The Transformation from Gator to Boot, Part 1

28th Mar 2014

The Transformation from Gator to Boot, Part 1

The cowboy boot was created as a result of necessity; American frontiersmen and horsemen needed a boot that would be both formidable enough to withstand all types of North American weather and supple enough to be worn comfortably all day and all night for weeks on end. After years of wear a cowboy's boots would be retired and replaced by a custom made pair from the local cobbler, traditionally from readily available materials like cowhide.

The practice of hunting an animal, tanning its hide, and having a pair of boots made from it was quite commonplace back in the frontier-days and wild west. Deer from the Northeast, bison from the Great Plains, goat from the Rocky Mountains, and alligator from the deep South were all sought after by huntsmen for food as well as materials. These animals' hides are still used in boot making today, but it is rare to meet someone who can provide the skin himself!

Like a character from a western novel, Calvin Wells sauntered into Space Cowboy Boots late this February. With a richly colored American alligator skin slung over his shoulder he shook our own Pauly Greyshock's hand and recited the story of and wishes for his prized alligator skin; legend has it, he and a few pals went on an excursion in Florida, hunted a wild alligator, had its skin tanned, and came to Space Cowboy Boots to have four pairs of custom boots and belts made from the skin.

Take a gander at these pictures of Calvin, Pauly, and the alligator skin below! And make sure you check back later this spring to see Part 2 of this lil gator's transformation from a skin to a boot.