Hey guys! Welcome to my most requested blog review, ever. I bought these boots earlier this fall and posted about them on IG, and I have literally never had so many people up in my DMs asking me to review something. Before I say anything else, I just want to clarify that this review is completely unsponsored – I don’t have a relationship with Thursday and I bought these with my own money. There are affiliate links peppered throughout the post, and if you click on one of those links and make a purchase from Thursday, I will receive a small commission for the sale.
Alright, financial stuff disclosed, let’s get to the review!
Why I Bought These
I’ve honestly been thinking about buying these exact boots for 2+ years. I have “fancy” boots, and I have ugly, old man weather proof boots, but nothing in between. I felt like I was missing a casual, stylish boot that could hold up to daily wear as a commuter (not that I’ve commuted anywhere in the last seven months, but theoretically I may eventually return to that life). The Duchess appealed to me specifically because of its simple, timeless design, reasonable pricepoint, and studded rubber outsole. I wanted a pull-on and go type boot that could take me easily from the metro platform to the office to walking my dog. I’m not really doing most of these activities right now, but I bought the boots anyway because my wardrobe leans more casual at the moment.
The Duchess Chelsea Boot is one of the most popular styles from popular boot purveyor, Thursday Boot Co. Thursday is a direct-to-consumer brand that makes leather boots in both men’s and women’s styles. In my research, I found that Thursday generally has a good reputation for making quality stuff, and the Duchess in particular has, I kid you not, thousands of 5-star reviews. I don’t part with my money lightly, so if I’m making a big, $100+ purchase, I do as much research as possible beforehand to ensure that what I’m buying is exactly what I want. I really, really don’t like the culture of buying expensive things with the thought in mind that you might return it if it doesn’t work out. I buy things for keeps, and only return if I made some terrible miscalculation of size or quality.
The Duchess comes in 10 different colors, in both leather and suede, from sizes 5-11. As far as I can tell, there is only one width option. It features flexible elastic goring, a fully lined supple glove leather interior, a shock absorbing insole, and that studded rubber outsole that I mentioned. They aren’t weatherproof, but they won’t get wrecked in a drizzle and they can stand up to a decent amount of dirt and mud and being knocked around. Importantly, they are not Goodyear welted. This means that they cannot be easily re-soled. Even so, I think they they feel pretty durable, and at $160, I wouldn’t necessarily expect them to last a lifetime.
FYI, mine are in the color Black Coffee, a beautiful mottled black/brown shade new from Thursday this year that I think will develop a nice patina over time.
Sizing & Break-In Period
The Thursday website says that the Duchess fits true to size, and if you’re between sizes, size up. I’m normally a 6-6.5, so I took their advice and went with the 6.5. They fit perfectly, and were surprisingly even a little snug when I first tried them on. Like any leather shoe, you should expect them to stretch a bit with wear over time, and indeed mine already have. They’re a perfect fit now that I’ve been wearing them for a month or two (I usually wear them with my Bombas Merino Wool Calf Socks – here’s my referral link for Bombas if you want to save 25% on your first order).
I personally did not find that these had much of a break-in period. They were comfortable from the get-go. The only pain point I noted was a little bit where the top of the boot hits my shin – if you’re not wearing tall socks or pants with these, there’s the potential to develop a blister there.
To get some photos, I took my favorite girl on a walk to the park, which is honestly what I’m doing 99% of the time that I’m wearing these boots. I love how they look with skinny black jeans (I bought these second hand on poshmark from a reader!), and I also like them a lot with leggings and a dress or skirt.
Durability and Care
As I mentioned above, I’ve been wearing these for a couple of months now. Not as often as I expected to given that it’s been an unseasonably warm Fall, but enough to get an idea of how well they hold up to regular wear. I never wanted to be itsy-bitsy with these, so I have already sustained a few scuffs and nicks in the leather from walking my dog through woodsier areas of the park we frequent. I wouldn’t say that these are easily scuffed, but I had a couple of unfortunate gouging events with fallen branches that left permanent marks. I don’t think they look too bad, and with a little leather cream and buffing they’re mostly hidden, anyway. Which brings me to my next point:
CLEAN YOUR LEATHER BOOTS
2019 was my year of acquiring a lot of nice leather and suede shoes, and also the year I learned that such shoes require regular care. This is not optional. If you want your boots to last, you need to clean and polish them. Period. Don’t spend $200 on boots you’re just going to let get cracked and dusty and deformed. I clean my boots first by wiping away dirt with a clean, dry rag (i.e., old t-shirts from my husband’s youth that he was not emotionally ready to part with), brushing them with a boot brush, rubbing in some leather cream with a rag, especially in the creases, and then buffing them with the brush again. Then I let them sit for 24 hours. You should do this for your boots whenever they’re dusty or dirty, salty from road salt, or just looking a little dry. Here’s a gross reminder for you: leather is skin! Give your boots a nice skincare routine.
We bought our shoe care stuff from random places over the last couple of years, but Thursday sells a good brush and shoe balm on its website, and I think the prices are pretty similar to what we paid for the same products elsewhere.
Good boots. Would buy again.
Any questions? Let me know in the comments!
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