How to Care for Suede Shoes to Make Them Last Longer

The first suede shoes I ever owned didn’t live up to three months in my wardrobe. It wasn’t because I bought a product of low quality. It was simply because I didn’t know how to care for suede shoes.

I remember vividly when my dad gifted me those shoes, I felt elated. The whole idea of shoes or bags made with fabrics that resembled animal skin fascinated me. And so when I got my suede shoes, I pampered them. But unfortunately, I pampered them the wrong way. Little wonder they didn’t last long.

Has this happened to you?

Maybe not.

Perhaps, you’ve been so careful with your clothes, shoes and everything that they last long. But you see, suede shoes aren’t your regular leather shoes. And as such, you need to know how to care for suede shoes the right way lest the money you spent to get them should be a waste.

Every fashion item you add to your wardrobe should be an investment.

As an investment, they should give you ROI in terms of boosting your style and serving your clothing needs.

If you don’t offer them much care, they won’t live long to fulfill that purpose.

This is why you should use these tips on how to care for suede shoes. They’ll ensure your shoes made of suede last longer. This means that you’ll have more opportunities to wear them and look dapper as always.

Let’s dive in.

What is Suede?

female suede shoes

Suede is a type of leather with a soft surface. It is made from the underside of animal skin such as lamb, goat, pig, deer, cow, calves, etc. The difference between suede and traditional leather is that the former is often softer, thinner and not as strong as the latter.

Uses of Suede

Suede is used to make:

  • bags
  • purses
  • belts
  • gloves
  • jackets
  • boots
  • loafers
  • and other fashion products.

Benefits of Suede Shoes and Bags

male sued shoes

When you buy suede shoes and bags, you don’t just add another item to your collection. You buy:


Since it is a type of leather, it can last for a long while. Its toughness also contributes to its durability. And once you know how to care for suede shoes, you can be certain that you’ll wear them up until you are tired of them.


Suede looks smooth and soft. Imagine your feet in a shoe made with this material. You can only look more stylish because the shoes will make your feet more appealing.


They can be paired with just any type of outfit. Be it one for formal occasions or casual wear, these types of shoes are really flexible. Moreso, the fabric itself can be used to make just anything. So if you don’t want it as shoes, you may want it in form of a belt, handbag, purse or even clothes.

How to Care for Suede Shoes

The following are the ways to care for your suede shoes to ensure they are durable enough to serve you:

1. Keep it Away from Water

This is the first tip on how to care for suede shoes. This material is an absorbent one and as such, you should make sure it doesn’t come in contact with water. If not, water will ruin the material and leave patches on it.

Furthermore, water will affect the texture and colour of the shoes. And once the original texture is gone, it’s no longer suede. Sorry.

2. Clean With a Suede Brush or Soft Bristle Brush

When there are dirt and dust on your shoes, use a suede brush or soft bristle brush to wipe them off. This brush will also help to revive the suede shoes when they look dull.

3. Apply Talcum Powder to Get Rid of Wet Stains

If there are wet patches on your shoes, simply clean them with a dry cloth and apply talcum powder to the stained area. Let the powder sit on the affected area overnight. Afterwards, brush with a suede brush to erase the dried powder.

4. Use a Suede Cleaner for Tough Stains

When there are stubborn stains on your suede shoes, get rid of them with a suede cleaner. However, before settling for any suede cleaner, test it on a small part of the shoes or bag first.  Afterwards, allow it to dry and if it comes out okay, go ahead and apply it on the remaining parts.

Before applying your cleaner, brush the shoes and use a damp cloth to wipe them. Then spray the cleaner on the shoes from at least 20cm distance.  Once you’re done, use your suede brush to ensure the cleaner circulates round the shoes.

5. Don’t Heat Your Suede

Don’t heat your suede shoes or bags so as to make them dry faster. Air-dry them instead. Heating them will only weaken the material and reduce its lifespan.

6. Apply Your Protector

Since prevention is better than cure, it is important that you apply a protector on your shoes always. For instance, before you step out, brush your shoes and apply a water-repellent spray or suede sealant on them. Afterwards, brush again with either your suede brush or your soft bristle toothbrush before you wear it and get going.

There you go with the tips on how to care for suede shoes. Never forget them as they’ll help you make sure your suede shoes last long.


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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or sketching fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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