I have always owned cowboy boots.
When I heard that Thursday Boot Company was releasing a line of cowboy boots, I was excited, and thought that it only made sense. Thursday Boots are of impressive quality, are always made with an enormous respect for heritage, and have features and details usually found in much more expensive offerings. Their boots are loaded with everything you need and have nothing you don’t.
I have never been a fan of delicate cowboy boots full of elaborate decorations, delicate bottoms and heels, polished to a dress shoe shine. For me, the ultimate expression of a cowboy boot is a working boot; something less flashy, with a lower heel for better balance, yet still high enough to give you protection. Cowboy boots should be used, and should be able to hold up to a host of outdoor activities from working in the yard to rodeo work. It is a bonus if then you can clean them up and wear them out.
So here are the Desperado Boots from Thursday in all of their glory. Let’s get down to brass tacks — because this boot actually has them.
Thursday Cowboy Boots Pros and Cons
Got somewhere to be? Here are the pros and cons of Thursday’s entry to the Western boot game.
- High quality, sustainably made leather
- Resoleable and water resistant construction
- Terrific value
- Studded sole offers more traction than leather
- No wide widths, which is extra notable for a laceless cowboy boot
- Leather lining and rubber soles mean they may not breathe as well as traditional cowboy boots in extreme heat
Thursday Cowboy Boots First Impressions
- Traditional ornamentation
- Tall 13″ boot
- Able to be worn under jeans
These are fairly traditional cowboy boots with a 13” inch shaft and a stovepipe profile and sensible heel. They are boldly stitched with a large fleur-de-lis that can be discreetly hidden beneath your jeans or trousers. A bonus here is that the shaft isn’t so voluminous that I couldn’t wear them with ordinary jeans — no boot cut pants are necessary if you’re buying these.
These are very handsome, unpretentious boots that go with many styles. It is certainly easy enough to pair them with some straight leg jeans and a flannel shirt. You could top this off with any of the outerwear in the Filson line or the Flannel-lined Waxed Trucker from Huckberry. These boots beg for a rugged jacket.
Thursday Cowboy Boots Leather
- Full grain, oil tanned, very water resistant leather
- Sustainably produced at Lefarc Tannery
My Desperados came in Arizona Adobe in their Rugged & Resilient leather, a line of leathers that are made with extra oils and waxes that help to improve the leather’s weather resistance and ease of care. Tobacco and Black Matte were also available in Rugged & Resilient, while there’s one classic leather called Old Town that has more of a slight sheen to it.
Thursday’s leather ages exceptionally well as it adapts to your feet and wear-patterns, forming light and dark areas. I am also an olfactory guy, and I can tell you that these boots had a rich, leathery smell out of the box. We’ve experienced bad leather before, and one thing to note is that it stinks. My Desperados, however, were a welcome presence in my home.
How To Care for the Leather
Thursday recommends spraying your boots with Cobbler’s Choice Leather Cleaner and to use a clean Microfiber Cloth to wipe them down. For the Rugged and Resilient leathers, they do not recommend any conditioning or protective products.
If you are not wearing your boots hard, you may never need to clean or condition them. That’s the point of the Rugged and Resilient leathers after all, and these boots are indeed tough and will bear their nicks and scuffs proudly without compromising their integrity or the overall look at the boots. Just give them the occasional brushing, like a cat. This will reduce the risk of dirt causing the stitching to break down.
[Further reading: Compare with their competitor in our Tecovas boots review]
Thursday Desperado Boots Details & Construction
- Studded rubber outsoles
- Goodyear welt construction for water resistance and resoleability
- Full leather lining
- Two shanks for stability and balance
- Shock absorbing insole
One of the important things to me in a pair of boots is its romance and heritage. I want them to have some sort of connection to a place or brand that has been using traditional methods that can be traced back for generations. I like a good story that comes with the boots, but I want that story backed up in the details.
I’ve found the perfect union of these two concepts. I know that may sound strange about a company that was founded in 2014, but here’s the thing: Thursday has been brilliant at jumping into the stream of traditional boot making and bringing them to you at amazing prices.
Thursday states that these boots are made alongside other brands that cost more than $300 and they ain’t lyin’! In this case, these boots are made in León Guanajuato, Mexico. This is the same town where Chisos are made for over double the price. This town has nurtured a vibrant boot-making industry of master cobblers producing boots of exceptional and consistent quality.
The first thing that leaped out at me are the studded rubber outsoles. I love these. I know that leather is more traditional and many say more comfortable, but living in New England, I appreciate a strong rubber outsole as I crunch rock salt into the driveway or as I walk my daughter to the bus stop over frost or wet leaves. I find these bottoms to be stable and much grippier than the leather bottoms that feel like walking on an ice skating rink before they feel sufficiently scuffed to offer some purchase.
I also love the brass tacks that glitter like gold embellishments in the light and hold the whole works together with some style and a reverent nod to tradition.
These boots also have a 270 degree Goodyear welt construction that will help to keep the rain out and allow them to be resoled.
They are also lined with soft, smooth, glove leather that I appreciate for the ease of sliding in and out. (The shaft is 13” and that is a lot of shaft to slide down.) The inner seam is also sewn flush, so there is no abrasion or uncomfortable stitching pressing against you.
The insole is permanent but comfortable and cushioning. They call it their Poron® Antimicrobial Shock Absorbing Insoles and they offer a nice bounce and comfort beneath my toes. There is cork beneath that helps to conform to your foot. They feel firmer than the Chisos, but it seems unfair to compare any other boot’s insoles to Chisos since their insoles put Doctor Sholl’s to shame.
This boot features is a true full-leather heel stack which is often lacking from much more expensive boots, like Tony Lamas. This is more of a traditional method of boot making and is surprising to see in a boot at this price point. It also has a full leather rand attaching it to the upper.
The stitching is tight throughout and there was nary a loose thread, speaking to how solid they are and their attention to detail.
It has a full steel shank sandwiched between compressed cardboard and an additional composite shank for additional rigidity. This is why it has that little bulge at the bottom that reminds me of the transmission hump on an old car.
In summation, these boots have exceptional construction and when you factor in their price, it is an extraordinary value proposition.
Thursday Cowboy Boots Price and Value
Thursday has done it again in delivering an incredible amount of high-end features in a very affordable boot. At the time of writing, these are $235 USD. My first thought was that they were made in Asia. Alas no: Mexico, one of my favorite places for boot-making. My favorite cowboy boots, Chisos, came from there.
My next thought would be that they were using inferior materials, but these have excellent leather both inside and out. As impressive as the Rugged & Resilient leather is, so too the glove leather lining is soft, supple, and frankly surprising that it is there.
Couple this with the Goodyear welt, full-leather heel stack, brass tacks, and hand stitched embellishments… How are they pulling this off? If they are not careful, someone is going to come along, buy these, sew their own brand label on them, and sell them for twice as much, and they would still be worth it.
For $235 USD, these are a no brainer if you’re looking for good cowboy boots. Unless…
Thursday Desperado Boots Sizing and Fit
- No extra widths
- Order a half size down from your true size
So if it appears as if I have been over complimentary to this point, perhaps it’s because this is where my criticisms kick in. First, allow me a huge disclaimer: if you like the fit of Thursday Boots I am told that these fit like those and you should be fine and happy.
However, let me describe my fit rationale and journey: I have wide feet. They aren’t extraordinarily wide, but when I can find them, wider shoes and boots are best. I wear a 10E comfortably and happily.
These do not come in wide and so when I am confronted with this, I order a bit longer and assume that I will pick up a bit of width in the process.[Further Reading: How to Size Thursday Boots]
The instructions say to order a half size smaller than your sneaker size. I don’t wear sneakers and haven’t for over a decade, but I am a size 10E in those as well, in most of my dress shoes, and boots. According to their instructions, I should have ordered a 9 ½. I considered that I would go big to get some width and skipped over 10 to a 10 ½, just to be sure.
And even at 10 ½, I find them quite narrow.
In the few weeks of wearing these around for this article, they have loosened up, but not enough. I’ve been wearing them for errands, yard work, and the occasional trip to Trader Joe’s. They still feel snug side to side, as if I am being gripped by an invisible force.
So these feel quite snug for me, and I imagine that they would for anyone with wider feet. For those of you like me, I would suggest waiting for a wider size to become available.
It’s worth noting that because they don’t have laces, a lot of cowboy boot brands lean heavily on the feature of offering multiple widths, as this can be what makes or breaks the fit when you can’t adjust it with laces.
[Further reading: How Cowboy Boots Should Fit]
These are absolutely brilliant boots of solid construction and with so many amazing features at an almost unbelievable price. Brass tacks, full leather stack, comfortable insoles, great leather, Goodyear welt, solid stitching.
If you are comfortable with the regular sizing of Thursday, then these are the boots for you. They are extraordinary.
I am tempted to say that the Desperados would make a great first pair of cowboy boots, but the truth is, these are perfect for anyone who appreciates a great boot made by craftsmen in an area known for producing boots for generations. These boots are so good, that they could easily be your only cowboy boots — as long as you have average width feet.