When the folks form Timberland asked us to take a look at some of their gear, we told them we would be happy to do so. After all, it’s a storied American brand that has a durable history and reputation for solid outdoorsy basics. “Basic” describes what were expecting, but not what actually arrived.
While still grounded in classic, base camp style, Timberland has in fact revamped its game a fair amount and freshened up its menswear line. While we had “backpacking” in mind, they have pivoted in the direction of urban hipsters who just might actually head out into nature on occasion. It’s not ironic; rather the brand has realized that those two worlds – nature lovers and craft coffee appreciators – are not that far apart on the culture and style spectrum.
The items we have been testing out, Three-Eye Classic Lug Shoe, Thompson Lake Slim Fit Chinos, Mount Clay Waterproof Blazer (in Black Iris) are all well-designed, well-crafted examples of updated product that is still grounded in historical roots. Timberland’s unique place in American retail iconography, occupying a space between everyday active guy and professional outdoorsman, is hard-won and based on genuine affection and respect.
As a brand, they have introduced many products that have become accepted classics, recognizable without need for a logo. For example, the Three-Eye Classic Lug Shoe is a classic in every sense of the word. The functional silhouette is recognizable to almost anyone and Timberland’s choice to retain such iconic products, pairing them with fresher, contemporary menswear looks is a positive sign for the brand. An obvious and simple move? Yes, of course; but one other some brands in similar positions have failed to effectively execute.
Look, we know full well that some readers are rolling their “we know real outdoor gear” eyes, and that’s fine. If you plant to traverse the Grand Tetons or trek the length of the Application Trail, then by all means hit up the heavy-hitting wilderness outfitter. However, if you are seeking a few new everyday pieces from a label that perhaps you forgot was actually a heritage brand, check out Timberland.