L.L. Bean’s women’s boots are in high demand again this year.
Have you ordered your winter boots yet? If not, you might be out of luck. L.L. Bean’s already sold out of women’s size 8, and most other sizes—for men and women—won’t be ready to ship until February. In fact, the company expects to sell over 450,000 pairs of boots this winter; the wait list is already 100,000 names long. So why don’t they just make more?
The company sold out of their boots early last year, thanks to the fact that they’re back in style. From high school kids to city-dwellers (not to mention legions of loyal New England customers), duck boots are a surprisingly practical trend at the moment. “Younger people are buying them. They’re all over college campuses and high schools,” says the company’s spokesperson, Carolyn Beem. “Without changing anything, they’re back in style.” To answer the recent demand, L.L. Bean invested in another of the $1 million molding machines they use to build their waterproof rubber soles, reports Boston.com. But the Maine-based company values quality over quantity.
Beem continues, “Making more boots is also a slow process given the specialization needed to produce the hand-crafted boots. Perfecting the stitching process takes 26 weeks, or half a year, of training.” She adds, “We’ve bumped up production; we have three shifts going, we’re hiring new people. We’re doing all we can to lessen the wait time.”
Unfortunately, snow doesn’t care if you’re armed with the right boots. So unless you’re a men’s size 9 in a wide EE, it’s time to shop elsewhere for appropriate winter footwear. J.Crew has a snow boot collaboration with Sperry, Sorel’s are still available (though sold out in average sizes in neutral colors), and of course, the world never seems to run out of Uggs.