Skinning live snakes to make Beyonce’s blood boots: The real price of sneakers made from FOUR precious creatures makes netizens angry

At first glance they might be mistaken for a standard pair of cream trainers — the sort you’d find in any sports shop on the High Street. But the truth is there’s nothing standard about this pair of shoes specially commissioned for pop star Beyonce.

Made from a combination of crocodile, anaconda, stingray and ostrich skin, as well as calfskin, it’s little wonder that everyone from animal rights groups to the singer’s fans has branded her ‘cruel’ and ‘spoilt’ for making such a tacky and exploitative fashion statement.

Beyonce’s trainers are based on a wedge-style shoe by designer Isabel Marant, but have been given a bling makeover by American company Perfectly Made Kicks (PMK).

Unique: The handcrafted sneaker was custom-made for Beyonce using a mix of stingray, ostrich, calf's fur, crocodile and anaconda skins

Unique: The handcrafted sneakers are custom-made for Beyonce using a mix of stingray, ostrich, calf’s fur, crocodile and anaconda skins

The company, which states that their exotic skins come from a legal supplier in New York, previously customised a pair of trainers for Beyonce’s rapper husband, Jay Z, that were covered in calf, ostrich, python, boa constrictor, crocodile, lizard, alligator and stingray skins, as well as patches of imitation elephant skin.

PETA blasts Beyonce for custom sneakers made of 5 different animal skins: ohnotheydidnt — LiveJournal - Page 6

PMK boss Andre Scott says: ‘It’s legal. I don’t think animal rights campaigners like it very much, but it’s legal.’

Legal or not, animal lovers are outraged that Beyonce has followed in her husband’s footsteps.

PMK insists ‘no animals were beaten, harmed or killed in the development and crafting of the sneakers’ — though it remains slightly unclear how you make a shoe out of any kind of leather without killing animals.

Expensive taste: Beyonce often wear these £62,000 gold-plated Balenciaga leggings on stage

Expensive taste: Beyonce often wear these £62,000 gold-plated Balenciaga leggings on stage

The pressure group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is in no doubt: ‘These custom-made [trainers] come with a high price — and it’s paid by the various animals who were beaten and skinned alive or cruelly farmed and killed.’

Here, the Mail reveals how these exotic creatures suffer — in the name of high fashion.


With its interlocking scales, the skin used for the detailing over the heel and toe of Beyonce’s trainers is immediately identifiable as snake.

Anacondas, like crocodiles, are subject to controls by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), but the trade is so poorly regulated that it is difficult to establish the source of the skins.

For every animal that goes through the system legally, it is estimated that another will be smuggled.

Excessive hunting of the snakes — which are found in South America and can grow to a length of 20 ft — poses a threat to the viability of the species in the long-term.

There are also widespread concerns about the barbaric ways in which snakes captured in the wild are killed.

As skins are valued at £23 a foot (designer Tom Ford sells his over-the-knee anaconda boots for £2,000), great care is taken to ensure it is removed undamaged from the snake.

The creature will often first be stunned with a blow to the head, rather than killed outright.

In order to loosen the skin, a hose pipe is inserted into its jaws and the snake filled up with water, swelling the reptile up like a balloon.

It will be left like that for ten minutes or so, a leather cord tied around its neck to prevent the liquid escaping.

Then its head is impaled on a meat hook, a couple of quick incisions follow, and the loosened skin is peeled off with a series of brutal tugs — much like a rubber glove being removed from a hand.

From there, the skin will be sent to a tannery before being turned into luxury shoes or handbags.

Because of the snake’s slow metabolic rate it can survive, skinned alive, for hours or even days until succumbing to the effects of dehydration or shock.


The ostrich skin that forms the tongue of Beyonce’s shoe is one of the strongest commercial leathers and bears the distinctive pattern of bumps made by the quill follicles of the bird’s feathers.

While ostriches were originally farmed in South Africa for their feathers and meat, their leather became popular in the U.S. during the Seventies when it was used for cowboy boots.

Since then it has become a firm fashion favourite — the hides fetch more than £320 each.

British bag designer Mulberry sells ostrich leather totes for up to £4,500, while the classic Louis Vuitton Keepall 50 bag in ostrich skin costs £7,000.


Anaconda Snake

Skinned: The team behind the sneakers used ostrich skin for the tongue of the shoes and Anaconda for the heel and toes detailing to please Beyonce

Critics of ostrich farming point out that in the wild the birds have well-developed courtship, nest-building and chick-rearing behaviours, and live to 50 or more.

Farmed, they are penned up, their eggs taken away from them and their chicks killed at little more than a year old.

Wild ostriches can run at up to 40mph and will cover 15 to 20 miles a day in their natural habitat, but farmed ostriches are often confined to an acre or less of land. As a result, they are prone to painful leg deformities and suffer from other diseases, such as avian flu.

Animal rights campaigners have also highlighted the stress ostriches endure during slaughter.

The bird’s legs are tied together and a water-soaked hood placed over its head. It is then electrocuted, hoisted upside down and its throat cut as it bleeds to death.


Farmed around the world, crocodile skin is so popular that 1.3 million of the reptiles are slaughtered to meet demand each year. Beyonce has a four-inch strip of crocodile skin on the back of her trainers.

Crocodiles are favoured by shoe and bag designers. A grey crocodile Hermes Birkin costing £79,000 is one of many such bags owned by the socialite Tamara Ecclestone.

The majority of crocodiles killed for their skin are bred and reared on farms. But every year more than 90,000 are also killed in the wild.

Fierce fang: Beoynce's sneakers have a four-inch strip of crocodile hide on the back

Fierce fang: Beoynce’s sneakers have a four-inch strip of crocodile hide on the back

A further 225,000 are ‘ranched’. This is where they are monitored in their natural environments and then brought on to farms for slaughter.

Animal rights campaigners say the crowded pens in which the reptiles are kept cause great stress. They are unable to swim away to quiet areas, as they would in the wild. There is no mud for them to lie in or grass to hide in. Their natural instincts to hunt are denied and they develop abnormalities and deformities because they can’t walk or swim.

After just three years, their short lives come to a brutal end — the usual method of killing will be a bullet.

The crocodiles are grabbed by workers and their snouts bound before being dispatched with a rifle. A direct shot to the brain, which is encased in a 2cm-thick skull, is far from guaranteed.

While this might seem a callous end to a short life for an animal that would live for 70 years or more in the wild, it is more humane than the method used on some farms.

According to PETA, the reptile can be killed by hammering a chisel between the base of the skull and the first vertebrae, a procedure which can take between five and eight blows to achieve.

They are then skinned, often while still alive. Like snakes, because of their slow metabolisms they can survive, in agony, for up to two hours after they have been completely skinned.

Only certain bits of the skin will be considered good enough to use, which means it can take up to four crocodiles to make one bag. As a result of the intensive hunting of wild crocodiles, they are supposedly protected under the CITES agreement.

Raw hide: Stingray skin is 25 times more durable than cow hide and is worth £63 per square foot

Raw hide: Stingray skin is 25 times more durable than cow hide and is worth £63 per square foot


Famed for being 25 times more durable than cowhide, stingray leather — often referred to as shagreen — is used on the three fastenings on Beyonce’s trainers.

Traditionally, the rays, which are closely related to sharks, would have been killed for food, the skins a by- product used for the grips of Chinese and Japanese swords.

In recent years, the leather has become a popular material in the world of high fashion — Alexander Wang’s stingray purses sell for £800. Because the skins are relatively small, they tend to be used for purses and wallets rather than bags. The skin is worth £63 per square foot.

While the fish are common in coastal tropical and subtropical marine waters, their populations are increasingly under threat. Five species of stingray are listed as ‘endangered’ and there is a worrying lack of data about the population levels of many others.

It is estimated that in Indonesia alone, two million rays are caught each year, with some boats bringing in up to 30 metric tons of stingrays per trip.

Because stingrays reach maturity relatively late and produce relatively few offspring, there is concern that over-fishing could cause populations to collapse.

Last year, in response to this threat, Panama banned fishing for stingrays in its territorial waters. Scientists have warned that unless steps are taken on an international level to significantly reduce the catch of these animals, they are at risk of disappearing.

Bling Queen

Related Posts

HOT NEW : Ryan Reynolds reveals if his and Blake Lively’s fourth child’s name is on Taylor Swift’s new album

The IF actor welcomed his fourth child with the It Ends With Us actress in early 2023  While we may have gotten the names of Ryan Reynolds’ and Blake Lively’s second and…

Hugh Jackman shares heartwarming family birth – after his children revealed they were ‘worried’ for their dad following split from Deborra-Lee Furness

Hugh Jackman announced some exciting news on Monday when he revealed a very anticipated birth finally happened in his home.The Hollywood star, 55, took to his Instagram Stories…

Hugh Jackman shares heartwarming family birth – after his children revealed they were ‘worried’ for their dad following split from Deborra-Lee Furness

Hugh Jackman announced some exciting news on Monday when he revealed a very anticipated birth finally happened in his home.The Hollywood star, 55, took to his Instagram Stories…

SEE : Sad detail in Hugh Jackman’s bachelor pad following his split from wife Deborra-Lee Furness

Fans have pointed out a sad detail in Hugh Jackman‘s latest selfie from inside his bachelor pad in New York City following his split from wife Deborra-Lee Furness.The 55-year-old actor shared…

HOT NEWS : Deborra-Lee Furness breaks silence on split from Hugh Jackman as she reflects on her life as a single woman

Deborra-Lee Furness has spent the months since her shock split from husband Hugh Jackman reflecting on her new single life.The pair split in September last year, and last week,…

The Worst Things Wolverine Has Ever Done: Killing X-Men, Creeping On Mary Jane & More

From all the X-Men movies, including the acclaimed “Logan,” to animated series like “X-Men ’97,” Wolverine is one of the biggest fan-favorite Marvel superheroes. With razor-sharp indestructible…