A staple in footwear and hip-hop lore, Timberland’s storied yellow boots turn 50 this year. In that time, the hardwearing, waterproof kicks forged an identity all their own, shifting from their rural American roots to become a global status symbol for youth culture. It’s a milestone few brands achieve with aplomb for any product, let alone one meant initially for construction workers, but how exactly did it remain in the cultural lexicon after all these years, and why does it still get co-signs from communities worldwide?
To celebrate this momentous occasion, Highsnobiety teamed up with Timberland and set out to answer these questions and more in “This Is Not a Boot: The Story of an Icon” — a documentary exploring The Original Timberland Boot’s humble, blue-collar beginnings and how its influence eventually seeped into the worlds of music, fashion, and more.
Directed by Tom Gould, the film features interviews with icons in their own right — from Fat Joe, Jeff Staple, and Raekwon to Angie Martinez, Ronnie Fieg, Goldie, and more — recounting the boots’ cultural provenance while shedding light on its role in several global movements.
Here’s a first look before the documentary’s official release in mid-October: