Hyde Belts Review: Full Grain Leather Goodness

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by  William Barton | Last Updated:  Jun 08, 2021

Finding a high quality belt can be a pain—especially when you don’t get to feel the belt in your hands before buying.

In our Hyde Belts review, we’re going to get you as close to the action as we can so you can decide whether this innovative belt company is worth your time and money.

Starting a collection?
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Hyde Belt Co.

Hyde Belts

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Bottom line: Hyde belts aren’t wildly unique, but the premise is solid: they use world-class leather from Wickett & Craig, and make their buckles interchangeable so you can mix and match. If you’re looking to start a belt collection, Hyde is a great place to start.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • Hyde uses Wickett & Craig leather, which is some of the highest quality USA-made leather on the market---it’s soft, durable, and looks refined
  • It takes about 20 seconds to swap a new buckle in, and the buckles are very affordable so one belt can serve in several varieties of outfits
  • Free shipping and returns for US orders

Cons:

  • There’s not a huge variety of color options and styles---if you want a super unique looking belt, you may not find one at Hyde

I remember the day I bought a belt from H&M, cut off the tag, and as I went to pull it tight around my waist, I snapped the buckle off. 

It literally lasted five seconds. 

Of all the purchases in my life, that H&M belt was the worst (even worse than the time I spent my final $20 on a sword in Chinatown when I was 22). 

Call it PTSD, but when I find a good belt that doesn’t disintegrate in my hands, I feel like I’ve found something special. 

Recently, I went looking to expand my collection, and I came across Hyde Belt Co. I heard the brand makes their belts with leather from the legendary Wickett & Craig tannery, so I figured I’d give them a try. 

After wearing their three styles for the past several weeks, I have a few thoughts to share. 

What Is Hyde Belts?

Hyde Belt Co selection of products

Hyde Belt Co is based on a simple concept: basic belts made with the highest quality leather, and constructed with easily interchangeable belt buckles. 

Hyde doesn’t have a vast multitude of belt styles—they only feature three at the moment. 

They call them the Navigator, Pioneer, and the Woven Collection.

You can think of those styles as: formal, casual, and casual-woven. 

Hyde Belt Co packaging

What makes Hyde unique is the interchangeable (and very affordable) buckles. Say you pick up a black leather belt from Hyde: it comes standard with a silver dress buckle, but for just $8 extra, you can add on a gold dress buckle and a copper casual buckle. 

Because the leather is top-notch, the belt should age nicely, and because you can swap out your buckles to match your other accessories, you don’t need a massive collection of belts. 

Hyde Belt Co.

Hyde Belts are an excellent option for you if you’re looking for a workhorse belt to get you through the week. You can pick up one high-quality piece of leather and match it with a few different buckles---a dress buckle for the workweek, and a casual buckle for the weekend.

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Belt from Hyde

Hyde Belt Co buckles and leather

Hyde Belt Co is the place to go for the fundamentals of a really solid belt collection. If you’re looking for the latest trend or to show off an expensive logo, keep scrolling.

But the vegetable tanned full grain leather is beautiful, and the interchangeable buckles mean you can swap silver out for gold when your outfit calls for it, or pop a casual buckle in for a weekend away. 

To really take full advantage of a Hyde belt, it’s a good idea to pick up a few extra buckles. The leather is pricey, though it’s a very fair value. But the buckles are super affordable at $8, and picking up three or four gives your new belt so much more versatility. 

Hyde Belts Review

Navigator

Hyde Belt Co black leather belt wrapped in loop

The Navigator is Hyde Belt Co’s formal belt. Made with Wickett & Craig vegetable tanned full grain leather, it’s much more pliable and soft than a traditional dress belt. 

It actually feels like something you’d want around your waist, instead of the stiff uncomfortable belt your dad got you when you landed your first job. 

The Navigator comes in three color options (same as the Pioneer): Chestnut, Black, and Sandstone.

Hyde Belt Co gold dress buckle detail

I picked up Black to match my more formal outfits, though Chestnut is another classy play. The Sandstone is quite light, so it’s not exactly formal, but it can make an excellent complement to a nice navy suit outfit. But of the three, the Sandstone is the least versatile in my opinion. 

There’s a single Gutermann thread stitch running along the edge, which attaches a soft leather lining to the inside of the belt. The lining is different from the face of the belt, but it’s still high quality full grain leather, so you get all the same durability and flexibility benefits as the face. 

The Navigator in Black arrives with a silver dress buckle, but I also picked up the gold dress buckle and I’ve mainly used that. It’s great having a choice between the two, and is especially helpful when you have leather of this quality—it’s tough to justify buying two black dress belts, but you really don’t need to if you pick up different hardware from Hyde. 

Hyde Navigator

The Navigator is Hyde Belt Co’s formal belt. Made with Wickett & Craig vegetable tanned full grain leather, it’s much more pliable and soft than a traditional dress belt. 

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Pioneer

Hyde brown leather belt white shirt

The Pioneer is an unlined casual leather belt, and is also available in Tawny, Walnut, Charcoal, and Hickory. 

I picked mine up in the lighter Tawny, which I feel is a better fit for spring and summer outfits. I don’t often wear black, so the Charcoal leather was out for me, but if black and dark greys are a major part of your wardrobe, the Charcoal is worth consideration. 

Because the Pioneer is unlined, it feels even more soft and supple compared to the Navigator. And it’s a little more rough and casual looking, which makes it an excellent complement to any outfit with jeans. 

Hyde Belt Co brown casual belt

There’s an incredible amount of lateral stretch in this belt, which is something I haven’t experienced in other leathers. It speaks to how well the leather’s been conditioned and how carefully it was tanned and crafted. 

It also means that this belt will likely last a decade before the leather grain starts to crack and split, if it does at all. I plan on conditioning my belts every six months or so (because I have a plethora of boots and have everything I need at my disposal), but this Wickett & Craig leather should do fine without any regular care. 

Hyde Belt Co casual belt brown

The standard buckle on the Pioneer is the silver casual, though I jumped at the chance to try the Copper and Brass casual buckles. 

That’s what I’ve most enjoyed about Hyde—I have one copper colored watch that I wear on occasion, so having a matching belt buckle is awesome. That said, I don’t think I’d ever bite the bullet and buy a copper hardware belt on its own. With Hyde, I don’t need to buy an entirely new belt—just add another buckle to the rotation to match my metals. 

Hyde Pioneer

Because the Pioneer is unlined, it feels even more soft and supple compared to the Navigator. And it’s a little more rough and casual looking, which makes it an excellent complement to any outfit with jeans. 

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Woven Collection

Hyde Belt Co braided belt for summer

With spring and summer on the way, I couldn’t pass up a chance to try out one of Hyde’s woven belts. I opted for the Professor colorway, which is a navy weave with orange accents. While most of Hyde’s Woven collection is lighter colors, I felt the Professor is the most versatile year-round. 

The leather accents are made with Wickett & Craig Buck Brown Latigo leather, which is quickly picking up a distinguished patina, even though I’ve only worn it a few times. 

Hyde Belt Co braided belt on model

The main portion of the belt is made with braid-woven rayon, which is super flexible and comfortable. I’ve kept the standard silver dress buckle on, though the Professor also looks great with the copper casual buckle. 

Hyde Belt Co against packaging

I’m really enjoying my woven Hyde belt, and I love that the brand used a lighter leather around the buckle. The look is perfect for warmer days and offers my other leather belts a few days of rest throughout the week. 

Hyde Woven Collection

These belts are handcrafted in New York City from braid-woven rayon. It’s a subdued statement piece that won’t feel rigid when you’re bending over the boat to collect the monster fish you just reeled in.

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What do Other Reviewers Say About Hyde Belts?

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Hyde is a fairly young brand, so there aren’t a ton of reviews available online at the time of writing. But each model has a dozen or so reviews from customers and they certainly trend positive. 

Versatility is the most common refrain—reviewers seemed to really enjoy picking up several buckles and mixing and matching based on their outfit of the day. 

But quality is a close second, and while Hyde has been around for only a year, those who bought their belts early on report their leather looking as good as new. 

My Thoughts Overall On Hyde Belts

What I Like

  • The Wickett & Craig full grain vegetable tanned leather is incredible, soft, durable, and is picking up a nice patina. 

  • Swapping buckles is super easy, takes about 20 seconds, and with how inexpensive new buckles are, having a wide variety of buckles to choose from just makes sense. 

  • Free shipping and returns within the US make for worry-free shopping. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Hyde Belts are humble and straightforward, so if you’re looking for a super unique color option, you won’t find one at Hyde. 

Who is Hyde for?

Hyde Belts are an excellent option for you if you’re looking for a workhorse belt to get you through the week. You can pick up one high-quality piece of leather and match it with a few different buckles—a dress buckle for the workweek, and a casual buckle for the weekend.

The Verdict

Hyde Belt Co puts all the chips on leather quality. And because their belts are made with full grain vegetable tanned leather from Wickett & Craig (one of America’s oldest and most famous tanneries), Hyde wins the pot. 

I like that the buckles are affordable at $8 a piece. This has made it easy for me to pick up a gold and silver dress buckle so I can match my workweek belt to whatever watch I’m wearing. 

And the same goes for the casual buckles—I wear my copper watch about once a month, which isn’t nearly enough for me to justify buying a belt with a permanent copper buckle. But with Hyde, I can just quickly swap out to a copper buckle and match perfectly.

Hyde Belt Co.

Hyde Belts are an excellent option for you if you’re looking for a workhorse belt to get you through the week. You can pick up one high-quality piece of leather and match it with a few different buckles---a dress buckle for the workweek, and a casual buckle for the weekend.

Shop Hyde Belt Co. Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

What is the best leather for a belt?

Full grain leather is the best option for a durable belt. Even better if you can find a brand that uses vegetable tanned leather, as it ages nicely and is more soft and flexible.

Do leather belts stretch over time?

Yes, leather will stretch a bit over time, but not enough to warrant changing sizes.

Do leather belts shrink when wet?

Your leather belt shouldn’t shrink after getting wet, though it can if you use a high heat source to dry it out. Let your belt sit out and dry naturally, and don’t use a hairdryer on it if you want your belt to keep its shape after getting wet.

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