American alligators and various species of crocodiles are used to produce all of the classic leather that is available on the world market today. Alligator leather is more expensive than other types of leathers, contrary to cow-hide, crocodile and sheepskin because of the hand-made quality. No two alligator items are alike, and for that reason, alligator is a highly sought after leather.
Purchasing Alligator Boots
When purchasing a pair of alligator boots, be sized properly or, if purchasing boots off the rack, buy a size larger. An insole can be placed within the boot to reduce excess space, or a thicker pair of socks can be worn for the same affect. These techniques may also be used on a worn pair of alligator boots because, over time, the leather stretches and cannot be adjusted back to its original shape and size.
Buying a pair of properly fitted boots is essential. Boot sizes are different with every brand and boot maker. People often find that their boot size is slightly longer and a bit narrower. This is because a boot naturally has a raised heel and that reduces a foot’s normal spread. If alligator boots go on too easy, they are too big. Normally, boots should be “tugged” onto the foot. The boot should fit snug around the top of the foot to prevent the boot from slipping while walking. The widest part of the foot should rest on the ball of the boot to ensure proper fitting. Toes should touch the end of the boot but not push against the inside.
Stretching Alligator Boots
If you already purchased a pair of alligator boots that are too small or tight, there may be a slight possibility of having them professionally stretched to fit without any damage to the boots. Because cow-hide and sheepskin are pliable and aesthetically uniform, stretching is quite simple and there are minimal flaws visible to the naked eye. Many boot cobblers can stretch many types of leather for a small fee, however, boots made of tiled leathers such as lizard or alligator are especially vulnerable to stress tears in the membranes that connect the tiles and thus should be stretched at the owner's liability.
Attempting to stretch a pair of alligator boots at home is not recommended. To ensure proper care and to reduce the risk of tearing the leather, contact a local cobbler. A professional will be able to recommend many solutions and how much each may cost.