This key fob has aged beautifully! I am so glad I went with the Natural Leather color choice because it has the most patina potential! The construction has held up very well and it has been through some adventures: Italy, hiking through snow, moving... The only care the fob has received has been two separate applications of Blackthorn's Leather Balm for conditioning and water resistance purposes. The brass hardware was an excellent choice and I have had no problems with rusting or the button unsnapping from my belt. The key clip has held my keys, or whatever else I have hung there, without issue. I am glad that Andy did not go with cheap hardware because that is where most fobs seem to fail. The leather can be the best in the world but if it is paired with poor metal it is pretty much useless afterawhile.
In about six months, the leather has darkened and has taken on indigo from my raw denim jeans. While it has gotten more supple and soft, it has not lost any strength and is still as tough as ever. The well burnished edges have not produced any fraying issues and if it wasn't for the patina, you'd probably think I never used this thing!
With many store bought key fobs, the leather (or leather substitute) seems to disintegrate and tear, most likely while you're out and about, and just like that your keys are lost! Not so with my Blackthorn Leather Key Fob. It has been a staple in my EDC and will probably be for a long time.
It seems everyone has their own method of cleaning, conditioning, and polishing their boots. There are a slew of products out there and each boot company seems to have their own opinion (along with pushing their own cleaning goods) on how to treat their leather shoes.
Personally, I like to keep it simple. The method that I use, with variations, seems to be doing just fine for my boots and does not take a long time. I wanted to keep the cost down as well and not having to own so many different products. Without certainty I can say that this way is not the best because I am in no way a professional leather crafter or cobbler. I encourage everyone to do their research and in the end come up with what they think is best for their shoes.
Red Wing Iron Ranger 8085s Before & After Cleaning and Conditioning
John Doe Shoes Natural Chromexcel Boots Before & After Cleaning and Conditioning
Why these Products?
I use Saphir products, which are well known in the dress shoe world as the "premier" shoe care product manufacturer, because of how well they provide nourishment to the leather. My main concern with boots is that the leather dries out and cracks. Having a shiny boot with no scratches, creases, or scuffs is not my priority as I like to beat them up so I don't use polish. I finish up with the leather balm because of the natural beeswax in it that provides waterproofing. Also, most leather balms are all natural, provide the leather with nutrients, and add a little extra conditioning. I have tried using just leather balm, which would be ideal, but the ingredients from the Saphir products really seem to moisturize the leather more.
This method does initially darken the leather but the color slowly returns to normal with wear. The developing patina stays put as well as some of the scratches and marks. If you prefer a more formal look and want to get the imperfections out than this method is not for you. I do not use cleaner, such as saddle soap, when wiping down my boots because the ingredients in some of those products can dry out leather, which is the opposite of why I do this method in the first place!
Always remember to use shoe trees between wears!