Alligator is one of the most expensive hides for use in boots, my darling little pullets, and is usually restricted to the vamps, or the “foot part” of a cowboy boot. But if you’re doing really smoking science, what you want are full gator boots, with both vamps and shafts made from the hide. These are hideously expensive: a new pair from a good maker can run several thousand dollars—well beyond the means of even the hottest scientist. Nevertheless, papa has this gorgeous footwear: full belly-gator boots, custom-made by Rios of Mercedes for Billy Martin’s in New York:
How could he afford these? Easy—they were made for a guy named “Leo” who had his name inlaid on the shafts in gold leather:
The savvy footwear buyer knows that personalized boots sell on eBay for only a fraction of what they’d normally cost, even if the name doesn’t show when you’re wearing them. Leo, whoever he is, never wore these; his loss is my gain.