If you don’t own a pair yourself, you definitely know someone who rocks a pair of Timberland boots – whether that’s on a regular basis, or every now and then. Over the past decade, they’ve only grown in popularity, and have actually surpassed their original purpose.
But many people wonder – are they just stylish, or are they practical as well?
Are these boots suitable for walking or hiking, or is it best to look elsewhere?
What is the Story of the Timberland Brand?
It’s easy to think that Timberlands were always a popular choice, but this isn’t true. It’s taken the brand a long time to solidify their label within the fashion industry.
It all started with Nathan Swartz, who, back in 1952, purchased half the shares of the Abington Shoe Company.
In 1973, Abington was changed to Timberland, and over the following decades, new styles and product lines were released, each with growing notoriety. The brand was growing fast, and not only on home soil, but in various territories worldwide.
They gained popularity in Europe as well, slowly spreading their way across it, and by the mid 1908s, they had sold over a million pairs of shoes. The company’s growth didn’t falter here though, and in the 90s they branched out from shoes and released a range of other clothing and fashion accessories, such as bags and watches.
And when well-known RnB artists and rappers started wearing Timberland boots, the popularity grew further. Although Timberland wasn’t exactly sure about the direction they were going in, they went with it and relished the following success.
In 2011, Timberland as a company was bought for just under $2 billion, by VF Corporation – something Nathan Swartz wouldn’t have even dreamed of!
Are Timberlands Good for Hiking or Not?
There’s no doubt that the ‘Timberland look’ has become an iconic style, but when it comes to the shoes’ practicality, that’s a different matter entirely. Many people wouldn’t recommend doing anything more than a casual walk in Timberlands.
This is mainly due to their weight and clunkiness. In comparison to ordinary hiking boots which are designed solely for practical outdoor use, and they weigh 1lbs less. With certain hiking boots, there might not be such a difference in weight, but this would be due to the added robustness and build quality of said boot. In short, Timberlands don’t offer much because they are heavy.
You might think this wouldn’t bother you, but an extra pound weighing on your feet can make a world of difference after a decent amount of time hiking. When it comes to their actual durability, most people don’t seem to have encountered any problems.
Despite Timberland shoes being a fashion-based shoe, they’re still made with sturdy materials and constructed well. In short, if you take your standard Timberlands out on the trail, they wouldn’t really encounter many problems, but you yourself might find them challenging after a while.
Does Timberland Make Good Hiking Boots?
Although Timberland itself makes boots that aren’t exactly unsuited for hiking or outdoor use, there are plenty of brands and shoe styles that are better. The same way you can wear jeans to the gym, but you’d probably be more comfortable in some sports gear. If you’re doing something casual, like a light trail or day hike, then there are various Timberland styles and products that would suit you well.
But if you’re doing something a bit more active and serious, then you’ll find the range of Timberland boots a bit more restrictive for your needs – both in robustness and comfort. As far as casual shoes go, Timberlands can compete with hiking boots pretty well, but in comparison to actual hiking boots, they don’t bring too much to the table in terms of practicality.
You’re probably better off going with a brand such as Columbia, Karrimor or Salomon. A decent pair from these companies won’t come cheap, but they’re perfect for outdoor use and will last you a long time.
When Should You Wear Timberland Hiking Boots?
If you already have your own pair lying around, then you might not see why it would be worth buying another pair for casual hikes – and as said earlier, you’re probably right. Anything casual or short, like an outdoor walk, or a tame trail, and you won’t have any problems.
It really all comes down to personal preference. Some people find their Timberlands quite uncomfortable and only wear them for the sake of style, whilst others find them really nice to wear, and don’t mind taking them on the trail for a few hours. If you’re one of the latter, then try going on a small hike with them, and you should be fine!
Just bear in mind that, if you’re considering becoming a serious or regular hiker, you’ll benefit a lot more from hiking-specific boots. They’re not only more suited, but they’re safer, more hardwearing, and offer great water resistance, to prevent your feet from getting wet or damaged during the hike.
How Much Do Timberland Hiking Boots Cost?
It surprises a lot of people when they find out that you don’t have to break the bank in order to pick yourself up a pair of Timberland boots. Of course, it all depends on the style, color, and even the size, but not all the pairs they offer are expensive.
Especially when considering that higher-quality hiking shoes aren’t cheap – with many pairs costing well over $100. If you manage to find a pair of Timberlands on sale, or on some kind of discount or deal, you might end up saving yourself a decent amount of money.
Are Timberlands good for hiking? Although this isn’t what they’re designed for, considering how stylish they are, as well as their price tag, they definitely offer a lot in the way of practicality.
Having said that, for anyone doing any serious hikes or traversing challenging terrain, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment to get some actual hiking boots. They’ll be much more suitable and comfortable. But for those casual day walks, stick to your Tims.