How to Care for Suede Shoes

Suede shoes are not only stylish and comfortable, when worn correctly they can bridge the gap between casual and formal. Anyone who has ever worn suede shoes knows they need a little more looking after than other leathers, but there is absolutely no reason why they won't last for many years.

One of the biggest myths around suede shoes is that they will be ruined if they get wet. Yes they will soak in liquid more easily than patent leather, but a spillage or a quick downpour does not sound the death knell for suede. Indeed, many people wear suede shoes every day without any problems, which is pretty amazing when you consider the unpredictable weather our country is famous for.

Here we've put together some top tips for maintaining your suede shoes so you can enjoy their effortless chic for longer.

What type of suede are your shoes?

The first thing you need to understand is the type of suede that has been used. The three properties used typically in the manufacturer of such footwear are sheepskin, cowhide and pigskin.

Sheepskin has a velvet-like feel and the most delicate of the three, while cowhide is course and durable, and pigskin has short nap but is the most durable of the three.


As the old adage goes 'protection is better than the cure'. To prevent your much loved footwear becoming ruined by dirt and water, you should purchase a suede protector. These can be bought in aerosol-like cans and all you have to do is spray any areas of your shoes that are made from suede.


If you do have the misfortune of marking or dirtying your shoes, it is important to take action as quickly as possible. If left untreated the suede can become discoloured and your shoes will lose their stylish looks.

In cases where the marks are significant, the best thing you can do is take your shoes to a professional cleaner. In all other cases you can use a wool detergent, erasers or brushes.

Detergents are applied with a sponge after they have been diluted with warm water. After gently rubbing away any stains, the shoes should be rinsed with cold water before being left to dry and then buffed.

Erasers and brushes are used on dry surfaces and designed to lift the dirt from the nap. Both can be used together, with the brush being used to buff the suede after the eraser has successfully taken the dirt away.

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