I bought my first pair of Thursday boots five years ago.
Now I have 11 (and I’m probably going to pick up a few more).
My first Thursday Captains are what got me started in the world of boots. Over the past five years, I’ve tested Thursday Boot Company thoroughly, and I’ve had the chance to compare this brand to the best boot brands in the world.
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m confident this is the best Thursday Boot review out there (beep, beep). Below, you’ll find everything you want to know about the brand’s nine most popular models.
I’ve tested them all extensively myself. You can watch the videos if you want to see what each boot looks like on foot, and each sub-section is linked to a more in-depth review, so if there’s a particular model you’re interested in, you can learn everything there is to know about it.
By the end of this review, you’ll know whether Thursday Boots is the right brand for you.
What Is Thursday Boot Company?
While names like Red Wing and Wolverine are practically household at this point, I see more guys wearing Thursdays around town than almost any other boot.
Thursday’s mission is to make stylish boots at an affordable price. While you could certainly pull a tough shift at a job site or go hiking in Thursdays, they’re really built for style.
They’ve done an incredible job taking traditionally rugged styles like Moc Toe and Cap Toe boots and have slimmed them down so they make a solid pairing with tapered jeans and a more fashion-forward guy.
Thursday also now makes a huge variety of women’s boots (24 styles last I counted). Many styles are really unique, too. So you and your lady can do some matching if that’s what you’re into.
Things to Consider Before Buying from Thursday Boots
Thursday is one of my favorite brands, but there are certain occasions I don’t wear my Thursdays.
From a value-for-money perspective, the fact that almost every Thursday boot has a 360-degree Goodyear welt, good quality leather, steel shanks, and solid outsoles—all for under $200 on their most popular boots—it’s hard to beat Thursday.
I think they’re the best boot you can get if you want something for everyday use, you walk around or are on your feet a lot throughout the day, you want a great quality boot, and you don’t have a massive budget.
Also, Thursday boots are really meant for style, so while you can hike or do the odd backyard chore, I don’t recommend Thursdays as a go-to for either of those scenarios.
I also think there are other better brands for dress boots (which I’ll get into in the alternatives section below). This is mainly because Thursday has leaned heavily into their Rugged & Resilient leathers, which are very casual looking.
As someone who wears slim fit jeans and describes their style as “rugged yet refined,” Thursday Boots are ideal for me. If you’re in the same boat, I think they may be ideal for you, too.
Thursday Boots Reviews
I own 11 pairs of Thursday Boots. I’ve reviewed 9 of them and you can find videos and links to the full detailed reviews below.
To keep this article short and to the point, I don’t go into extreme detail for each boot—if you want to learn more, you can either watch the video review or go to the individual review I’ve linked.
The Captain is a cap toe boot, but it’s not bulbous or bulky like many other popular cap toe boots. Now this slimmer, sleeker style is pretty widely available, but at the time Thursday first made these boots, it was nearly impossible.
To see how my Captains have held up after four years and over 1,000 miles of wear, watch my video review below:
Featuring a 360-degree Goodyear welt, a Poron insole, EVA comfort strip, steel shank, and a solid rubber studded sole, this boot almost feels like a sneaker. I’ve walked easily 1,000 miles in my three Captains, and they’re the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn.
Because Thursday uses more synthetic materials than heritage boot brands like Red Wing, they don’t have quite the same durability through the insole and midsole, but for the amount that I usually walk and stand, it’s worth it in my opinion.
At the time of writing, the Captain comes in several Thursday Chrome leathers, Rugged & Resilient, and a few WeatherSafe suede choices. I personally like the Arizona Adobe the best, though I also like the Brown and Tobacco Storm King.
What’s the difference between the Captain and Storm King?
The Captain Storm King features Thursday’s Storm King outsole, which is a heavy rubber lug sole rather than the standard rubber stud sole. This heavy-duty sole offers more traction in wintery conditions, so it’s a fantastic choice for a winter boot.
You may also just prefer the look of the heavier Storm King outsole. Both boots are built the same otherwise, so one isn’t necessarily better than the other.
If you’re debating between the Captain and the Captain Storm King, check out my breakdown below:
The Thursday President is nearly identical to the Captain, though it’s a plain toe boot and there’s a different selection of leathers.
From a comfort and quality standpoint, most Thursday Boots are the same. If you’re debating between different models, it should be purely on a style-basis—the quality among the core line is the same. I go fully into the differences between the Captain and President in the video below:
I have the President in Tobacco Rugged & Resilient leather, and it’s my go-to beater boot. For a more fashionable boot, I’m surprised at how tough the President actually is.
One downside with plain toe boots is that they have less structure around the toe. While I recommend getting a pair of cedar shoe trees for all your boots, it’s especially important with plain toe boots like the President.
At the time of writing, there are 12 different leather options available for the President, and two are also available in wide EE/EEE sizing. This is a pretty stellar variety, but still not as extensive as their line of Captains.
While I haven’t put in as many miles with my Presidents, I think they’ve taken more of a beating. Because I like the cap toe style more, I tend to wear my Presidents for more rugged adventures. So they were put to the test and I’m happy with how they’ve held up.
The Explorer features a storm welt, which adds even more weather resistance that the standard Goodyear welt, and the sole is a thick lugged foam.
It looks like a really heavy boot, but the Vibram foam outsole keeps it surprisingly lightweight. I have the Explorer in the Dark Olive Suede, which is made with Thursday’s WeatherSafe suede. The leather is tanned with hydrophobic compounds, so even though it’s suede, water just beads up and drips off.
Combine the water resistance leather, grippy lug sole, and solid storm welt, and you have an excellent boot for rain and snow. Plus, it’s an eight-inch boot (compared to the regular six-inch shaft of the Captain and President).
I love the padded cuff at the top of the shaft, and I think it’s awesome that Thursday drew inspiration from actual combat boots. We all know Doc Martens don’t cut it as combat boots any more.
The biggest downside to the Explorer is that the boot takes forever to put on. It has speed laces for the top five eyelets, but even then it still takes longer than almost any of my other boots.
I’m happy to spend the time lacing my boots if I’m going out for several hours on a snowy winter day, but otherwise, it’s a bit of a hassle. That means I wear it less often. You’ll have to decide for yourself how important this issue is.
Overall, this is one of the best value-for-money winter boots I’ve found, and it’s one of the few winter boots that works really well for guys who wear slim jeans. If that’s what you’re looking for, the Explorer is a great choice.
However, because the Explorer is a more unique looking boot, I usually recommend the Captain first because it goes with a much greater variety of styles. But if you already have a few casual boots and are looking for a special purpose boot that can really make a certain outfit, then the Explorer is a sure bet.
The Thursday Diplomat is a rugged moc toe style boot, but it’s nothing like its competition.
While I like those alternate boots listed above, none are as stylish as the Thursday Diplomat.
It has a much lower profile and slimmer toe box. This means you can actually wear these moc toe boots with a pair of slim fit jeans. If you’ve ever worn a pair of Red Wings with tapered jeans, you probably didn’t like the clown-shoe look.
The Diplomat is the first moc toe I’ve found that I actually enjoy wearing as part of a casual style outfit.
It’s one of the original three Thursday boots (released along with the Captain and President), though it’s not nearly as popular. I think that’s just because the style is more specific and not quite as versatile as a cap toe or plain toe boot.
At the time of writing, the Diplomat comes in four different leather options (with a fifth on the way), all of which are in Thursday’s Rugged & Resilient leather.
I love the look of the Rugged & Resilient leather—it’s matte and fits a casual aesthetic well. Plus, it’s easy to care for.
One of the best things about the Diplomat is the Vibram Christy outsole. When I tested it against Red Wing, Thorogood, and Danner, I found that the Vibram Christy Outsole had just as much oil slip resistance as Red Wing’s. But the price is drastically lower. You can watch my video comparison between the most popular moc toes below:
While I don’t think I’d wear the Diplomat in a working situation, it’s a fantastic boot for fall and winter looks where you want to bring in a little work-wear vibe without getting a huge, bulbous boot.
If I’m heading out to work in a coffee shop or run some errands for the day, the Thursday Duke is the boot I reach for most often.
Compared to other Thursday Chelsea boots, it has a little more heft to it, especially in the outsole (though not nearly as beefy as the Thursday Legend).
I picked up my Dukes in Honey Suede, which is a WeatherSafe suede. Unlike other “waterproof” suede boots, Thursday’s WeatherSafe suede is actually tanned with hydrophobic compounds, meaning that it will repel water throughout its lifetime. Many other brands just apply a silicone spray that can wear off in a few months (which means you can discolor the suede).
Like many other Thursday Boots, the Duke is decked out with Poron insole and a DuraEVA comfort strip, so you can easily walk five or six miles (or more, you overachiever) when they’re fresh out of the box.
If you’re debating between the Duke and Cavalier, I’ll say this: the Duke is my favorite for everyday casual wear. The Cavalier is a better choice for more dressy occasions. The Cavalier is slimmer, lower profile, and has a leather sole. This means it’s a better fit for suits, skinny jeans, or just a very slim aesthetic.
But the Duke is more comfortable and more durable thanks to the rubber studded outsole and the thick toplift (or heel cap).
I still get plenty of use from my Cavaliers, but I reach for the Duke more often because it suits my everyday needs better.
The Thursday Scout has something that no other Thursday Boot has: a stitchdown construction.
Most Thursday Boots have a 360-degree Goodyear welt, which helps boost the weather resistance and overall durability. The Scout however, has the upper leather stitched directly to the midsole.
Overall, I don’t think this difference in construction is a huge deal, nor will it make any significant difference in the overall longevity of the boot. But because Thursday makes the Scout in such a way, it allows for a lower price.
The Scout is Thursday’s least expensive boot, and it’s a phenomenal value for the money. This chukka could pass as a dress boot because it has a one-inch heel and the shape is slim and stylish.
Compared to the Clarks Desert Boot (the common ancestor of all chukka boots), the Scout has a more pointed toe, a lower profile, a way better outsole, and a narrower waist (the middle of the boot).
If you’re looking for a dress chukka, stick with one of Thursday’s full grain leathers like their Brown or Black. But if you’re going casual with it, I personally really like their Mocha WeatherSafe suede. The burnishing on the toe and heel makes for a dynamic look that I enjoy.
In my experience, many chukka boots don’t feel very substantial. After all, the construction is incredibly simple for any pair of chukkas—there’s not too much leather, no welt, and basically no hardware like eyelets or speed hooks.
I wouldn’t get the Scout if you regularly walk several miles at a time because the minimal two-eyelet system doesn’t offer a ton of ankle support and can cause your feet to tire out more quickly. This isn’t an issue just for the Scout—it’s true of all chukkas I’ve worn.
But if you’re looking for a boot you can throw on to spruce up a simple outfit for a date night and you don’t need to do a ton of walking, then the Scout is a great choice.
While the Vanguard looks pretty similar to the Captain, there are a few differences: probably the most noticeable is that the Vanguard doesn’t have any speed hooks. And it comes with leather laces.
The lack of speed hooks is actually a downside for me, as the boot takes an extra 30 seconds to put on. I guess I’m an impatient guy because that extra 30 seconds bothers me for whatever reason.
Another big difference between the Vanguard and Captain is what’s on the inside: the Vanguard has a leather insole, with a cork filler and leather midsole. Unlike most Thursday boots that use poron and DuraEVA, the Vanguard sticks with natural materials throughout.
This makes for a less comfortable experience out of the box, but you get the added advantage of greater durability and the leather insole contours to the shape of your foot over time (at which point it becomes very comfortable).
The outsole is the same rubber studded sole that Thursday uses for most of their other boots, but the heel is slightly taller on the Vanguard compared to the Captain.
Also, it’s built on a lower profile last, so the Vanguard has a little less room in the toe box. When you’re wearing the boot, you get a bit more elevation in the heel and there’s more of a decline toward the toe.
Between the two, I prefer the Captain, mainly because the speed hooks on the Captain make it easier to throw on and get out the door. But there are two big reasons why you might prefer to get the Vanguard: first, it’s made in the United States. Second, there are Horween Chromexcel leather options.
Horween Chromexcel is an excellent leather and it ages and patinas well. I own five pairs of Chromexcel boots from different brands and they crease gently and are easy to care for. As they get to be a year old, they develop a distinguished look that you don’t get with Thursday’s Rugged & Resilient leather.
I’m torn on the Thursday Logger: it has some major pros and a few major cons.
I’ll start with what I love: the Logger has an interesting shape to it, I like the logger heel, I love that it balances bulk with a slim, stylish silhouette, and the Horween Waxed Cocoa leather is incredible.
But the toplift (the piece of rubber on the heel), is only 5mm thick. That’s thinner than the heel of the Captain, Duke, and pretty much all other Thursday boots. I don’t know why they opted for such a thin toplift—it basically means that if you wear the Logger with any regularity, you’ll need to get a new toplift applied in about six months.
It’s an inexpensive and easy task for any shoe-repair shop, but I’d rather not have to get any work done on a pair of boots within at least the first year.
Otherwise, the Logger has a super heavy-duty Vibram lug outsole, which makes the dainty top lift even more strange. I’m assuming Thursday had to make the heel cap thinner because the heel on the logger is so tall, so a thicker toplift would put your feet at a strange angle.
The Logger is the only other Thursday Boot beside the Vanguard that’s made in the USA. The upper shape is very similar to the Captain and the Vanguard, though it’s an 8-inch boot, meaning the shaft comes higher up the ankle.
I don’t know that this added height makes a difference with ankle support, but it looks awesome. If you cuff your jeans and want to show a little extra boot leather, the Logger has a unique look that you can’t find anywhere else.
The Thursday Cavalier is the brand’s second Chelsea boot and it’s a slimmer, more streamlined look compared to the Duke.
While the Cavalier still features a 360-degree welt, it has a low profile leather sole with rubber studs. Thursday also dispensed with the nylon pull tab on the back of the boot, which is great if your pants tend to get stuck on that tab often (mine do).
The Cavalier is available in six different leather options at the time of writing, two of which are made with Thursday Chrome leather—the others are suede.
Mine are in the Shadow Gray suede, which makes for a nice casual look. However, I think I’d prefer the Black Chrome leather. Because the Cavalier is slimmer and more dressy Chelsea, it’s better to go with a dressy leather so the boot is more versatile.
I wouldn’t wear the Shadow Gray suede with a suit, but you could definitely rock the Black Chrome leather with a snazzy outfit. Both options look great paired with jeans, a tee, and some sweet accessories.
With the leather sole, you get less shock absorption, so compared to the Duke, the Cavalier is a bit less comfortable for walking multiple miles in. I still think it’s a comfortable boot, but if your daily commute consists of a mile or more of walking, you may prefer the Duke.
Over the 18 months I’ve owned my Cavaliers, I’ve noticed that the leather stretches around my foot and has a cool casual worn in look to it. This is great if you have a laid-back, faded black jeans and oversized tee style. They make you look like you’re in a rock band.
You’ll want to get a pair of cedar shoe trees with your Cavaliers to make sure they keep their shape for as long as possible (and that’s true for any Chelsea boot).
Overall, I really like the Cavalier, especially as it has aged and developed a more slubby look to it. However, if I was going to do it all over again, I probably would’ve got the Black Chrome leather to use the Cavalier as dress boots.
And if I could only choose one Thursday Chelsea boot, I’d choose the Duke because it’s sturdier sole makes for a more durable and comfortable everyday walk-around-town boot.
Thursday Boots Sizing
Getting the correct size for your Thursday Boots is fairly simple. The brand recommends ordering a half-size smaller than you normally would for your sneakers.
For example, I’m a size 10.5 in Nike, Converse, and pretty much any dress shoe or other sneaker. For all my Thursdays, I’ve ordered a size 10 and they fit well.
Thursday has a wide variety of sizes for all their models, often with sizes 6-16 available, and with each model usually having some EE/EEE width available. If you have wider feet, you’ll be limited in the leather choices you have, but you can still find their most popular styles in your width.
If you’d like a full in-depth breakdown of how to pick the correct size for your new boots, you can check out my Thursday Boots sizing guide here.
Thursday Boots Care
All of my Thursday Boots are easy to care for as the brand specifically makes their proprietary leathers tough and low maintenance.
The main types of leather you’ll find are Thursday Chrome leather, Rugged & Resilient leather, and WeatherSafe suede.
Thursday also has a few other types of leather like Horween Chromexcel, but their proprietary leathers are the most common.
My favorite leather balm to use for Thursday Chrome leather is Venetian leather balm. It doesn’t change the color of the leather and it keeps a little of the shine without ever looking too polished. I feel that Venetian restores the leather close to how it looks out of the box.
For Thursday’s Rugged & Resilient line, the brand recommends just wiping the leather with a damp towel, but I actually do a completely different method. It gets a bit complicated, so if you’re curious how to care for your Thursdays, you can read my full Thursday Boots care guide here.
What do Other Reviewers Say About Thursday Boot Company?
There’s no shortage of boot reviews available for Thursday. The Captain alone has over 19,000 reviews at the time of writing on the Thursday site, and the brand itself has over 50,000 reviews. Pretty impressive.
The average for those 50,000 reviews is a 4.9 star out of five. Reading through dozens of them, it’s clear that many reviewers love the style. Customer service came up as a positive (including returns), and comfort is mentioned often.
If you’d like to see how I style my Thursday Captains, watch the video below:
Thursday Boots Alternatives
Red Wing is a big competitor for Thursday and that’s by Thursday’s own design. After following both brands for several years, it seems that Thursday’s most popular boots are inspired by Red Wing’s most popular boots.
The Captain is a slimmed down, more style-forward cap toe boot. Compare that to the Red Wing Iron Ranger, which is a bulbous, workwear inspired boot. Similar comparisons could be made between the Thursday Diplomat and the Red Wing Classic Moc.
After owning several pairs of boots from both brands, I can say that Red Wing is more durable but less comfortable. They’re also much larger in profile, so if you wear tapered jeans often, you’ll often prefer the styling of Thursdays.
Red Wings are definitely better for working applications, while Thursday boots are better for style. And the Poron and DuraEVA comfort strip in Thursdays make them much more comfortable for long walking commutes.
Overall, I prefer Thursday Boots because they have a huge variety of styles. While they’re not as durable as Red Wings, they’re far less expensive, and the quality is still solid. After all, both are sturdy Goodyear welted boots.
Beckett Simonon is the most compelling competitor to Thursday I’ve found.
In fact, for dress boots, I like Beckett Simonon better. But there’s one huge caveat to shopping with Beckett Simonon. They hand make their boots to order, so they can take up to 12 weeks to arrive.
The benefit is that you can get boots that are comparable with $400 boot for nearly half the price.
Beckett Simonon is a bit more pricey than Thursday, but not by a lot. I like Thursdays for their more rugged workwear inspired styles, but when I want a dress boot, I go with Beckett Simonon because their leather is the best I’ve seen at the price.
Grant Stone is a lot like Thursday, but in a higher tier.
Thursday is disrupting the $300 and $400 boot brands with their low-cost and high quality boots.
Grant Stone is disrupting the $500 and $600 boot brands.
While Grant Stones are almost twice the cost of Thursday Boots, if you have the budget, it could be worth checking out a few of their models. The styling is more classic (whereas Thursday is more modern and slim), but if you’re looking for the highest quality boots, Grant Stone is a good place to start.
Other Common Comparisons
On the BootSpy YouTube channel, I get a lot of comments asking how Thursday compares to other brands, too. I want to quickly address the most common of those comparisons below.
Blundstones and Thursdays are about the same price. Thursday Boots are far better quality in every respect.
I have a pair of Blundstone 500s and 550s, and the leather is much thinner, there’s less weather resistance, less comfort when walking, and the overall construction of the boot isn’t as well-done as Thursday.
If you’re debating between a pair of Blundstones and Thursdays, you’ll have a better experience with Thursday.
Taft is another popular young brand, and I own three pairs of their boots. Taft has some wildly interesting boot leathers and options.
For everyday wear, Thursdays are usually more versatile. But there are some Taft models that are show-stoppers. I can’t say that Thursday offers any boots that demand compliments quite the same way that Taft does.
Personally, I like Thursday better because I’m usually reaching for a simple good looking boot that goes well with everything. But there are some situations where a stunner boot is needed and that’s where Taft comes in.
Wolverine is hitting back at Thursday with their BLVD line, and from what I’ve heard, the quality is solid and the prices are comparable.
I really like my 1000 Mile boots from Wolverine, though it has the same pros and cons as Red Wing. Because it’s a heritage boot, it’s more durable but less comfortable. Also, many reviews I’ve read say they’ve had issues with spotty quality control from Wolverine.
For what it’s worth, I’ve never had issues with Wolverine, but it’s mentioned so often in reviews, it’s worth bringing up.
Thursday Boots Discount Code and Special Promotions
Thursday doesn’t offer discounts. Over at least the past two years, they’ve run a Black Friday promotion where you can get a bottle of Cobbler’s Choice leather balm and a horse hair brush when you buy a pair of boots, but in the two years I’ve closely followed the brand, that’s all they’ve done.
So if you’re thinking about getting a pair of Thursdays, don’t hold your breath waiting for a discount because you’ll be waiting a long time.
My Thoughts Overall On Thursday Boots
What I Like
I love the variety of styles Thursday offers, and each style has a wide range of leather options and sizes.
The models Thursday carries strike a balance between rugged and refined, which is ideal for a lot of guys with modern styles.
With Poron insoles and the DuraEVA comfort strip, Thursday boots are super comfortable and they’re easy to walk several miles in.
Thursday Boot Company has excellent and responsive customer service with free shipping, free exchanges, and returns within 30 days.
What I Don’t Like
Thursday has a limited range of EE/EEE wide sizes. Their most popular styles have wide varieties, but only in select leathers.
Who is Thursday Boot Company for?
Thursday Boot Company is an excellent brand if you’re interested in getting a high quality pair of boots for a relatively inexpensive price. If you’re getting your first pair of Goodyear welted boots, Thursday is the best brand to start with.
Thursday Boot Company is one of my three favorite boot brands. And they’re always the brand I recommend to people looking to get their first pair of high quality boots.
I think Thursday’s strongest point is in the variety of boot-styles they have. You can find a huge range of rugged and versatile options, all of which complement a modern aesthetic.
I also like that Thursdays are more narrow and slim. For someone like myself who wears a lot of tapered jeans and chinos, the narrow look is ideal. Before Thursday, there weren’t any other brands offering traditionally rugged styles in a “dress boot” silhouette.
As for quality and durability, Thursdays are solid. Most of their boots feature a 360-degree Goodyear welt, which is the industry gold standard.
If you have wide feet and need an EE / EEE size, you may have to do a bit of searching through their site to find a style and leather option that’ll fit your feet.
A few models have some quirks, which I’ve mentioned in the individual boot reviews above, but for the most part, you can’t go wrong with any of Thursday’s boots.
If you want to see how I rank all my Thursday boots from my least favorite to my top picks, you can watch the video below to get a better idea of which boot might be best for you.
Is Thursday a good brand?
Thursday Boot Company is an excellent brand. I’ve tried 10 of their styles and haven’t had a poor experience with any of them. Their customer service is responsive and reasonable, and their prices are great considering the quality of their boots.
Are Thursday Boots comfortable to walk in?
Thursday Boots use a Poron footbed and have a DuraEVA comfort strip in them, so their boots are very comfortable right out of the box. You can walk several miles a day in Thursdays without your feet getting tired or sore.
Are Thursday Boots made in China?
No, Thursday Boots are made in Leon, Mexico, which is the boot and shoemaking capital of North America. Several other amazing brands, including Tecovas, Taylor Stitch, Yuketen, and Unmarked, are all made in Leon, Mexico as well.
Do Thursday Boots have good arch support?
Thursday Boots feature a steel shank and offer excellent arch support. If you need to use a custom insert, you may want to order a half size larger than you normally would as the insoles for Thursdays aren’t removable.