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Hands-on Gear Review
Timberland Schazzberg Mid Review
Cons: Less weather protection than others, little insulation
Bottom line: The Schazzberg is a snazzy, stylish boot that provides better insulation than typical urban boots for winter wear.
The Timberland Schazzberg Mid is a casual urban boot that takes inspiration from Timberland's popular line, and adds additional Primaloft insulation to combat cold winters. The soft Vibram sole provides excellent traction when commuting on slushy sidewalks, and the durable, high-quality leather uppers shed water. Models such as the Editors' Choice award-winning North Face Chilkat 400 provided better warmth and water protection, and slip-on models such as the Blundstone BL566 were easy to don. However, theSchazzberg is without a doubt the best looking boot we tested and is one that we prefer for pairing with jeans and a heavy winter coat on the town for dinner or drinks.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Winter Boots for Men of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Timberland Schazzberg Mid are subjectively the best looking in our review, behind the Blundstone BL566. Our reviewers favored these boots when they did not want to look they were out on a snowshoe hike. Able to handle outside winter chores like shoveling the walkway or splitting firewood, the Schazzberg boots also pair well with casual attire with their stylish looks.
Combining a full-grain leather outer with 200 grams of Primaloft insulation, the Schazzberg Mid are adequately insulated but are far from the warmest that we reviewed. When standing around at the bus stop in the cold, our feet grew noticeably colder, though we preferred the lighter insulation when wearing these boots indoors after we had arrived at our destination. The North Face Chilkat 400 and Vasque Snowburban II Ultradry both feature double the insulation with 400 grams but are much warmer when not moving. Timberland also includes a Climapath membrane that is meant to wick moisture from the foot, resulting in a dryer, thus warmer, boot, especially when wearing thick wool socks.
These Timberland boots are made of leather that is treated, so it resists water quite well on its own. Since leather can eventually succumb to prolonged wetness and seep into the inner boot, there is a waterproof membrane called ClimaPath which provides an extra barrier against leakage. These boots were surprisingly waterproof in our ice bath test, though their lower flood height caused them to be scored lower than top performers like the Sorel Caribou.
Fit and Comfort
The Schazzberg are made from soft, pliable full-grain leather which requires no break in period and is soft and comfortable right out of the box. There is no real shank to the boot, unlike the Keen Summit County III, so the walking feel is much softer. The speed lacing eyelets allow for a customized fit, but we felt that in general, these boots fit loosely. This did not matter when walking in an urban environment, similar to the Sorel Caribou, but those needing a more secure fit for winter hiking or snowshoeing should look at a model like the Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat. The included Ortholite footbed is good quality, and we did not feel the need to replace it with an aftermarket footbed.
Ease of Use
With a large entry, it is easy and comfortable to slip into the Schazzberg boots. The Primaloft insulation is tightly woven and does not restrict entry as much as the thick interior insulation used in the North Face Chilkat 400, and the laces are easily opened up, unlike the Vasque Snowburban II Ultradry. We did notice that after using the boots for a few weeks that the leather around the toe began to degrade; because of this, we recommend maintaining these boots with a leather treatment out of the box to protect the leather outer adequately.
The sole of the Schazzberg boot is made from a non-marking Vibram rubber compound, which we found to be adequately sticky in most circumstances, though offered less traction in snowy or icy conditions. In these situations, the low profile lugs used on this boot easily filled up with snow and did not bite as much as a thicker lug pattern like the Salomon X Ultra Winter CS.
Those looking for a good looking boot that can accompany casual attire out on the town or at work should look to the Schazzberg Mid. Other models do a better job of keeping the foot warm and dry but look more like a hiking boot than something you would wear out on a date. This is the best looking boot we reviewed, and recommend it to those who value fashion over function in their quest for a winter boot.
With a retail price of $160, the Schazzberg is reasonably priced when compared to other boots in our review, though our Editors' Choice winning The North Face Chilkat 400 costs $10 less and offers substantially more protection. The quality full grain leather, comfort, and looks are worth the price, as long as you maintain the leather.
A nice looking boot that offers warmth and water protection in a stylish package, the Timberland Schazzberg Mid Waterproof.
— Ryan Huetter
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