One of the first things a new Maine-ah needs to buy is a pair of boots. Buying a pair of LL Bean Boots (left-most boot in the picture above) is a right of passage, indoctrinating you into a life in Maine.
Boots serve many purposes in Maine, and can carry you through all five seasons. (We’ll talk about the fifth season in a moment.) The key to purchasing this multi-tasking tool is to find one that you can just slip on and off, encouraging you to use them more often, and opening up new opportunities for exploring and enjoying the great outdoors that Maine has to offer.
We’d never heard the term “Mud Season” until we moved to Maine, though it appears to be a northern New England thing. Mud Season falls between Winter and Spring, when the snow melts and turns dirt roads and trails to a soupy mess of muck. Living in Portland, we really don’t see the effects of Mud Season to its fullest, but just head inland 30 minutes or so and take a walk through the woods… you’ll see what we mean.
The L.L. Bean Boot is as Maine as you can get. Over the past year, the boot has even become a fashion symbol and comes in a number of styles. They come insulated or non-insulated and in a number of heights. If you’re just looking for something to throw on to get the mail, the moc or 6″ will do; but we recommend at least the 8″ height. This lets you wade a little further into the snow or mud, keeping your socks dry.
If you’re not ordering them online, and intend on visiting the Flagship store in Freeport, we recommend heading over to the outlet store first. You may be able to pick them up at a slight discount.
Bogs is a very popular brand that you can get almost everywhere. Most of the other boots in the image above are Bogs, and our family has adopted the brand as our defacto mud boot. Our kids live in them from Fall through the end of Spring.
As mentioned above, boots become multi-purpose in Maine. Here are a few more reasons why you’ll want a pair:
- Snow boots – Yeah, you’re going to need to buy snow boots anyway. You’re living in Maine, and snow is a way of life during winter.
- Shoveling snow – Having an easy to pull/slip on pair of boots makes life a little easier when you’re waking up at 5am to shovel the 12 inches of snow off and around your car so you can get to work.
- Strap snow shoes on them – don’t sit on your couch all Winter! Take a ride to a local park, strap a set of snow shoes onto those boots, and get some great exercise while breathing in the clean crisp Maine air.
- Mud Season – enough said.
- Water in your basement – it happens. Sure is nice to have a waterproof pair of boots to slip on when you can’t remember if your box of wedding photos is up on a shelf or sitting on the floor.
- Walking on the beach – Having a pair of waterproof/sand proof boots is perfect for those long strolls along the beach, in any other season than summer.
- Rain boots – All of the boots mentioned above will serve your kids well for jumping into puddles. Live life and jump into that puddle with them!
- Clamming – Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport puts on educational classes on how to clam. Take a class, really.
- Low Tide with the kiddos – Low tide isn’t just for clamming. It’s also time for exploring the seacoast’s shoreline. Just being able to watch your kids try to get their boots unstuck from deep mud is good for a laugh.
- Farming/gardening – whether you live on a farm, or have a garden out back, tending your crop after a rain requires mud boots.
- Kids soccer or other sports activity – Games happen after it rains. Games happen while it’s raining. Games happen when there is snow on the ground. (It’s Maine. Deal with it.) Having waterproof and warm boots on makes all the difference while you’re standing on soaking wet grass talking with other parents feigning attention whenever your kids looks your way.