Keen vs Timberland: Head-to-Head Comparison in 2024

Written By Sunny

Ever since I started adventuring, I had a dilemma as to whether these shoes would hold up to the end of the journey.

So, I began searching for high-quality and the most durable boots. After all my findings and testing, two brands came at the top. And they are none but the Keen and Timberland.

I went on many adventures with these shoes over the years and never felt worried about the shoes’ construction or performance.keen-vs-timberland

Today, I will compare Keen and Timberland so that you can choose the right brand for adventure and regular use.

So, let’s begin.

An Overview of Timberland and Keen Boots Brand

The Timberland and Keen are widely popular and famous in the market for their impressive build quality and ability to blend with modern appearances.

Both make excellent footwear, but their boots are the most popular among them. Before we head into their detailed comparison, let’s learn more about the background history of these companies.


Timberland has a long history in the past. It originates from the Abington Shoe Company, founded in 1933 in South Boston, Massachusetts.

Nathan Swartz bought a 50% share of Abington in 1952 and established his authority. Later, he and his son acquired the rest of the partnerships and entirely owned the company.

In the 1960s, they started making specialized shoes and boots for other companies.

The company moved to Newmarket, New Hampshire, in 1969 and focused on making waterproof shoes with new technology.

They brought the Timberland boots in 1973, and they became widely famous.

Abington stopped making shoes for other companies and started to expand on their own.

In 1978, the company was renamed The Timberland Company and became public in 1987.

They signed a definitive takeover in 2011 with the VF Corporation at approximately $2 Billion.

It gained a lot of popularity over time for its comfortable and waterproof shoes with impressive style and appearance.


Keen, also known as KEEN, is an American apparel company established in 2003 by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst.

The brand came into the spotlight with its famous scandal, Newport, in 1999. They ultimately found a new niche to work into and expanded their invention.

It was primarily founded in Alameda, California. But in 2006, they moved the headquarters to Portland, Oregon, located in the historic Pearl district.overview-of-keen

Keen started their journey in CA with a five-story building. In 2010, they opened a new plant beside the headquarters to manufacture the shoes for the United States.

The company is well-known for its social work and helping in disasters.

The boots, shoes, and scandal made by Keen are very popular to country-side people in the US and all over the world.

Targhee, San Jose, and UNEEK are the most selling models by Keen in the market.

Its build construction, longevity, and waterproof capability make it one of the exceptional brands for all-season wear.

Feature Comparison between Keen and Timberland

Keen and Timberland make some of the best shoes in the market. They compete with the more prominent brands in the boots and high shoes segments.

Let’s learn about the company from the concise table below.

Origin/ HeadquartersPortland, Oregon, United StatesStratham, New Hampshire, United States
Year Established20031952
FoundersMartin Keen and Rory FuerstNathan Swartz
Brand VisionTo bring people together, look for each other, and take care of the planet.Using the products to solve growing problems of the world like climate injustice and responsible manufacturing.
SloganLife is KeenDon’t wear it. Use it.
Product LinesHiking boots, work boots, sandals, sneakers, casual shoesWork boots, hiking boots, casual shoes, apparel
Target AudienceOutdoor enthusiasts, hikers, workers in demanding environmentsOutdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, eco-conscious consumers
Popular ProductsTarghee hiking boots, Uneek sandals, Utility work boots6-Inch boots, White Ledge Waterproof, Mt. Maddsen

Key Differences between Keen and Timberland Boots

Keen and Timberland are top companies in the boot market. They produce impressive shoes for hiking, working, and casual purposes.

Both brands use their own unique technology to surpass others in the market.

Undoubtedly, these companies make one of the best durable and protective shoes, but among them, which brand comes at the top?

Let’s find out in a head-to-head comparison between Keen and Timberland from below.

Here are the key differences between Keen and Timberland:

1. Product Offering

Both companies have various lineups for shoes and boots. Some of the products from these categories are widely popular, for example, Targhee, 6-inch, etc.

Let’s learn about the category, popular products under them, and their noticeable features from below.


The Hiking Boots are the most popular from Keen. Apart from that, they make work, walking, casual, and waterproof shoes for regular usage.

CategoryFeaturesPopular Products
Hiking ShoesRugged construction, Waterproof technologyTarghee, Voyageur, Ridge
Work ShoesCarbon fiber, Waterproof technologyKenton, Cincinnati, San Jose
Walking ShoesLeather, KEEN.CURVE, WaterproofWK450, WK400
Casual ShoesEco Anti-OdorUNEEK, Hyperport, Barbados
Waterproof ShoesWater resistanceWaimea, Yogui, Drift


Timberland offers a vast range of products. All the shoes are highly durable and made with various safety features.

CategoryFeaturesPopular Products
Hiking Boots & ShoesLeather, EVA midsole, Impressive tractionGreenStride™ Motion 6, Mt. Maddsen, Maple Grove Sport
6 Inch BootsWaterproof, Leather, EVAPremium 6-Inch, Classic 6-Inch, C.F. Stead™ Indigo Suede Heritage 6-Inch, Originals 6-Inch, Heritage 6-Inch
Winter BootsWaterproof, InsulatedMt. Lincoln, Converge, Chillberg,
Field Boots & Euro HikersWaterproof, LeatherEuro Hiker, Waterproof Field Boot, 6-Inch Waterproof Field Boot, C.F. Stead™ Indigo Suede Euro Hiker Boot
Sneakers & Sneaker BootsReBOTL upper, LeatherGreenStride™ Motion 6 Slip On Sneaker, Maple Grove Chukka, Winsor Trail Mid
Shoes & SlippersNubuck leather, LeatherMendon Peak Shearling Venetian Moc Slipper w/Nubuck Collar, Maple Grove SneakerPine Hill Flannel-Lined Clog
Boat ShoesPremium Horween® leather, EVA midsole3-Eye Lug Handsewn, Classic Two-Eye, C.F. Stead™ Indigo Suede 3-Eye Lug Handsewn,
Sandals & SlidesReBOTL™ fabric upper, Lightweight EVAGarrison Trail Webbing-Strap, Get Outslide
Waterproof FootwearWater resistancePremium 6-Inch Waterproof Boot, Mt. Lincoln Waterproof Insulated Boot, Converge Waterproof Boot, Vibram Boot with GORE-TEX Bootie, Classic 6-Inch Waterproof Boot, Mt. Maddsen Waterproof Mid Hiking Boot, Redwood Falls Waterproof Moc-Toe Boot
ChukkasLeather, Traditional handsewn construction, Rubber outsoleAuthentic 7-Eye Chukka, Maple Grove Chukka, Premium Waterproof Chukka, 1973 Newman Waterproof Chukka Boot, GreenStride™ Atwells Ave Waterproof Chukka Boot
Work ShoesElectrical hazard protection, Leather, Water resistanceDirect Attach 6" Waterproof Work Boot
Work SneakersReBOTL upper, Electrical hazard protection, PRO® FLEX TechnologyTimberland PRO® Setra Athletic Work Sneaker,
Composite Toe Boots & ShoesAnti-Fatigue Technology, Premium Timberland® full-grain, Asymmetrical composite safety toeTiTAN EV 6" Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot, Timberland PRO® Endurance EV 6" Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot, Timberland PRO® Powertrain EV Composite Toe Work Sneaker, Drivetrain Composite Toe Work Sneaker
Steel Toe Boots & ShoesAsymmetrical steel safety toe, Direct-inject construction, Electrical hazard protectionDirect Attach 6" Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot, Direct Attach 8" Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot, Gritstone 6" Steel Toe Work Boot, Rigmaster Pull On Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot
Soft Toe Boots and ShoesStable Stride™ technology, Premium Timberland® full-grain upperIrvine 6" Work Boot, Hypercharge 6" Waterproof Work Boot, Pit Boss 6" Work Boot, Wedge 6" Work Boot, Ballast 6" Work Boot
Alloy Toe Boots & ShoesAsymmetrical alloy safety toe, Steel shank, Abrasion-resistant Ever-Guard™ leatherBarstow 6" Alloy Toe Work Boot, Timberland PRO® Powertrain Sport Alloy Toe Work Sneaker, Gridworks 6" Alloy Toe Waterproof Work Boot, Irvine 6" Alloy Toe Work Boot

2. Target Audience

Keen and Timberland have very specific target audiences. They don’t compete with running shoes or sportswear like Puma, Nike, and Adidas.

Instead, they target countryside people and off-road travelers who need durability and safety features.

It’s a separate niche where Timberland and Keen reign supreme.

KEEN is mainly focused on hikers with their durable hiking boots like

For the workers in different environments, they make carbon fiber shoes to protect the feet. It suits mechanics, warehouse workers, electricians, truckers, delivery workers, and other jobs.

Similar to most brands, they produce shoes for runners and casual usage.

Apart from that, if you live in a rainy area or need to work in wet conditions, Keen has multiple shoes with waterproof technology.

For the targeted audience, Timberland is a bit more specific.

If you think what Timberland boots are good for, you will find numerous sectors to use them.

They make shoes, especially for hikers and people who run a lot in the field or

Looking for posh and elegant shoes for a party? The boat shoes will serve the best for your particular occasion.

Also, Timberland boots are good for work in different conditions. They make composite, steel, and alloy toe boots and shoes to protect your feet in heavy-duty work conditions.

These shoes have oil and slip resistance, making them perfect for chemical engineers, electricians, warehouses, and other equivalent jobs.

3. Design and Color Variants

KEEN shoes are known for their innovative design and functionalities. They prioritize comfort and performance more than appearance.

Most shoes and boots come in three to four color variants.color-variants-of-keen

The common colors are gray and brown, which easily blend with nature and the hilly area. Apart from that, they offer black, blue, and olive for some models.

But, all the colors are very muted and don’t catch the attention at all in regular usage.

On the other hand, Timberland delivers a classic and heritage-inspired design, balancing with style and functionality.

The color choice is also limited in these models.

But for special or premium quality products like the Timberland® Premium 6-Inch Waterproof Boot or Anniversary edition, there are wider color variations.

They offer black, gray, blue, brown, white, and other colors with multiple shades.

Few of these colors are slightly bold and brighter than KEEN. Therefore, it faces color fading issues sometimes.

But it’s pretty easy to restore the Timberland boots’ color by cleaning and polishing properly.

4. Upper Material and Water Resistance

Keen uses mesh and synthetic leather for the upper. Most of them have rugged construction for the best durability and wear resistance.

Also, there are other leather materials, and they utilize them for distinct categories.

They generally use suede and nubuck leather for the upper.

But for some first-class shoes and boots, they go with environmentally preferred premium leather from LWG-certified tannery.

The leather is quite thick at around 1-2 mm. But the KEEN.WARM technology maintains the insulation even when damp.water-resistance-of-keen

The eco anti-odor technology keeps it natural and free from pesticides.

It has KEEN.DRY technology for water resistance and allows you to use the shoe in rainy weather or sweaty conditions.

The work boots and shoes use a carbon fiber toe box to provide extra protection and lightweight construction.

Similarly, Timberland uses suede, leather, and premium leather for the upper construction.

They use leather from regenerative agriculture practices, CORDURA®, and ReBOTL™ fabric for the upper material and linings.

The collar and heel padding are thick, giving impressive comfort during winter.

But in the warm weather, it can be sweaty. To eradicate the issue, it uses PrimaLoft® insulation to maintain breathability.

The upper material is very durable and doesn’t wear out for washing. So, it’s very easy to remove stains from the Timberland boots using household elements.

They are one step ahead when it comes to foot protection. They use composite, steel, and alloy materials to guard the toe box.water-resistance-of-timberland

Most of the Timberland boots are waterproof. It uses Gore-Tex and TimberDry technology to resist water and protect it from unwanted moisture.

5. Midsole Technology

KEEN uses KEEN.ReGEN and air-injected Luftcell midsole in their shoes.

It’s lightweight, compression-resistant, and provides impressive energy return with cushioning under the foot.

They use KEEN.FUSION to fuse the upper with the sole without any need for glue. It ensures the best and long-lasting bonding of the materials.

It’s not the best in terms of comfort. They won’t give a softer ride like walking or the responsiveness of a running shoe.

Instead, it’s durable and designed for the best performance in extreme conditions.

Some of the Keen models use a Nylon shank in the middle of the midsole to provide foot support.

The same goes for the Timberland boots.

It uses EVA technology for the midsole. Some popular and most used midsoles are GreenStride™ and Hover Spring™ foam.midsole-technology-of-timberland

They are lightweight and offer a lot of cushioning underneath for the best user experience.

6. Outsole and Durability

The outsole material and technologies are very crucial for hiking and work boots.

Keen uses rubber for the outsole structure. It’s bulky and oversized for the best construction. The lugs are longer and directional to help bite different surface types and climb.

The outsole is oil and slip-resistant, which helps in the work environment.

Also, Electric Shock Resistant (ESR) or Electrical hazard (EH) provides an extra layer of protection from electrical circuits.

The outsole is very durable. I’ve used the Targhee for years, and the structure is still in fine condition.outsole-of-keen-and-timberland

You can go on a full adventure with the shoe without worrying much about the strength and longevity.

Similarly, Timberland uses rubber outsole for the boots and shoes. Some of the boots use regenerative agricultural materials to make the outsole.

The lugs are also made from rugged and durable rubber. The patterns are very deep depending on the shoe type, and provide impressive traction.

The directional lugs make the Timberland boots good for hiking and adventure.

Work boots, especially composite, steel, and alloy shoes, have oil and slip resistance.

I have been using the Timberland® Premium 6-inch Waterproof Boot for a couple of years now, and the durability is fantastic.

No matter how the surface is, the shoe goes with it very smoothly, and I don’t need to worry about slipping or falling at all.

7. Size Comparison

Both Keen and Timberland boots and shoes are true to size.

I’ve given the US, UK, EU, and CM sizing for men and women below to help you pick the right size without any issues.

You can order online or purchase from the retail store by following the sizing chart.

Keen Boots and Shoe Sizing Chart:

Keen Sizing (Men's)
CM (JP)2525.52626.52727.52828.52929.5303132333435
Keen Sizing (Women's)
CM (JP)2222.52323.52424.52525.52626.52727.52829

Timberland Boots and Shoes Sizing Chart:

Timberland Sizing (Men's)
UK55.566.577.588.599.51010.5111213141516 -171819
Timberland Sizing (Woman's)

8. Fit and Comfort

Besides bulky design and durability, it’s also essential to keep a balance of fitting and comfort.

Keen offers a wide-toe box design for different foot sizes and shapes. There’s enough room at the front, so my finger doesn’t hurt in a long session. Also, it helps to wiggle my finger.

The KEEN.FIT technology ensures a snug and secure fit without constriction.

The breathability is impressive, especially in the mesh construction. The leather is less breathable, but the technology used in these shoes makes it very comfortable.

KEEN.DRY and KEEN.WARM feature helps to keep the feet sweat-free and warm in cold weather conditions.

It has a removable sockliner. The thick insole provides the utmost comfort in work, hiking, or outdoor environments.

The tongue, heel counter, and collar have ample cushioning. When I slide my feet into the shoe, it warps my feet very well and provides the necessary ankle and arch

It gives me confidence in running all types of surfaces and terrain without worrying about comfort.

Odor control is much required when wearing the shoe for a long time, especially during outdoor adventures. Keen has Eco Anti-Odor technology to keep the shoe smell-free.

The same goes for the TImberland shoes.

It offers a removable footbed or insole in all of their shoes. The stock insole is impressive and gives decent arch support.

Therefore, Timberland shoes are very good for walking all day on a journey or adventure.

The company is well-known for its sturdy construction.

But, the leather upper makes it very breathable and easily bendable.

After wearing the shoe, the traditional lacing system and ample cushioning around the heel collar, counter, and tongue provide the necessary comfort in usage.

Timberland has Anti-Fatigue technology in the footbed, giving outstanding shock absorption and energy return at every step.

It offers impressive moisture control and antimicrobial treatment for odor control. So, you can walk a long distance without any discomfort.

The overall fitting is quite similar in Keen and Timberland. The comfort level won’t be the same as traditional walking or running shoes, but decent enough to support all day.

9. Price Range

Both Keen and Timberland make affordable and high-priced shoes and boots.

  • »Around $45 – $245
  • »Around $40 – $895

Slides and slippers are the lowest-priced footwear from these brands.

The casual shoes come at an affordable price. The boots and work shoes come just right after that.

These models are pricey, but according to their service and durability, the price is very reasonable.

However, there are some premium quality and limited edition shoes that are priced very high.

The Timberland shoes are expensive because some models are extraordinary and made with collaborations. The limited availability makes them unique and pricey than most Keen shoes.

10. Market Share

Keen is very new in the footwear market. They have competed for around 20 years. In comparison, Timberland has been producing shoes since 1952.

But Keen has made a very good place in the footwear section these years.

In 2011, the company had an estimated revenue of $240 million. It rose quite a bit, and in 2022, it was recorded at around $340 million.

Comparatively, the revenue generation is much higher for Timberland.

In 2022, the annual revenue was approximately $1.4 billion. They made a significant profit in 2023 and made an estimated $1.78 billion in revenue.

Timberland has been in the race for a longer time and produces more models than Keen. So, covering a better share percentage in the footwear or apparel market is very ordinary.

11. Collaborations/ Partnerships

Partnerships and collaboration with different brands and celebrities are necessary to reach the products to more people and increase revenue.

Keen has followed a separate path from most companies in the market.

They have a mission saying, We’re Not Here to Just Make Shoes.

Keen cares for the environment and collaborates with many organizations for the betterment.collaborations-of-keen-and-timberland

They are partnered with Leave No Trace, 1 KG More, The Conservation Alliance, and Big City Mountaineers to help nature.

Also, they run a non-profit program called Keen Utility to help the veteran footwear company grow.

For the Timberland, the scenario is very ordinary.

They focused on popular companies and celebrities to increase their authority and popularity in the market.

Timberland has collaborated with brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Supreme, Off-White, Jimmy Choo, Bee Line, and OVO.

Also, they have partnered with MLB team New York Yankees to produce Yankees-logoed shoes.

Pros & Cons: Keen Vs. Timberland

Both brands are impressive and make great boots and shoes. But there are some matters that you might like very much or can be the opposite.


  • »Has excellent hiking boots.
  • »Price is very affordable.
  • »Various KEEN technologies give a better user experience.
  • »Offers waterproof shoes.
  • »The toe box has ample space.
  • »High durability upper and outsole.
  • »Excellent breathability with mesh construction.
  • »Oil, slip, and electricity resistance outsole.
  • »Has a removable insole.
  • »Product choice is very limited.
  • »Offers only a few color variants.


  • »Has a huge collection of shoes.
  • »Delivers premium quality leather.
  • »Offers Anti-Odor technology.
  • »Work shoes have multiple variants.
  • »Has oil and slip resistance.
  • »Most shoes have Anti-Fatigue technology.
  • »Has a removable sockliner.
  • »Some models are very expensive.
  • »Leather upper is slightly less breathable.

Keen Vs Timberland: Which Should You Purchase?

Both Keen and Timberland make great shoes and boots, and there’s no doubt about it.

The color variants, design, performance, and price range are almost identical in both brands.

So, choosing a brand over the others entirely depends on your personal preferences.

If you are searching for a hiking boot, Keen will be slightly ahead with their Targhee for its excellent technologies and user experience.

But, for more casual or regular purposes, Timberland has multiple choices and color variants to match your outfits.

However, if you are looking for work shoes and want to prioritize elements like water and electricity resistance or toe box protection, then you can choose specifics.

The KEEN working boots are made with lightweight carbon fiber with oil, water, and electricity resistance.

But for better toe box protection, you can go with Timberland composite, steel, or alloy work shoes for good safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is KEEN a good brand of shoes?

Yes, Keen is a great footwear company that makes impressive shoes and boots. The products are very comfortable and offer excellent durability and safety.

Is Timberland a good brand?

Yes, Timberland is a very good shoe and boots brand. They have a wide range of collections that are well-suited to casual outfits, work environments, and outdoor adventures.

Why are Timberland boots so expensive?

Timberland shoes are expensive compared to others because they use premium leather and other technology to make the boots. Also, they have grown in popularity over the years by collaborating with celebrities, and the special edition boots cost way more than regular editions.

Can you wear Timberland every day?

Yes, the Timberland boots and casual shoes are great for everyday usage. Also, they have work shoes for mechanics, electricians, and other jobs requiring total foot protection.

How long does Timberland usually last?

The Timberland shoes are designed to sustain mud, stains, crooked, and hill surfaces without any issue. The upper and outsole are made with durable leather and rubber. Therefore, it can stay in good condition even after fully utilizing the shoes for years.

Is Timberland a safety shoe?

Safety shoes are required in jobs where you need to protect your feet from danger. Timberland has composite, steel, and alloy toe box shoes that keep the upper safe. These shoes also have oil, slip, and electricity resistance that works as a safety shoe in different circumstances.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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