03 April 2014

Springtime Walkin'

Back in October I mentioned the Chippewa-made boots I wanted from L.L. Bean. I did get a couple of Bean gift cards for Christmas, and by combining those with a couple of $10 rewards from my credit card, I was able to get them with only a very small contribution from my own pocket. I got to wear them once during the winter, after January's snow had melted but before February's had fallen. Now that the snow is gone completely I've been able to wear them a few more times and I think they are a really nice product.

Interestingly, I had tried on a slightly different version of the boots a few years back in a Bean store and found that they ran small, but the reviews of this version indicated that they ran true to size or perhaps even a little large, so I ordered 10.5, which is down half a size from what I normally wear in athletic shoes. I may have been able to get away with size 10, but I still prefer having room up front.

The extra space would also be useful for insoles, but so far I haven't felt like I need them in these boots. The cushioning in the insoles is quite good and they have been comfortable to walk in. I imagine the rubber soles and the inner layer of cork contribute to that comfort as well.

The uppers are oiled leather and they have picked up a few stray marks so far, but in some cases those can be "erased" by rubbing the area around the mark to redistribute the oils. I do wish there were speed hooks at the top instead of eyelets all the way up (I believe the version of this boot that J. Crew is selling has speed hooks), but I think I could have them added by a cobbler and I may do so.
This picture in direct sunlight shows the burgundy color very well. Indoors it's a bit more subtle and tends to appear brown, but I tend to prefer subtle, and I like the small bit of contrast provided by the natural-color welt. The welt construction makes these resoleable and thus a better value.

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