Customer Skin

There can’t be anything more exciting than wearing custom footwear from your own hunt.  Maida’s does require that the patterns are cut in the same direction used on our footwear.  When cut our way the results are a perfectly matched pair of boots that will not break at the ball joints. Ensuring many years of wear, so you can tell the story a thousand times of how they ended up on your feet.

Customer Skin Information: Please provide the following information attached to your skin. (see photos below).

The year the skin was tanned. (It will be marked on the “cites” tag).

  • The grade and size. All skins are marked with grading and size by the tannery. This info is marked on the reverse side of the skin. Grading is determined by the tannery using many factors including scars, holes, irregular tile patterns and skin defects. Size is measured either in centimeters across the widest part of the belly or in square feet. This info determines the outcome of the quality and quantity needed to make the footwear. Your skin will also be examined by a Maida’s representative at your scheduled appointment.
  • NOTE: All customer skins must have a “cites” tag.  Plastic tag inserted through the skin.

Alligator skin: 

Maida’s uses the belly only, known in the industry as “belly cut”. The direction of the cut is critical in obtaining symmetrical pattern and provides maximum life expectancy of the skin.  Alligator is the highest priced skin the market and the yield is low due to the limited space to get matching cuts.

Below is a guide describing the amount of skin needed to make a pair of cowboy boots and belts. Men’s shoes use a little less (see diagram).

  • One 8′-9′ American Alligator (52-54 cm for up to size 9 and 55-58 cm for sizes 10-12) equals one pair of boot bottoms, collar trim, initials and one belt.
  • Two 4′-5′ American Alligators (29-35 cm) equals one pair of boot bottoms, collar trim, initials and one belt.
  • Three 8′-9′ American Alligators (52-54 cm) equals one full pair (tops and bottoms).
  • Maida’s will pay the market price of your skin according to grade and size, then deduct it from the price of the footwear.

Warranty and Grading:

  • We do not warrant products made from your skin against cracking, separation or discoloration.
  • Tanneries do the grading and sizing. Maida’s does not.  Alligator skins culled from the wild by hunters are typically graded between 3 and 5.  The grade and size are marked on the reverse side of the skin (see diagram).

OPTION #1:  The above skin is from a 8′-9′ Alligator (52-58cm skin). The cut shown is the premium “body cut”.  It will yield a matching pair of foot and heel components and the collar trim at the top (see adjacent photo). The tail portion can be used for belt straps (see picture scroll down).

Brown Gator

The above boot shows the placement of the Alligator skin components described in Option #1.


OPTION #2: The above skin is from a 8′-9′ Alligator (52-58 cm skin). The cut shown is the premium “body cut”. It will yield a matching pair of foot and heel components and a perfectly matching pattern sequence for a belt. The collars can be cut from the tail portion (see picture scroll down).

Alligator boot and belt

The above boot shows the placement of the Alligator components described in Option #2.

Alligator Baby Alligator Template

OPTION #3: The above skin is from a 5′-6′ (29-35 cm)adolescent Alligator. Two skins in this size range are needed to produce a pair of boots. The tails can be used for collar component and one belt.


OPTION #4: The above Full Alligator boot is the most prestigious and costly to make due to the cut of the skins. Our objective is to make a perfectly symmetrical pair and to do so it requires three (54-58 cm) bellies. No arm pits or tails are used.


Belting Strips


Collar Components

belt 1

Alligator Belts come in various styles and widths. To see our custom belt styles, go to accessories and click on belts.

Am Tan Tag

Size and Grading (issued by tanneries)

Size will be identified in centimeters on a sticker or hand written with a grease pencil on the reverse side of the skin at the tip of the tail.

Grading is always grade 3 on customer culled skins. You may see a 11/111 which will be regarded as grade 3.


Alligator Tag

CITES (TAG) – (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an agreement between 175 countries to adhere to guidelines concerning international trade of certain wild animals and plants so as to not threaten their survival. Maida’s will only accept skins from customers with the CITES tags intact.

The Custom Difference

At Maida’s, no two pair are alike.
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