The New Element 26 Hybrid Leather Weightlifting Belt: What’s The Deal?

At Element 26, we’re always looking to innovate fitness and performance gear.
Whether it’s creating a new product from scratch or improving a current product on the market, there is always something that can be done better. 

With that said, we wanted to solve a huge problem and at the same time, flip the fitness space on its head. 

And we did it. 

We developed a leather belt that utilizes a nylon strap and our unique Self-Locking™ buckle technology. 

So many times athletes are looking for a belt that gives them exceptional support but doesn’t have such an overly restrictive buckle setup. 

Those traditional leather belts have preset sizes, take excessive efforts to loosen up, pose a threat to pinching your abdomen and thigh, and make it difficult to keep the bar close in the Olympic Lifts. 

So we created a PATENT PENDING 6mm Hybrid Leather Weightlifting Belt to solve this problem and give you a better option.          

Why are we releasing a leather belt?

Over the past several years, athletes have been saying “your current belt is great, but sometimes I need a stiffer one for the power lifts or during the WODs when the barbell gets really heavy.” 

As the frequency of those comments increased, we knew we had to do something. 

We took into account the demands of YOU, the athlete, and put that on our radar and into action. 

But we didn’t want to just release some run of the mill leather belt. 

It needed to be more advantageous to the functional athlete. 

We had to solve this problem. 

That meant this belt had to be stiff, easy-to-use, and not bulky like many of the other leather belts out there. 

So we took our current belt model with the Self-Locking™ Buckle and Pin technology, and combined that with a superior leather body to give you the perfect balance of support and ease of use. 

For the functional athlete, this is our current belt model on steroids!

What’s so special about this leather belt?

Over the past 5 months we spent hours going back and forth with our manufacturer on leather material, leather thickness, stitching profile, nylon thickness, buckle placement, and any other foreseen user issues. 

Safe to say, this belt was the winner after we sifted through all the crap materials and eliminated all the poor ideas. We had several different samples shipped to us for testing and we were incredibly critical.

For example, one sample we got had a poorly stitched nylon strap to the leather body. We could literally see the nylon pulling off the leather. Awful! We knew this was going to be a long term issue, so we went back to the manufacturer to have them double stitch the nylon strap to the leather body. Problem solved. 

Another sample we got had too thick of a leather body. Sure a thicker body may work well in powerlifting, but this belt was designed to perform for the functional athlete. So if it’s too thick it will compromise form and mobility. That’s why we minimized the thickness to 6mm.

The largest difference between the Element 26 Hybrid Leather Weightlifting Belt and every other leather belt out there is the fact that we combined a nylon strap on a leather body. Never before has this been done. 

With a nylon strap you’re getting two very important aspects of belt function: infinite adjustability and less bulk. 

Have you ever used a belt that has fixed notches for buckle placement and tightening? 

One notch is not tight enough and the next notch is too tight that it’s nearly impossible to get the belt off. With this E26 belt you get to customize your belt tightness because it doesn’t use notches or preset holes. 

And without a thick metal buckle, you’re given more mobility in the bottom of your squats and cleans. Oftentimes those thick buckles will impede mobility by getting in the way of your thighs/abdomen as you descend into your lift. Oh and let’s not forget how much those buckles hurt when they pinch your abdomen in the bottom of a lift.  

Is this Hybrid Leather Belt durable?

You may ask: “since this is a ‘never before seen’ belt, how do you know it will hold up?”

Great question by the way. 

Our answer: every single material used in the construction of this belt has been used prior with great success. 

When you break it down, the belt is simply a leather body, a nylon strap, a velcro hook and loop closure, and a Self-Locking™ buckle. 

No other added ingredients. 

Leather has been used for decades as the primary material in belts. Nylon and velcro have been tried and tested by thousands of Olympic lifters, functional athletes, and E26 athletes. And the Self-Locking™ buckle we use in our current belt has helped athletes hit thousands of personal records. 

The two areas where we saw primary issues in testing were the stitching of the nylon strap on the leather and the wear of the velcro over time. 

We made sure to fix both issues. The strap has been double stitched onto the leather body which reinforced the support and durability. The velcro we used on this belt is stronger and more  long-lasting than your typical velcro and proved in testing that it will hold up to your abdominal pressure and the repetitive use.  

A functional belt for functional training.

The main purpose of any belt is to increase your abdominal pressure beyond what you can do with just your abdomen. It serves as that outer wall of protection when the abdominals can’t contract and stabilize optimally. That’s how proper optimal abdominal pressure is generated to help you improve your lifts while supporting your spine.  

But for functional training you need a belt that continues to deliver whether the training plan calls for heavy squats/deadlifts, high rep squat cleans, or a WOD/metcon that increases back fatigue and risks injury.  

That’s where the Element 26 Hybrid Leather Weightlifting Belt comes in. To give you the stiffness and stability of a leather belt without the restriction of a thick, bulky buckle.  

The Element 26 Hybrid Leather Weightlifting Belt is available for purchase NOW! 

Element 26 Hybrid Leather Belt


Any questions, about sizing, ordering a belt, or anything else, comment below or email us directly at: and we’ll get back to you ASAP.


Written by: Phil Gauthier 

Phil is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

He is also an Owner and Co-Founder of the performance gear company, Element 26 (E26).

E26 prides itself on developing functional gear for the functional athlete to help you "Destroy Your PR's, Not Your Body." 

To reach Phil or any member of the Element 26 Staff, please email us at: and we will respond to you ASAP!

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