Timberland describe the new Garrison Trail Hiker boot “made with eco-innovations and initiatives in mind, along with a range of terrains”. My daughter Havana and I have been testing the boots.
Havana already owns Timberland boots (the more fashionable looking type) and likes them for grip and warmth during Scottish winters. She is much more of a townie than I am and so I can only trust her on the benefits of her usual leather Timblerland boots.
She wasn’t sure about the look of the Garrison Trail Hikers but when she learned that my planned walks, while she was visiting me in the rural Highlands, would be on muddy paths, she was very happy to wear these, rather than her normal Timberland boots.
Meanwhile, I am more used to wearing hiking boots for hills and mountains. The Garrison Trail Hiker looks a lot more “street”, “lifestyle” and “casual” in my opinion, so I was also interested to see how they would perform on wet and muddy trails.
We were coming at the test from different angles, but I think this is useful for the review.
Features of Timberland Garrison Trail Hiker boot
Certified tannery: There are sections of leather on the mainly fibre boots and this components use at least 50% leather tanned in a facility rated “silver” or higher by a third–party environmental audit. (The Leather Working Group judges and classifies tanneries based on energy use, waste production and water treatment.)
Timber-Dry™: Waterproof membrane to help keep feet dry. Made with 50% PET (recycled plastic bottles).
REBOTL fabric: Fabric lining made with at least 50% recycled plastic. Made by collecting non-biodegradable PET plastic bottles, recycling them, and turning them into RPET yarns (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate). Boots include 50% recycled PET.
TimberGrip: Grippy soles made with 50% bio-based content, including 3% resins derived from paper pulp waste and 47% natural rubber.
- Fully gusseted tongue to keep rain and dirt out
- Protective toe bumper and heel piece made from climbing rubber
- Compression moulded EVA foam midsole for cushioning
- Size range UK3.5 to UK8
- Price £135.
- See Timberland and Timberland.co.uk.
- (There is a male version for £145 at Garrison Men’s Hiker boot.)
Our thoughts: Timberland Garrison Trail Hiker boot
Both Havana and I have narrow feet. She is usually a UK5.5 to UK6 and she was testing UK6 in the Timberlands. I am usually UK8.5 but I found the UK8s just fine when wearing thinner socks. Both of us found the boots to be a comfortable fit.
For Havana, the boots were a bit of a revelation. Comfortable, grippy, waterproof and well-fitting, they were ideal for wet and muddy paths and trails.
Usually a fan of the leather or suede look Timberland boots, she liked the colourful fabric design, although she said she is not sure she would have chosen the boot herself. (We were sent the boots to try.)
We walked through mud, small streams, over wet rocks and tree roots. Havana said she felt like the boots were grippy. She did not end up with wet feet and her feet remained comfortable throughout the walk.
I am in agreement with Havana about the look of the boots. I am open to brighter, more colourful boots but I am not sure I would go for the design if choosing a boot in a shop. However, as I have said many times before, looks are not what you should base you boot choice on.
In any case, the look actually grew on me the more I wore them.
The boots strike me as a cross between fashion and practical. It’s the sort of boot I’d wear for dog walking, easy trails and walking through poor weather and mud to reach a pub!
While definitely in the “lifestyle” section of my shoe cupboard, they are still very practical. The other side of this is that I am not keen to get them too muddy because then that spoils the look! This, I feel, is not quite the point but you’ll know what I mean.
If it was a plainer looking boot, then getting them dirty would be easier to do.
I found the comfort good. Although I have narrow foot, the boots felt okay. They are wider at the toe-box than I would usually choose but it didn’t cause a problem on low-level country trails.
The insole is comfortable and quite supportive. The ankle and tongue area are padded and comfy. I feel like there is a bit too much padding here but I don’t suppose it really matters.
Lacing the boots is easy and they stay tied most of the time. It is better to do a double knot otherwise the laces, which are smooth, do tend to ease themselves looser.
Conclusion: Overall, this is a nice boot. It’s a cross between lifestyle and practical and because they look so nice, I feel I don’t want to take them somewhere that will make them muddy and dirty. They have comfort and grip on tarmac and trails, so they are ideal for dog walking and low level country walks. Waterproofing is pretty good, too, so for £135 this is a versatile boot that will please some people for design and looks, while putting off others because they just seem too much like fashion boots.