Sunday, August 24, 2008

L.L. Bean 10 inch duck boots

"You cannot expect success hunting deer or moose if your feet are not properly dressed" wrote Leon Leonwood Bean, founder of the L.L. Bean brand. He designed a rubber boot with leather ankles, to provide the kind of shodding that scoffs at inclement weather. I just bought my first pair, 10" tall and thinsulate lined, this week and had them shipped out to Honolulu.

I don't know what's more astonishing, that they came out to Hawaii or that I haven't owned a pair before. I was such a Bean devotee back in college and I had fully bought into the East Coast preppie aesthetic that I owned just about every icon in the Bean catalogue except the duck boot (as they are called, rather than the "Maine Hunting Shoe" as Leon Leonwood named them). Inexplicable since - the Bean field coat, the Norwegian cardigan, the Baxter State Parka, the blucher, the Hudson Bay blanket notwithstanding -the L.L. Bean duck boot is the sine qua non of the brand.

So although the last time I set foot on the eastern shore was when a democrat was in the white house I bought a pair last week, in anticipation of a moose hunt on the Kenai Penninsula of Alaska in September. I figured it was a good enough excuse.

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