BEARDS & BOOTS

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The lowest form of blogging is the “look what arrived in the post…” stuff, but I’ll do it here anyway, because it’s an object I’ve loved from afar for a long time. Timberland has cropped up here a few times over the last three years, but with it being their 40th anniversary and them and The Rig Out letting me get involved in the jumpoff for their Limited collection, it’s a good time to talk trees again. This wood box, (complete with a workboot lace and eyelet fastened copy of a hardback 100 page tribute to the original yellow boot) contained a pair of the World Hiker reissue. I know those who know will be tripping out over this one. All eyes will be on the return of the Super Boot aka the 40 Below (a classic from 1979) and the new Super 6″ addition to the pack — a GORE-TEX lined, Vibram soled version of the yellow boot (which I need in my life). But you know those boots well, right? The World Hiker is a 1994 classic that’s like 1988’s (the year that the Beef & Broccoli 5″ Waterproof Hiker first dropped) Euro Hiker on creatine supplements. Fairly light despite the imposing looks and surprisingly comfortable, this was a serious shoe in its day.

The World Hiker name is there for ease-of-use too, because this shoe started life as the top-line part of a four-shoe collection called World Hiker. As far as I know, this shoe is really the World Hiker Up Country Plus Backpacker (with some minor tweaks to the detailing) — the full load use part of the project — which was originally accompanied by the Up Country Hiker, the Front Country Hiker with GORE-TEX and the cheaper Front Country Day Hiker. From the custom-made carbon rubber Vibram outsoles to the technology involved, this was a state-of-the-art line, but the Up Country Plus Backpacker had the rubber rand for reinforcement, hinged forward and rear flex zones, gusseted, locking tongue and the multiple layer footbed that included materials with fancy names like Dri-Lex and Poron.

Now the shoe is made in China rather than the factories of Montebelluna in Italy, I assume that the GORE-TEX has gone and the Pittards buck leather has become a great quality full grain leather, but the shoe still retains its power — it’s still a D-ringed all terrain monster and the fit is better than most other boots on the market. The World Hiker elements symbols are present on the tongue too — wind for windproof a wave for waterproof, earth for anti-abrasion and the sun for temperature sensitivity. Salutes to Timberland for singling this one out for a return (only 1,973 pairs in line with the year the original Timberland boot arrived). Go visit here and read the Rig Out special for a little history of the boots in the collection and some pictures of dudes with beards looking serious.

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