Timberland hiking boots are sometimes thought of as fashion footwear first, but the company has been manufacturing quality rugged outdoor shoes for decades. From high-ankled durable boots for multi-day treks to lightweight, almost-sneaker like city hikers, Timberland has a pair of boots for any need.
Hiking footwear comes in a few different types: Professional grade for serious outdoors enthusiasts, lighter weight, lower-cost models, and those that put looks first. Known for its iconic "Yellow Boots" for the past 45 years, Timberland now offers a full line of hikers that cover the full hiking boot spectrum. Many models have waterproof materials and other features for comfort and durability.
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Different Timberland Hiking Boot Styles
Before diving into a review of the best Timberland hiking boots, let's take a closer look at the different styles of hiking boots. In picking boots for this review, we wanted to focus on the styles and features that would appeal to the broadest audience. We think it is helpful, though, to see all the options available so consumers can make the most informed decision possible.
These are the hardcore, serious hiking boots that often look straight out of the 1970s. Featuring high-cut uppers that cover more of your calves, these boots are best for long hikes in the harshest conditions. Some hiking enthusiasts believe high-cut boots are a must for any serious backpacker. While they are incredibly durable and supportive, these heavyweight shoes can be stiff and unforgiving. For this reason, serious hikers often buy these early in the season and spend time breaking them in over short stints. Timberland hiking boots come in rugged over high-calf styles that provide professional-level durability.
Since they are so heavy and stiff, heavyweight hiking boots are not the best option for casual hikers. However, if you plan on hitting the trails during the cold of winter, heavyweight boots are a necessity.
Low-top hiking shoes
On the other end of the spectrum, some hiking footwear styles completely free up the ankle area. Notice that we refer to this style of footwear as "shoes" rather than boots. Their low tops take them out of the boot category, but for the most part, the lower construction mirrors that of rugged high-tops with less material and more flexibility in the ankle. That results in more agility and speed, but the lack of ankle support limits low-top usefulness to short day hikes on relatively smooth terrain. Many hikers opt for trail-runners as their low-top shoes for easier hikes, since they are typically lighter and more breathable than hiking boots but feature durable soles built for navigating smalls rocks and roots.
Between these two styles are the most popular type of hiking boot, the mid-ankle hiker. These come in all sorts of materials, from leather to fabrics, and feature waterproof liners and treatments. They can be heavyweight, lightweight, fashion-forward, or functional. You can grab a cheap pair for under $50, or splurge several hundred dollars. Like most athletic footwear, price often dictates quality. This style of boot will serve you well over the entire year, and the marketplace is full of options. From comfort to appearance, mid-ankle hikers come in many styles, and some customers may not know which ones are best for their needs.
Since mid-weight, mid-calf hikers are useful for several different types of hiking and are good all-around casual boots, we decided to focus our review on Timberland hiking boots in this style. Rather than just grabbing whatever pair you find online, take a look at what people are saying about Timberland's most popular mid hiking boot.
Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiker
The White Ledge mid-ankle hiker is one of the best-rated and most popular Timberland hiking boots models. Crafted from 100 percent premium full-grain leather, these boots are durable, waterproof, comfortable, and stylish.
Hiking boot features
Timberland White Ledge hiking boots are one of the company's all-time best sellers. Waterproofing comes from the boots' specialized construction, with seam sealing to leave water fewer seeping opportunities. The shoes have rustproof speed laces and top hooks, which make for easy removal and lacing up when needed. The footbed is removable, dual-density EVA foam, and gusseted pads line the collar and tongue for extra comfort.
Besides being waterproof and comfortable, these boots perform well on varied terrain. Thanks to a solid rubber outsole with multi-directional lugs, wearers experience grip when needed. These hikers are lightweight, too, which means less fatigue after a long day of hiking. These Timberland hiking boots have a classic, all-leather hiking boot design, so they look great on and off the trails.
These Timberland hiking boots come in a variety of colors, too, including black, dark brown, and wheat (a light yellow reminiscent of the classic Timberland workboot).
These Timberland hiking boots are highly regarded and listed as an Amazon bestseller. There are thousands of reviews, so comments are comprehensive and reflect not only initial impressions, but give feedback on the boots after they've been through trail rigors. Around 70 percent of the reviews are highly positive, noting a sneaker-like fit and comfort right out of the box. According to reviews, these boots will not require a break-in period. That is an upfront positive, but could ultimately become a negative. First, breaking in may take some time, but it results in a near-custom fit that provides glove-like comfort for the hiking season. While these boots are comfortable from day one, small irritations can develop over time, causing pain and blisters.
Some of the negative reviews noted a lack of ankle support. While any mid or low-ankled boot is going to be inferior to a high-ankle boot in support, these Timberland hiking boots trade support for comfort. Other negatives noted that the soles wore out quickly. Overall, however, most reviews raved about the comfort and the waterproofing on the boots.
These boots have an overall Amazon customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
Comparison with Competing Products
While we looked at many online reviews for real-life experience with these boots, we believe it's best also to compare any reviewed product with its top competitors. For the review of these Timberland hiking boots, we chose three different mid-ankle boots of similar construction from Columbia, Salomon, and Keen — three comparable hiking boot brands.
How we reviewed
In our comparisons, we looked at similar and differing features, pricing and customer reviews, both positive and negative, noting any special areas of concern after months of use.
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II
Similar in many ways to the reviewed Timberland hiking boots, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is a comfortable, waterproof hiker that works well in the wild and closer to home.
Unlike the Timberland model, these shoes combine leather with synthetic materials. While the leather is waterproof, the mesh tongue and other areas are left porous and breathable for comfort. One complaint about many waterproof hiking boot models is how they can feel like wrapping your feet in plastic, which ends up making them wet with perspiration. In addition to waterproofing, Columbia adds some advanced comfort technologies to keep wearers bouncing in the backwoods. Its Techlite midsole provides comfort, cushioning and high energy return, which is essential for times when your feet feel close to giving up.
Compared to Timberland hiking boots, the Newton Ridge boots are lighter, but they share rugged soles that perform well on a variety of surfaces. Besides performance, the Columbia shoes have a sleek, modern appearance that compliments casual wear in addition to a mountaineering style. The boots come in a wider variety of colors, including dark banana, grey, black, squash (which just looks like a standard dark brown), and cordovan.
Although there aren't quite as many online user reviews for this product, there still are over 1,500, with the majority being highly positive. Users rave about the comfort, fit, and waterproof performance. Many reviews noted how truly waterproof the boots are, with the few negatives discussing how user's feet become hot after prolonged wearing. As with any waterproof boot, this is an expected side effect. Other negatives criticized durability, noting that the soles started deteriorating shortly after use. A few reviewers had a similar problem with laces eyelets popping out, which is a sure sign of poor quality.
These boots have an overall customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.
Men's X Ultra 3
Another close competitor of Timberland hiking boots is the Salomon product line. Somewhat pricier with a more aggressive and less-traditional appearance, these boots feature premium performance, including top-of-the-line waterproof technology.
Although they are a blend of leather and synthetic material, the bulk of these boots is not genuine leather. Mostly, leather is used here just for trim. This model has been in production for many years, and has an optimal fit, with legendary comfort through its foam cushioning that is throughout the boot's entire chassis. With this integrated construction, wearers experience less shifting, pinching, and binding.
Most importantly, the Salomon X Ultra 3 features Gore-tex, an industry-leading waterproof technology. Gore-tex is as simple as it is advanced. The lining's pores are smaller than water droplets but larger than water vapor. The result is dry feet, even if they get hot and sweaty.
There are far fewer online reviews of Solomon boots, but they still provide a beneficial gauge for comparison with Timberland hiking boots. Reviews are generally positive, with many customers loving the lightweight feel and waterproof performance. Some raved at how comfortable these boots were right out of the box, even though they have a heavy-duty feel and appearance. Some of the negatives included concerns over sizing and an uncomfortable toe box. A handful of reviewers roasted these boots, calling them the worst fitting boots ever.
These boots have an overall Amazon customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Keen Targhee II
Another comparable shoe to Timberland hiking boots is the Keen Targhee II. Keen products have a unique look, featuring an exaggerated, but functional, rubber toe box. They also feature a proprietary and effective waterproofing technology.
The Targhee II features a hybrid of synthetic fabrics and leather, similar to the Salomon hiking boots. The similarities between Keen and the competitors, for the most part, stop there. With rugged, "four-wheel-drive" performance, slapping on a pair of Keens is like putting on snow tires. The multi-directional lugs help hikers tear through the sloppiest terrain, while the Keen Dry waterproof technology keeps water out. The blend of materials produces comfort and performance, too.
While these features make Keen hiking boots some of the best-rated and highest-performing mid-weight hiking boots on the market, the visual appearance may cause some customers to stop dead in their tracks. No one will mistake these boots for casual city walking shoes. The rubber toes have the look of a mashup of industrial electrician shoes, firefighter steel toe boots, and old-school Converse Chuck Taylors. If you are looking for a discreet pair of shoes, Keen boots might not be for you.
As is the case with Timberland hiking boots, Keen's shoes are popular and well-reviewed. Amazon features over 2,000 customer reviews of this model, and most are positive. Keen boots are built specifically not to require a break-in period, and according to online reviewers, the company succeeds. They are highly recommended by many users, who note a comfortable toe box, and a feeling of protection and a near-perfect fit. Of course, there are some negatives. These include objections to the synthetic smell, and a noted degrading in quality over a short period.
These boots have an overall Amazon rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.
Pros and Cons
After reviewing the features of the Timberland hiking boots and comparing them with the competition, we compiled a list of their overall positives and negatives.
Timberland Hiking Boots: The Best Tool for Your Hike
Overall, the White Ledge Timberland hiking boots are a good investment for intermediate hikers who want a quality pair of boots that perform on the mountain and look good when walking around town. While they lack Gore-tex or other advanced waterproofing, you can easily supplement their water resistance with silicone spray. Also, the low price justifies getting a new pair each season, which you probably should do anyway, as the trail wears down support over time, just like with any pair of athletic footwear.