Some of L.L.Bean’s boots aren’t as waterproof as advertised, lawsuit claims

The lawsuit alleges that non-waterproof zippers used on some of the brand's famed boots render them leaky, contrary to advertising.

L.L.Bean's iconic Bean Boots are a New England winter staple. L.L.Bean is headquartered in Freeport, Maine, with a factory in Brunswick, Maine. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

A New York woman is suing L.L.Bean for false advertising, claiming that some of its famed boots — a staple for wet and slushy Northeast winters — aren’t as waterproof as the company let on. 

In a class-action lawsuit filed last month, Linda Lenzi said she purchased L.L.Bean’s women’s Storm Chaser boots in March 2020, swayed by labeling and advertising that represented the boots as waterproof. 

“After purchasing the Mislabeled Boots, Ms. Lenzi experienced water leakage into the interior of those boots after wearing them outside on an inclement weather day in or about April 2020, which is when Ms. Lenzi first learned that the ‘waterproof’ representations and warranties that induced her purchase were false and misleading,” the complaint explains. 


Lenzi’s attorney, Joseph N. Kravec, Jr., told that neither he nor his client have any comment on the suit.

What the lawsuit vs. L.L. Bean claims

Some of the boots’ key components — including the use of non-waterproof zipper closures and a lack of waterproof gussets — allow water to easily penetrate through the zipper, “rendering the ‘waterproof’ representations false and misleading,” according to the lawsuit. 

According to the complaint, non-waterproof zipper closures cost between 0.35 cents to $2.30 per foot, compared to $40 to $45 per foot for waterproof closures. The 123-page document lists several other zippered L.L.Bean boot models that it says were mislabeled as waterproof (the brand’s famous lace-up “Bean boot” is not among them).  

More L.L.Bean:

The Freeport, Maine-based company told in a statement that it does not comment on pending litigation.

“We look forward to addressing these claims through the legal process,” a spokesperson said.

Lenzi included in her complaint a January 2020 customer review of the side-zip Storm Chaser boots, which noted that the zipper lets water inside. 

“Useless boot if it can’t keep feet dry,” the customer wrote. 

In its response, the L.L.Bean customer satisfaction team acknowledged the zippers are not waterproof, adding, “The boots are waterproof up to the zipper base.”


The complaint alleges that L.L.Bean only recently began using qualifying language and disclaimers regarding its waterproof boots, modifying some of its marketing materials after receiving a pre-suit notice from Lenzi in April 2022. 

For example, the company’s online listing for its women’s side-zip Storm Chaser boots now notes that the zippers are not waterproof and states that the boots are “not designed to stay submerged in water.” 

“This after-the-fact disclaimer is too little, too late for Plaintiff [Lenzi] and other purchasers who purchased the Products trusting L.L. Bean to live up to its ‘waterproof’ promises and expecting its Products to meet the high standards associated with the L.L.Bean brand,” the complaint states. 

The lawsuit’s accusations against L.L.Bean include breach of express and implied warranties, deceptive acts or practices, and false advertising.

The class-action lawsuit could include tens of thousands of people in the U.S. who purchased the allegedly mislabeled boots, according to the complaint.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on