The other day I was talking to a coworker about Sperry Boots vs Bean Boots and then days later I found Jared bringing up the same conversation. LL Bean was definitely the creator and trendsetter of the duck boot, but I think Sperry has perfected it over the years.
To keep this simple below I’ve listed out the pros and cons of each brand.
Sperry Boots vs. Bean Boots
- Easily Available – Sperry boots are pretty much available anywhere you can get them online, in several stores like Nordstrom, Dillards, etc. Sperry also designs exclusive styles for brands like J.Crew.
- Affordable – Compared to the LL Bean boots, Sperry boots are much cheaper.
- Multiple Styles – With Sperry boots, you can pretty much get them in any color or pattern you want. They offer everything from classic leather to wool to quilted and more.
- Comfort – Sperry boots are easily broken in and very comfortable to wear.
- Not Unique – Unfortunately, because they are easily accessible you can pretty much guarantee you’ll see others in the exact same shoes as you.
LL Bean Boots
- Original – LL Bean is the original creator of these style boots. They have been around since 1912 and are handcrafted in Maine.
- Quality – LL Bean prides themselves on their high-quality handcrafted boots. Here’s a snippet from their website: “Whoever says “they don’t build things like they used to,” doesn’t own these boots. Today, our signature “duck” boots are still sewn right here in Maine – one pair at a time – by expert craftspeople whose technical skills and passion for their work is evident in every pair of boots they make. Warm, dry feet haven’t gone out of style in a hundred years, so we haven’t needed to change L.L.’s innovative 1912 design.”
- Unique – Since these are harder to get your hands on you won’t see many people wearing them.
- Ordering Time Frame – Since they are handmade and high quality the ordering time frame can be rather cumbersome. If you order them when it’s cold outside the chances of them being backordered until spring are very likely. If you are thinking ahead, you can most likely order them around September or October and get them in time for Christmas.
- Limited Stock – Stock is very limited so even if you are prepared and order ahead of time, there still is a chance they’ll be sold out.
- Sizing – LL Bean recommends “With light- or midweight socks: Whole sizes, order 1 size down. Half sizes, order 1½ sizes down. With heavyweight socks: Whole sizes, order your normal size. Half sizes, order the next size down.” However, I’ve never known someone who has ordered from LL Bean and been happy with the sizing.
- Clunkiness– Because of the high-quality leather and thick soles, they can be pretty clunky and uncomfortable to break in. They can also make your feet look massive if you order wrong.
- Limited Options – Because this product has been around for so long and is the pride and joy of LL Bean they haven’t strayed from the original design, so options are limited.
Shop L.L. Bean Boots:
I own 3 pairs of Sperry Boots and a pair of the LL Bean Rubber Mocs. I reach for my Sperry Boots daily but rarely reach for LL Bean shoes. If you are trying to choose between the two, I recommend going for the Sperry boots.