How To Care For Suede Shoes

How To Clean Suede Shoes | Remove scuff marks from suede | Waterproof Suede Shoes & Treat Stains

Every time you fail to waterproof your suede shoes, an Effortless Bitches hope dies.

Suede shoes are great, they add texture to your outfits, they’re soft and are a perfect shoe for all seasons. But we all know that after only a few wears, they can get really dirty. Scuffed sides, watermarks, stains and gunk stuck to the heel sometimes trick us into thinking our suede shoes life is over, but it’s far from it. All it takes is a little grooming and care to bring them back to life, this week I’m covering how to care for suede shoes – enjoy!

Dirt Stains

Treatment: Ensure your shoes are dry before starting any cleaning. Get your hands on a suede shoe brush and use the bristled side to brush in the same direction. Don’t move the brush back and forth or in a circular motion, always move in a forward direction.


Treatment: When you scuff your favourite suede shoes, it means that the grain of the fabric has been pushed in one direction. Using your suede brush, brush in a fast manner in a back and forth motion to lift the grain back up. If the scuff is stubborn, use a clean eraser to rub over the mark.

How To Care For Suede Shoes | Shoe Care Tips & Advice

Water Marks

Treatment: Sometimes removing watermarks from suede can be difficult and it can even discolour the leather, so it’s always best to test on an old pair of shoes or a small patch of suede. You’ll need to stuff the inside of the shoe with some paper, avoid using printed paper as the ink will transfer onto your shoes.

Apply a light coat of water over the entire shoe exterior with the suede brush and use a dry and clean cloth to wipe away any excess water. Wipe the suede until the leather looks even in tone. Let the shoes dry overnight and brush over them lightly once completely dry.

Waterproof Your Shoes

When buying new suede shoes, it’s best to waterproof them using waterproofing spray. You can pick this up from multiple shoe stores and fashion retailers. Follow the instructions on the back of each spray can and remember that there are two different sprays for suede leather and regular leather. Every few months, spray your shoes again so you can get the most protection and wear out of them.

Care For Suede Shoes With My Favourites:

Stretch Your Shoes

Treatment: If your shoes are too tight when you try them on, size up and add things like heel grips or gel pads. If they’re snug in one area like the toe or across the front of the foot, a good stretching spray like the Wanted Shoes Stretch It Spray works wonders. Use this on the inside of the shoe, wear a sock or just walk around the house in them for about twenty minutes and your shoes should stretch out nicely.

Add A Topy:

After purchasing new shoes, you should always try to get the sole reinforced as soon as possible. This not only elongates the soles life but lifts your shoe the tiniest bit off the ground, meaning you’re less likely to scuff or mark the edges of the shoe. This is called a ‘topy’ (pronounced ‘toe-pee’) and your local cobbler can do this for you.

Long term care for suede shoes.

Doing small things to maintain your shoes in the long term can be as simple as never stepping into your shoes with wet feet, refraining from walking on wet grass in them and wiping them out and over after a particularly humid day. Don’t forget that storing your shoes on shelving and occasionally letting them get some sun will help to repel odours and stop things like mould and silverfish growing on them.

How did you go with your suede? Are they looking as good as new? Would you like someone else to do it for you? I know a guy! I regularly drop my client’s shoes off to Coombs at the Strand Arcade in Pitt Street, Sydney.

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