Timberland Cadion Mid Gore-Tex XCR Hiking Boots
April 26, 2007
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
5' 10" (1.78 m)
175 lb (79.40 kg)
I have been backpacking for about 12 years, in my native Ontario, the Adirondacks, the Canadian and American Rockies, South America and New Zealand. I typically get about 15 backcountry nights per year either on foot or by canoe, mostly in summer but with the occasional fall and winter trip. In the past I've been an over-packer but I've seen the light and am slowly converting.
Manufacturer: The Timberland Company
Year of manufacture: 2006
Web site: www.timberland.com
Listed weight: 2 lbs. 3 oz. (1000 g)
Actual weight: 2 lbs 2 oz. (960 g)
Color Reviewed: Dark Grey/Orange
Size: 8 US (Men's)
MSRP: $140 US
The Timberland Cadion is characterized by Timberland on their website as an "exceptionally lightweight and durable waterproof boot for single and multi-day hiking". The upper is constructed of a mix of Schoeller 'textile', suede or synthetic suede (not specified) and plastic reinforcements. The outsole is Vibram with a tread pattern unique to Timberland. Other interesting features include a 'memory' foam cuff, an external heel counter, full length elastomer midsole "stability plate", a molded plastic heel piece that makes the boots compatible with flexible crampons, a complete wraparound polyurethane rand, and a Gore-Tex XCR inner membrane that is guaranteed waterproof by Timberland. The boot definitely fits into the "mid" category, with a height of 6.5" (16.5 cm) on my size 8's between the highest part of the cuff at the front and the bottom of the heel.
The boots have a sporty, almost trail running shoe appearance, with a sleek side profile, exposed mid-sole, and a pronounced rocker. The construction is very clean, with few obvious seams, glue joints, or welds. The inside of the tongue and cuff are minimally padded and lined with a mesh, wicking-type material. Lacing is standard, with four pairs of eyelets on the top of the foot followed by three hooks up the cuff. Timberland's Agile IQ footbeds, described as "tri-zoned" and "dual density" do indeed have three zones of different density foam; one in the toe area, one in the midfoot, and one in the heel. They are relatively thin but they fit perfectly into the bottom of the boot and I never felt any need to replace them. These are a low volume boot, and they fit my narrow feel almost perfectly.
|Front and Side View of Boots|
The boots came in a standard Timberland box with one Timberland model-specific and one Gore-Tex hang-tag.
I purchased these boots with very little time before a trip to Peru in which a friend and I were planning to trek the Inca Trail and other areas. With virtually no break-in, I threw these boots on and hiked 25 miles (40 km) in three days in the Colca Canyon in southern Peru, with approximately 10,000 ft (3000 m) of elevation loss and gain. A few days later, we hopped on the Inca trail; 30 miles (48 km) over four days with 11,500 ft (3400 m) of elevation gain. The terrain was moderate to rough on both treks, and included dry sand, Andean granite, and five hundred year old Inca cobble trails. Temperatures ranged from 30 F (0 C) in the high alpine in early morning to 85 F (30 C) at mid day.
I experienced absolutely no break-in woes on either hike, although it helped that both hikes were done with pack weights around 20-25 lbs (9-12 kg) because accommodations and food were provided. After playing around with the lacing for the first couple of hours in the Colca Canyon I dialed in the tension and had no problems thereafter. Despite being a relatively light, flexible and low-cut boot, I found the support to be more than adequate even for my unstable left ankle. I never once had a scary twist or buckle, even after deciding to follow my Peruvian guide (who runs ultramarathons at 10,000 ft /3000 m plus) at a full run down a stair-step pass with 4500 ft (1400 m) of elevation loss over 2 miles (3 km). I attribute some of the support and quality of fit to the memory foam insert located on either side of the boot just above the ankle (see photo) , which seemed like a gimmick but feels fantastic and compensates for the seeming meager interior padding. The boots' built in rocker and moderate flex makes for a very easy stride that can be sustained over long days without compromising stability, and even allowed comfortable running for moderate distances
|Memory Foam Insert|
The only problem I experienced with the boots in this initial use was a broken lace hook, the lower one on the outside of my left foot. I attribute this to the flat laces, which I have discovered will only easily fit under the hook when slid in sideways. I made the mistake of trying to force the wide side in, which snapped the hook by pulling it up and away from the shoe. I returned the boots, through the retailer, to Timberland and received a new pair, no questions asked, within two weeks.
Since my trip to Peru, I have also used the boots on day hikes and backpacking trips from 2-5 days in the Adirondacks, Glacier National Park, the Grand Tetons, Chile, and at home in Ontario. Amazingly, the Cadions work as well for me on a fast day hike as they do for a multi-day trip with a 55 lb (25 kg) pack. My weak ankles have typically required me to wear higher, heavier boots with a load but the support of these boots is more than adequate, even on rough terrain. On day hikes, the light weight and easy stride make it easy to cover tons of ground without that klunky backpacking boot feeling. The full length elastomer midsole or "stability plate" is underlain by a plastic last, and this combination provides enough cushion and flex for hiking without a pack, yet enough support and protection for the bottom of my foot during serious backpacking. The material selected by Timberland is extremely durable and the construction is top notch. Besides some dust and scuffing, there are few signs of wear on the upper and all seams, joints and welds are intact.
I have trekked in sand, mud, snow and over all kinds of rock and I have found the traction of the Vibram soles to be adequate in all of these. Although the tread pattern is only moderately aggressive (see photo), the rubber seems to be slightly softer than on previous Vibram-soled boots that I have owned, which provides grip even when descending on wet rock. The tread has not worn as much as I would have expected given its relative softness and an estimated 300 miles (480 km) on these boots. However, I have had a split develop on one outsole (see photo below), which I discovered only as I examined the boots to write this review. This is disappointing and is something I have never experienced with a Vibram sole. I will be returning these to Timberland as soon as possible with the hope that they can be replaced under warranty and that I will have them back in time for spring hiking season.
|Crack in Outsole|
The boots were entirely waterproof, as claimed. My feet stayed dry in creek crossings above my ankles and during extended hiking in spring snow. Breathability was good for a waterproof boot and higher than other Gore-Tex-lined fabric-and-leather boots I have worn in the past. This is my first Gore-Tex XCR boot, and it would appear that Gore's claim of significant additional breathability as compared to the traditional Gore-Tex membrane has merit.
The Cadion Gore-Tex XCR boots are comfortable, supportive, versatile, and durable. They have the widest range of use of any outdoor footwear I have owned, from fast day hikes to scrambling to multi-day treks with a big pack. Timberland has taken a big step in the evolution of the hiking boot with this shoe, and in my opinion their innovation has definitely paid off. Assuming I can get my outsole problems dealt with under warranty, I plan on wearing these boots on just about every off-road walk, hike or trek I take in the foreseeable future.
Things I Like
1. Versatility - an unbelievably wide range of use
2. Outstanding comfort and support
3. Durable upper materials and outstanding construction
4. Excellent fit for low-volume feet
Things I Don't Like
1. Cracks in Vibram outsole
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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