We recently received a beautiful vegetable tanned belt from WoodnSteel. Here is a decent option in the $60 price range.
Dustin Case has been working with and producing different materials from his two favorite materials (wood and steel) for as long as he can remember. Dustin spent 15 years designing and perfecting over two dozen musical instruments that are unique to his personal style. As well as designing and producing musical instruments, he has dabbled in wood working from simple boxes to complex cabinetry.
After deciding he wanted to switch to a different production line, he decided to start designing and producing steel knives. When he decided to move on from that line of production, he chose leather works. As you can tell, he is a talented craftsman.
If you are looking for a fairly inexpensive, simple, yet extremely functional, good-looking belt, this WoodnSteel product is calling your name. The leather is from the Horween tannery in Chicago (one of the most renown tanneries in America) and it does not take a very long time for this belt to break in. Within a weeks wear, you will find the belt to be much more flexible than when you first put it on. It feels much more comfortable when it is more worn in.
I have been wearing the natural colored belt, so the fact that it is not dyed plays a factor on the pliability of the leather. The belt is difficult for me to take off, due to the account of my belt loops being on the small side. It goes without saying that this belt is fully functional; it holds my pants up.
Although this belt is made from good leather, I have found that the edge dying is not consistent throughout the belt (there are some spots where the dye has worn away within a weeks wear). This is the only flaw I have found with this belt due to a lack of burnishing on the edges and the type of edge coating Dustin is using.
My favorite aspect of the belt (and most belts, consequently) is the simplicity: a strip of high quality leather, five holes, two nickel plated brass chicago screws, and a nickel plated brass buckle. Along with the simplicity of the belt, I enjoy that WoodnSteel is sticking with chicago screws. Some companies focus more on stitching their belts; however, I find chicago screws to be much more clean-looking and functional. Simply, they last a long time. I like the idea of keeping stuff simple and goods WoodnSteel is making are similar to my taste in simplicity.
My second favorite aspect of the belt is the naturally colored vegetable tan. I like this because of the patina it will acquire. The images featured below are an example of patina over time. I enjoy knowing that the belt will eventually look very worn and aged according to how I use it.
Below you can see how this minimal wallet we reviewed from Aestus Gear has changed color over time with use.
This belt is a good-looking and high quality piece of equipment but can use improvement in burnishing the edges to make the edge dye last. The quality of the leather is good and the chicago screws will allow you to change out the buckle, if you desire. This belt is a decent buy, for $60. However, there are compelling alternatives at that price point as well.