Wearing the correct footwear when hiking is one of the most important things to think about, but it’s easy to make some poor choices as a beginner. When choosing boots it’s easy to consider what you may already own, leaving many beginner hikers wondering if Timberlands are good for hiking.
Timberlands are not usually good for hiking. While they can be more durable than some other types of shoes, they’re not built for the rugged terrain of the trail. So, if you do wish to wear your Timberland boots hiking, it’s best to stick to the easy, flat trails.
Timberlands are expertly made, but that doesn’t make them a good hiking boot. Below, we discuss why Timberlands are not usually the right choice for hiking, but first let’s take a look at the different types of Timberland boots that are out there.
Different Types Of Timberland Boots
The classic Timberland boot has been around for a long time, and they are perhaps the least suitable design to wear when hiking. These are more your working boots, and even though they are around 6 inches tall, that’s not as important as you may think.
The classic Timberland boots are tough and durable, but their soles are quite solid, and they offer little in the way of protection while walking. On the plus side they are waterproof and relatively comfortable, but hiking requires comfort in the long run and on rough terrain, and these classics are not built for that.
Newer versions of Timberland boots may be referred to as being ‘Premium.’ However, while they are slightly better than the original version, they still fall short of being the perfect hiking boot.
In this version, the sole is thicker than the original, and that adds some extra weight to a boot that is already quite solid and heavy. They have ramped up the level of support with the midsole, but it still falls short of what you would be looking for in a quality hiking boot.
Timberland does have a winter boot in its collection, and this does come with more comfort and insulation. They also use better waterproofing, but do note that these boots are more for keeping your feet warm in the cold rather than dealing with too much snow.
Also, the soles in some versions of their winter boots have a layered footbed. This will certainly be better in low snow, but they are still not a specialist pair of snow boots for hiking.
Timberland has actually developed a form of ‘dedicated’ hiking boot. These boots do have a more supportive insole, and they will certainly be more useful than the others when it comes to hiking on anything other than the easiest of trails.
These boots have a softer insole and they absorb some of the energy that comes through the feet while hiking. Some versions do include more ankle support as well. As hiking boots go, this version by Timberland is certainly adequate for the lighter trails.
Timberland also produces sneaker boots, heeled boots, and a few other versions. However, nobody would really contemplate trying to go out hiking while wearing them, so they won’t be discussed here.
Can You Hike In Timberlands?
You can hike in Timberlands if you stick to the shorter, lighter trails. While you could complete some trails while wearing Timberlands, they are certainly not suitable for longer hikes or more technical trails. You should only wear them on an easy hike of a relatively short distance.
This may sound strange considering they’re quite comfortable while walking day-to-day, but it’s not all about comfort when it comes to hiking. Hiking boots work by making sure you have more than adequate support in key areas on your feet. That means primarily the midsole and the arch.
Lack Of Proper Support
Hiking boots build up support in these areas as it has been shown to prevent your feet from getting sore as you cover longer distances on rougher terrain. The inside of Timberland boots is completely different.
These boots are not designed for walking on the type of terrain you will come across when hiking. They do come up over your ankle and give you some sort of support there, but it’s what’s going on in the sole and how it deals with the terrain that’s the key.
Timberland boots are not flexible enough to cope with rougher trails. They could increase the chances of getting some type of injury if you are not careful.
Are Timberlands Waterproof?
Some Timberlands are waterproof, but that is only one aspect you need to take into consideration when thinking about buying hiking boots to use on a regular basis. Also bear in mind that not every type of Timberland boot will keep the water out.
Even those that are classed as being waterproof do require regular upkeep to make sure they stay that way. You need to use the correct boot wax to give the outer surface some added protection. However, they are certainly not equipped for dealing with the harsher conditions you may find on hikes, and not to the same extent as normal hiking boots.
The Wrong Material
Also, keep in mind that some Timberland boots have more of a suede surface rather than full leather. These clearly won’t be very waterproof. So, if you are considering purchasing Timberland boots for hiking, then check the description of the boots to see if they are waterproof.
If you already own a pair, then find them online and look at the specifications. Only after that can you really decide if your Timberlands are suitable for hiking or not. Their hiking boots are slightly better when it comes to being waterproof.
Are Timberlands Good For Snow?
Timberlands are often good for snow. As they can be waterproof and have some insulation, along with reasonable traction, it does mean they can perform better in snow than other shoes. However, they won’t serve as a good hiking snow boot.
There’s a limit to how deep into snow you can go when wearing Timberlands. Deep snow will simply come in over the top of your boots, and no amount of waterproofing or insulation will help keep your feet dry at that point.
However, the insulation can also be very important. Timberlands do not have the same level of insulation as hiking boots, and nowhere near the same as snow boots. That does mean they will only work well in snow that is not even coming up over the soles of the boots. Even their winter boots will struggle in thick snow.
Pros Of Hiking In Timberlands
They Can Cost Less Than Hiking Boots
If you have some concerns about purchasing an expensive pair of hiking boots, then Timberlands will often be easier on your wallet. However, we need to stress that you should never choose something based only on the price.
You can purchase some brands of hiking boots for less than a good pair of Timberland boots, and these will usually be better suited to the trail.
They Work For Short, Simple Hikes
If you venture out on short, simple hikes on a regular basis, then Timberlands can work well when they are not being pushed too much. However, as soon as you try to tackle more testing conditions, their effectiveness as a hiking boot will quickly diminish.
They Act As A Casual Boot As Well
Hiking boots aren’t always great for everyday use. It’s pretty obvious what they are intended for, so wearing them in daily life is not always possible. However, Timberlands do work well as a casual boot, so they can effectively work as two boots in one, if you stick to the lighter trails.
Cons Of Hiking In Timberlands
Poor Arch And Midsole Support
The arch and midsole support that comes with Timberlands does tend to be poor, and you need that specific type of support with hiking boots. This is because you’ll be hiking over uneven ground. You need hiking boots that have a reinforced arch area to give you that support, or it’s going to get sore over time. Timberlands are lacking in that area, and that can be a huge problem on a hike.
There Is Little Cushioning
You also want your hiking boots to act as a sort of shock absorber, as that stops all those small stones and constant impacts from the terrain from hurting your feet. Once again, Timberlands are lacking in this area as they offer little in the way of cushioning.
Their Design Is Primarily For Fashion
Though Timberlands were first designed as a boot for the workplace, they have moved away from that into something that is more of a fashion statement. That means they’re often designed more for style and how it looks with other clothing rather than for practical use.
Timberland boots also tend to be rather heavy, and while you may initially think this is a sign of quality, it just tires you out more easily on a long hike. They can be significantly heavier than your average hiking boot, which is another reason to consider avoiding them as a hiker.
They’re Not Made With The Best Materials
This refers more to the boots being constructed with the wrong materials for hiking, rather than the boots themselves being poorly made – they’re not. They may be made from leather, but modern hiking boots incorporate state-of-the-art materials that are lighter and more waterproof.
3 Tips For Hiking In Timberlands
1. Keep It Short
You really must keep the hike short to get the most out of wearing Timberland boots. If you start covering a large number of miles, then you will run into all sorts of issues. We recommend keeping it to just 4 miles as a maximum if hiking in these boots. Anything more could easily lead to blisters developing, and also aching feet due to the lack of support.
2. Avoid Rocky Trails
It’s also better to avoid rocky trails when wearing Timberland boots. This is due to the lack of cushioning, so a rocky trail would result in you feeling every single stone you come across, and that’s not fun! You want to keep to trails that are well-maintained, quite flat, and also relatively smooth.
3. Break Them In First
The final tip is that you need to make sure they are not brand new when you go out on a hike. It’s going to be hard enough hiking in Timberlands without making matters worse by not really having any degree of comfort or flexibility, and breaking them in will make a huge difference.
Timberlands are not good for hiking unless you are on short hikes consisting of easy trails. They are not built to give your feet the proper support a hike requires, and you will end up with aching feet and blisters if you take on tougher hikes in Timberlands.