Easy Nubuck / Velvet Shoes Care Guide

nubuck / velvet shoes

The maintenance of Nubuck / Velvet shoes determines their longevity

What are Nubuck / Velvet shoes? What are suede shoes? Some definitions:

  • velvet is a leather used on the flesh side
  • nubuck is a leather whose surface has been finely sanded.
  • The deer no longer exists
  • suede is an Anglo-Saxon term grouping, without distinction, these different leathers.

Contrary to what you may think, suede and nubuck leathers are not fragile and are very easy to maintain. Below is an easy Nubuck / Velvet Shoes Care guide to help you look after your leather shoes.

Nubuck / Velvet shoes
Aureus Men’s Supra Nubuck Leather Low Top Oxford Shoe

The best Nubuck / Velvet shoes care requirements

For the maintenance of your nubuck / velvet / suede / suede shoes, here is the material you will need: 

  1. raw wood shoe trees
  2. scraper
  3. brass brush or crepe brush
  4. suede cleaner
  5. suede renovator

Maintenance frequency

It depends on how often you wear your pair of shoes.

If we consider that:

  • you respect the basic rule of not wearing your shoes for two consecutive days to let the leather breathe (see our general tips below )
  • that you turn with at least 3 pairs of shoes
  • this maintenance can be carried out once every 2 to 3 months.

General tips that will help with the maintenance of nubuck / velvet shoes and leather shoes in general

Here are some tips that will help you keep your shoes in good condition for as long as possible:

  • It is best to wear the new shoes for a few hours first and several times.
  • Allow time for your feet to get used to and your shoes to take their shape.
  • After each wear, take a quick scraper before putting your shoes away to remove dirt and thus prevent it from entering the leather.
  • Leather being a “living material”, your nubuck / velvet shoes must be worn alternately (24 hours minimum rest) in order to let the leather rest.
  • Owning several pairs of shoes (a minimum of 3 is a good start) is therefore profitable in the long run.
  • Keep your shoes in their pouch and / or box to avoid external aggressions (lights, dust, etc.) with shoe trees in order to maintain the shape of the footwear and thus prevent the leather from sagging.
  • In case of rain, put on raw wood shoe trees and let them dry, away from any source of heat, laying them on the edge.
  • The heat of a radiator could crack the leather and by laying them on the side you allow the leather soles to dry properly.
  • Always use a shoehorn so as not to deform or even tear the heel counter.
  • Avoid walking in the rain with new leather soles.
  • A loose sole will become waterlogged and harden as it dries, increasing the risk of cracks appearing.
  • Never buy products that contain silicone. It waterproofs the leather which will eventually crack it.

How to properly care for Nubuck / Velvet shoes

1. Preparation

To prepare for the maintenance of your leather or nubuck / velvet shoes you must:

  • remove the laces
  • put shoe trees inside your pair of shoes

2. Dust off

This is an essential step if your Nubuck / Velvet shoes are to last long

Using the scraper, in an energetic gesture rub your shoes to remove all dust and dirt so as not to trap them during the following steps.

3. Remove the shiny sheen from the surface

With time and wear, nubuck / velvet shoes or suede leather tends to compact (the bristles tighten) and smooth out.

If you do nothing, the products that you will then use to nourish and protect the leather will remain on the surface and will be useless.

Use:

  • the brass brush  in the case of a suede leather
  • the  crepe brush in the case of nubuck leather (more delicate)

in order to remove the shiny sheen from  the nubuck / velvet shoes or until they regain a peach skin appearance.

4. Cleaning

Spread out the suede cleaner, consistently, on your shoes in nubuck / velvet shoes.

Leave on for a few minutes and brush your shoes with the scraper.

If the sole is leather, consider waxing the runner and the heel as explained in the leather sole maintenance section of this guide.

Let your pair of shoes dry before moving on to the next step.

5. Waterproof

Spray the shoe waterproofer on the nubuck / velvet shoes  standing about 30cm away from your pair of shoes evenly.

Let dry for a good quarter of an hour then scrub your shoes with the brass brush or the crepe brush (for nubuck)

Remember to wait until your shoes are completely dry before putting on the laces.

6. Destain the nubuck / velvet shoes

If there are any stains left even after cleaning your nubuck / velor shoes with the suede cleaner you can use the suede eraser followed by the crepe brush to get rid of them.

You can also refer to the detailed article on the subject: how to remove stains from leather from shoes.

Regarding fat stains:

  • They can be effectively treated if you deal with them quickly.

Summary

To properly care for your Nubuck / velvet shoes and suede shoes, we recommend you do the following:

  • Put hires in your shoes
  • Dust it off with a scraper
  • Deluster it with a crepe or brass brush
  • Feed and re-color it with a renovator spray
  • Waterproof it

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