Ed note: Thursday Boot Co. sponsored this highly(ish) scientific wear-testing study

Thursday Boot Co. is unabashed about touting their footwear’s comfort. In fact, the first word on their About page is, well, “Comfort.” But how do the boots live up to that claim?

To find out, we recruited five Intrepid Boot Testers. I’d consider each of them to be true boot enthusiasts: upstanding gentlemen who owned multiple—if not 10 or more—pairs of boots and shoes, and spent their days thinking about what to make a move on next. One major criteria for selection: to set a solid baseline, they were required to have zero prior experience with Thursday boots. We wanted fresh minds, and feet. Each Intrepid Tester was issued an identical pair (in their correct size, naturally) of Goodyear welted Thursday Captain boots in brown Thursday Chrome leather, complete with Poron insoles, cork-bed midsoles, and Thursday’s proprietary studded rubber outsoles.

The Intrepid Testers were instructed to wear their Thursday Captains every other day for one full month, and record a Comfort Diary entry following each wear—along with the results of a fun comfort-testing challenge or two along the way. “Be 100% honest about how they feel” was the no. 1 rule the Intrepid testers were issued. Also I asked them to use a lot of analogies.

The results are below. Get yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

Thursday Boot Co. Captain Boot

Day 1: Initial Impressions

“When you first put your foot in, you feel some cushion and compression. I’d say it feels like a combination of a regular boot and Adidas memory foam slides. Starting out, the leather feels a bit stiff especially side to side, but seems like it will definitely soften with wear. It feels like these will be a painless break in. I wore them to the airport today to fly for work. I was able to wear them through the TSA pre-check metal detector with no issues—a definite plus.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #1

“Compared to other boots I’ve had, these were the most comfortable right out of the box. I didn’t experience any stiffness or rubbing. The foam footbed/insole was like walking on a jam-packed jelly donut (minus the mess).” -Intrepid Boot Tester #2

“There’s a nice cushion to the insole right out of the box, which is sometimes lacking in boots. As with any leather boots, breaking them in is a process, so on this first wear there was some discomfort around the ankle and heel, but it wasn’t too bad. The boots felt like a new baseball glove: a little stiff, but with a few games under their belt, they’ll be great.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #3

“It was my first wear so a little stiffness in the leather was to be expected. Wore them all evening and late into the night and they got more comfortable. It was like putting on a jelly bean: a little firm on the outside, but nice and soft on the inside as you chew more.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #4

“The Captain boots feel a little bit like a yoga mat. They have some give in the insole, which will likely become significantly more comfortable with wear and seems to have very nice potential for molding to my foot. Plenty of room in the front of the boot for a roomy fit.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #5

Day 3

“Still a little stiff but starting to loosen up a bit. Tried using some thicker socks, which cut down on some of the discomfort. I also tried tying the laces both tighter and looser to find the right fit and that definitely helped around the ankle. The heel is still giving me some issues but nothing major. Still feeling good around the toes and the sole is still great. They’re like a new paperback that I’ve just cracked open and am only about 30 pages in.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #3

“They are feeling good, only issue was there was a little pain in my mid foot at one point, but it faded away pretty quick. Otherwise, they are nice boots that are soft, and I don’t feel like I have to baby them too much.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #5

Day 5

“No uncomfortable rubbing or friction, it’s like the inside is made out of butter, but in a nonstick way rather than the common ‘buttery soft’ leather description. They’re starting to mold to my feet and the flex point in the vamp has established itself” -Intrepid Boot Tester #2

“I took a flight from Philly to Chicago, and then had to drive to Wisconsin. They once again did not trip off the security scanners! They are also nice for the flight, since I don’t have to worry about scuffing them since the scuffs and scratches disappear after a good brushing. These feel like the perfect travel boots.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #1

Thursday Boot Co. Captain Boot

Day 9

“The last time I wore these was outside in the cold which caused the sole to be pretty hard, but they were back to normal today!” -Intrepid Boot Tester #2

“I wore these boots all day, with about seven hours of driving. My feet were feeling good afterwards, which I can’t say about my other pairs of shoes. I can see my Thursday’s becoming my boots for days when I’m going to walk a ton. Honestly, they are the perfect boots if you want the comfort of a sneaker, but the look and style of a heritage boot.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #1

The Running Challenge

Because comfortable boots should hopefully be comfortable in all situations, the Intrepid Testers were issued this prompt: “Run the rough equivalent of 30-50 yards in your Thursday Captain boots—let’s pretend you’re trying to catch a bus that you absolutely can’t miss. How do your feet feel after the run?”

“I ran short distances like this with my dog (who is crazy fast so I’m basically sprinting) and they honestly felt fine! I wouldn’t recommend running a 5k in any shoe with a heel. But comparing them to a similar distance in my other boots, they are better runners, for what that’s worth.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #2

“They worked pretty dang well, the sneaker-like insole helps out!” -Intrepid Boot Tester #4

“My feet felt great after the run, with no pain. The foam took the shock really well. Even with great-quality, expensive heritage boots, a big disadvantage with leather insoles is a lack of shock absorption, so you’ll feel it if you land really hard on them. These did not have that problem.” -Intrepid BootTester #1

“My feet actually felt totally fine after sprinting for a block. My ankles were sore afterwards but that always happens after sprinting in boots.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #5

“I’ll be honest, this did not go very well. The shape and extension of the toe are not made for running. I tripped and almost ate shit. I think people are used to athletic shoes for running (myself included) so it’s tough to replicate that mechanism in a pair of boots like this. But my feet felt fine!” -Intrepid Boot Tester #3

Thursday Boot Co. Captain Boot

Day 13

“Walking around in the snow this week actually went pretty well! Didn’t slip around too much and my feet were dry. These would now be my go to if I had to do a lot of standing in a day.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #2

“Last night was my birthday, so to celebrate I wanted to go out and have a big night. I got very intoxicated. The boots had some drinks spilled on them, and I also may have threw up some Halal Guys, and some of it may have gotten on the boots. So they needed some cleaning. I washed them a bit in the sink to get most of the gunk off. Then I used wet paper towels to clean it off a bit more, followed by brushing. I then used saddle soap to do a deep clean. This left the leather looking pretty matte, so I conditioned them with Smith’s Leather Balm. They now look good as new. But anyway, the boots were great.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #1

Day 15

“They feel very good on the feet, and I don’t worry too much about scuffing or scratching because they look better with wear, and scratches and scuffs can buff out. Because of this, these are the first boots I grab when it’s time to go out.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #1

“I’ve been taking these out and doing my best to put them through their paces. Picking a up a few scuffs here and there, and considering them fully broken in. Slipping these on is like slipping on a pair of slippers. I assume, as I don’t own any slippers.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #2

Thursday Boot Co. Captain Boot

Day 19

“Today was a good test during the cold spell—the boots didn’t get too stiff. I find the height of the boots helps prop up my ankle joints nicely, which for someone like me that has some lingering soccer injuries, is a great perk when I’m standing for an extended time.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #3

“Comfort from day one to today is a huge increase. I cycled to and from work—about seven miles total. Walked around an office all day in them. Took the stairs instead of elevator traveling between floors today, about 10 flights total. Very comfortable.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #5

“When you put your foot in the boot, it doesn’t feel as pillow-y cushioned, but that’s because it has conformed to my feet, so it feels like your feet kinda slide into place where they are supposed to be. Also, the leather has become much less stiff, and flexes with the foot.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #1

The Finest Comfort-Based Analogies

Throughout the course of the month, our Intrepid Testers were asked to submit interesting analogies for how their Thursday Captain boots felt. They were…often quite interesting! Plenty made it into the diary entries throughout; here are some that didn’t, just for fun.

-“It’s like a jelly fish is slowly wrapping itself around my feet.”

-“Romping around in the snow with these kept my feet warm and dry, like little pigs in a blanket.”

-“The insoles are like walking on firm strawberry Jell-O.” [Ed note: no idea how he could tell it was strawberry but ok]

-“Like my legs were being held up by flying buttresses.”

-“They feel more comfortable than my Ultraboosts.”

-“Like I’ve got an agile Jeep on my feet as I avoid landmines in the deserts of suburbia.”

-“It’s like traversing through a marshmallow forest.”

-“Feels like I’m stomping wonderfully plump grapes for a winery. Haha sorry that’s probably kinda weird.”

Day 23

“The comfort has evolved by leaps and bounds. The area around where the foot meets the ankle has loosened up, which makes it easier to maneuver and definitely easier to walk. Even when I got home, I wasn’t in a rush to take them off.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #3

“The comfort has increased a lot. I’m surprised at how soft the upper has become considering the stiffer feel it had in the beginning.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #4

Thursday Boot Co. Captain Boot

Day 25

The boots have really become nice and soft, and I don’t feel like I have to baby them too much. -Intrepid Boot Tester #1

“I had a little bit of discomfort today in the arches and balls of my feet, especially when I was power walking to catch a train. They also got a bit heavy when wet but I appreciate the tread on a rainy day—and my feet didn’t get wet, they’re pretty water resistant. They’ve become a lot better in hazardous scenarios like rainy asphalt—I can’t imagine traversing weather like this when I first got them.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #3

Glad to see the leather break in like a good pair of boots should. Intrepid Boot Tester #4

Day 29

“Running errands in the suburbs was the task today. Since it was the middle of a workday, most of the people at Costco were senior citizens, who do not have great spatial awareness or motor skills. So I had to do a lot of sudden stopping and pivoting to avoid running into or getting hit by an old person’s cart. The boots gave me really great traction and proved to be very comfortable, even in those stop-and-start moments.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #3

“They are still feeling very good. I took a flight from Philly to Chicago. They once again did not trip off the security scanners! They are also nice for the flight, since I feel like I don’t have to worry about scuffing them since the scuffs and scratches disappear after a good brushing.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #1

Thursday Boot Co. Captain Boot

The 30-Day Final Takes

“These boots have been extremely comfortable since the beginning, with pretty much no break in, other than the leather loosening up as I wore them in. If Thursday wanted a new tagline, they could say ‘the comfort of a sneaker with the looks of a boot.’ I think it would be a great boot for a sneakerhead to dip their feet into the world of Goodyear welt. It’s a great boot to wear when you know you will be walking a ton, and if you plan on going out at night, it should pass the dress code of 95% of clubs. The only comfort issue I had was with the tongue always slipping to the side. A few times, I tried to adjust them while driving which is definitely not safe at all lol. I would happily recommend these to people.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #1

“Really happy with the boots. Comfortable soles and soft leather. Right away I was impressed with the comfort of the footbed. Throughout the test I hit all kinds of weather conditions and had days where I walked over 5 miles. I honestly find them just as comfortable as my running shoes, and think they are up there with my most comfortable boots. I’d definitely recommend them to a friend from a comfort standpoint, and compared to much more expensive shoes, I think they have excellent value.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #2

Thursday Boot Co. Captain Boot

“Overall, the boots have been fairly comfortable throughout the month. I keep coming back to the fact that they’re still palatable after only a couple of wears—it’s taken so much longer to break other boots in. After a month they’re still a bit stiff but in reality, it’s only been 15 or so wears, so I’m positive that the more I wear them, the better they’ll feel. I think the analogy of the baseball glove is most apt. I remember as a kid spending weeks breaking in a glove until it was finally perfectly flexible, and I’m starting to get that feeling with these boots. I’ve had ankle injuries and with these I feel so much more secure than a pair of sneakers or dress shoes.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #3

“I own a lot of higher-end footwear, including Vibergs and Aldens and Edward Greens. I know Thursday isn’t trying to compete with those brands, but I am very pleased with how they felt and the overall construction of the boots. And considering the attractive price range and how their customers are people who will likely come from wearing mostly sneakers, the foam insole makes sense—it gives that day-one comfort they are used to. It’s not necessarily bad, just different. And you know what? That’s okay! I’m very pleased with the experience and see the value of their products in a crowded market!” -Intrepid Boot Tester #4

“When I first put the boots on, they felt a bit tight in the heel, but the toe-box felt okay from the start. I found that by wear number seven the uppers had begun to seriously break in, which was my main point of contention at the beginning (but not unlike other boots). The insoles were very comfortable from day one. I did have to sprint to catch a bus twice in these, once in the rain, and they held up really well—my feet felt fine afterwards! I estimate that I climbed over 40 flights of stairs in them during the test period, which they felt great on as well. All in all, I would say these are a good value for a Goodyear welted boot in terms of comfort and quality.” -Intrepid Boot Tester #5

Visit ThursdayBoots.com to see Thursday’s entire product range, and learn more about Thursday’s Captain boots here

Thursday Boot Co. Captain Boot

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