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The ultimate guide to looking after suede

When you buy a new pair of suede shoes, they look great and almost immediately your thoughts turn to maintaining this ‘just out of the box’ look. Like all shoes and clothes, there are steps you can take to keep them looking great. At Robinson’s Shoes we stock a beautiful range of suede and leather shoes and thankfully over the years we’ve learnt a few things about maintaining them. Here is your ultimate guide to looking after suede so your new shoes stay looking as good as the day you took them out of the box.

Act Early

Keeping your suede shoes in the best condition is about maintenance and pre-emptive action. From the moment you buy suede shoes, you need to take care of them. Leather has natural moisture that should be maintained over time however suede needs care from the word go. Protective spray will keep your suede in good condition for a few months, but spraying them on a one off basis or at irregular intervals is not enough. Being a sensitive material, suede needs to be well cared for so get into a good routine early and stick to it.

Brush

Cleaning suede is different from other materials and while it may seem counterintuitive, do not use water. Water and suede don’t mix, if you rub water into the shoe both the texture and the colour can be affected. A suede brush is the best option, unless you choose to get professionals involved. If your shoes are scuffed or dirty, a suede brush can do the trick. Brush vigorously in both directions to remove marks, but take enough care to avoid damaging the shoe or making it worse.

Online you may see people opting for a brush with large bristles or even sandpaper, this can be a risky move and we advise against it. Hovering the shoes over the kettle to try to lift stains with steam is another technique that must be applied with caution. Once brushing is finished, it’s time to apply the protector.

Shape

Keeping your shoes in top shape will help you avoid creases and discomfort, so when they aren’t on your feet they need to be looked after. Let’s say you opt for a shoe like the Barker Monty; you want to keep the boot’s shape otherwise creases will age the shoe no matter how new it is. Thankfully Robinson’s are giving away free shoe trees with certain purchases. Your free shoe tree is made from cedarwood, ensuring that the shape is retained, moisture is absorbed and odours are removed.

Like leather, suede shoes should not be worn on consecutives days as they will lose their shape. When storing them be sure there is plenty of air - plastic containers can trap moisture and allow mould to build up. Once your shoes are stored away, do not completely neglect them. Dusting them off once in a while can make a serious difference to how they age.

Why not take a look at the full suede collection at Robinson’s here? As well as suede footwear we also stock some smart suede belts and partially suede shoes, so no matter what your preference for suede is, we have you covered.

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