Wonder what winter’s most popular boot is shaping up to be? No, it’s not a new Isabel Marant or Alexander Wang style, it’s actually L.L. Bean’s iconic Bean boots. Yes, the boot is popular every winter, but believe it or not, it’s not even mid-December, and the style is already on backorder.
The $99 shoe, which L.L Bean spokesperson Mac McKeever told Bloomberg BusinessWeek is traditionally popular among “the kind of folks who’re outside a lot,” (think loggers and farmers) has been gaining popularity recently with the young, the trendy, and the urban. It’s become so popular this year that the company actually can’t make the boots fast enough. In the past three years sales of the iconic style have quadrupled, and are set to hit 450,000 by the end of 2014.
“Without changing anything, they’re back in style,” L.L. Bean spokesperson, Carolyn Beem, told Yahoo Style.
If you were hoping to get your hands on the heavy-duty boots before the tail end of winter, we’ve got bad news. By the end of the year L.L. Bean is expecting to have 100,000 orders that it won’t be able to fulfill, with backorders extending until February. Try to buy a pair on the L.L. Bean website (yes, we tried), and it will prompt the following message: “Due to an extremely limited supply of L.L.Bean Boots, we recommend placing your order now so we can reserve a pair for you.”
Why, you are probably wondering, is the company not just making more boots to satisfy the demands of all of those hipsters and style-setters? Unfortunately the company’s bootmakers take six months to train and each shoe is handmade, so despite bringing on board 100 new staff, new machinery, and keeping the factory open almost 24 hours a day this year, L.L. Bean just can’t pump out enough pairs, and because of that it’s unlikely you (or we) will be able to pull on a pair before early next year.
Is this a case of normcore getting wildly out of hand? Possibly. Add into the mix the news Sorel’s most-wanted style, the Polar Vortex-proof Caribou Boot ($140), is reportedly sold out in neutral colors in almost every size, and we’ve got a potential winter boot shortage on our hands.