TIMBERLAND® GREENSTRIDE™ FW21 [The history, innovations and Editorial by TECHUNTER]
In 1973 Timberland® introduced the Original Yellow Boot – a model that ensured the company's popularity among city dwellers and defined the style of work boots for decades to come.

Their innovative fusion - a waterproof upper combined with an injection moulded sole – is reflected in the modern continuation of the Timberland® shoe concept. The release of Greenstride™ technology continues to work with the company's heritage, while introducing new ideas of technological and recycled materials into the mix.
Editorial produced by TECHUNTER Media.

Layout: Alexander Zabelin [THM].
Words: Nikita Osaulenko [THM].
The Original Yellow Boot:
the beginning.

The Original Yellow Boot
has been a part of Timberland® product range for almost half a century. In that long time, these boots achieved absolute iconic status, received several upgrades, and been the subject of all sorts of collaborations in all corners of the world.

A big selling point for their time was their water resistance. This feature was favoured not only by commuters, but also by yachtsmens, military personnel and, of course, outdoor enthusiasts. How did the Original Yellow Boot manage to keep our feet dry for almost 10 years before the advent of the first GORE-TEX® membrane shoes?
The history of Timberland® is closely tied to the Original Yellow Boot, not least because of the insane popularity of the latter in the 1980s and 1990s. Historically, it is noted that the starting point for both boots and Timberland® is Nathan Schwartz's purchase of the Abington Shoe Company in Massachusetts in 1952. That said, in order to trace the timing and conditions of the origin of the branded footwear concept, one has to travel back to 1969 - the year the Abington Shoe Company moved to Newmarket, New Hampshire.

Newmarket, like the rest of New England, is a northern town in the full sense of the word. Weather conditions there are characterised by a high rainfall throughout the calendar year (up to 1500 mm), as well as a high snow cover – an average of 2.5 metres, easily exceeded during freezing winters. Add to this the rugged terrain of mountain ranges and lush forests and you can see why the inhabitants of these areas needed durable and waterproof footwear.
There were several things you could do to protect yourself from the water:
  • Firstly, around the 19th century it had been possible to coat shoes or trainers with vulcanised rubber. This technology had taken root in the famous Wellington boots, which were used extensively in expeditionary journeys and in armies around the globe.
  • Secondly, there was an alternative in the form of a variety of treatments based on vegetable fats, paraffin or oil.
Fun fact: mankind has been protecting our shoes against the elements since the 19th century - long before GORE-TEX® or even vulcanised rubber existed. During these times, oils, grease and wax have been applied to fabrics such as linen or cotton. An example of this is a newspaper clipping dated to 1835: "The following method of making waterproof leather at a very small cost will be invariably successful. Take one pint of oil, two ounces of yellow wax, two ounces of turpentine, and one ounce of Burgundy resin, thoroughly melt it over a slow fire; rub new shoes and boots in the sun or at a distance from the fire with a sponge as they dry, until they are completely soaked. The leather becomes impervious to moisture, the shoes and boots last much longer, become soft and pliable, and are thus the most effective remedy against cold and frostbite."
Rubber was and is the answer in humid weather, but the shoe stops being breathable at all. As a result, the foot doesn't breathe and that can lead to nasty outcomes. On top of that, it adds weight to the shoe.

For all these reasons, selecting nubuck as the material for the future Original Yellow Boot, and giving it an extra waxing treatment, was the most balanced choice. A material like nubuck is both highly resistant and breathable. This is due to its structure, which allows the inside of the shoe to breathe. Nubuck cannot be just taken and used as is for this matter – it requires careful preparation and processing. Thanks to polishing, raw material becomes much stronger and more durable than the same suede.

Nubuck also has one peculiarity – it is afraid of water. In general, materials based on natural leather can quickly fall into disrepair if they are not properly cared for. This is where the moisture-protection treatment technology comes in handy. Without them, leather can stretch from absorbing excess moisture and can also become dehydrated. That is highly undesirable, as an excess of water causes the natural oils, contained in the material, to wash out. As a result, the leather or nubuck becomes brittle and crumbles, and no longer possesses the elasticity that the natural oils imparted to it. For these reasons, the Original Yellow Boot's upper was really up to the challenges of the time.

However, even when a correctly assembled boot with caulked seams and wax seals is immersed in a cup of water, its other weak point, the outsole, will still let moisture in. This is due to mechanical stitching where the upper and outsole construction are joined, because the traditional way of joining parts was done using nails, screws, or threads. Once again, Timberland® used a very advanced technology of the time in the Original Yellow Boot.

Timberland® outsole design provided an airtight seal for several reasons. Firstly, Schwartz used a strobel design - after the name of the machine to join the upper and the instep. Secondly, by the time the factory moved to New Hampshire, Nathan Schwartz's family had already introduced injection moulding technology for the soles. The soles are injected into the finished product in a special mould in which the material – polyurethane, for example – melts at 200 degrees Celsius. Under pressure, the workpiece is lowered into the mould – thus the grommet joint between the upper and the instep is completely closed; a moulded sole is created, which prevents leaks. It was the intelligent use of these technologies that allowed Timberland® in 1973 to create several versions (8- and 6-inch) of boots, the functionality of which was appreciated by both ordinary citizens and professionals: military, workers, sailors. The technology didn't stand still, improving with each new version of the boots – that's what the new release of Greenstride™ technology is all about.
Greenstride™ innovation.

Timberland® has its identity firmly rooted in the forests and mountains of New England. Not surprisingly, the inspiration of nature can be seen in the company's latest designs.

Greenstride™ is part of Timberland's® initiative to shift production to full use of recycled materials. The program is based on the principles of a closed-loop economy, i.e. recycling resources. Timberland, for instance, aims to achieve a positive environmental impact by 2030 – giving more than it takes in.

The substitution of materials in production is far from an easy shift. Not all of them can yield the right amount of raw materials when recycled. It is for this reason that closed-loop production with current material usage can not yet offer a 100 percent recycling rate, so for a bright future this idea also requires a switchover to natural raw materials from regenerative agriculture.

Closed-loop production has been gradually introduced by Timberland® since 2007, when the first ever Earthkeepers® boots were released. They were made using recycled PET liners and soles made of recycled rubber. Timberland has set two specific, measurable goals to achieve by 2030: 100% of products to be designed for circularity, and 100% of natural materials to be sourced from regenerative agriculture.
Greenstride™ release continues to move towards improved technology within a slightly different paradigm – giving the user not only renewable footwear, but a very durable and functional one. Greenstride™ technology is based on a 75% renewable material derived from sugarcane and natural rubber. This composition allows the sole to return energy when on the move, and the Timberland® claims greater recycling efficiency. This means that processing and sorting times and costs are lower, than with previous sole technologies.

Innovations have also affected the upper of the shoes – now, in addition to the standard Timberland® waterproofness, they work with the Leather Working group to ensure production of responsible leather since 2005.
All the while, Timberland® has been increasing the amount of products made from responsibly produced raw materials. The new Greenstride™ boots are all rated at the silver level, the second of four possible, which is one of the highest ratings awarded by the Leather Working Group during the auditing process. The Leather Working Group bases its assessment on the use of prohibited substances, water use and energy consumption in the production pipeline.

Both models in the Greenstride™ release, GS EDGE and TBL ORIGINALS ULTRA, as well as other models from the collection (RAY CITY and SOLAR RIDGE) show generational continuity in terms of design with their predecessors.
GS EDGE is close in concept with the Original Yellow Boot: Its internal tabbed design, the use of treated nubuck as a base material, and its focus on versatile usage are all very similar to the ideas of the original 1973 release. It won't be out of place to mention that the uppers use ReBOTL™ technology, which uses recycled PET bottles; just like it did in one of the iterations of the classic 6-Inch released last year.

At the same time, GS EDGE provides user improved cushioning, greater ride comfort and lighter weight of the whole pair – 830 grams (both boots in 6 US size).
TBL ORIGINALS ULTRA is close in concept with the original
Earthkeepers®, released in 2007, from which it is customary to count back to the birth of eco-friendly manufacturing within Timberland®.

The silhouette itself has undergone significant changes in the meantime.
Most noteworthy is the redesigned sole, which now has a completely different type – a strobel instead of the welted one in the original EKs. This design makes the shoe platform lighter and more flexible, which definitely won't be out of place when you're active on rough terrain. Like the GS EDGE, TBL ORIGINALS ULTRA is outfitted with the new Greenstride™ midsole, as well as an impressive-sized outsole that will fit perfectly on unpaved trails.
And to keep bumps at bay, the boots feature Anti-Fatigue technology, a molded foam insole that features an inverted cone pattern that absorbs shock and returns energy with every step.

Complementing the TBL ORIGINALS ULTRA's environmental protection is TimberDry™ membrane fabric, which keeps the user's feet dry even in the pouring rain.
Greenstride™ is thus a global campaign, dedicated to Timberland® long heritage of innovation and footwear manufacture. This is reflected both in the use of long-established material and design practices, as well as in their refinement in line with modern manufacturing standards, which is aiming for the new frontiers for the brand and the global industry as a whole.

Head over to Timberland's® official website or their offline selected retailers to grab your pair and check more images from our Greenstride™ FW21 editorial by TECHUNTER Media below.
Produced by TECHUNTER Media.
Photography/direction: Ivan Dzhatiev [THM].
Photography Assistant: Vasilisa Mityaeva.
Producer: Alex Zabelin [THM].
Producer Assistant: Kseniia Sharapova.
Stylist: Polina Zhuravkova.
Make-up/Hair: Vladlena Kramer.
Models: Klara, Laran.
Location managers/assistance: Alex Stepanov, Denis Samsonov.