Maine Hunting shoes vs. Bean Boots

Exploring the differences between Maine hunting shoes and Bean boots can illuminate the nuanced features that cater to specific outdoor needs. 

These two iconic footwear options boast a rich history and distinct characteristics, each favored by outdoor enthusiasts for various purposes. 

We can discern which attributes align best with individual preferences and activities by comparing Maine hunting shoes to Bean boots. 

Whether it’s traversing rugged terrain or navigating urban landscapes in inclement weather, understanding the unique qualities of these boots is essential for making informed footwear choices. 

Let’s investigate the comparison to unravel the distinct advantages of Maine hunting shoes versus Bean boots.

Maine hunting shoes

Maine hunting shoes

Maine hunting shoes are made by L.L.Bean, an American shoemaker that outdoor enthusiasts have trusted for over 100 years. If you have old shoes and boots tucked away in your closet, you have at least one pair from L.L. Bean.

Maine hunting shoes were first introduced in 1912 and have undergone numerous enhancements. Modern Maine hunting shoes have a moccasin-like feel and a flexible sole for the durable traction required for long hunts in the woods.

Bean boots

While Maine hunting shoes have been a popular choice among American hunters for over a century, there is another style to consider from L.L. Bean. 

Bean boots are a more modern version of the original hunting shoes, featuring a slightly shorter fit and a nice tan color. 

Bean boots

Bean boots are commonly used for light hikes or walks in the rain and snow. They are versatile and popular among both men and women, whether hunting or spending time outside.

What’s Better: Maine Hunting Shoes or Bean Boots?

Here are the key differences when shopping for new hunting boots from L.L. Bean.

  • Sole: Maine hunting shoes have a more flexible sole than Bean boots, which are more solidly constructed.
  • Upper: The original Maine boots are less stiff with a loose, tumbled fit, whereas Bean boots have a flat upper fit.
  • Color: Maine hunting shoes are dark brown all over, while Bean boots are primarily tan with a brown bottom.
  • The prices of these duck boots are mostly the same, but Bean boots are typically slightly less expensive than Maine hunting shoes.

Are Maine Hunting Shoes and Bean Boots Suitable for Hunting?

Durable Soles

There’s no denying that both waterproof boots have supportive soles, but the 8-inch and 10-inch Bean boots have less flexible soles than the Maine hunting shoes. 

Bean boots originally had a moccasin-style sole to help them feel the ground, and today’s Maine hunting shoes incorporate this feature.

Those who prefer a softer cushion and greater flexibility may choose the Maine design, whereas those looking for a strong hunting shoe that can also be worn in everyday life may prefer Bean boots. The durable soles are ideal for running errands in inclement weather and outdoor adventures.

Upper Design

At first glance, there is little visual difference between these Bean hunting boots, but remember that the Bean boots are typically shorter, around 8 inches, though there is a 10-inch option available.

The Maine hunting shoe’s tumbled leather upper allows for a looser, more relaxed fit, whereas Bean boots have flat leather that fits snugly around the leg.

The darker stitching on Maine hunting shoes keeps them cleaner and lasts longer, whereas Bean boots have white stitching that can get dirty quickly, especially after back-to-back hunts.

Are Maine Hunting Shoes and Bean Boots Suitable for Hunting

Hunting Colors

Every hunter strives to blend in with their surroundings as much as possible. That is why the color of the footwear is essential, with both the Maine hunting shoe and the Bean boot making good choices for wilderness hunting trips.

The 8-inch bean boot is available in tan, and many people wear it for daily activities and hunting. Then there’s a 10-inch taller dark brown Bean boot and the distinctive dark brown Maine hunting shoe.

A closer look at the laces of both boots reveals another color difference. Bean boots have light brown shoelaces, whereas Maine hunting shoes are dark brown to match the upper.

Enhanced Comfort

When unsure which duck hunting boots will be better for your feet in the long run, try them both on. You can tell the difference between the relaxed, flexible Maine boots and the Bean boots with added support.

Maine shoes provide a custom fit with uppers that easily conform to the leg and a steel shank for superior support on even the longest days outside. That isn’t to say the Bean boots don’t provide support. This footwear also has a steel shank and a distinct foot shape that promotes stability and comfort, which even the most experienced hunters can appreciate.

Final Fit

Often, it comes down to how much you like to feel the ground beneath your feet and how much space you want between your ankle/calf and the boot.

The Maine hunting shoe still fits snugly but with slightly more wiggle room. L.L. Bean’s Maine boots may be more comfortable if you prefer to wear multiple layers of thick socks and allow your legs to breathe as much as possible. Furthermore, the softer sole means you make less noise while walking.

On the other hand, Bean boots are a good choice if you prefer your bird hunting boots to fit snugly against your leg and have a stiff, supportive sole. 

Bean boots are also becoming more popular among city and suburban residents who want the traction and protection of high-quality boots that look good with other outdoor gear.


  1. What are the critical differences between Maine hunting shoes and Bean boots?

Maine hunting shoes feature a more flexible sole, a looser upper fit with tumbled leather, and a darker overall color scheme than Bean boots, which have a sturdier sole, a snugger fit with flat leather, and a tan color with white stitching.

  1. Are Maine Hunting Shoes and Bean Boots suitable for hunting?

Both Maine hunting shoes and Bean boots are suitable for hunting, offering durability and support. Maine hunting shoes may offer a softer cushion and greater flexibility, while Bean boots provide a more solid construction and snugger fit.

  1. What colors are available for Maine hunting shoes and Bean boots?

Maine hunting shoes typically come in dark brown, while Bean boots are available in tan for the 8-inch option and dark brown for the 10-inch version. Additionally, the stitching and laces differ in color between the two options.

  1. How do the soles of Maine hunting shoes and Bean boots compare regarding flexibility?

Maine hunting shoes have a more flexible sole reminiscent of a moccasin-style design. In contrast, Bean boots have a sturdier sole that offers less flexibility, providing different ground feel and support levels.

  1. Which option offers enhanced comfort for prolonged wear?

Maine hunting shoes provide a custom fit with a looser upper and a softer sole, ideal for those preferring more wiggle room and less noise while walking. With their snugger fit and sturdy sole, Bean boots offer added support and stability, suitable for various outdoor activities.

  1. How do Maine hunting shoes and Bean boots differ in fit and suitability for different activities?

Maine hunting shoes typically offer slightly more wiggle room and comfort for wearing multiple layers of socks, making them suitable for outdoor activities where agility and noise reduction are desired. With their snug fit and solid construction, Bean boots are favored for activities requiring more support and stability, including hunting and urban wear.


Deciding between Maine hunting shoes and Bean boots boils down to personal preferences and specific outdoor needs. Each footwear option offers distinct advantages tailored to various activities and environments. 

With their flexible sole and relaxed fit, Maine hunting shoes provide a softer cushion and greater flexibility, ideal for those prioritizing comfort and agility. 

On the other hand, Bean boots boast a sturdier construction and snugger fit, offering enhanced support and stability, particularly suitable for rigorous outdoor pursuits like hunting. 

Whether trekking through rugged terrain or navigating urban landscapes, understanding the nuanced differences between these iconic boots enables individuals to make informed choices that align with their unique preferences and lifestyle demands.

Leave a Comment