How Do Suede Shoes Hold Up? (Are Suede Shoes High Maintenance?)

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Suede is a type of leather that has been buffed on the grain side. It gives the material a soft touch and is common in high-end shoes, especially dress shoes such as oxfords, brogues, and Derbys. Treat your suede shoes properly and you’ll have them for years, but neglect them and they’ll be ruined in no time.

Unlike leather shoes, suede is delicate and requires special care. But with proper care, your suede shoes will remain in good condition for years to come.

To keep your suede shoes looking good and to make them last longer, you must treat them regularly. Suede treatments range from sprays that can help keep the fabric matte and waterproofing sprays that can help guard against light rain.

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How Do Suede Shoes Hold Up?

Suede shoes can be some of the most comfortable shoes that you own. However, if you want them to look great for a long time and stay looking great, you need to take care of them. How do suede shoes hold up?

Bruno Marc Men's URBAN-03 Navy Suede Leather Lace Up Oxfords Shoes - 11 M US Suede is a material that is basically leather with an extra layer of finish on top. It’s not waterproof, so it’s best to keep suede away from water as much as possible. Some waterproof treatments do exist but tend to wear off more quickly than the shoes themselves.

Depending on how the leather was processed, different types of suede will have different durability levels.

One thing that will extend the life of your suede shoes is using a suede brush when they get scuffed or dirty. You can pick these brushes up at many shops, whether it’s a shoe store or even a pet store. They are relatively inexpensive and will help keep your shoes looking great for quite a while.

All you have to do is rub the brush back and forth over your clothing until all of the dirt is gone and then brush in the opposite direction to smooth everything out again. It may take a little bit of time when you first get your suede shoes, but it will make them last longer in the long run.

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Are Suede Shoes High Maintenance?

Suede shoes are classic shoes. They look great for any occasion and can be worn with anything from jeans to a formal suit. However, suede shoes require more care than just about any other shoe out there.

GEAR AID Revivex Suede, Nubuck and Fabric Boot and Shoe Care Kit with Protector Spray To keep your suede shoes looking good and to make them last longer, you must treat them regularly. Suede treatments range from sprays that can help keep the fabric matte and waterproofing sprays that can help guard against light rain.

So yes, suede shoes are more high maintenance than shoes made from other fabrics.

Since suede, a form of leather, is a natural material, it automatically requires more care than synthetic fabrics. Because of its soft texture, it will look worn and dated faster than even smooth leather, so before purchasing suede shoes, make sure you have a proper cleaning kit.

Hydrophobic coatings and proper storage can help keep suede upkeep to a minimum. With regular care, suede can be a durable fabric, even if it requires a little more maintenance than other types of shoe material.

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Can You Machine Wash Suede Shoes?

Most people know that leather shoes need to be hand-washed with leather cleaner. It is this same advice that should be applied to suede shoes as well. The problem is that most people don’t know how to clean suede properly and end up either ruining their shoes or making them look dull.

When cleaning your suede shoes at home, there are some things you want to avoid:

Do not use a washing machine or dryer on your suede shoes. Although you may have seen others doing it or seen some tips online, using a washing machine on your suede shoes will ruin them quicker than anything else you can do. This includes placing them into the washer basket while they are still on your feet as well!

As a more delicate form of leather, suede is not as waterproof or robust as leather, even with the application of protectorates. Using a washing machine can result in your shoes deteriorating quicker, resulting in a loss of color and the suede becoming rigid and stiff.

Most manufacturers do not recommend that you machine wash suede shoes, it is possible. If you decide to machine wash your suede shoes…

  1. Ensure that you run the wash at a low spin cycle and temperature.
  2. Use a detergent that is designed for washing leather and suede.
  3. Avoid using fabric softener.
  4. Once washed, wrap the shoes in a clean towel and allow them to air dry.

However, you really shouldn’t wash suede or leather shoes in the washing machine like you can your sneakers or canvas shoes.

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Do Suede Shoes Get Ruined in the Rain?

Suede shoes can get ruined in the rain. However, the damage can usually be repaired. The advice, if you own a pair of suede shoes, would be to apply a waterproof spray before use.

Suede is a material that easily absorbs water. If they are not waterproofed, then they can easily become marked with unsightly water stains.

If your suede shoes do get wet, then you should attend to them straight away. If it’s just a small mark, blot the area with paper to try and soak up any excess water. If they are soaking wet, stuff newspaper or a towel inside and allow them to dry completely.

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Can You Fix Suede After It Gets Wet?

Yes, you can fix suede after it gets wet, but there are a few things you need to do.

  1. First of all, you need to act fast. The longer the suede stays wet, the harder it will be to reverse the water damage. Take a towel and blot as much water off of the suede as you can.
  2. Next, brush the suede back and forth for a few moments with a soft or medium bristle toothbrush.
  3. Finally, take the suede and find a hand dryer or use a hairdryer. Continue to brush the suede back and forth gently as it dries completely.
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In summary, the good news is that suede shoes do not require a lot of cleaning, particularly if you take care to protect them with a suede brush and impregnate them with a special spray. However, there are some things you should know about suede that may make you rethink your shoe choice on certain occasions.

The bad news is that suede is not water-resistant. Water will ruin your shoes. Suede shoes should not be worn when the weather is wet or snowy. The fabric absorbs water, which causes it to swell and crack. You can prevent this destruction by waterproofing your shoes with a special spray before wearing them in the rain or snow.

Suede also has poor resistance to stains and scuff marks. Be careful when wearing suede to protect it from food, liquids, gum, and other nasty substances that can cause permanent staining.

Be sure to protect your suede shoes with a good quality suede brush before wear and after every cleanses to remove any surface dirt or dust particles. A gentle brushing reduces the risk of color loss and helps maintain the softness of the leather fibers.

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