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Alligator / Crocodile Shoes

DWFII

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If you have wide feet and are buying RTW shoes, the chances are good that you are not getting fit properly. Most (if not all) manufacturers only run one or two width sizes of lasts. Maybe a D (which here in the US is a relatively wide size) for narrower feet and perhaps a EE for wider feet.

If those lasts don't fit your particular feet then the manufacturer or the salesman will try to fit you up in a shorter or longer size, dismissing an absolutely critical aspect of fit--heel to ball length.

Which defies all logic, ignores critical elements of human physiology and creates an automatic penalty.

If you have wide feet, the bottom of the last must bear some resemblance to your footprint. But many manufacturers (and some bespoke makers) figure that if the girth (the circumference around the foot) is close to the girth on the last, then the last will work; even if it means...as it invariably does...that the customer will 'walk over' the welts.

This too defies all logic, esp. if we are talking about leathers that are inherently stiff or firm--such as crocodile and alligator and perhaps shell cordovan. And esp. if the shoe is cut from leather encompassing very large tiles (as on older alligators and crocodiles, and/or from the back or tail).

If the fit is right in all these aspects, a crocodile or alligator shoe might be a little bit harder to break in (because of the stiff temper) but once broken in, fit and feel like any other leather. Depending on idiosyncrasies and sensitivities of the particular foot.

Fit is fit...and a lot rarer than misfit...by a wide margin.
 
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RogerP

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Gents, how do you size your croc or gator shoes? For the love of sweet breakfast, I will not be attempting to break in another pair of expensive leathers again. My feet are on a wider side and for the best fit in Cordovan, I size up in width. What is the deal with croc?
I don't adjust size for material as a general rule. For cordovan I would tend to miss on the large size simply because there is less "give" with that material - but then generally I would rather miss large than small.

But I will say that I have had little issue in getting an excellent fit in RTW wear across multiple brands and price points. "Misses" of any kind are few, and have generally come in the context of my first try at a new brand. I definitely would not make croc my first try at a new brand. My feet are on the wide side as well, though not in the extreme. Similarly, I have an odd combo of low arches and a high instep.
 

papa kot

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I don't adjust size for material as a general rule. For cordovan I would tend to miss on the large size simply because there is less "give" with that material - but then generally I would rather miss large than small.

But I will say that I have had little issue in getting an excellent fit in RTW wear across multiple brands and price points. "Misses" of any kind are few, and have generally come in the context of my first try at a new brand. I definitely would not make croc my first try at a new brand. My feet are on the wide side as well, though not in the extreme. Similarly, I have an odd combo of low arches and a high instep.
Thank you! Do you have experience with Carmina exotics and non-exotics? Soller fits me well and I plan to pursue the same size/last in croc.
 

mr monty

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Probably not, but apparently whoever designs 90% of the exotic shoes made today have pimps in mind for their market.
What I'd like to ask all of those who share this opinion is just exactly what is pimpish or "pimp-y"? What image is conjured by the word? Who is this terrible archetype...this boogy man pimp...that we breathe life into to haunt ourselves and frighten little children? Historically, the most stereotypical pimps have always drawn their fashion sense from the general populace and especially the wealthier and most sophisticated strata. Are today's style currencies tomorrow's bete noir? Come to that, pimping has changed immensely in the last 100 years...We don't see the real "pimps" among us because they are so common that we don't notice, anymore. Look around you...you can see pimps all over--they are the politicians, actors and actresses, the Hollywood hangers-on, the owners of sports franchises, the real estate moghuls, the ad men...etc. . And no, they are not all bad people but they are are all trying to sell you something that you don't need on behalf of people who have no scruples. I suspect, today's pimps are exactly like yesterday's--they are people who value impression over substance. Who, in a near hysterical frenzy to project an image of sophistication and importance, will buy a name rather than a product. Who never really wonder why a leather insole is better than a paper insole or a hidden outsole channel preferable to "stitching aloft." Who curl up into themselves for no other reason than some anonymous self-proclaimed fashionista's disapprobation. Maybe it's me...maybe I'm the odd man out but I think "Style" is comprised of objective quality melding with fit and colour harmony...and mixed in with a generous amount of an appropriate sense of occasion. Surely it has more to do with one's self confidence than public perception. Alligator and crocodile have long histories of being the most elegant and sought after leathers for shoes. A good deal of that is simply because it is a leather that in many ways surpasses almost any other for comfort, for maintaining it good looks, and for longevity.
10 years later and still true. Thanks for writing this post
 

DWFII

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10 years later and still true. Thanks for writing this post
Yr. Hmb. Svt...:cheers:

Sometime re-reading my old posts, I wish I knew the guy who wrote them. At 74 I find myself reduced to smilies. :crackup:

👣
 

DWFII

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I guess I could post these here to help fill the void. ;)
I posted this on the Vintage thread the other day, but perhaps someone here could help me identify the type of reptilian leather?

Vintage Florsheim Royal Imperial penny loafers, which I figure are either alligator or caiman, but I don't know how to tell them apart from such a small piece of leather on the vamp.


Here again only the apron / plug is reptile--in this case, I am pretty sure it's caiman.
 

Son Of Saphir

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Silvano Lattanzi,
antique alligator,
it very very good,
it best shoe me ever see,
It have yellow at front of shoe :bounce2::worship2:
Lattanzi alligator norvegese 18,000 euro.jpg
 
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reidd

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Cross post from the exotic skins ID thread... What kind of skin do these Carmina's look like to you gents?

s-l1600.jpg
 

smfdoc

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