2014 Badger & Blade Awards – Belts

Return to the Badger & Blade Awards Announcement page.

At Badger & Blade, we’re fascinated with and inspired by exceptional quality. We expend tireless efforts to find, review and share items that stand out from the pack. The Badger & Blade Awards are designed to recognize products of special significance – those which rise above the rest. The finest products are not mere inanimate objects; rather, they are works of art, tirelessly crafted by artisans and truly distinctive. In that spirit, we are proud to announce the award winner for best in class belt:

Craft & Lore Mountain Belt ($120)

There’s something comforting about knowing the face and name of the craftsman making something for you. An item made to order; however, is particularly whimsical and takes it one step further. Your soon to be special item isn’t just sitting on a shelf waiting to be ordered, but instead, exists as raw materials, awaiting your order and a skilled craftsman’s touch.

Place an order with Chad Von Lind of Craft and Lore and shortly thereafter, Chad will be inspecting his current stash of materials to accommodate your item – inspecting the quality and conformity of the leather and ensuring his current stock will be worthy of his brand’s stamp… the sincerest expression of a craftsman’s soul.

build-mountain-beltWhile you’re pinging away at a keyboard in an office somewhere, Chad is up in the mountains of Northern Idaho measuring and cutting a strap to your specifications, punching out buckle holes, applying dark brown oil dye, applying a finishing coat, beveling edges, burnishing with gum trag, water and beeswax… just for you. It is no longer just a belt, something from the mall with a designer logo that’s been mass produced, it’s the dedication of a craftsman mastering his trade and a slice of the mountains of Idaho, made just for you.

Chad’s work from Craft & Lore is truly inspiring. It’s not just his craftsmanship, which is readily apparent, but his selection and treatment of the materials are world class. A 1.75” wide (he also makes a 1.5”) and 5.4mm thick – this single piece of 13oz Hermann Oak’s Old World Harness leather is nothing but over the top quality. Despite being rugged enough to hold up Paul Bunyan’s denim, the leather is supple enough to require just a few short days to break in, thanks to a hot stuff in heavy tallow.

Chad was confident enough in his work that he sent us this belt gratis. The old adage rings true “put your money where your mouth is” – and in this case I did. I was so humbled by the quality and character of the Craft & Lore Dark Brown Mountain Belt, I placed an order for the Light Brown Mountain Belt. Not only do I think they’re the finest men’s belt money can buy, I’m confident once word spreads, he’s going to have quite a waiting list.

This belt looks incredible in photos, but somehow manages to look and feel even better in person. See one of Chad’s Mountain Belt’s in person, and you won’t soon forget it – I receive a comment on mine at least twice a week. Hold one however, and you won’t be letting go. Within a week, it’s the most comfortable belt you’ve ever owned. Within two weeks, it’s no longer a belt, but part of you.

That good? Better.

Click the images below to enlarge.










You can buy a Mountain Belt from Chad Von Lind here.



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