Most work boots are designed for general wear i.e. construction workers, mechanics etc. Many can even double as weekend wear. The Men’s Gravel Pit by Timberland? Not so much.
These boots have been designed for use in the mining industry. And as a result, they have a ten inch cut, heavy duty everything and just about every safety feature you can think of packed into them.
The downside is that all those safety features don’t exactly lead to a lightweight boot.
The first thing that you should know about these boots is that they’re definitely heavier than average. I’m only a size ten and they still clock in at 3.3 pounds (each). If you generally wear something lighter, you can expect the first few days to feel a little awkward.
You’ll also need about a week to break these boots in properly. The good news is that once the boots get used to your feet and vice versa, they do start to score very highly on the comfort scale.
The ten inch shaft in the uppers has plenty of cushioning. And there’s a flex band around the ankle so despite the high cut, they don’t restrict your ability to move i.e. bend down etc.
Metatarsal guards are famous for causing discomfort but that’s not the case here. It’s internal and made from rubber so it’s barely noticeable.
Underneath your feet, there’s an open cell polythurene footbed and Timberlands Comfort Suspension System. The Gravel Pit is also the first boot that I’ve tried with Timberlands Independent Suspension Network. This consists of various ridges on the outsole which are designed to take pressure off your feet when walking on uneven terrain.
These three features combine to provide solid arch support and excellent shock absorption against both hard surfaces (cement etc) and uneven terrain. The result is a boot that will prevent foot fatigue regardless of what you’re walking on.
In conclusion, these boots are very comfortable. But underestimate their weight at your peril.
At the front of the boot, there’s the standard steel toe and behind that there’s a metatarsal guard. In case you haven’t heard of metatarsal guards before, their purpose is to protect the fragile top portion of your foot from falling objects.
In the sole, there’s a puncture resistant steel shank. The boots offer complete electrical hazard protection. All of these features meet ASTM standards. The outsole is slip, heat and oil resistant. Finally, there’s a 90 degree ladder lock.
The uppers are made primarily from waterproof leather and there’s also built in waterproof membrane. The result is a boot that will keep your feet completely dry in both heavy rain and in puddles that go up to around your ankle.
The boots have 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation which along with the high cut provides plenty of warmth. Keep in mind however, that this is the lowest Thinsulate rating available. So don’t expect them to keep your feet warm in sub zero temperatures.
The Gravel Pit has been well tested at this stage with 189 customer reviews on Amazon alone. At the time of writing, they have an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. The most popular features are comfort (multiple mentions of 12+ hour shifts etc), the wealth of safety features and insulation. The biggest complaint no surprise is the boots weight and overall size.
For most occupations, the Men’s Gravel Pit are going to be overkill. And if you don’t need all the added safety features, there’s very little reason to carry the added weight on your feet. As a result, for me personally, the added weight is a 6+ pound deal breaker.
If you do work in a particularly hazardous environment, however, these boots get my full recommendation. Despite the tough construction and wealth of safety features, they remain comfortable with a generous amount of anti fatigue technology.
In other words, if you’re happy with the weight, you’ll be happy with these boots.