Alligator Shoes,in general yes or no?

rnoldh

Senior Member
I'm relatively new to the Forum and really appreciate the input.

I was wondering how others feel about alligator shoes. A bit over the top or not. I am a fan of alligator and even ostrich. But I've noticed that they are almost never included when someone suggests a shoe for a particular outfit.
And they don't seem to come up when shoe makers are recommended.
I'm talking about normal, tasteful shoes. Imagine the EG's, AE's and Aldens that so often come up here, but in alligator. I had some Mauri alligator shoes but I doubt I'll wear them after becoming a Forum member. Too wild!

As an aside! I previously started a thread about a pair of Gucci alligator shoes that I saw on Ebay, and I thought were very nice. After hearing from some Forum members I realized that they were right, and the shoes were ugly!
Here's the link to the Gucci's



So, in general how do you knowledgeable members feel about alligator shoes?

P.S. When I learn how to use Photobucket, I will post pictures of the 3 pair of alligator shoes I own.

Here's the link to a similar pair of Mauris to those I have(yes I know, not too many comments please!)
 
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Will

Honors Member
Brown alligator shoes are wonderful with flannels and other woolen trousers. They get less attention here because the high quality versions are so darned expensive that they are relatively rare.
 

Hanseat

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Honestly? I just think they look good (whatever the last might be and how subtle it's worn) on veeery, very few men. In fact I can only think of two kinds:

a) Pimps (looking appropriate rather than good)
b) wealthy old men that don't have any taste in clothing whatsoever but just buy it because it's expensive.

I come to realize that one just shouldn't wera alligator shoes, but then that's just my humble opinion...
 

Teacher

Honors Member
I'm not a big fan of alligator. It's just too flashy for my taste. Even ostrich commands too much attention, though I really like FlatSix's AE Lauderdales with the ostrich vamps.
 

jcusey

Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support
Unfortunately, most alligator or crocodile shoes that are priced somewhat reasonably are ugly. The good ones tend to be very expensive. And what are the characteristics of the good ones? The scales of the skin have enough visual interest. Throwing in an overabundance of brogueing or an otherwise busy shoe design is a mistake. I like bluchers with v-shaped quarters in alligator, such as these from Tony Gaziano:



Plain-toe bals, such as these also from Tony, and cap-toe bals are also good choices:
 

rnoldh

Senior Member
I'm not a wealthy old pimp! But I do like alligators some!

That's quite a strong reply, but I can understand your feelings. I should say I'm not a pimp and I'm not wealthy. I sell new homes for work but it hasn't made me wealthy yet! I do own 3 pair of alligator shoes. I did consider the Mauri's, that I used to own, a little too fashion forward. My 3 current pair, are a Bally, a Zelli, and an old pair of Nettletons(which belonged to my father, and I've restored), so none are particularly flashy.

I guess alligator shoes would be de rigeur for an old,wealthy pimp!!
 

rnoldh

Senior Member
Tony Gaziano Alligators!!! One Day For Me!

jcusey said:
Unfortunately, most alligator or crocodile shoes that are priced somewhat reasonably are ugly. The good ones tend to be very expensive. And what are the characteristics of the good ones? The scales of the skin have enough visual interest. Throwing in an overabundance of brogueing or an otherwise busy shoe design is a mistake. I like bluchers with v-shaped quarters in alligator, such as these from Tony Gaziano:



Plain-toe bals, such as these also from Tony, and cap-toe bals are also good choices:


I agree with you. These alligators are beautiful!! But I'm not even going to Google Tony Gaziano. I'm sure he's beyond my current budget. But I appreciate your thoughtful reply and now I have something to put on my wish list!

By thw way, you ought to look at the link I provided for the Ebay alligator shoes. Even though the seller claimed they were $2500(that's Ebay), they were God awful ugly, compared to these Gazianos!
 

jcusey

Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support
rnoldh said:
I agree with you. These alligators are beautiful!! But I'm not even going to Google Tony Gaziano. I'm sure he's beyond my current budget. But I appreciate your thoughtful reply and now I have something to put on my wish list!

They're probably less expensive than you would think. The major British makers other than Lobb St. James charge a premium of about 90% for alligator over the price for plain old calfskin shoes, which means that you can have a pair like those above for under £3000. Now, that's extraordinarily expensive, of course, but it is significantly less than a pair of RTW alligator shoes from John Lobb Paris. Don't ask me why. It makes little sense.

By thw way, you ought to look at the link I provided for the Ebay alligator shoes. Even though the seller claimed they were $2500(that's Ebay), they were God awful ugly, compared to these Gazianos!

Yes, I would agree that those shoes are pretty ugly, even on an absolute scale.
 

jamgood

Elite Member
Classic Styles

You can request a brochure from www.edwardgreen.com (Contact) that illustrates three relatively restrained crocodile styles: tassle, penny & balmoral. With patience you may be able to find new, less expensive versions of these on eBay at less than $500. I bought a pair of new Bragano (I know, I know!) on the bay for $180. Retail would be around $1200. Most eBay Crocogators are not Goodyear welted. Last fall eBay seller Grapevinehill had a few $5000 RLPL that fetched anywhere from $750 to $2500. Shades of brown and tan have more character. Re Will, brown balmorals great with grey flannel suit in a relatively informal situation, loafers with best sportswear.
 

DocHolliday

Honors Member
I've seen a very, very small number of alligator shoes that I liked. I can't imagine wearing them. (Of course, I don't care for exotic skins in general.)
 

jazzy1

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
GrapevineHill sells Mezlan exotics andtheir prices are quite reasonable if you are the market for a pair. I think that Alligator/Croc/Ostrich shoes do look good unless they are in lime green or some other crazy color.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
If you enjoy the exotic skins wear them. I don't personally care for the design ot the shoes illustrated in the initial posting but, as jcusey showed us by his illustrations, there are shoes crafted from exotic skins out there that are very stylish and would be welcome additions to any of our shoe collections. Considering the level of investment, do remember that footwear crafted from croc or gator hides does require a bit more care and attention to keep it in good condition.
 

guitone

Elite Member
This may be totally off base, but aren't gator an croc shoes on the endangered species list? If not get what pleases you, if they are I would consider alternatives. In the guitar world we have to do without many woods that are desireable for sound but are on the CITES list. Unless a luthier has old stock or can buy from a mill that has certification of pre-ban wood, or stump wood, the tree was cut before the ban these are illegal.

This may be of interest:

"All 23 species of large crocodiles and alligators have been overexploited by hide hunting; they are now in varying degrees of threat and listed on Appendix I or II of CITES. South American caimans were so abundant in the early 1950s that millions were killed for export to Europe and the United States. Their hides are fashioned into shoes, handbags and suitcases for the luxury trade. Elsewhere, crocodiles in Africa, Asia and Australia came under similar pressure, as did the American Alligator (Alligator missippiensis). In fact, the depletion of wild crocodiles which began in the 1950s caused reptile hide traders to turn to turtle skin, lizards and snakes, continuing their record of massive overexploitation."

and the link:
 

Intrepid

Super Member
You asked for knowledgable input, and jcusey replied. He is the highly respected expert, on the Forum.

Maybe some of your answer depends on your overall style, and how the shoes work with what else you have on.

EG, crocs would look passing strange with a BB sack suit, button down shirt, and rep tie.

Maybe a peak lapel suit,and a shirt with contrasting collar and cuffs, might present a different answer, as far as the crocs are concerned. Also, a lot would depend on where you are wearing them, and what your occupation is. It's different on Wall Street, and in Las Vegas.




My guess from reading posts over the past year on the subject is that many here would feel that they are a bit ostentatious, and that much money could be put to better use in what you buy to wear.

However, the beauty of the Forum, is that you ask for input, and then do what feels right for you.
 

jamgood

Elite Member
Teacher said:
These are farmed animals.

Sea Turtle (i.e. Grand Cayman Island Turtle Farm) cannot be imported into the US.

American Alligator was illegal from the early 70's until more recent years. Now gator is abundant, yet still expensive. It is more expensive than Crocodile, which is legal. Caiman skins are generally less expensive than Crocogator. Gators are "farmed" as far north as central North Carolina. Not far from Pinehurst, NC is Sandhills Alligator Farm, the home of some 4,500 American alligators. It processes about 1,000 gators a year. Most parts of the animal are used for food or hides. Most of the hides from this farm are shipped to Europe. There are also similar farms in Fla., La., etc. Crocodile farms in Australia. Wild gators are also abundant inland of the coastal areas of Southern states. There was a report of a gator killing a jogger resting canal-side in the Southern U.S. this past week. Two arms were found in its gut. These are not Disney creatures.

There are a variety of non-endangered domestic and imported lizard skins.

I'm not sure, but I think most exotic skins may be banned in California. I know crocogator cannot be legally mailed from other states to California.

Re Trad: JFK had a Hermes black gator document case.

Any commercially sold exotic skin in the U.S. is non-endangered. However, news this week indicates that there a now 12 endangered fly species in Hawaii. Get your flyskin accessories while you can.
 
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jcusey

Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support
James C. Goodwin said:
Any commercially sold exotic skin in the U.S. is non-endangered. However, news this week indicates that there a now 12 endangered fly species in Hawaii. Get your flyskin accessories while you can.

Better place that order for bespoke flyskin shoes this week. I wouldn't be able to live without them. ;)
 
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