Man visiting shoe shop with teenage son in search of comfortable spring and autumn shoes .

Suede shoes are widely considered a wardrobe staple for men and women. This type of shoe became popular because of its timeless appeal and flexibility in style. Suede is characterized by its soft, velvety texture from the base material derived from animal hides such as sheepskin, pigskin, and cowhide. Because of its unique feel and appearance, manufacturers have used suede to produce top-quality clothing, accessories, and shoes.

Given their desirable qualities, some people hesitate to incorporate suede shoes into their wardrobe. For instance, men may find it challenging to go out of their comfort zone and wear a material that’s not commonly worn by many. On the other hand, women may be hesitant to wear suede because of its soft texture, which can quickly trap dirt and make it susceptible to moisture damage. However, there are ways in which you can enjoy a beautiful pair of suede shoes while staying stylish and comfortable.

If you’d like to know how you can look good wearing suede shoes, consider the following suggestions:

Choose The Right Cut And Style

As with buying other shoe types, selecting the proper cut and style is also essential to ensure you’ll look good wearing a pair of suede. This type of shoe comes in various designs, and it’s up to you to pick the one that best complements your attire. Suede shoe retailers, such as Clarks Shoes, usually offer a variety of designs to choose from. These designs are also closely similar to standard cuts and styles, with only the material used making the difference.

For instance, men wearing shorts or ankle-length jeans would look great wearing low-cut loafers or sneakers. Meanwhile, boots and oxfords made of suede would best suit business or semi-formal attire. Some suede shoes also look great with suits, though selecting ones that match the occasion’s formality is best. For example, wearing suede boots for work functions may be acceptable, though they may attract too much attention when worn at weddings or funerals.

Aside from these examples, here are other quick tips you can consider when wearing suede shoes on different occasions:

  • Wear low-cut or no-show socks when wearing shoes that show your ankles. Doing so will help absorb excess moisture from sweat on the interior of the boots, protecting them from odor and discoloration.
  • If you’re wearing your suede shoes in the summer, feel free to experiment with bold, bright colors, as the material’s texture looks great in these hues.
  • Those who want a laid-back look for the summer or spring can try loafers and moccasins in bright colors and bold prints. This look is ideal for enjoying the outdoors in warm weather, such as walking around the park or going to the mall.
  • Opt for darker shoe colors for a warmer, cozier feel during the rainy or winter season.

Since suede is a material that could easily stand out, it’s best to decide on your wardrobe while considering your footwear. Doing so will help you achieve balance and tone down some elements of your attire when required.

Consider The Weather And Climate

Many fashion experts believe that suede shoes are flexible enough to be worn year-round. In the summer, for instance, pumps and flats would go well with light, flowy dresses and skirts. On the other hand, ankle boots and brogues would look great in the cold months of spring and autumn. However, many people think twice about wearing them in the wet or winter seasons since suede is known to change its color and appearance when exposed to moisture.

To avoid this, you’ll need to select suede shoes made with waterproof materials. Some manufacturers specify if the material used in the footwear has been treated to repel moisture, and you can make your selection based on these guidelines. With this in mind, it’s best to wear certified waterproof suede shoes if you’re going outdoors in the rain or snow to avoid exposing them to dirt or damaging your footwear with excess moisture. You can also use a waterproof spray to protect your shoes right after purchasing them and brush the shoe surface with a suede brush to clear wet stains and dirt.

Accessorize Accordingly

When worn correctly, suede shoes have a unique visual appeal that instantly makes an outfit stand out. For instance, experts advise matching them with muted accessories in the same hues and tones. Doing so will help keep the visual balance in your wardrobe and avoid overpowering other design elements.

While many consider pairing suede shoes with other accessories made with suede materials, selecting accessories in colors that complement the footwear can achieve the same look. Moreover, you can also choose metal elements such as belt buckles, bag chains, or buttons that would match those in your suede shoes for a harmonized look.

Follow Care Instructions

Suede has a different composition and texture from leather and other materials used to make shoes. This material is soft, pliable, and absorbent, making it more delicate than others. For this reason, it’s best to follow manufacturer instructions when cleaning and protecting your suede footwear. Doing so will help you prolong its lifespan and maintain its visual quality.

Here are some tips on how you can care for and protect your suede shoes:

  • When possible, avoid exposing suede shoes to moisture or water as it can cause irreparable damage to the footwear.
  • Keep your suede shoes clean by lightly scrubbing them with a suede brush or an old toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also need a suede eraser to remove stains and sprays for waterproofing.
  • If your shoe has a small water stain, you can apply a small amount of talcum powder to help absorb excess moisture and let it dry quickly.
  • For minor stains caused by dirt and other substances, you can spot clean using a cloth lightly moistened with white vinegar.

If your suede shoes are soft to the touch, you can clean them using a small brush with soft plastic bristles to prevent damaging the surface. Meanwhile, you can also spot clean your suede footwear using a soft, clean rag. For hard-to-remove stains, on the other hand, you may need to send your shoes to a cobbler or a cleaning expert for professional cleaning.


Suede shoes can be valuable additions to your wardrobe provided that you select the right style, cut, and design that best matches your outfits. Moreover, you’ll also need to consider the weather and occasion when choosing a pair of suede footwear. Doing so will ensure that you’ll feel comfortable and look appropriate based on the formality expected in the event. Finally, you’ll also need to follow care instructions to protect your suede shoes from stains or damage.