are timberlands good for hiking

Probably very few people don’t know what the classic Timberland boots are. With their attractive simplicity, they’ve become insanely popular throughout the world well beyond the application they’ve been originally intended for.

How about hiking though? Are Timberlands good enough for hiking? Or maybe you should look for another pair of boots for your upcoming hiking trip?

Let’s find that out!

Are Timberlands Good for Hiking?

So are Timberlands good for hiking?

Well, it depends on which Timberland shoe model you want to wear.

If we are talking about the original yellow Timberland boot (which most people do associate with this brand), then probably no. The modern Original Yellow Boot line is pretty rugged, boasting a durable & waterproof construction, rustproof hardware, and thick rubber lug outsoles, but it’s not quite enough. 

The original Yellow Boot saw the world in 1973, and it was designed to cope with New Hampshire’s hard, wet, and snowbound winters, as Timberland phrases it. And while the Yellow Boot has been designed for more industrial applications, it has quickly found its way into the world of other people.

Most notably, in Europe, this boot has become the symbol of the “Made in the USA” look. And in Asia, it’s a “statement of individuality.”

Irrelevant to its iconic status, the Timberland Yellow Boot was designed to protect the wearer’s feet from snow and keep them warm and dry.

But when it comes to hiking, these Timberlands probably aren’t the best option. For that matter, any other Timberland shoe model not designed for hiking specifically isn’t going to do a great job at hiking.

A little correction – Timberlands aren’t going to be the best option for strenuous hiking. The classic Timberlands will probably be decent enough for hiking on not too difficult or rough terrain, as well as in short hiking trips.

Something like the Timberland Field Trekker – which is a specialty hiking shoe – is going to be much better for serious hikers though. Among the features that make these shoes excellent for hiking are the antimicrobial and moisture-wicking insoles or the triple-layer suspension system.

The classic Timberlands are more about stylishness than comfort and performance. Boots in the Original Yellow Boot line do have some cushioning in them, but it isn’t going to be as good as in Timberland hiking boots. 

Aside from that, Original Yellow Boot Timberlands don’t have specialized insoles, and they also appear not to be as good at moisture management – specialized Timberland hiking shoes have an additional waterproof lining inside to help keep the feet dry, which makes them a little better in this matter.

Finally, some people also don’t like the weight of the Original Yellow Boot. The weight of a single men’s boot is 1 pound 13 ounces, whereas Merrell hiking shoes, for example, mostly weigh around 1 pound per boot. While you can find other heavy boots on the market, the Original Yellow Boot is probably among the heaviest boots out there, if not the heaviest.

When Can the Classic Timberlands Be Good for Hiking?

If you want to bring only one pair of boots for multiple activities, then your Yellow Boots may be a good option. But on one condition – as mentioned above, the classic Timberlands aren’t designed for rough terrain and long walking.

Your classic Timberlands are most likely going to be good if you will be hiking for just a couple of hours a day. Long 6- or 8-hour hikes will probably be too much for your feet. As we’ve said earlier, these shoes aren’t as good for long walks since they aren’t as cushioned as specialized Timberland hiking boots or shoes, and they aren’t as good at managing moisture.

With that said, people do wear any kind of shoe they like for hiking, so if you aren’t that demanding when it comes to hiking footwear, you may give your non-hiking Timberlands a shot. Who knows, maybe they turn out to be just the right boots for you!

But we strongly recommend that you do not try your Yellow Boots in a tough hike. It’s one thing when you are on a short day hike, but it’s another thing when you are out in the wild for days. If the Timberlands turn out not to be the right boots for you, then you’ll have to suffer with them for the rest of the journey.

Which Timberland Shoes Are Good For Hiking?

So if the Timberland Original Yellow Boots aren’t the best boots for hiking, which Timberland boots are?

Well, Timberland has a wide gamut of hiking footwear options. As of early October 2019, there were 78 hiking boots and shoes available (68 boots and 10 shoes). 

While specialized Timberland hiking boots perhaps aren’t as iconic-looking as the Yellow Boots, they are probably going to perform better on the trail.

With that said, we want to show you a few options of Timberland hiking shoes and compare them with the Yellow Boot in terms of features.

Timberland Chocorua Trail Shell-Toe

The design of the Chocorua Trail boots looks rad enough to us. It sure doesn’t have the attractive simplicity of the Yellow Boots, but they do look very good.

With that said, the features that the Timberland Chocorua Trail shoes have are:

  • Waterproof leather upper. The Yellow Boot is advertised to have a seam-sealed construction instead.
  • 400 grams of PrimaLoft insulation, which is also present in the Yellow Boot.
  • TimberDry waterproof membranes. The Yellow Boot appears not to have this feature. The TimberDry membrane is designed to keep the feet dry. Timberland also boasts that this membrane is made with 50% recycled plastic bottles.
  • Rustproof hardware, which the Yellow Boot also has.
  • Fully gusseted tongue, which essentially means that the tongue is reinforced with additional material. The Yellow Boot appears not to have this feature.
  • Molded rubber toes, which the Yellow Boot doesn’t have.
  • Anti-fatigue removable footbeds which deliver shock absorption. The Yellow Boot has similar technology, but the Chocorua’s footbeds are removable and probably comfier.
  • EVA midsoles. As for the Yellow Boot, Timberland doesn’t specify what kind of a midsole it has.
  • Rubber outsoles with multidirectional lugs. The Yellow Boot has a simpler rubber outsole structure.

As you could have seen from this list of features, the Chocorua comes with a few additional things that make hiking more comfortable in them.

Timberland Field Trekker

A bit cheaper option is the Timberland Field Trekker boot. It shares many features with the Yellow Boot and Chocorua hiking boots and lacks some. However, it also has a few new things.

Here are the features offered by the Field Trekker hiking boot:

  • OrthoLite insoles. These insoles are made from durable & “ultra-breathable” material that ensures moisture transport and has antimicrobial properties. Neither the Chocorua nor the Yellow Boot appears to come with such insoles.
  • Waterproof leather upper. 
  • 200 grams of PrimaLoft insulation, which is half of what the Yellow Boot and Chocorua boots have.
  • TimberDry waterproof membranes.
  • Rustproof hardware.
  • Rubber outsoles with a layout that’s similar to that of the Yellow Boots, albeit it appears to be a bit more complex.
  • SensorFlex control system with triple-layer suspension. Neither the Yellow Boot nor the Chocorua hiking boots have this feature.

Timberland Chocorua Trail 2.0

The Timberland Chocorua Trail 2.0 hiking boots again have some of the features present in other Timberland shoes. These boots essentially are simplified Chocorua Shell-Toe hiking boots.

Here’s what the Chocorua Trail 2.0 hiking boots have to offer:

  • OrthoLite insoles. 
  • Waterproof leather and mesh upper. 
  • Gore-Tex membranes. These membranes are similar to the TimberDry membranes found in the Field Trekker and Chocorua Shell-Toe hiking boots, but they are a little simpler. Namely, they do keep your feet dry and allow moisture to escape, but they do not have antimicrobial properties.
  • Rustproof hardware.
  • Removable anti-fatigue footbeds.
  • EVA midsoles.
  • Rubber lug outsoles which are similar to what the Chocorua Shell-Toe boots have. With that said, the Shell-Toe boots’ outsole layout has a little bit more texture.

Which Hiking Boots Should You Go For?

Above, we’ve overviewed a few specialized Timberland hiking shoes. We’ve listed their features and made comparisons with the Original Yellow Boot to give you an idea of what you are actually getting with the Timberland hiking shoes.

Let’s again try to answer the main question of this post – are classic Timberlands good for hiking?

Well, let’s put it this way. Do you already have the Original Yellow Boots? 

If so, then you may give them a shot, as we’ve described a little earlier.

If not, then ask yourself – will your hikes be challenging? If the answer is yes, then by buying the Yellow Boots, you will be missing out on the awesome features available in the specialized Timberland hiking shoes. If the answer is no, you may actually opt for the Yellow Boots.

We think that you should have proper footwear for every activity. But since the Yellow Boots are pretty rugged to begin with, they may work well for hiking. But this will depend on what exactly you expect from your trips.