The Best Men’s Leather Wallets
[Buyers Guide 2021]
Leather Wallets have been the standard material used in apparel forever. In fact, the oldest leather wallets date back to Ancient Greece. But to this day – and even with the advent of new materials – the trusty leather wallet still rains king. Leather has the advantage of being malleable which means it can be used to create any wallet imaginable whether big or small.
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Types of Leather
Before we go into our top 6 leather wallets I want to explain a bit about the different types of leathers and the 6 different leather grades. Just like anything leather comes in different types of qualities so before you consider a leather wallet it really helps to know what type of leather it is and what it’s made from. Bad quality leather feels poor and will degrade and ruin faster. Since this is a review of the best leather wallets I’ve made sure to only include wallets of the top quality and materials used. Let’s take a look at the different grades of leather in detail.
The Five Leather Grades
First of all a big thanks to JooJoobs for helping me write this section on leather grades. I learned a lot and wouldn’t know what I’m talking about if it wasn’t for their article on the subject.
- Full-grain leather
- Top-grain leather
- Split grain leather
- Genuine leather
- Bonded leather
These different leathers are created in a process called ‘splitting the hide’. This basically means cutting the leather at various points. The top cut is the most valuable cut and contains the full grain of the hide. The bottom cut is considered the leftovers and used to create leather of less quality. For more information, you can check out on simple guide to Leather Grades.
Full Grain Leather
Full-grain leather is the cream of the crop. This is the highest quality and has the full complete gain intact. You’ll notice full-grain leather wallets as they’re usually the thickest wallets and smell amazing. They are also the most durable and resistant to wear. If you’re looking for a wallet that stands the test of time full-grain is where you want to be.
Top Grain Leather
Top grain is a great quality leather but not as good as top grain. Top grain will typically have its surface buffed and sanded but it still retains it’s the top of the grain helping retain the quality.
Split Grain Leather
Split grain does contain any grain from the hide making it a midway point between the top and bottom of the quality chart. The most common type people have heard of is Suede.
This is probably the most misleading name of any leather type. The word ‘genuine’ makes this type of leather seem high quality, but in actuality it’s one of the lowest grades of leathers available. The term was basically made up as a marketing ploy to mislead consumers into thinking the leather was higher quality than it actually is.
Bonded leather is the worst quality of all the leather grades. Essentially it’s the leather scraps, dust, vinyl all mashed together. If a leather wallet suggests it made from Bonded leather avoid it at all costs.
How do I know if the Leather Quality is Good?
Research is the key here. Make sure when looking at wallet brand websites to check what type of leather it actually is. Some websites fail to even mention this simply quoting ‘high quality’. If this is the case make sure to either ask them directly or move on. It’s probably be left out for a reason.
Disadvantages of Leather Wallets
Leather is a perfect material for wallets because it has the freedom to create many different types of wallets and a range of different sizes. The downside to leather is what’s mentioned above – quality control. Poor quality leather will degrade fast and you’ll be looking for a new one in less than 6 months. With leather wallets paying more is definitely going to save you money in the long run so don’t skimp.
I couldn’t help but mention Joojoobs are their entire brand is built on the idea of top quality and highly functional leather wallets. Originating from Thailand Joojoobs is a family-run business with the head of the business – Noi being a master leather smith for over 30 years. With this information, you can conclude that the wallets available at Joojoobs will be of the utmost quality.
The wallet I tried was the leather money clip wallet. This typical bi-fold style wallet is handmade, hand-stitched, and made from full-grain distressed leather. The wallet has a total of 6 card pockets which hold a maximum of 8 – 12 cards. Cards fit snug in the high-quality leather and there are no signs of cards becoming loose or falling out over time. In the middle of the wallet is a metal money clip bar used to securely store your notes and other paper items. It’s a nice way to implement this feature and helps keep the wallet at a smaller more minimalist size.
JooJoobs also provide customization options that allow you to personalize your wallet to your liking. For an extra $8.00 you get your initials printed on the wallet. JooJoobs also specify you can also have anything you can imagine printed on the wallet from symbols, images, logos, or quotes. Just another fantastic reason why supporting a small family business comes with its perks!
With all this said the wallet only comes in at an amazing price tag of $55.99. Considering the quality of this product I was astounded by this price tag and it just adds to the amazing value you get with JooJoobs products. For more information on the JooJoobs range of wallets check them out at their official website by clicking the link below.
Premium Full-grain distressed leather
Distressed Leather gets better and better with age
6 card pockets: holds 16+ cards
1 money clip (+1 spare clip)
Size: 4.75″ by 3.15″ (12 cm by 8 cm)
All products are handmade, made to order
All products are hand-stitched.
Cafe Supply has been on my top list for a while. They actually made an appearance in my top men’s wallet brands so you can assure they have great quality. Originating from Spain Cafe Supply creates all their wallets by hand by Spain’s best artisans from the town of Ubrique. The Leathers used are 100% vegetable tanned and they excel on only selling products that are exquisitely authentic.
The best wallet I’ve used by Cafe Leather Supply is The Jamaica Wallet. This simple, slim, and minimalist Bifold is everything you’d come to expect from a well-crafted wallet. With a capacity of between 4 – 8 cards and a full-width note slot, the wallet is simple and doesn’t really have unique functional features like many wallets today. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a minimalist bi-fold wallet I can’t help but recommend this wallet.
The Range of colors is also amazing with the option of your standard brown (light or dark) though to more obscure colors like green or yellow. Each one looks amazing and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with one of them.
I don’t usually mention the wallet packaging of a wallet but for Cade Supply this needs to be included. The packaging is just so good and it just plays into the amazing brand this company has built for itself. First of all the wallet comes with a beautiful thank you letter sealed with real wax. The wallet itself is packaged in a lovely little hessian bag which in itself is worth keeping.
The wallet comes in at a price of $88.00. Again not the cheapest but for the quality and the amazing brand I recommend the Cafe Jamaica wallet for those people looking to stay traditional but in a more minimalist size. For more information on Cafe Leather visit their website by clicking the link below.
Materials: Premium Vegetable Tanned Leather / Gütermann Thread
Measures: 7,5 x 9,3cm
As an independent British leather designer and specialist Bond & Knight have a reputation of vintage style that meets modern-day durability. Bond & Knight also gave us a bit of history regarding the original whereabouts of the classic folded wallet. They said:
‘As we like all things vintage but with a modern twist, we redesigned a vintage origami wallet design. The concept comes from WWII when traditional manufacturing was redirected for the war efforts. As a result, stitching leather goods was not a priority and the means to do so were not available, so many people would make wallets out of folded leather and sell them to allied forces personnel to earn extra money for their family. We even had a customer tell us how his grandfather did exactly this, and how he gave him one as a child, for which it is ever remembered’. – Bond & Knight
My favorite wallet from Bond & Knight is the Mark 1. This handmade wallet from England has a beautiful and unique design inspired by Japenese’s original technique of the 1940s and with no stitching or seams gives a classic, clean, and minimalist look. It’s this lack of stitching that really sets this wallet apart from others and I find myself continually contemplating how it doesn’t just fall apart.
Dimensions: Approx 10 x 9.4cm
Materials: High grade naturally tanned Italian leather
Color options: Black, Chestnut, Tan
In a simple bi-fold style design the wallet has a capacity of between 4 -6 cards and a full-width slot for any notes. Apart from that, the wallet is simple and classic in design. Coming in at a price of £68.00 (around $80.00 USD) the wallet is pretty expensive but it’s typical of a wallet of this quality and uniqueness. For more information on the Bond & Knight range of wallets check out their website by clicking below.
The Wingback Cash Wallet is one of my favorites on this list. I love its simple minimalist look and the beautiful machined metal fastener to keep everything secure and in place. The Wingback wallet uses full-grain leather which they said was chosen as it shows the beautiful imperfections of its natural origins. This is very true and on its unboxing, you can’t help but breathe in the beautiful smell of leather which seems to last a lifetime.
The Wingback is a tri-fold style design. With storage of up to 4 -6 cards, the main thing I love about the wallet is how it handles the storage of notes. With a capacity of up to 20 notes, the full flat layout provides easy access as notes naturally slide out upon opening but also are secured safely with the metal button.
A reoccurring theme in these wallets is the customization options available. Again, Wingback offers you the option to add a custom inscription to the wallet whether this is a phase or your initials.
Coming in at £65.00 (around $80.00 at the time of writing) the Wingback Cash wallet is amazingly simple. I love the unique look, and the minimalist profile adds to the wallet in my opinion. It’s definitely not the cheapest wallet on this list but you can guarantee this wallet lasts and you won’t be looking for a new wallet anytime soon. For more information on the Wingback Wallet range check them out by clicking below.
Dimensions: 69mm x 91mm x 12mm
Capacity: 4-6 cards, up to 20 notes
Material: Full Grain, vegetable-tanned leather from Tuscany, Italy.
Metal: CNC machined aerospace-grade metal from Europe.
Mr. Lentz is one of the more unusual brands I’ve stumbled across. With the aim of creating and designing functional items out of the highest-grade U.S. full-grain leather, Mr. Lentz set out to create beautiful leather goods that will last a lifetime.
Each and every wallet made by Mr. Lentz is custom ordered which means you get a truly unique wallet from every order. The stand-out point for me – apart from the crazy high quality – is the range of options you have available to you.
Size: 3.25 x 4.25 inches (83mm x 108mm).
Dimensions: when folded and is about 5/16 inch (10mm).
Capacity: fit 6 – 8 cards (up to 10 or so once broken in).
While you can choose between 3 distinct colors (suntanned natural, western brown & desert night dark) you also get the option to influence the shape and design of the wallet based on the country and currency you use. So if you’re from America you can have your wallet designed to fit USA notes and the same for British, Canadian, and even Japanese notes.
Finally, you also get the option to include a chain with your wallets. I can’t say I’ve ever used many chains in my time (not a personal fan) but the option is there if you like that.
And what price do you pay for all this? Starting at only $70.00 (currently on offer for $56.00) the wallet is an absolute steal and is genuinely a bargain for the type of quality you get. For more information on The Mr. Lenz Leather Wallet and its full range by clicking the link below.
Check out the highly attractive full-grain leather, stitchless, and slimline Minimalist Wallet by Murdy Creative.
The iconic duo of phone cases & wallets lives on with the amazing Bellroy Mod Wallet, an innovative take on the classic EDC.
We check out the Heritage Card Holder by Native Union. An Ultra Modern slimline wallet available in an array of beautiful colors.