How To Wear Bean Boots

Sharing how to wear Bean Boots, sizing details, and how you can style the iconic L.L. Bean boots multiple ways!

L.L. Bean Boots |

How To Wear Bean Boots

When the cold weather makes an appearance, it’s time to break out the iconic L.L. Bean Boots. These boots are perfect for keeping your feet warm and dry in the rain, snow, and sleet.

If you didn’t grow up in Buffalo like me or in another snow-prone place, you may not be familiar with the expression, “There is no bad weather. Just bad clothes.” I would consider the Bean Boots to be a key part of the good apparel to get through inclement weather — be that lake-effect snow or torrential downpours.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know on how to wear Bean boots. Sizing details, which pair is right for you, and ways to style the boots. My personal favorite outfits with my boots include puffer vests & riding jackets.

So without further ado, here’s my guide to buy and style Bean boots!

Pick What Height You Like Best

The original Bean boots for women come in 6 inch and 8 inch. There are also the Mocs style, which are easy to slip into and great to wear if you’re a gardener like my mom. I chose the 8 inch Bean boots because growing up in Buffalo, it’s pretty common to have snow drifts over 8 inches and I wanted to make sure I was covered! Since moving to DC, I love my 8 inch Bean boots with our city’s tendency for serious rainfall that cause lake-like puddles.

The 8 inch boots come in more colors than the 6 inch boots. I chose the navy since that’s the color I wear most often. I would probably go with the original tan/brown if I had purchased the 6 inch boots because it’s the most neutral.

To Thinsulate Or Not To Thinsulate (Or Gore-Tex and Shearling-Lined)

Before I purchased my duck boots, I carefully weighed my options and thought about going with the Thinsulate, Gore-Tex or Shearling-Lined boots. I chose to go with the regular Bean boots and purchased several pairs of thick socks to layer. Camp socks are wonderful for keeping your toes warm in your boots. I also wear them around my home when I’m lounging. I love my L.L. Bean camp socks, you can get a 2-pack for $19!

While my regular Bean boots coupled with camp socks keep my feet from freezing on my commute and running errands, I would suggest you go with the Thinsulate ($149), Gore-Tex ($199)or Shearling-Lined ($219) if you live someplace where temperatures are lower than 35 degrees regularly during the wintertime. L.L. Bean also makes these flannel-lined boots. I think I’d just want to show off the flannel to add a fun print to my weekend errand outfit.

So what’s the difference between Thinsulate, Gore-Tex and Shearling-Lined? Thinsulate is a synthetic fiber thermal insulation found in the rubber bottom of the duck boot to add extra warmth between your feet and the icy ground. Gore-Tex kicks it up a notch by adding its own lining to keep you dry during extreme storms. Because there’s really nothing worse than when your feet get soaked!

The Shearling-Lined Bean boots are the softest ever. But since DC doesn’t really get intense winter weather that often, I couldn’t justify the $219 price tag versus the $129. As someone who grew up with lake effect snow, I’d probably go with these boots if I still lived in Buffalo. If you need to get your shearling fix, L.L. Bean’s wicked good moccasins live up to their name.

Let’s Talk Bean Boots Sizing

Sizing for Bean boots can be a bit intimidating with all those width measurements thrown in there. But good news, L.L.Bean’s customer service is world famous and able to chat you through all your sizing conundrums. Plus with free shipping and free returns, it’s pretty low-risk.

L.L. Bean boots come in whole sizes. I’m a true size 8 in shoes so I purchased my pair in a size 8. Even with my thick camp socks, my size 8 boots are just the right size.

If you’re a half-size, L.L. Bean suggests ordering a half-size down to get your best fit. If you decide to go with Gore-Tex or Thinsulate, L.L. Bean recommends whole sizes order down and half sizes order 1 1/2 sizes down if you plan to wear them with lightweight socks.

As for width, order how you normally would for shoes! I ordered mine in medium width like I do for all my other shoes.

How to Style L.L. Bean Boots

Bean Boots Outfit Ideas

Women's Red Gingham Button Down |

Gingham Shirt & Puffer Vest

When the weather is still sunny with just a hint of crisp in the air, I love to tuck my jeans into my duck boots and pull on a cozy gingham button-down. Finish off with a classic puffer vest and you are all set!

L.L. Bean Fisherman Sweater

Original Post

Fisherman Sweater & Flannel

When the cold and snow hit, it’s time for more layers! L.L. Bean has an amazing variety of fisherman sweaters for all styles. I layer a Scotch plaid flannel shirt (also from L.L. Bean!) underneath for extra warmth.

LL Bean Boots Style

Original Post

Wool Skirt & Layered Sweater

Don’t be afraid to wear your boots with skirts or dresses! A good wool skirt or a midi-length dress would look really cute with these iconic boots. Just recommend you don’t spend a ton of time outside if you go with this suggestion!

Purchase Bean Boots. Live In Them.

Well, there you have it! My guide to buying Bean boots. While it can be a bit of a process to figure out exactly which type of boots you want and the best fit for you, once you’ve ordered them you have these boots for life. L.L. Bean has the best return policy out there and if you don’t love your boots or there’s an issue with them, you can return it with zero hassle. I’ve spoken to their customer service over the years and they are always helpful and friendly.

DC Girl in Pearls Gingham, Puffer Vest + Bean Boots

Photos by Rosa 

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Leave a Comment


  1. 10.3.17
    Morgan Dux said:


    I really enjoyed this post. I finally purchased a pair of 6 inch original Bean boots last fall and they were a worthwhile investment!

    • 10.3.17

      Thanks, Morgan! Any of my L.L. Bean pieces have lasted me for years, they’re just the best.