Alligator Shoes,in general yes or no?

Perry Ercolino

Starting Member
Alligator/crocodile shoes, with proper design & execution can be quite smart for many dress issues. We make a very classic full saddle slip-on that is very popular for many of my clients and one client in particular who buys nothing but alligator shoes from us. There are two distinct finishes available today, one being the classic and the other is a matte finish. We tend to use a lot of the classic skins for our belts and wallets and the matte finish for most of our footwear. When hand polished it comes up to an exquisite finish. Very classy but understated. Now, with the inclusion of saltwater crocodile to the mix you can now have the most expensive leather in the world available to you. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea but they can make a very nice statement if so desired. Again, if you work with someone who has a good understanding of the product as well as a good eye for design you should have an easy transition into this type of footwear. All alligator is still on the endangerd species list as mentioned in the CITES convention. While no longer endangered their status has been downgraded to threatened.
 

jamgood

Elite Member
Perry Ercolino said:
Alligator/crocodile shoes, with proper design & execution can be quite smart for many dress issues. We make a very classic full saddle slip-on that is very popular for many of my clients and one client in particular who buys nothing but alligator shoes from us. There are two distinct finishes available today, one being the classic and the other is a matte finish. We tend to use a lot of the classic skins for our belts and wallets and the matte finish for most of our footwear. When hand polished it comes up to an exquisite finish. Very classy but understated. Now, with the inclusion of saltwater crocodile to the mix you can now have the most expensive leather in the world available to you. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea but they can make a very nice statement if so desired. Again, if you work with someone who has a good understanding of the product as well as a good eye for design you should have an easy transition into this type of footwear. All alligator is still on the endangerd species list as mentioned in the CITES convention. While no longer endangered their status has been downgraded to threatened.

Welcome. I'm relatively new here myself, and don't know if there are any other US bespoke bootmakers as contributors. You may already know jcusey. Thank you for correcting me regarding the CITIES convention. Would you care to elaborate in regard to saltwater croc. Your contributions will be appreciated.
 
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bespoke therapy

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
While I dont regret the acquisition of my alligator shoes- they are beautiful pieces of art- I am rarely able to wear them in the conservative business circles I have to hang around in. Lets say they were bought from the heart not the head. Would I do it again? No. I cant even take them out of the country ( I travel a lot) because of the potential hassle of having to explain to customs that these were farmed alligator and not endangered.
 

The Gabba Goul

Elite Member
hmmmm...I guess that (to me) alligator shoes are just one of those things that I think look good, but I'd probably never wear...I dunno...I mean, I do think that alligator hide can be beautiful when made into shoes, but something just seems a bit off whenever I see somebody wearing them...
 

Perry Ercolino

Starting Member
All alligator/crocodile whether taken from the wild or farmed require CITES tags and are part of the endangered species act even though as mentioned before are now downgraded to threatened. Customs will not usually raise a fuss over products that are for personal use. Items brought in for commercial reasons are what will get you flagged. As to saltwater crocodile. It is the rarest and largest of all reptiles. Because the animal does not have the loose bone fibre below the surface of the skin makes it the most desired and supple of the three major species. Its a bit more fussy to raise on the farms and is the more rare of the species in the wild. These factors contribute to the availability and price of the skins on the open market thus making it the most costly. The fact that as shoemakers we must buy 2 skins for every one pair of shoes is what drives the cost of the finished product. What you get is a scale pattern that while not unlike its relatives can be much more refined and sometimes borders on unique in the size & pattern of the scales. All in all they make a beautiful pair of shoes.
 

jamgood

Elite Member
Mea Culpa!

Perry Ercolino said:
All alligator/crocodile whether taken from the wild or farmed require CITES tags and are part of the endangered species act even though as mentioned before are now downgraded to threatened. Customs will not usually raise a fuss over products that are for personal use. Items brought in for commercial reasons are what will get you flagged. As to saltwater crocodile. It is the rarest and largest of all reptiles. Because the animal does not have the loose bone fibre below the surface of the skin makes it the most desired and supple of the three major species. Its a bit more fussy to raise on the farms and is the more rare of the species in the wild. These factors contribute to the availability and price of the skins on the open market thus making it the most costly. The fact that as shoemakers we must buy 2 skins for every one pair of shoes is what drives the cost of the finished product. What you get is a scale pattern that while not unlike its relatives can be much more refined and sometimes borders on unique in the size & pattern of the scales. All in all they make a beautiful pair of shoes.

Again, thank you. Please forgive what must appear as my presumption. Your earlier post indicated on my screen that it was the first post of a new member. (?) I recgognized your name from elsewhere.
 

Teacher

Honors Member
Perry Ercolino said:
As to saltwater crocodile. It is the rarest and largest of all reptiles. Because the animal does not have the loose bone fibre below the surface of the skin makes it the most desired and supple of the three major species.

Really? I'd always heard American Alligator was the most desirable.

James C. Goodwin said:
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 was unclear. I was referring only to American Alligator.
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
American alligator have recovered very well from previous hide hunting and now number in the millions. I suspect Florida may increase its harvest of alligators what with three women having been killed in the past week or so. That girl from Tennessee who was killed while snorkeling near Gainsville was pretty cute, which makes her loss all the more poignant. (I know--that's horribly sexist of me, but I do find the death of a young babe more tragical than an old/ugly/fat woman.) That business about not bringing alligator/crocodile products into the People's Republic of California is a new one on me. It sounds like the stupid, feelgood, malevolent do-gooder legislation our damned hippie-socialist legislature would enact, but I suspect it may be a "dead letter" law since I have seen croc or alligator shoes for sale here in the immediate past.
 

Kav

Inactive user
Balancing the needs of mankind with the role of caretaker has never been easy. That activists are often as not just as ignorant or deliberately close minded to the issues and reallities is a sad fact. If it wasn't for a very active hunting group the ( hopefully) rediscovered Ivory Billed Woodpecker's last hidden sancuary would be long gone. The recovery of our american bison is likewise facilitated by a growing livestock industry. It's a constant vigil with plenty of criminals willing to exploit any opportunity to make money on one side and Timothy Treadwells on the other doing as much potential harm. Fortuitously, as others have pointed out the american alligator can be ethically 'consumed.' As for me, "See you later alligator. After while crocodile. See you later alligator, don't you know you cramp my style."
 

jamgood

Elite Member
Kav said:
Balancing the needs of mankind with the role of caretaker has never been easy. That activists are often as not just as ignorant or deliberately close minded to the issues and reallities is a sad fact. If it wasn't for a very active hunting group the ( hopefully) rediscovered Ivory Billed Woodpecker's last hidden sancuary would be long gone. The recovery of our american bison is likewise facilitated by a growing livestock industry. It's a constant vigil with plenty of criminals willing to exploit any opportunity to make money on one side and Timothy Treadwells on the other doing as much potential harm. Fortuitously, as others have pointed out the american alligator can be ethically 'consumed.' As for me, "See you later alligator. After while crocodile. See you later alligator, don't you know you cramp my style."

Rock around the croc?
 

Tomasso

Elite Member
bespoke therapy said:
I cant even take them out of the country ( I travel a lot) because of the potential hassle of having to explain to customs that these were farmed alligator and not endangered.

I don't believe this to be a valid concern. I've traveled extensively with shoes, belts, wallets and watch straps made of alligator and not so much as an eyebrow has ever been raised at any customs check. In fact, for several years I used an alligator passport wallet.
 

rnoldh

Senior Member
Pro athletes % the "bling" culture!! Alligator prone!!

Rocker said:
I would never wear such a shoe, regardless of the last or who made it - though, they seem big among pro athletes and the hip-hop/rap crowd (seem to be part of the "bling" culture) so, knock yourself out.

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/12/sports/basketball/12fashion.html?ex=1292043600&en=28a8a75d7b156762&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop_fashion

Yes, I would have to agree, after reading your links, that Alligator shoes are particularly big with this crowd. But, I would still consider wearing some Alligator shoes such as those pictured in jcusey's previous posting.

While Alligator shoes may be considered a little showy for some, I don't think they are "way over the top", like Men's mink coats, which are also popular with this crowd!
 

rip

Elite Member
JLibourel said:
That girl from Tennessee who was killed while snorkeling near Gainsville was pretty cute, which makes her loss all the more poignant. (I know--that's horribly sexist of me, but I do find the death of a young babe more tragical than an old/ugly/fat woman.)
I'm sorry, J, I do find that comment disappointing. Death is death, and diminishes us all.
 
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