If you haven’t been living under a rock for at least a month, you have probably heard about Bean Boots. Doesn’t sound familiar? Well, then there is a good chance you have at least seen those leather boots with rubber soles. LL Bean is, in my opinion, the most popular brand for this type of shoe (hence the name “Bean Boot”), but so many shoe brands have taken on this trend as well. Over the past year or so, it seems as if they have exploded in popularity! So since we’re all getting into the hype on this trend, it’s probably a good idea to figure out how to break in bean boots.
I have been eyeing them for some time and got them as a Christmas present! (woop woop!!) Everyone I see wearing them looks so comfy. They look so versatile and easily worn with anything, everywhere.
Well, that’s what I thought until I first tried my gift on. Holy crap! These boots did not feel at all as comfy as the ones in the store. Because no one had worn them in yet, the leather was so stiff I could barely walk. So, I took about 5 seconds to be discouraged in the fact that they weren’t “ready to wear” then set off on a hunt on how to break in Bean Boots.
The low-down on Bean Boots
First, let us discuss how to determine which boot style is right for you. With so many options, it can be a little overwhelming to determine which one will give you the most wear.
Bean Boot Height
When purchasing Bean Boots, think about what you plan on wearing them for. Are you looking to only wear them in the winter? Then, the taller boots might be a better choice. Or, if you just want a lighter, waterproof shoe to wear in the summer, the Mocs would be a good option.
I chose the 8 inch Bean Boot because I felt it was such a versatile shoe. I can easily wear it during fall and spring with light socks when it is warmer and rainy. And I can throw them on with thick socks in the winter.
Thinsulate or No?
The thicker insulation in the L.L.Bean Boots is called “Thinsulate.” With the insulation, you are able to keep your feet warmer in colder temperatures. While this may seem awesome, it also automatically limits when and how often you can wear the boots.
When determining which type of boots to get, it can be easy to get caught up in wanting “the best” boot with all the frills. However, I would advise you to avoid this temptation. I went with the un-insulated boots because I knew this would allow me to get the most use out of them. Keep in mind that you can simply add thicker socks when it gets colder to protect your little toesies 🙂
How to choose a Bean Boot size:
My best recommendation would be to find a store near you where you can try the boots on. There aren’t half sizes in L.L.Bean Boots, so you’ll need to decide if you will go up or down a size. Plus, with their extreme popularity, this will prevent have to wait ages to exchange your boots due to weeks of back orders.
If you are ordering online, the website does a good job at helping you decide which size to get. They recommend that if you wear normal,thin socks to go down a full size. So, for example, if you are a 9 or 9.5, order a size 8. However, I wanted to be able to wear both thick and thin socks so I went with a size 7. I am normally a size 7.5-8 with shoes that require socks, so the 7 is perfect. I tried on the 8 in the store, however my feet slipped around so much it was uncomfortable.
How to Break in Bean Boots
Now that you already have your Bean Boots, I bet you’re dying to break them in, huh?? I could totally recommend that you wear those bad boys around the house, but that requires lots of time (and probably some rad blisters). So here are a couple tricks that will speed up the breaking in process!
After researching all the tips in the world to break in Bean Boots, my mom actually suggested I just use leather conditioner to soften up the leather. The kind I purchased was really affordable and I actually found it at Marshall’s (score!) I simply followed the instructions on the back of the bottle to break in boots an went through the process once. I could have applied 2 coats instead of one, but ya girl ran out of time that day! And because I like to play it safe with my clothes, I felt so much more comfortable using a product meant for leather rather than following some random tip I stumbled across online.
Thick socks and New-Skin
Despite having used leather conditioner, I found that the inside of my boots (around the heel area) were still a little stiff. It’s amazing how much thick socks and New-Skin protected my feet! If you haven’t heard about New-Skin, it’s seriously ahhh-mazing for any type of shoe that might rub your foot the wrong way ( 😉 )
Cabin socks have also been my best friends during the bean boot break-in process. If you aren’t familiar with Cabin socks, you need to head over and get yourself some now! They are super soft + cozy on the inside, but are normal cotton on the outside so you don’t get fuzz everywhere. They are also extremely thick so they 1) help your boots start to stretch a little and 2) protect your feet from any rubbing against any stiff leather.
Don’t purchase Bean Boots a day or two before you need to wear them
Guys, I know just how hard it can be to resist the urge to wear your glorious new boots everywhere you go, but don’t. Seriously you’re feet will hate you. When I first got my boots, I wore them around the house all day and took them on a 3 mile walk…bad idea. My feet did not like walking around in stiff leather and they let me know with a nice blister on the back of my foot!
So here’s a little tip: Start breaking your Bean boots in with shorter time increments. When you break in Bean Boots a little at a time, you also allow your feet a break from the harsh leather. I was also given a tip to wear your boots around the house in the morning before your feet begin to swell from walking throughout the day.
Hot air and thick socks
I have not tried this method, but I have heard this tip a lot. All ya gotta do is use a hair dryer to heat up the inside of your shoe and put them on with thick socks. Then, walk around your house until they cool down. Note: only apply heat until your boots are warm–too much heat can damage the leather.
Love this post?! I’d be so grateful if you shared/pinned it so others can benefit from it too! (+avoid blisters!)
Did you get any Bean Boots this winter? What are some tips you have to break in Bean Boots?!