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How to Clean Men's Suede Boots and Shoes


Bostonian 'Eastbend'
Bostonian 'Eastbend' Image: Zappos.com

While men's suede shoes and boots, like Clarks Desert Boots, look cool and are insanely hip right now, they can be a pain to clean. So much so, I know guys who've been scared away from buying them altogether. Have no fear, with a little care and attention your suede shoes can look good for years to come. 

The first thing you should do with your suede shoes is condition them properly right after purchase to prevent them from an early death. Remember to only use products that specifically list “suede” on the label. Also, try out the product on a small, inconspicuous part of the shoe. I always go for the back of the shoe, on the inside. 

When your shoes are actually scuffed up and dirty from a night out with the guys, follow these steps: 

1) Gently brush the light dirt and dust off the shoes. Don’t act like a bull and grind dirt back into the shoe, get shoe brush and gently knock the excess off.  If your shoes are wet, follow these steps to make sure you dry them properly and don’t damage them. 

2) For the tough stuff, make sure you have a brush and a “suede eraser.” It looks like a small eraser that you had in grade school, although it’s usually white, But just like any eraser, as you rub across the dirt stain it will fall apart. It works like a charm and is a must have with those killer suede boots you just bought. You can usually find a small suede brush and eraser in a seude cleaning kit together for next to nothing. 

3) Here's a cool tip: If you're on the road or don't have a brush or an eraser, just take your suede boots or shoes off and rub one against the other to get the scuff out. Works like a charm and costs you nothing. Not to mention a nice trick to hand down to Junior. 

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