Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gear Review: Bean's Snow Sneakers

*Please note all reviews reflect my own personal opinions and experience, and I assume no responsibility for how, when or where the items or services discussed below are used. Outdoor activities are inherently risky and anyone using the products or services discussed below must make their own decisions when it comes to personal safety and comfort.
Product details:  Bean's Snow Sneakers - L.L. Bean, retail price $99.00 - available online here.

Readers of this blog know I have a tendency to head outdoors regardless of the weather or time of year, so good footwear is essential. In my 30 plus years of slogging through swamps, scrambling up peaks and wading through snow drifts I have gone through more pairs of boots, sneakers and sandals than I care to remember. This fall I was looking for a light-weight, waterproof boot that I could use for both my commute to work and for day trips around New England, where as this winter has shown, conditions can range from half-frozen mud fields to several inches of snow to soggy fields and forests. I wanted footwear that would allow me to walk comfortably through both the snow and mud, and offer a decent grip in icy conditions.

In my search for footwear that would fit this description I came across Bean's Snow Sneaker, made by L.L. Bean. So far this shoe has performed admirably under a variety of conditions, and has proven waterproof, warm and comfortable under a variety of different conditions. Most recently I wore them for a day of birding at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island and during a long afternoon of exploring wetlands and forests at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, MA. In both places, whether I was navigating an ice-covered boardwalk searching for ducks or watching Northern Harriers hunt over sand dunes along the Atlantic ocean, the shoes performed well. Overall they have proven a solid product and I look forward to wearing them for many more days in the field this winter and spring.

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