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Alligator / Crocodile Shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by SpooPoker, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. JayBreezy99

    JayBreezy99 Active Member

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    Just curious if anyone has any thoughts or experience (shoes) that are Nubuck/suede/shaved alligator. I am considering my next pair in a dark brown suede alligator loafer. Just want to know folks thoughts.
     


  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't care for it...for one simple reason--"sueding" the tiles on the gator is the same as scuffing/damaging the grain surface of a pair of calfskin shoes.

    One of the most unique things about reptiles is the "bullet-proof" nature of the leather to water and dirt. This is not to say it is invulnerable to damage in its natural state, but the tiles are extremely dense relative to other leathers and to shave or abrade them is to destroy that density. What you end up with is a damaged skin regardless of how it looks.

    And anyone telling you that the abrasion/damage is so slight as to not make a difference, is blowing smoke--it's still damaged.
     


  3. TtownMD

    TtownMD Distinguished Member

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    I have 2 gg alligators, 1 Vass, and Saintcrispin, getting bestetti in few days. I have partial suede alligator on my Oxford it’s cool look & feel like suede. Since you have three alligator all ready. Might as well add suede one if you like them. I am planning on it for sure.
     


  4. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Stylish Dinosaur

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    I think it looks beautiful. Derek Guy is getting a pair I think
     


  5. JayBreezy99

    JayBreezy99 Active Member

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    Thanks
     


  6. JayBreezy99

    JayBreezy99 Active Member

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    Thanks
     


  7. TtownMD

    TtownMD Distinguished Member

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    B2D035B0-3A85-4AF0-934F-8DD1DA224C20.jpeg
    @JayBreezy99 enjoy, my suede/suede alligator combo St James 2. Sorry for crappy quick iPhone pic !!
     


  8. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Well, don't get me wrong, I love alligator and crocodile. I have alligator on my own shoes and am making a pair for my wife even as we speak.

    I just don't care for ignoring the character of the leather or defacing it. Or trumpeting the worse aspects of it. Admittedly these are shoemaker's biases...but they are grounded in reality and facts. Unfortunately the world of fashion gives short shrift to facts, and perhaps esp., reality.
     


  10. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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    DFWII, of course I'm not debating the inthrinsec qualities of the material or its beauty - in a general way: I've neither the knowledge nor the authority to do this.
    I liked how you sharply pointed out a particular attitude, which some poor souls seem to find 'smart' (of course not the gentlemen here in SF :D).
     


  11. Sartorium

    Sartorium Senior Member

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    Sorry to ask what's probably an elementary question, but does this mean gator "suede" is not made from an interior side of the skin like calf suede is, but is some alteration performed on the exterior of the skin? If I'm reading you right, this would make the skin less durable as well, right? How much quicker should I expect something made of "suede" or "nubuck" gator to degrade?

    Something in nubuck gator caught my eye but I don't want to shell out for it if it's going to fall apart in a few years.
     


  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No, it has not been turned flesh-side out--it is "not made from an interior side of the skin like calf suede is". (see below)

    Yes, the grain surface has been "snuffed"...or sanded/abraded...I don't know how much but any is damage. The grain surface is the densest and most dirt/water resistant part of the hide...any hide. If that surface has been "damaged", the resulting leather will absorb dirt and oils and moisture far more readily than if the leather had not been snuffed.

    Will the leather fall apart or deteriorate more quickly than unsnuffed leather? I think it is too soon to know that (and some of it depends on you and how you care for the shoes), but the answer is almost certainly "yes...but probably not before you get tired of the shoe."

    And FWIW, most "calf" suede is not reverse calf--it is a "split"...meaning that a layer just below the grain-surface of the hide has been split/ separated from the hide and tanned as if it were a regular skin. The grain-surface is also tanned and both pieces are sold separately. The tannery makes a profit on both the full, or top, grain calf, as well as the "split." But the split is significantly weaker with regard to tensile strength than the full grain leather and more absorbent of moisture and dirt.

    Only high end makers (mostly bespoke) offer reverse calf...almost without exception all RTW shoes that are touted as "suede" are splits.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018


  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    One other point..."snuffing" is often used to cover up or camouflage scars, pits, and discolourations in the grain surface of a leather. Admittedly, these blemishes are usually cosmetic, but the hide cannot be sold as prime.

    At bottom, the hides are already damaged, so further damage...if it makes the leather saleable...is acceptable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018


  14. Jazzmenco

    Jazzmenco Distinguished Member

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  15. saurabh

    saurabh Distinguished Member

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    Bestetti Gladiators Alligator/Calf Semi-Bespoke on the Perfetta personal last and Rota Green Donegal Trousers.

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    4AF30C79-B344-4F75-A351-6D203FBBE7FE.jpeg
     


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