Exotic Leather Blog

Top 4 Reasons to Use Caiman Skin for Your Men's Leather Shoes

Posted by Abram Mendal on Apr 10, 2017 11:51:31 AM

Caiman crocodile skin has a distinctive ridged pattern to it.Many people who have seen caiman skin probably have mistaken it for other species of crocodile. However, to the trained eye, caiman skin is distinctive from both of those because of its bony plates underneath the scales (also known as ossification). This creates some of the most captivating texturized patterns in the exotic leather industry.

Caiman is actually a crocodilian, a close cousin of the alligator. They are plentiful in Central and South America, but are mostly found in Colombia. They surprisingly only grow to about one meter in length and are found in swampy costal regions.

The top 4 reasons why caiman makes an excellent choice for men's leather shoes:


Caiman skin is the entry-level crocodilian leather and is a fraction of the cost of similarly-sized and graded Nile crocodile or American alligator skin, because of its boniness. Although caiman skin is at the bottom of the crocodile skin hierarchy, it's still high in quality and perfect for shoemaking.

Supplies of caiman are also plentiful compared to other high-end exotic leather selections like alligator skin and shell cordovan. This freedom in production translates into getting more usable leather, which gives you more bang for your buck.


Shoes are often considered to be the signature of an ensemble. When it comes to making a shoe satisfy the rigors of high fashion, that signature needs to be striking.

With caiman skin, you have the choice of using either the belly or the hornback portion of the skin for each pair of shoes. The belly has flatter, smoother scales in the midsection. The hornback (as the name suggests) has the hard horn ridges that are on the back of the caiman skin to protect it. Either way, the ossifications create masculine patterns with vogue textures.


Caiman is pliable, smooth, and its bony plates are not only eye-catching, they also add an undeniable durability that makes it ideal for men's shoes. With proper care and conditioning, the threat of creasing and cracking are reduced significantly. The small scales of the caiman make it easier to work with.

An added plus for using caiman is the variety of finishes available in stock. This versatile leather comes in matte, suede, glazed, metallics and irridescents. 


According to statisticbrain.com, men's fashion shoes earn over $3 billion dollars per year, globally.

Caiman skin gives a competitive edge by providing that expensive, high-end look minus the supremely expensive raw materials. You get higher returns while using this lower-cost exotic leather.

As stated above, caiman skin looks very similar to its costlier alternatives - alligator and crocodile. This advantage gives you lower production cost while making unique and distinctive shoes that are comparable to skins that are 2-5 times more in price. Exquisite shoes without the pricey production is a win-win.

Need help finding the perfect selection for your next project? Contact an expert today!

Caiman Skin Guide

Topics: crocodile skin, caiman skin