When we cooked up the Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome, obviously it seemed like something people would find to be quite fun. Commit to a pair of boots or shoes, wear it like hell, take some photos to document it every month, and watch along with almost 500 other people’s pairs as the seven months drove on? Sounds heavenly.
But behind the scenes there’s always been a larger purpose: help every single person who wants to peer into the future of what their next pair could be, by documenting the aging and progression and patina-ing of hundreds of different boot and shoe leathers. It’s pretty easy to know what they look like when new, sure.
But the most exciting and fulfilling leathers twist and turn and surprise the hell out of you along the way. Now, thanks to the Thunderdome, you could have a greater understanding of the possibility, and limitations, and just the damn magic of the stuff. Peer into the looking glass, and chances are you’ll find something that fits what you’re looking for down the road.
We’ll absolutely be collating a TON of boot and shoe photos from the first Thunderdome (and the second, which will commence on Oct 1, 2022) on this very website right here. It’ll make it easy for people to find through search, which is hugely important.
But now you can dig into EVERY single pair in the Dome, and see those evolutions, whenever you damn well please. We’ve partnered with intrepid and frighteningly brilliant Stitchdown Premium community members Hillary Mangini and Ted Mader, who built the very very good app Patina Project, which is essentially both a patina self-tracking solution and a window into how others’ pairs are aging.
It’s a simple and incredibly cool product, and you should use it. You can download it here.
Now here’s where it gets even more exciting. The two have techno-magically built a layer on top of their Patina Project app especially for the Thunderdome, which collates every single official Patina Thunderdome boot and shoe submission photo—all the way back to day one, with monthly updates when the new ones come in—and makes them completely, wonderfully searchable. Let’s take a look.
You can browse through every single pair in the Dome, and just have at it…
…or go with a specific leather whose journey you’re interested in learning more about—when you do, the app will narrow things down to just the boots (any model or maker) in that leather.
From there, you can scroll back to the beginning and go month by month to see how things went.
And enlarge up any photo, and get as close in as you want to really get busy with your investigation.
Of course you can also search by style…
…or mix and match tags!
If you’re participating in the Thunderdome, obviously this is a huge step forward. We’ve always been more about camaraderie than raw, dirty competition—but hey, both are perfectly valid excuses to spend hours looking at pictures of everyone else’s boots and shoes! And there are over $15,000 of prizes (mostly boots!) on the line.
But then there’s everyone else. All in all, this app is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, and if you want to have that glimpse into the future—whether you want to do a free-form exploration or get really specific about a leather or maker or style—well, now you can. Bravo, Hillary and Ted.