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Timberland Garrison Trail Sneakers

Review: Timberland Garrison Trail Sneaker

A sustainably made and stylish waterproof trail shoe for everyday wear, travelling, hiking and running

Sneakers that are as technical as they are stylish? Yep, they do exist! The Timberland Garrison Trail Sneaker is a true all-rounder of a trail shoe that has all of your adventuring, travelling and activity needs well and truly covered. They’re also superbly comfortable, sustainably made and are rather wonderful looking, too!

Timberland Garrison Trail Sneaker: The stats

Best for:Travelling and adventuring, shorter day hikes, trail running, about town – a do-everything shoe
Weight:700g (350g per shoe)
Waterproof?:Yes, TimberDry™
Uppers:Suede and synthetic
Outsole:Rubber lugs with TimberGrip traction
Eco-conscious:50% recycled plastic waterproof membrane, sustainably and responsibly constructed suede, ReBOTL uppers and lining (fabric made from recycled plastic bottles)

Features of the Timberland Garrison Trail Sneaker

Outsoles

Trail shoe soleThe TimberGrip™ traction technology is robust and grippy, with extra-wide front and back soles for more stability. The soles are really sticky and provide great all-terrain traction.

The rubber lug outsole is thick and deep around the heel area for extra cushioning and comfort, but is more like a trainer/sneaker sole towards the front of the foot with a relatively shallow lug – this does, however, provide ample cushioning for walking and running, but perhaps not enough for a longer distance all-day hike.

Insole and midsole

running shoe insoleThe removable insole is simply molded with a basic instep for subtle but comfortable support. The midsole features compression-molded EVA-blend foam for extra cushioning.

Uppers

Sneaker toeThe Timberland Garrison Trail Sneaker features Timberland’s Timber-Dry™ waterproof membrane to help keep your feet dry. It’s made from 50% PET (recycled plastic bottles) and is fully seam-sealed beneath the first 4 laces. The upper two laces are not seam-sealed.

The upper fabric is made from waterproof suede ‘Better Leather’ from a sustainable tannery rated Silver for its water, energy, and waste management practices. The ReBOTL™ fabric lining contains at least 50% recycled plastic again – I love these credentials.

Laces

laces of shoesThe shoes feature a very simple and effective lacing system that allows for a good level of adjustability and variability across the whole of the shoe, depending on your tightness preference. The shoes haven’t come undone on me once, yet are quick and easy to undo.

Ankle cushioning

Ankle padding on running shoesThe slightly higher-cut ankle cushioning is more plush towards the front of the ankle, and even though it is a little lighter around the back, overall the ankle cushioning is very comfortable.

Pull on tabs

Shoe tabsThere are fabric pull on loops on the tongue and on the heel. I don’t find myself using these, but can see their benefit with cold hands or when the fabric is wet and muddy.


Timberland Garrison Trail Sneaker review

I’ve been looking for a new waterproof trail running shoe for a while. A tall order, considering what I want out of the shoe – I’m a bit of a ‘moon on a stick’ kinda gal when it comes to footwear. I’m looking for comfort, great fit, versatility, style, durability, waterproofness, all within a decent budget. So I jumped at the chance to review these Timberland Garrison Trail Sneakers, as on the tin, they sounded exactly like what I was looking for. At first glance online, I instantly loved the colours and liked the concept of them being more than just a trail shoe. They seemed to offer versatility as well as quality – something that is often not easily found in one shoe.

Their first outing was a lovely day hike along the Cornish coast – dry and sunny. I walked about 7 miles in them, which felt like a good enough distance to put them through their first paces. Wearing them around the house the day before, my feet were incredibly comfortable and the fit felt great; lightweight, supportive, nicely cushioned (almost bouncy), and roomy without being loose or slack in the wrong places. After 7 miles of coast path walking, I still agreed, for the most part, with my initial assessment the day before. The comfy cushioned but lightweight soles felt robust enough to give me underfoot protection on sharp rocky ground. My feet didn’t move around in the shoe at all – even though I had plenty of room around my toes, and my feet felt very well supported the whole time. My feet did, however, feel a little fatigued and were slightly achy by the end of the day. But I feel this is to be expected of any approach shoe worn for 7 miles straight.

The shoes’ second outing was an hour dune/beach run on a wet day – perfect for testing waterproofing capabilities and to see how the shoe would perform as a trail running shoe compared with a day of hiking earlier that week. Success. Aside from being super grippy in the rain and remaining waterproofed the whole time (even after being submerged in a stream), the shoes were so comfortable. Apart from my dedicated old faithful running shoes (which aren’t good on trails) these are by far the comfiest trail shoes I’ve worn. The super springy, lightweight cushioned soles really do add a spring to your step whilst feeling like they are absorbing a huge amount of impact from your footbed and ankle joint.

Trainers

Comfort and fit

My feet felt well supported going up or down hill, with very little movement within the shoe itself, even on the steepest sections of the trail. The shoes are accurately true to size, erring on the slightly wider side around the front of the foot, allowing for plenty of space around the toe area. These shoes are instantly comfortable with lots of support and cushioning, offering a snug but roomy fit.

Walking shoes on trail

Grip and stability

With excellent grippy soles that clean themselves easily on the move, or with a good bang after use, these shoes have performed well on all surfaces so far. I’ve yet to wear them through a winter, but on the mud, loose gravel and slippery rock surfaces I’ve walked and ran on recently, the Timberland Garrison Trail Sneakers have given me great confidence both on the ups and the downs. I did, however, find that, due to the oversized nature of the sole (it sticks out at the back and a little around the toe area), two or three times I’ve experienced slight mis-footing where the sole has caught on something that a narrower sole would not have. I think this is something that I’ve got used to overtime as I’ve adapted to a wider sole than those of my previous shoes. My ankles feel well supported and stable and there is no lateral movement inside the shoes, even on tougher terrain.

Protection

The toe bumper and heel piece, made from climbing rubber, make these shoes feel very protective in all the right areas. They are more robust and solidly protected than other trail shoes I’ve had, and definitely give me a comforting sense that they will last a long time, without the worry of the usual areas wearing and tearing over time.

Standing in a puddle in running shoes

Waterproofness

So far I’ve had no leakages or damp socks after wet weather outings. The Timberland Garrison Trail Sneakers are an excellent shoe for kicking around town on a really wet day, but on a soggy trail run, you wouldn’t want to immerse the shoe too deeply in a puddle as the inner waterproof sock is only stitched to ¾ of the way up the tongue. Beyond that, water can get in through the top two lace holes. Water repels off the suede like water off a duck’s back – seriously. It’s amazing to watch. Even after a long period of saturation, the waterproof outer fabric stays remarkably dry and doesn’t allow any seepage.

Woman running and standing

Versatility and style

I’ve used these shoes a lot over the last few summer months. Not just as a trail shoe and a lightweight hiking shoe, but also as a day shoe around Cornwall. I’ve used them for beach fitness sessions, for trips to National Trust gardens, coastal walks with family and friends, road and coastal path runs, quick trips into town, and as a general throw-on shoe when I’m nipping out for something. I’m always impressed by the instant level of comfort I feel every time I put the shoes on, and how they remain comfortable no matter how long I wear them for.

If you are super style conscious, you may love these shoes (they are very ‘on point’ with the current trend of wearing sneakers with loose jeans). If you are, like me, a little more ‘classic’ in your style (read: you are still seriously embedded in the skinny jeans way of doing things!), these shoes may feel a little bulky or chunky – something I’m slowly getting used to. But given a choice, I would still always opt for something a little more slimline and compact to wear as a casual shoe. I really love the colour mix of the shoes. They are fun, yet with a classy match of colours that really appeals to my ‘no more dark grey hiking gear’ approach to new kit these days.

The Timberland Garrison Trail Sneakers are very comfy as a running shoe but due to their waterproofness, my feet have occasionally got a little hot and tingly after about 45 minutes of none-stop running. This might be better in the cooler months of the year.

Trainers on rocks

What you love the most about them

The comfort! The colours. The versatility. The fit.

What you don’t like very much

For my personal taste, they are a little on the chunky side, even when used solely as a running or hiking shoe. This is absolutely not a deal breaker though, but something to consider if you want these to be your ‘everything’ shoe, to include pairing them with jeans or casual clothes.


Walking on coastal path

Verdict

My conclusion is that the Timberland Garrison Trail Sneaker is definitely a ‘one shoe fits all’ trainer. It’s a really great jack of all trades shoe rather than being particularly amazing at any one thing. This shoe would be absolutely perfect to pack for a summer adventure involving multiple disciplines requiring a mixture of footwear. It’s great for city sightseeing, day hikes, any running-based sports that you might fancy, knocking around the campsite, and wearing to the pub with a pair of jeans. In fact, the only other footwear that I would want to pack would be a pair of flip flops in the summer.

On top of being excellently versatile and comfortable, I am really impressed by Timberland’s commitment to producing more eco-conscious products. This is a huge pull for me when sourcing new kit, and it’s great to see a bigger more commercial brand like Timberland making waves in this direction.

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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About the author

author-janey

An athlete by nature, Janey can't help but throw everything she has at whatever pursuit she takes on, including her whole body, more often than not! Having represented GB at Ultimate on many occasions in the last 20 years, she now spends her 'downtime' trail running, mountain biking, surfing and exploring the Cornish coast where she lives. She's also partial to a spot of tennis, is a highly competitive spikeball player and is a rather talented musician.

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