These two footwear manufacturers aren’t just famed in the world of boots; they are probably the most reputable boot companies worldwide.
They are the boot styles that anyone on the street recognizes. And considering that they’re both plain, round-toe boots, it makes sense that boots aficionados have asked for a detailed comparison. And so we did. How about we take a look?
Timberland Vs Doc Martens: What are The Differences
Timberland Vs Doc Martens: Aesthetics
For starters, we’re looking at the wheat Nubuck Timberland 6″ waterproof boot. These are available in a bunch of colors though the wheat nubuck is the most common. This leather is characterized by a slightly fuzzy texture from the fibers and is treated to enhance waterproofing.
The boots are about six inches high and quite bulky. They don’t look great with skinny jeans or slim pants- certainly not dressy by any stretch of the same kind. On the bright side, they are still versatile and can be worn in a variety of different styles.
Other notable features of this boot include the chunky, grippy rubber lug sole, known as Gripstick. It is also good to mention that these boots have a good grip. The leather collar comes in handy for extra insulation, while the iconic Taslan nylon laces add to aesthetics.
Doc Martens, on the other hand, dominate the market with their standard-issue 1460. It is one of their most popular boots and is manufactured in Asia. We didn’t go with the British-made Doc because we’re focusing on the most popular models. Besides, we’re in the days where such boots are made in Asia. In fact, only one percent of Doc Martens are still manufactured in Britain, according to a business insider.
It is a pretty uncomplicated boot. While Doc Marten markets them as “full-grain” leather, the material is smooth and super slippery. Indeed, the grain has been fully corrected out to produce shiny and relatively thin leather.
Unlike Timberlands, these Doc Martens boots are mostly single-stitched. They are not insulated at all and coming in at over 7 inches, these are pretty tall boots, meaning you might want to get yourself some nice long, warm socks if you’re planning to wear them during the winter. The toe is somewhat snubby, and the overall profile is a little blobby, meaning it doesn’t contour the foot that well.
One of the pros, however, is that these boots are slightly more streamlined than Timberlands and look better with slim pants and jeans.
The outsole is made with an inorganic rubber that’s incredibly soft and attached to the upper with bright yellow stitching. Perhaps that’s the most iconic aspect of the boot. It doesn’t have the stickiness associated with the new Timberlands. Not to mention that it’s a little more streamlined.
Overall, the biggest difference between Docs and Timberland boots at first glance is the leather: thin plasticky leather vs. insulated nubuck. One common thing about both brands is that neither of these are sophisticated boots.
Timberland Vs Doc Martens: Leather
As stated before, Timberland boots are actually made with Nubuck leather- a kind of buffed leather. Most people tend to assume it’s suede, which is understandable on the ground that suede also has a raised texture. However, it’s not. The main difference between suede and nubuck is that nubuck is a top grain leather (meaning it’s made from the top layer of the cowhide), while suede is derived from the inside of the animal’s hide.
Speaking of functionality, Nubuck is stronger and more durable than suede. It comes treated for waterproofing, which is great. It’s also brightly colored so that the boots truly stand out from any outfit. They can be a nice break from plain brown or black.
But be informed: one downside to this material is that it’s super hard, certainly not the easiest to keep clean. And although they’re waterproof, they pick up little stains all the time, and it’s actually the most frustrating thing about owning them.
Doc Martens, meanwhile, their semi-bright leather comes from either Asia or South America, which is a really large swath of the globe. But that’s all they would say when asked about the origin of their material. The leather is super soft with no traces of grain on the surface. People like to call that “corrected grain,” and it’s arguably a significant part of why these look quite plasticky.
Care-wise, Docs are easier to clean compared to Timberland. Just a regular polish, and you will be good to go. If you want to make them water-resistant, you might have to treat them with a product containing beeswax, lanolin, or coconut oil, for that matter.
Timberland Vs Doc Martens: The Outsole
The wheat Nubuck Timberland 6” waterproof boot, particularly, comes with a rubber Gripstick lug sole, which is made from 10% recycled materials, rubber midsole, and a urethane insole. The whole thing is topped off with a removable foam insert as far as the sole goes; no cork or leather to be found here. So don’t expect the sole to adapt to the foot soonest. However, there’s a steel shank that provides an agreeable bit of arch support.
Most people’s favorite part of Doc Marten boots is definitely the sole. It’s super soft and offers great shock absorption. After the rubber outsole, you get a cork material and a urethane insole. The only gripe is that there’s no shank, so the level of stability isn’t really the best. The pronounced yellow stitching looks like a Goodyear welt, but it’s actually made with a distinctive heat sewing technique that makes it really hard to resole them.
Timberland Vs Doc Martens: Fit
We read that these are true to size, but you might end returning some pairs and going down to half the size because it’s a pretty roomy boot. It’s easy to tell that it’s voluminous by looking at it from the side. A lot of people like the roomy fit of Timberlands due to its great arch support and excellent shock absorbency.
With Doc Martens, don’t expect half sizes. While this is pretty annoying, their boots mostly run true to size, though some might be better off with half the regular size, as a full size up or down can be way too much. Generally, Timberland boots have a pretty blobby, generic fit. The sole is super comfortable, and shock absorbency is on another level. The arch support, however, isn’t and doesn’t contour to the foot as you would expect.
Timberland Vs Doc Martens: Price
The price on both boots varies a ton since they’re so popular and promptly available on sale, Amazon, eBay, etc. They are both relatively and comparably inexpensive for a durable boot. If you hear people say they’re expensive, it’s probably because those people only wear sneakers.