Can you Hike in Timberland Work Boots?

Almost everyone knows the classic yellow boots by Timberland. They are also knowns as Timberlands. Many brands have produced copies of these boots but the classic boot look is still the signature. It is the brand’s identity. Whenever you look at any classic yellow boots, Timberland is the first brand to come to mind.

Timberland boots not only look good, but they also look sturdy. The stories about their durability also give an impression that these boots are adequate for hiking. A few people also bring them on trail hiking.

Timberland is known to produce durable, workhorse boots. The boots are rugged and fare well against rough use. But can you use them for hiking? Their sturdy design does make people ask that question. Well, that depends!

If you are talking about the classic yellow work boots, then, no! More on that later. But Timberland offers a variety of boots. You can also get hiking boots from the brand. But even their hiking boots aren’t common which is odd given how renowned the company is. Why…?

History of Timberland

The company dates back to 1952 but it officially became a brand in 1973 when the classic yellow work boot was developed and launched on the market. Back in those days, that boot was a game-changer. Waterproofing made it more practical. Its durability made it last longer and made it an instant hit among craftsmen.

The motto of Timberland is to provide a rugged and dependable boot even today. But over the years, the public view of the company has shifted slightly. Today, Timberland is also known as a fashion brand that produces great-looking boots along with its robust work boots. The brand has become a status symbol and its shoes have been seen worn by celebrities.

Types of Timberland Boots

Timberland boots can be divided into the following three general categories:

  • Fashion Boots
  • Work Boots
  • Hiking Boots

Fashion Boots

As the name suggests, fashion boots are for fashion. The primary purpose of fashion boots is to look good. They are not for hiking. Fashion boots are not durable enough to walk through rugged terrain. They will fall apart instantly.

The famous yellow boots that represent the face of Timberland also have a fashion version. They have the most reviews which tell you they are among the best sellers. But they are fashionable boots. That is why they are seen in malls and not on hiking trips and it’s best if it’s kept so.

Work Boots

You will see the original face of Timberland in this category; the famous yellow boots. Over time, Timberland has introduced many other work boots. The sturdy and durable design of work boots makes many people think that they can be used for hiking. That is not true and if you try it, you will regret it.

While work boots are sturdy and durable, they are not made to hike. They are made to protect your feet from work-related hazards like electrical and mechanical hazards. Work boots have a stiffness to them for protection that limits the movement of the feet. The addition of steel toes and thick rubber soles make them heavy to walk with. You can’t walk long distances in work boots. They will make your feet hurt and even cause sores.

Again, work boots are for protection, not for walking. They lack the stretch and comfort of a hiking boot. They are stiff and heavy. There is a reason for dedicated work and hiking boots. If you are thinking of going with work boots for hiking, then don’t. You will regret it when you start having sore feet and blisters.

Hiking Boots

Timberland is not exactly known to be an outdoor brand but they have introduced some series of boots for hiking. The Earthkeepers is a dedicated line of hiking boots. You can choose a pair from the Earthkeepers line. Other lines like the Garrison, Treeline, and GreenStride have some trail and hiking shoes for trails and light hiking.

Why Timberlands are Uncommon for Hiking?

There are a few clues above as to why people don’t use them for hiking.


As mentioned above, the company rose to fame by providing dependable work boots. Their boots are still famous among craftsmen and laborers because they are good boots. The other side of Timberland’s reputation is that they make good-looking boots.

Timberland boots are a fashion statement and today, the brand has an impression of making good hiking boots. Fashion boots are a good prospect in terms of profit as it allows companies to get away with a lot of profit and a lot less functional features just because their products look good. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Timberland didn’t mind being known as a fashion brand as well.


For some time, Timberland didn’t consider making hiking boots. The company missed out on a great opportunity. As a rule in the business world, a vacuum can be and will be taken up by somebody. That somebody can be your future competition if not current.

Many “outdoor companies” developed their own hiking boots and captured the market. By the time Timberland realized how big of a market it was missing, it was too late. Other outdoor brands had introduced better materials. These boots were tailored to fulfill the requirements of hiking as was the reputation of the brands making them.

With a reputation of making work and fashion boots and joining the market late, Timberland has been left far behind the competition. It is making amends by introducing hiking boots of its own but competitors have developed loyalty among hikers. Timberland would have to work extra hard to capture some of that market.

To make matters worse, the performance of Timberland hiking boots or shoes is not impressive. It has a lot of catching up to do not in securing market share but in terms of performance as well.


As noted above, These boots are known as a status symbol. Any brand that acquires a position like Timberland always cashes in on its name. People know they are paying extra for brand recognition. A hiking boot with similar features from a niche brand would cost you noticeably less than a boot from a known brand such as Timberland.

Timberland has priced its boots competitively between the $100 to $200 range. You can get budget to mid-range boots in that price range. High-end boots can cost way above the $200 mark. But even with competitive prices, the performance of Timberland boots is not impressive only solidifying the claim that you are paying extra for brand recognition. But if you care about brand recognition, hike light and only a few times a year, then, by all means, go for Timberlands.

Reasons to Avoid Timberland Boots

If you write “best hiking shoes/boots” and click search, you will see no list with Timberland boots on them. There are a few reasons for that.

Lack of Innovation

For a long time, Timberland cashed their name without making any serious innovation. Today’s corporate world is a constant race. You slow down, you are left behind. By slowing down, I mean stop innovating.

Other companies emerged and caught up. Today, other companies use better materials and manufacturing techniques to make their shoes more practical, durable, and competitive. Although durable, Timberland boots lack modern features. Durability and classic design aren’t enough in today’s world.

Form Over Function

Again, Timberland boots have become more of a fashion statement than functional boots. That is not to say that they are bad boots by any means. It’s just that they were supposed to be functional first, and good-looking later. But it’s the exact opposite. People accepted them as a fashion statement, a more profitable prospect. You can charge more for way fewer features just because your product looks good.

Their boots weren’t made for hiking in the first place, but if you put them through serious hiking, they will fall apart quickly. The best use is if you are walking long distances through urban and trail environments. Even then, they can become uncomfortable. That’s why you find them more in malls than on trails.


Timberland boots are expensive for what they have to offer. Every famous brand cashes its name. As they become more popular, they ask more for less. They are not cheap, especially, not when you compare them to a dedicated hiking shoe or boot. You will be paying more for the same number of features.

Reasons to use Timberland Boots

How many times do I have to mention that just because Timberland boots aren’t good for hiking, doesn’t mean they aren’t good at all? They are good boots. You can use them for hiking because of the following reasons:


I know I’ve talked about it before. And no, I am not contradicting myself. You see, Timberland’s a big company. It isn’t a slouch when it comes to R&D. Yes, it did fall behind because it was too busy cashing in on its name. But now they have started to catch up.

They have upgraded their boots with better waterproofing and better comfort and better other features. They have dedicated hiking boots now. Although they have a long way to go, they have made progress. Their hiking boots work great.


Trust me, I am not contradicting myself. Hiking boots from other brands and Timberland all cost about the same, around $100 to $200. In pricing, Timberland boots are competitive. They also look cool and are a popular brand.

If you want a competitively priced pair of hiking boots that also look good and make you look good, they are a good choice for the price. If you do light hiking only a few times a year, then Timberland boots will last long as well.

Final Thoughts

Timberland boots are, no doubt, great boots which is why the brand is known all over the world. But if you are thinking of taking the boots for serious hiking, you will be disappointed by their performance. They will fall apart and you will lose an expensive pair.

Timberland has introduced dedicated hiking in recent years that you can choose from. Currently, they offer trail and hiking shoes from three of their lineups. Hiking boots from Timberland cost around the same as other hiking boots but they lack the performance of boots from renowned brands, say, Salomon.

But Timberland boots are a status symbol and they can be recognized by hikers as well as non-hikers. Some people like to have expensive, renowned brands because they believe it inspires confidence in them. If you are one of those people and you get out only a few times a year, then Timberland boots will work just fine for you.

However, not everyone wants to be a showoff. Serious hikers don’t care about the brand or good looks. They prefer function over form. They also keep an eye on their budget. If you are one of them, then you should go for dedicated hiking from a good outdoor brand. Good hiking shoes won’t necessarily cost less, in fact, some hiking shoes cost way more than Timberland boots. But they will last longer and keep you comfortable on your hiking trips.