How To Care For Suede and Nubuck Shoes

How To Care For Suede and Nubuck Shoes

26 May 2020

How To Care For Suede and Nubuck Shoes

By Aquila

There is a misconception that suede shoes and nubuck shoes are too tricky to care for. We are here to prove you wrong! If you follow a few simple steps you will ensure your new shoes look new for years to come!  

Wait, Whats the Difference between Suede and Nubuck?

Suede and nubuck both seem softer, and 'fuzzier' than traditional smooth leathers and are used commonly to make footwear and accessories. While they might look similar, there is a key difference between the two.

Suede is crafted by sanding or rubbing the inside layer of the leather hide. This side of hide is used as it supple, soft and thin. It is because of this softness that gives suede such a luxurious reputation. We use suede across our whole range of products, from suede boots to suede loafers.

Nubuck, on the other hand, is crafted by sanding or rubbing the outside layer of the leather hide. This side tends to be much thicker, sturdier and more durable. This means that nubuck tends to be slightly less soft but much more durable.

Before Your First Wear

Your mum was right all those years ago - make sure you spray those suede shoes before you leave the house in them the first time. A great suede or nubuck shoe needs to be sprayed with a Waterproofer before it ever comes in contact with the outside world. It adds a protective layer that repels moisture, dirt and oil from ruining that smooth surface.

Place the nozzle of the spray about 30 cms away from the shoe and spray the entire upper. A few sprays should do it - don't get too close to the shoe as you want an even layer across the whole shoe. Leave them to dry overnight.

General Upkeep

So you gave your new suede or nubuck shoes an initial layer of protection against the outside world - great job! However there is some upkeep that is required though to keep these materials looking their best in between wears.

Here is what you will need:

 

1) Insert shoe trees and remove laces while cleaning to expand the vamp (the top of the shoe) and smooth any creases in the material so shampoos and sprays get into all the little nooks.

2) Spray the shoe with a suede cleansing shampoo (from 30 cms away to ensure even spray), and allow to sit for a few minutes.

3) With an old toothbrush, brush down the welts (the part of the shoe where the upper and sole meet), of the shoes, working around the toe where most dirt build up will occur.

4) Using the Nubuck and Suede brush, brush in the direction of the natural grain of the suede, or gently all over nubuck.

5) Spray the shoe with stain and waterproof remover, and allow to dry overnight.

 

Three Cardinal Rules

Nubuck and suede are two amazing materials for footwear, and will stay amazing looking if you follow these three cardinal rules!

1) Follow the two processes above - the pre-wear and post- wear upkeep will ensure your shoes look brand new for years to come.

2) Try to avoid getting your suede or nubuck shoes soaking wet. Water is their greatest enemy, so if you know the weather outside will be miserable, maybe leave your suede shoes at home! If you do get your shoes wet, take them off immediately and let them dry quickly.

3) Do not use leather creams, oils, polishes or wax on suede or nubuck products as they will stain your shoes and may not be reversible.