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Timberland Premium Review: The Streetwear Icon

William Barton
Expertise:

Boots, Leather, Heritage Fashion, Denim, Workwear

William founded BootSpy in 2020 with a simple mission: test and review popular men’s boots and give a real, honest opinion. Since then, we've welcomed over 5 million readers on our boot reviews and boot care guides. Reach out to him for your own personalized boot recommendation at william@bootspy.com. Or join 50,000+ subscribers on the BootSpy YouTube channel, or send him a message on the BootSpy Instagram. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 4, 2024
16 min read

Is the iconic Timberland Premium boot really as good as its reputation suggests? For one of the most popular boots in existence, surely it can’t be all perfection. Our Timberland Premium 6-Inch Boot review will tell you everything you need to know about this workwear staple before you go spend your hard-earned cash.

The uniform of the true New Yorker
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Timberland Premium
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Bottom line: The Timberland Premium 6-Inch Waterproof Boot is a handsome and iconic design and it’s built well. The quadruple stitching, Primaloft insulation, thick rubber heel, and padded leather collar are all designed to go the distance, whether for work or for style. The biggest drawback is the cemented sole construction, which simply isn’t as strong as a Goodyear welt.

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Pros:
  • The nubuck leather is really soft, which is surprising given its waterproof coating
  • Primaloft insulation truly makes this an excellent winter boot
  • Tons of padding in the insole, midsole, and heel for a comfortable walking experience
  • 100% waterproof, which is great for city life and working conditions
Cons:
  • The sole is only attached with cement-glue, which isn’t the most reliable construction method
  • They run roughly one full size too large

I picked up the iconic yellow workwear staple: the Timberland Premium 6-Inch Waterproof Boot. 

Sure, it’s become more well-known for its role in street style, but that’s not the only trick this American classic has up its sleeve. 

Keep reading to get my full thoughts on this beloved boot. 

Things to Consider Before Buying

profile view of timberland premium boots

There still are two main camps of buyers for the Timberland 6-Inch Premium Waterproof Boot. You have the folks who buy for Timberlands for style, and you have the folks who buy them to wear in working conditions. 

If you’re thinking about getting these for the style-aspect, your main consideration is whether you want to save a few bucks by going with something non name-brand. If you’re on a tight budget, check out these 11 boots like Timberlands

Timberland Basic vs Timberland Premium Boots Side by Side

But if you ask me, your best bet is to pick up the Premiums. Even the Timberland Basic doesn’t compare with the quality, and it’s worth paying the bit extra to get the real thing. 

In addition to the article above, I broke down the differences between the Timberland Premium and the Basic in this boot battle video:

If you’re more interested in the Timberland Premium as a work boot, the most important consideration is how often your boots get wet. These are waterproof, which is a huge bonus, but you’d need to be in rainy and wet conditions often enough to justify the cemented sole construction. 

The Timberland Premium is missing a few safety features that we typically like for a work boot—some of which are necessary if you’re on a job site.

My Hands-On Review

First Impression

model wearing timberland six inch waterproof boots

There’s no denying it: the classic Timberlands are a handsome boot. It’s hard not to love the contrasting black leather collar and yellowish nubuck leather upper. 

I went with the iconic color, otherwise known as “Wheat Nubuck.” I’m glad I did, too. There’s a darker brown color that looks pretty sharp, but in the end, I decided on the original. 

Timbs are pretty tall when you account for the lugged sole. I wouldn’t call this a sleek boot, either, as it’s quite round at the toe. It’s only made from a few strips of leather (which cuts down on the number of places the boot can fail), and both the upper and heel counters are quadruple stitched. 

Timberland premium logo

And the boot isn’t complete without the embossed Timberland logo, two-toned laces, and gold hexagonal eyelets. 

I like the style of this boot more than I thought I would. I’ve been wearing them with raw denim cuffed at the bottom, and I really like the workwear aesthetic.

Another important note is that the Premium 6-inch boot features Primaloft insulation, which makes these a great choice for the winter—especially when you consider that they’re waterproof. 

Leather Quality and Care

Timberland waterproof guarantee

The Timberland Premium is made with nubuck leather from the Dominican Republic (they also source from Mexico, but it’s more likely from the DR).

One of the issues with nubuck leather is that it doesn’t age quite as well as suede or other types of leather, so you have to put a bit more care into this boot to keep it looking good after the first few months. 

using nubuck eraser on timberland boots

Likewise, these boots are notorious for getting dirty quickly, so you’ll want a nubuck eraser and brush when you pick these up so you can keep the color even.

You can pick up a nubuck and suede care kit for under $20 so it’s not a huge investment. 

Because the boot is insulated, it’s hard to gauge how supple the leather is, but it’s not particularly malleable or easy to walk in right away. 

Still, the nubuck is creamy smooth and looks really nice right out of the box. 

If you want to keep your Timbs looking fresh, check out our guide on how to clean Timberlands

Sole

Timberland premium sole side view

It’s not just the upper that’s earned a reputation—the sole has a lot to do with this boots popularity. 

The sole uses what Timberland calls Gripstick technology, which is basically a fancy way of saying the rubber is very soft and gives you tons of traction. 

This makes it a great boot to wear out in the rain or snow, as you’ll have a much easier time keeping your footing in these than most other boots. 

Timberland bonwelt detail

The sole is attached to the upper with a bonwelt, which basically means they’re cemented on. While the bonwelt is 100% waterproof, it’s much more difficult to resole. So once you wear through the sole, or the heel starts to get that slant in it, there’s a good chance you’ll need to get a new pair of boots. 

There are some cobblers out there that are able to resole Timberlands, but some will refuse as it can be quite tricky and they might not want to risk completely ruining your boot. 

Timberland premium high density foam insole

The sole does feature a steel shank for stability and support, and there’s a decent amount of high density foam in the heel and midsole to make these boots comfortable right out of the box. 

The insole is completely removable, which is a really nice feature if you have custom inserts or want to use your own orthotics for any reason. Still, I like the insole as it is, and I find it quite comfortable. 

Fit and Sizing

model wearing timbs

When buying your Timberland Premiums, get a full size smaller than what you normally wear in sneakers. So if you’re a size 11 sneaker, get a size 10 Timberland. 

I’m used to ordering a half-size smaller for my boots, so it’s not too big of a deal, but I remember my first pair of Timberlands several years ago were far too big for my feet. And since I was just an impressionable child then, I walked around with big boots for two years instead of going back and getting the right size. 

For a more detailed break-down, check out our guide on how to pick the right size Timberlands

Break-in Period

timberland boots with ankle cuffed

Besides a little leather stiffness in the beginning, there isn’t much of a break in period to speak of. The outsole is flexible and the insole offers a lot of cushion and support, so I found these comfortable right away. 

Even after my ritual three-mile walk to the local brewery to break in new boots, I didn’t have any issues with blisters or soreness. 

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

On Amazon, the Timberland Premium 6” Waterproof Boot is rocking around a 4.6-star average as of writing with over 7,000 reviews. Most of the negative reviews are from 2017 and are due to fakes, but that isn’t an issue any more. 

I bought mine through the Timberland Amazon store and didn’t have any trouble with fakes, and none of the reviews that mention it are recent. 

Still, if you’re worried about that, you can buy directly from the Timberland online store, which will ensure you get exactly what you want. 

Timberland Overview: The Real Timbs

Timberland premium boots stacked 1

The Timberland Premium 6-Inch Boot is one of the most easily recognizable boots on the market. Heck, they’re even available in baby sizes. 

The style was born in 1973—an invention of the Abington Shoe Company, based in New Hampshire. They made use of new technology: storm injected welting. This made the iconic yellow boot one of the first waterproof boots that had all the hallmarks of solid, durable working footwear (i.e. they weren’t made of rubber). 

closeup of timberland premium boots

They were such a hit, the Abington Shoe Company renamed themselves after the boot—thus the brand Timberland was born in 1978.

While the boot was widely popular in the 70s and 80s with trade workers, the yellow boot gained a new level of fame in the 90s when the New York City hip hop movement embraced them.

Since then, the Timberland brand has grown immensely, and at this point, if you can’t recognize a yellow Timb, you probably haven’t spent much time outside. 

My Thoughts Overall

What I Like

  • The nubuck leather is really soft, which is surprising given its waterproof coating.

  • The Primaloft insulation makes this an excellent winter boot.

  • There is plenty of padding in the insole, midsole, and heel for a comfortable walking experience.

  • They’re 100% waterproof, which is great for city life and working conditions.

What I Don’t Like

  • The sole is only attached with cement-glue, which isn’t the most reliable construction method.

  • They run roughly one full size too large.

Who are Timbs for?

The Timberland Premium Boot is an excellent choice for folks who want to get that classic Timberland look. There are more sturdy options for anyone looking for a long-lasting work boot. But when it comes to fashion, there’s no replicating this iconic style.

The Verdict

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like the Timberland Premium 6-inch as much as I do. But I like it mainly for its style.

If you’re in the market for a work boot, I would try something different like the Danner Bull Run or Thorogood Moc Toe. They’re both in a similar price range, but the construction is more reliable and you can resole them any time.

That said, nothing compares with the iconic Timberland style, and the Primaloft insulation and Gripstick rubber lug sole make them an excellent winter boot.

The Premium 6-inch runs right around $200 at full retail price, which is fair for a boot of this quality.

So the final verdict is this: if you want the classic Timberland style and you’re just reading this review to confirm whether the boot will last long enough to justify the cost, then I give you the green light to go ahead and buy.

If you’re looking for a work boot, steer toward something at the same price with a Goodyear welt like a Danner or Thorogood.

Timberland Premium 6-inch Waterproof Boot

The Timberland Premium 6-Inch Waterproof Boot is a handsome and iconic design and it’s built well. The quadruple stitching, Primaloft insulation, thick rubber heel, and padded leather collar are all designed to go the distance, whether for work or for style. The biggest drawback is the cemented sole construction, which simply isn’t as strong as a Goodyear welt.

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If you’d like a more visual look at these bad boys, be sure to check out my in-depth Timberland Premium video review over on our YouTube channel:

How to Style Timberland Boots: 9 Ways to Rock Timbs

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I’ll start with the most natural choice—styling Timbs with jeans.

Then I’ll go a more fashion-forward route with some style tips around black Timberlands, followed by an exploration on whether or not men can rock some pink boots (you can).

Styled with Jeans

timberland boots with ankle cuffed 1

There are two main ways to wear Timberland boots with jeans. You can go for a sleek modern look, or a traditional workwear look.

For a Modern Look, Wear Fitted or Tapered Jeans With Your Timbs

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Though their Original Yellow Boots came out in 1973 and were made for blue collar workers on the jobsite, Timberlands became a style icon by the late 80s. This was largely thanks to the rap scene and interest from fashion capitals like Milan, and so today, Timberlands are often worn in a sleekly casual way.

The first rule for styling your boots in a contemporary way is to choose fitted or tapered jeans. Depending on your personal preference or your body type, you might not be comfortable with jeans that are too close to the body all around. Tapered jeans are slightly loose around the bottom and thighs, but fit close to the ankles.

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This fit achieves two things: 

  • It shows off the tongue and the lacing, which is the most universally accepted way to wear Timberlands. 
  • It allows your Timbs to provide a strong base for the outfit’s overall silhouette.
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This is what I mean by a “strong base”.  

If you top off your jeans and boots with a fitted henley shirt or a basic crewneck, then the Timberlands become the statement piece of the outfit. The overall look is simple and made even more handsome since it’s capped off with strong masculine boots.

If you add a piece of outerwear, say a bomber jacket, a leather biker jacket, or even a peacoat, then the overall strength of the outfit is its balance There’s more bulk at the top and the bottom of the silhouette, and it’s reined in by the slim or tapered jeans. 

Pro tip: If you go the peacoat route, color-match it to your boots.

Basically, by pairing your robust Timberlands with tapered or fitted jeans, you set yourself up for success. Your style will usually work regardless of how the rest of the outfit pans out, at least silhouette-wise.

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Even when you’re wearing them in a modern and fashionable way, remember that Timberlands are still work boots, and thus pair well with textures and layers. 

There’s no denying that baggy jeans have historically been paired with Timberlands. If you’re confident in pulling off this old school hip hop look, there are ways for us non-celebs to pull it off. I’ll get into that under the Outfit Ideas section below.

View this post on Instagram

As always, darker jeans are sleeker and more urban, while blue jeans will bring out the Americana and workwear side of your Timbs, which leads us to the second way to style them.

For a Traditional and Effortless Workwear Style, Go for Classic Fit Jeans

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Most of today’s fashion staples came about from practical needs. It’s always a winning choice for your outfit to hat-tip that staple’s original use because it feels authentic. For example, a dive watch will always look good with nautical stripes, a navy jacket, or boat shoes.

Classic-fit jeans of any color pair well with any model of Timberland boots. The combination of classic-fit blue jeans and Original Yellows are a timeless, casual, and masculine look. 

From flannels to denim jackets, you can top this approach off with your favorite textures and layers. Go for a quilted hunting vest a la the L.L.Bean Waxed Cotton Down Vest for a sophisticated outdoorsy look.

L.L.Bean Upcountry Waxed Cotton Down Vest
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And actually, you don’t always have to finish this aesthetic off with a hardcore workwear or outdoorsy look. As long as you achieve balance in textures and shapes, you can pull off a low-key but fashionable outfit.

How to Style Black Timberland Boots

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The first Timberland boots were yellow because they were made from durable nubuck. For the most part, sporting black Timbs is 100% a fashion choice, so you’ll want to follow a lot of the same advice previously mentioned for styling your boots in a modern way. That being you can’t go wrong with slim or tapered pants, then have fun with the rest of the silhouette.

Timberland Premium 6-inch Waterproof Boot in Black Nubuck
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Fortunately, on the color front, black really does go with everything. 

When you style them with casual clothes, there’s an inherent cool factor to it. For example, blue jeans with yellow Timbs and a henley shirt is a perfectly handsome and approachable combination. 

Change it up to black boots and dark jeans, and it shifts into a style-forward urban vibe. Throw a nice beige sweater over it, and you’re bordering on formal—at least upscale club-appropriate.

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Cuffing works excellently with black Timberland boots, especially if you’re wearing a nice pair of selvedge denim jeans.

You can also style them similarly to how you’d style combat boots, if you like a tough biker style or a military casual tone.

View this post on Instagram

How to Style Men’s Pink Timberland Boots

There are many ways that men can and have worn pink to stylish effect. If you’re a trendy guy, you can have a lot of fun with rose-tinted Timberland boots, but there are subtle, more adult ways to wear them too.

Quick note: Timberland doesn’t make “men’s” shoes in pink hues, so you’ll have to head on over to the women’s section. When it comes to sizing, your equivalent in the ladies section will be one full number up. So if you’re a size 9, meaning your foot is around 10.6 inches, you’ll go for a women’s 10. 

My advice when it comes to wearing pink Timberlands is to use the color pink to accent the outfit, not headline it. You’ll also want to pick a lighter shade of pink.

Layering is Key

As mentioned, Timberlands go well with layers, and that’s the key to making this cheerful color look stylish and natural. You can wear an all neutral palette, grays and blacks for example, and top off the outfit with a light pink hat.

Another option is to wear a light pink shirt or sweater, then round it out with dark fitted selvedge jeans and a dark well-fitting jacket.  Feel free, in this case, to actually wear your pants over the tongue of the boots, to create more subtlety. You can also sport a flannel with subtle pink accents. 

Since pink is already such a playful color, you bring balance to the outfit with neutral colors and sophisticated textures.

9 Outfits With Timberland Boots

If you weren’t already inspired enough to try the style for yourself, check out these Timberland boots outfits for an extra nudge.

1. The Perfect Jeans Fit

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This guy is pulling off an on-trend boxy t-shirt because his jeans are tapering just as I previously described they should. He then takes it to the next level by having fun with the silhouette using that leather jacket.

2. Timbs with Ripped Jeans

View this post on Instagram

If you’re a ripped jeans kind of guy, balance out the tattered-chic look with neat cuffing and a good fit. In this case, the jeans are slim, but again, you can opt for tapered pants if you’re more comfortable with that. 

The basic top matches the overall slim shape of the outfit, while the texturing fits with the robust boots. 

3. Outdoor Chic

View this post on Instagram

By wearing perfectly tapered cargos and a basic top that compliments your body type, you can look perfectly handsome while bushwacking, without it looking out of place. 

Bonus points for practical yet stylish accessorizing (stainless steel sport watch and bandana scarf), and color-matching his trucker hat to his footwear—and his dog.

4. Classy and Casual

View this post on Instagram

Jake Gyllenhaal showcases the gold-standard of pulling off jeans with a classic fit here, proving you don’t always have to go the trendy slim route. 

By opting for darker jeans, darker boots, and a designer parka jacket (Canada Goose), this whole outfit is sophisticatedly and subtly glamorous, yet perfectly casual.

5. A Sleek But Casual Take on Black Timberlands

Just as black Timberlands are, everything this fellow is wearing is essentially a rugged piece of workwear, but with a chic slant. 

The jeans are blue and ripped, but fitted, his utility shirt features a structured collar, good tailoring, and the sleeves are neatly folded.

6. Trendy and Youthful

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This look is basically a youthful take on the previous one, with the fitted ripped jeans and black boots. 

He uses his shirt as a pop of color, and instead properly buttoning it up, he leaves it open for a more casual t-shirt look. 

7. The Civilian Take on the Hip Hop Star Look

View this post on Instagram

Typically you don’t want your pants to stack too much, but in this case it’s part of the look. Moreover, a lot of the stacks are hiding behind the Timbs. 

The pants are baggy but not sloppy, and he cleans up the look with an athletic but neat piece of outerwear.

8. Wearing Timbs Like Combat Boots

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This is a good example of a hardcore biker look that might usually be finished off with some combat boots. You’ll notice that black Timberlands work just as well, while adding extra texture.

9. Borderline Formal

When I mentioned that pairing dark pants and black Timberlands with a beige sweater would up the outfit’s dressiness factor, this look by Drake is exactly what I meant.

FAQs

Are Timberland Boots really waterproof?

The classic Timberland boot is really waterproof. It features an injected welt and treated leather so no water is able to penetrate the boot.

Are Timberlands or Dr. Martens better?

Timberlands are much higher quality than Dr. Martens. The leather is much better, and the sole will last a lot longer. 

Can you wear Timberlands in the rain?

You can wear Timberlands in the rain. They tend to get dirty easily, so you might pick up some stains, but those are easy enough to remove with a nubuck brush and nubuck eraser. 

How long do Timberland boots last?

The classic Timberland Premium 6-inch Boot will last roughly 2 years of full-time wear. If you’re working on an intense job site, the lifespan will go down from there, and if you only wear them a few times a week on city streets, you can expect a longer lifespan. 

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