Our verdict

If you want an outdoorsy pair of boots without the bulk of typical hiking footwear, we firmly believe that the Sprint Trekker from Timberland is very worth considering. We instantly fell in love with the boot’s elegant leather upper and snazzy eyelets. What's more, it feels super light on the foot! As long as you think of it as a hiking-inspired sneaker for casual and easy-going trips, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Pros

  • Beautiful aesthetics
  • Very light for a leather boot
  • Hard-wearing rubber outsole
  • High-quality nubuck upper
  • Deep lugs and great grip
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not a proper hiking boot
  • Narrow restrictive toebox
  • Lacks breathability

Audience verdict

83
Good!

Who should buy

The Sprint Trekker from Timberland is a fantastic blend of eye-catching form and trail function. We bet you'll enjoy this Timbs boot if you are after the following:

  • a casually styled boot that can go from the trail to a coffee shop, bar, mall, etc.
  • a lightweight pair of leather boots
  • non-rugged footwear for hard-packed terrain with mild inclines

Timberland Sprint Trekker review

Who should NOT buy

If you are someone who needs lots of arch and ankle support in your footwear, we recommend the Timberland Euro Hiker instead. The boot is equipped with an unforgiving steel shank which makes the platform super rigid. This boot also has a taller and more padded collar which grants more ankle support.

And if you think you need a more functional hiking boot for long and challenging hikes, stay away from the Sprint Trekker. We insist on getting a boot like the Asolo Fugitive GTX instead.

Timberland Sprint Trekker lab test

Breathability

Wearing this Timberland boot in summer is probably not the best idea. Fully covered in nubuck leather, the Sprint Trekker felt quite toasty on our feet on a summer day.

There are no mesh inserts or ventilation holes to let the heat escape from the inside.

As you can see from our smoke-pumping test below, the air is only passing through the gaps between the tongue and the upper. On a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 is the most breathable, we rated the Sprint Trekker as 2.

Test results
Sprint Trekker 2
Average 1.6
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Outsole hardness

The Sprint Trekker was given an incredibly hard outsole rubber. Pressing our durometer against it returned one of the highest measurements we've seen in hiking boots - 92 HC!

Having lab-tested hundreds of shoes, we found that harder rubbers tend to have the longest shelf life. Thus, we have a good feeling about the boot. Its hard outsole will also resist the abrasion from concrete pavements better.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Outsole hardness
Test results
Sprint Trekker 92.0 HC
Average 87.7 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
81.0 HC
Outsole hardness
92.1 HC

Outsole thickness

We were also happy to find that the rubber layer is pretty thick. Our calliper shows 3.8 mm of thickness excluding the lug depth.

Sure, it's only a millimetre thicker than average but it will take longer to wear through that extra millimetre.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Outsole thickness
Test results
Sprint Trekker 3.8 mm
Average 3.0 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1.8 mm
Outsole thickness
5.6 mm

Weight

The Timberland Sprint Trekker boasts a pleasantly light weight for a boot that's entirely made of leather.

In a men's US size 9, we found that it comes in at 16.5 oz (468g) which is about 2 ounces lighter than average.

Wearing this minimal boot for multiple hours a day never feels like a chore.

Test results
Sprint Trekker 16.51 oz (468g)
Average 18.48 oz (524g)
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
11.71 oz (332g)
Weight
28.29 oz (802g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Looking at the amount of cushioning, it is clear why the boot weighs so light. Our calliper shows only 26.1 mm of stack height in the heel, which is a whole centimetre lower than average!

Timberland Sprint Trekker Heel stack

For that reason, we highly recommend wearing the Sprint Trekker for short hikes only. It simply doesn't have enough foam to buffer the impact if you plan to wear it from dusk to dawn while carrying a backpack.

Test results
Sprint Trekker 26.2 mm
Average 36.3 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
26.2 mm
Heel stack
46.9 mm

Forefoot stack

The boot's forefoot stack comes in at 20 mm which is also a little lower than the average. But it does give a more stable and grounded feel.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Forefoot stack
Test results
Sprint Trekker 20.0 mm
Average 22.5 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
17.0 mm
Forefoot stack
30.7 mm

Drop

Calculating the difference in stack heights, we got a drop of 6.2 mm. This is one of the lowest we've seen in hiking boots!

It means that your foot stays more parallel to the ground, and the heel elevation is barely noticeable. This setup delivers a more natural walking experience but lowers impact protection when stepping on the heels.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Drop
Test results
Sprint Trekker 6.2 mm
Average 13.8 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
2.6 mm
Drop
20.9 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Just like many other hiking boots, the Timberland Sprint Trekker has a slightly firmer cushioning.

Measuring the foam with a durometer, we got a reading of 28.8 HA which is exactly the same as the average.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Midsole softness

A squishy sole is the last thing you want to experience when going up or down the incline or navigating the rocks.

Test results
Sprint Trekker 28.8 HA
Average 27.1 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
15.4 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
53.3 HA
Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Difference in midsole softness in cold

If you intend to wear the boot when temperatures drop down to 30°F (0°C), we must warn you that the boot will get firmer. But luckily, it's nothing critical.

After keeping the boot in our freezer for 20 minutes, we repeated the durometer measurement. The result went from 28.8 HA to 33.6 HA, indicating that the foam got 17% firmer.

Comparing the results with other boots, we saw that the difference was just average.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Sprint Trekker 16.9%
Average 19.3%
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Insole thickness

The Timberland Sprint Trekker comes with a cosy Ortholite insole. It did a very nice job wicking out the moisture on our toasty summer hike.

Measuring the insert with a calliper, we found that it is 5.6 mm thick in the heel.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Insole thickness
Test results
Sprint Trekker 5.6 mm
Average 6.1 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
3.7 mm
Insole thickness
10.7 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

In our opinion, the Sprint Trekker is not the boot to consider if you need high levels of stability and support. In this regard, it feels more like an outdoor sneaker.

Torsional rigidity

Twisting the Sprint Trekker in our hands, it turned out to be way too flexible for a proper hiking boot. We rated its torsional rigidity as 3 out of 5, where 5 is the stiffest.

To make it clear, this was not a problem for our casual stroll on a manicured trail. But we can see how it would get wobbly on the more uneven ground.

Test results
Sprint Trekker 3
Average 4.3
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The same goes for the boot's heel counter. On a 1-5 scale where 5 is the stiffest, we rated it as low as 2.

It does have some stiffness to prevent the heel from slipping all over the place. But this heel counter is not sturdy enough to create a highly secure foothold for carrying a loaded backpack or paving your way through rocky trails.

Test results
Sprint Trekker 2
Average 3.5
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Finally, this Timberland boot proves its more casual-oriented design with a slightly narrower platform.

Measuring the widest part of the forefoot, our calliper showed 109.1 mm. Being only a few millimetres narrower than average, this already subtracts from the boot's overall stability.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Sprint Trekker 109.1 mm
Average 111.6 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
96.3 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
124.6 mm

Midsole width in the heel

In the heel, however, the widest part of the sole comes in at 92.1 mm. That's the same width as the average.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Sprint Trekker 92.1 mm
Average 87.9 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
71.7 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Timberland Sprint Trekker allows the foot to bend more or less naturally. Putting it through our stiffness test, we found that it requires 13% less force to bend than other hikers.

Based on our force gauge, it took 38.6N to bend the boot to a 90-degree angle.

Test results
Sprint Trekker 38.6N
Average 44.9N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
16.6N
Stiffness
84.7N

Difference in stiffness in cold

In low temperatures, do expect the boot's flexibility to go down. After 20 minutes in the freezer, we discovered that the Sprint Trekker required a force of 53.2N.

But the good news is that the difference in stiffness wasn't as drastic on this Timberland boot as it was in some other hiking boots. The Trekker got 37.7% stiffer whereas the average hovers around 50%.

Test results
Sprint Trekker 37.7%
Average 25.4%
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
100%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

For a casually styled boot, the Sprint Trekker features a pretty aggressive set of lugs. Measuring their depth with a calliper, we got 4.0 mm, only 0.5 mm thinner than average.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Lug depth

With their size and spacing, we believe that they make the outsole grippy enough for light mud and even some slush.

Timberland Sprint Trekker outsole

Test results
Sprint Trekker 4.0 mm
Average 4.2 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
3.0 mm
Lug depth
5.8 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

In our regular hiking boot size, the Timberland Sprint Trekker felt pretty tight in the toebox.

Measuring the widest part of the forefoot, we got 99.1 mm. That's a couple of millimetres narrower than average but is not as critical.

The real problem is the shape of the toebox itself...

Timberland Sprint Trekker Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Sprint Trekker 99.1 mm
Average 101.8 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
95.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
110.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

...it is extremely tapered! We don't even need a measurement tool to see how narrow it gets towards the toes.

But when we do measure the width around the big toe with a calliper, we get only 69.6 mm! That's about 7 mm narrower than average and is an absolute disaster for wide feet. We don't think that going even a full size larger will help the situation.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Sprint Trekker 69.6 mm
Average 78.4 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
67.6 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
91.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

There are no gussets on the tongue of the Sprint Trekker. We didn't have any issues with the tongue sliding to the side as it seems to have a pretty ergonomic shape.

Also, those gaps between the tongue and the upper appear to be the only source of breathability in this Timberland boot.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Sprint Trekker None

Comfort

Tongue padding

Despite the Sprint Trekker's minimal design, it didn't skimp on the tongue padding. We measured a good 11.3 mm of foam in the tongue which is the same as the average.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Tongue padding
Test results
Sprint Trekker 11.3 mm
Average 11.0 mm
Compared to 25 hiking boots
Number of shoes
5.9 mm
Tongue padding
22.3 mm

Heel tab

The pull tab is neatly embedded into the boot's leather overlay on the heel. It is stealthy but functional even though we didn't find it necessary.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Heel tab
Test results
Sprint Trekker Pull tab

Removable insole

For those of you who need a custom orthotic, the boot's default insole is easily removable. However, given the boot's narrow toebox, we cannot guarantee that it would fit.

Timberland Sprint Trekker Removable insole
Test results
Sprint Trekker Yes

Misc

Recycled materials

According to Timberland, the Sprint Trekker uses a durable ReBOTL fabric lining that's made with at least 50% recycled plastic. The idea behind it is that the non-biodegradable PET plastic bottles are recycled and turned into RPET yarns.