We all love our leather shoes, especially brown brogues; that much is perfectly clear. Our collective obsession has reached an almost religious fanaticism, but this often leads us to forget leathers more casual but no less sartorial sibling; suede. It is perhaps partly due to the current season that we have pushed the humble suede shoe to the back of our minds but with a suede variant of almost every leather shoe imaginable, it is a hard material to ignore.
I am a big fan of suede. It offers much more than leather in terms of colour and season appropriate comfort and helps to keep outfits on the casual side of formal. However, it still needs a great deal of care – perhaps even more so than leather. The process is simpler but the material more delicate, suede reacts quite unfavourably to many of our more prevalent weather types and if we want to keep our outfits looking sharp, good suede care is essential.
So here is the FashionBeans guide to caring for your (possibly blue) suede shoes.
The best way to keep your shoes clean is to use a suede specific brush. You can buy either multipurpose or brass wire brushes for buffing up the nap of the material; the multipurpose examples will be the most versatile and will also be safer for those nervous about scuffing or marking their shoes.
Prevention is better than cure and with suede it is all about prevention. Invest in some high quality suede protector to help defend your precious shoes against marks and stains from the off. Spray shoes regularly to maintain a constant level of protection.
As I mentioned earlier, the process of protecting your suede is much simpler than that of leather care, but the material is far more delicate so it needs to be done regularly.
This is all you need to do to protect your suede shoes, but there are many other things you can do in order to help preserve them even further and to remove any stains that do appear.
For the most serious of stains, don’t try to remove them yourself, chances are it will go wrong and your shoes will be going in the bin. Take them to a cobbler – they will have a much better set of skills and tools at their disposal and you can get your money back if something does go wrong.
For milder stains you can try one of three things:
Once you have removed stains, brush up the nap with your suede brush and re-spray with protector.
Caring for your clothes is just one aspect of being a fashionable man, it has been proven time and time again that clean and well looked after shoes make a world of difference to an outfit and it would be foolish to think otherwise. Take care of your shoes, take care of your investment and make the most of your wardrobe.
Let me know any of your suede care tips in the comments below and as always, feel free to ask any questions you might have.
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