Timberland Hits Its Stride

The New England shoemaker now must show that its products and its stock are not just fads

"Give Racism the Boot." That politically correct advertising slogan, combined with environmentally conscious products, has turned Timberland Co. of Hampton, New Hampshire, into a hot marketer and a torrid stock. With customers from suburban professionals to inner-city youths clamoring for its rugged boots and outdoorsy apparel, Timberland last month reported the strongest third-quarter sales and profits in its 20-year history.

The company is the happy beneficiary of a fashion shift: Timberland's classic waterproof boot has replaced Nike's Air Jordans as the look of choice for youths and young adults. And shoppers who come to retailers looking for Timberland's best-selling Weatherbuck waterproof...

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