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What do I need to know about suede shoes?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Brown suede shoes seem to be available pretty widely at a decent markdown lately (BB, AE, Tramezza), and I think I like the way they look.

Unfortunately, I'm a living trainwreck, and I don't do well with fragile things.

So tell me, do suede shoes have a short lifespan on the feet of a toe-stubbing, heel-dragging klutz like me? Do they require additional care beyond what one would normally give to a leather shoe? Will I ruin them if I get salt/beer/spittle on them? Can they be cleaned regularly? Must they be cleaned regularly?
post #2 of 32
Suede shoes are not as fragile as people seem to think. In fact, I've had great luck with them holding up quite well.

I still have the first pair of Allen Edmonds (suede) shoes that I bought in 1996, and I wear them fairly often, and they look brand new. I wore them through some snow the other day out of necessity.

Bottom line, if you take care of them; shoe trees, some protectant spray, a good suede nap brush, and a good cleaning solution, they'll be fine. Avoid spilling grease on them, but we can even work through that.
post #3 of 32
I have always sprayed my suede shoes with a silicon waterproof spray from my shoe repair place. Some brands, may even say their suede is already water proof or water resistant.

I find that medium to dark brown is the best color. Sand and light tan do tend to show more marks.

I have a pair of Heschung suede brogues in a dark brown with a rubber sole. They have been everywhere, under all conditions, and they still look great.
post #4 of 32
I say wear them hard and take good care of them. Suede shoes/boots look great once they are distressed from use.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCN View Post
Bottom line, if you take care of them; shoe trees, some protectant spray, a good suede nap brush, and a good cleaning solution, they'll be fine. Avoid spilling grease on them, but we can even work through that.

I'm not familiar with suede "cleaning solutions." I do use a protectant spray, and I use a brush and eraser, and that's it on the few pairs of suede shoes I own. Could you please expound a little on them? How beneficial are they?
post #6 of 32
I bought suede shoes in December and have enjoyed wearing them. I don't wear them often but they provide a nice change from my shell and calf shoes.
post #7 of 32
Make sure you purchase a good spray protector. I spray my suedes every three mo's or so and they've held up really well. Certainly not a winter item in my parts but even so I just wear my rubbers on top for snowy days.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by finch View Post
Make sure you purchase a good spray protector. I spray my suedes every three mo's or so and they've held up really well. Certainly not a winter item in my parts but even so I just wear my rubbers on top for snowy days.


What would you recommend for a good spray protector?
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
I'm not familiar with suede "cleaning solutions." I do use a protectant spray, and I use a brush and eraser, and that's it on the few pairs of suede shoes I own. Could you please expound a little on them? How beneficial are they?

Saphir makes a cleaning solution, I kid you not when I say it's a miracle. I took my suede oxfords in to a local cobbler for cleaning after some grease was spilled on them and a suede eraser had proved fruitless. He told me that there was nothing I could do.

On a whim and someone here's recommendation, I tried the Saphir cleaner; two easy applications, and they looked brand new.
post #10 of 32
Hope this is not a hijack, but could those of you who have suede shoes address whether or not your feet feel hotter in them relative to other common leather types?
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by borderline View Post
Hope this is not a hijack, but could those of you who have suede shoes address whether or not your feet feel hotter in them relative to other common leather types?

I wear suede all the time and find it no hotter than calf. I tend to think my RM Williams in calf are warmer than my beloved dark brown suede chelseas.

The key thing to know about suede is that it's awesome.
post #12 of 32
I enjoy wearing mine with cords or flannels and a heavy odd jacket or sweater. The suede helps to provide a nice balance to the look.
post #13 of 32
What brand of spray protector do you recommend? Do they all do the same thing, or do some protect, some waterproof, etc.? Does the spray discolor lighter-colored suede?
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by borderline View Post
Hope this is not a hijack, but could those of you who have suede shoes address whether or not your feet feel hotter in them relative to other common leather types?
I've been thinking that they feel cooler.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by 518aata View Post
What brand of spray protector do you recommend? Do they all do the same thing, or do some protect, some waterproof, etc.? Does the spray discolor lighter-colored suede?

I use the Cole Haan silicone free spray. Decent protection, very little (if any) change to color.
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