Because of its distinct markings most of the finest quality lizard
boots and deck shoes are made with Teju lizard from Argentina, specifically
the belly of the lizard. Boots with belly scales will have a larger
and more distinct skin. An "Egg white" protein and glaze
at the factory give these boots their shine and rich color.
As with snakeskin, aftercare is a very important factor in upkeep
of lizard boots. Using a soft dry cotton cloth, wipe with the direction
of the scales to remove topical dirt and dust. Use a very soft brush
(ie: sable paintbrush) to gently remove dirt and dust underneath
scales if they are not hardened down in the tanning process. Do
not lift scales.
General cleaning of lizard footwear is best done with a cotton
cloth slightly dampened with plain water. Since lizard scales are
water resistant, soap products and excessive water will run off
the scales and down to the membrane causing drying and curling of
the scales. This is especially dangerous if the boot is made of
many sections of lizard as the adhesives can be damaged.
Use conditioners specifically made for reptiles. These conditioners
are lighter in composition than most general leather conditioners.
This does not refer to the viscosity but to the product ingredients.
(Imagine the difference between vegetable oil and Crisco. Both are
the same ingredients but Crisco is hydrogenated giving it a different
viscosity. Therefore, just because a leather conditioner is more
liquid or in spray formula does not mean it contains lighter conditioner
ingredients. Using products for smooth leather may leave a residue
that will build up around the membranes that hold the scales and
cause scales to crack or fall off.
Finishing lizard skin boots with a wax or cream polish is not recommended.
These products will often cover up the slight iridescent quality
that makes lizard skin unique.
Most lizard skin boots are made with a layer of snakeskin laminated
over cow skin. The cow leather will become dry over time. To rejuvenate
the cow leather use a quality leather conditioner on the inside
of the boot and let sit for a few days.
Teju Lizard dries out more easily than cowhide and cannot absorb
conditioner as readily due to its irregular surface. Condition more
often and in thinner coats to prevent cracking.
© Elegant 2006