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Jul 14, 2021 / Safety Toe Footwear, Slip Resistant Footwear

Are Timberlands Waterproof?

Are Timberlands good work boots? Absolutely. In fact, Timberland is famous for its boots’ rugged durability for work and outdoor lifestyle activities. But what first put theimberland brand on the map was its innovations in waterproof footwear technology.

Let’s break down where that technology stands today, including:

  • A detailed explanation of what “waterproofing” means for any boot, especially Timbs
  • An intro to Timberland’s best line of boots for waterproofing, including four top models
  • A guide to waterproofing or restoring waterproofing to your Timbs and other work boots

First, let’s dig deeper into the question above—many Timberland models are waterproof, but did you know that there is a dedicated line made especially for the most extreme use cases?

Which Timberlands Are Waterproof?

Waterproofing is one of the most important innovations in Timberland’s history. In 1968, the Shwartz family introduced an “injection-molding” waterproofing technique that allowed for some of the first leather boots in history that were fully waterproof.

To this day, many Timberland models carry some form of water resistance, if not outright proofing—but not all of them. The company uses only the highest-grade materials in this line, engineered for heavy, prolonged use in wet conditions.

For example, membranes are made of Gore-Tex or TimberDry, and all seams are protected. Rigorous testing sets these apart from other, non-PRO boots and footwear.

If you’re shopping for waterproof Timbs, chances are, you should opt for a pair of PROS. Timberland currently has men's Timberland PRO boots along with Timberland PRO women’s work boots so check them out!

What Does “Waterproofing” Mean?

A waterproof boot or garment is one that can withstand a high degree of exposure to water, such as heavy rain or even submersion. While this may seem like an obvious definition, not every product or item that gets referred to as “waterproof” has the same qualities.

Certain natural materials, such as leather, have a certain extent of water resistance built-in. Other materials, such as suede, often fare far worse in adverse weather conditions. Timberland footwear is no exception. For shoes and garments that don’t carry natural waterproofing, Timberland will often treat them with special applications to keep your feet dry as you work in the rain, snow, or in indoor wet conditions like in plumbing or basements.

 Find comfort with Timberland Pro footwear. Shop now!

Waterproofing, Repellency, and Resistance

Part of the confusion when it comes to waterproofing stems from the fact that there are several different levels of water resistance, with waterproofing being the highest.

Here’s the breakdown of water resistance in Timberland and other footwear, from the least to the most protective:

  • Water resistance – The capability to withstand limited exposure to moisture, water, and other liquids, such as from light rainfall, mist, snow, or spills wiped up soon afterward
  • Water repellency – The capability to withstand moderate exposure to water, snow, and other wetness, such as from heavier, sustained rainfall or even brief, shallow submersion
  • Waterproofing – The capability to withstand nearly all exposure to water and wetness without penetration, including the heaviest of storms and deeper submersion

Timberland PRO models tend to feature full-fledged waterproofing, whereas baseline Timberlands (and many other boots) may offer just water repellency or water resistance.

Top Timberland PRO Waterproof Boots

As noted above, the best Timberland products for waterproofing and resistance to the elements are within the Timberland PRO product line. One of the biggest differences between the PRO and non-PRO models is that the latter is designed for everyday, casual outfit use. The PRO lines, on the other hand, are designed specifically for heavy use by professionals such as construction workers in the field.

Timberland PRO boots are an outgrowth of the original, fully waterproof 1973 Original Yellow Boot that helped Timberland rise to fame. On the strength of the Yellow Boot and other waterproof work models, Timberland launched its PRO Timberland shoe line in 1999.

Let’s take a look at four Timberland classic PRO models offering particularly effective waterproofing, beginning with a new adaptation of the Original Yellow Boot itself.

Timberland PRO Direct Attach Waterproof

With the same basic silhouette as the classic Yellow Boot, the Timberland PRO Direct Attach adds robust waterproofing to all elements of the boot. Its uppers are designed to repel water and all traces of moisture, including tanning on the premium leather base materials and sealed seams.

The boots’ reinforced blown thermal plastic insoles are directly attached, as the name implies, which minimizes possible seams and creases and maximizes water protection. In addition, the Direct Attach features breathable, antimicrobial wick dry lining throughout the interior to cut down on another major source of moisture: sweat.

The Timberland Waterproof Boot is available in a wide variety of colors, with features like safety toes customizable to your professional needs or preferences.

Timberland PRO Boondock Waterproof

Ramping up the same work silhouette to its bulkier, maximum protective capabilities, the PRO Boondock line of boots offers greater foot protection and other features with its sealed membrane:

  • The fully waterproof membrane covers and seals the entire surface of the boot interior
  • The breathable material extends into the interior to keep out bloodborne pathogens
  • Reinforcement of toes and heels minimizes abrasion damage to the waterproof seal

In addition to these superior waterproofing features, the Boondocks also sports some of the most robust safety features of any Timberland PRO model (or any work boot), including:

  • Impact compression protection up to or exceeding ASTM F2412-11, F2413-11/, or I/75 C/75 standards for the safety composite or steel toe
  • Electrical hazard protection
  • Oil, heat, and slip resistance
Timberland PRO Flume Mid Waterproof

These boots take a very different stylistic cue than the Direct Attaches and Boondocks, inspired instead by outdoor activities rather than the classic work silhouette. Nonetheless, Timberland PRO Flumes offer the same waterproof construction on the uppers, along with many other work safety protections, such as electrical hazard protection and heat, oil, and slip resistance on the sole.

In addition, these boots feature other unique anti-moisture measures, such as the full-tongue gusseting that keeps out debris and other sources of moisture, as well as a seam-sealed cement construction to optimize water resistance without obstructing motion.

It can be hard to learn how to break in work boots but these shoes break in faster than many other PRO models, so you can start working in adverse weather conditions much sooner.

Timberland PRO Gridworks Waterproof

Finally, the Timberland PRO Gridworks have quite a different design and style than any of the prior three models. It features a wedge sole more commonly associated with fashion-first shoes without sacrificing any of the protection you should expect from a Timberland PRO boot.

In addition to the standard waterproofing features present on the other boots above, such as the Boondock’s membrane and all models’ sealed seams, the Gridworks also build in special protections for work in the most extreme elements. Heat resistance up to nearly 250 degrees Fahrenheit will protect your boots, even from boiling water. Plus, the added surface area on the sole paired with thermoplastic urethane construction makes for ideal traction.

How to Waterproof Any Timberland Boots

Whether you’re in the market for fully waterproof Timberland PROs or a water resistant or repellent non-PRO Timberland boot, there are several strategies you can take to reduce the threat of water and moisture on your work boots. This can extend the lifespan and efficacy of your PRO or non-PRO Timberlands’ waterproofing and, by extension, the boots themselves.

The first method involves minimizing the overall exposure to water for your Timberland boots. By simply not wearing them in the most adverse conditions, or by finding cover when working within these conditions, you reduce the amount of work your waterproofing has to do. Or, you can invest in covers for your boots, such as plastic shields or rubber gaiters, to keep them dry.

DIY and Store-Bought Waterproofing Techniques

The other, more involved method for adding or improving waterproofing / water repellency is to actually apply a homemade or store-bought application to the boots. Three applications are most effective:

  • Wax-based treatments, which take on the form of a brick and need to be heated before applied, concocted at home, or pre-packaged, like Sno Seal Original Leather Protector
  • For water repellency (but not full waterproofing), use oil-based and cream-based treatments, to be rubbed on at room temperature, usually using mink oil, such as Boot World Mink Leather Oil.
  • Spray-on water-based sealants also offer water repellency, like Burleigh’s Water Repellent, which offers quick installation but can fade away over a few wears and thus need to be re-applied often.

It is also important to know how to clean Timberland boots properly in order to maintain durability and ensure longevity.

For all these products, and more, Boot World is your first and best choice for a one-stop-shop.

Shop Waterproof Work Boots at Boot World

To recap from above: are Timberlands waterproof? Yes, most models are. But to be absolutely sure, you should stick to the Timberland PRO line of boots, which we carry here at Boot World.

We’ve revolutionized the rugged footwear marketplace with a special focus on work and outdoor lifestyle shoes. We offer a variety of waterproof options, from the Timberland brand and all your other favorites. You can even try on your boots before buying them at one of our many locations if you are wondering, “how do Timberland boots fit”? Plus, we have all the shoe accessories you need to make any boots perfect for wet wear conditions.

With prices you won’t find anywhere else, and free shipping on orders over $99, you’re sure to find your next favorite pair of waterproof boots at Boot World!

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Reviewed By:
Ed Stone

Ed Stone brings over 45 years of footwear knowledge and passion to his role as President of Boot World, a family-owned company and an industry leader in safety and occupational footwear. A second generation "shoe dog” Ed's footwear knowledge is unparalleled, serving as an informal advisor for some of the worlds largest footwear brands including Wolverine, Timberland PRO, and Reebok Works.

A lifelong Southern California resident, and ardent conservationist, Ed enjoys hiking and open water swimming.