In spite of their Yankee origins, Bean Boots from LL Bean are some of the best shoes for the South. Given our recent monsoon-like weather, this has become even more evident.
I personally have two different pairs. I have a pair of the Rubber Mocs which get worn year-round. They go with jeans, khakis, cords, and even shorts during warmer. They can be worn with our without socks (though if you go for the latter approach, loafer socks are a must) and with or without rain.
I also have a pair of the 10-inch Maine Hunting Shoes. These don't get nearly as much wear as the rubber mocs, but they area nice to have for going out in particularly cold, rainy, or muddy conditions, and work well in the dove and quail field (provided you don't run into any snakes).
Now, in spite of how well-suited for the South these boots are, it is interesting to note that their popularity is not spread out very homogeneously. I remember my mom having a pair of navy blue rubber mocs in her closet when I was growing up, but I'm not sure I have ever seen another pair in Georgia (though I do understand that they are quite popular at UGA). I got my first pair after I went off to school in Alabama, though that decision was based on their endorsement in the Official Preppy Handbook. I have seen a few people wearing them in Birmingham, though they were not popular at my college.
Interestingly, though, when I went to school at Clemson, I found that nearly all of my classmates that were from Charleston owned a pair, and many students at Clemson could be seen wearing them throughout the year (though I'm not sure if I ever saw anyone wearing a pair of the rubber mocs). It is my theory that this is best explained by popularity of hunting and other outdoor activities throughout the state. One of my friends from Charleston inherited his pair of Bean Boots from his dad and they are almost completely bald. I've let him know that LL Bean does have resoling services, but I don't think he was interested.
Here is a friend of mine from Birmingham sporting the 16-inch Bean Boots he bought for med. school in West VA
I would be interested to hear anyone else's observations of these shoes south of the Mason Dixon.
Brother of Pearl
5 weeks ago