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.
Shop Sperry Boots
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.
Kaitlyn nickell says
Both are great but I’ve found the llbean ones to hold up longer. Within a year my sperry ones were splitting down the soles. Llbean has a lifetime guarantee so they will always take their product back at the largest price they can give you. They will also resole your well loved bean boots!
That is good to know! I do have several pairs of Sperrys boots, so I think because I switch them out enough where not one pair gets too worn out. That is really good to know about LL Bean guarantee though!!
Susie James says
If I wear a 9 in LL bean, what size should in LL Bean, what size sperry should I order?
I would order your normal show size on Sperry!
Thanks for your post, Angela. I was wondering why Sperry says they are the original duck boot… Although Sperry does have some interesting styles, I can’t help but feel that they are imitators,
Actually, I have found that LL Bean has a lot of options in styles–besides their regulars, they often have limited edition styles. I find that there are more than enough styles and colors to choose from at LL Bean. Of course, Sperry still might have a wider range of styles and colors of duck boots–I’m not sure.
Additionally, LL Bean has increased production to meet the demand https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ll-beans-duck-boot-boosts-production-new-manufacturing/ Of course, this does not mean that some styles are not back-ordered, only that getting Bean boots may not take as long as you suggested. It is a good idea, of course, to order them before the cold really hits.
I will agree with you about the clunkiness. I have one pair of LL Bean snow boots that are huge; I have to say, though, that they are super warm.
I haven’t tried Sperry, but in the end, I’ll probably stick with LL Bean; the quality and service seem to make the higher price tag worthwhile.
Totally agree. If I’m going to spend the money, I’m going with the original. I guess it depends on your qualifications formperfexting but I totally disagree in this statement. The Sperry ones are cheap imitations. They regularly split along a seam that doesn’t even exist on the Bean boots, the sole wears out quickly and the quality is terrible. They may be less expensive but you get what you pay for. The Sperry’s won’t last you more than 1.5 with regular wear whereas the bean boots will last almost forever. They have so many more designs these days. I choose Ll bean any day!!!
I feel as though LL bean is very easy to get your hands on. I live in Massachusetts, and maybe it’s because i’m in New England that we have so many LL bean outlets, and fast shipping. I feel as though that should not be a con, I mean if ur not from New England then why are u wearing them? tbh it was made for the cold, snowy winters up here and it’s a symbolic of New England idk
I’m from the South and I grew up with Bean boots. I lived on a farm. The LL Bean Fall catalog was always much anticipated when I was a teenager. This may have been so because my Mom was from upstate New York…but I didn’t realize until recently how iconically New England Bean boots are…or LL Bean in general.
Hello, I own a pair of Bean Boots (size 8) and I was wondering how the speedy boots compare in size because I was thinking of buying some. Thanks
I would say the Bean boots run a little big whereas the Sperry boots run true to size!
Katie-Starr Goodwin says
I love your scarf! Where did you get it?
Also thank you for the boots review! I just bought my own pair of Sperry’s (Amazon is having a great sale!) and can’t wait to try them out!
K D Kari says
Still wearing the same pair of LL Bean boots that I bought when I was 16. The tread is worn, but still water tight. Also, I disagree about the styling – LL Bean look slimmer and more attractive then the knock off Sperry. Also, once you own a pair of LL Bean – they will replace or repair for life. Pretty good investment if you live in a wet climate.