Bury me in these…
A while back on XXL, BILLY X. SUNDAY talked about rap music’s best sneaker styles and without question the classic wheat colored Timberland was second only to the Air Jordan. It was after further review I realized that because Jordan brand Nikes have sooooo many different issuances and colorways that the G.O.A.T. Hip-Hop sneaker has to the Timberland boot.
I don’t consider sneakers to be qualified simply as rubber soled athletic shoes. Sneakers are the shoes that Black folks wear to place themselves in a tribe. How many of us wear athletic shoes to do things that are athletic? Or even aerobic for that matter? So how many people wear the classic wheat work boot to actually put in work? Unless of course your job is to wear jeans and stand on a corner.
The classic heat Timberland is ubiquitous in urban neighborhoods during the winter and is considered by some to be a four season shoe when worn with shorts and a long white t-shirt during the summer. I have a pair in my archive that contain specific instructions to only be placed on feet prior to my burial in the Earth. It’s not like you can get more than four(4) crispy appearances with these shoes on before you get a random scuff or oil mark.
My favorite all purpose utility Timberland is the 3/4 field boot. I copped these ‘Chocolate Bars’ at the A.J. Wright in Hempstead for forty cent($40). These shoes are super comfortable and their medium height keeps your feet dry without the excessive leg commitment required from a higher shoe. They are also lighter than the the average work boot because of the airfoam core inside of the soles. The field boot is definitely one of Timberland’s signature styles, but they have hurt their legendary status in recent years by bastardizing the boots for urban consumption.
The appeal of Timberland since my youth has been the fact that these shoes were ridiculously rugged. I still own a pair of the original elephant skin 40 Belows. They were called the Iditarod superboot. Since then I have bought Timberland boots that were made to last. Shouts go out to JEFF and SID SCHWARZ for mailing me a pair of Italian crafted Tims for free. The best element of Timberland had been the design ethos that all you will ever need is one pair. You should recognize them for being environmentally conscious before it was a fad.
Timberland caught hell a few years ago when one of the founders made the statement that their boots weren’t made for people to wear standing on a corner. The carpetbagger Black leadership rallied around these remarks and called them code for saying that Timberland doesn’t care about Black people (no G DUBBZ). This was a low blow to the company that has already given millions of dollars to charity organizations that fund anti-poverty and anti-illiteracy movements. The truth is that Black people never bought Timberlands in the first place to stand on the corner.
Black folks are savvy consumers, but the so-called Black leadership likes to portray us as perpetual victims. Black people, along with white(gasp), originally bought Timberland boots because these shits are the most well made shoes ever and they were originally made right here in the United States. It pisses me off sometimes when everything related to Black people is either as victims or ne’er do wells, and then some loud mouth jig more than likely wearing a perm starts talking in rhyme about white racism.
I’m the last person here to make an apology for any corporation or person that is part of the plan for supremacy. Timberland just makes great shoes and they stand behind their work, and they gave a fuck about the environment before it was a fashion statement like a yellow fucking ribbon on your lapel. You don’t have to be like me and own twenty pairs of Timberland boots, because all you need to have is one pair, but if you don’t have any… You just might not be Hip-Hop.