Yes, suede shoes can get wet and it’s not all that bad if you understand what happens when you get suede shoes wet and what you can do to prevent this from happening. Furthermore, if it has been raining for a while, or if you are going into a standing water, it may be best not to wear suede until the rain has stopped for at least 10 minutes.
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What Happens if Suede Shoes Get Wet?
Suede shoes can get wet and keep you dry, but if they get too wet, the water will penetrate slowly into your shoes. You should not try to use them unless you’ve dried them out quickly because the dampness inside could cause mold to grow inside your suede boots or shoes.
Moreover, shoes made of suede will change color if they get wet. If you’ve ever owned a pair of suede shoes, you’ve probably noticed the color change in extreme weather conditions. The same goes for shoes that are exposed to water or high humidity for lengthy periods.
Suede is an inner layer of skin way underneath the epidermis, with the top skin removed. The surface of the suede is hydrophilic and will attract moisture into the leather. For this reason, water penetrates the shoe and leaves it permanently stained in shades that depend on how long it was soaked in water, where on the shoe (top vs bottom).
The color change is not always visible at first sight. The reddish-brown coloring that was a deep red when it dried in the sun may fade to a lighter hue. The suede’s dull appearance may be followed by cracks along the shoe’s surface, and the leather creases will also become darker in hue over time.
Water can also change the texture of suede shoes, making them stiffer and harder to walk in. If the suede gets wet too frequently, it may lose velvety texture and become rough when moisture dries out. However, this doesn’t ruin your suede shoes if you properly care for them and follow certain procedures to maintain your suede shoes.
Do Suede Shoes Become Ruined in the Rain?
Suede shoes don’t get ruined in the rain. But they can damage a bit as the suede is not water-resistant like leather. If you do get caught in the rain and your suede shoes are drenched in water, you need to get them off your feet as soon as possible and hang them up in a clean place where they can dry out. If you’re going to wear your suede shoes in the rain then you should buy a rain and stain protector. This will help to protect them from rain and stains and will also help them to dry a little quicker when you get home.
How to Fix Suede Shoes When They Get Wet?
To fix suede shoes that have been damaged by water, you need the following things.
- Newspaper/Cedar Shoe Tree
- Brass bristled suede brush
- Suede repair/wash spray
You can follow these steps to fix water stains on suede shoes after they get wet in rain.
- First, shove your suede boots or shoes with a newspaper or Cedar shoe tree. You can try both. In my view, newspaper offers more surface area. So, it works well, provided that paper quality is good. The goal of this step is to sock as much water as possible. Do not place the suede direct under the sunlight or expose them to the heater.
- If there is mud all over the upper, wait for it to dry out. After that, take a damp towel and wipe the suede shoes to remove the dirt.
- After suede shoes get dry, brush the suede with a soft bristled brush back and forth gently to smoothen the grains and raise the nap of the suede. It will also help to remove the stains by evenly spreading the small hairs of suede leather. Actually, it is not a stain you observe after wet suede dries out. It is its reflectivity that changes after water gets absorbed in it. If you have got a hand dryer, continue to move the brush over the suede under the dryer. However, sue the dryer once you have followed step 1.
- Now, to remove stains completely and make your suede shoes new, you can treat them using a suede spray or suede eraser. If you are using a suede spray, spray it over the upper and spread it gently using the brush in a circular motion.
- Lastly, to protect your suede shoes from water when you wear them again, you can apply water and stain repellent so that it is easier to deal with the suede shoes if they next time get caught up in the rain.
FAQs Related to Suede Shoes
Are suede shoes waterproof and washable?
The suede shoes are treated to enhance durability, texture, and softness. They aren’t really comfortable with water unless they are layered with a water-resistant spray. Furthermore, suede shoes are not washable like canvas shoes. Suede is a delicate material as it is thinner and from the underside of animal skin. To clean suede shoes, you need a suede cleaner or eraser as I mentioned above. You can also check other techniques of washing suede shoes from here.
What will happen if I wash suede shoes?
Washing suede can damage its soft grains. Once you start washing your shoes, you risk damaging the suede finish. Moreover, the suede will lose its color and become stiff like cardboard. Make sure to brush your suede shoes after wearing them. You can use a suede brush or soft toothbrush to brush off dirt or stains.