Thursday Boots President Review: Did It Win the Popular Vote?

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by  William Barton | Last Updated:  May 19, 2021

So you’ve finally given in to the ad campaign, huh? Well, it’s nice to see you. Does the Thursday President really deliver on the premise that it’s one of the best boots under $200?

That’s exactly what we’re going to cover—from the leather, to the sole, to long-term durability. You’re going to leave this article knowing everything you need to so you can shop confidently.

Quality done affordably
Review Feature Image/Icon Image source: Thursday Boot Company

Thursday Boots President

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Bottom line: The Thursday Boots President offers outstanding value for money considering the leather quality, Goodyear welt, and awesome slimmed down style. With options available in Thursday’s Rugged & Resilient leather, plus a durable rubber stud sole and plenty of cushion, the President marks an excellent balance between style, longevity, and comfort.

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:

  • Several nice combination tanned leathers for a sleeker look, and roughed out leather for more of a rugged style
  • 360-degree Goodyear welt means you can resole this boot easily, and it’s water resistant
  • A huge range of sizes available, from 6-15, with the “Brown” available in EE width
  • The rubber stud sole offers a lot of traction on wet ground
  • Free shipping, free returns, and an excellent value overall

Cons:

  • There aren’t many color options available in wide EE sizes
  • Certain color options have speed hooks, while others don’t

Picture this.

A Kawasaki ‘87 motorcycle is speeding along, kicking up the desert dust. 

The rider is in an unfamiliar land, with nothing but a leather satchel and a loosely buttoned linen shirt. 

I wish that was my life. Sadly, it’s not, but in my mind’s eye, that cool guy is wearing a sweet pair of plain toe boots. And when I saw the Thursday President, I thought that’s the one

I picked up a pair, and while I didn’t ride a vintage motorcycle through a mysterious desert, I’ve done enough in them to make up my mind on whether these boots are a worthy investment. Read on and get my full thoughts on the Thursday President

Thursday Boots President Overview

Thursday President rugged and resilient tobacco leather

The President is one of the OG’s for Thursday Boots, and helped launch the brand back in 2014 alongside its cap toe cousin, the Captain

The President is a plain toe boot, built with a 360-degree Goodyear welt, in a variety of leather options, from Thursday’s own chrome combination tanned leather, to a few rough-out options that make for a more rugged style. 

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If you look through the different color options, you might notice that some models feature speed hooks, and others don’t. It seems that the President was originally launched without speed hooks (as a way to differentiate it from the Captain), but Thursday has only been releasing new versions with speed hooks. 

At the time of writing, there are 10 different color options, though that’s likely to change as Thursday Boots consistently updates their lines and adds new leather options every week. 

Things to Consider Before Buying the Thursday President

model wearing thursday president and black jeans

There are two camps of folks typically looking at the Thursday President, and each have different considerations. 

If you’re a first-time boot buyer and looking to get solid value, then you may not be familiar with how Thursday Boots stack up against their competition. To keep it short, Thursday is one of our favorite brands at BootSpy, and I personally recommend them to my friends looking for their first “good” boot. 

But you may be stuck between the President and the Captain. Essentially, there’s no difference beside the cap-toe. You’ll have to make the hard choice between the styles, as they both look good online. For what it’s worth, I like the cap-toe, so I prefer the Captain. 

You might be a seasoned boot buyer, a connoisseur of Red Wings—the kind of guy who dreams that a pair of Nick’s accidentally was shipped to your address and left on your doorstep. 

If that’s you, well, I don’t need to tell you the benefits of a 360-degree Goodyear welt. The big consideration for you is the cork midsole, and whether that’s going to hold up over time. No, the cork midsole isn’t as durable as leather, but it also makes the President vastly more comfortable for walking and standing all day (make sure you read the “Sole” section to get more details). 

Thursday President

The Thursday Boots President offers outstanding value for money considering the leather quality, Goodyear welt, and awesome slimmed down style. With options available in Thursday’s Rugged & Resilient leather, plus a durable rubber stud sole and plenty of cushion, the President marks an excellent balance between style, longevity, and comfort.

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Thursday Boots President Review

First Impression

Thursday President

I picked up my Thursday Presidents in Tobacco, which is one of the brand’s most popular leathers. 

I’ll talk a bit more about the leather below, but from a style perspective, this Rugged & Resilient leather isn’t the same shiny stuff you might’ve seen from other Thursday Boots. It has a flat matte appearance, which definitely gives this version of the President a much more rugged vibe. 

The eyelets on the Tobacco President are a nice contrasting silver color, which puts these boots firmly in the “casual” category, though the shape is slim and narrow enough to at least be considered in a dressy outfit. 

Thursday President

That said, take note of the eyelets for whichever color suits your fancy most—Thursday uses different hardware to match different styles. Speaking of hardware, the Tobacco President features two speed hooks at the top. Not all Presidents have speed hooks, and for the original Thursday Brown color, you can actually choose whether you want speed hooks or not. 

Since my family routinely makes fun of me for how long it takes to put my boots on, I happily accepted the speed hooks. 

Otherwise, the style of the President is right up my alley. I love how slim the silhouette is, and how narrow the toe stays. While I’ve been dabbling with the bulkier Iron Rangers, 1000 Mile boots, and Grant Stone’s, I really enjoy the slim, modern fit of my Thursday Presidents. 

Leather Quality and Care

Thursday President profile view while on foot

As I mentioned, I picked up a pair from the Rugged & Resilient line, which is different from standard Thursday Chrome leather boots. 

The Tobacco leather has a flat chocolaty matte look and texture and it’s densely packed with oils and waxes. 

It’s important to note that if you get a Rugged & Resilient boot like the Tobacco President, you should not treat it like you would standard leather. If you apply leather balm, it’ll change the texture and character of the leather and it’ll be hard to ever restore. 

Thursday President in tobacco

Your best bet is to wipe the leather down with a damp cloth and use a clean horse hair brush to wipe off dirt and debris. You can use a leather conditioner around the stacked leather heel if you’re cleaning up the sole, but you should only apply a spray-on conditioner to the upper itself. 

I’ve been really enjoying the quality of the Tobacco leather—it’s very water resistant, and I like how much it “distresses” when I’m walking. Because it’s a pull up leather (naturally packed with oils) it tends to lighten up around the creases. 

This gives it an interesting, dynamic look that pairs well with faded raw denim and crispy new denim alike. 

The only downside to this kind of leather is that it certainly doesn’t fit into any more formal wardrobe, and if you work in even a business-casual setting, a Rugged & Resilient leather isn’t going to cut it. 

If you want to learn how to care for your Thursday Chrome leather (different than the Rugged & Resilient), check out this video from the BootSpy YouTube channel:

Sole

The Thursday President is outfitted with a custom rubber stud sole that’s similar to a Dainite sole. 

Thursday President custom rubber sole

I’ve owned a pair of Captains for four years (which has the same rubber outsole) and it’s held up well, though the heel is completely worn down and I’m in need of a resole there. 

I’m a big fan of the outsole here—it offers plenty of traction on wet ground, but it also doesn’t add a ton of height or weight to the boot. 

The heel is made with stacked leather, which is promising from a durability standpoint, and the midsole is cork with an EVA comfort-fit footbed. 

Thursday President sole on foot

The greatest thing about the sole is the 360-degree Goodyear Welt construction. With many boots in this price range, you’re most often going to find cemented soles. What this means is that the rubber outsole is essentially glued to the leather upper. 

But that’s not the case for Thursday. With a Goodyear Welted boot, you get increased water resistance, better durability in the short term (because there’s a stitch, glue, and tacks to keep the sole attached, as opposed to only glue), and the ability to resole the boot after the heel wears down in 3-4 years. 

Fit and Sizing

Thursday offers an impressive range of size options for the President, with most colors available between sizes 6 and 15. 

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That said, if you have wide feet and need a EE/EEE size option, you’re going to have better luck with the Captain. There is a wide option for the President, but at the time of writing, it’s only available in the Thursday Chrome Brown leather (which is nice, but there are so many more wide options for the Captain). 

I ordered a half-size down from my sneaker size and my Presidents fit perfectly. While I’m normally a size 10.5 in Nike’s, the 10 is snug, but not tight. 

Break-in Period

After the first two or three short walks I took with the President, my new boots felt fully broken in. Thursday Boots don’t typically have much of a break in period, though many people experience a bit of rubbing in the pinky toes the first few wears. 

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I had the same experience, though it wasn’t even enough to raise a blister, which is better than I can say for most of my other boots. 

As a plain-toe boot, the President will really benefit from a pair of cedar shoe trees when you’re not wearing them, so I highly recommend you pick up a pair when you first get these boots. While the leather is structured enough to keep its shape, if you live in a hot climate, you run the risk of having the toe “deflate.” 

Stratton Cedar Western Boot/Shoe Tree For Men - Aromatic Red Cedar

I highly recommend a quality set of cedar shoe trees for any boot you want to take good care of. These Strattons are the best I've found. The spring is firm, but not overly so, making them easy to take out, and the design means they'll fit a wide range of your boots and shoes.

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Hot leather plus foot sweat really increases the chances of the shape changing for the worst (this is true of any boot, not the President specifically), but you’ll avoid most of that with a good pair of cedar shoe trees. 

What do Other Reviewers Say?

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At the time of writing, the Thursday President has nearly 4,500 reviews averaging a 4.8-star rating on the Thursday website. 

Comfort is a keyword throughout the reviews, and in my experience, they’re absolutely more comfortable than some of the pricier alternatives like Red Wings or Wolverines (though there’s still a place for those boots, and I’ll dive into that in the section below). 

Many reviewers say that the President is their first major boot purchase, and in every single review that I read mentioning this, each reviewer said they were absolutely worth it.

Thursday President Alternatives

Thursday Captain

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The Captain is one of the best alternatives to the President because there are more color and sizing options. That said, if you want to avoid the speed hooks and you don’t like the cap-toe style, then the Captain isn’t the right boot for you.

When I bought my first pair of Thursdays, I was tortured on whether I should do the Captain or the President. I ultimately went with the Captain. But they’re basically the same boot. The materials and construction are the same, and the shape and pattern is exactly the same. 

Really, you just have to decide whether you like the cap-toe or not. Plus, spend some time shuffling through the leather options to see if one model has a leather that really jumps out at you. 

Thursday Captain

The Thursday Captain is an excellent deal. Made with Horween leather tanned in Chicago, these boots still look great after a year of harsh wearing. When (if?) these ever wear out, I’ll be getting them again.

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Red Wing Blacksmith

Red Wing Blacksmith 12

Red Wing is where you start when you’re looking for American Heritage boots. The Blacksmith is Red Wing’s plain toe offering, and it’s very similar to the Red Wing Iron Ranger

At roughly $100 more expensive than the President, you’re getting a boot that’s more durable but less comfortable. The Blacksmith features a leather and cork midsole, which offers very little shock absorption (which can tire your feet out if you stand a lot), but it will hold up better three to four years down the road. 

The biggest consideration between the President and Blacksmith besides price is the shape. The Blacksmith is built on Red Wing’s bump toe last, so it has a lot more room in the toe. Some folks say this makes the Blacksmith look more like a “clown shoe.” 

These Red Wings definitely have more of an I eat my cereal with a rusty wrench vibe, whereas the President is much sleeker and more suited to a younger crowd who wears slim jeans and still wants some rugged edge. 

Red Wing Blacksmith

The Red Wing Blacksmith is very similar to the brand’s super-popular Iron Ranger boot, but it doesn’t have a cap-toe. The Black Prairie leather is gorgeous, and the Vibram sole and Goodyear welt means this boot will last for years and years.

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Grant Stone Diesel

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If Thursday is the pioneering brand that’s making $300-400 boots for $200, then Grant Stone is the brand making $500-600 for $300. 

The Diesel is both a step up in quality and price, though the shape of the Diesel isn’t as sleek as the President

Still, it’s a plain toe service boot that’s handsome and built to last. Made with a vegetable tanned leather lining, footbed, midsole, and welt, plus details like solid brass hardware, the finishing of the Diesel is undoubtedly awesome. 

The President is a little more fashion-forward, and I think it’s a better place to start if you’re just getting started in the boot game. After all, $200 ain’t nothing. 

But the Grant Stone Diesel is the next step in quality when you’re ready to pay the extra $100.

Grant Stone Diesel

Made with a vegetable tanned leather lining, footbed, midsole, and welt, plus details like solid brass hardware, the finishing of the Diesel is undoubtedly awesome.

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My Thoughts Overall on the Thursday Boots President

What I Like

  • The President comes in several beautiful combo-tanned leathers for a dressy look and a few rough-out leathers for a rugged look.

  • The360-degree Goodyear welt means you can resole this boot easily and it’s water resistant.

  • Get any size from 6-15, with the “Brown” available in EE width.

  • The rubber stud sole offers a lot of traction on wet ground and gives solid shock absorption.

  • Shipping and returns are easy and free.

What I Don’t Like

  • At the time of writing, only one color option is available in wide EE sizes.

  • Certain colors have speed hooks, while others don’t. It can be disappointing if you like speed hooks, but only want a certain color that doesn’t offer them. 

Who is the Thursday President for?

The Thursday President is a fantastic starter boot. If you’re looking to get excellent quality from a boot, but still stay relatively inexpensive at under $200, the Thursday President is the boot for you. 

The Verdict

I bought the Thursday Captain four years ago, and it was my introduction into the world of high quality boots. 

Since then, I’ve picked up several of the big brands like Red Wing and Wolverine. For a while I thought, Thursday is a great beginners brand, but the meatier stuff is usually over $300. 

But then I went back, picked up the President, and remembered why I like Thursday Boots so much. The quality is far beyond most boots in the same price range, and the President is totally slick.

I really enjoy the Rugged & Resilient Tobacco leather, and it certainly gives a masculine edge to this city boot. The President is an ideal adventure boot for me—the midsole isn’t as durable as some of the American Heritage brands, but it’s much more comfortable. As someone who regularly walks several miles in a day, that extra shock absorption adds up on every step. 

The Thursday President punches above its weight for quality, and the slim style makes it a nice balance between casual and dressy. For those reasons, this boot gets my vote.

Thursday President

The Thursday Boots President offers outstanding value for money considering the leather quality, Goodyear welt, and awesome slimmed down style. With options available in Thursday’s Rugged & Resilient leather, plus a durable rubber stud sole and plenty of cushion, the President marks an excellent balance between style, longevity, and comfort.

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Keen for an even closer look at the Thursday Presidents? Check out our video review over on the BootSpy YouTube channel, or below:

FAQs

How much do Thursday Boots weigh?

A pair of Thursday Presidents weigh 3lbs 6oz.

Do Thursday Boots have a shank?

Yes, most Thursday Boots include a steel shank for arch support.

How comfortable are Thursday boots?

Thursday’s boots are very comfortable due to the EVA comfort strip midsole. They offer much more shock absorption than Red Wing or Wolverine boots. 

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