Weatherproofing Suede Boots

suede boots care

weatherproofing suede boots

Let’s face it: You feel svelte in suede. There are few fabrics that look as sumptuous as suede with its smooth texture and versatile wear. Suede boots, in particular, can add elegance to a fancy frock or a little edge to an A-line skirt. Whichever way you choose to wear your suede shoes, one thing is for sure: You must weatherproof this much-desired material or else the marks left from rain, mud, snow and other harsh environmental elements will ultimately boot your shoes from the closet rotation. Here are our tips for weatherproofing suede boots.

Brush Away Dirt

Before you can weatherproof your shoes, it’s crucial to get rid of existing dirt and grime. If you think there’s no debris on a brand-new pair of boots, think again: Shoes that live on a store shelf are susceptible to dust and fingerprints just like they are in your own home. Whether your shoes are new or you’ve had them awhile, you can loosen dirt first with a stiff brush before using weatherproofing products. Brush in one direction to avoid pushing dirt around the boot.

Purchase a Protector

Purchase a suede-protection product to keep your boots weatherproofed against wetness and debris caused by rain and snow. It’s important to get weatherproofing spray made specifically for suede — anything greasy like beeswax or mink oil should be saved for leather because it can leave unsightly stains and change the color of your suede. Most suede protectors are silicone based; just make sure the bottle says that it’s safe for suede and nubuck.

Protect the Right Way

Once you choose your weatherproofing spray, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using it for the first time. You’ll want to know how far to hold the spray from the shoe, the number of coats required and how long it takes for the suede to dry. Also, it’s a good idea to test a small patch before spraying the entire boot. Find an inconspicuous spot on the boot to test the spray, and be mindful not to spray embellishments of a different material.

Keep Boots Clean on the Go

Refrain from ever letting mud sit on your boots or water from setting into the suede, if possible. If you can’t get your hands on a stiff brush, use a nail file to dislodge the mud and then gently wipe away what’s left. Or carry a suede eraser in your purse and rub it on as you notice a spot. When it looks like a water mark might mar the suede, blot it with a paper towel to soak up the extra moisture, and then allow the boots to air dry. When you return home, use your suede brush to refreshen the nap.

References & Resources

Garmet Care: How to Protect and Clean Suede Garments and Shoesk
Fashion Beans: Footwear Care: Protecting & Cleaning Suede Shoes
Shoes of Prey: How To: Waterproof Your Shoes

 

About the author:

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been a writer since 1994. She has written how-to and feature articles for print and online media, including Homestore.com, "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent" and "Business Magazine." Finn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Chapman University.. Follow him on Twitter / Facebook.