I’ve been wearing the GRIP6 belts for a few days now, and I have yet to decide if they are completely brilliant or utterly ridiculous. I’ll explain how they work, and you will perhaps then be able to decide for yourself.
GRIP6 is a reinvention of the belt, which for most people did not need reinvention. I own several dozen belts, largely because it’s a good idea to match one’s belt with one’s shoes — assuming, that is, one is wearing traditional grownup shoes. Ninety percent of the time, however, I wear one of my shell cordovan belts in Horween Color #8 or the Rattlerstrap Titan. At the skatepark, I always wear the Titan, but lately I’ve gotten tired of the thing’s sheer bulk. The Rattlerstrap is so thick that it can be painful to wear when driving for long distances.
The GRIP6 is the absolute opposite of the Rattlerstrap. It pairs a three-millimeter-thick buckle with a extremely minimal fabric belt. Adjustment is an acquired skill, but once said skill is acquired it is possible to pull this belt very tight, which is useful when I’m trying to ride a BMX bike around a skatepark while wearing some of those mega-heavy Japanese-denim Gustin pants. The belt is available in several different colors, but the buckle variety verges on the insane. Three different variants of carbon fiber? American flags? Mountain ranges? Buffalo cutouts? Walnut? The sky is the limit.
The GRIP6 can in no way be considered a “dress belt”, and the fabric straps apparently show cosmetic wear in short order, but if you can live with the adjustment procedure then these are very intelligent and simple devices. It’s periodically possible to find them on Massdrop — this referral code will get you, and me, ten bucks’ worth of discount — but I bought mine directly from the manufacturer. I bought the “Premium Pack” which has three plain metal buckles, a carbon-fiber buckle, a walnut buckle, and a “honeycomb” pattern which, I’m told, helps the environment somehow.
This is not the belt to own if you can own just one — that would be the sublimely satisfying Horween one-piece cordovan belt — but it’s a nice change of pace. Last but not least, they take up about ZERO space in your luggage. If any Riverside Green readers buy a GRIP6 belt, please come back and detail your experience.