Thursday Boots Cavalier Review: Is It Thursday’s Best Chelsea Boot?

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by  William Barton | Last Updated:  Jun 09, 2021

You’re looking for a fashion-forward boot, but is Thursday Boots the best brand to go with? Between their Dukes and Cavaliers, it’s tough to know which to choose—not to mention all the other amazing brands on the market.

In our Thursday Boots Cavalier review, we break this sleek Chelsea down piece by piece so you can decide if it’s going on your foot.

Not a pull tab in sight

Thursday Boots Cavalier

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Bottom line: The Thursday Boots Cavalier is Thursday’s slimmest Chelsea boot, and though it features a 360-degree Goodyear welt and rubber studs on the leather sole, it still manages to trend more on the dressy side. As long as you keep boot trees in these bad boys to prevent deformation, they'll offer you the same stellar value for money that has become a hallmark of Thursday.

Ratings:

At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Design At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Quality of Materials At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Craftsmanship At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Fit & Sizing At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Value for Money At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon

Pros:

  • The Cavalier is a slim, sleek Chelsea boot designed for more dressy outfits, and because of the leather sole and lack of a pull-tab, it works well with slacks
  • The 360-degree Goodyear welt is uncommon in a boot this slim, though the construction style makes for greater water resistance and easier long-term care
  • Super versatile sizing options, from 6-15 in seven different colors
  • Free shipping and returns in the US

Cons:

  • I miss the pull-tab---while your trousers won’t get caught on the tab, the boots are more difficult to put on
  • The suede leather tends to deform a bit around the ankle, and these absolutely need shoe trees

I’m a sucker for Chelsea boots.

I must own about 10 pairs now.

But that’s not stopping me from snooping around and picking up any new pair that catches my eye. 

Thursday Boots originally started out with the Duke—a more casual rendition of the style. But a few years ago, they released a more sleek, dressy Chelsea: the Cavalier

I picked up the Thursday Cavalier in Shadow Grey suede, and have been wearing it around town for a few months now. 

Given all the experience I’ve had with this style, a few things stuck out to me immediately. So are these boots worth it? Keep reading to get the full story.

Thursday Boots Cavalier Overview

Thursday Boots Cavalier chelsea boots on model

The Thursday Boots Cavalier is the young brand’s answer to the dressier styled Chelsea Boots you might find from Carmina, Beckett Simonon, or other fancy-pants companies. 

It’s built on a narrow and low-profile Oxford last, which Thursday actually uses for all their dress-shoes, too. 

Design features like a leather outsole and the omission of pull tabs on the back make these a trendy footwear option for more formal events. The Cavalier looks at home with a suit, though it’s not too stuffy to wear with casual jeans. 

But compared to Thursday’s other Chelsea boot, the Duke, it’s much more slim and sleek. While both look fantastic paired with jeans, the Cavalier is the more versatile of the two. 

Thursday Duke

The Duke is Thursday’s first Chelsea boot, but still brings the brand's hallmark construction quality and value for money. And while it’s not bulbous like a Blundstone or Red Wing Chelsea, it has a more casual vibe than Thursday's dressier Chelsea boot, the Cavalier due to its wider last.

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At the time of writing there are seven different leather options, all available in sizes 6-15 (with plenty of half-sizes, too). 

Things to Consider Before Buying the Thursday Boots Cavalier

Thursday Boots Cavalier on model wearing jeans

How do you plan on wearing your Chelsea boots? If you’re a Chelsea and jeans kind of guy, you might be better off with the Duke. While the Cavalier does have rubber studs in the leather outsole, leather just doesn’t have the same durability a full rubber sole would.

But if you’re looking for a Chelsea boot you can pair with a suit and wear to a wedding, then I’d go with the Cavalier over the Duke all day. 

I’ll discuss this more in the fit and sizing section of my review, but it’s important to note that the Cavalier is quite narrow. It’s part of its slim, classy charm, but if you have wide feet, you might not find a comfortable size.

Thursday Cavalier

The Thursday Cavalier is Goodyear welted, leather lined, and offers excellent value. This particular Shadow Grey version is forever battling it out for the title of my favorite casual everyday Chelsea boot, and even with 20+ pairs of shoes in my closet, it's very often my go-to.

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Thursday Boots Cavalier Review

First Impression

Thursday Boots Cavalier model sitting

I picked up my Thursday Cavalier’s in Shadow Grey suede. I like the extra bit of burnishing around the toe and heel, and I have plenty of standard leather Chelsea’s already.

I expected the Cavalier would have a slim silhouette, and it didn’t disappoint. Even with the 360-degree Goodyear welt, it keeps a trim profile, which is unusual. 

I love the style of these, and prefer it over more bulbous Chelsea styles (think of Blundstone’s or the Red Wing Heritage Chelsea). 

The slim style helps elongate my feet and makes my appearance more trim overall. While the leather option I chose takes this boot out of the running for any formal occasions, I think the style is killer with a slim pair of jeans. 

Leather Quality and Care

Thursday Boots Cavalier closeup shadow grey suede

The Thursday Cavalier comes in three standard leathers and four suede options. As I said, I picked mine up in the Shadow Grey WeatherSafe suede. 

Unlike traditional suede, the WeatherSafe suede isn’t velvety and smooth, but instead more roughed out and rugged looking. 

I really like the look of it, though I think it’s a bit too rough to pair with a suit (the standard leather options are a better choice for this). 

One benefit is that you don’t need to worry too much about getting these boots wet. There’s a good deal of wax on the upper, so water tends to bead up and roll off without soaking into the leather. 

Thursday Boots Cavalier grey suede

Even with the rough exterior, this leather is quite supple. It’s very comfortable, but I noticed it has a tendency to lose its shape without a pair of shoe trees. I had to give my boots a week’s rest because I’d stored them empty and I didn’t like where the shape was headed. 

So make sure you invest in cedar shoe trees to keep the Cavalier sleek and dapper looking.

Caring for the leather is quite easy—I just use a suede brush and knock off any dirt or scuffs. Suede is easy to keep clean, though every time you brush this kind of leather, you also remove some of the wax. 

I’m planning on using some OtterWax on these boots around the 1-year mark, and I’ll probably re-up annually to keep the leather as water-resistant as possible. 

Sole

Thursday Boots Cavalier leather sole detail

The sole of the Thursday Cavalier is primarily leather with rubber TPU studs. Thursday also applies their standard rubber toplift on the heel, which helps increase the longevity.

Because the Cavalier has a 360-degree Goodyear welt, you’ll have no trouble getting your boots resoled when the time comes. Though if I’m honest, I’d probably just buy a new pair of boots at the sub-$200 range. The Cavalier should have no trouble going for three to four years before needing any sort of reconstruction, and at that point, I’d feel very good about the price per wear. 

Thursday Boots are all really comfortable—it’s one of my favorite things about the brand. Some folks say they feel like sneakers, and while I wouldn’t go that far, Thursdays are much more comfortable on the footbed than Red Wing or Wolverine. 

Thursday Boots Cavalier leaning against wall

The insole is made with an EVA Comfort Strip, and is otherwise lined with leather. The Cavalier features a cork midsole, too, so the entire boot has a balance between immediate comfort (EVA foam), and long term durability as your foot will break into the leather and cork. 

The leather outsole keeps things classy, and opens the option to wear the Cavalier in more formal situations. Because I have the roughout Shadow suede, my pair isn’t suitable for formal events, but I can see wearing the sleek black or brown leather to a wedding.

Fit and Sizing

Thursday Boots Cavalier chelsea in front of door

The Thursday Cavalier is quite narrow, and that’s because it’s built on a dress-shoe last. If you have wide feet, there aren’t really any good options for you, and you might want to check out the Thursday Duke instead. 

However, I picked my Cavalier’s up in a size 10, and my usual sneaker size is a 10.5. I always size a half-step down for Thursday Boots, and the fit is on point. 

The Cavalier fits a bit more snug around the sides of my feet, but after a few miles of walking, the leather seemed to break in and my boots ceased being uncomfortable. 

If you’re not quite sure which you should go with (i.e. sometimes you’re a half size, sometimes you’re a full size), go with the larger of your two choices. I love that Thursday has an easy return policy, so even if you decide your new boots are too big, it’s no problem exchanging for the correct size. 

Break-in Period

Thursday Boots Cavalier on model walking

Because of the more narrow fit, I did experience a bit of discomfort for the first few miles, but the Thursday Cavalier basically had no break in period.

The leather relaxed a bit by the second time I slipped my boots on and they’ve been fitting like a dream ever since. 

I always like to go through the reviews to see how others fared with the break in and no one mentioned having any difficulty.

The Thursday Cavalier is bonafide comfortable from the get-go. 

What do Other Reviewers Say?

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A post shared by Thursday Boot Company (@thursdayboots)

At the time of writing, the Thursday Cavalier has over 1,000 reviews on its product page and sits at a near-perfect score. 

There’s a bit of contention, with some folks saying they ordered their true sneaker size, and many going with Thursday’s advice to order a half-size smaller. 

In my own experience (with four different pairs of Thursdays), order a half-size smaller than your sneaker size. It may fit a bit narrow at the beginning, but the leather gives way and you’ll likely end with a perfect fit. 

Thursday Cavalier Alternatives

If I’m honest, the Cavalier is one of my favorite Chelsea boots. I prefer the narrow slim silhouette compared to some of the other more bulky Chelsea boots I own (though I love those, too). 

But there are a few good alternatives if the more narrow style isn’t your jam. 

Thursday Boots Duke

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A post shared by Zach (@heritage_style_)

The Duke is Thursday’s first Chelsea boot, and there are a few key differences.

It’s build on a wider last, and while it’s not bulbous like a Blundstone or Red Wing Chelsea, it has a more casual vibe than the Cavalier

I like the leather trim around the elastic gore panel on the Duke, but again, it plants the Duke more firmly in the casual category. 

The Duke has the same insole and midsole construction (also a 360-degree Goodyear welt), but the outsole is Thursday’s classic rubber studded sole. The Duke also has nylon pull tabs in the back, which make it a lot easier to slip on. 

Between the two, the Cavalier is definitely the more dressy option, so it’s more versatile and the better choice in my opinion.

That said, my co-editor Dean prefers the Duke over the Cavalier, so it’s really up to which style you prefer. Both are made with the same construction quality and materials, so you can’t go wrong either way. 

Thursday Duke

The Duke is Thursday’s first Chelsea boot, but still brings the brand's hallmark construction quality and value for money. And while it’s not bulbous like a Blundstone or Red Wing Chelsea, it has a more casual vibe than Thursday's dressier Chelsea boot, the Cavalier due to its wider last.

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Ace Marks Troy

closeup of ace marks troy chelsea boots against brick wall

The only Chelsea boot I own that gives the Thursday Cavalier a run for its money in the dressy category is the Ace Marks Troy

I picked up the Troy in sleek full grain Italian calf-skin leather, and it’s beautiful. This is definitely my go-to boot for weddings and other events that are mostly formal (but never black-tie). 

The shape is quite similar between the two, but the Ace Marks Troy is more of a dress boot through and through. It has a full leather sole—no rubber studs. And it’s made with a Blake stitch, which keeps the profile a bit slimmer and sleeker. 

Again, the Cavalier is more versatile, and I wear it more often because I don’t go to too many weddings or formal events. The Cavalier is much more comfortable for walking several miles compared to the Troy, and my regular routine requires several miles of walking a day. 

But if you’re looking for a true dress-Chelsea for more formal situations only, I would opt for the Ace Marks Troy over the Cavalier. 

Ace Marks Troy Chelsea Boot

Ultralight full grain Italian calfskin leather gives this boot elegance that's hard to find under $500. Ace Marks keeps things full Italian with a narrow last and Blake stitching for that sleek Euro flair.

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My Thoughts Overall On the Thursday Boots Cavalier

What I Like

  • The Cavalier is a very versatile boot—it has a slim and sleek silhouette that works well with chinos, jeans, and can even pair with a suit.

  • It’s uncommon to find a boot this slim with a 360-degree Goodyear welt, and for a dressy boot, the Cavalier has excellent water resistance and is easy to care for long term. 

  • Thursday offers sizes 6-15 with seven different leather options. 

  • Free shipping and returns in the US, and Thursday’s exchange policy is super easy and intuitive. 

What I Don’t Like

  • I can’t decide if I like the exclusion of the pull tab—my boots don’t catch my trousers anymore, which is good, but they’re more difficult to put on.

  • This may only apply to the suede leather, but the area around the ankle seems to start losing shape quickly. You absolutely should get a pair of cedar shoe trees to keep the Cavalier in shape. 

Who is the Thursday Cavalier for?

The Thursday Cavalier is an excellent boot for you if you’re building a small footwear collection and you need a sleek boot that can work for you in a variety of styles. Yes, the Cavalier looks great with a pair of jeans, but because of its slim silhouette, it can also match up with a tailored suit, and that’s not something every Chelsea can do.

The Verdict

For under $200, the Cavalier is an excellent pick-up. If you’re struggling to choose between the Duke and the Cavalier, I prefer the Cavalier because it’s just a bit more narrow and the leather sole opens it to more dressy styles. 

The 360-degree Goodyear welt ensures these boots have solid water resistance if you ever get caught in the rain, and the EVA Comfort Strip/cork midsole combo is easy to wear when putting in walking miles. 

If you don’t already own cedar shoe trees, pick a pair up when you buy your Cavaliers. The leather is good quality, but I’ve noticed the shape in the front wavering a bit after a few months of wear. Once I started regularly adding shoe trees in, the leather snapped back to its original sleek form. 

Thursday Boots is one of my favorite brands, and the Cavalier adds another tally in their W column.

Thursday Cavalier

The Thursday Cavalier is Goodyear welted, leather lined, and offers excellent value. This particular Shadow Grey version is forever battling it out for the title of my favorite casual everyday Chelsea boot, and even with 20+ pairs of shoes in my closet, it's very often my go-to.

Check Best Price Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Prefer your boot reviews in video form? Then feast your eyes on my video review of the Cavalier on our YouTube channel:

FAQs

Do Thursday Boots have a shank?

Yes, most Thursday Boots have a shank. The Cavalier features a fiberglass shank, which helps with arch support and adds structure to the sole.

Are Thursday Boots resoleable?

Yes, because Thursday Boots are made with a 360-degree Goodyear welt, almost any cobbler should be able to resole them easily.

Are Thursday Boots handmade?

No, Thursday Boots aren’t handmade in the same way boots from other brands like Nick’s are. However, Thursday’s prices are vastly less expensive, and the quality is still superb.

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