Duck Boots Are Already Selling Out, Despite L.L.Bean's Best Efforts

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
If you missed out on the unexpectedly trendy L.L. Bean Duck Boots for the last few winters, or find yourself in need of a replacement pair of sturdy, weather-defying kicks, you might want to order them ASAP. Although fall technically began just seven days ago, there's already a wait for the sought-after snow accessories that means not getting yours for a solid month-and-a-half or more.

Since last year, L.L. Bean has hired 100 more boot-makers and added a new molding injection machine (to make those rubber soles) that cost a cool $1 million, according to Bloomberg Business. The company's fleet of workers churning out the boots consists of just shy of 500 employees, and some work the third shift, a practice that started last year to try to keep up with demand. But many styles are already backordered until November 23, at the earliest. If you want an extra-cozy, Thinsulate-lined pair, expect to wait until December 3 for most sizes, BB reports.

The company expects to to sell approximately 500,000 pairs of the boots this winter; last year, 450,000 pairs were sold, and The fundamentally frumpy kicks have just gotten hotter over the past couple of years. In 2012, L.L. Bean's sales of the style tripled. Hysteria over the 103-year-old heritage brand's classic, practical boots clearly hasn't waned, but don't expect the company to meet demand by forsaking its "Made In Maine" schtick. The company won't be outsourcing production to make more boots — that every pair comes from one of two factories in the Pine Tree State only contributes to their exclusivity.

"We're making them literally as fast as we can. It's not something we can just stamp out," Mac McKeever, a spokesman for L.L. Bean, told Bloomberg Business.

Last year, 100,000 people were on a waitlist for the boots by December, and many didn't receive their pairs for four months. No word on how extensive the backorder situation is already. But if this is the winter you finally planned to wear your very own Duck Boots while frolicking through fallen leaves, going apple-picking, and making snow angels (read: Instagram-ing the hell out of the holy grail of heritage items), prepare to wait...

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