Let's say you have been dying to get yourself a pair of new Alligator Shoes and have been waiting for the time to order a pair online but have been wondering why alligator shoes cost so much. I will explain the in's and out's of why these alligator skin shoes are pricey and what goes into making them. Alligator Shoes
have been and always will be a luxury item. There are several reasons why these fancy gator shoes are not going to be mass produced and spit out of a big factory that provides Walmart with their merchandise. When something is deemed a luxury item, It isn't just the high price that dictates what it is. It is the special nature, time and effort that was employed into making the goods into what turns it into a luxury item. You can't just put a fancy tag onto an item and call it luxury good. Any of the luxury goods out there for the most part have earned their name and designation for a reason.
The first thing about alligator shoes is the alligator skin itself is very expensive. Rare is the word of the day. When an item or material is not in huge supply, you have the starting point of a luxury good. Gold has never grown on trees and has been a precious metal for all of recorded history for a reason. It's rare and always has been rare. Alligator skin is the same thing. There isn't a huge supply of alligator skin on the market and alligators aren't a major food source such as cattle for beef. There are only so many alligators that are allowed to be killed each year to begin with. Alligators are protected animals and have never been slaughtered for the primary reason of food. Since there is an international allotment of how many of these reptiles can be killed each year, that naturally keeps the price of the skins at an elevated level even high than crocodile skin. This alone makes alligator shoes more exclusive and pricier than crocodile shoes which are their exotic skin cousins. Each alligator that is killed provides one full skin to be crafted into either luxury shoes, bags or some other type of garment. The limited supply alone makes the price of the skin far more expensive than common calfskin leather which is huge abundance simply because of the number of beef eaters in the Western World and elsewhere.
Taking alligator skin and turning it into leather to be made into shoes is also costlier than cow leather. Special care needs to be taken so the skin isn't damaged. Because of the scales on alligator skin, they must be processed differently and processed in a slower manner to take care of the raised scales and texture that alligator skin provides. They just can't be put into the tanning machines and processed quickly. Slow and carefully so the texture and skin is preserved. The tanneries that cure alligator skins are experts and specialize in the tanning of alligator and crocodile skins. There are several steps involved that have to be used when you tan these reptiles skins. Steps such as liming that removes the fats that are naturally in the hides and aren't in other leathers like cowhide. After the liming process is another process called deliming which is done to raise the acidity of the skin after it was lowered with the liming process. This process is done to make the alligator skin more pliable and easier to work with. It breaks down the scales and bone in the skin for making it softer that it would be naturally. It is then and only then that the skin is ready for curing with another process called pickling which is when the skin turns into a leather product and is then ready to be either dyed or finished in manner before being made into shoes. All of these processes take time. Much more time than your standard cow hide which dramatically adds to the cost of skin in comparison.
Once the skins are ready to be made into shoes, they are sent to only certain shoe factories that specialize in making hand made exotic skin shoes. They are mostly located in Italy with some in either Spain and Mexico as well. The factories have shoe artisans who hand make shoes out of full leather from top to bottom and inside and out and you won't see any sort of mass production because these are fully hand made shoes by only the very best shoe makers in the business. Only a shoe maker with a dozen years or more is allowed to make a pair of alligator shoes because of the pricey nature of the skins. This where the luxury designation also takes hold. Any time a product is made exclusively by hand and not mass produced in huge factory with thousands of workers, they are going to cost more for the time it takes to produce them. There are only a limited number of shoe artisans with the skills necessary to make shoes by hand compared to a huge factory with a number of assembly lines where each person does one and only one task in the manufacturing of a pair of shoes over and over again all day long. Since no mistakes can be made because if there is a mistake, the skin of the alligator will be ruined. Great care goes into matching the scales up in the skin for a pair of shoes so if there is mistaken cut made on a section of the alligator skin, the whole shoe will be ruined. Therefore care is of the essence. Since these fine alligator shoes are fully handmade, you're going to find that the soles are hand carved leather and hand attached as well and then sewn onto the uppers of the shoes. Some of the shoes might have a small brass plaque nailed onto the bottom of the sole signifying that these are authentic alligator skin shoes. Other brands might stamp an alligator onto the sole into the leather instead. There are many hand made features that you simply won't find in your mass market cheap shoes that Alligator or Crocodile shoes will have. You'll also find that the interior of real alligator shoes are fully lined in glove soft leather for comfort and durability all adding for the true luxury of what makes alligator shoes cost so much.