How To Care For Leather And Suede Shoes
Investing in high-quality, handcrafted Italian leather and suede shoes guarantees you excellent footwear for years to come - if you take care of them properly. From their first moment out of the box to each subsequent wear, your attention to their care and maintenance will allow them to walk with you in style season after season. In order to extend their lifespan and maintain their top quality, it is very important to care for your Italian-made leather and suede shoes. New to shoe care? Stay diligent, and it will be a breeze.
It is important to understand the difference in materials to better understand how to best care for your footwear whether it be different types of loafers or leather boots, both personally and professionally. At Mavette, we offer both Italian leathers and suedes, and they each demand their own distinct methods of care. Leather is a durable and pliable material that is a little more forgiving in its maintenance; suede items, on the other hand, requires a more delicate touch in order to maintain its lush, velvety texture.
HOW TO CARE: A GUIDE
Step number one - as soon as they come out of the box, if you can - is using a leather care treatment for water and stubborn stain protection on the entire shoe. Even if the material is water-resistant, it does not hurt to double down. Leather protectors and waterproof sprays help to create a barrier to repel water and prevent staining, the kinds of damage that are nearly impossible to reverse once they have occurred; think of this step as providing an invisible shield that helps guard against things like weather or accidental spills. Avoid wearing your suede or leather shoes when there is active precipitation and, if they do get wet, be sure to let them dry thoroughly away from any sources of direct heat. Follow the package instructions for use, but most brands recommend reapplying at the start of each season.
Learning how to clean suede and leather shoes is a vital part of their maintenance. Do this regularly to keep your shoes looking like new - if you can get into the habit of cleaning them daily, that is the most ideal. To clean leather, use a damp cloth and wiped gently over the surface; be gentle, and let them air dry out of direct sunlight. Getting any surface dirt, dust, or debris off right away is a key component to keeping your shoes looking as good as new. Invest in a high quality leather conditioner and use as directed to help your shoes maintain moisture and prevent cracking.
Since we want to avoid getting suede wet and imparting permanent water marks, we opt for brushing when needing to keep our suede shoes as good as new. To revive suede’s natural velvety nap, use a suede brush on your shoes in one direction, ensuring a consistent and luxurious finish.
Store your freshly cleaned Italian leather and suede shoes in a cool, dry place with adequate air circulation. Bonus points if you store them stuffed or with shoe trees or boot shapers so that they maintain their silhouette. If your shoe trees are made from cedar, they will also wick away any unwanted moisture, which helps to maintain the integrity of the material. Make sure to not stack or crowd your shoes in between wears so that they are able to breathe.
If you are storing your leather and suede shoes for the off-season, be sure to have them somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight to prevent fading, discoloration, or warping.
We are all guilty of favoring a pair of shoes and wearing them over and over again. If you can, try to build in a healthy rotation amongst all of your suede boots and shoes so that they have time to recover between wears. Giving leather and suede these periodic breaks helps to preserve the integrity of the shoe as well as improve their overall longevity.
Are your leather or suede shoes very dirty, stained, or water-damaged? Find a cobbler you can trust and see if they are salvageable - accidents happen, and it is always worth seeking a professional opinion. Cobblers and other shoe care specialists have the expertise needed to rejuvenate shoes, recondition leathers, and revitalize the original velvety texture of suedes, all of which keep your investment shoes beautiful and wearable for years to come.
Care for your leather and suede shoes, and they will care for you season after season. Making daily shoe care an active part of your routine is a good habit to get into, and enlisting the help of a professional will keep your shoes in tip-top shape. As soon as you open up the box of new footwear, you know what to do: apply a water protectant suitable for the material of the shoe. If you want to take it one step further, take them straight to the cobbler for sole protectors. If you’re ready to invest in Italian-made leather and suede footwear, Mavette is here to help.