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If you peruse the pages of this blog from time to time looking for the best boots for men, certain brands definitely tend to pop up consistently for their mix of affordability, dependability and, in the case of Thursday Boot Company, seasonality. Without a doubt, there are certain pairs of men’s boots that can’t be beat. That is to say, in the depths of winter for a lot us, you need sturdy, tough footwear that can carry you through slush and snow to your car (or the subway), and then wherever the heck else you might need to go — be it a concert, a date, you name it. So that’s what we’re looking at today. The brand’s men’s boots have been featured here prominently before, including a review of the Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka and the dearly departed Roughout Captain Boot. First launched as a Kickstarter project not even two years ago, the brand continues to make splashes with well-timed and well-executed releases — including its more premium Black Label line and unique silhouettes like the hiker-inspired Commander. But one boot in particular is the focus of today’s post — the Color No. 8 Diplomat Boot.
The silhouette definitely calls to mind the classic Red Wing Heritage Moc Toe Boot, yet the Thursday iteration is sleeker and more refined. There’s something to be said for that, despite the fact that it’s a moc toe boot. This pair forgoes the classic yellow laces in favor of sleeker flat-wax laces, just as the Roughout Captain Boot. And the sleekness and quality of this pair for the price is evident as soon as you get them out of the box. Looking for a boot that’s just different enough than a captoe boot or a chukka boot — yet still versatile and sufficiently sharp — is a somewhat tricky endeavor, but these boots fill that void nicely.
Crucially, they make use of renowned Horween leather in that covetable Color No. 8 shade that’s popped up on everything from boots to watch straps in recent years. The change of pace from a roughout leather or a dark brown or black boot is refreshing, yet it’s not as distinctive as, say, a Dr. Martens Boot. These also look similar, in a way, to the much more expensive and revered Alden Indy Boots, another set of men’s boots worth buying.
That’s a very good thing — these look sporty thanks to the ridged Vibram Christy sole, yet I still found they paired comfortably with tan chinos and a striped henley for exploring around Manhattan. I did find (and I’ve found with other boots in this style), that the leather breaks in easier than other leathers — and because of the shine of this pair, it shows creases more easily (as you can see below). However, it’s nothing some well-timed leather care can’t fix, and it definitely doesn’t detract from their wearability.
That’s another area in which this pair of rugged leather boots excels — the versatility, erm, department. I’ve broken them out with a slim chambray shirt and a wool blazer, and I’ve rocked them with the aforementioned tan chinos, too. A trim pair of denim breaks just right on the bend of the boots, making for a pretty sleek look (something that can help everyone out). I could definitely see them working well with some wool trousers and perhaps a navy crewneck sweater on a more casual day at the office. The burgundy color would also pop nicely with some trim black denim (more on that later this week), and they’re going to fit right in with lightwash jeans in the spring, too. Seriously, the best leather boots for men can take you just about anywhere.
The white ripple sole might cause some to shy away from these leather boots for men — after all, it’s different than what we’re normally accustomed to seeing in the way of boots. But that again makes it a nice style move. It’s not as if these boots are absurdly priced, so if you’ve been looking to try something different, this is but one way to go. The Diplomat line also features a pair of Natural Horween leather boots with a Goodyear-welted sole, and a pair in Brown leather. So, the Color No. 8 pair is just one way to make an impression.
And yet, it’s the pair I’ve found myself gravitating toward the most. Thankfully, the other details work out as promised. The eyelets and laces have held up well trekking through the Brooklyn snow, although the lack of extreme traction could be a bit tricky in some instances. However, the Vibram sole is also as comfortable as advertised, even when worn for long periods of time. They run true to size, so there was no slippage (or cramping up of my feet, conversely) with some striped socks. Some have had issues with stitching imperfections or other problems around the sole, but there were no major problems with this pair — again, one reason why it’s worth it to pony up for a pair of these as opposed to something from, say, H&M.
They’re nice enough that if you were feeling adventurous, you could rock them with a slim grey flannel suit and a chambray dress shirt. Make sure you nail the break of those trousers and you’re all set. And that’s about all you can ask for from a sub-$250 pair of boots, especially ones made from Color No. 8 Horween Chromexcel leather. From chinos to jeans to wool trousers, they can do it all. Even on days besides Thursday (see what I did there?).
For more of my favorite boots, check out Taylor Stitch, shop the pages of Huckberry or find another pick for men’s leather boots here.
Have you tried out some boots from Thursday Boot Company yet? How would you style this pair?
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