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Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome 2023-24: THE Boot & Shoe Aging Contest

2023-24 Patina Thunderdome registration is now OPEN on our Patina Project app 

To register, download the app here

And read our guide here with the registration steps

The Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome THREE presented by Grant Stone, Nicks Boots, and Standard & Strange, is a six-month, judged footwear patina contest that will begin October 1 2023 and run through April 1-5 2024. Your final chance to enter is between Nov 1 and Nov 5, 2023.

The objective, and how winners will be judged, is simple and pure: to wear a new pair of boots or shoes as they were MEANT to be worn—consistently, lovingly. Worn to do things that great footwear can do, but too often doesn’t. But never, ever beaten unnecessarily. Worn…honestly.

Here’s the whole idea: start with a new pair of boots (note: from here on out, “boots” can mean both boots and shoes), and then go live your damn life in them.

Let the boots tell their story, and yours. And let everyone see it.

The Thunderdome competition will route through the Dome-customized Patina Project app for monthly submissions and  Stitchdown Premium Discord (all Thunderdome contestants must be a member of the Stitchdown Premium community for the duration of the contest—learn more here) for conversation and general revelry. 

They’ll also be shot out into the boot-loving world on the @stitchdown and @stitchdownpatinathunderdome IG handles.

Keep reading for contest rules, and the wonderfully insane prize list with over $30k in prizes provided by our amazing sponsors.

If you have any questions at all, we’re always available at thunderdome@stitchdown.com. And we’d love to hear from you.

Hop on the Patina Thunderdome Newsletter
For constant updates on the Dome
Benzein Keeper Engineer Horween Overdyed Brown Horsehid
Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome


The 2023-24 Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome—which begins on Oct 1, 2023 and runs through April 5th, 2023—will have two entry categories: “Work” and “Open”, each with their own distinct judges and prize lineup.

All rules below apply to both the Work Dome and Open Dome.




  • You can enter the Thunderdome with ANY type of footwear. High quality welted leather boots or shoes: those are a given. But sneakers, sandals—all very fine. Wear what you love!
  • All footwear must be unworn previous to the beginning of the contest. Yes, tried on inside is totally fine.
  • The contest will begin on Oct 1 2023, and continue through April 1-5, 2024. Entry is open Oct 1 through Oct 10th (extended this year to coincide with our Boot Camp event in NYC). 
  • There will once again be a late-entry window open from Nov 1-5, 2023. Thunderdome entries will be closed following Nov 5. All late-entry pairs must be new and unworn when photos are submitted in the Patina Project app between Nov 1 and Nov 5. 
  • All contestants must become members of the Stitchdown Premium community by the time they enter the contest, and remain a member for the duration of the contest. Consider it a small entry fee ($5/month or $50 for a year) for the opportunity to win a piece of a growing prize pool that will again be gigantic. Our hope is that you’ll find the community so damned wonderful that you’ll want to stay long beyond then! Learn more about Stitchdown Premium and join here—we’ll see you in the Discord.
  • All contestants MUST submit a small series of photos by the deadline each month throughout the competition, from the 1st to 5th of each month (1st-10th of October), to remain in contention for prizes (more info on specific submission details to come as contest draws closer)
  • Patina is the name of the game. Footwear will be judged on how effectively it develops into a visibly well-loved, wholly unique, beautifully worn pair. This is your pair—live in them as much as you can.
  • Extremely important: the goal is not to intentionally destroy a pair of wonderful boots or shoes beyond recognition—those simply will not win—but rather to create and share with the world a memento of seven months of your/the footwear’s life, and to proudly end the contest with a pair that has years and years of very happy life left in it. 


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We’re beyond honored by what our incredible sponsors have contributed: this prize list will continue to grow as we approach the Oct 1, 2023 start date—be sure to check back in.


  •  A trip to Tokyo (flight for one person + 3 nights’ lodging), courtesy of Standard & Strange & Stitchdown, plus 1 pair of Clinch Boots from Brass Tokyo


  • 1 pair of Grant Stone boots or shoes (no shell cordovan)
  • 1 pair of Grant Stone boots or shoes (no shell cordovan)
  • 1 pair of Grant Stone boots or shoes (no shell cordovan)
  • 1 pair of forthcoming S&S x Unsung House boots +1 pair highly flattering silhouette-appropriate jeans
  • 1 Pair of either S&S x Unsung House engineers OR other in-stock engineer + 1 pair highly flattering silhouette-appropriate jeans
  • 1 pair of boots or shoes from Division Road
  • 1 pair of MTO boots or shoes from Wesco
  • 1 pair of Oak Street Bootmakers boots or shoes
  • 1 pair of MTO Sagara Bootmaker boots or shoes
  • 1 pair of MTO Sagara boots or shoes
  • 1 pair of in-stock Viberg boots or shoes from Brooklyn Clothing
  • 1 pair of in-stock Tricker’s shoes or boots
  • 1 MTO pair of Frank’s Boots, up to $650 value
  • 1 pair of Østmo x Iron Boots
  • 1 pair of special forthcoming Jim Green boots or shoes
  • 1 pair of special forthcoming Jim Green boots or shoes
  • 1 pair of Meermin boots or shoes
  • 1 pair of Meermin boots or shoes
  • 1 pair of Meermin boots or shoes
  • 1 pair of Meermin boots or shoes
  • 1 pair of Christian Daniel Boots
  • 1 pair of Popov Leather slip-on shoes
  • 1 shell cordovan wallet from Popov Leather
  • 1 shell cordovan wallet from Popov Leather
  • 1 shell cordovan wallet from Popov Leather

Open Dome prizes will work as such: whichever contestant is determined by the judging panel to be the first-place winner will select their choice of any of the above prizes. The second-place winner will be able to select any of the prizes other than what the first-place winner selected. And so on…

Somewhat obviously, certain sizing restrictions will apply (if you’re a size 19 and your preferred prize is from a sponsor who doesn’t make size 19, it’s somewhat hard for them to get you a size 19). But you can rest assured that all winners will leave quite happy.



  • 2nd Place: Nicks MTO pair
  • 3rd Place: Nicks MTO pair
  • 4th Place: Nicks stock pair
  • 5th Place: Nicks stock pair
  • 6th Place: Nicks stock pair
  • 7th Place: Nicks stock pair
  • 8th Place: Nicks tool belt
  • 9th Place: Nicks tool belt
  • 10th Place: Nicks tool belt
  • 11th Place: Nicks belt
  • 12th Place: Nicks belt
  • 13th Place: Nicks belt
  • 14th Place: Nicks ultimate boot care kit
  • 15th Place: Nicks ultimate boot care kit
  • People’s Choice Award for the Work Dome: Nicks MTO pair


These prizes will be collaboratively awarded by judges across BOTH the Work and Open Thunderdome categories to contestants 1) who complete the Thunderdome wearing boots made by or purchased from a sponsor listed below, and 2) whose boots did NOT place in the top 15 for either the Work or Open Domes.

  • Exceptional Grant Stone Pair Winner: 1 custom pair of Grant Stone shoes or boots
  • Exceptional Nicks Boots Pair Winner: 1 Nicks Boots MTO pair of shoes or boots
  • Exceptional Brooklyn Clothing Pair: 1 pair of Viberg boots or shoes from Brooklyn Clothing
  • Exceptional Tricker’s Pair Winner: 1 pair of in-stock Tricker’s shoes or boots
  • Exceptional Oak Street Bootmakers Pair Winner: 1 pair of OSB boots or shoes
  • Exceptional Division Road Pair Winner: 1 pair of boots or shoes from Division Road
  • Exceptional Standard & Strange Pair Winner: 1 Mystery Boots + Jeans Box! S&S will do a style/sizing consultation, and send you a box that you are guaranteed to love
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The Patina Thunderdome simply would not be possible without our amazing sponsors and their incredibly generous prize donations. We urge you endlessly to support them both within the Thunderdome, and in your everyday footwear-loving life.


Grant Stone Logo

One of the best GYW footwear values you’ll find anywhere


Nicks Boots Logo

Beautiful boots that just happen to be indestructible since 1964.


standard & strange logo

One of the coolest men’s shops in the world, hands-down.  



Brooklyn Clothing Co. Logo

Selling handcrafted boots from Viberg, Wesco, and White’s.


division road logo

The Wesco, White’s, Crockett, and Tricker’s makeup maestros.


Jim Green Logo

Straight outta South Africa, some of the best value workboots in the world.


Boots, loafers, moccasins, and more, all made in the USA.


A rare collaboration between the Norwegian virtuoso and one of China’s finest bootmakers.

Read Up on Iron x Østmo

Exceptional leather goods handmade in Nelson, BC Canada


sagara logo

The original Indonesian handmade bootmaker, and one of the best.


Tricker's Logo

The creator of the country boot, and England’s oldest shoemaker.



Judge Gavel

Our judges are wonderful, fair, caring, and incredibly interesting footwear- and leather-obsessed individuals. Do not try to hoodwink them; they are unhoodwinkable. 

The very nature of this particular industry and passion means that all judges will have ties to one or more brands or shops, but measures will be in place to ensure they remain uncompromised.


  • Neil Berrett: Founder, Standard & Strange
  • Wyatt Gilmore: Founder, Grant Stone
  • Jesse Ducommun: Founder, Guarded Goods


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