When it comes to quality the natural assumption is that the older the manufacturer the better.
With age comes experience, wisdom and improvements which are developed over many decades. But is this always the case?
What about those who are new in town but have something exciting to offer?
Enter Thursday Boots Company, an eight year old company who are now playing in the major leagues of quality footwear.
A shoe and boot company that operates mainly online with only one physical store in New York City, they have become a household name with a reputation for high quality and honest pricing.
Born out of frustration by the company’s founders who wanted something with the durability of a work boot, but the style of a dress boot, the Captain is a blend of both.
We take a look at this incredibly popular boot and find out what makes it so good and how it stands up to its competitors.
We’ll examine how the company came to be and what inspired the creation of the Captain.
Looking at all of its features and how they stack up against the competition we will also review what others think of the boots and their features.
Finally we will look at some alternatives to Thursday Boots Company’s Captain boots.
History Of Thursday Boots Company
The Thursday Boots company is a young company who decided they wanted to make high quality boots for a good price.
Frustrated with having to choose between clunky work boots or overpriced fashion boots they decided to create the best of both worlds.
Originally designed to handle life in busy New York City the Thursday Boots have become synonymous with hardworking functional boots which are of a very high quality with good looking designs.
They have a strong commitment to high quality and invest in the best products to make their boots, from leather to laces.
A great deal of thought and attention to detail goes into the design, manufacture and testing of their footwear.
Thursday Boots Company’s commitment to quality sees them partnering with world renowned suppliers and highly skilled artisans.
Handcrafting the footwear demonstrates their passion for quality, precision and pride in their products.
Their philosophy of ‘You deserve it all’ is testament to their belief that you should be able to work hard and play hard in the same footwear.
Their boots look just as good in a New York office as they do on the trails of Colorado.
Thursday Boots are now worn throughout the United States and in over sixty countries worldwide.
With only one physical store in New York City the majority of their footwear is sold online via their website or through Amazon.
Where Did Service Boots Come From?
Thursday Boots Captain boots are a service boot design, but what are service boots and where did they come from?
Service boots have their origin in the World Wars as they were worn by servicemen in both of these conflicts.
Although, the British Army used ‘ammunition boots’ as early as the 1800s which were similar in style to the general service boot that we know today.
The style of this boot fits over the ankle and was designed originally to provide support to this area of the foot when walking over rugged terrain.
However, the original designs were unlined, not waterproof and unlike modern versions, not very comfortable.
Another feature of this type of boot was the stacked heel which measured at about an inch.
Originally this design was intended to keep servicemen’s feet out of the mud and water.
The heel was also for preventing slipping as it grabbed the ground if the front of the foot slipped.
The ability of these boots to survive in extreme conditions inspired modern footwear manufacturers to take up the design and apply it to today’s market.
This includes outdoor activities such as hiking, trail walking or camping.
The style has also been adapted for the casual footwear market and service boots are just as likely to be seen in an office as on a trail.
Depending on their intended use service boots have different styles, but the basic design remains the same.
Thursday Boots Captain: Initial Impressions
One of the first things that you notice about the Captain is the quality of the boot. As soon as they come out of the box it is obvious that these are extremely well made boots.
The minimalist design shows off the quality of the leather and the incredible stitching.
Most people who buy Thursday Boots Captains don’t stop at one pair.
This is not because they wear out, far from it but because they are so good one pair is not enough.
There is a large range of color and style options, more than twenty in total, so it may be hard to choose a favorite.
You can have matte or high polish leather or suede according to your taste and where you will be wearing the boots.
The leather itself is about 1.8 millimeters which is about half a millimeter less than a chunkier work boot but thicker than the one millimeter leather on a dress shoe.
Colors are consistent in the full grain leather
The Captain’s solid sole and heel can look a little daunting, but they do a fantastic job of maintaining comfort and durability.
The toe cap gives the boots a clean silhouette and are not bulbous like some other service boots.
The toecap in the Captain is an extra layer of leather and is not merely decorative.
Although it doesn’t offer any real additional toe protection it makes your foot look smaller.
Laces can be either leather or flat waxed cotton both of which add to the overall clean and simple look.
How Do They Hold Up After Years Of Wear?
So how long do Thursday Boots Captains actually last? The answer is years.
Even when exposed to the harshest conditions they have the ability to bounce back and look fantastic.
One of the great things about these boots is that the company actually gives you great instructions on how to care for them and keep them looking great.
Their website has a dedicated page on caring for your Thursdays.
Not only does it go through a step-by-step guide of how to clean and polish your boots but also features videos of every stage.
This makes sure that you don’t miss anything and can follow the instructions while actively cleaning and polishing your boots.
Another fantastic service is the ‘find a cobbler’ feature.
This allows you to find a recommended cobbler near where you live if you need to have your boots resoled.
They seem to have thought of everything!
These helpful features will mean that your Captain boots will last even longer and stay in excellent condition and look good for even longer.
But these boots are already designed for the long haul.
The design and quality of the materials used to make these boots mean that even after several years of wear they will still be comfortable and looking good.
Of course not all Captain boots will be worn in the same way, but they are all made to the same excellent standard.
Thursday Boots Captains are a work boot, dress boot hybrid and people who own a pair absolutely love them and even go as far as owning several pairs.
So what goes into Thursday Boots Captains to make them so awesome. Well, quite a lot, actually.
From the materials to the sizing and fit there are high standards after high standards here.
Let’s take a look at the main features of the boots they call Captain and see if they are worthy of the name.
There are three types of full grain leather that are used in the making of Thursday Boots Captains and a single type of suede.
The three leathers are Horween, their own proprietary Chrome leather and their Rugged and Resilient range.
Horween leather comes from the Horween Leather Company which has been synonymous with high quality leather working in the US since 1905.
Thursday Boots Company have been working with the Horween family to fine tune generations-old tannages.
Thursday’s own proprietary leather, Chrome is a combination of vegetable tanning and tanning with chromium salts and tanning liquors.
This leather has been developed alongside the Le Farc tannery in Mexico.
It is a double-tanned leather infused with natural oils and waxes in a process known as ‘hot stuffing’.
The vegetable tanning provides the leather with durability and flexibility while the chrome tanning gives a rich color and strong shine.
The Rugged and Resilient leather is custom made to give years of hard wearing service with a minimum of care.
The matte leather comes from Tier 1 USA cattle hides and is used to construct the boots uppers. This leather improves in appearance with use.
Thursday’s suede contains a blend of hydrophobic and waterproof compounds.
This stops water from penetrating the leather and keeps feet dry. Nevertheless the suede is surprisingly strong, supple and soft.
Quality boots are made from quality leather and Thursday Boot Company have ensured that their footwear is made from premium leather.
The sole on Captain boots is designed to lessen the impact on your feet to reduce fatigue and is constructed from several elements.
Let’s start with the outsole. This is made from rubber which Thursday makes themselves and features studs which give extra grip and traction in slippery conditions.
While they are very useful they remain low profile, quietly doing their job.
The midsole in the Thursday Boots Captain is a cork bed midsole which conforms to your foot over time.
A steel shank has been incorporated into the mid-sole for arch support and to counteract foot fatigue.
The mid-sole also contains a shock absorbing foam consisting of EVA which gives the Captain boots their fantastic comfort.
A full glove leather interior lining makes for a very comfortable boot with a soft feel on your feet.
The entire sole is secured using a 360 degree Goodyear welt. This is a traditional method of securing the upper of a shoe or boot to the sole.
A welt is a strip of leather that is sewn to the boot upper before being attached to the sole. It runs along the perimeter of the sole.
With this method of attaching the sole to the upper of the Captain boot it is far easier for the boot to be resoled.
That’s because the welt is not part of the upper or the sole and is actually a buffer between the two.
It also acts as a good water-resistant barrier.
Sizing & Fit
Sizing ranges from 6 to16 and widths available are mostly a standard D which covers around 80% of the population of the US.
They also recommend a D fitting for those who typically buy an E as the boots are wider in some areas to allow for a more comfortable fit.
However, some boots are available in wide fits of EE or triple E for wider feet.
The size of the Captain boot that you order should be the same as you would wear in other high quality leather boots or dress shoes.
Because Thursday Boot Company sells most of their footwear online via their website or Amazon, a helpful piece of information that they provide is to buy a half size smaller than your normal size in sneakers.
The inability to try before you buy makes this a valuable tip.
However the company does offer free shipping and returns anywhere in the US so don’t panic if you think you may need to return a pair of boots because of size or fit.
You could also order two pairs at half a size difference if you are unsure and return the pair that don’t fit.
For those who are between sizes Thursday Boot Company recommends that you order the smaller size.
This is because leather naturally stretches over time and an initial snug fit doesn’t necessarily mean that the boots are the wrong size.
Most leather boots and shoes will require a certain degree of breaking in before they hit their ultimate comfort level.
Thursday Boots Captains take just a couple of weeks to hit their sweet spot.
The leather is only around 1.8 millimeters and while it is stiff to begin with it doesn’t offer too much resistance and will begin to stretch and soften with wear.
The cork and foam insole may take a little longer than the leather to conform to your feet but once it does your Captain boots will be as comfortable as your sneakers.
With leather’s natural tendency to stretch before too long you will feel as though you have had these boots forever.
Although you may feel that the boots are stiff on the few first occasions the EVA comfort strip in the mid-sole helps the transition from new boot sensation to satisfying comfort.
Some heel slip is normal in new boots but once you’ve worn them for a while it will disappear.
A little soreness is to be expected initially but patience with the process of breaking in will be rewarded with a pair of boots you won’t want to take off.
Leather boots such as the Captain are built to last for years so a week or so is not long, relatively speaking for breaking in and the pay-off will be well worth it.
What Do Others Think?
There are a lot of reviews out there for Thursday Boots Captains and the vast majority are very positive.
From almost 21K reviews the average score was 4.6 out of 5 stars.
There were some negative comments, this is the real world after all but most were favorable.
Most people love the fact that the boots are a blend of a dress boot and a work boot.
This fact makes them ideal for wearing to work and then leaving them on as you head out in the evening for a nice meal.
Others were impressed with the quality of the materials and the build.
Many love the simplicity of the design and its lack of fussiness. The price was another big plus for such quality footwear.
However the overwhelming majority of positive reviews were raving about the sheer comfort of the boots and how long they last.
Some of the negative reviews were about the stiffness of the boots initially.
Of course as we have seen the boots need breaking in, but there is a knack to breaking in leather boots. The best way to do this is to wear the boots for a few hours every other day.
The reviewers who found the boots uncomfortable and rubbing seemed to be wearing them straight out of the box all day long, so it is not surprising that they were having problems.
Alternatives To Thursday Boots Captain
If the Thursday Boot Company Captain model is not your cup of tea in the boot department there are some great alternatives in the service boot category.
These boots are legendary and a true American icon. They are loved for their long-lasing construction and distinctive style.
Iron rangers are named for the miners that used to wear this type of boot in the 1930s.
Their resilience and longevity have made them a favorite for people from all walks of life and in all kinds of jobs.
The distinctive toe cap is a very recognizable feature of the Red Wing Iron Ranger and equally durable.
Like the Thursday Boots Captain this toe cap is not just decorative but is an additional piece of leather added to the toe of the boots.
A cork midsole and leather insole make them a comfortable fit.
Over time, they conform to your feet in a very personalized way. The Goodyear welt creates a layer of water resistance around the 360 degrees of the sole.
This allows resoling of the Iron Rangers meaning they will last for years to come even when you have worn the original soles down.
Puritan triple-stitch seams have been used in the construction of Red Wing shoes since the company’s inception.
The bump toe allows for natural toe movement and this is one dis-similarity with the Thursday Boots Captain which doesn't have the bump toe but a more streamlined toe.
Like the Captain however the Iron Ranger has lugs on the outsole for added grip in all conditions.
Velasca Fruttiroeu boots are very beautiful to look at and extremely stylish. But then they are Italian, so we wouldn’t really expect anything less.
They are made from full grain calf skin leather which allows feet to breathe more and adds to the durability of the boots.
These boots use the Blake stitch method as opposed to the Goodyear welt to attach the upper to the sole.
It is not as water-resistant, but it does offer greater flexibility to the boot, and they can also be resoled.
Fruttiroeu’s outsoles are made from Vibram rubber, and they offer excellent grip in rain and snow.
They are very soft to wear but also extremely durable. Sizes range from a US 5 to 14 and the color range is dark brown, tobacco brown, gray or black.
You can choose between smooth calf leather or greased suede calf leather.
Because of their stylish looks these boots are a great choice for wearing to work or out at a nice restaurant.
They are a wonderful compromise between a dress boot and a work boot.
It is definitely a dressier boot than the Red Wing Iron Ranger but gives the Thursday Boot Captain a run for its money in the looks department.
The deciding factor may be whether you want to buy an American handmade boot or an Italian handmade boot. It is a tough choice.
A boot that is definitely handcrafted in the United States is the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot.
This is an impressive name for an impressive boot. It’s not too shabby in the looks department either with precise detailing.
They are constructed from the Horween Leather Company’s premium leather. This Chicago based company has been around for more than a hundred years.
It takes more than 80 skilled shoemakers to handcraft each pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots.
Formerly known as the 1000 Mile Evans Boot the style was recreated from the company’s archival 1914 1000 Mile pattern and updated with a Vibram rubber tap sole.
They are an excellent choice for rugged terrain.
These boots use rough out and premium leather on their uppers and a leather outsole with the Vibram rubber at the forepart and the heel for grip, traction and durability.
They are a bit chunkier like the Iron Ranger but are sturdy and should last for many years.
As with the Thursday Boot Captains these boots also use the Goodyear welt allowing them to be resoled when you need it.
The Goodyear welt also offers better water resistance than the Velasca Fruttiroeu which uses the Blake stitching method.
However these boots use a higher quality of leather than the Captains but also charge double the price.
Unlike the Captain and Iron Ranger the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot doesn’t have a toe cap.
Overview Of Thursday Boots Captain
There are many things to like about the Thursday Boots Captain, here are just a few of them.
What We Like
- The leather in the Captain boots is top quality full grain leather that comes from American cows. There is a choice of their own proprietary Chrome leather, Horween leather, custom made Rugged & Resilient or their WeatherSafe suede.
- Captains soles are made from a studded rubber outsole, a cork bed and EVA foam midsole and a full glove leather interior lining. It is attached to the upper by a Goodyear welt for improved water resistance and to allow resoling.
- Comfort is a key with Captain boots. They can be worn at work all day long and take you for a long night out without causing any problems for your feet. The ability to conform to your feet make them one of the most comfortable service boots out there.
- For looks these boots are hard to beat, they are sleek and beautifully made. They perform just as well for work as they do for going out on the town and are the perfect hybrid boot.
- The price of Thursday Boots Captains is impossible to beat in the category of service boots of this caliber and quality. Similar boots are much more expensive and in some cases more than double the price.
- Durability is one of the more impressive features of these boots. Although they would not compete in a purely work boot category they take a lot of punishment and still look good.
What We Don’t Like
- Although the Captain is a tough cookie they cannot take the place of a proper walking boot. If you try to walk more than a few miles in them, they can get very heavy on your legs.
- Leather can absorb foot moisture and may over time begin to smell. If your Thursday Boots Captains start to smell bad stuff them with some newspaper and put them outside in fresh air for a while. The newspaper will absorb the excess moisture.
Final Thoughts On Thursday Boots Captain
The Thursday Boots Company Captain model is one of many service boots on the market today, but it has a lot of features that make it stand out from the crowd.
For style, comfort and durability they are hard to beat and will fend off most competition.
However it is when it comes to the price that the Captain really stands apart from the rest.
For less than $200 you get a pair of extremely stylish, durable boots that are very comfortable and can be worn in almost any situation.
With even minimal maintenance the boots look good year after year.
There are a lot of color and styles options, so you can choose a pair that suits your personal taste, or even have two or three pairs as they are not as pricey as some of their competitors.
The leather is top quality, and the soles are tough with comfortable conforming insoles and anti-fatigue features.
The grips on the outsole keep you upright in slippery conditions and the boots can be resoled when necessary.
Captains are not walking boots though so don’t head out on a trek in them as they will feel heavy after more than two or three miles.
They are a great hybrid work-dress boot that will transition from your work life to your social life without missing a step and will last several years.