Oi Polloi

Timberland have it (hand) sewn up

Published: Wed Apr 13 2011

What’s a menswear blog without some sewing shots eh? We were starting to feel a bit left out until we stumbled across these images from the Timberland archive…

The Timberland timeline began in 1952, when Nathan Swartz bought half of the Abington Shoe Company in Massacheusetts. Three years later he bought the other half and invited his sons into the fold, initially manufacturing shoes for other brands rather than through their own label.

This eventually changed in 1973 when the Timberland brand name was established. Having been the first to introduce the pioneering injection-moulding technology to shoe production, they began to specialise in manufacturing footwear that offered a waterproof guarantee.

The alliance between modern techniques and traditional footwear craft came five years later when Timberland created it’s first handsewn shoe. Hot on the heels of that (no pun intended) was their first boat shoe.

It is well documented that the chunky soled 3-eyelet mocc was popularised by the Paninari of Northern Italy in the mid 80’s, an appreciation that was mirrored here in the UK a few years later.

OiPolloi’s Nigel Lawson recalls his own Timberland experiences…

“I remember the Goretex boot being ‘the one’ in about 1990 or thereabouts. It seemed to be the graduation from the Kickers of Acid House, with Wallabees popular around that time too.”

“It was the boot and the low version that people seemed to favour, pairing them with stuff like Ball jeans and brands like Chevignon and Boss.”

“What’s mad is that when I first saw them in Hurleys I remember them being mega expensive, the dearest shoe I’d ever seen at about £105 I think. These days, the same shoe is £109 – which must make them a bit of a bargain!”

In addition to the familiar 3-eyelet moccs that Nigel talks about, we’ve recently taken delivery of the Newmarket Camp Mocc, a shoe that stands up alongside anything Timberland have done before, but does a slightly different job. It’s a great summer shoe with a flat sole unit ideal for padding about the sand or the street.

View OiPolloi’s Timberland selection here