(Bean) Boot and Rally: Overcoming the 2015 Shortage

By Lucy Tantum | 10/7/15 10:20am

As autumn arrives and the air grows crisp, you may awake to realize that your summer footwear just won’t cut it anymore. You need something that is warm and waterproof; something that can be worn with any outfit, day or night; something that seemingly every student has in the back of their closet.
You need a pair of Bean Boots — duck boots if you’re a traditionalist. They’ll keep your feet dry in rain, snow or sleet. Come at me, winter you think. I’ll be prepared.

You begin your search with L.L. Bean, that quintessential purveyor of blue-blooded New England fashion. Your mind races with plans of strutting across the Green in your rubber-soled, leather-clad boots.

Alas, it’s not that simple.

You eagerly click on your shoe size, only for your dreams to be stomped down by disappointment.

Bean Boots are backordered. You’re too late.

Wincing, you pull on your Sperry Topsiders and trudge to your 9L. Your feet are so cold…but the hearts of the L.L. Bean manufacturers must be even colder.

This scenario is not new—shortages of necessary goods have long plagued society. In the 1780s, a bread shortage plunged Louis XIV’s France into revolution. In 2007, a Webkinz shortage led fourth-graders to panic when they couldn’t buy another animal to add to their virtual game. In 2013, a Sriracha shortage rocked the nation.

And every winter, just as leaves will change and birds will fly south, Bean Boots will fall into short supply. The handmade nature of the boots, combined with high demand, creates a yearly scarcity. Econ majors, take note.

So if you find yourself without Bean Boot this fall, what is there to do?

You could buy a knockoff pair of boots—but they won’t be the same.

You could start a new trend. Flip-flops in winter? Badass, but it might not catch on.

You could go right to the source, and voice your complaints to L.L. Bean. In an act of protest, you could steal the giant boot from the front of the store and wear it instead. That would be edgy, perhaps.

You could cheat. Beg. Lie. Steal.

No, you’re stronger than that. Stop dwelling on the past. Step over this seemingly insurmountable barrier, stand up to the winter and keep going.

Bean Boot and rally, so to speak.

And don’t forget to pre-order for next year.

Lucy Tantum