How to care for suede leather footwear

by Dianne Sheehan, Owner / Manager

A lot of customers are nervous about selecting suede leather footwear for winter. Suede leather is often considered the more delicate leather than the smooth or patent leather options. As such, we’re often asked in store “how do I clean suede?”.

We know suede leathers can look tired quite quickly, so here are our top tips to care for and protect your suede leather footwear so they last several seasons and always look good.

Pictured: Ara 13407 navy

Softness & richness

I love suede leather. They feel amazing on your fee due to suede leathers being softer and more susceptible to shape and mould to your foot quicker than other leathers. The colours are also richer in suede. The blacks are deep and non-reflective to light, as are other colours. Therefore, suede is often associated with being a heavier or ‘wintery’ leather option.

What is suede leather?

Suede leather is formed when a piece of leather is split, removing the upper grain to reveal the fuzzy underside. This process results in a much softer leather due to its thinner construction.

I often hear from customers that they’ve had bad experiences with suede, and that it marks too easily. This comes down to the quality of the suede and the care you provide to protecting and cleaning your suede leather footwear.

Pictured: Hispanitas Alba teal

How to pick a good quality suede leather

Buying a top-quality suede leather shoe or boot is key. A quality suede leather has an evenness to its fuzzy appearance across the entire shoe. Experienced boot makers take expert care in cutting the leather correctly and using premium leathers in the first place. This expert craftsmanship ensures the leather is cut evenly, eliminating and weak spots in the leather.

How to care and protect suede leather

A suede brush is an essential tool. Brush the suede leather evenly across the shoe to lift the fuzziness and remove surface dirt, dust, and small stains. Do this regularly. Any pair of shoes you wear will pick up dust and grime just by being outside. The fuzziness of suede leather just gives dust and dirt the means to hold on!

A water-stain protector is also a key item to have in your cupboard. This adds a layer of protection against any water damage or stains. Apply to your shoes straight out of the box, and after a brush down.

Follow this brushing and spraying procedure weekly, fortnightly or monthly, depending on how often you’re wearing your suede leather shoes.

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By selecting quality suede leather, and applying a regular cleaning regime, you’ll find your suede leather shoes and boots will be with you for many winters to come!