The original Timberland classic 6-inch boots were made 40 years ago for the cold, wet and mountainous terrain of New England. They were innovative footwear for their time, but now have become mostly a fashion symbol.

They still retain their tough characteristics. So while now there are a wide variety of hiking boots available, I wonder if these classics are still usable on tough terrain? They don't have Vibram outsoles, cushioning midsoles, or goretex outers. But they do have solid grippy outsoles and a tough exterior that can take a beating.

I would like to note that various army boots have a build more similar to the Timberlands than typical hiking boots; and soldiers seem to do long trips in unpredictable terrain carrying backpacks in them just fine.

enter image description here

PS: Yes, I know they are expensive to use outdoors, and I am not proposing someone buy these for the express purpose of hiking, but suppose someone already has an old pair which is in good shape but no longer "fashionable" (discolored, somewhat creased, etc.).

  • This reads like spam, and I don't see any real question here. Jan 2, 2019 at 13:13
  • Sorry that it reads like spam, please feel free to suggest corrections to improve. Would it help if I used a pic of my actual boots instead of something off the web? The real question is if I can use my old Timberland boots (which are quite different from the other actual walking boots I've owned) for hiking purposes.
    – ahron
    Jan 2, 2019 at 14:29
  • 1
    We have the existing question What do I need to look for in good, quality hiking boots? that should answer most of what you want to know. The rest becomes opinion, when asking about a old pair of boots. I would look at the existing question, see what is left that you might want answered, post a picture of your old boots and ask question where it more clear what you want to know. Jan 2, 2019 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


If you go with boots designed in the 1970's and 80's you get the comfort as was available in the 70's and 80's and if that is acceptable for you, why not.

Many people still hike on shoes which were basically designed much earlier and which will still do the job, if with less comfort but more support, or whatever other reason they see in using the older boots.

But before you set out on a long trip, well in advance, walk in the boots and (then) test them and yourself on the kind of terrain you will walk in your trip, with the kind of load you will carry.
City walking in boots, using them for work even standing up all day, is not the same as relying on them on a steep hill in rough ground. And unless walked in properly for the kind of terrain, blisters are a given.

It might be a good solution to wear your old, almost done in, boots and bring these as a spare pair, if you can afford the weight and space.


This is really down to a matter of taste, fit, and comfort. These days through hikers doing long distance hikes like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest trail mostly go for light weight hiking shoes that are closer to running shoes. Other folks like the foot support provided by more substantial hiking boots. Some folks like Gore-Tex in hiking boots, others hate it and prefer simple leather.

The tread in the pictured boots looks fine, assuming the rubber is sufficient grippy. They look heavier then I'd wear, and I'd suggest you at least try on a lighter boot or a hiking shoe, but if that's what you have, and they fit comfortably, go for it.

  • Thanks. Shoes are a no-go for me, always used full length boots. Currently have a good pair by Meindl but they're showing strong signs of age (cracks in midsole). So I'd like to not risk them on a long trip.. Guess I can manage with the Timberlands after all :-)
    – ahron
    Jan 2, 2019 at 10:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.