Mother Nature doesn’t care about how nice your boots look or how much you paid for them. If your boots are of not enough quality, you will end up cold, wet, and with an injury. This is Thursday Boots Explorer review, and it’s one we are excited to make as while we did love other Thursday Boots that we reviewed in the past, these Explorer boots were created in mind for the most difficult weather, and if they can handle the most difficult weather, that will make them the best travel boots for men.
If you ever read any of our reviews, you know we like to test out products to their full potential, but when we saw the “best in its class for difficult weather,” we could only see one country worth reviewing them in, Iceland. And so we went to Iceland. That’s the kind of stuff we do to make sure you get the best review possible.
The Explorers Might Be Great for Exploring But…
Right away, I will say that these boots, while they might be great for exploring, are not great for taking off and putting on. That’s nothing I blame Thursday Boots for. It’s just the nature of this type of boots. Besides, it’s not like you don’t have that extra 20 seconds to put a pair of boots on. This becomes a problem when you are at an airport and need to take your boots off and off without being able to sit down. It’s a stressful experience when there’s a bunch of inpatient humans waiting behind you.
The Kevlar® blend laces do help with the issue due to the them being flexible making the whole process of putting boots on and off slightly easier, but at the end of the day, it is still the most difficult pair of Thursday Boots to put on.
If you are looking for a pair of easy to put on Thursday Boots, check out the review of the Thursday Boots Duke boots. One thing I like about the female version of these boots is that the female version of the boots comes with zippers that do make the process of taking off the boots much less stressful.
I personally was never a big fan of the Thursday Boots laces in the past, but these Kevlar laces are fantastic in every single way. They stretch, they add to the look of the boot, and most importantly, they are durable which is important if you are looking for the best travel boots for men. The previous laces wouldn’t deal greatly with water as it would be with most laces out there. Not the case with these.
Suede That Likes Water
Suede and water hate each other which is why suede overall does not fit in the “best boots for travel” category. In most cases, water hitting suede will result in damage that your boots won’t be able to recover from regardless of how expensive your boots were.
It is important to empathize in this Thursday Boots Explorer review that these come with WeatherSafe™ Suede which “features a blended solution of waterproof and hydrophobic compounds” as Thursday Boots would phrase it. Having a boot that won’t get destroyed by rain, snow, or by being in a river is a must when it comes to the best boots for travel, and Thursday Boots do an incredible job with their suede. And that’s ultimately what I love about this company, they get ahead by thinking about what can be done to make life easier.
This specific Thursday Boots Explorer model comes in Shadow Grey which is personally my favorite type of boot color as I do love grey, with the top of boots consisting of leather cushion, a soft suede upper, and a harder more structured part near the bottom of the boot allowing for thicker protection against any dangerous objects you might be hitting while on your adventures. The boot, just like all the other lace-up Thursday Boots comes with a full glove leather interior lining, cork footbeds or insoles as most would call them, a Vibram outsole, Kevlar laces, and a storm welt construction, and we’ll touch on all of that in just a moment.
It’s Not Just the Suede That Likes Water
I could not care less about the quality of a boot if it does not keep me dry. A $600 boot is pointless if it doesn’t keep me dry.
It’s easy for a company to say that “boots are water resistant” and it’s easy for a reviewer to say that these are that after testing them in heavy rain.
One of the reasons we wanted to test them in Iceland was because we knew that Iceland would be the wettest place to test these whether that’s testing them in snow or rain. Iceland had both, at every moment of the week spent there.
And these Explorer boots survived while keeping me dry. In fact, my feet were the only thing that was dry. Some of the rain was so bad that our camera broke and now does not have a working screen. #dedication
It’s easy for a boot or shoe to survive heavy rain once or twice. Most are able to do that with cheap construction or special glues/sprays, but these Thursday Boots have been tested for a few months prior taking them to Iceland, and then, tested in heavy snow/rain conditions every day.
And yet, that was not enough.
If you are going to tell us that your boots are water resistant and are the best for difficult weather, then it only makes sense to put them under the ultimate test, the test of putting them into a river/lake.
We did it 3 times with 3 different types of water, and they survived every single time.
My socks were fully dry, and the actual boots had no signs of water damage. Even when in salt water. That was not the case with the Duke chelsea boots we reviewed in the past which came in Modern Tobacco that just wasn’t good enough as water due to not working well with water that has different particles. They don’t sell that color anymore though.
This is not necessarily the case with the female models of these boots though. My partner in crime on the trip was rocking the earlier showed female boots, and she wasn’t thoroughly dry. She wasn’t soaking wet nor was she fully dry. And that’s due to lack of the storm or any other great construction in the female models. Something that I really advice Thursday Boots to look into as we do at the end of the day all want to enjoy ourselves on adventures!
Boots That Work Great in Water Are Only Great Until You Slip and Fall into the Water
Like I said earlier, I loved some of the other Thursday Boots we reviewed. At the same time while Thursday Boots did an incredible job at keeping you dry, the grip they provided while fine for winter in cities, often wasn’t enough for travel. These Thursday Boots Explorer come with with a Vibram outsole and that makes all the difference as far as grip because if you are going to be in terrains with ice and even worse melting ice, the standard grip on other Thursday Boots products just didn’t provide enough protection.
If you are going to be in slippery conditions, Vibram outsoles do an incredible job. I did not slip once while in Iceland.
I can’t, however, say that about my partner that was wearing Thursday Boots. I was enjoying myself while she was trying not to slip and failed miserably as while Thursday Boots mentioned the female boots having a “slip-resistant TPU outsole” on the female version we tested, they only had half of the grip that the standard Thursday Boots for males had.
Right now, due to the lack of features that Thursday Boots are known for in the female boots, we just can’t recommend the female Thursday Boots for travel. They are great for city life and do look incredible, but will not offer enough protection in harsh environments.
No Need to Clean These
There was a big issue with stains on the Modern Tobacco Duke boots. They got dirty so quick that they required to be cleaned every time I’d go back in. It’s fine to clean boots but that specific color was just not a smart choice for most. When it comes to the Thursday Boots Explorer boots, while I can’t speak for the 2 other colors they also have, the Shadow Grey is the best possible for travel because of how little cleaning is required with these boots!
If you are looking for the best boots for travel, that is a very important aspect to look at. Ultimately, protection comes first, but you still want to look great, especially if you are a creator, but even more importantly, because you are paying $249 for a pair of boots, and these require the least cleaning effort out of any boots I ever tried. In fact, Shadow Grey is one of those colors that dirt goes very well with. Any dirt that hits these adds to the character of these boots.
Dig the other colors? I can’t speak about them as I didn’t test these, but based on their colors, it looks like the situation would be similar with those too. Although I would suggest that you don’t go the Black model as due to it not being suede, I feel like it would very likely scratch in a way that might not add to the look of the boot.
The reason why we sometimes take a few months to do a review is that we want to make sure that a product is of quality that people will be truly happy with.
We find it absurd for people to make a boot review after a month of using a product. A month of use of a product is where most bad and good products can only be separated by materials. Thursday Boots state that they make boots that would cost in the price region of even up to $600, and that’s easy to say when making a review a month after, but the difference in quality shows after months of use, and these Explorer boots have been tested for 3 months, 6 out 7 days per week, and they survived perfectly. The suede doesn’t have any major scratches, the outsole is in perfect condition even after being tested on sharp volcanic rocks in Iceland, and the insides of the boots are in perfect condition too which wasn’t the case with the Captain Naturals that I got 2 years ago. And then again, that’s the thing about Thursday Boots, they constantly work on fixing any problems there are with their products.
Something to mention is that these are handmade in small batches, in Mexico. Some might not like that and say that the quality would be lower due to being made in Mexico but I saw products made in the US and Europe that had issues, so the origin while matters, isn’t a big factor in this instance. If they were made in China that would be a different story though
The Cold Situation
My feet were the only parts of my body that stayed dry while in Iceland, but just because I stay dry doesn’t mean that these are great for putting in the water, right?
Well, while I did feel slightly colder while having my feet in water once the water was above the harder suede part of the boots, I was comfortable enough to the point that I could go on with adventures. Of course, Iceland was overall cold, so I wasn’t wearing a standard pair of socks, but the boots did overall do a great job at keeping my feet okay. I wasn’t feeling cozy or anything, but I was fine. That’s something we really wanted to test out in this Thursday Boots Explorer review as the best boots for travel ultimately only work if they don’t make walking a miserable experience.
If you are someone that gets cold pretty easily, I do recommend two pairs of warmer socks.
I did notice that the front of the boot is the weakest point of the boot as far as keeping you warm though.
The Smell Situation
Adventures = smelly feet. For most people.
I don’t think you will be going to your friends home that much with this type of boot due to the issues with putting these on and off, but better safe than sorry which is why I also tested these from the perspective of smell like all other boots. I tested shoes before that came with “breathable” fabric but failed on eliminating smell because while the main material was breathable, the insides of the shoes weren’t. The leather glove lining along with the cork footbeds instead of the typically used Poron® Antimicrobial Shock Absorbing Insole inside of the Explorers allows for a smell-free experience when using them, even though they don’t come with the Poron insoles.
Trust me, you don’t want to be that person that has smelly feet when you take your boots off. I don’t have smelly feet but certain footwear can make my feet smelly.
An issue I encountered with all my previous Thursday Boots in the “taking my boots off” department wasn’t that Thursday boots smelled, yet it was that the leather lining inside the boots stained my socks, from day 1. The Explorer is a relatively new model, and while perhaps they also fixed it on other models, I for sure see that sock stains are not as big of an issue as in the past whether with the Captain Natural or Duke boots.
Boots That Can Survive Are Great If They Are Also Comfortable
If you are starting your journey with boots, frankly, you most likely never experienced real comfort.
Most products on the market in the footwear department are merely products from companies that charge for their name.
Thursday Boots make some incredibly comfortable boots, but with that said, this is a very honest Thursday Boots Explorer review, and while the Explorer boots are overall comfortable, they aren’t on the level of the Captain Natural or Duke boots. Some of that is due to how hard it is to put them on and the rest mostly due to the type of boot these are. If you are looking for the best boots for travel and want proper protection, you will need to sacrifice on comfort.
Don’t get me wrong, these are still perfect for adventures and you will be fine walking with these for 8 hours straight as overall Thursday Boots do make comfortable boots. After all, it’s not every day that you see leather lining inside of a boot, but the level of comfort with these isn’t on the level of comfort that some other Thursday Boots bring.
Are the Thursday Boots Explorer the Best Boots for Travel?
The best boots for travel need to stand out in 2 aspects. Keeping you dry and preventing you from slipping. The images we used in this review show the type of conditions we tested these in, and the Explorer boots did an outstanding job in those two departments just like in all the other departments that we mentioned.
Sure, they could be slightly easier to put on, and they do need to work on some female versions that are just as good, but if you are looking for the best boots for travel, these are just outstanding in every single aspect. To a point that if you are looking to travel and have $500 to spend on boots, I’d get these in two different colors instead of getting a $500 pair. Anything $500 boots can do, these can do, and in most cases can do it better.
But of course, we didn’t test every single product on the market, perhaps there is an incredible $500 pair of boots that is worth it. That’s what our newsletter is for though. So that you know when we post other reviews of products like this!