Please Mistreat Your Suede Shoes

July 9, 2015

Please Mistreat Your Suede Shoes

I’m bad luck for wedding weather. Maybe one of the dozen or so weddings I’ve been to in the last few years had stock-wedding-photography-perfect weather. All the others: rain and thunder. I brought the rain to another wedding recently, one that ended up, after hours of hard rain, an ankle-deep mud party with barefoot guests and a bluegrass band strumming “Sugaree.” So: gorgeous.

I never took my shoes off, and I don’t regret it. A stiff brush, some suede cleaner, and 20 minutes of work and my Alfred Sargent chukkas were good as new. Better than new, in fact–not unblemished but instead imbued with the character of a memorable day. We’ve posted before about cleaning your suede shoes; in this case, I took these steps:

  •  let the mud dry on the shoes for about 48 hours
  •  used a stiff brush to break up and a dislodge the mud
  •  brushed on the Saphir shampoo solution, lathered, and scrubbed
  •  rinsed, using a bristle dauber and a tub of water
  •  patted them with paper towels to remove excess water
  •  put newspaper and shoe trees inside and let them dry overnight
  •  brushed again with a gentler suede brush

I did not waterproof these in advance, although that probably would’ve helped. I’ve had the chukkas since 2011, wear them all the damn time, and look forward to many more beautiful years together.