Timberland White Ledge Review: Is It Timberland’s Best Hiking Boot?

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 
Timberland hiking boots review White Ledge on blank background

As one of Timberland’s most reviewed boots online, if you’re a hiker looking for your next pair of boots, it’s no big surprise that you’ve stumbled upon the White Ledges.

But are their typically high marks justified? More importantly, are they what you need specifically? From their leather, sole, fit, and break-in experience, we’re going to deep dive into every aspect at every angle.

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Timberland White Ledge

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Bottom line: The Timberland White Ledge is a versatile hiking boot, robust enough for outdoor activity, while still lightweight and stylish enough as a casual urban shoe. Its slip-resistant and agile rubber sole, velvety nubuck upper, and supportive padded collar offer great value for money, especially since these are one of Timberland’s lower-priced offerings in the category.

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At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Design At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Quality of Materials At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Craftsmanship At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Fit & Sizing At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Value for Money At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon

Pros:

  • Stylish and rugged design featuring multiple textures for an interesting look that doesn’t go the maximalist route
  • The rubber sole is versatile---strong enough for the outdoors and gentle enough for city streets, while the moderate lugs provide superb slip-resistance and first-rate range of motion
  • Both the lip and collar are heavily padded, offering support and comfort all around the ankle
  • It falls in the lower end of Timberland’s hiking boot price spectrum, and offers excellent value for money

Cons:

  • Despite strong claims of waterproofness, it’s not as waterproof as advertised
  • They don’t fit extra wide feet very well
  • The boots aren’t especially breathable

Every year, as ruffed grouse season approaches, I use it as an excuse to find new hiking boots—and stock up on Famous Grouse Scotch.

It’s my most wonderful time of the year.

As I start hunting for new boots, I often think about images of my favorite outdoorsmen of the past, and how cool they always look on the trail: Teddy Roosevelt’s cravats, Ernest Hemingway’s safari hats, Davy Crocket’s coonskins.

When I first saw the Timberland White Ledge, with its handsome silhouette and buttery nubuck leather, I thought, “I can look cool out there too.” But do they perform as well as they look good?

The hiking trail isn’t the place to suffer for fashion. After stomping around town and country in these boots, I’m pretty confident I’ve decided what and who they’re good for. 

Read on to get my full thoughts on the White Ledges.

Timberland White Ledge Overview

Timberland White Ledges model on rock 2

The White Ledges are one of Timberland’s most popular hiking boots, and fall into the lower-price point bracket of their collection.

They’re made of 100% full-grain nubuck leather, and come in all-black, a “medium” brown that I’d actually call dark brown, and a wheat version. Measuring 4.75” from the arch, these Timberlands are ankle-length with a thickly padded collar and tongue. 

They’re seam-sealed to be waterproof and feature rustproof lacing hardware. The rubber outsole is thick and moderately lugged for ease of movement and slip-resistance.

They have a reputation for being more stylish than other Timberland hiking boots such as the Mt. Maddsen, and I agree. 

Timberland Mt. Maddsen Hiking Boot

The Timberland Mt. Maddsen is light and nimble considering how decked out it is with comfort features. Hikers who need extra arch support will enjoy the insole and shank combination this boot offers---something rare for hiking boots under $100.

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Things to Consider Before Buying Hiking Boots from Timberland

Timberland White Ledges outdoor 2

Since the White Ledges are so stylish, there’s a substantial fashion audience for them. They pair well with a slim-fit, unlined flannel. And of course, you outdoorsmen and operations department guys might consider these Timbs too. 

For the style guys, these shoes start to show visual wear from mild usage. I think it gives them authenticity and character. I also think going the White Ledge route will set you apart from the crowd. Yes, they’re popular, but not as common as Timberlands Premium 6” Yellows, and the White Ledges are much less expensive.

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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For the practical set, the best way I can describe these boots is that they’re great at everything, but not the best at anything—which I like because it makes them versatile. It also makes them a perfect choice for those who fall in the middle of the two categories. 

I live in the city during the week and in the country during the weekend, where I hike and hunt all day long. Unlike a fashion boot or an aggressive survivalist boot, my White Ledges get plenty of use in both sides of my life.

I’m not saying they’re bad options for that one month, off-grid wilderness experiment, necessarily. They just shouldn’t be the only boots you pack.

Timberland White Ledge

The Timberland White Ledge is a versatile hiking boot, robust enough for outdoor activity, while still lightweight and stylish enough as a casual urban shoe. Its slip-resistant and agile rubber sole, velvety nubuck upper, and supportive padded collar offer great value for money, especially since these are one of Timberland’s lower-priced offerings in the category.

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Timberland White Ledge Review

First Impression

Timberland White Ledges white background 5

Since I tend to wear lighter shades, I opted for the Wheat versions of the Timberland White Ledge boots. They’re more of a bright tan color, as opposed to the yellow hue often associated with wheat shades. 

I immediately loved the mix of textures and the sectioning. I think this makes the boots more rugged, tactile, and exciting looking than Timberland’s Original Yellows. The sides feature a layered strata-like design. 

The collar is a thick close-knit mesh, followed by a layer of extra-napped leather below that. The next layer is a matte nubuck, the one that most of the boot is made of, followed again by a thin layer of the extra-napped material, before moving into the rest of the nubuck body. Even the lip and sole get this multi-surfaced treatment.

Timberland White Ledges outdoor 61

The silhouette is thick, but it isn’t shapelessly bulky. It’s stylish enough for city-dwellers to use as a go-to winter shoe. I’d certainly sport White Ledges with a Patagonia vest for a casual uptown brunch. 

The top four eyelets are speed hooks, while the remaining eight are d-rings. Because of this, the thick nylon laces are easy to loosen and tighten at the top portion, by the ankles. Meanwhile, the lacing remains sturdy enough at the bottom that I can quickly slip them on to take out the trash or get the mail without having to tighten the top speed hook lacing.

I’m surprised at how immediately comfortable these boots are, considering how thick the soles are. The ankle and tongue padding also made it pretty cozy. For their inaugural outing, I wore the White Ledges for a couple of hours around the park, stomping grass, dirt, and concrete. Timberland definitely delivers on the “lightweight hiking boot” promise.

Leather Quality and Care

Timberland White Ledges outdoor 6

The White Ledge sports a 100% nubuck leather construction, so it has that soft and gently napped texture. When you rub your finger across its surface, the grains rearrange, causing it to get subtly darker or lighter depending on which direction you swipe. 

I like this look on a hiking boot. It’s a nice, buttery aesthetic, especially in the wheat variation that I have. Since the surface is already faintly different throughout, little scuffs and marks aren’t that distracting.

For the style crowd, if you want immaculate nubuck shoes, these aren’t the ones for you. These Timbs crease where your toes bend even after mild use. Again, I think the rugged look makes it more authentic though.

Timberland White Ledges model on rock 3

As comfortable as they are, they’re not breathable. I don’t overheat easily, so I’m okay marching around the city in these guys for long periods of time, even in the summer. Still, I notice that they feel slightly warmer than other hiking boots I’ve used. 

Between that, and negative reviews I’ve read from heat-prone guys, it’s safe to say that these shoes aren’t for you if you’re a sweaty gent.

The White Ledges are supposedly waterproof. Now, I ran across the local park splash pads in these, and they were mostly fine. I did notice that the mesh part at the top back was a little moist even on the inside. Not distractingly so, but I’d avoid immersion past the eyelets. 

Timberland White Ledges on rock interior shoe

I just don’t believe that water won’t get through the lacing area. Is it a rain and snow shoe? Absolutely. A major long-term survivalist boot? Could be, but there are more rugged options out there like the Vasque Clarion ’88 and Danner Mountain Light II.

Maintenance is pretty standard. They’re easy to clean with a warm washcloth, but since they’re nubuck, I recommend using a suede-specific brush and eraser. I’ve read about people using oil and conditioners on it, but I like the velvety nap of these shoes. If you’re the same, try using a good old-fashioned Scotchgard protector spray.

Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector, 7 Ounces
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Sole

Timberland White Ledges on rock sole 2

The outsole’s two biggest strengths are its traction and the motion it provides. Even before I put these shoes on, I placed them on top of some pretty steep rocky surfaces and they stuck to it as if there was glue on the bottoms.

My office building has a corner in the lobby with notoriously slippery marble steps. As a test, I walked up and down these steps in my White Ledges, right after the stairs had been mopped. At first, I stepped slowly, hands on the rail, gradually upping it to regular speed. I’m not exaggerating when I say I was literally able to travel up and down these treacherous steps as if they were carpet.

Timberland White Ledges on rock 1

I also like that the lugs are substantial, but not too aggressive. I can comfortably walk dirt paths for a few hours without bringing half of Central Park home with me.

Motion-wise, these boots are excellent. I wasn’t exactly doing choreographed dancing in them, but pivots and turns felt as smooth as they do with athletic shoes. How do I know this? Water-gun fight in the park with the guys. 

That being said, they’re terrible to run in. I don’t think they were made for running anyway, and my knees were killing me after the aforementioned playtime. 

The outsole feels softer than Vibram, which makes me wonder how long these will last. They’re pretty thick though, so this combination gives the shoe a medium bend. 

Timberland White Ledges outdoor 5

Consistently, I find White Ledges perfectly comfortable for a good two hours of non-stop walking, but then it goes downhill fast after that. I did a three-hour walk on varied terrain (cement, grass, rocks, dirt) in these boots, and the balls of my feet were sore well into the next day. 

Comfort-wise, the sole is a lot like the upper. It’s more rugged than a non-trail fashion boot, but definitely not the only shoes I’d bring on a Lord of the Rings-style journey in the woods.

Fit and Sizing

Timberland White Ledges outdoor 10

These boots run true to size for me, but note that Timberlands tend to run big. This is definitely the case with their classic yellow boot, but my size 8 White Ledges fit my size 8 feet perfectly.

My only concern is for the wide-footed set. I ordered 8 regulars, and they felt noticeably snug. There was enough room to account for long-walk swelling, but barely. I’m perfectly fine with this, especially since I plan to wear these as a casual shoe and for moderate hikes. 

I can’t speak to how wide sizes fit personally, but this slight snugness did motivate me to purposefully seek out reviews from those who bought the wide version. I’ll cover their specific experiences later (spoiler alert: go one number size bigger).

Break-in Period

Timberland White Ledges outdoor back 5

For me, the White Ledges were comfortable right out of the box. The caveat is that I’ve heard stories of zero break-in periods to one-month break-in periods with these shoes.

Again, I can’t go more than two hours in these, and after that the balls of my feet are in agony. But note that this is during my break-in period. 

Hopefully in a month, I’ll be able to go more than two hours and the sole’s medium-bend will become a full bend. But to be honest, the sole seems too thick to get much more flexy. 

What do Other Reviews Say?

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This highly-reviewed boot is overall well-liked, well-loved even. Reviewers who ultimately decide the White Ledges aren’t for them still agree that the sole is commendably versatile. 

I found several reviews in which men are disappointed in the wide-size boots. Many mention how their feet barely fit upon slipping them on, but have major soreness after long walks. Some guys even forgo tying the laces up at the top two speed hooks, which I think defeats the purpose of having a padded ankle boot. A few of these reviewers solve this problem by going one number size up.

One reviewer, who’s been wearing multiple pairs of this exact boot for far longer than I have, says that the soles wear out way before the uppers. This is a shame since they can’t be resoled. This same reviewer says that towards the end of their life, they start to develop a squeak. Regardless, fans of the White Ledge prefer buying a new pair every few years over buying expensive resoleable ones, since resoling costs money too.

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The reviews on its break-in period are different all over. Some say they’re immediately comfortable, as they are for me (at least for under two hours of wear). Some say it takes a month or more. It’s likely that many people aren’t choosing the right size since Timberland has a reputation for running big.

Sadly, there are too many reviews out there complaining about how the White Ledges aren’t as waterproof as they like. As mentioned, I consider these boots somewhere in between a stylish casual shoe and rugged work boot, so I think it’s waterproof enough. 

The complaints are likely from people using the White Ledges for intense nature outings. However, I believe the criticisms are still 100% justified since Timberland boasts hard about the White Ledges’ waterproofness, even packing the boots with a very proud note on the matter.

Timberland White Ledges waterproof note

Timberland White Ledge Alternatives

Ariat Terrain

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The Ariat Terrain boot is similar in price and style as the White Ledge. It has a thick but not bulky silhouette, and a cool multi-surface topography.

The lacing system is a mix of punched eyelets and loops from the leather uppers, for a flatter, hardwareless surface. The Ariats definitely aren’t as industrial as the Timberlands in that sense, but they’re similarly sectioned-off aesthetic ensures they still look plenty rugged.

Another difference is that, with the Timberlands, you get extra support with the padded ankle-length collar. With the Terrains, support comes from the ATS insole system and forked shank. This technology makes them way more breathable too.

The Timberlands provide better traction and ease of motion, because of those lugs I’ve raved so much about throughout this review, so they’re better with uneven ground.

Between the two, go for the Ariat Terrains if you need more ventilation and ergonomics on the function side, or a flatter shape and less ankle coverage on the style side.

Ariat Terrain Hiking Boot

With its thick but not bulky silhouette, and sleek multi-surface topography, the Ariat Terrain offers plenty of ventilation and ergonomics in one stylish hiking boot package.

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Danner Trail 2650

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The Danner Trail 2650 is more expensive than the White Ledges, which is fully justified. The Danners are equipped for more intense distance hiking thanks to their Vibram irregular treads and 100% waterproof lining. On top of that, they’re even lighter in weight than the Timbs.

So why choose the White Ledges? Price aside, the Danner Trail 2650s have an almost sneaker-like build about them, which contributes to their lightness. It’s a fashionable athletic style, but definitely less rugged than the metal speed hooked, leather-built Timberlands. So when it comes to aesthetics, it all boils down to what it is you’re looking for.

Yes, the White Ledges offer great value. If you’re a serious hiker though, the Danners are the more practical choice.

Danner Trail 2650

This boot is loaded with features like an external heel counter, 100% waterproof Gore Tex lining, and Vibram’s irregular tread soles, which can tackle any terrain with ease. Plus, it's super light. If hiking is your hobby, you’ll love the Danner Trail 2650.

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My Overall Thoughts on the Timberland White Ledge

What I Like

  • The White Ledge sports a rugged but velvety nubuck leather design, with a thick silhouette that isn’t overly bulky, making it a versatile casual shoe.

  • The lugged rubber sole is strong enough for hobby hiking, soft enough for city streets, impressively slip-resistant, and offers excellent motion.

  • The combination of speed hooks and d-rings make the lacing flexible yet sturdy, while adding to the robust aesthetic. 

  • The padded collar and lightness in weight provide comfort and coziness. 

What I Don’t Like

  • They aren’t well-ventilated and are noticeably warmer than other hiking boots.

  • I’m not able to walk more than two hours without major and lasting soreness.

Who is the Timberland White Ledge for?

The Timberland White Ledge is a perfect choice for outdoor hobbyists and those looking for a casual shoe or winter boot with a rugged look. If you’re looking for a bang-for-buck hiking-style boot around the $100 range, these are for you.

The Verdict

I may not be Davy Crockett, but I’m definitely off the grid more often than the average city dweller—more than the average suburbanite, even. The Timberland White Ledges are strong and handsome boots for guys like me, whose outdoor experiences aren’t limited to one or two camping trips a year.   

No, you can’t go hundreds of miles in them, and no they aren’t as perfectly waterproof as advertised, but few would say they’re impractical. 

Moreover, call me shallow, but I also want my boots to look like tough-guy boots. So while a Danner-style sneaker-like hiking boot is more practical and innovative, the fact I’m not an actual survivalist or distance hiker gives me room to give a little more priority to the aesthetics.

The White Ledges are stylish enough and offer enough protection and function for the town and country lifestyle. Add value for money to that mix, and I say the White Ledges are a good bet, if that balance is what you’re looking for.

Timberland White Ledge

The Timberland White Ledge is a versatile hiking boot, robust enough for outdoor activity, while still lightweight and stylish enough as a casual urban shoe. Its slip-resistant and agile rubber sole, velvety nubuck upper, and supportive padded collar offer great value for money, especially since these are one of Timberland’s lower-priced offerings in the category.

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FAQs

Are Timberland boots good for walking all day?

You can walk in them for extended periods, around two to three hours, but the comfort isn’t long-lasting enough for distance hiking.

How snug should hiking boots be?

To account for swelling, you should be able to fit one finger between the back of the boot and your heel. Anymore and it’s too big, and less and it’s too small.

Are Timberland boots good for work?

Because of their balance of comfort and protection, Timberland boots are a good choice for labor-intensive work. They come as plain toe, steel toe, and moc toe boots, so it’s important to consider what kind of protection you’ll need on the jobsite.

3 Things Every Boot Wearer Should Own

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