© 2015 American Chemical Society. The most common substrate of mammalian lipoxygenases (LOXs) is arachidonic acid (AA). However, 15-LOXs can present dual substrate specificity. These LOXs catalyze the peroxidation of AA, initiated by a H-abstraction step (mainly H13-abstraction) by the Fe(III)-OH- cofactor, and the peroxidation of linoleic acid (LA) after H11-abstraction. In this paper, QM(B3LYP)/MM(CHARMM) calculations of the rate-limiting H11-abstraction process of LA catalyzed by rabbit 15-LOX-1 (15-rLOX-1) have been carried out using a complete model of the solvated 15-rLOX-1:LA complex. A total of 26 QM/MM potential energy profiles as a function of the H-transfer reaction coordinate have been computed along with one QM/MM free energy profile obtained using the Free Energy Perturbation method. The molecular origin of substrate specificity of 15-rLOX-1 for LA in comparison with AA has been analyzed. In many of the QM/MM reactive 15-rLOX-1:LA energy minima, LA adopts more elongated conformations than AA, although having a shorter carbon chain, because LA has one double bond between C1 and C11 whereas AA has three double bonds between C1 and C13. Consequently, C11 of LA can be located in the same region of the active site as C13 of AA, a zone where H11-abstraction from LA as well as H13-abstraction from AA is not hindered by bulky residue side chains. This explains at a molecular level how 15-LOXs might accommodate and recognize for catalysis two substrates that are different in length by two carbons. Our results also explain why (9Z,11E)-13-hydro(pero)xyoctadeca-9,11-dienoic acid is the major product of the peroxidation and why LA is the preferential substrate of 15-rLOX-1.