You don’t have to be an extreme outdoor person to know the two brands that we are going to talk about today, Timberland and Dr. Martens, and their popular boots.
Not only that, but you have also probably owned one or the other, or both, at some point in your life.
While we have usually focused more on outdoor activities that can be considered sports or hobbies, such as hiking, climbing, trail running, backpacking, today’s comparison will be all about boots that are more for work or daily wear (even though Timberland offers a few hiking shoes too).
As an example, think about those who wear these boots in the city in winter as fashion items that keep them warm, but also those who work in the woods and in rural areas that need durable shoes.
As a curiosity, these were the “cool boots” when we were, well, let’s say younger.
These boot brands stand for much more than being popular and cool. Even with the competition from other brands that they have to face nowadays, they still stand as two of the top outdoor boots brands.
This is largely due to their impeccable quality and outdoor-friendly design from soles to stitching.
So, how much do you really know about these brands? What about their products, materials, and prices?
And also, when it comes to Timberland versus Dr. Martens, which brand would be the better choice?
Well, let’s take a look and try to find out!
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A Short History of the Brand
Established in the US in 1952 by Nathan Swartz, who bought 50% of the then Abington Shoe Company, the Timberland brand was born.
He eventually bought the remaining shares and turned it into the Timberland brand we know today.
The brand is known for its footwear, apparel, and accessories, specially designed to withstand the elements for the outdoors lovers.
Not only that, but they are also pretty established as a fashion brand, worn by many, including celebrities. For example, rapper and producer Timbaland got his stage name thanks to the brand.
Materials and Manufacture
Timberland boots are manufactured using quality materials for every part of the boot.
The upper has many variations, from heavy-duty leather to fashionable suede, not to mention the famous nubuck which is a mix of both.
In addition, the durable rubber soles come in a variety of colors designed to withstand tough weather. They are both waterproof and have a strong grip.
The inner lining is made of soft hide, which helps avoid the painful new shoe break-in period.
All of this is brought together with the perfect nylon stitching that is anti-mildew and rot, making them suitable for all kinds of weather.
Whether you are getting them for hiking or just for simple everyday use, you will find a pair that suits you.
It is worth noting that the Timberland company strives to reduce waste and uses recycled materials for their products.
They also make sure to only source leather from tanneries that follow the best environmental practices and rated by the Leather Working Group (LWR).
Let’s take a look at some top sellers from Timberland. We will do the same for Dr. Martens later in this article.
Timberland Men’s 6-Inch Basic Contrast Collar Boot
Pioneers in workman construction boots, 1973 saw the birth of the iconic Timberland yellow boots.
These boots are made of nubuck leather with rubber lug outsoles and will stand out with any outfit, especially if you get the wheat-colored variation.
If you are looking for a more subtle option, they are also available in black.
Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot
Another Timberland bestseller is this waterproof ankle boot. It comes in different colors and is designed for hiking.
It also has a dual-density EVA footbed for more comfort, which you can remove if you want.
Timberland boots have a wide price range, though they are considered to be in the higher bracket price-wise. They start at around $80 and go up to $250, sometimes even higher depending on where you are buying them from.
Are Timberland Boots Worth the Price?
We believe that yes, indeed they are. They are high-quality, durable, and stylish, so you will be getting your money’s worth wearing these boots for many years.
2. Dr. Martens
A Short History of the Brand
Dr. Martens boots were first designed by an actual Dr. Maertens! But, they weren’t really the Dr. Martens boots we know today.
It was 1945 in Munich, Germany, and Dr. Klaus Maertens, a soldier, was suffering from a broken foot. To ease his pain, he designed a one-of-a-kind air-cushioned sole. This was sort of revolutionary at the time, compared to all the hard-soled shoes.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact time this brand originated. Was it in 1947, when Dr. Maertens started producing those shoes with his partner?
Or later in the 1960s, when the Griggs company noticed these new innovative shoes and after acquiring the license and making a few changes, started to mass-produce them in the UK?
We can’t tell you that, but one thing is for sure, these boots went from simple work-wear boots to an urban staple and cultural icon for the young generation during the 1960s and 1970s.
And it didn’t stop there, the Dr. Martens boots continue to be a symbol of innovation, uniqueness, and creativity to this day.
Materials and Manufacture
Dr. Martens’s boots are available in many materials: leather, canvas, and others. They employ the air-cushioned sole (AirWair technology) that they were originally famous for, and are also anti-slip.
Known for their simple design with the iconic yellow stitching, these comfortable boots will easily pair with any outfit.
The company follows strict environmental rules when it comes to production, and is also a member of the LWR. They use 100% recycled packaging and always aim to employ practices that support product sustainability without affecting the environment.
In addition, they also strive to reduce their carbon footprint. They employ energy-saving technologies at all their factories, warehouses, offices, and retail outlets.
You can read more on their website here.
By Dr. Martens we have picked:
Dr. Martens 1460 Original 8-Eye Leather Boot
The 1460 Original boot is available in all kinds of materials, leather, synthetic, and even a mixture of both.
Not only that, but you can also choose from over 20 colors and designs. From simple black to cherry red, you will find one that matches your unique style.
Dr. Martens Women’s Leona Boot
The Leona boot is another favorite, with its vintage style leather design. It comes in 2 colors black and brown.
It also comes with the durable Dr. Martens sole technology which is air-cushioned.
These boots are available at various prices, depending on style and where you are buying them from. They usually cost from $80 to $200.
Are Dr. Martens Boots Worth the Price?
Dr. Martens air-cushioned soles make these boots unique. Not to mention the quality materials and distinctive design the Doc Martens boots are known for.
With all these qualities we can only answer: Yes, they are worth it.
(Dr. Martens 1460 Leather Boot)
3. Which Brand is Better?
So which brand made it across the finish line first? This was a pretty hard one, to be honest. Both Timberland and Dr. Martens are market leaders that have the word “quality” adjacent to their names.
So, if we were forced to choose we would say that, if you are looking for a more durable pair of boots and don’t mind paying a couple of extra dollars in some cases, go for a pair of Timberlands.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a more comfortable pair of shoes that are versatile, Dr. Martens are probably the ones for you.