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How to Clean Your Thursday Boots Properly: A Hands-On Guide

William Barton

Boots, Leather, Heritage Fashion, Denim, Workwear

William founded BootSpy in 2020 with a simple mission: test and review popular men’s boots and give a real, honest opinion. Since then, we've welcomed over 5 million readers on our boot reviews and boot care guides. Reach out to him for your own personalized boot recommendation at william@bootspy.com. Or join 50,000+ subscribers on the BootSpy YouTube channel, or send him a message on the BootSpy Instagram. Read full bio.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2024
13 min read

I own 12 pairs of Thursday boots. Crazy, right?

And each different type of leather needs its own special care. 

You shouldn’t treat Thursday Rugged & Resilient leather the same way you would their WeatherSafe suede or Thursday Chrome leather. 

This article will show you the best practices for Thursday Boots care. I cover how to clean and condition Thursday Rugged & Resilient, Thursday Chrome, and WeatherSafe suede. 

No matter what kind of Thursday Boots you own, you can find how to clean and condition them here.

If you prefer to see me clean all of Thursday’s leathers, I also made a video breaking down the process for several boots:

Get all the info you need in 12 minutes in my Thursday Boots video care guide

What You’ll Need to Clean Thursday Boots

Depending on which type of Thursday leather you’re cleaning, you’ll need a different set of tools and conditioners. There are three main types of Thursday leather, so I’ll break this into three sections.

Rugged & Resilient Leather

what you need to care for rugged and resilient thursday leather

Thursday’s most popular Rugged & Resilient leathers are Arizona Adobe, Tobacco, and Black Matte.

I use this process on my Arizona Adobe Thursday Captains.

  • Microfiber towel or old t-shirt
  • Suede brush
  • Suede soap (optional: only for a deep clean of the leather)
  • Renovateur suede spray conditioner (optional: if you want to condition your leather)

Thursday Chrome Leather

Thursday Boot Care thursday chrome leather cleaning

Thursday’s most popular Chrome leather boots are the classic Brown, but any other smooth leather boots, including their Black, Frontier, Natural, Brandy, and Horween Chromexcel leathers will use this same cleaning process.

  • Microfiber towel or old t-shirt
  • Leather conditioner (I like Venetian Leather Balm)
  • Saddle Soap (optional: only for a deep clean of the leather)
  • Horsehair brush

Thursday WeatherSafe Suede

what you need to clean thursday weathersafe suede

Thursday’s most popular WeatherSafe Suede leathers are the Mocha, Shadow Grey, Chocolate, and Dark Olive Suede. For the Honey Suede and other non-WeatherSafe suedes, don’t use Fabric Wax. Everything else is the same. 

  • Suede brush
  • Suede eraser
  • Renovateur suede spray conditioner (optional: if you want to condition your leather)
  • Otter Wax Fabric Wax (optional: if you want to restore the original WeatherSafe styled look as Thursday sends it)

How to Clean Thursday Rugged & Resilient Leather

Thursday Boot Care rugged and resilient leather before and after
Thursday President in Tobacco Rugged & Resilient leather after cleaning (left), and before cleaning (right).

Step 1: Knock off excess dirt and wipe with a damp rag

brushing off thursday tobacco rugged and resilient leather

Bang your boots together and wipe them with a dry rag. With any pair of boots, this is always the first step. If there’s any dirt left on the boot when cleaning or conditioning, you run the risk of scratching the leather or permanently discoloring your boots, so don’t skip this step. 

Thursday themselves say that their Rugged & Resilient leather doesn’t need any cleaning or conditioning. They recommend just wiping the boots down with a damp rag. If your boots aren’t that dirty, there’s a chance that’s all you need to do. 

For my Thursday Diplomats in Arizona Adobe, that’s all I’m going to do.

But my Tobacco Thursday Presidents still have tons of dirt trapped on them from a trip I took to the desert a year ago, and I want to restore the leather back to the rich deep color it was when I bought them—not the dusty color they are now. 

I want a deep clean, and if you do too, move with me to step two. 

Step 2: Use Suede Soap (Optional)

suede soap on thursday rugged and resilient leather

Rugged & Resilient leather isn’t suede, but to clean and condition it, I use suede products. 


Because Rugged & Resilient leather is treated in such a way that it has a very fine nap to it, you’ll want to use cleaning and conditioning products that keep the nap intact. If you treat it the same way you would smooth leather, you’ll change the texture and color of your boots. 

So to keep your Rugged & Resilient leather looking as good as new, use products designed to keep leather nap as is: use suede cleaning and conditioning products.

To use suede soap, fill a small bowl with warm water, and add a little liquid suede soap. Mix the two together well using your suede brush. 

using suede soap on thursday rugged and resilient leather

When your soap solution is mixed, use your brush to scrub your boots. You’ll see some suds develop over the leather, and the leather will darken a bit. That’s perfect. Finish sudsing one boot at a time. When you’ve finished one boot, dry it with a clean rag and then move on to the other. 

Let each boot dry for 12-24 hours. You shouldn’t have any moisture in the leather when moving onto the next step.

Step 3: Use Suede Spray Conditioner

Thursday Boot Care with saphir suede conditioner

You can still condition your Rugged & Resilient leather boots even if you didn’t use the suede soap in step two. 

I only condition my Rugged & Resilient boots about once a year—the leather really doesn’t need much care and attention, and the leather will be fine if you don’t ever condition it. But I like to keep my boots relatively fresh looking, so leather conditioner is the way to go. 

Keep the spray can about four to six inches from the boot and use short bursts to coat the entire boot as evenly as possible. Don’t worry if you accidentally cover some spots more than others: even if it looks darker in some areas compared to others, the leather will even out during the first few wears. 

spraying renovatuer suede conditioner on Thursday President boot

Once you’ve conditioned each boot, let them sit for a day and you’re ready to wear them out. You can also apply a waterproofing spray if you want, but I don’t because those often have a silicon-base that clogs up the leather pores. Because the Arizona Adobe and Tobacco leather is so resilient already, I don’t think it needs more weather resistance. 

One note on the suede spray conditioner: make sure you either get a neutral color or a color that matches your boot. If you only have Arizona Adobe, you can use a medium brown spray. If you own the Tobacco leather, you can try a dark brown spray. 

Because I own several different types of Thursday leather in many different shades, I use a neutral spray (plus I can use it on my other suede boots and shoes).  

Step 4: Condition the Midsole

using leather balm on leather midsole

I’ve noticed that the leather on Thursday’s midsoles tends to get dry quickly and form small spurs. In order to tame those back, I use whatever leather conditioner I have on hand and rub that into the midsole and along the stacked heel. 

That helps condition and darken that leather a bit so your boot looks cleaner overall. 

Step 5:  Let dry, Then Buff

Let your boots soak up the conditioner you’ve put on them for about ten minutes. 

Use a horsehair brush and buff your boots to even out the layer of conditioner. Once you’ve brushed both boots, you’re all done. 

Check out this before and after photo close up so you can know what to expect after cleaning your Thursday boots. You can see they don’t look as good as new, but they’re significantly cleaner. 

Thursday Boot Care rugged and resilient leather before and after close up
Thursday President in Tobacco Rugged & Resilient leather after cleaning (left), and before cleaning (right).

How to Clean Thursday Chrome Leather (or any Smooth Leather Boots)

thursday chrome cleaning before and after
Thursday Vanguard in Horween Chromexcel leather after cleaning (right) and before cleaning (right).

Thursday Chrome leather is easy to care for as it’s already well packed with oils and waxes. The most popular Thursday Chrome leather is their classic Brown. Any Thursday boot that uses Horween Chromexcel or a smooth full grain leather will also follow this procedure. 

Step 1: Knock Off Excess Dirt and Wipe with a Damp Rag

Thursday Boot Care thursday chrome leather cleaning 1

Get your boots as clean as possible before doing anything else. Bang them together, wipe them down, and remove the laces. 

Step 2: Use a Leather Conditioner


Venetian Leather Balm is my go-to for all my smooth leathers because it doesn’t darken the leather (maybe one shade at first, but it lightens up after the first wear). It doesn’t add much of a shine, either, which I appreciate. 

If you like a little more shine on your boots, try Saphir Renovateur. It’s more expensive, but it’s also a better product (and it won’t make your boots super shiny). 

Apply a quarter-sized amount of conditioner to a rag and work evenly into the leather, one boot at a time. If you need more conditioner to spread across the leather, be liberal with it: you’re not going to over condition your boots. You can also spread the conditioner with your bare hands if you feel you’re wasting too much product on a dry rag. 

Let the conditioner sit on the leather for at least 10 minutes (ideally, give it an hour). 

Step 3: Buff with a Horsehair Brush

Thursday Boot chrome leather brush with horsehair brush

Take a large horsehair brush and buff your boots in broad back and forth strokes. This will even out the coat of leather conditioner, brush off the excess, and bring a little shine into your boots. 

If you want, you can repeat steps two and three now. 

Otherwise, let your boots sit overnight, preferably with some cedar shoe trees in. If you don’t have cedar shoe trees, stuff them with newspaper or old t-shirts. 

thursday chrome cleaning before and after close up
Thursday Vanguard in Horween Chromexcel leather after cleaning (right) and before cleaning (right).

For a more in-depth look at this cleaning method, read our guide on how to clean leather boots

How to Clean Thursday WeatherSafe Suede

what you need to clean thursday weathersafe suede 1
Thursday Cavalier Chelsea boot in Shadow Grey WeatherSafe suede.

Thursday’s WeatherSafe suede is an interesting leather, and to restore it back to how it was when you first opened the box, you’ll need a few tricks that you should never use with any other kind of suede. 

If you’re looking to clean your oil-snuff suede or regular suede Thursdays (the Duke in Honey suede is the most popular of these), then you’ll only do steps one and two. Don’t use wax on this kind of suede. 

If you’re not sure whether your suede Thursday boots are WeatherSafe or not, I’ll show you how you can tell in step three. 

Step 1: Use a Suede Brush

Using a suede brush on thursday weathersafe suede

I’m assuming you’ve already taken out the laces, beat your shoes together, and brushed them off with a dry, clean rag. That’s the first step. 

Grab a suede brush (it should have stiff bristles, but never use a brush with metal bristles for this). If you don’t have a suede brush, get the one below. It’s cheap and gets the job done. I use it for all my suede. 

Brush your suede boots in one direction. I typically hold the boot in my left hand, with the heel toward my chest. I use my right hand and brush outward. Don’t brush back and forth.

It doesn’t matter which direction you start brushing in, but pick one and stick with it. 

Your goal in this step is to knock out dirt and dust that’s been trapped in the nap. You’re also restoring the nap. You may notice that the leather is lightening up a bit, which is fine. 

And if you’re brushing your WeatherSafe suede, you’ll also notice some areas of the leather that were smoothed over when you got the boots. Give those areas some extra attention with the brush (that’s wax—when you brush it, you remove some of the wax. We’ll add the wax back on later). 

Step 2: Use a Suede Eraser (Optional)

using a suede eraser on thursday weathersafe suede

If there’s a particular oil or dirt stain that’s still there after using the suede brush, then it’s time to bust out the suede eraser. 

In a circular motion, rub the stain with the eraser for a minute or so. Hopefully you should see the stain come out. If you don’t, repeat this step two or three times.

If that doesn’t work, then use suede soap on your boots. You’ll need to do both boots completely, even if the stain is just on one boot. If you don’t you run the risk of having unevenly colored boots.

Step 3: Use Fabric Wax (Optional, and Only for Weathersafe Suede)

otterwax on weathersafe suede

You don’t need to do this step. In fact, I don’t recommend you even try. 

But if you’re like me and you want to return your WeatherSafe suede boots as close as possible to how they looked out of the box, then here’s the last step in the cleaning and conditioning process.

Note: this isn’t for all Thursday suede options. I’ve only done this on my WeatherSafe suede. You can tell if your boot is WeatherSafe because it has a varied texture at the toe and heel. Shadow Grey, Olive Suede, Mocha, and Chocolate are all WeatherSafe. 

Get a bar of Otter Wax fabric wax. 

melting fabric wax to apply to boot

Use a heat gun to slightly melt the edge of the bar. Using the corner of the bar, rub a small amount onto one half of the heel. I recommend trying this first on the heel because if you mess it up and it looks terrible, no one will notice. If you start on the toe and mess it up, your boots may look silly. 

applying wax to thursday boots

The wax may look a bit clumpy. Use the heat gun to evenly melt the wax and spread it around the heel. You really want to use a small amount of wax and push it out in a radial pattern from a central position (i.e. start at the bottom of the heel where the upper meets the sole and push outward evenly in all directions). The wax shouldn’t be spreading out more than an inch or so. 

melting in the fabric wax into thursday weathersafe suede

Let the wax dry on the heel. If you’re happy with the results there, try it again on the other boot. Then, after you’ve had your practice, take a deep breath and do the same on the toe cap. I would err on the side of caution. You can always add more.

thursday weathersafe suede wax added with hand burnishing

If you’ve accidentally added too much wax, let the boot dry and then scrub some wax off with the suede brush. 

thursday after using wax on weathersafe suede

Clean Thursdays

Pick the boot that needs cleaning the most, choose the method that matches your leather, and follow each step. 

Also, many of the steps I featured are optional. Skip them for now if you need to, and only come back to them if you don’t see results with the necessary steps. 


How do you condition Thursday Rugged & Resilient?

Use a suede spray conditioner like Saphir. After you’ve cleaned your boot, spray an even coat in short bursts across both boots. Use a neutral pigment conditioner to avoid changing the color of your Thursday boots.

Should I condition my boots before wearing them?

You don’t need to, but if you have all the supplies on hand, it’s a great way to moisturize the leather after a potentially lengthy stay in storage.

Can you wear Thursday Boots in the rain?

Yes, you can wear Thursday Boots in the rain. Their leathers are packed with oils and waxes, and while they’re not waterproof, it’ll take a long time before the moisture saturates the leather.


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