Birchbury Bramford Minimalist Shoe Review – $99.00

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Minimalist footwear has really caught on in recent years. Zero drop heels, wide toe boxes and less padding have encouraged people to take a more natural approach to walking. However, a lot of the options are fitness oriented so finding a more casual option has been difficult. That’s where the Birchbury Bramford Minimalist Shoe’s come into play. If you’re looking for a minimalist shoe that doesn’t look like it gets shot out of a Nerf Gun, read on. 


The Birchbury Bramford’s are made from American sourced full grain leather. They have a thin padded insole and rubber outsole with a wave contoured tread pattern. Stitching looks clean and tight.


The Birchbury Bramford Minimalist Shoe does take a little getting used to, especially if you’re not familiar with zero drop heels. Most modern shoes have a wedge of cushioning in the heel and places your feet at a slant. The Bramford has a thin, even layer of light cushioning across the footbed so your foot sits in a more natural position. The toe box is wide enough to let your toes wiggle and move. I can best describe these shoes as wearing a glove when compared to wearing mittens. Your foot does a little more work and you can definitely feel the ground, but in a good way.

I really like the elastic laces. These are basically slip on shoes and it makes taking them on and off a real pleasure. These make for excellent travel shoes, they have a small footprint (No pun intended) and stow away easily into an overnight bag or backpack.


The Bramford is a very simplistic shoe in nature and it lends well to a classic design. Clean and unobtrusive lines make this a shoe you will have little difficult in pairing with just about any outfit. It also comes in black. 


After using the Birchbury Bramford Minimalist Shoes, I’ve really come to love the easy feeling they have on my feet. There was definitely a learning curve, so to speak from years of wearing highly padded footwear. My feet feel more pliable and strong, because they need to work. The look and feel of the shoes is nice, but the price is a bit steep. Decent quality and a great look make this an option one might consider when looking for a low key minimalist shoe. 

Trayvax Ascent Wallet Review – $54.99

I’ve been lucky to review a few of the innovative wallet designs from Trayvax. In a world of bifolds, these metal and leather hybrids are an exciting entry into a rather stagnant market. Trayvax has recently debuted the Ascent Wallet, and I’m excited to put it through its paces.


In true Trayvax fashion, the Ascent is a fusion of metal and leather. The wallet features a solid stainless steel frame, wrapped in hand stitched, top grain leather. The color I reviewed was Canyon Red, although several color variations are available. Brass rivets attach the leather to steel at the bottom end of the Ascent. The Ascent weighs in at 3 oz and is 3.8” Long and 2.75” wide.

This wallet looks good from all angles


My main worry with rigid wallets is comfort. I definitely felt the Ascent when sitting. I’m a back pocket guy by nature. Trayvax does recommend front pocket carry, and some of the reasons are more than convincing; it protects your back from misalignment, reduces chances of RFID hacking and pickpockets.

The Ascent features a nylon tab that when pulled, bring your wallets quickly out for easy selection. I really dig this feature, as similar wallets have a Chinese finger trap like grip on your goods. The backside has a slot where you can fold your cash and keep it secure. Minimalist wallets always struggle in my opinion with cash retrieval. Things are no different here, but I use my phone now to pay for most things, so its a moot point. I really dig the attachment bar at the bottom, you could attach a keyring around this and hook up to a lanyard if so desired.


The Ascent exists in a universe apart from boring bifolds. The look is striking and intriguing. The overbuilt design and substantial feel make it a joy to handle and use. Get used to answering questions when you pull it out.


At a $55 price point, the Trayvax Ascent is a bargain buy for a wallet that will last years, its even backed by a lifetime warranty. The design may not work for some, but for those who are hard on their gear, this wallet will endure the abuse superbly.

Mack Provisions Vintage Baseball Glove Minimalist Wallet Review – $70

If there’s one item we see the most at BestLeather, it’s wallets. For the most part, they’re all made of excellent materials and feature quality craftsmanship, so much so, that reviewing them for me has almost become a jaded experience. However when I came across Mack Provisions Vintage Baseball Glove Minimalist Wallet, I got that giddy wallet fever and had to check it out.


The intriguing aspect of these wallets is that they’re made from vintage baseball gloves. The brands used can differ, and each wallet is unique.

The Barbour thread really does a great job blending in. Notice how it closely resembles the original thread on the Rawlings patch.

The years typically range from the 1940s-1960s. A very cool requirement is that the original gloves have to have been originally made in the US.  The thread used is American made Yellow Barbour’s 6 cord linen thread. The edges are beveled and hand-burnished with beeswax. The wallet consists of a single card compartment and money strap on back. Measures 4”x3”


This is definitely a minimalist wallet.  The single card compartment doesn’t offer much organization but it does challenge you to trim your carry. Most of my loyalty and membership cards are digitally stored on my phone, which allows me a light wallet. This is great for my ID, credit card and other essentials.

The money strap works as long as you have enough cash to keep it snug. I’m personally using a paper clip to keep the cash in one wad then securing it inside the strap which allows for easier retrieval.  The slim design is great for front pocket carry.

Cash retrieval can be quite difficult. so I accelerated the break in by stretching the strap with some playing cards.


In my humble opinion, this is hands down the coolest wallet I’ve reviewed for BestLeather. The style harkens back to golden age Americana. The wallet is cleverly built around key focal points from its previous life as a baseball glove.

This wallet just exudes nostalgia and reminds me of simpler times, so definitely fun to carry some of that magic on a daily basis.

The Rawlins patch off center really catches the eye and the “oil treated” stamp on the money strap is a great touch. I will admit this wallet doesn’t have that great leather aroma I always look forward to, it smells like…well it smells like a 50 year old baseball glove. The character of this wallet is definitely there and so is the spirit.


I haven’t had this much fun reviewing a wallet in awhile. Mack Provisions Vintage Baseball Glove Minimalist Wallet is an aesthetic treat. While the simplicity takes a  functionality hit, a little honing of your wallet essentials can make it work. At $70 bucks, it’s pricey given the leather, but the spirit of the piece definitely trumps most wallets.

Offene Meer Leather Company Gun Deck Wallet Review – $45

I have to admit; I am very much a wallet aficionado. I’ve owned nearly all styles of wallets, and constantly rotate a few of my favorites. Though I do tend to carry minimal cards, I appreciate wallets having the space to accommodate minimalists and traditional users alike.  Every time I see an innovative design, I’ve got an itch to take a closer look. Michael Bluth of Offene Meer Leather Company crafted the Gun Deck Wallet which scratches the itch for this review.


Just in case you’re curious like me, Offene Meer is a German phrase which translates to “open sea.” Michael Bluth is an active duty Navy sailor, and has taken on bespoke leather craft making goods in Monterrey, California since 2015. Aside from wallets, he has also taken a dive into other goods such as shoes, belts, and bags. When I asked Michael about the name behind the Gun Deck Wallet, he related the term “Gun Decking” to Navy qualifications having a quick and easy, though tongue-in-cheek option some sailors may take. It also signifies the asymmetry of the wallet, with sharp cutting of the corners leading to pleasing aesthetics. Lastly, he says, and I agree, that the name purely sounds cool.


My particular wallet is crafted from a single piece of full grain, vegetable tanned bridle leather. Initially, I was shocked by the thin cut in leather. It is thin – but not in a cheap or poor quality sense. It is more than thick enough to withstand the abuse a wallet will take, and I actually think it would be a complaint if the leather was thicker due to its folded construction. Being made from one piece of leather, it resembles a document folio, hand stitched on the left edge with waxed white thread. The wallet is also offered with various thread color options and multiple shades of hand-dyed vegetable tanned leather as well as Horween Chromexcel and Dublin. There is also a stitch-less variant, which looks and functions equally as pleasing while allowing cash to be stored on the outside of the wallet.


In a market filled with various snap, card, and thin wallets, the Gun Deck does make a nice improvement in design. Built to accommodate around 10 cards and folded cash, it can be slim with less cards and not overly bulky if stuffed. The closing flap easily folds in behind the logo, and over my use it has not slipped out nor do I think I will have issues with such slipping. The primary features I enjoy in the Gun Deck are that it can handle bills folded once, and also has a card slot for cards you use most often. In mine, I keep a bank card and driver’s license. In contrast with wallets that only offer one undivided space, this is nice for quick access for cards you frequently use. I immediately felt relief in the checkout lines at Walmart quickly grabbing my debit card or using cash at the gas stations; no more fiddling hands trying to twice fold cash into a minimalist wallet. The wallet fits euros and US bills folded in half easily, and can be requested bespoke to accommodate British notes.


In terms of the interior finish, I have seen smoother finished pieces of leather. The suede fibers show up mainly near the fold crease, and sparingly through the interior. This is not so much as a negative as it gives the wallet a slightly rugged or edgy look, and it does not compromise the construction. I have belts with a similar finishing that have lasted years. The exterior is very smooth, feeling good in the hands, and well prepped to take on patina. The logo is nicely finished and does not take a commanding presence in terms of overall aesthetics. The wallet weighs in at about 35 grams empty; comparatively, three full grain bifolds I have weighed in at an average of 78 grams each. The thinness of the leather definitely is a weight saver.


Overall, I am very pleased with the design, durability, and function of the Offene Meer Leather Company Gun Deck Wallet. The wallet speaks for the people looking to transition from classic bifold or trifold wallets into minimalism and alternative designs. At $45.00 I would say the price is certainly reasonable. Equipped with a lifetime warranty, I don’t think I’ll ever have to activate it. I actually may look into purchasing another to consolidate my grandfather’s nearly exploding bifold into something more manageable. This one is breaking in nicely and I look forward to potentially providing a long-term update as it darkens and softens up. You can check out Offene Meer Leather Company via the website, etsy store, or through his instagram account which may announce special releases such as shell cordovan wallets.


Lekoza Minimalistic Elephant Briefcase Review – $1000

Editor’s Note: It seems this review has created a stir among many of you. Please note that the elephant leather on this bag is not from an animal specifically hunted down and harvested just to make leather items. The leather is a by-product/derivative of a legally culled animal by national park rangers and park managers in Africa. There are legal channels provided around the world to purchase exotic leather such as elephant. It would be a travesty to think that someone would simply hunt down elephants to make leather bags. And, it’s also disingenuous to believe that we would feature a bag made in an unethical manner. Thanks.

We also contacted Lekoza for more information on the sourcing of the elephant leather. Here’s what they had to say:

“The leather I use is sourced legally, and has Cites tags attached when I receive it. The source of all African elephant skins come from culls once the elephant herd reaches destructive numbers to African tribes and nature. It’s very similar to our deer season in the United States. Without culling, African tribes would lose their homes and possibly be trampled to death. Designers, manufacturers, and leather enthusiasts should not feel emotional or have guilt for using this leather as we are not creating a demand rather using a by product. We deal with reputable international partners who abide by all regulations and we never sell poached hides.” 

Cites stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. You can read more about this organization and how they work on their website:

As a writer for Bestleather, I have the opportunity to be around stylish and exotic things pretty frequently. I basically style my outfit off of whichever leather accessory I plan on taking out that day. I know it sounds silly, but it is a luxury I have thoroughly enjoyed. The Lekoza Minimalistic Elephant Briefcase is the most exotic item I have reviewed to date, partially constructed with elephant leather, it is unlike any other item I’ve seen.

Lekoza Minimalist 2


Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lekoza is a small family-run business that focuses mainly on the craft of leatherworking, and the tools and materials needed to design and construct quality leather items. Lekoza not only provides the tools and materials for leather working, they also provide customers with as much information as possible, all in one easy to use, friendly website. Although this company’s main focus is tools and techniques, they couldn’t resist designing and crafting their own unique, exotic briefcase line.



The Minimalistic Elephant Briefcase is constructed from three very different types of leather. For the main body, Lekoza used Horween Essex leather. This gorgeous black vegetable-tanned leather is thick and durable, making the briefcase feel sturdy and very well built. The handle, strap, and gusset are made from genuine elephant leather, which contrasts the body seamlessly and creates a very attractive, all-purpose briefcase. The last type of leather used in this briefcase is the calf suede lining for the interior. This velvety soft leather is perfect for keeping your laptop or tablet cushioned and secure.

Lekoza Minimalist 5

Lekoza artisans hand sewed the entire briefcase using fil a chinois linen thread from France. The seams are all very thick and the hand stitching (ten stitches per inch) is some of the best I have seen, with tight saddle-stitching on every seam. Each briefcase is completely handmade and represents about thirty hours of labor. With solid brass hardware, premium leather, and linen thread (Lin Cable), it’s clear that the creators of this bag didn’t take any shortcuts. I can’t stress enough how well-built the Minimalistic Briefcase is; it will definitely last more than one lifetime.

Lekoza Minimalist 4


The Lekoza Minimalistic Elephant Briefcase is the simplest bag I have used. With only one storage space, and one strap and buckle, using this briefcase daily has been a refreshing experience. The beautiful strap is easy to open and close, and accessing the few things inside is quick and efficient.

The briefcase is just big enough for my 13” MacBook Air, a magazine, notebook, my slim pen case, and my charger. The briefcase has been the perfect size for business meetings and short trips. Its small size and sturdy handle feel just right when I am out and about showing it off.

Lekoza Minimalist 8


This is my first experience with exotic leather, and I must say I am a huge fan. The elephant leather is heavily textured and pliable. It is very soft, but also thick enough to provide substantial support and strength. The sturdy handle is my favorite part of this briefcase because of the beautiful, thick elephant leather and dashing hardware. These components are perfectly utilized for the extremely well made handle; this briefcase will definitely last a lifetime and more. The leather has already started to develop a shiny patina that I have grown to appreciate over time.

Lekoza Minimalist 3


Overall I have been very pleased with the Lekoza Minimalistic Elephant Briefcase. Its simple design, beautiful leathers, and sturdy construction have proven to be extremely high quality. As you can imagine, an exotic bag like this comes at a hefty price, due to its premium materials and fully handmade construction. At $1000, the minimalistic briefcase is a lifetime investment, but I know once you see this bag in person, you’ll know you made a great purchase.

Lekoza Minimalist 7 Lekoza Minimalist 9

Stock & Barrel No. 32 Minimalist Satchel Review – $345

It seems that almost everything these days is jammed packed with multiple features. If a widget doesn’t perform umpteen different functions, it just isn’t good enough. Personally, I find that tiresome at times. So, it’s really refreshing to find a product that keeps it simple and does a job well. And, if it looks good while doing it…well, that’s icing on the cake.


About Stock & Barrel

Stock & Barrel is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Parker and Whitney Lichfield. With all of their products handmade in Ogden, Utah this duo hopes to revitalize a sense of adventure with each of the products they create. They work hard to reinforce their own “Carry Well” mantra. According to Whitney, “The idea of carry well is to surround yourself with things and people that are important to you. We believe that carrying quality products enables a more quality life.” And, from what we can tell, they’re doing a great job of providing those quality carry products.



The Stock & Barrel No. 32 Minimalist Satchel is a thing of beauty. The leather is sourced within the United States and is fully struck through (dye permeates through the entire hide). In speaking with Whitney about Stock & Barrel’s construction process, she had this to say, “We roll out the hide, trace the pattern, cut out the pattern, rivet, punch, etc., and then hand-stitch everything. At this time we don’t have any heavy machinery, we love the look of the hand-stitched, rugged, simple look. We aren’t opposed to machinery though and if demand continues to grow like it is machinery will be our next step!”


The leather is thick and has a nice pull up affect to it. It should develop an awesome patina with time and usage. Along with the great leather and exposed hand stitched seams, they utilize brushed stainless steel hardware, which I appreciate. It’s not flashy and allows you to focus attention on the bag as a whole.



In keeping with its minimalist name, the satchel has just one compartment. It will easily hold a 15” laptop, your iPad, charging cords, and various accessories with ease. Its 15.5″ x 10.5″x 3″ footprint is deceptive…it will hold a lot! One thing that I really appreciate is the “rain flaps” it has on the sides. Living in an area where it rains and snows frequently, it’s important to have a satchel that keeps your precious, expensive electronics dry. And the Stock & Barrel No. 32 Minimalist Satchel definitely does that thanks to this nice design feature.


The main flap uses a tuck-in closure to stay shut. It’s simple and is just another feature that adheres to the minimalist approach. No zippers, straps, buckles…just leather – really nice leather.

The shoulder strap is the only component of the bag that requires the use of hardware. It attaches to the satchel with D rings and lobster clasps. The strap is adjustable and wide enough that you don’t need a shoulder strap (keep it simple…remember?).



The thick, exposed thread and brushed stainless steel hardware when combined with the heavy leather create a visual feast for the eyes. With no pockets or hardware in the way, you’re immediately drawn to just the leather, which looks fantastic. The simplicity of the design definitely catches people’s attention. In carrying this bag on a few trips to a couple of my favorite coffeehouses and to church, it always elicited questions and comments. The vintage brown color is great too. It’s not as light as a natural vegetable tan finish, but it’s not a dark brown color either. “Vintage” is definitely an accurate descriptor because the leather appears to be old…”pre-patina’d” so to speak. But, what’s great is that you’ll definitely be able to develop your own unique patina with time and use on this satchel.



The Lichfield’s are definitely creating high quality leather carry goods. By using top quality leather, handmade attention to detail, and minimalist design features the No. 32 Minimalist Satchel is a stellar choice. At $345, it is reasonably priced – especially considering the fact that it will allow you to “carry well” for many, many years and then you can give the bag to one of your kids or grandkids so they can continue to use it.

*Be looking for another review coming soon for some of Stock & Barrels accessories (yes, the same ones seen in some of these pictures).