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What do I need to know about suede shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bobdobalina, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. bobdobalina

    bobdobalina Senior member

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    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?
     
  2. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    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.
     
  3. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     
  4. cmrocks

    cmrocks Senior member

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    I say wear them hard and take good care of them. Suede shoes/boots look great once they are distressed from use.
     
  5. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    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?
     
  6. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    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.
     
  7. finch

    finch Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. A Guy from Shanghai

    A Guy from Shanghai Senior member

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    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?
     
  9. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    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.
     
  10. borderline

    borderline Senior member

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    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?
     
  11. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     
  12. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    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.
     
  13. 518aata

    518aata Senior member

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    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?
     
  14. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    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.
     
  15. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    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.
     
  16. element02

    element02 Senior member

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    Are there any other recommended spray protectors? I have some Kiwi that I bought years ago, but don't know if it's still okay to use, or even if that's a good protectant.
     
  17. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    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.


    Agreed.

    I have one pair of Edward Green lace ups in a dark brown suede. I have been careless with them and they have never retained a permanent stain or damage of any kind. Over time, the nap subsides a little and you may get bald spots from wear or from continued creasing, most noticebly under the laces.
     
  18. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

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    The key thing to know about suede is that it's awesome.
    Amen. I don't spray mine, fwiw. I used the spray on a suede jacket years ago and was not so happy with the results. Dark brown suede can be worn a long time before it needs the Saphir cleaning. Suede is to shoes as wool is to ties. Cordovan (and polished calf) are shiny and reflective like silk. Suede, like wool, absorbs light. It's not as flashy. I dig this I like how the suede shoes sneak up on people. My suede shoes do not get a lot of immediate attention, but still they get a lot of compliments.
     
  19. mr monty

    mr monty Senior member

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    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?

    I have suede shoes that are nearly 30 years and still look very good. I never use any type of protectant. I use a brush and AVOID foul weather.
     
  20. tonylumpkin

    tonylumpkin Senior member

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    Well, it would seem this is the place to ask about suede shoes. I offered a pair of Tramezzas up for sale the other day, and later withdrew them, mostly because I really, really like them. Enough in fact that I'm willing to suffer for a while with a right shoe that is a bit too tight. Now on to my question. In the pics below you can see small spot on the vamp of the left shoe. Can anyone tell if this is a "bald spot" or some kind of stain that could be removed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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