The L.L.Bean Bootmobile — a 13-foot-high, 20-foot-long, road-ready replica of the Maine Hunting Shoe — is going on tour to commemorate 10 years of surprising and delighting fans. First constructed in 2012 for the L.L.Bean centennial, the larger-than-life vehicle has since traveled thousands of miles throughout North America, as far west as Utah and as far north as Toronto.
Beginning in July, the Bootmobile will be road-tripping once again, travelling through 10 states in 10 days, popping up at roadside attractions and events throughout the Northeast and Midwest.
The tour will feature “random acts of kindness” for lucky visitors along the way, not to mention games and giveaways, including an exclusive 10th birthday reusable tote filled with L.L.Bean goods. The trip culminates in a celebration at the L.L.Bean Flagship store in Freeport, Maine. For those who aren’t able to catch the Bootmobile’s 10-state voyage, a pop-up-shop tour will follow in September, carrying iconic L.L.Bean products thanks to the Bootmobile’s impressive “toe-ing” capacity.
Building the Bootmobile to Honor L.L.Bean Boot History
What makes the Maine Hunting Shoe worthy of its own vehicular counterpart? That story begins in 1912 with our founder Leon Leonwood Bean. Tired of returning from hunting trips with water-soaked, cold feet, he created the Maine Hunting Shoe — most commonly known as the L.L.Bean Boot — carefully designed to support consummate adventurers. By combining leather uppers with rubber bottoms, he created an innovative boot that changed footwear forever.
The Bootmobile — originally built on the frame of a Ford F-250 — came to life through a six-person team working more than 2,500 hours over seven weeks. The process included concept sketches determining the layout of the boot, 3-D scans built on the drawings, and even cut-up Bean Boots placed on the back of model trucks.
Using aluminum and fiberglass, the Bootmobile was crafted with the same dedication as our hand-made Bean Boot, integrating both the grandest features and the smallest, down to individually sculpted stitches on the upper section. The iconic dual-colored lace is made from two-inch mooring rope used on tugboats and can pull roughly 106,000 pounds, while the metal eyelets around the laces are made from upside-down Bundt-cake pans.
The Boot That Sees America
The mobile boot has covered more than 350,000 miles, appeared at hundreds of events in 25 states, two countries and dozens of college campuses. It has even climbed Mount Washington, set up shop in Times Square and played a starring role in the wedding of a Maine bride, who rode into the sunset with help from a Bootmobile emblazoned with “Just Married” on the “heel.”
In true Bean fashion, the Bootmobile also comes prepared for special occasions. It has been wrapped in custom designs to celebrate partnerships and milestones throughout the last 10 years, including wraps to commemorate the Red Sox World Series wins in 2013 and 2018, and an exclusive camo wrap celebrating the L.L.Bean x Todd Snyder collaboration launch.
As part of the 100-year anniversary events in 2012, L.L.Bean convened the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, the Just Born PEEPSTER Car and the Lindt Chocolate Gold Bunny Car for an “Art Car Campout,” which included family-friendly games, camping demos and snacks — courtesy of our campout partners.
Beloved by fans, the Bootmobile draws crowds wherever it goes, reminding people of the outdoors and L.L.Bean’s Maine roots wherever it roams. One Bootmobile bystander said, “Maine is such a special place. You go up there […] and you feel like you’re going back to something elemental, that reminds you where we all came from and what’s truly important and essential in life: to just take a step back, enjoy what’s around you, enjoy the people that you’re with and to offer an expression of gratitude.”
Though it would be difficult to take a step back in the Bootmobile itself — which would be a size 708 were it a real Bean Boot — its presence indeed serves as an important reminder that whatever road you’re on, the outdoors await. As L.L.Bean marks 110 years of inspiring and enabling people to experience the restorative power of being outside, the Bootmobile shows just how big our calling has been, ever since 1912.