Wearing Suede shoes 101: How to clean and maintain the Suede

But don’t you step on my blue suede shoes
Well, you can do anything, but stay off of my blue suede shoes

                                                                           – Elvis Presley & Carl Perkins

According to the iconic cover of the Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis, you can do anything to Elvis including setting his house on fire as long as you don’t break his golden rule by stepping on his Blue Suede Shoes. The song was originally written by Carl Perkins, who explained that Blue suede shoes were a luxury item in the South, something stylish you would wear for a special night out. You have to be extra careful with them since suede wasn’t easy to clean. 

 A good pair of Suede shoes are a must-have for any gentleman’s wardrobe. Now some people have the common misconception that suede is a different variety of leather made of either exotic creatures or made artificially in a lab with chemicals. But the simple truth is that suede is produced from the softer underside of the hide of various animals. The type of animal affects the finish of the suede; when using thicker hides of older cows and deer, the nature of the fibre results in the suede having a much shaggier ‘nap’ which isn’t as soft as the lighter suede we’re accustomed to.

The cold and rain that accompanies the winter’s breath in the land down under can wreak havoc on a pair of genuine suede boots. But with a little bit of planning and some precautions you can keep them in mint condition while wearing them year-round. In order to help you out, we have compiled a Suede Shoe Maintenance guide to prevent you from getting stuck in a similar jam.

What you’ll need to maintain your suede shoes:

  • Sealant
  • A suede brush/nail brush
  • White vinegar
  • A flannel or face cloth
  • Eraser/rubber

Prevention is critical

As with most things in life, prevention is relatively more essential than cure. We would highly recommend that you take some precautions before the weather shifts. One of the best techniques would be to invest in a suitable quality sealant and spraying your shoes every 2-3 months to repel dirt and sludge. You should check out a favourite of ours Saphir Medaille d’Or Super Invulner. It is the gold standard in the shoe care industry. 

Invest In A Suede Cleaning Brush

A suede cleaning brush isn’t necessary, but we would highly recommend that you invest in one. It can help to assure the long-life of the shoes. Before you brush the dirt and sludge out of your shoes, you have to make sure that there is absolutely no amount of moisture as it can be the bane of Suede items. The humidity can leave permanent stains in the shoes that can difficult or even impossible to fix.

When you start brushing focus on moving only in the direction of the fibres in the leather and avoid moving it back and forth. The main reason behind the precaution is that back & forth brushing can severely scratch the shoes ruining their look.

The Powdered Solution

If you’ve spilt liquid on your suede shoes, then as quickly as you can, you should pat the affected spot with a clean, dry cloth. Make sure that you do not use a tissue as it can often leave marks or small tissue bits that can make the stain worse. Apply a layer of talcum powder and let it dry overnight in a non-humid location and away from any source of moisture. Then use the brush to remove the dried powder while brushing in one direction gently.

Remember to let them breathe

Always allow your shoes to breath for 15 minutes after removing them at the end of the day. During the day, the insole absorbs a significant amount of sweat. All of this sweat gets sealed in the shoes when you insert the shoe tree without letting it evaporate. This, as a chain reaction, allows the bacteria that can cause an unflattering odour to fester. So make sure you let the shoes breathe for 15 minutes before you use the shoe trees. Shoe trees help maintain the shape of the shoe and reduce the wrinkling that occurs as a result of extended duress. You can also use Shoe-trees made out of Cedar to help prevent the problem as Cedar would absorb the moisture over some time.

Do not forget the Shoe Bags

Most Luxury brands will include a shoe bag in the packaging when they deliver the shoes to your doorstep. The bag prevents any buildup of dust or dirt on your shoes. The shoe bags ensure that the shoes are dust-free. They also ensure that the shoes are well protected from any sudden increase in moisture due to change in weather. 

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