Are Timberland Boots Good for Hiking? (Full Guide)

Do Timberland make Good Hiking Boots?



The Iconic Timberland boot has been around for as long as we can remember! With cameos in the 90’s and 2000’s rap music videos, movies, and even on runways, the sight of the Timberland brings back a lot of nostalgic memories.

Although initially produced as a fashion brand, the manufacturer has over the years diversified the functionality of the boot in line with the changing customer needs and requirements.

One area that we see a lot of dependence on boots as a choice of footwear is in the hiking industry. With so many specialised hiking boot brands in the market, one can’t help but ask are Timberland still relevant in the Hiking Boots Category? Or have they been overtaken by the likes of Salomon, Merrell, Lowa & More?

Are timberland boots good for hiking? Let us figure that out by taking a closer at the boot and consider the features that make (or don’t) it a practical hiking option!

Quick summary: If you own any original pair of Timberlands, the bad news is that they come nowhere close to being ideal for hiking. Although they may appear like they can get the job done, they don’t provide the comfort and support needed for long hikes. However, the newer brands of Timberlands offer a much better hiking option. This is thanks to the lighter material used to construct them and the softer inside for hiking comfort.

Timberland Hiking Boots: A History

Timberland boots have been a solid pick for lovers of fashion but their popularity in the market has seriously slumped as consumers continue to change their tastes.

Many contemporary hikers prefer a lightweight hiking boot that allows them to move faster on the trail, something that you don’t necessarily find on most Timberlands.

Whilst they may not be lightweight, they are relatively waterproof. With injection moulding (introduced in 1968), a complete seal is created on the shoe. This process basically entails using a polymer as a glue to seal around the seams to result in a waterproof walking boot.

Thanks to the two innovations, Timberlands were a solid hiking boot in their heyday; unfortunately, they stopped being creative with the design of their shoes and that’s why they lag as a player in the hiking boot niche!

What Features Make the Timberland a Good Hiking Boot?

Timberland takes pride in offering outdoor enthusiasts great-fitting shoes. The manufacturer puts a lot of emphasis on creating comfortable boots with a range of features that allow you to keep them on all day long. People have also praised the brand for its true-to-size fit, as well as the durable quality of materials used. Lately, Timberland has gravitated towards being a more environmentally-friendlier brand, which is a plus in the eyes of the modern outdoor adventurer.

Having said that, it’s not all doom and gloom for Timberland when you consider its practicality as a hiking boot.

There are a couple of features that would make you want to have them for your specific hiking adventures. Some of these include:

ComfortTimberlands boots are fitted with a cozy and cushiony EVA midsole that absorbs shock as you walk on hard ground. This is a useful element for a hiking shoe as it keeps the user from getting fatigued prematurely.

Grippy Sole – Some latest brands of Timberland boots are incorporating recycled rubber for the outer sole, which delivers great traction and support in slippery situations. With this material, Timberland manages to kill two birds with one stone as it also guarantees conservation of the environment. This is enough to sway some shopper’s buying decisions.

Great for Short and Light Hikes – Timberland boots are better suited for shorter and generally easier day hikes with few to no obstacles on the trail. They come in handy in adventures where you have to walk on both rugged off-road paths and smooth city paths. This boot tends to retain its form with no signs of crumbling or crinkling.

The major issue with these boots is that when you decide to use them daily, they are likely to disintegrate over time.

As durable as Timberlands are, they are just not cut out for serious hiking. The seams will begin to melt as you add on some mileage to the shoe, hence wet hiking conditions become a problem.

Great Casual Wear – People who have to travel around but can only use a single pair of boots will find Timberland hiking boots as a viable option. This is because they are suitable for several activities that don’t require a lot of movement. However, you might want to look elsewhere if you’re a long-distance hiker.

Durable – Timberlands are made out of durable leather material that can last for a long time if used in the right conditions. If you want protection from a nice leather boot for a relatively shorter period, you can count on them to cover you perfectly. But if you are planning a multi-day hike, these may not be the boots for you.

Reasonable Price – Unlike popular belief, Timberlands actually offer a reliable option for those with a limited budget. People generally consider them to be an expensive brand, but it’s only the signature lines that will cost you a good sum. With the right research in the market, you can get a good pair of hiking boots for under £100

What Keeps the Timberlands from Being a Great Hiking Boot?

Unfortunately, some features, or lack thereof, on the Timberland make them a cumbersome choice for a hiking shoe. Some of these include:

Weight – Generally, Timberlands are much heavier than a standard hiking boot. For instance, a size 9 boot weighs around 1lb 13Oz, which leaves you with a total weight of 3lbs 10Oz for a pair. This is 1+ pound heavier than a pair of the Merrell Moab 2, which weighs 2lbs 2Oz. This is significant extra weight, especially when you’re trudging the tricky trails in the outdoors. Weight, after all, is a hiker’s worst enemy, so the lighter the better.

Leather Material – The leather material primarily used on the Timberland may be long-lasting but it comes with a fair share of disadvantages. For instance, once saturated in water or mud, the fabric creases and protrudes into your foot, causing unnecessary friction and subsequent blistering. Saturation also causes the leather to be waterlogged, which means extra weight to bear in an already heavy boot.

Breaking-in – Another thing about Timberlands that may not impress some hikers is that they require a break-in period once newly acquired. The boots feel notably rigid straight-out-of-the-box and require you to wear them for a week or two before the leather stretches to the ideal fit. This means you can’t wear them for too long when they are still new.

What is the Best Way to Break into Timberland Hiking Boots?

Typically, breaking into a pair of Timberlands may take around one to two weeks. At this point, the material will have softened and become stretchy to offer extra room inside. However, there are a couple of ingenious methods you can use to bypass the wait if you’re in a hurry. Some of these include:

The Oily Treatment

You can use leather condition or mink oil for this method. Apply it generously as a coat on the outside of the areas where the boot pinches.
Let the boots sit overnight then wipe off the oil with a dry cloth in the morning. The oil assists to soften the leather so that it stretches easily, leaving you with more space inside for your feet.

The Cold-Water Treatment

In this case, you want to pour some cold water into a zip-lock bag to push excess air out of the bag before sealing it.

Put the bag inside the boots with the water angled towards the region of the boots where it pinches. Throw the shoes into a freezer and let them sit there overnight. As the water turns into ice, it expands, stretching the leather.

The Hot Water Treatment

This is a popular method for men and women in uniform. The boots are immersed into a basin of warm water then allowed to sit for approximately half an hour or more.

Once saturated, the excess water is emptied and the boots worn with socks for another 30 minutes to one hour. This will stretch the leather material pretty fast.

The Stick Treatment

This involves inserting a mop handle into the boot and aiming for the regions where the shoe pinches when worn (toes and heels). Slowly yet firmly bend the shoe over the stick to stretch the leather material out of the sole in the area in question. Any slight outward discolouration is an indication that the leather has stretched.

What are the Best Timberland Hiking Boots?


Aside from the Timberland Classics, there is a handful of practical models from the brand that will make a decent hiking boot. They may not be the best of the rest, but if you want to remain loyal to Timberland and bring some style into your hiking adventures, you won’t leave the store empty-handed.

Ideally, we would recommend them for casual day hikes and not the more serious adventures.

Timberland White Ledge

The Timberland White Ledge is a nice choice for your upcoming light hiking escapade. The boots are quite popular in the market and available for both men and women. You can choose from 6 different colours, which should be good news for those who want to incorporate them into their hiking gear. One of the most interesting features of the White Ledge is that it is made out of full-grain leather upper.

This results in a waterproof boot that will keep your feet dry and warm throughout the whole trip. Not only that, but the material is also durable and retains its shape over several cycles of use.

It lasts longer than other options like synthetics and rubber. The boot is notably stiff out of the box and will require some break-in period before it molds into your foot. However, it is pretty comfortable once the leather stretches, resulting in a snug fit.

Another impressive thing about the White Ledge is the sealed seams that enhance the waterproof property of the boot to make sure no water molecules can compromise them.

So, if you are going on a primitive camping escapade that involves walking through streams and creeks, look no further than this pair. A specially developed BSFP (Brake, Support, Flex, Propel) traction system on the Timberlands allows you to stay upright in all manner of hiking conditions.

The lugs on the sole are specially spaced to offer maximum traction, as well as extra support to your feet as you hike. You also get four horizontal flex grooves on the outsole that facilitate flexion on the forefoot.

These essentially bend naturally along with the foot to keep you stable in slippery terrains. Lastly, the White Ledge is lightweight than the classic models, so you don’t have to worry about wearing yourself out in the middle of the journey.

  • Durable leather upper
  • Stable traction system
  • Grippy outsole
  • Multiple color options
  • Reasonably lightweight
  • Not breathable

Timberland Mt. Maddsen Hiking Boots

These functional hiking boots impress with a comfortable design and true-to-size fit. They are also a stylish choice that you can sport on the more casual hikes. The Mt. Maddsen walking boots are built for all-terrain adventures, meaning you can use them for various hiking conditions.

Thanks to Anti-Fatigue technology integrated into the boots, you’ll be able to stay on your twos for hours on end without getting easily tired.

They also feature the proprietary BSFP outsole system to deliver multi-directional traction for enhanced stability in all kinds of surfaces. Just like the White Ledges, these boots are designed with a waterproof leather upper to maintain your comfort in wet hiking circumstances.

As a bonus, there is a special TPU shank inside the shoe to enhance your comfort, especially if your excursion involves a lot of climbing. This serves to make the hiking boot difficult to bend or twist when you walk on unstable ground.

In other words, it keeps you from suffering ankle sprains when you trip on rocks, roots, and other loose debris on the trail.

Overall, the Timberland Mt. Maddsen hiking boots are a pair you can rely on for an exciting hiking adventure. The only issue is that they not as breathable as you may like, which means you shouldn’t use them in hot and humid environments.

  • Durable rubber sole
  • Waterproof leather upper
  • BSPF traction system
  • TPU shank
  • Stylish appearance
  • Not breathable

Timberland 1978 Aerocore Hiker Boots

The Aerocore are the first boots from Timberland dedicated to hiking. As the name suggests, thes hiking boots were released in 1978, and thanks to upgrades through the years, they have adopted features that are a constant on the latest crop of hiking boots in the market.

Despite this, they maintain a fashion-forward design that promises to earn your admirers when you wear them on the trail.

Because of the breaking in required, the shoes feel pretty uncomfortable when you bring them home from the store. However, it gets better with time as they finally mold into your feet to end up in a snug-fitting pair of hiking boots. This is complemented by an Ortholite footbed, which serves to enhance your comfort when wearing the boots. It means you can look forward to comfortable hiking adventures for a long time.

Another nice thing about this shoe is the weight. The 1978 Aerocore boots are a great example of the effort Timberland has put to tailor the products to hikers.

Thanks to the impressive Aerocore technology, this boot maintains a lightweight construction that makes it easy for you in the wild. It also features an EVA midsole for extra cushioning while retaining reliable traction.

Finally, a wonderful Timber-Dry membrane is incorporated into the shoe to guarantee warn and dry feet throughout the hike. This is a nice eco-friendly feature that will appeal to environmentally-conscious hiking enthusiasts. It is made out of 50% recycled plastic bottles!

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Ortholite footbed
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof leather upper
  • Timber-Dry membrane
  • Pricy


So, are timberland boots good for hiking? The short answer is yes, but they have some limitations. It’s only a few models that will make a viable hiking option, and only for lighter and shorter hiking adventures.

The article above tells you all you need to know about Timberlands as a hiking choice. For the loyal fans of the brand, it will help you select a solid hiking option.


Are Timberland Waterproof Boots Truly Waterproof?

Yes! Timberland has a couple of fully waterproof boots in its product line. The famous yellow boots, as well as their collection of waterproof hikers, are built to keep out water and let you walk through streams and step in mud puddles without batting an eye.

The company seals the seams of their hiking boots with silicone while fusing the leather upper to the sole so that there is no chance of water molecules permeating inside.

Each pair in their waterproof hiking boots range is taken through a rigorous quality assessment to ensure the shoes are completely watertight before proceeding to the next section. The waterproof boots not only end in the hiking line, you can also find durable and water-resistant work boots and leather Chelsea boots.

Do Timberland Boots Run Small?

The leather material used to manufacturer the upper of Timberland boots will feel a little bit tight and rigid when freshly bought from the store, which is a testament to the heavy and hard-wearing nature of the material.

Generally, the boots will fit bigger than your standard shoe size. You should, therefore, go down half a size when buying a pair to make for the perfect fit.

How Long Do Timberland Boots Last?

Timberlands are one of the most durable brands of shoes in the market. The full-grain leather used on the outer shell is pretty hard-wearing and doesn’t crumble like other materials. If used and maintained properly, you can expect at least 3 to 4 years of reliable service from your pair of Timberlands.

Are Timberland Boots Worth the Money?

Many people consider Timberland to be an expensive brand. However, it’s only the signature line that will have you spending more than you planned.

If you are looking for a functional and long-lasting pair of boots, these are a reliable option that will offer you value for your money. Not to mention that they are stylish!