Who doesn’t own a pair of suede shoes? They’re classy, they look good with almost any outfit and they’re very comfortable to wear.
But there’s a downside to suede shoes: they have a very absorbent nature. For this reason, you should avoid wearing your suede shoes when it’s raining and you should definitely keep them away from snow as well.
Indeed, suede shoes require a bit more maintenance than other types of shoes.
In this guide, I’m going to answer this question and tell you everything you need to know about waterproofing your suede shoes or boots.
Let’s dive right in.
Can You Make Suede Waterproof?
You can make suede shoes waterproof by using a special waterproofing spray for suede leather. Use a soft brush to remove any dirt and stains from your shoes. Then apply a coat of waterproofing but make sure not to soak them through. Let your suede shoes dry for 24 hours.
This will give the first waterproofing coat enough time to properly dry. Once your shoes have dried, you can apply a second coat of spray.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the steps to follow.
Materials Needed To Waterproof Suede
- Suede waterproofing spray
- A clean, soft brush or suede eraser
- Soft cloth
Step 1: Clean the Suede
Make sure your suede is clean and free from dirt or stains. Use a soft brush or suede eraser to gently remove any surface dirt or marks.
Step 2: Get a Suede Waterproofing Spray
Shake the suede waterproofing spray thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are well-mixed.
Hold the spray can approximately 6 to 8 inches away from the suede surface. Start spraying evenly and lightly over the entire area you want to waterproof.
Make sure to cover the suede uniformly without oversaturating it.
⇒ Quick Tip: Test in a Hidden Area
Before applying the waterproofing spray to the entire item, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the suede. This will help ensure that the spray doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage to the material.
Step 3: Allow Drying Time
After applying the spray, let the suede item dry completely. Avoid touching or using the suede during this time to allow the waterproofing to set properly.
If you desire extra protection, you can apply a second coat of waterproofing spray.
Step 4: Buff the Suede
Once the suede has dried, gently brush the material with a soft cloth or brush to restore its texture and remove any excess spray residue.
How Often Should I Waterproof Suede Boots?
You should consider waterproofing your suede boots every two months, especially if you wear them regularly or live in a wet climate.
However, if you notice that the water repellency has diminished or the boots are starting to show signs of water damage, apply waterproofing more frequently.
⇒ Important note!
Waterproofing sprays are toxic. Find a well-ventilated space, preferably outdoors, to work on waterproofing your suede items. This will help prevent inhaling fumes from the spray and allow for proper drying.
If this is not possible, make sure your windows are wide open and keep them like that for one or two hours after you applied the spray.
⇒ Learn more: Can You Waterproof Shoes and Boots with WD40?
What is the Best Waterproofing Spray for Suede?
Now that we’ve seen how you can waterproof your suede shoes and boots, let’s see what are the best waterproofing spray products that you can use for this task.
5 best waterproofing spray products for suede
- Bickmore Gard-More Suede Waterproofing Spray
- Cadillac Select Premium WaterProofing Spray for Suede
- Hendlex Waterproof Stain Resistant Spray for Suede
- Gear Aid ReviveX Water Repellent Spray
- Woly Natura Water Repellent Spray for Designer Leather and Suede Shoes
You can get these waterproofing spray products from Amazon and other online retailers.
Should I Waterproof Suede Shoes?
You should waterproof your suede shoes and boots even if you’re not planning to wear them when it’s raining outside.
Keep in mind that suede leather is highly hydrophilic and easily damaged.
As a result, the leather behaves like a magnet for moisture and will attract it into it.
If you don’t apply a coat of waterproofing spray on your suede shoes, they will get moisture and stain damaged much faster. Moreover, the dyes used on suede will also fade faster in contact with water and you’ll end up with a pair of water-spot boots.
And there is also a third downside: your suede shoes may even shrink when exposed to moisture or water.
That’s why you should never use direct heat sources to dry them. Otherwise, your suede shoes and boots won’t hold their shape and size.
⇒ Learn more: Are Timberland Boots Really Waterproof?
Can You Wear Suede Shoes in the Rain?
It is not recommended to wear suede shoes in the rain. So, even if you applied a coat of waterproofing spray on your shoes, avoid wearing them in the pouring rain.
As explained above, suede shoes were not manufactured primarily to be used in damp environments. So, even if you make them water-repellent, you can’t wear them for hours on end in pouring rain or walk with them through the snow.
Waterproofing your suede shoes allows you to protect your footwear against rain damage but it doesn’t turn them into fully waterproof shoes.
If you need a reliable pair of footwear in the pouring rain, the best solution is to go for a pair of rubber boots.
Does Suede Get Ruined in the Rain?
While suede shoes won’t get completely ruined if you’re caught in a downpour, you will see some clear signs of water damage such as water stains and even wrinkles.
That’s why you should always apply a coat of waterproofing spray to your suede shoes and boots after you bought them.
If rain catches you by surprise, at least your suede footwear will be protected by a water-repellent coat thus reducing water damage.
What to Do if Your Suede Shoes Got Wet
Here’s what you can do if your suede shoes got wet:
1. Grab a towel and soak up any excess water. Don’t press the tower against the surface of your boots too hard. Gently tap the towel on your suede shoes.
2. Put your boots in a well-ventilated area and let them dry. Don’t use any heat source, such as a hair dryer as this will further damage the leather and even cause it to shrink.
3. Once your boots are dry, use a soft brush to remove any dirt and stains.
4. To remove watermarks, you can use a suede eraser.
5. You can now apply a new coat of waterproofing spray on your boots.
Does Water Stain Suede?
Water does stain suede leather. For this reason, you should dry your suede shoes as soon as possible if they got wet. You can use a special suede eraser to remove water stains afterward.
Is Microfiber Suede Waterproof?
Microfiber suede is a synthetic suede leather that’s more water-repellent than natural suede but it’s not fully waterproof. If you bought a pair of microfiber suede shoes, you still need to waterproof your boots.
Can I Wash Suede Shoes?
Washing suede shoes will damage the leather. As an alternative, you can use a soft brush for suede leather to brush off any dirt and stains. Then, you can use a suede erase to clean any water or liquid marks.
Are Suede Boots Good for Winter?
Another frequently asked question when it comes to suede footwear is whether you can walk with your suede boots through the snow.
While you can technically wear suede boots in the winter, it is not advisable.
Your suede boots will attract moisture from snow, and when the leather dries, you’ll have many water marks and stains on your boots.
Snow can ruin suede footwear.
The best approach is not to wear suede boots in the snow, melting snow, or slush.
⇒ Fun Fact
Suede was originally used for manufacturing women’s gloves. So, there was no need for this type of leather to have any water-repellent characteristics.
But since suede is now used on a large scale for manufacturing shoes and boots, many people wonder what methods they can use to make their suede boots or shoes waterproof.
To make suede shoes waterproof, you need to use a special waterproofing spray for suede leather. First, use a soft brush to clean your shoes. Then apply a coat of waterproofing spray. Let your suede shoes dry for 24 hours. You can then apply a second coat of spray.
There you have it. Hopefully, I managed to answer all your suede-related questions.
If you have any additional questions or suggestions, let me know in the comment section below.
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Last updated in July 2023 to add additional information.