Do you prefer long-lasting, firm shoes or comfortable, soft textured shoes? If you chose the first option then you should get yourself a pair of leather shoes. However, if you chose the second option, then suede shoes are the perfect choice for you. It actually depends on the person and their comfort zone.
Suede vs Leather Shoes
Who doesn’t want a pair of shoes that will make them look classy? However, the sense of style differs from person to person. So, it is hard to just declare a better shoe between suede and leather as it all comes down to your preference. But, let’s took a look at their features so you can decide which one suits you.
When you think of a good pair of shoes, you think of leather. Because leather shoes have been around for ages. And the fact that they can be worn both formally and informally really adds a huge plus point to them.
Production of Leather
Leather shoes are made from the grain side of the hide or skin of the animal. The grain side is the exterior of the skin where the fur grows. However, generally, the fur is not kept, rather it is extracted from the surface.
Then to give the shoes a smooth finish, the leather is polished and given a shinier look. Some leather shoes may exhibit scars and marks that the animal went through. Many people prefer this feature as it gives off a natural vibe.
Durability and Protection
As leather shoes are made from the outer skin of the animals, they are long-lasting. The outer skin of animals is their first and most important layer of protection from the environment and any other dangers. Therefore, being made from the outer skin, leather shoes acquire that durability and firmness.
Consequently, leather shoes last decades if they are taken care of properly. And also provide high protection to the toe. It is not that easy to cut through leather. Hence, it generally protects your toe from getting hurt from bumping into something hard.
Quality and Maintenance
Leather shoes possess a nice and smooth texture. They also give off a sophisticated appearance. This type of shoes is quite comfortable to wear and gives the feet a nice feeling. Nevertheless, they are comparatively firmer and harder than suede shoes.
Leather shoes require good care and maintenance if you want them to last the longest. Cleaning the shoe with only a wet washcloth may be sufficient for most of the cases. Moreover, you should condition them once or twice a year after cleaning, as it helps them keep their natural oils intact and retains the shiny finish.
Now, leather shoes cannot completely be called water-resistant. But they are more tolerable to water than suede shoes. However, treating or waxing them may make them water-resistant. All in all, it is a better decision to wear a leather shoe on a rainy day than to wear a suede shoe.
- Extremely durable.
- The firm outer layer of the animal provides good protection to the toe.
- More tolerable to water
- Doesn’t stain quite easily
- Very expensive
- Maintenance is relatively costly
Suede shoes are very different from leather shoes in terms of features and appearance. They have more of a fuzzy texture. Pairing suede shoes with informal clothing is a great option. Although they can be worn with formal clothing, most people would prefer leather shoes for it.
Production of Suede
Suede shoes are made from the flesh part of the hide of the animal. The flesh part is the interior side of the skin which is covered by the grain side. Unlike the grain side, the flesh of the inner side of the hide contains long fibers and gives off a matte texture and look.
To obtain the flesh, the leather or skin of the animal is separated and the grain is removed. Which gives us the soft, velvety inner side of the skin, the flesh.
Durability and Protection
Suede shoes can offer high durability if you treat them appropriately. But as they are made from the soft fleshy part of the skin, they are much less durable than leather shoes. Moreover, they show more susceptibility to damage and harm.
The underside of the skin itself needs an extra layer of protection. Hence, suede shoes are relatively less protective. As the surface is quite thin and the texture is not as tight, suede shoes cannot offer that extra protection for the feet.
Quality and Maintenance
Suede shoes are usually really soft, supple, and display a matte finish. They are very comfortable and cozy to wear. Furthermore, suede shoes are more flexible than leather shoes which allow the toe to move more easily.
Generally, suede shoes require more care than leather shoes. They can get stains pretty easily which normally can be dealt with with an eraser. A damp cloth with vinegar or alcohol is usually used for cleaning suede shoes. As the leather is rather fragile, these shoes require more care.
Suede shoes do not perform in presence of water. Water can easily penetrate through the surface and wet the shoes. There are waterproofing sprays for suede shoes that you can use. But it is better to avoid wearing them on a rainy day.
- Possess soft, supple, and velvety finish
- Very comfortable to wear
- Less costly
- Less durable
- More likely to get damaged
- Very poor water resistance
Differences Between Suede and Leather Shoes
|Feature||Suede Shoe||Leather Shoe|
|Production of leather||Flesh or inner side of the hide||Grain or outer layer of the hide|
|Durability||Less Durable||More Durable|
|Texture||Soft, supple, matte||Smooth, shiny, refined|
|Water Resistance||Poor resistance of water||Relatively more water-resistant|
|Stain||More susceptible to staining||Less susceptible to staining|
Nubuck Leather Shoes
Nubuck leather shoes are also manufactured from the outer layer of the hide of the animal. However, the grain is sanded to provide the shoes a napped finish. Because of the napped finish, Nubuck leather shoes might seem like suede shoes but they do not share any similarities in terms of features.
Nubuck leather shoes are quite durable and can last for many years. The leather is really strong and the fibers are tightly packed. But they do require good care and maintenance. Additionally, they are much more water-resistant than suede shoes.
Q: What if suede shoes get wet?
Ans: The texture of the shoe will harden as it dries down. This will not ruin the shoe. But the shoe may lose its original soft and supple finish.
Q: What are the disadvantages of leather?
Ans: Alteration of temperature affects the leather. It can feel cold in winter and hot in summer.
It is advised to purchase leather shoes rather than suede shoes if it is your first time buying a shoe made out of leather. Although maintenance of suede shoes is easier, leather shoes require less care. And they offer high durability as well. But if you feel like you need more comfort, then it is better to get a pair of suede shoes.