Timberland Work Boots, which also go by their adopted urban nickname, “Timbs” have came a long way since their first release back in 1973. Timberlands were one of the first waterproof leather boots of their kind. Incorporating premium full-grain leather, heavy lug soles, and quality craftsmanship, the shoe was destined to become a classic.
Originally designed to serve hard working construction crews in New England, this iconic boot was created with functionality and quality workmanship in mind rather than fashion or trends. It was its authenticity that would ultimately come to appeal to the fashion world.
Already known for its quality handsewn boat shoes throughout Europe, the Timberland brand began to expand across the continent as distributors attended shoe shows, displaying this nubuck leather boot, the likes of which no one had ever seen before. Soon, the distrinctive yellow boot could be found in high-end stores throughout Italy, the UK, and Germany. By the mid-1980s, the Timberland boot was fully embraced by Italian popular culture.
In the early 90’s these boots were catching the eyes of urban consumers in New York City, including bootleggers and people selling illegal merchandise. The shoe stood out to them because they needed something heavy-duty as well as eye-catching and unique to fit their lifestyle.
As the style grew popular throughout the street corners of New York City, it wasn’t long until rappers were following suit. “Timbs”, as they came to be called, became even more popular when they were seen on the feet of famous musicians of the 90’s music era such as Biggie, Tupac, Aaliyah, Mobb Deep, and more. Since the 90’s Timberland has embraced their role as the boot associated with the hip-hop counter culture. High profile entertainers are still wearing Timbs to this day – artists that include Drake, Rhianna, Chris Brown, Kanye West, and more.
To this day the Timberlands brand continues to establish itself as a symbol of individuality and authenticity. Their collaborative projects with artists around the globe has made them a stand-out icon among shoe brands. Collborations such as the Boroughs Project:
“Envisioning the boot as a canvas was at the core of the Boroughs Project in New York City. In 2007, jeffstaple recruited five celebrated local artists, one from each of the New York City boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens. Four of the submissions featured interpretations of the yellow boot. In the ultimate expression of authenticity, each of these artists designed a boot that best represented their neighborhood and their artistic medium. The result was a stunning collection of 6″ boots that are uniquely New York.” (http://www.timberland.com/yellow-boot.html)
From artistic medium to reliable go-to, it is undeniable that Timberland has created a shoe statement that has swept the globe since the beginning. And this iconic shoe isn’t likely to be going anywhere soon.