Guide to Buying Bean Boots

Hey there- hope y’all are having a great weekend! I enjoyed going to a UNC gymnastics meet with a friend yesterday. Then after going to church this morning, I’ve spent the rest of the day cozied up at home. We aren’t supposed to get any snow here, but temperatures are dropping and the wind has been picking up. In my previous post about beating the winter blues, I raved about my favorite Sherpa pullover and shared a picture where I’m styling it with my new LL Bean Boots. I just got my first pair Bean Boots for Christmas, and I’m absolutely loving them. (Well, I actually vaguely remember owning a pair at some point in college, but I barely wore them and have no idea what happened to them.) So today I want to share a guide to buying Bean Boots with y’all, in case you’re looking to get a pair of your own.

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Guide to Buying LL Bean Boots

Guide to Buying Bean Boots Step 1: Determine the Style You Want

Decide What Height LL Bean Boots You Want

For the most part, LL Bean boots come in a 6-inch height and 8-inch height. There’s also some 10-inch styles, but they have a bunch of extra insulation features. I chose to get the 8-inch Bean Boots because they have more of a boot look and feel than the 6-inch ones, in my opinion. Also, my mom ordered a pair of the 6-inch Bean Boots for herself, and I tried them on. The tops of the 6-inch Bean Boots hit at an award spot right above my ankle. I like the way my 8-inch Bean Boots feel much better.

My mom actually ending up sending the 6-inch boots back because they rubbed her ankle badly, even with socks. However, the 6-inch Bean Boots are still a classic, and LL Bean actually makes this style of 6-inch boot with a padded collar. I would recommend trying this pair out if you’re really set on the 6-inch style.

Decide on Insulation

Depending on what height boot you choose, there are different insulation options. If your heart is set on the 6-inch LL Bean Boot, then you are limited to the standard option with no additional insulation. However, they do run large so there is plenty of extra room for thick socks.

If you choose the 8-inch LL Bean Boot, you have more options for insulation. In addition the standard 8-inch Bean Boot, there’s an 8-inch Bean Boot with Thinsulate in the sole for a little bit of extra warmth. There’s also a Goretex/Thinsulate 8-inch Bean Boot that provides extra protection in extreme wet conditions. Finally, there’s a shearling-lined 8-inch Bean Boot if you really need to keep your toes toasty.

I went with the Thinsulate Bean Boot, because I’m such a wimp when it comes to cold weather. I wanted to have an additional layer of insulation on top of wearing heavy socks if I wore them to a cold night-time football game or other outdoor event. However, since I live in the South and it doesn’t snow here often, I didn’t think the Goretex/Thinsulate or Shearling lined Bean Boots were necessary. And even when it does snow here, I don’t spend much time outside in it.

8-inch Bean Boots

Guide to Buying LL Bean Boots: Quick Tips

Order Two Sizes If You Are Unsure of Fit

LL Bean Boots only come in whole sizes. The standard 6-inch and 8-inch Bean Boots, and the 8-inch Thinsulate Bean Boots run large to allow room for toasty socks. If you plan to wear heavy socks with these three styles, LL Bean recommends ordering your usual size if you are a whole size, and a half size down if you’re a half size. Then if you intend to wear light or midweight socks, they recommend ordering one size down for full sizes, and one and a half sizes down for half sizes. In addition, these three styles come in narrow, medium, and wide widths.

(Note that the sizing runs different for the heavier insulated boots. LL Bean has helpful sizing guides online for all their boots).

Although LL Bean’s online sizing guides are very helpful, I still recommend ordering two sizes if you’re unsure of length or width. For instance, I am usually a 7.5. I got a 7 in the 8-inch Thinsulate boots and the length is great. But even when I wear them with lighter socks, they feel roomy but not too big. I don’t think I would have wanted to go down to a 6. Also, keep in mind that you can adjust the fit with the laces. Thus, it’s better to order them a bit roomy and then use the laces to tighten them up.

Only Order Narrow Width If Your Feet Are SUPER Narrow

With respect to width, LL Bean recommends ordering your normal width in Bean Boots. I have a narrow foot, but don’t typically order narrow shoes since that’s typically not an option in a lot of styles. So, I decided I would try the narrow width in Bean Boots. While I could get them on and they felt okay, I was concerned they were a little too tight width-wise and wouldn’t be comfortable with thick socks. Therefore, I ended up switching them out for the medium width. Luckily, LL Bean still had the 7’s in stock in the 8-inch Thinsulate when I realized I wanted to try the medium width. So we ordered the 7 Mediums, but held onto the 7 Narrows so I could compare them side by side. However, it would have been a lot easier if we had ordered both the 7 Narrow and 7 Medium at the same time. LL Bean has great customer service and it’s super easy to send back whatever size doesn’t work for you.

Moral of this story is-only order the narrow width Bean Boots if your feet are EXTREMELY NARROW. My feet are narrower than average, but I still felt like the narrow Bean Boots were a bit snug.

UNC Old Well in the Winter

I hope that y’all found this guide to buying Bean Boots helpful if you’re considering investing in a pair. Mine were very comfortable and kept my feet warm while walking around UNC’s campus after the gymnastics meet yesterday. Some of my favorite places to wear my Bean Boots in the colder months are to a college football game and to a bonfire. Also, if you’re into classic preppy style, Bean Boots are a winter closet staple you definitely want to add to your wardrobe. Also, I love that each pair is still hand-stitched in Maine. You can shop all women’s Bean Boots here.

If you decide to buy a pair of Bean Boots, let me know which ones you get and how you like them!

Ps. To keep in touch, you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. In addition, I’ve become more active on Pinterest and would love for you to follow me there. I’d also love to add some extra happiness to your inbox with my weekly e-newsletter, and you can sign up here. I like to think of my newsletters as a weekly virtual coffee chat. You will also get my FREE mini ebook on “How to Build Your Wardrobe on a Budget”!

-xoxo Liz

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Guide to Buying LL Bean Boots


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I'm Liz- and I'm here to inspire you to embrace the simple joys in life and encourage you to be your authentic self!

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  1. Dan wrote:

    Thanks for this.
    I just ordered a pair of 10 M as I am usually a 11. It fits pretty well, but,
    -my toe is about a full thumbs width from top
    -when tied tight, the lace holes pull closer together
    -my heel is a bit loose, not by too much, but does lift a smidge (about 1/4 inch) when step…
    Just curious to your thoughts as there isnt a store closer than 1hr 1/2 to me and I really dont want to go through the hassle of mail lol. Thanks and Happy New Year to you. GOD Bless you!

    Posted 1.9.20 Reply