Are Timberlands Good for Hiking?
The fact that this question is so popular shows the enduring recognition of the Timberland brand by a loyal and mainstream consumer base.
Simply put, are Timberlands good for hiking? The answer is; certain styles of Timberlands are good for hiking.
Those who see Timberlands as a fashion label rather than a working-class boot seek the answer to this question.
The styles seen in large cities (and nightclubs) in New York like the Yellow Boot are inadequate for hiking.
This is because urban models of Timberlands lack proper waterproofing, flexibility and have been known to cause pain when used for strenuous hiking activities.
That’s not to say all Timberlands not good hiking shoes. On the contrary, timberlands were initially constructed to protect their customers’ feet from the harsh climates and terrain of New England.
Timberland has an array of hiking shoes and adventure boots and sandals that are trusted and known in the hiking and adventure scene. And it is this product line that is not good but great for hiking.
The Iconic Yellow Boot 1006 A Brief History
Timberland boots are known worldwide for their rugged style and comfort. They are worn by men and women, young and old.
Shoemaker Nathan Swartz, who wanted to create a pair of shoes that would withstand the rigors of working outdoors, found the company in Massachusetts circa 1952.
The actual iconic Yellow Timberlands or Timbs were first made in 1973. Swartz had moved the company 60 miles north of Arlington to Newmarket, New Hampshire.
Newmarket is known for extreme weather, torrential blizzards, punishing heat, and being surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges and pristine rivers and forests teeming with wildlife.
Swartz, unsatisfied with existing outdoor footwear options, handcrafted the iconic Yellow Timberlands that excelled in rugged conditions could stand a beating and a boot synonymous with the blue-collared community.
What are the pros for Timberlands boots being good for hiking?
Urban or workwear style Timberlands
I have broken down this pros and cons section into the Urban/Workwear category and the Hiking shoes category.
I have decided on this approach, as I felt it would provide transparency for the Timberland product line.
Timberland produces models that cater to different audiences and construct reputable, high-quality hiking shoes.
Yellow boot 1006 and urban boot styles, including workwear models, can be used in late-minute last resort situations for hiking. If you cannot afford to buy traditional hiking boots, you can get away with using your classic 6″ Timberland boots but only for short hikes.
If you are using a one pair fits all use cases, you can easily buy a pair of Timberlands from your footlocker for $100-$150 and use it sparingly on short hikes and then as a daily commuter.
If you’re not a regular hiker, the Timberland can save you money as you won’t have to buy an extra pair of hiking shoes for that one or two times you might go out hiking.
You won’t feel a difference on short hikes
With ‘broken in’ workwear and classic timberland boots, you are likely not going to feel any discomfort in the short term while hiking. The versatility of the Timberland boots comes from the quality materials that all their boots are constructed from.
The fundamental difference is that hiking models will have intuitive placements of reinforced materials in high wear areas such as the toe box, vamp, shank, and heel counter. But both hiking and urban/workwear style Timberland boots are made with premium components.
If you’re hiking in stylish Timberland classic boots, the Yellow boot is going to make you stand out from all the other hikers.
This may not be for long as Timberlands fade against wet and extreme weather unless treated.
Hiking style Timberlands
Timberland has approximately 27 different models and styles of hiking boots listed for sale on its official website. Considering that, the pros of wearing Timberland hiking boots are going to be plenty, but here are a few reasons Timberland hiking boots are great for hiking.
Variety of hiking and climate styles
Existing for almost 50 years and constructed for the harsh conditions of the backcountry and construction sites, the Timberland brand has had more than enough time to hone its craftsmanship.
Known as a company that listens to its consumers, the Timberland hiking boots product line has a style and fit for many personalities and activities.
Their hiking boots come with low, medium, and high profiles. In addition, models like the Mt. Maddsen offer flexible, agile tread high temp runs, while the Trekker has a flat midsole for added support on longer hikes.
Believe it or not, the Timberland boots are significantly cheaper than the 6″ classic and urban regular boot models. You can easily pick up a new pair of Timberland hiking boots from their site for less than USD 100, while original and classic models will cost an average of USD 150.
What are the cons of Timberlands boots being good for hiking?
Urban or workwear style hiking boots
Let’s look at why the classic and workwear styles of Timberlands boots are not suitable as hiking shoes, mainly focusing on user experience.
Form over function, looks versus utility
It’s common to see non-hiking models of Timberland hiking shoes such as the 6″ Classic, Earthkeeper, Luxe, and Ultra’s at fashion runways and nightclubs.
The boots are usually highlighted with a raw slim tapered jean with the cuffs rolled up to accentuate the Timberland boot collar.
The modern street style “Timbs” or Classic yellow timberland boots are constructed to appeal rather than favor a design beneficial for hiking. Many have loose-fitting uppers and a relaxed lacing system with an elaborate padded collar.
This opposes why you would buy hiking footwear with ankle support and a tight lace-up system to reduce foot slippage.
Materials are produced and treated differently
The leathers used in popular consumer Timberlands are often dyed and treated to produce a smooth, waterproof, and neat look.
Often tested to repel everyday weather, these materials will react when repetitively stressed with extreme conditions like mud and snow.
Often lacking well-placed hiking features such as a gusseted tongue, climbing treads, and ankle roll support. In addition, a non-hiking Timberland will crease, fade and break down in spots that can cause foot injuries when hiking.
Classic Timberlands also feature PrimaLoft® which delivers excellent insulation for cold climates but is not known for its breathability and performance in warm weather climates.
Weight compared on dedicated hiking boots
The 6″ Classic Timberland weight comes in at about 3 pounds or 1.4 kilograms. In comparison, other hiking shoes like the Merrell hiking shoes or the Moab 2 weighs approximately 2 pounds.
The difference is striking, especially when the dedicated hiking boot is built and will perform like a dream compared to a non-hiking Timberland with a lot less weight.
Hiking boots style
It’s an additional cost
The disadvantage of buying an actual Timberland hiking boot is cost. Do you have that spare change to buy another pair of good hiking boots? Also, you will need to consider how often and how many miles you will put onto these serious hiking boots.
If you’re only hiking once off, then regular non-hiking Timberlands should see you through that activity.
How to break in your Timberlands for hiking
It took me two years to break in my Timberlands on one occasion because I was wearing the boots once every month over that period.
Out of the box (unless your feet are made of leather), new Timberlands are going to cause some discomfort, and like any other leather boot, you’re going to break them in.
First, think about sock liners.
Please read our article here to learn about the best sock liners for hiking.
Sock liners are made from materials with a hiker in mind. Comprising natural or synthetic thread and padding, it’s never a bad idea to use a sock liner or a durable sock when breaking in your boots.
Wear your hiking boot as much as you can.
You don’t need to break your boots in public where you could cause an injury and have to limp all the way back home. Instead, wear your boots in and around the house. For example, I would wear my boots at my desk to break them in.
Make sure you have the correct sizing.
I once bought a high-end pair of hiking boots in a men’s size 9 US. This is my regular size for all shoe types, resulting in pressure points and blisters on a 20-kilometer walk.
Unfortunately, the boots were not covered by the return policy because they were used. So I had to stomach the expense and buy another pair but a size up. And boy, did it make a world of difference.
When using Timberlands for hiking, pick a width and size half a step up. Of course, you can always use a thicker sock to perfect the fit, but the last thing you want is pressure blisters halfway into a thru-hike.
What is the best classic Timberland boot for hiking
Below we have listed the best hiking-style Timberlands for hiking and outdoor activities.
You can find all the following styles on the official Timberland boots, but if you’re after fast delivery times and need them right now, you can’t go past Amazon.
CHOCORUA TRAIL 2.0 WATERPROOF HIKING BOOTS
The legendary Timberland chocorua trail hiking boot is better than anything else out there. Made of tough leather and have an anti-fatigue tech that keeps you going strong.
The Chocorua trail boots are infused with Gore-Tex® membranes. They’re the best hiking boots and perfect for the trail or the streets.
- Breathable mesh & waterproof GORE-TEX® upper
- Anti rust steel components
- Comfortable gusseted tongue
- The EVA midsoles are anti-fatigue and removable
- Traction lugs are made from 33% recycled rubber
- Mens US size 9 weight: 1.6 pounds
1978 AEROCORE FLYROAM™ HIKER WATERPROOF HIKING BOOTS
This iconic 1978 timberland shoe hikers are getting a season upgrade with added features that will help you stay comfortable while out on your next hike.
The 1978 ‘s TimberDry™ waterproof membrane helps keep feet dry even when things get wet.
And the Aerocore™ energy-efficient insulation keeps feet warm without overheating.
- This classic boot provides the highest quality leather uppers
- Featuring TimberDry™ waterproof rated membrane
- Anti rust speed lace components
- OrthoLite® patented footbeds
- Leading Aerocore™ energy system technology for extra cushioning
MT. MADDSEN MID WATERPROOF HIKING BOOTS
Thes Maddsen hiking boots are for serious hikers. With a waterproof design, they’re durable and comfortable for walking around town or going out into nature.
These hiking boots make exceptional gifts for men who love to hike. Wear them with your performance hiking gear or with jeans and a tee.
- The Maddsen high quality leather uppers are full grain leather boots
- The sustainable TimberDry™ membrane is of waterproof leather upper
- A gusseted tongue filters out annoying debris
- Anti-fatigue comfort technology provides all-day comfort
- The TPU shank provides stability support through rigidity
- Mens US size 9 weight: 1.1 pounds
WHITE LEDGE MID WATERPROOF HIKING BOOTS
The Timberland white ledge are actually made for mountain walking because they’re completely waterproof. Can’t find a mountain? Well, you can wear them casually outdoors.
Featuring an easy-to-use design, thick leather and extra comfort, you can wear these boots for short hiking trips or even long periods of time.
- The durable premium uppers are full-grain and waterproof leather upper
- The upper is seam sealed and rust resistant for fast lacing
- Made from ReBOTL™ fabrics
- Breathable EVA midsoles mixed media footbeds
- Intuitive multi-directional outsole design for extreme traction
- Mens US size 9 weight: 1.2 pounds
LEATHER EURO HIKER BOOTS
The Euro Sprint’s are unlike other hiking boots and are boots that every hiker should experience. These environmentally sustainable boots feature ReBOTL™ Recycled Technology meaning that half of the fabric is made up of recycled plastic.
Don’t worry though these boots are breathable, flexible and are designed to be worn when going out into the wilderness or even just walking around town.
- Made from environmentally sustainable Better Leather
- Rust resistance lacing components
- Internal fabrics of the Euro feature at least 50% ReBOTL™ recycled plastic
- Tactile comfortable high bounch EVA midsole, sturdy rubber outsoles
- Steel shank for superior support
GARRISON TRAIL WATERPROOF HIKING BOOTS
The eco-conscious Garrison Trail boots are designed to be used on rough terrain. They’re made with Timber Grip™ tech, which provides unmatched traction.
These casual wear mixed media Garrison’s are Made with the Timber Dry™ waterproof membrane for increased waterproofing and performance in the wet.
- Environmentally friendly Better Leather upper
- The TimberDry™ waterproof patented membrane is made of 50% recycled plastic
- The tongue is fully gusseted with rustproofed lace components
- High bounce EVA compressed midsole and rubber lugs
- Featuring the excellent traction TimberGrip™ technology
TREELINE STR HIKING BOOTS
The Treeline STR hiking boots for men feature a durable rubber lug outsole and a climbing rubber toe cap that provides traction on any surface.
The breathable cushioning inner will keep your feet comfortable during long hikes. Made from eco-friendly materials, these mens’ hiking make your mind and body feel great.
- Mixed media upper made from best practice sustainable Better Leather and recycled ReBOTL™ fabrics and plastics.
- All day comfort from it’s OrthoLite® footbed
- Durable high bounce, compressed and blended EVA Midsole
- Rubber Climbing lugs and tips
BOULDER TRAIL HIKING BOOTS
Crafted using responsibly sourced components. The men’s Boulder Trail hikers feature a cushioned interior and a stylish design.
The Better Leather is sourced from tanneries that are held to the highest environmental standards throughout the entire manufacturing process.
- Upper materials are sourced from audited suppliers rated for best environmental practices.
- The fabric components feature at least 50% of the patented recycled ReBOTL™ plastics.
- Speed lacing anti rust design with a gusseted tongue to filter debris
- The footbed features lightweight OrthoLite®
- High-bounce EVA midsole cushioning
FIELD TREKKER HIKING BOOTS
While hiding behind a casual streetwear jogger look, the Field Trekkers peform just the opposite.
The rugged tread provides traction and stability in the toughest rocky conditions. Featuring Ortholite® insoles you know your going to have an cruisy hike with these on.
- All materials are source with the environment in mind.
- ReBOTL™ fabrics that contain at least 50% recycled plastic are priorised in construction
- Added comfort in the footbed with lightweight OrthoLite®
- Compressed midsole molded from high bounce EVA for superior cushioning and comfort
Verdict. So are Timberlands good for hiking?
The exhaustive list of hiking Timberlands above should helped answer that yes Timberland hiking boots are great for hiking.
However the urban and streetstyle models that are popular amonts the fashion forward city dwellers are considered sub par when hiking.
But if you have no other choice than to go hiking with a Classic Timberland, then you will fare well if its just a once off trail hike in semi-decent weather conditions.