21 January 2014

Maine Hunting Tassels

This time of year, Bean Boots, what were once called Maine Hunting Shoes, are a staple for me. I have a high pair that I wear when the weather is really bad, and a pair of low cut mocs like the ones pictured above for rain or just when there's snow and slush on the ground. I plan to round out the collection with an even higher pair lined in shearling. They're comfortable, relatively inexpensive, and they keep my feet dry. I like the mocs for the same reason I like my tassel loafers so much, easy to step into.

Trouble is that newer Bean Boots tend to run not just a little large, but huge. My normal shoe size is 10, sometimes 10 1/2, but at a size 9 my Bean mocs are still a little large. They can flop off the at the heel and pull the socks down, and the rawhide lacing comes undone, if you keep it ties like they are in the photo above.
I've modified mine just slightly. First, I pulled the laces tighter and tied them in a tight double knot. This keeps a bit more tightly fitted to my feet, and they don't slip at the heel anymore because the knot no longer comes loose. But tying them this way leaves a long strand of unused rawhide at each end. Cutting it is one option, but I find it make the shoes look truncated. Instead, I tied the ends into an Eastland Knot,

 creating something of a rugged woodland tassel loafer. The shoes know work better for me, and have one little tweak that sets them apart. A little modification can go a long way.


Mike said...

Tassels are an interesting option. But I guess I won't do this to my Rubber Mocs. I prefer the authentic look.

I thought about ordering the Shearling Bean Boots, too. But 200 Bucks (or 147 Euros) is expensive compared to my Sorel Caribou boots (to -40°F/C), I've bought in sale for 100 Euros. On the other hand, the Sorels are much bulkier than Bean Boots...

You must keep in mind, that the shearling boot's shoe tounge is sewed only partly on the sides (sorry for my bad english!). This means the boot is only waterproof up to the point where you can fold the tongue. Better check it out in the shop.
Maybe the 10 inch Goretexed and Thinsulated boot is a better option. Check out Muffy Aldrich's post.

HKM said...

A lot of Bean Boots are now on back ordered until March. Visited my local LL Bean Store in VA with my daughter who was looking to "prep" her style a bit at Penn State and found out that most popular women sizes and styles were out of stock. Fortunately her foot is small enough to fit into boys sizes so she ran downstairs to find a returned Xmas pair which she purchased. Also, LL Bean will replace the rubber on all but the moccasins. Recently returned a pair of gumshoe hunting shoe thinsulates that my son stole from me to wear at U Penn that needed new soles- cost $43.00 and extended the life for another 25 years!!

Brent Kryda said...

Mon Dieu! How have I never considered such a thing, it perfectly mixes my desire to dress well and yet be able to wander over to every tree I see even in the dead of winter. My thanks for your having arranged the marriage of khakis and botany.

tintin said...

I thought only girls did the barrel knot?

Joe said...


Boston's fast becoming what I like to call "San Francisco East". As such, lines like that get blurred around here. I mean, where else would you see so many grown men carrying tote bags?