Choosing a good pair of hiking boots is essential in making sure that your feet are supported and comfortable when you’re exploring your favourite trails. But many people aren’t keen on a traditional hiking boot and want the option to wear something different. You may have a lot of different boots in your shoe cupboard and looking at your Timberlands, you could be forgiven for thinking that these would be a good replacement for your hiking boots. But are Timberlands good for hiking?
Timberlands are not made with hiking in mind and this means that they do not have all of the features you would expect from a decent pair of hiking boots. You won’t get the same level of comfort, durability or support.
That said, Timberland as a brand does make hiking boots but what most people think about when they think about this brand are the classic Timberland boots. In this guide, we will be looking at the pros and cons of hiking in Timberlands.
A Bit About Timberlands
The classic Timberland yellow boot was originally made in 1973. The boots were designed to cope with cold, wet weather particularly in the winter and so they quickly became very popular as they certainly do what they promise and keep the feet warm and (relatively) dry. We say relatively because as opposed to being fully waterproof, Timberlands are water resistant. But more on that later.
Back to the history of the boots; Timberlands were quite often worn by those enamoured by the outdoor lifestyle and not only were they incredibly practical but they were also super stylish. The boots gained a reputation for their unique appearance and became something of a rite of passage for any style conscious outdoors person. Ideal for an active lifestyle, the boots have not waned in their popularity.However, when we are looking at their suitability for hiking, it’s important to keep in mind that the classic Timberland boot has features that lend it more towards functioning as a work boot than as a hiking boot. Of course, you could hike in Timberlands, but you would notice a lot of things that would have you reaching for those hiking boots by the end of the first outing.
The Pros Of Hiking In Timberlands
Timberlands are an incredibly popular boot and this is something that nobody can deny. However, while they are stylish and certainly have their place for outdoor pursuits, hiking isn’t usually one of them. But there is some good news; these classic boots do have a couple of things going for them if you wanted to use them as an occasional hiking boot.
When you look at how much some brands are charging for hiking boots, the price can make your debit card crawl swiftly back into your wallet. Of course, if you want a pair of hiking boots that are going to stand the test of time and offer ultimate support and comfort then you need to be willing to invest in them a little.
But Timberlands are very affordable by comparison. OK, they’re not the cheapest boots out there but they won’t set you back as much as a top quality pair of Merrell boots, for example. So, if you’re looking for an affordable replacement for your hiking boots that you can use from time to time then Timberlands might be a good option.
They’re Suitable For Lighter Hiking
If you are heading out on a long weekend hike through seriously challenging terrain then we would neve recommend using anything but the best pair of dedicated hiking boots you can afford. But, for many people, a hike takes place on relatively easy ground over the course of a few hours. In this case, you may find that your Timberlands meet your needs.
You will need to assess the conditions in which you will be hiking to make sure that your Timberlands will give you everything you need. But provided that it is an easy hike that is done casually, everything should be just fine and dandy.
The great thing about doing these less challenging hikes is that you can purchase a pair of stylish Timberlands and get dual use out of them both on the trails and for day to day wear.
They’ll Keep You Warm
Timberlands are a great choice of footwear if you’re looking for something that will keep your feet nice and toasty. These are very heavy boots with great insulation so when the snow starts to fall, you can feel confident that your feet won’t feel a thing.
Moreover, Timberlands have a good grip on the sole so they will provide excellent traction in snowy conditions. However, you should keep in mind that they aren’t the most waterproof boots in the world so you may find that long walks in the snow will result in cold, wet feet. But more on that later.
The Cons Of Hiking In Timberlands
While there are a couple of things that make Timberlands a good choice for some hiking situations, they’re not really designed for this. Let’s take a look at why wearing these boots on the trails isn’t always the best idea.
Lack Of Performance
Timberlands were never intended to be used as a hiking boot which means that there will be a serious decline in performance compared to your trusty hiking boots. When looking at their suitability for this activity, you need to think about the various design features and then you will quickly see why they won’t give you what you need.
Primarily, consider that the midsole and the arch support in a pair of Timberlands are not designed to offer the same support as a hiking boot. Boots made specifically for hiking will have reinforced arches as this will protect the feet when walking on uneven, rocky or bumpy terrain. On the other hand, Timberlands are quite flat so won’t offer the same level of protection.
What’s more, hiking boots are made to give you the perfect balance between support and shock absorbency. They’ll have superior cushioning which provides both of these things by the bucketload but those Timberlands at the back of your wardrobe just won’t have the same effect. In fact, they have very little cushioning at all so you’ll feel everything you step on and it won’t take long before your feet start crying out for something more supportive.
Hiking Isn’t A Catwalk
One of the reasons that Timberland boots are so popular is that they are fashionable. People buy these for the pure and simple fact that they look great and while that’s true, when you’re hiking, looking good is the least of your worries. Yes, you want to look your best when hiking and there are lots of hiking boots out there that won’t cramp your style. But that shouldn’t be your main priority; protecting your feet and keeping them comfortable is the most important thing.
Timberlands will certainly give your appearance a boost but that’s about the extent of it.
Timberlands are made from leather. This is an incredibly durable material but that doesn’t mean that it will serve you well on the trails. The problem with leather is that the risk of chafing and blisters is far greater since the material is not breathable so moisture will quickly build up inside as your feet sweat and this can cause the boots to rub.
Moreover, while leather is tough, it doesn’t do well with water so if you’re hiking on very wet trails or encounter water crossings, your shoes won’t stand up to these challenges. In modern hiking boots, the use of leather is pretty much obsolete as more effective materials are now leading the way.
When you are spending hours walking on a complex trail, the last thing you want is a pair of boots that weigh you down. This will make you feel fatigued far sooner than you would normally tire but this is an issue with Timberlands. You see, these boots are incredibly heavy especially when compared to some of the best lightweight hiking boots out there.
In fact, the weight of a pair of Timberlands is around 3lbs 10 oz, that’s about 1.6kg, the equivalent to strapping a bag and a half of sugar to your feet! This cumbersome design won’t feel good especially on longer hikes and when you buy a pair of 2lb hiking boots, you’ll really notice a difference.
They’re Not Waterproof
Hiking is an all weather activity and you will often find yourself facing rain, moisture, water crossings and much more, especially in the UK. Most hiking boots are made from waterproof materials or at least treated with a waterproof product so they will be able to stand up to these conditions and keep the feet dry.
However, Timberlands are water resistant, not waterproof. Well, that’s OK, isn’t it? Not really! Water resistance is much different to being waterproof in that it offers a much lower level of protection against moisture. While waterproof boots will keep water out entirely, water resistant boots will only hold up to a certain point.
You should be OK if you step through a shallow puddle or encounter a light shower but anything more than this and water will quickly seep into your Timberlands, leaving your feet wet, cold and uncomfortable and believe us, there’s nothing more miserable than that on a long hike.
Timberland Hiking Boots
One of the things that Timberland has gained a lot of respect for is the fact that the brand makes such high quality boots that will stand the test of time. This is great for wearers of the classic boot that want something they can wear outdoors that is versatile and stylish. However, when it comes to hiking you might need something a little more but there is good news; Timberland makes hiking boots!
You’ll benefit in so many ways when purchasing Timberland hiking boots and that isn’t just owing to the high quality, although that is an enormous advantage. If you’ve been considering buying a pair of Timberland hiking boots, then you might want to consider the following benefits.
Timberland footwear always gives an excellent fit. The brand has a reputation for making their boots true to size so you can feel confident that, when you order your size, you will get the fit you were expecting. This means superior comfort and no risk of chafing or pain.
One of the great things about Timberland is that it is an innovative brand. They are always experimenting with new materials and concepts so that their products are always bang up to date in terms of design and function.
The materials used by Timberland are very eco friendly with the brand placing a focus on using recycled materials. Since this eco-consciousness is so important in this day and age, it’s certainly an excellent selling point.
The traction on the rubber soles of Timberland hiking boots is second to none. The recycled rubber is solid and very grippy making the shoes much more stable and safe.
The midsole of a pair of Timberland hiking boots is extremely effective when it comes to shock absorbency and comfort. Featuring an EVA midsole you get the best of both worlds which is great news for hikers who will be on their feet for long hours.
Unlike the classic boots, Timberland hiking boots are much more lightweight so they won’t weigh the feet down or feel uncomfortable. But this doesn’t mean that durability is compromised and you’ll benefit from a long lasting pair of shoes that won’t let you down.
Timberland boots have long been popular as an outdoor shoe and they’re very well loved for their super stylish design. However, when it comes to hiking, they might not be the most suitable option as they’re not designed for the challenging terrain and difficult conditions of hiking trails. In this case, we would always suggest buying a good pair of hiking boots. But if you do have your heart set on Timberlands, the good news is that you’ll find lots of these from the brand that offer everything you would expect and more!