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I'm a minimalist when it comes to clothing. I only buy boots that fit well, are long-lasting, are reasonably priced, and that I absolutely LOVE. I still own the Timberland hiking boots a long-gone college boyfriend gifted me in 1995. They're perfect for snow shoveling, yard duty, and walking the dog. Their time-tested, surely, but well-worn and past their fashionable prime. So, it was time to find a new pair.

I spotted these Thursday Boot Co. Combat Boots in a blind internet search and instantly fell in love. They come in rich Java color (shown here), contrasty ecru, and oily pitch black. The lace-up-plus-zip closure and their sleek but sturdy form caught my eye. I envisioned them gently hugging my foot and ankle as I pulled the laces through the eyelets and pulling the zipper up. They arrived lovingly nestled in a beautiful box, encased in delicate tissue and form-fitted tissue inside each shoe. The soft, supple leather gleamed in the light as I lifted them out of the box.

According to Thursday Boot Co., each boot is "handcrafted with integrity." I'm not exactly sure what goes into the "integrity" part of the claim (fair wages? eco-friendly manufacturing? made in America? I'd love to know . . .). The company was started by a group of friends on a surf trip to Nicaragua and the desire to create "the best boots possible and sell them at the best price possible."

"Only the highest ethical and quality

standards are accepted. Our goal is to

make products that we can proudly

stand by, and that you can confidently

stand in for years to come."

The shoes have a satisfying heft without being heavy. I'm 5'2 with a size 6 shoe. Most combat boots serve as anchors and make me look and feel clunky as I walk. Thursday Boots fit like a glove both with or without camping socks underneath.

The best part of Thursday Boot Co. is the price. Under $200, these boots are the most affordable of the ones I tried. But after owning and wearing them for a while now, I can honestly say I would have happily paid more.

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