Suede Shoe-Guide: Top 3 Survival Shoe Tips
You know that time when you saved and saved, and well… saved, quite frankly for those gorgeous 105mm heeled Gianvito Rossi mesh panelled suede pumps, just to have it washed straight down the drain? Literally? They were supposed to make you quirky on the ‘casual dress’ day at the office, the trendsetter at Sunday lunch with your girlfriends, bright, unique and confident at your weekend trip to Paris with your other half…
Never again, you said. We've all been there. Saved and saved (you already know where this is going!)for that perfect pair of suede boots right before stepping out in a complete downpour, permanently destroying all future hope of the chic ensembles you'd already dreamed up; an outfit to pair with our boots for every imaginable occasion- apart from this very walk on the rainy, puddle-spotted sidewalk.
We’ve been there, forgot the umbrella, paid the price (for our shoes and mistake!) and we've come back with this story. Hold on, there's more. Best of all, we're here to help you gorgeous fashionistas avoid that scenario entirely- or if you've been there, forgot the umbrella… we'll make sure it won't happen again. Here’s our Top 3 Things that will Save Your Wallet and Your Heels!
A brand new pair of suede heels… Fellow BuyMyHeels ladies, we all have a large investment sitting on our shoe racks. This means proper shoe-care is the best insurance for our gorgeous purchases.
Suede-Protect and Clean Kit. (A complete kit will come with both a protectant spray, suede brush which is usually made from brass and a block/suede eraser).
- The protectant spray will repel both hazardous water and dirt. It’s important to periodically top-up the spray as it does wear off. Always spray from a good distance (30cm). Too close may stain the suede whilst simultaneously, too far will be ineffective.
- Refresh the nap and colour of the suede by using the brush, gently brushing back and forth with short strokes. This will also remove light dirt and the dreaded ‘scuff marks’. Continue by combing the nap back in place using strokes in the same direction.
Heavy Stains. (Remember: Only use products specifically designed for your shoe’s material. Suede and smooth leather is most definitely NOT the same thing.)
- Cleaning Block/Suede Eraser crumbles when being worked across your footwear’s surface, removing tough and deeper embedded dirt.
If the damage is done… Some stains are just harder to remove. Take your footwear to a professional shoe care service. This is most definitely more expensive but more effective on very bad stains. The key to great maintenance is just that; maintenance.
- - A shoe tree maintains the shape. Otherwise, stuff your suede footwear with white paper (newsprint can seep onto the material) before embarking onto a new cleaning adventure to ensure shape is maintained. - Sunshine will fade the colour. Always store your footwear in a cool dry place.
- -If possible, stains should be treated immediately with solvent-based suede suede cleaner.
- -Being based in typically rainy locations (London, I’m looking at you!), a ‘more often’ approach to spraying your suede footwear (with protectant spray, not water..) should be adapted.
- -Lastly, if you’re heels are properly cleaned and unfortunately look better than brand new-yes , this is possible!- with the nap ‘too brushed and excessively shiny’, lightly fluff and fill out the texture of the suede by very gently moving the brush back and forth. Make sure the area is entirely clean so you don’t end up brushing the dirt around.
Ladies, remember that with great preparation comes even greater maintenance. So wear your suede heels with pride.
By Jamie Sofia Johansson.