L.L. Bean, the well-know supplier of outdoor clothing and equipment, is the seller of a lightweight waterproof hiking boot, the Trail model Hiker II, with TEK 2.5 waterproofing.
We all know about L.L. Bean, of course. But, let’s see if we can let you know a few more facts. L.L. bean has been, for the past hundred years, America’s most trusted source for reliable high-quality outdoor clothing and equipment, along with advice on living in and exploring the wilderness on the edges of our civilized world. L. L. Bean was founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean as a one-man operation; the global company that operation has become is, of course, named after the founder. That historical connection continues with the location of the L.L. Bean company headquarters in Freeport, Maine, not far at all from the very first store.
From the very beginning, the company founded by L.L. Bean specialized in warm waterproof shoes and boots, built to high quality standards, and available at a reasonable price. The first model L.L. Bean devised for sale were simply leather uppers stitched to a pair of workingman’s rubber boats. Called the Maine Hunting Shoe, this pair of boots became the mainstay of his local shoe business.
The next step was the catalog, a flyer of only three pages, mailed to the non-resident holders of Maine hunting licenses. One hundred people ordered the shoes, and one hundred pairs were shipped out. Unfortunately, the bottoms and the tops separated on most of the boots, and ninety pairs were returned. And, in the spirit that has made L.L. Bean the success it has became, L.L. Bean refunded the purchase price to every one of those ninety people. He learned from his mistakes, designed new versions of the boots that fixed the problem of the separating uppers and lowers, tested the boots personally, and sent out more flyers. His honesty and integrity has been the mainspring of the L.L. Bean company ever since.
In the Trail line of L.L. Bean boots, the Hiker II model is a lightweight boot that is both supportive and flexible.
Carry a heavy backpack all day with these boots, and your feet will not complain in the least. The upper shoe is a combination of suede leather and fabric, with a lining of Thinsulate® polyester for warmth. The membrane of the TEK 2.5® waterproofing, an L.L. Bean exclusive, keeps your feet dry even when crossing a stream or wading through a swamp. The EVA mid-sole cushion, the removable footbed, and the gel inserts in both the forefront and the heel provide comfortable cushioning, no matter what the terrain may offer as an obstacle. The bumpers on the outside of the heel and the toe add to the durability. The tough strong VertiGrip pattern on the TrailTrac rubber soles lets you climb steep terrain with little effort. Reflective trim adds to safety at night. You get the comfort of a pair of sneakers, and the support and protection of a pair of hiking boots.
These boots are very comfortable, and it’s easy to get the color you want. The boots may seem a bit big when you open up the box, but, once you slip them on, you’ll be surprised at the nice snug fit. Very little break-in of the boots is needed.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $79. On a scale of 1-5, I’d rate this pair of boot a 5.