New Suede Or Nubuck Shoes? Here’s How To Protect Them

Lessons from a style editor.


Sinead Martin |

Season after season I find myself lusting over suede and nubuck boots but I hear the voice of reason inside my head saying: “You know they won’t last, you know you’ll wear them and mark the suede/nubuck, it’s not worth it Sinead.” And sadly I remove them from my hopeful feet and place them back in the store display.

But not this winter: This winter I have decided to take a proactive approach, purchase nubuck boots and treat them with the love and respect they deserve…

It goes without saying that cleaning suede and nubuck boots can be quite the ordeal – if you don’t do it correctly, you could ruin them forever. And if you get caught in an unexpected downpour, your booties may never be the same again. So the goal is to maximise their lifespan and protect their pristine condition wear after wear.

READ MORE: The Only 3 Pairs Of Shoes You Need To Pack For The Long Weekend

1. Invest in a suede-cleaning brush

Sure, you can clean your suede and nubuck without a proper brush, but investing in one is a wise choice. When you’re using one, be sure to brush only in the direction of the fibres, and avoid moving the brush back and forth over the surface.

2. Put crumpled paper inside boots before cleaning

Before you begin cleaning, scrunch up some newspaper or computer paper and stuff it inside your shoes to help them keep their natural shape while you work on them.

3. Rub the surface clean with a bath towel

Once you’ve removed the excess dirt with your handy new suede-cleaning brush, gently rub your boots with a clean towel. Take note: you won’t need any water, just a soft towel to wipe them down and remove any other layers of dust.

4. For really tough grime, use white vinegar

If your boots have been marked with any tougher stains like salt or food (or wine!) pour a little white vinegar onto a clean cloth and gently wipe down the stained area.

Convinced suede or nubuck could be for you after all? Shop this season’s must-have nubuck booties!

Buy now

CAT Starstruck boots in light pink

R 1999

Buy now
Buy now

CAT Starstruck boots in sand

R 1999

Buy now

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