Can Suede Get Wet? - Red Moose

Can Suede Get Wet?

No one enjoys seeing their prized suede shoes get wet and damaged. But does that mean you can never get suede wet? Can suede shoes get wet without ruining them? The short answer is yes and no, but it's best to not risk it by avoiding getting them wet, especially if you haven't treated your shoes recently.

In this post, we'll delve further into the question, can suede shoes get wet? We’ll also go over what to do as soon as it gets wet and some tips on how to prevent damage in the future.

Wet Suede Shoes Damage At The Root of The Material

Suede shoes are made of a delicate and porous material, so when it gets wet, the fibers can easily become damaged. Water can cause the bristles on the suede to become weak and thin, and with time they’ll eventually tear off. This can cause the suede to become bald spots, making it look much older and worn-out than it actually is.

Also, due to the moisture, suede shoes can deform from stretching or while cleaning. This is why we recommend using a shoe tree to help maintain its shape, even when cleaning.

What To Do As Soon as Suede Gets Wet

If you’ve got wet suede shoes, time is of the essence. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Take off your shoes: Simply taking off your wet suede shoes can help you properly navigate the drying and cleaning process with ease.
  • Dab with a microfiber cloth: A microfiber cloth is a premier choice for cleaning suede. It’s much gentler than traditional towels and cloths and won’t damage the fibers as you clean it up.
  • Don’t use a hair dryer or hot air to try and clean it quicker: The hot air produced will only stiffen the bristles and shorten the lifespan of the suede, so it’s best to avoid this.
  • Once you are done drying with the microfiber cloth, allow it to breathe for 15 minutes: At this point, you can use a shoe tree. This can help preserve its shape while the last of the built-up moisture evaporates.

Does Nubuck Need The Same Care As Suede?

Can suede get wet or nubuck shoes like those shown here?

Nubuck and suede have some similarities, but they also have their differences. Nubuck is made from the more durable, exterior layer of the hide; suede is made from the underside, which is softer and less resilient.

However, while nubuck is slightly sturdier, it can still absorb moisture. So, it’s best to take the same precautions as you would with suede when dealing with nubuck shoes.

Nubuck can withstand occasional exposure to water without any treatment, yet as a natural fiber it may swell or become misshapen. This is due to the fact that the material absorbs moisture and becomes weakened, resulting in warped or distorted fibers. To limit this risk, it's important to use a waterproofing spray that’s specifically designed for suede and nubuck material.

But if you tend to get your shoes wet more frequently, it might be a safer bet for you to invest in nubuck shoes.

How To Protect Your Suede

It’s always wise to take preventive measures towards caring for your suede shoes. One of the most important steps is to waterproof them. This can be done by using a specialized suede stain-repellant spray. Our protective formula uses a one-two hydrophobic combo to safeguard your shoes from water and dirt. Once sprayed, it leaves a barrier on the suede that prevents moisture from seeping in.

Also, carrying out a full cleaning of your suede shoes is a must. This will remove built-up dirt, debris, and oils from the surface so that it can be waterproofed. Check out our full guide on cleaning suede shoes.
Not to mention, pesky stains can mar the beauty of your shoes. Knowing how to remove stains from suede stains without doing further damage can help you maintain them in the best condition. To safely get rid of stains, check out our guide on how to remove stains from suede shoes.

How Often Do You Need To Waterproof Suede?

Ideally, you should use the waterproofing spray at least once a month. If you are exposed to rain or water frequently, then it’s best to apply the waterproof sealant more often. This can help maintain the color and texture of your suede shoes, ensuring they will last for longer.

Moreover, if you got your suede shoes wet, this is the process you should carry first. You should first blot them dry with a microfiber towel. Then, apply a suede waterproofing spray to restore their protective barrier and prevent moisture-related damage and stains.

Also, remember to use a shoe tree to help them maintain their shape. Remember, with the proper care and maintenance you can keep your suede shoes looking like new for a long time.

Protect Your Shoes

So, can suede get wet? Well, yes and no—but that doesn’t mean you should leave your shoes unprotected. In short, if you want to take good care of your suede or nubuck shoes, make sure you waterproof them regularly and clean them properly when necessary. This will help prevent damage from water and keep your shoes looking great for years to come.

Also, give your suede shoes the care they deserve with our collections of products designed to protect and maintain the quality of your shoes. Shop now!

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