Full Grain Leather, Goodyear Welt Dress Shoes, Half the Price: New from Thursday Boots

Full Grain Leather, Goodyear Welt Dress Shoes, Half the Price: New from Thursday Boots
A new line of dress shoes from one of our favorite bootmakers.

We’re excited to partner with Thursday Boots to announce their new line of top-tier dress shoes without the markup! 

I messed up.

12 years ago I had a wedding to attend. Instead of checking my Getup a week before (as you should) I waited until the morning of the ceremony to reach into my closet and grab a suit and dress shoes.

I hadn’t worn the dress shoes for a while, and to my horror, the rubber soles were cracked and the cushiony material inside had started to disintegrate. It was bizarre and – I’ve since learned – due to chemistry: given time, products with polyurethane may spontaneously decompose.

I, however, was spontaneously screwed.

On my way to the wedding, I stopped at a big-box bargain shoe retailer and grabbed a pair of brown dress shoes bearing a fancy-sounding Italian brand I’d never heard of. I was happy with the price: $65.

Eight hours later my feet were screaming in pain from the stiff, cheap, sale-rack dress shoes. I had just paid $65 for a one-use pair of wingtips. I never made that mistake again.

My dress shoe mishap is one reason I’m so thrilled that one of my favorite boot companies has expanded their line: Thursday Boot Company is making dress shoes

thursday boots dress shoes loafers and boots

Thursday Boots' Lincoln loafer in natural and President boot in brown

The Dress Shoe No Man’s Land

Have you ever noticed this?

It’s not hard to get a pair of good-looking, inexpensive men’s dress shoes. Manufacturers know some guys just need something for special occasions and they make a product to match.

The problem is – like my bargain “Italian” wingtips – they’re not wearable for more than a couple hours before problems arise: cheap materials and lack of cushioning make them uncomfortable; they wear – and show wear – quickly.

Getting a quality pair of dress shoes, however, can be crazy expensive. If you want something constructed with full grain leather, Goodyear welts, and resoleable leather soles the price can easily jump to $400 or more.

It’s like dress shoe brands think we’re all either princes or paupers, but the reality is most men fall in between: we want a nice dress shoe without the banker’s price tag.

Up until this point I’ve been caught between either looking the part or paying the part when it comes to dress shoes.

The Goldilocks Dress Shoe?

You know the children’s story. Now apply it to dress shoes: not too costly, not too cheap. Could Thursday’s new line offer the Goldilocks dress shoe?

When I heard Thursday was launching their new line I got excited. I have three pairs of Thursday's boots – they're on my feet multiple times per week. Great style, well-crafted, half the price of similar options.

So, how do the Thursday dress shoes stack up against their boots?

I recently ordered a pair of the Lincoln loafers in Natural leather. Why loafers? They’re a smart choice for spring: dressier than a boat shoe but more casual than a lace-up. More professional than a nice work boot but able to rock a wedding or night out with ease.

As with any Thursday product, the first thing I noticed was the leather. Rich color and a multi-layered scent hit you right away. The leathers used for the new line are from the world famous tanneries Horween and Le Farc. These ain't no plastic shoes printed to look like leather.

Turning them over I was happy to see what I like to call an “augmented” leather outsole. Low profile leather soles are the mark of great style and nice dress shoes – as anyone who owns a pair of leather-soled boots can attest, however, it also means they can lack traction on wet surfaces. Thursday addresses this issue with textured, grippy rubber heel and rubber lugs on the front sole – welcome features for a wet spring.

thursday loafer sole

On my feet they were comfortable right out of the box. The sizing is consistent with their boots, which is why I would recommend sizing a half size down on the loafers if you plan on wearing them with thin no-show socks.

The reason why the Lincoln loafers are so comfortable is twofold: their fully-lined glove leather interior, which provides a supple leather against the foot, and corkbed midsoles for shock absorbency. A corkbed midsole conforms to your foot over time, kind of like a memory foam layer.

Under the hood I know there’s the gold standard of any dress shoe or boot: Goodyear welts. As we’ve discussed before, Goodyear welts ensure bombproof durability and near-waterproofness in shoes and boots, and getting it at this price point is rare.

Wallet-Friendly Quality

At $170-190 regular price, the Thursday collection isn’t cheap – and that’s the point. Rather than purchase a sub-$100 pair of dress shoes every few years – or less – why not invest in something you can wear (and resole) for years and actually enjoy wearing.

The guys at Thursday understand this and I appreciate their commitment to both premium quality and construction at the lowest possible price – they build their product at the same highly regarded manufacturing shops in León, Mexico used by Red Wing, Wolverine, and Frye and then sell them direct to consumers to keep costs low.

Head over to Thursday Boot Company now to check out the full line of shoes and take advantage of their direct-to-consumer pricing.

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.