Friends, it’s autumn, and for me that means reviewing some outdoor lifestyle gear. As the climbing season has dwindled and the ski season looms, what could be more appropriate than ‘testing’ some gear made for urban adventures? No company is better suited than Timberland, and I’ve been sporting their stylish Bradstreet Mixed-Media Boots through the rainy PNW fall.
Timberland Bradstreet Mixed-Media Boot Features:
- Uppers are premium suede with full-grain
- Outsoles made from 15% recycled rubber
- Padded collars
- OrthoLite® footbeds provide long-term support, moisture transport and are antimicrobial
- Durable outsoles are made with 15% recycled rubber
- SensorFlex™ comfort system delivers support, independent suspension and flexibility
- MSRP: $120
These boots are made for style… and comfort:
Every guy needs a pair of good boots for the fall. The streets are too wet for approach shoes, but it’s not quite cold enough yet to pop on the normal winter mountaineering boots. Enter something like the Timberland Bradstreet Mixed-Media boot. They are a sneaker boot – literally, a boot with a sole like a sneaker that happens to fit like a sneaker. The result is a comfortable, stylish ride.
The Bradstreets are available in either full-grain, nubuck or suede depending on your preference. I opted for the nubuck since nubuck tends to balance durability and softness quite well. I’ve been very pleased with the look and feel of the leather. The boots were stiff when I first put them on, but it only took one day to quickly feel like old friends. So, A+ for comfortable leather.
The flip side of nubuck is that they can respond somewhat dramatically to water. The leather will absorb water from rain or puddles, swell and then shrink. This can ruin the look of the leather, cause premature wrinkling, and in extreme cases put strain on the glue or stitching that holds the boot together. The upshot is that these boots do need some maintenance; a leather cleaner and conditioner is a good baseline expectation for maintenance products.
The foundation of the boot is a simple rubber outsole that contains 15% recycled content. The tread design is none too aggressive; instead, it’s almost like an indoor running shoe. Very flat, and a bit treacherous on snowy or icy surfaces. The Bradstreet Mixed-Media is billed as a good boot for casual hikes, and I suppose that’s true – just keep it very casual. If the surface is muddy, the narrow gaps in the tread will quickly fill with mud.
I’m a bit skeptical of the claims of the ‘SensorFlex’ comfort system, too. It claims to be a three-layer suspension system that ‘flexes with every step.’ In my mind, good boots shouldn’t flex with every step; good boots are sturdy. And it’s true, if you’re on a rocky path you’ll notice all of the pokes and prods on the trail coming through into your foot. The upshot here, really, is just this – these are lifestyle boots that are game for a fun hike with friends up to the overlook, but you’ll be filled with deep regret if you take these guys on anything more than a mile or two.
With that said, there are some parts of the boot design that perform very well outdoors – the lacing system comes to mind. The simple, time-tested eyelets coupled with the thin, malleable leather help the laces pull the boot into a really comfortable and secure fit. It’s easy to customize the fit around the toe box and up through the ankle. The tall collar is too flexible to provide significant support, but the high lacing definitely helps to keep the boot on securely. The collar is padded, too, so it’s very comfortable.
- Very stylish – sneaker soled boots are the thing right now
- Lacing design is simple but effective
- Sole is cushy, if nothing else
- Nubuck leather is soft and durable
- Keeps the wet weather out
- Sole lets you feel rocks and roots
- Nubuck can shrink with water, or poor treatment – maintenance required!
The Bottom Line: Timberland Bradstreet Mixed-Media Boots
If you’re looking for a pair of fashion-forward boots for the fall and winter, look no further than the Timberland Bradstreet Mixed-Media boot. They’re very comfortable, very stylish and reasonably durable for seasons of use. Make sure you take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.
Buy Now: Available at Timberland.com