Yeah - there is no getting around some steep prices for full center of belly hide gator shoes. It takes two hides, and they run 700ish apiece for just plain old run of the mill hides. Better quality costs exponentially more as the quality increases. The cost of shoe making is not all that much higher. Most of the premium is in the additional cost of the hides (and the time it takes to source and match them).
Of course, if you want gator shoes made from left overs and scraps (Mezlan) you can spend considerably less. Although I wouldn't recommend it. Cut up into small pieces it starts to look vulgar. And thats the association with gator shoes that I think we all fear.