Plaza Uomo USA - - JOURNAL -

A lot of peo­ple are wor­ried about wear­ing suede as they see it as a del­i­cate ma­te­rial, would you say they’re right?

“No, ab­so­lutely not, it’s the op­po­site in many ways. If you im­preg­nate suede with a good im­preg­na­tion spray it han­dles mois­ture sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter than shoes made from reg­u­lar leather which is why a lot of peo­ple of­ten wear suede dur­ing win­ter. The draw­back, seen from a dura­bil­ity per­spec­tive, is that it is much harder to prop­erly re­store suede if its scuffed badly or worn down in places com­pared to reg­u­lar leather.

How do you pro­tect suede and best look af­ter your boots and shoes?

“Spray them with a qual­ity im­preg­na­tion spray be­fore first use, prefer­ably one with­out sil­i­cone. Af­ter that you just brush them down af­ter ev­ery use with a horse­hair brush, al­ter­na­tively a suede brush, to lift the suede fi­bres a lit­tle. You might have to clean suede shoes more of­ten than leather shoes as dirt clings to the ma­te­rial more once it’s set. Wash with a mild leather sham­poo un­der run­ning wa­ter and spray them once they’re dry. Don’t for­get that the sole and heel edges are made from reg­u­lar leather and will there­fore need some shoe pol­ish ap­plied reg­u­larly.

Suede feels softer than other leather shoes. Is it the case that they stretch more and if so, is it wise to go smaller when choos­ing a size and try­ing them on?

The rea­son suede feels softer is partly due to its struc­ture which makes it eas­ier to mould. And then there’s the fact that most of the suede used is of the so-called split va­ri­ety that is cre­ated by split­ting the hide and sand­ing down the in­side of both parts. That means that suede is of­ten thin­ner and there­fore tends to stretch a bit more. Re­verse calf suede is just as thick as reg­u­lar leather how­ever. Suede is also less tol­er­ant of stretch­ing, mean­ing that you can’t pull too hard on it when it’s moulded into shape on the shoe last. Some man­u­fac­tur­ers’ suede shoes there­fore feel a bit more spa­cious than shoes made from reg­u­lar leather.

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