My Affair With Timberland Boots

Postscript 20170129

My second pair of boots were nowhere close to the quality even though they cost more. After about 9 months I had to throw them away when the soles wore out.

I won’t be buying Timberland boots again.


Sometime around 2005 I decided that it was time to invest in decent shoes. At that time, network engineers would spend hours in data centres with consoles & Ethernet connected to their laptops. This involved many hours of standing and I found my legs would begin ache after a few hours.

Better shoes, I decided, would be the solution. Not just any shoes but boots. I neeeded something heavy duty that would lovingly caress and support my damaged feet. When I had cancer, my feet were used to inject radioactive dye into the lympatic nodes which led to a bunch of discomforting issues. Since I wasn’t dead, I treat this as collateral damage.

Anyway, I settled on a pair of Timberland boots that were black, had ankle support and cost more than that I had ever paid for boots. I can’t remember how much it was but it was a lot for my heavily mortgaged self of the day.

Turns out, I wore those boots everywhere. A year later when we migrated the family to Great Britain, I arrived with wife, two children under six, and four suitcases. To make everything fit into that space, I had only one pair of shoes and I was wearing them on the plane.

I wore them everyday for the next three years. I would hike in them, work in data centres, catch trains, walk miles across London. Endless. Once we settled I bought some other shoes but these boots remained my everyday boots. Alas, time destroys all things and by 2009 the soles had worn down and lost all their pattern that I couldn’t wear them in winter. Without traction, slippery pavements in London were a problem. I had inherited by dad’s walking boots which were pressed into service for critical moments. About this time, the wear had opened up the air spaces inside the sole and they would fill with rocks and I would make rattle noises from stones collected as I walked.

But in August 2013, I had worn through the soles. My favourite boots had reached the end of their unnaturally long life. I took this final picture as they went to the final rest. Sadly, you can’t see the soles but the shoes themslves were still in pretty good nick. I was sad to see them go.

Final Steps For the Boots - Click to Embiggen
Final Steps For the Boots – Click to Embiggen

The Next Phase

I’m not a natural shopper. I might have browsed the windows of Timberlandlooking for these boots. The thing about these boots is that they could “do service” under a suit or smart casual trousers. Not overly elegant but for an engineer-type, practical and not entirely out of place (if you don’t cross your legs and keep your feet on the floor no one really look at your shoes.

But I did eventually summon the courage and bravado to attend the Timberland storage at Cabot’s Circus in Bristol earlier this year to procure another set of boots. Alas, they don’t make simple black leather boots such as these. I had to make a choice, I need new boots and I know that paying a bit extra with Timberland is probably worthwhile.

I went with brown pale leather – here is what they looked like this morning:


I’m more into the smart casual look so dark brown works with trousers. I have patent leather shoes for “suit days”.

But if you look closely, you can see that after just a couple of months the laces have completely come unstuck. I had taken my 27″ Display to the Apple Store for repair and I decided to ask for some new shoelaces.

The store manager took one look and offered to replace them. I politely said thats some new laces would be enough, but they insisted on some new shoes.

So, new shoes it is. Here they are on my tootsies:


They have a new type of lace that seems more robust too. Although I’m breaking in a new pair of shoes, I’m well pleased with the outcome.

Thanks to Timberland!!

Thanks to “man on right with box” for finding the right size and Jennifer the Store Manager who was so gracious! I’ll be back for more Timberland.