Warm, Dry Feet — During WWII


By keeping feet warm and dry through tough weather and tough times, L.L.Bean Boots have played a vital role in our customers’ lives over the years.

 

On a recent trip to the company archives, we unearthed one general’s photo and another’s note that highlight L.L.Bean’s role in World War II – when the company supplied the armed forces with boots known as “shoepacs.” From the Unami Delaware Native American tribe’s word chipahko, roughly translated as “moccasin,” shoepacs came to be used for a moccasin that’s been winterized with an extra sole, as with our rugged boots.

 

L.L.Bean supplied the Armed Forces with "Shoepacs" during World War II

L.L.Bean supplied the Armed Forces with "shoepacs" during World War II

At L.L.Bean, we often hear stories of how our shoepacs were preferred by military personnel. In fact, General Simon Bolivar Buckner, an American lieutenant general, wore them while commanding the defenses of Alaska. Here’s a photo of him sporting our trusted boots while flying over Alaska in 1943.

 

General Simon Bolivar Buckner, an American lieutenant general, seen wearing L.L.Bean "shoepacks" while commanding the defenses of Alaska.

General Simon Bolivar Buckner, an American lieutenant general, seen wearing L.L.Bean "shoepacks" while commanding the defenses of Alaska.

Now to the note from the WWII general who shared General Buckner’s enthusiasm for L.L.Bean. Though we can’t travel back in time and thank Brigadier General George F. Deriot for his note, we’d love to share it with you.

 

The Office of the Quarter Master General thanks L.L.Bean

The Office of the Quarter Master General thanks L.L.Bean


The outdoors can be challenging at times – that’s why L.L.Bean Boots are designed to stand up to the elements. Have you taken on a tough expedition while wearing our boots or shoepacs? How have our boots helped you in a challenging moment? Share your story with us, or share your thoughts in the comments below, and we will donate $1 to our Million Moment Mission.

 

 




  1. Scott Blake | February 14, 2014 | 3:34 pm

    I’d love to see you guys make a Battle of the Bulge 70th Anniversary model “shoe pac” boot for 2014.
    Pretty sure you could do it by just changing the color of the tread from yellowish to the same color as the upper rubber part. 12″ upper same as the photo above.
    If you keep the costs down to the $139 range you could sell a bunch to the WW2 living history market among other people like me who don’t want a light colored sole.

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | February 18, 2014 | 2:36 pm

      Hi Scott – Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll be sure to share it with our footwear developers. Best, ^LB

  2. K. Schultz | April 5, 2014 | 3:32 pm

    I’m working on typing up my dad’s WWII journals, in which he mentions getting shoe pacs. I’ve been looking for a picture of shoe pacs, and was delighted to find this one. I didn’t know what they were, or that they were made by LL Bean!

    This is his entry from Feb. 6, 1945:

    This morning I got a pair of “G.I.” shoe “pacs”. They are very good ones so I sent my own boots home.

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | April 7, 2014 | 1:49 pm

      Hi K. – Thanks for sharing. So glad to hear that L.L.Bean is part of your family history! Thanks for sharing. Best, ^LB

  3. Scott Blake | November 12, 2014 | 2:43 pm

    I see in my latest LLBean catalog that you have started to produce some versions of the hunting show with one color soles. Any chance of getting the 12inch upper shoepac style? 75th anniversary of the battle of the bulge coming up! Marketing opportunity!

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | December 16, 2014 | 11:10 am

      Hi Scott, Thank you for contacting L.L.Bean. I’ll be sure to share your product suggestion to our footwear developers. Best, ^LB


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