If there’s one thing that you can expect in the Pacific Northwest every fall, it’s the return of sloppy wet weather. That can pose a challenge for footwear, since it’s easy to ruin shoes in the muck or to opt to just put on my big, clunky hiking boots to make sure my feet stay dry. A stylish, in-between option would be ideal, and so when I saw the word ‘waterproof’ in the name of a new Timberland boot, I was intrigued.
Timberland Courma Guy Waterproof Boots Features:
- Premium leather uppers from a Silver-rated tannery
- TimberDry™ waterproof membranes
- Padded collars
- Linings are made from 50% PET (recycled plastic bottles)
- Laces are made from 100% PET
- EVA footbeds and midsoles
- Rubber lug outsoles
- MSRP: $180
An upgraded classic
One of the first noticeable things about the Courma Guy boot is that it bears some strong similarities to the iconic 6″ Timberland boot profile. The additions are pretty unobtrusive: there’s a new leather pull-on tab which adds a bit of functionality, and they added a stacked sole for a more street esthetic. What’s really important are the under-the-hood changes that Timberland is incorporating along the lines of their sustainability efforts.
A unique aspect of Timberland’s sustainability efforts that I want to highlight is their commitment to high-profile PR campaigns to raise attention for the environment. A key example came with their Nature Needs Heroes Campaign, which has highlighted musicians, entrepreneurs and influencers who are making a positive impact with an emphasis on the environment. This is coupled with their Urban Greening project which has so far made green spaces in Chicago, LA and New York.
As I’m trying to highlight a handful of lifestyle pieces that are awesome for around-town use but also have the credibility of some legitimate sustainability concerns behind them, Timberland easily makes the cut with their Courma Guy boots and their other innovative ways to draw attention to the environment. Now let’s talk about the actual boot!
As I mentioned before, the profile is very similar to the classic 6″ boot profile that we all love from Timberland. There are a few important things that go along with that, such as the ankle support and the bulky profile with a burly, lugged outsole. The material of the boot that I tested is nubuck leather. Nubuck is a type of top-grain leather (just meaning that it came from the outermost part of Bessy) that has been sanded on the outside to give a fiber-y finish to the leather. It’s durable yet soft. Nubuck has that suede feel to it but with more durability.
Beneath all that leather is a very solid foundation, namely the classic Timberland sole. This features their signature ‘Gripstick’ rubber with their signature heavy-lugged tread pattern. The sole is really terrific, and offers more than adequate grip in pretty much any urban setting imaginable. One gripe here is that the close-set lugs around the perimeter of the boot do tend to hold mud and rocks since they’re so tightly spaced. There’s a UVA midsole and footbed, which both offer somewhat unremarkable support and cushioning. These are ripe to be supplemented with a higher-quality insole if you’re going to be on your feet a long time. The boots are fairly comfortable right out of the box and they have good shock absorption; that said, the feel of the leather will only improve with time.
One of the key promises of this boot is the waterproofing. A major part of this boot’s waterproofness is the way that the sole is attached to the boot. This boot has the sole glued on, which forms a nice waterproof barrier. This will definitely offend some purists, though, who prefer a more traditional Goodyear welt. The trick here is that Goodyear welts are preferable in that they can be re-soled to extend the longevity of the boot; on the flip side, the glued sole is a good way to guarantee that your feet will stay dry. There are pros and cons on both sides, but it’s something to be aware of.
One thing to be aware of here is that, unlike the iconic 6″ boot, the Courma Guy boot is not insulated. There is, however, a waterproof membrane in the boot called Timberdry. Timberland promises that this is made with 50% recycled plastic, which is awesome. I have to say, in my testing it worked well – my toes never actually got wet despite plenty or walking in the rain and puddles. It’s worth noting, too that they fit true-to-size on me. I wear 11’s and the size 11’s that I tested fit just fine. I do have wider feet than average, so narrow feet my find these boots roomy.
To keep things clean
Investing in a nicer pair of boots ought to include investing in some solid leather care products. For me, that meant using Timberland’s nubuck cleaner (‘Renewbuck’), their dry cleaning kit and their ‘Balm Proofer’ finisher. I had a beautiful pair of Timberland boots a couple of years ago that I didn’t take care of properly, and now, unfortunately, they look like trash. So with this pair I’ve tried to keep them nice from the start and I think it is going to pay off. After about two months of wear in the mucky PNW fall, these still look very fresh after a cleaning.
- Durable construction in a very stylish package
- Comfortable to walk in with good shock-absorption
- Gripstick rubber sole is, indeed, super grippy
- Closely spaced sole lugs tend to hold rocks and mud
The Bottom Line: Timberland Courma Guy Boots
It’s easy to love the Courma Guy boots. They have been comfortable and stylish since day 1, which is really all we’re asking out of these boots. Beyond that, though, they’re also very well-constructed and promise a lot of durability in the long haul. With good leather care, these boots can last for many years and aren’t likely to go out of style anytime soon.
Buy now: Available at Backcountry.com