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Unknown Leather ID: Sea Turtle, Croc, Alligator, Embossed Leather, or Plastic?

greekgeek

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So I have this pair of shoes that I am mostly convinced are croc/gator for a variety of reasons but I am not at 100% confidence. I wanted to run them by the forum and see what the consensus is and also share the pics of an interesting Vintage find.

What do you think?

**Disclosure: I intend to list these FS in the somewhat near future**







 

BBC

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Those are the "real deal" - looks like alligator. Royal Imperials with that half rubber heel are quite rare.
 

DWFII

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I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that these might be sea turtle.
 

nmprisons

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Originally Posted by DWFII
I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that these might be sea turtle.

Funny, that was my first thought, but I had never heard of shoes in turtle before. The leather seems too uniform, with too many small scales right next to large scales, to be Gator but I have very little experience. I have seen a lot of sea turtles in the ocean before and their scales look just like that.
 

DWFII

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Originally Posted by rebel222
I'm voting gator.
I use American Alligator all the time...I have a pair of boots I'm making in Navy gator. You'll note the absence of square tiles anywhere on this pair of shoes. None. Alligator has predominantly square tiles even in the belly. Unless you buy a huge hide--what we call a "dinosaur"--there simply isn't enough round tiles to make a shoe like that. Crocodile? Maybe--the tiles do tend to be rounder. But it would still take an animal 60+cm across the belly...and require cutting the vamps and quarters from the flanks leaving most of the belly untouched.
 

greekgeek

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Thanks for the comments guys, I have never seen sea turtle leather up close, would be interesting if they are. They were advertised as fake croc but the looked real so I took a chance. Compared to some other exotics they just have a different feel which I could not put my finger on.

Now to read up on this a bit...
 

MBreinin

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Sea Turtle is much rarer than croc or gator....

Mike
 

greekgeek

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What do you all think of this pair on eBay (No Affiliation), is this the same kind of leather as pictured above? They look dried out but very little wear and appear to be perhaps truly handmade. Listed as Alligator, I would have guessed Crocodile. http://cgi.ebay.com/FLORSHEIM-IMPERI...item3a60f8e268
 

JustChris

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This pair and the pair in the original post are both alligator, I'm 95% certain. They are definitely not sea turtle. Turtle leather comes from the throat and flippers and has irregular sizes and shapes to the scales. Commercial trade in turtle hides has been illegal for at least 20 years, so it's pretty unusual to see any, especially any in decent condition. The rounded scale shape is because these are from the sides of the gator, which is an uncommon portion of the hide, due to the way they are skinned. Normally, the hide is cut along the sides, leaving the more valuable belly and back sections intact. I think, though I'm not sure, that the sides are less durable. Personally, I like side cut gator. Skinning diagram:
Gator hide:
This isn't the best pic, since it focuses on the tail, but you can see the same scale pattern as in the posted shoes along the edges of the hide. Sea turtle:
Again, not the best pic, but you can see the difference in scale shape and size. Of course, I'll defer to DWFII on general leather knowledge and particularly on shoe & boot construction, since he's forgotten more than I'll ever know.
 

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