After one year and walking hundreds of miles all over the country, I’m impressed by how well the leather wears and how little the sole has worn down. The main downsides are the lack of wide sizes and no gusseted tongue. Thursday’s rugged, chunky Hero Boot is a steal at $199.
I think the Hero is my most worn Thursday boot ever, and I have worn quite a few.
If you follow my Instagram, you’re probably sick of me posting story after story of these boots walking around the reservoir in Central Park every day, and I took them to Massachusetts, Tennessee, and even Montreal.
Heck, I could make this article nothing but stories of these boots, but after a year of wearing them and hundreds of miles of walking, I’m ready for a proper, dare I say, ultimate Thursday Hero boot review.
Thursday Hero Boot Pros
- Ideal for guys who prefer chunkier, more traditional boots
- Insane value at $199
- Extra water resistant, resoleable construction
- Grippy sole won’t wear down for years
- 5 tough leather options for a variety of aesthetics
- Great shock absorption
Thursday Hero Boot Cons
- Tongue isn’t gusseted, which boosts water resistance
- No speed hooks
- Just one layer of leather underfoot might not appeal to traditionalists
- Super casual, you can’t dress them up
How We Reviewed the Thursday Hero Boot
I’m a 10,000-steps-a-day guy, and I’ve put in hundreds of miles in over a year of wearing the Hero. (In fact, I’ve had them so long they were called the Titan when I received them, but Thursday had to change the name after Timberland pointed out they already had Titan boots.)
As with all of my reviews, I’m judging these boots on comfort, style, value, quality, and fit. I’ve reviewed over a hundred boots on YouTube, and if I can toot my own horn, I know what I’m talking about. The Hero is my most worn boot of the year, so I’m as well situated as I could be to answer the questions, “What is the Hero boot, and how does it fit into Thursday’s lineup, your lifestyle, and your wardrobe?”
Let’s look at what many are calling “the grown-up Dr. Marten.”
Thursday Boots: Brand Overview
To those unfamiliar, Thursday Boot Company was founded in 2014 with the goal of radically reducing the price of Goodyear welted boots. That’s a way of making a boot very water resistant and easy to resole, and it used to be impossible to find a good pair for under $300.
Through a very boring mastery of supply chain logistics, they’ve managed to sell a huge variety of boots for under two hundred bucks. The price, combined with their slimmer, more modern take on the work boot, has rocketed them to popularity.
I guess I’m specifically talking about their flagship boot, the Thursday Captain, but the angle of making boots that are sleeker than bulky work boots is present on their moc toes, their chelseas, and most of their offerings.
Unless you’re looking at the Hero, which seems to have been designed to cater to guys who prefer those chunkier, old timey boots.[Further Reading: Thursday Captain Boot Review (2023) | Why It’s the Best Value Boot On the Market]
Thursday Hero Aesthetic and Design
There are guys who like their price point but feel Thursday’s most popular boots, like the Captain and President are too slim and modern. When the Hero came out, it was a clear answer: it’s much less sleek and tapered than the Captain, with a pleasingly round toe, tall shaft, and extra water resistant storm welt construction. It’s a chunkier, harder wearing, more traditional-looking boot.
What a lot of guys like about the Captain is that the slimness makes it easy to both dress up and dress down, so you lose that versatility with the Hero, but it brings a lot to the table. It has much more of an outdoorsy, casual, pseudo-combat boot look than the typical Thursday boot, especially with that tall, luggy sole (which, incidentally, barely shows any wear after a year of use.)
The elephant in the room is Dr. Martens’ boot, and I actually did a video comparing Thursday and Dr Martens when my Heros were new. I daresay the Hero is something of a combination of Docs and Timberland’s Premium Waterproof boot, a mashup of the two of the most iconic and popular boots of all time.
With all eyelets and no speed hooks, a 6-and-a-half-inch height, a giant 1.5-inch height from a very thick sole, and a pull tab on the back, the Hero has DNA from both brands.
But it’s better made than either of them.
Thursday Hero Leather Quality
- 5 leathers available
- Two nubucks are suede-like in appearance but waterproof
- Waxed Cacao is for boot guys who like to age their leather
- Arizona Adobe is Thursday’s most popular, hardwearing brown
- Mustang Brown is a chromey dark brown
Even though they don’t offer the Hero in anything like that god-awful glossy Dr. Martens leather, it has some cool leathers.
They now offer the Hero in two more classic Thursday leathers (Arizona Adobe, their most popular brown, and a glossier brown called Mustang), but the others are unusual for the brand. There’s a Black Matte and Tan Matte made from waterproof nubuck, a leather made by lightly sanding it to reveal nappy protein fibers. It’s easy to mistake it for suede, but it’s actually thicker and generally considered harder wearing and more durable.
The most popular nubuck boot is definitely the Timberland Premium, and these nubucks are definitely good choices if you want something reminiscent of that boot but more durable and can be resoleable. (Though, to be fair, Timberland’s boot is insulated and waterproof.)
The leather I got is the Waxed Cacao. That’s waxed flesh, meaning it’s regular thick leather that’s been turned inside out, so the smooth side is on the interior and the fleshy side on the outside. Wax is then applied to it to make it more waterproof and stainproof.
Waxed flesh is a real “boot guy” leather. Guys who are into the hobby of collecting and admiring fine welted footwear love to get their hands on waxed flesh because it’s a challenge: the more you wear it, the more the wax wears away, and the more of the fuzzy flesh is revealed underneath it. That’s why my pair has streaks of light brown cutting through the darker wax. You have to really earn that look with wear.
Thursday Hero Construction & Durability
- Storm welt construction improves longevity and water resistance
- Good shock absorption with both EVA and Poron foam
- Cork filling and leather midsole for traditional comfort
- No gusseted tongue, so don’t get too deep into puddles
We covered how the aesthetic differs from other Thursday boots, but a big deal is that the construction’s different, too: instead of a Goodyear welt, these use a storm welt. A welt is a strip of leather stitched between the upper and the sole, making it much easier to resole than if the two were sewn to each other directly. With this boot, the welt is extra wide and curls up onto the boot’s upper, making it even more water resistant than a Goodyear welt — which is already pretty darn water resistant.
This makes it one of the more outdoorsy boots in Thursday’s collection.
The only issue is that the tongue isn’t gusseted, so it’s not stitched to the lacing panel, which would have made them extra waterproof. The takeaway is: you can go ankle deep in water, but no more than that.
Insole & Midsole
Under your feet, you have two kinds of shock-absorbing foam: EVA cushion and Poron. This is a modern touch Thursday’s known for, using materials made for sneakers and popping them in boots to improve the break in and make them less hard underfoot.
But there are also traditional Goodyear welted boot components: a vegetable-tanned leather midsole and cork filling in the welt cavity. The cork is sort of like older fashioned shock absorbing tech that also helps regulate moisture, plus the combo of cork and leather mold to the shape of your foot over time.
Some traditionalists prefer no foam and a leather insole instead, which is much harder underfoot but does a slightly better job of conforming to your foot’s shape. I think the tradeoffs are worth the cushier experience, but your opinion might vary.
Thursday’s StormKing Sole
Under the midsole is this gigantic luggy sole they call the Storm King, which adds a full 1.5 inches to your height and will take forever and a day to wear down.
I’ve worn these so much more than other boots I’ve reviewed (the patina proves it!), and unlike the soles of the last boots I reviewed from Portland Leather Company, which had bits of the sole breaking off by week two, the StormKing has held up really well.
Incidentally, the Waxed Cacao is the only Thursday boot with a StormKing sole in this tan color. It’s a bit divisive; I’ve seen some guys not like it, but it adds a slightly modern twist on the heritage look that I quite like as a means to jazz it up a little while still keeping things pretty, you know, brown.
Thursday Hero Boot Sizing and Fit
- Go down half a size from your sneaker size
- Sizes 6 to 16 available
- Wide sizes coming in Winter 2024
Thursday updated their lasts not long ago and we released a new guide to sizing Thursday boots along with it, but the short answer: size down 0.5 from your sneaker size.
My sneaker size is usually an 11.5, sometimes a 12. I initially got an 11.5 in the Hero but swapped it for an 11.
If you have other Thursday boots, you will have noticed what I already said: the toebox is rounder and more classic casual than the Captain.
The two boots are made on two different lasts, a foot-shaped mold that a bootmaker builds the boot around. The Captain’s on the Kingmaker last, the Hero (and the Explorer) are on the Challenger last.
Different lasts usually mean different sizing, but not at Thursday: if you’ve bought from them before then get the size you got last time, if you haven’t bought from them before, take 0.5 off of your typical sneaker size.
The Hero is roomier at the toes than the Captain, underscoring its use as an outdoorsier boot that will see your foot flexing more than it would if you’re sticking to the city. While Thursday recommends a full thumb’s width from the end of your big toe to the front of the boot for the Captain, they say to look for more like half a thumb’s width on the Hero because of the roomier toe.
I don’t know; I just got the same size in both. Don’t overthink it. Take half off your sneaker size and enjoy the free exchange policy if it’s not the right fit.
Thursday Hero Boot Price and Value
Thursday’s value is obscene. Some guys might not like their aesthetic, or they might prefer more leather underfoot, but nobody can dispute that they offer the best value in the game.
But I can see someone not caring about resoling the Hero anyway: this sole is so damn tall you probably won’t ever need to.
Wrapping Up: Is Thursday Hero Boot Worth It?
Overall, the Thursday Hero boot is an impressive blend of style, durability, and value.
It’s an unusually outdoorsy offering from the brand and is the perfect option for guys who don’t love the slimmer look of the brand’s flagship boots like the Captain lace up or Cavalier Chelsea. The leather’s tough, the build is nearly waterproof, and the sole is grippy and will probably take years to wear down. There’s no resole on the horizon with these babies, but if you want to, you can resole them and take them for a decade of wear.
Despite some minor drawbacks (that un-gusseted tongue!), its strengths make it a worthy contender in the market, especially at its price point.
What are Thursday boots custom developed reinforced eyelets?
Thursday boots' custom-developed reinforced eyelets enhance their durability and longevity. These eyelets withstand repeated lacing and tension, ensuring they don't easily wear out or break, even with regular use.
What are durable StormKing lug rubber outsoles?
We spent a full year in the StormKing lug rubber outsoles and it offers great grip and durability. You'll have years before you need to resole.
What are the benefits of Kevlar blend laces?
Kevlar blend laces are unusually strong and resistant to breaking, thanks to the Kevlar material, known for its high tensile strength. Additionally, these laces are less likely to fray or wear out quickly.
How do cork bed midsoles form to your feet?
Cork bed midsoles mold to the shape of your feet over time from the heat and pressure of your feet. It compresses and adapt to the contours of your foot, providing personalized comfort and support.
How do Thursday boots make boots so inexpensively?
Thursday Boots maintains affordability through a lean business model; it's simple and boring logistics and supply chain management. Two big factors are the fact they own their own factory and only sell online, so there's no brick and mortar stores adding their markup.
What other types of footwear does Thursday make?
Thursday also sells dress shoes, loafers, and both high top and low top leather sneakers.