The traditional suede desert boot is a year-round staple in any man’s wardrobe – and for good reason. As the name suggests, they were originally designed to take on extreme conditions with their sturdy soles and robust construction. Most of us, though, are more likely to tread a soggy pavement than arid dunes in ours so it pays to give them a little TLC to prime them for the daily battering of wintry weather. Here’s how:
SEAL YOUR SUEDE
You know what they say: prevention is better than cure. Spend a few pounds on a good protective spray and enjoy many more days of service from your suede. Pick one up from any cobbler – just make sure it’ll match the colour of your shoes. Apply a light layer all over the suede upper and leave to absorb overnight. For best results, apply it straight out the box with a new pair so they’re weatherproof from the start. If you’ve got an existing pair at home, they’ll still benefit from a bit of love – just give them a good clean before you start spraying. And on that note…
NEVER CLEAN WITH WATER
As tempting as it might be to head straight for the tap when faced with a stain on your suede, water can actually damage the fibre of your suede and even affect the colour.
TREAT SPLASHES AND SPILLS
If your boots do get liquid on them (which, let’s face it, is a strong possibility in the British winter), mop up the excess with a clean cloth or towel then dust a little talcum powder on top to soak up any last bits of moisture. Leave it on overnight and then give them a once-over with a suede brush the next day, making sure to go in the natural direction of the nap.
If you’ve had your boots for a while and they’re starting to show a bit of wear and tear, you can prolong the time before you need to fork out for a professional clean with a couple of household items: the humble kettle and a toothbrush. Holding your shoes over steam will gently lift any stains out and restore the natural nap of your suede. Give them a scrub with an old (clean!) toothbrush and your suede should start to look like its old self again.