Suede Shoe vs Leather Shoe? What’s best for you?

Suede Shoe vs Leather Shoe Lifestyle Major e1626507183287

Most people can identify the difference between leather and suede just by glancing at them, but have you ever wondered whether there is a genuine difference between the characteristics of leather and suede? We’re going to assist you to clear the confusion and help to choose between suede shoes vs leather shoes.

The key difference between leather and suede is that leather is smooth, whereas suede is surfaced and velvety. As opposed to suede, Leather is more durable since it is manufactured from the animal’s exterior, which is normally the outer layer of the animal’s skin.

The velvety feel of suede is frequently used interchangeably in apparel with leather. Though suede and leather are sometimes promoted as separate materials, they are essentially the same thing since suede is a sort of leather finish.

Suede vs Leather 

Although what’s best for you depends on you and what you expect from your footwear.

Leather ShoeSuede Shoe
Silky and creamy finishExcellent napped finish
May keep heat inIt’s more comfortable
Water-repellentWater ruins
Comparatively easy to cleanHard to clean
ExpensiveGenerally less costly
Worn globallyNot widely worn

This is a headstart of the Leather shoe vs Suede Shoe comparison and later on, you will find us describing how these two are different and how they should be used, and most importantly which one is better for you.


Leather is a flexible material that has been used for a long time. It has persisted for many years due to the discovery of several leather artifacts from the past during archeological digs.

Leather shoe lifestyle major

Leather is distinguished from suede by several features. When compared to suede, leather is far more long-lasting.

So an animal’s skin has two parts which are the grain side and also the flesh side. The grain side of the animal is where the hair develops. This section is designed to protect the animals’ skin from severe weather conditions, bruises, and other such things.

Because leather is produced from the grain side, it gains all of the greatest attributes in terms of longevity, hardness, and strength.

You can see the scars, bites, and imperfections that the animal may have had once you’ve taken a leather look. As a result, leather tends to be rough or textured.

A few other individuals appreciate and search for such physical characteristics when purchasing leather. Many may not like the flaws in leather and prefer something more pleasing to the eye.

Knowledge: 47% of leather is produced for shoes in the global market according to LLG.


Leather care and maintenance should not be done regularly. Once or twice a year will be enough to keep your leather looking as nice as new.

Leather care and upkeep are divided into two categories. There are two types of leather cleaning which are cleaning and conditioning.

care for leather shoe

Cleaning leather will eliminate any dirt, debris, and other undesirable elements that the leather has collected throughout the course of its wearing or usage.

After cleaning the leather, it is time to condition it. A few of the essential oils in the leather get lost while washing and the leather’s conditioning may suffer as a result.

Does water ruin Leather?

Though leather’s texture is silky and water is not sustainable on its surfaces, if you make mistakes, it can put stains on your leather shoe. So, it’s usually better to keep leather shoes away from immediate water. Leather shoes need a big amount of care and maintenance.

Related: How to clean white leather shoes?


Suede is derived from the flesh side or bottom of the skin, most often lamb, though deer, goat, and calf are also widely used just like leather.  Cowhide pieces are also treated for suede.

Suede shoe lifestyle major

Because suede is created from the corium portion, which is layered down, the strong outer layer from the grain side is excluded, trying to make it less robust.

It is, nevertheless, extremely soft, flexible, and malleable, as well as thin with a matte surface. Best suited for purposes such as gloves, upholstery, shoes, purses, and a variety of other accessories.

The Suede used to line other leather goods.

As a result, you will see that it lacks the natural protective coating that the animal possessed.

This gives the suede a rough appearance with wide pores, rendering it susceptible to dust and liquid stains. All of this makes suede extremely vulnerable to harm if adequate care and cleaning are not provided.

Read this, If you want to know all about suede and suede types.

All about suede shoes

Suede is a high-quality kind of leather with a velvety, smooth surface that is used for fashion goods such as shoes, accessories, and coats. 

Except that suede is gentler, thinner, and weaker than full-grain, conventional leather.

What is suede made with?

Suede is typically produced from sheepskin. Although it may also be created from goatskin, pigskin, calfskin, and deerskin or from any type of animal skin.

The bottom of the animal skin is removed from the top to generate suede, which is a thin, flowing, gentler leather. Suede, as opposed to full-grain leather, is split leather.

Did you know that some leather producers simply spin the leather hide so that the bottom is on the outside, creating the look of suede while maintaining the strong and stiff qualities of leather?

This isn’t suede, but it’s close.

When it originates from thinner leathers, such as those of younger animals, the surface of suede is often velvety and silky. The surface of the fabric can be harder if the skin is from an older animal or one with thicker skins, such as cows or deer. 

Why is suede so expensive? 

  • For starters, suede is recognized for being smoother and more delicate than leather.
  • Suede has an extremely soft, porous surface that is easily contaminated by dirt and water. It is also a fabric that requires a lot of upkeep.
  • Suede is hypoallergenic because it does not gather dust mites, pet hairs, or other allergies, making it an excellent upholstery fabric when compared to other fabrics.


Suede is less resilient, therefore it needs a little more careful love and cares to keep it alive.

Sue leather is not the same as leather and therefore should not be cared for in the same manner. To minimize damage, avoid using leather cleaning products on suede.

Can you clean suede shoes?

Washing suede shoes is totally okay if you do so in a safe, suede-protecting manner. When cleaning your suede shoes, you must not use water. Alternatively, you may use a clean cloth, a suede cleaning brick, and vinegar to restore the luster of your suede shoes.

Suede goods may be cleaned in a variety of ways, all of which are simple.

Why water is terrible for suede?

This is since suede’s texture is generally delicate and similar to velvet in its new, fresh state. When wet, the texture merely stiffens as the moisture evaporates, but your shoes are not destroyed.

Remember that salt water can cause a white, rigid look when dried.

When leather or suede is damp, it frequently contracts. Thus it dries in this shrunken state, breaking the leather when you put your foot in it thereafter.

Water Ruins suede shoe lifestyle major

Suede shoes may become wet and still be worn depending on the situation, but to avoid ruining them, you must clean them right away, which may take plenty of your time.

Related: How to remove water from suede shoes?


Leather is thicker and more glossy in appearance than suede. Suede has a more subdued look than leather and is less polished. 

Keep it to one or two pieces of leather or suede to keep it going. If you have a bigger item of leather apparel, such as a coat, slacks, or perhaps a skirt, avoid wearing any other pieces of leather or suede in your ensemble, except for a small purse or shoes.

From a distance, too many of one texture might make your look seem bulky and monotonous.


With organic materials like these, upkeep is critical. Most smooth leathers are manufactured from the high-quality, uninjured hide, as a result, require less upkeep but are more expensive.

The majority of basic care consists of drying out your shoes when you remove them and cleaning off any wear or stain with a wet cloth. Usually smooth leather already has some amount of protection (surfactants) from the tannery, and excessive use of chemical cleaning solutions can wear away this preliminary safety, reducing the longevity of your shoes.

Dampness can discolor, but additional protection is simple to apply. Various shoe lotions and polishes may help keep your shoes looking as they did when you initially got them.

What’s Best For You?

When deciding whether, of the two materials, leather or suede is ideal for you, bear the benefits and drawbacks of each in mind.

Leather Shoe

Leather is long-lasting and possesses tensile strength.In comparison, leather is more costly.
The finish is silky and creamy.It needs a significant amount of upkeep.
The leather coating is water-repellent.Leather may keep heat in.
Surfaces may be decorated in a variety of ways.
It is possible to clean and condition it.

Suede Shoe

It’s softer and more malleable.The suede texture is prone to dirt and dampness.
Excellent napped finish.Suede shoe is less durable and short-lasting than leather.
Suede is less costly.Its application may be rather restricted.
The coating is permeable.The suede velvety effect fades rapidly.
Suede is not widely worn.

So, if you are on a tight budget and don’t mind cleaning, Suede shoes are the best choice for you. On the other hand, leather shoes are the best pick if you are looking for a premium look, feel, and design without any budget limitations but having color limitations.

Suede leather desert boots are less expensive and may complement or complete a wonderful casual outfit. It does need extra attention to avoid losing its soft, supple character. Smooth leather is excellent for a more formal appearance. They are more costly, but they last longer. With these things in mind, making the best decision for you should be a lot easier.

With all that in account, the decision between suede and leather is purely subjective. 

If you have a go-to leather shoe, try something different with suede. If you believe you want something built for high demanding tasks, look no further than leather.

Does Every Brand Makes Leather or Suede shoe?

Almost all shoe brands make their shoes with leather and suede or synthetic as a material but there are few vegan shoe brands. This is a simple chart to showcase all the brands that have leather or suede shoe variants and a popular one in case you might wanna have a look.

Can You Rock Both Types of Shoe? 

Leather shoes are elegant but not everyone can rock them, you need to understand the simple color theory for wearing leather. Classic leather shoes are something you should try in front of the mirror with both casual and formal fit to see how they fit on you. On the other hand, A pair of suede leather shoes should be owned by every individual. Why? They are sophisticated and never go out of trend.

can you rock suede shoe lifestyle major

Suede shoes are often thought to be more easygoing than polished leather shoes. A pair of dark-colored suede boots or loafers, on the other hand, would go nicely with a suit and improve any good-looking ensemble.

Suede leather is also a good option for sneakers since it makes them more pleasant. Plus, if you’re wearing a basic dress in grey or brown, a decent pair of suede shoes in vibrant colors may really brighten up the overall look.

Now we will be discussing how to rock both suede and leather shoes but also you can learn to rock any sneaker fashionably with any dress.

The Desert Boots

Suede and leather dessert boots to rock lifestyle major

It is also known as “Chukka boots,” which are ankle-high leather boots with lacing and two sets of eyelets which are the most classic suede shoes. Traditionally fashioned in light-colored suede, they are now very fashionable in dark brown and blue colors. They are ideal for those who want to dress casually in jeans and slacks.

Knowledge: They were originally designed by Nathan Clark, who was inspired by the British military boots in the early 20th century. They are called “desert” boots since the British officers got them from a bazaar in Cairo and loved them for their lightweight and good traction on sand.

Ankle Boots For Winter

suede vs leather ankle boots lifestyle major

They are both soft and flexible, and when properly dressed, they may be both casual and sophisticated. For a laid-back look, pair brown leather boots with a brown shearling shirt and jeans.

If you want to seem casual and trendy, choose a camel overcoat with blue dress pants and black or dark suede boots.

Tassel Loafers For Summer

Suede vs Leather Tassel Loafers lifestyle major

Match suede tassel loafers with no socks with your suit for an exquisite but modern appearance.

You may also match suede college loafers with chinos for a more relaxed appearance.

If you’re headed to the workplace, wear a pair of dark brown or black leather loafers with rubber soles for a casual yet polished look.

Oxford-Like Sneakers

oxford like sneaker leather vs suede shoe

Choose beautiful suede shoes, a Derby-like sneaker, or a Double monk sneaker over an Oxford-like sneaker with a running sole for a nice weekend outing. Because these sneakers were inspired by the legendary classic shoe ad, they add a smart-casual touch to any ensemble.

Tips for Rocking Suede and leather shoes

Suede shoes should be paired with a suede belt otherwise belts are leather anyways. A good belt is more than just a way to keep your pants up; it’s a fashion statement, much like shoes!

Keep in mind that both the shoes and the belt must be the same color and try to keep it in the same hue.

Design Italian Shoes are a great option for guys who wish to express themselves by designing and wearing traditional bespoke shoes.

All DIS shoes are handcrafted, with over 220 stages necessary to complete a single shoe. All shoes have a Blake construction, which means that the outer sole is sewn directly to the sole for maximum flexibility and comfort.

With DIS, anyone may create their own suede shoes and customize them with a belt.

1. Take Charge of Your Look

Generally, men are skeptical about using leather boots because not everyone feels they can rock them as well as other sturdy boots. But you should obviously take charge of your look and try leather boots and shoes to start the change.

How to rock both leather and suede shoe lifestyle major

As previously stated, suede for guys isn’t as popular as it should be. It’s frequently perceived as girly, as though it should only be worn by ladies. That, however, is just not the case.

As a man who is confident in his masculinity, you may utilize this to your advantage to stand out. But let’s dive into the specifics: what makes suede so appealing?

It’s all about touch because you would want to envision how it feels. Suede offers a subtle yet tempting layer of intricacy and texture to an ensemble. Wool and classic leather, for instance, are so ubiquitous that they lack a sense of mystique. Suede evokes that need, and whether you realize it or not, that makes you beautiful.

2. Understanding Your Options

Leather shoes are limited to color and form because they can’t rock over the top color like pink leather even if you like pink. Sizes and colors have many differences but not drastic changes, but leather has many handful design options.

Understand your shoe choices lifestyle majors

Suede shoes for men come in a variety of forms and sizes, allowing you to incorporate them however you see appropriate.

The options are nearly limitless. Chukka Boots are an excellent choice for a more casual style. They also have a touch of history, and you can pair them with Chelsea Boots for a sleeker, somewhat more polished appearance.

You might also choose loafers or oxfords.

3. Suiting Your Suede vs Leather shoe

Leather suits almost any person with any outfit. A poll survey was conducted by us and 100 fashioners participated, where 63% of the people already feel confident wearing formal leather shoes. This means formal leather shoe doesn’t need many decisions to wear as it can be a go-to selection for many people.

tips for rocking leather and suede shoe

The best part is that suede shoes allow you to be rather creative because it is so flexible. You should match it the same way you would any other leather.

You can, however, deviate from the guidelines.

If you buy anything like the olive Chelsea Boots, don’t feel obligated to get a matching belt. Rather, examine the heel and ask yourself if it is brown or is it dark? Use that as a guideline and match appropriately. This minor detail allows you to go crazy with suede hues!

4. Learning When To Wear

Though leather shoes are available in a variety of hues. Most often found in good old casual brown and black. Given that it is essentially formal content, this is acceptable easily hence informal outfits can also be rocked by leather.

Suede looks fantastic with almost any outfit, but be cautious when wearing it with a professional suit. It’s not always going to work out with the ultimate formal look.

Our Takeaway 

Each material has its own set of pros and downsides. However, proving the quality of suede over leather is only achievable via personal experience. As a result, it is important to compare the benefits of this or that kind directly by completing your collection with a pair of new smooth leather shoes or soft suede loafers.

It makes no difference whether you pick suede or leather shoe, if loved and cared for, they will last a long time and retain their original appearance.

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