Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome—Benzein Keeper Engineer Boot—Horween Overdyed Brown Horsehide

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1 pair of new boots or shoes.

6 months.

1 goal: wear a new pair of boots or shoes the way they were MEANT to be worn.

(Oh and there are prizes)

The Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome is a six-month, judged footwear patina and aging contest. The next edition of the Thunderdome will commence October 1, 2024 (with a late entry period of Nov 1-5 2024) and run through April 5, 2025.

The objective, and how winners will be judged for a bevy of prizes (definitely a lot of boots!), 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 or shoes, and then go live your damn life in them. Let the boots tell their story, and yours. And let everyone see it. 

Speaking of that, you can get a taste of Thunderdomes past via the @stitchdownpatinathunderdome Instagram account, viewing the 2021-22 winners2022-23 winners, or 2023-24 winners—or by seeing every single boot in the 2022-2023 Dome in searchable fashion (leather, maker, model) on the Patina Project App.

We’ll be releasing PLENTY more information on the 2024-25 Thunderdome in advance of the October 1 start date—the best way to stay updated on rules, sponsors, prizes, and more—and of course learn how to enter—is by signing up for our newsletter below.


The 2024-25 Patina Thunderdome will once again be hosted in the Patina Project App

Download the app here

Get all the Patina Thunderdome Updates Via our Newsletter
This is all we need for now—stay tuned for plenty more details!

Two Thunderdome Categories: “Work” and “Open”

Each category will have its own distinct prizes and judging lineup.

You should enter the Work Dome instead of the Open Dome if you:

-Work professionally in a field or trade that will consistently subject your boots to significant exertion and wear.

-Plan to do serious projects around your home or elsewhere throughout the course of the Patina Thunderdome that would subject your boots to significant exertion and wear.

You should enter the Open Dome instead of the Work Dome if you:

-Wear “work boots”—or any other type of footwear—but work in an office, from home, or any other situation that doesn’t put an uncommon amount of daily stress on your footwear.

Some Things To Know!

-The Thunderdome competition’s official home will be the Stitchdown Premium Discord server. By the start of the 2024-2025 Thunderdome, all participants must become a member of the honestly amazing community we’re building in said Discordand in good ol’ fashioned real life. 

-Sponsors and prizes are still being finalized (hey, we just finished the last Dome!), but 1) for the first two Thunderdomes I’ll modestly say they were quite good, and 2) you’ll be getting plenty of updates by getting on the Thunderdome newsletter list. 

-Given the reality of extended lead times by some brands, figuring out what pair you’ll wear is something you should probably start thinking about right now! 

I simply cannot wait to see what all of you unleash come October—and get plenty of updates on what you’re thinking about wearing before that.  


Ben Robinson

Founder and Editor in Chief, Stitchdown