- 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
- Not a proper hiking boot
- Narrow restrictive toebox
- Lacks breathability
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
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 Merrell Moab 3 Mid instead.
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.
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.
|Sprint Trekker||92.0 HC|
We were also happy to find that the rubber layer is pretty thick. Our caliper shows 3.8 mm of thickness excluding the lug depth.
Sure, it's only a millimeter thicker than average but it will take longer to wear through that extra millimeter.
|Sprint Trekker||3.8 mm|
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.
|Sprint Trekker||16.51 oz (468g)|
|Average||17.81 oz (505g)|
Looking at the amount of cushioning, it is clear why the boot weighs so light. Our caliper shows only 26.1 mm of stack height in the heel, which is a whole centimeter lower than average!
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.
|Sprint Trekker||26.2 mm|
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.
|Sprint Trekker||20.0 mm|
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.
|Sprint Trekker||6.2 mm|
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.
A squishy sole is the last thing you want to experience when going up or down the incline or navigating the rocks.
|Sprint Trekker||28.8 HA|
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.
The Timberland Sprint Trekker comes with a cozy Ortholite insole. It did a very nice job wicking out the moisture on our toasty summer hike.
Measuring the insert with a caliper, we found that it is 5.6 mm thick in the heel.
|Sprint Trekker||5.6 mm|
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.
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.
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.
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 caliper showed 109.1 mm. Being only a few millimeters narrower than average, this already subtracts from the boot's overall stability.
|Sprint Trekker||109.1 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.
|Sprint Trekker||92.1 mm|
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.
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%.
Grip / Traction
For a casually styled boot, the Sprint Trekker features a pretty aggressive set of lugs. Measuring their depth with a caliper, we got 4.0 mm, only 0.5 mm thinner than average.
With their size and spacing, we believe that they make the outsole grippy enough for light mud and even some slush.
|Sprint Trekker||4.0 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 millimeters narrower than average but is not as critical.
The real problem is the shape of the toebox itself...
|Sprint Trekker||99.1 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 caliper, 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.
|Sprint Trekker||69.6 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.
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.
|Sprint Trekker||11.3 mm|
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.
|Sprint Trekker||Pull tab|
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.
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.