When the Timberland Pro Steel Toe Logger Boots showed up on my doorstep I immediately knew they were onto something. These kickers are built like a tank—in fact, some tanks might just be jealous of the treads. The full name of this boot is Timberland Pro Rip Saw WP Steel Toe Logger Boot, but that’s a mouthful. Just know that they’re steel-toed, waterproof and built to last. The leather upper even the tongue are made with waterproof leather and treated with Ever-Guard. Plus, there’s a waterproof membrane underneath that keeps your feet dry gives them a comfortable surface to rest against.
Unlike the lightweight Helix boots we reviewed last year, the Loggers, while not heavy, are a serious machine-of-a-boot. The steel toe construction and leather upper are traditional in appearance, but the tongue sticks out beyond the upper and ends in what Timberland Pro refers to as a “kiltie”—a sort of sawtooth design that skirts across the top of the upper. It’s a nice design touch that sets the boot apart from more traditional designs.
We had a lot in store the the loggers. We were wrapping up renovation of two homes in a downtown neighborhood and there was plenty of work to be done. From drywall to kitchen cabinet installation to landscaping—these boots were going to be made for walking one way or another. I figured we logged about 20 miles in just the first week!
The Waterproof Steel Toe Logger Boot is designed for comfortable protection. It has a rubber Vibram outsole that is oil-, slip, and abrasion-resistant. Vibram outsoles were developed for climbing applications and are now a staple of the industry for many manufacturers. Vibram is also known for making those incredibly durable FiveFingers shoes for active users. The bottom line is that these boots—or the soles at the very least—are going to last you a good long time.
But a boot is more than just an outsole. Timberland Pro also built in a thick Goodyear leather welt which delivers a durable mechanical bond for the leather upper. The super-aggressive tread is tempered by an insole designed to absorb the shock of walking and distribute weight evenly throughout the inside of the shoe. A lot of this might be the particular design Timberland Pro uses for its steel shank. This is a piece of steel that runs down the middle of the boot, just above the outsole. It distributes the weight across the insole while walking and also provides a little extra protection from penetration from below (though not as much as a full steel insole).
Testing and Use
Testing boots is always an interesting endeavor. This time, I decided to put them in the hands…er, I mean, on the feet of Shawn Cook, a good friend who works at a local warehousing and freight shipping company. Shawn wore the boots daily for several weeks before I interview him for this review. And honestly, I don’t know how else you can review a boot. A few days with a work boot can be deceiving as they tend to break in over time. Contrast that with the pair of boots we gave to Shawn. Those were worn for an average of 16 hours per day as our trusty guinea pig…I mean, product tester, used them on his full time warehouse job as well as during his hours helping out volunteering on our inner-city home renovations.
Pro Tool Reviews (PTR): Shawn, tell me a little bit about where you work and what’s involved.
Shawn Cook (Shawn): The warehouse job at the carrier company where I work involves slinging around packages for hours on end. Basically that’s three to four hours a night on your feet—constantly walking, breaking down pallets of soap, and boxes of similar products that came in during the day. These products get split up into different orders, so the boxes on the pallets need to get broken down, sorted and routed to where they ultimately need to go. The rest of the night is typically taken up by driving a forklift, stacking pallets and arranging products.
PTR: And then your day ends and you go to sleep, right?
Shawn: Actually, I work nights and after so after a full workday doing that, I am fortunate enough to be able to put in some volunteer hours at a local inner-city ministry that’s renovating a couple homes right next door to me.
PTR: Wow, what kind of work is involved on the renovation project?
Shawn: On those houses we installed over 1600 sq. ft. of insulation, rebuilt some porches, did a ton of demo work and cleaned them up pretty good. Some of the work done involved going up into the open attic of a house. That meant a lot of crouching down and some awkward positioning of my feet.
PTR: What was your daily experience with the Timberland Pro Logger boots?
Shawn: Each morning, putting on the boots was pretty routine. They lace up easily, and while I used the standard holes going all the way up, the top of the boot has four pairs of quick lace hooks you could use if you want to make the job quicker. As for me, I don’t mind the slower process of lacing my shoes and I like a nice tight fit.
PTR: So after wearing them for such an extended period of time, what was your takeaway impression of the Loggers?
Shawn: They feel pretty good for a while, but after wearing them for a couple of days I did feel like they could have used a bit more padding on the insoles. They have a real stiff and rugged feel, which makes them really nice in terms of durability and protection, but the padding in the insulation of the shoes didn’t strike me as being very thick. Wearing them for 16 hours days, I could definitely feel them a bit at the end of the day. Of course, I’m really hard on my boots, so that may have some play in the response I’m giving.
PTR: Sixteen hour days is a lot to ask of a boot!
Shawn: I suppose so.
PTR: What did you like the most about the boots?
Shawn: I love the durability of them. I had a pair of boots that cost over $200 that I’ve been wearing and they wore out after just a few weeks. The stitching came all undone on the outer leather covering the upper. These boots seems stitched very well and even after three weeks they are really holding up well. They can also take a beating on the soles and the steel toe. The tread is real grippy, water runs off them like a turtle’s shell, and they are an easy boot to walk around in and climb in.