Exotic Leather Blog

Lizard Skin—The Least Expensive Exotic Skin for Men’s Shoes

Posted by Mark Mendal on Apr 17, 2017 1:14:20 PM

Lizard skin has lots of small, regularly-shaped scales that are consistent from one hide to the next.When making high-fashion men’s shoes, it can be difficult to balance the quality of your end product with your costs. Everyone wants to have the best materials to work with but your budget might not always allow you to get alligator skin for your project.

Finding a top-grade exotic skin for men’s shoes that is also inexpensive can be tough. There are some types of skin that can make exquisite men’s shoes, but are very expensive to obtain. On the other hand, some less expensive skins might not be the best fit for men’s shoes because of their size or other characteristics.

So, what’s the best "low-cost" exotic skin option for men’s shoes?

Lizard skin ranks among the top exotic leathers for making men’s shoes while also being one of the most affordable exotic materials on the market.

Why Lizard Skin Makes Great Men’s Shoes

There are a few different types of skins that fall under the category of “lizard skin.” When referencing lizard skin, Pan American Leathers is typically specifying the ring lizard skin and the teju lizard skin.

Both lizards produce a similar skin—each one has very small, but regular scales, can be between 20 – 55 cm (1 – 1.8 feet) long, and up to 45 cm (1.5 feet) wide. This is a nearly perfect size for making men’s shoes.

Also, because the scales are so small and regular in shape, they can easily make a very neat, consistent, conservative look in men’s shoes. For many shoe makers, this is a blessing because it makes pairing skins for shoes easier than it would be for crocodile or alligator skins with larger, more distinctive scales.

Another benefit of lizard skin for men’s shoes is that it tends to be a bit more flexible than caiman skin would be. This makes the skin not only a bit easier to work with, but it allows the finished shoe to bend without creasing or cracking.

Tips for Ordering Lizard Skin

Just like most other reptilian hides, you’ll want to order your lizard skin in pairs. Generally speaking, two 30+ cm-wide skins will be needed for each pair of shoes you plan to make. Grade isn’t usually an issue for lizard skin (unlike crocodile or alligator skin), so there’s rarely a need to specify a grade for this skin.

If you want a specific color and finish, you may want to place an order with a tannery and make sure that all of your skins are in the same dye batch. This helps to ensure a consistent appearance. Keep in mind that a custom tannery order will always have some basic setup costs whether you’re ordering two skins or 200 skins, so you may want to place a larger order to minimize your cost per skin. Also, it can take a few weeks for a tannery to process your order. On the other hand, if you need skins right away or have a smaller order, it may be worthwhile to check our stock of over 50 lizard colors. 

For many shoe makers, lizard skin can be an ideal choice for their exotic leather men’s shoes. Need to know more about exotic leather and men’s shoes? Check out Pan American Leathers’ other resources today!


Topics: lizard skin, footwear