and in snow.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Fading Fast,

Thanks. That's helpful.

Yes, it's the classic boot (tan leather, brown rubber bottom with the chain tread). I just ordered some ragg wool and bean boot socks to experiment with the 6" boot. Maybe I'll order the 8' or 10" for next year.

I was thinking the 8" unlined might be the "One Boot to Rule them All" in an 11 W with, perhaps the shearling insert for the winter- but I gather it'll be sloppy in the spring or summer and less easy to put on. I think the Maine Yankee Frugality of the boot would dictate am 8" unlined for year-round use with a sloppy spring/summer fit in warmer months.

But as New Yorkers - we can own 2 pair of boots. ;-) Much appreciated! What kind of Bean boots to do have and how do you use them?

Having had a Connecticut Yankee grandmother - who barely survived the Depression - I always have a pull toward frugality, which is why it took me years to acquire my Bean boots as I'd never allow myself to buy more than one at a time (and, even then, struggle a bit with the "excess" of owning several).

That said, I have (the first two as noted in my prior post):
  • 6" unlined - for the everyday rain / light snow situations
  • 10" Shearling - for the "big" snow
  • 9" "Lounger" Shearling-lined slip on - for cold rain or snow when I run out to do an errand and don't want to spend anytime lacing up / also great for quickly getting on and off at airport screening
  • 8" ⇩ "Small Batch" w/ brick sole - bought simply 'cause I love its look* View attachment 19769
  • An old slip on that is basically retired - it owes me nothing, but I can't throw it away either
As noted in my first post, you could get by with just the 6" unlined for all but the "big"snow (and even then, it can kind of do the job). However - and with all proper respect to my grandmother - having the 10" Shearling one for snow, even though I only wear it a few times a year, is great to have.

* Yup, I'm that shallow
Awesome collection. Thanks for sharing.

The 8" small batch is quite cool!

Yes - I think there's a style thing going on. The whole form meets function thing about the Bean Boot is largely true. You can get by with a waterproof hiker, but the bean boot is so classic.
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