There’s nothing more gut-wrenching than ruining a pair of new suede shoes (just ask Elvis). Whether you find yourself stepping into a crater-sized puddle or fall victim to an overly-crowded train, footwear fatalities happen. Good news is, there are plenty of ways to keep your treads box-fresh.
I find the most cost-effective (and sensible) method is prevention. In other words, plan your defense in advance by investing in one of the best suede protectors on the market—of which I have listed your top seven options below.
Keep reading for your fast-track ticket to fresh kicks. You’ll find a variety of products to help shield all kinds of suede shoes, from sneakers to dress boots.
If you’re in the market for some top-quality shoe protector, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve pored over countless sites, reviews, and even consulted close fashion-forward friends to round up the top suede protectors.
Catering for different preferences and budgets, I’m going to be taking you through the best suede protectors for all types of footwear. With eco-friendly options like Pedag’s and budget picks such as Solemates’, you’re guaranteed to find something to keep your kicks in top condition.
Our Top Picks
Why it’s great: An eco-friendly option, this water-based product keeps your suede shoes protected from moisture while still allowing the material to breathe. Easy to use thanks to the pump spray design, it’s not only suitable for shoes, boots, and sneakers, but clothes too. Thanks to the non-toxic solution, you don’t have to worry about using it inside your home.
How to use it: Give the bottle a good shake and spray the protector directly on to clean shoes. Gently rub thoroughly with a suede brush and repeat again after 10 minutes. Finish the process by wiping any excess away with a clean cloth.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: While there’s no harmful chemicals to worry about, it does let off a bit of a smell. Some sensitive noses may be more comfortable if you apply the protector in an open space. Or at least crack open a few windows.
Waterproofing: Yes | Item Volume: 5.7 oz | Type: Spray | Intended Use: Multipurpose
Why it’s great: A budget-friendly protector, Solemates’ spray repels water and prevents stains on your beloved footwear. Better yet, it does so without darkening suede or leaving any nasty residue. Water-based with an all-natural carnauba wax, it’s free from chemicals and harsh odors that can wreak havoc on your nose.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Be careful not to hold the bottle too close to your shoes while spraying. Drops of liquid can sometimes fall and may leave spot marks that will require brushing out.
Waterproofing: Yes | Item Volume: 7.3 oz | Type: Spray | Intended Use: Footwear
Why it’s great: From using shoe trees to crease protectors, there are plenty of ways to keep your kicks sweet. Gold Standard’s spray will give your favorite footwear a shield against water and stains—walk in the rain and you’ll watch water bead up and roll right off. When you’re not using it for suede shoes, you can apply it to pretty much any other material.
How to use it: Spray new shoes right away. If you’re treating an old pair, make sure they’re rid of any dirt or debris. Allow them to dry and then shake the can before applying a thin coat of repellent. For the best results, let the base coat dry for around 15 minutes and add another coat before leaving your shoes to dry overnight. Repeat this process at least once per month, especially during winter.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The can is pretty small, especially compared to some of the other suede protectors. You should have enough to treat a few pairs of shoes, but you may want to grab a couple of cans if you plan on protecting more.
Waterproofing: Yes | Item Volume: 5 oz | Type: Spray | Intended Use: Footwear
Why it’s great: There’s no doubt this is one of best protectors for suede out there. It’s been specially formulated to add a protective layer to your shoes, guarding against water and stains while minimizing scuffs and scrapes. The invisible layer will get to work while allowing the material to breathe and flex.
How to use it: Shake the can and apply the solution to clean shoes—spraying around 30 cm away from the surface. Allow to dry for at least half an hour and reapply periodically.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This one kicks up quite the stink, so you may want to step outside before you start spraying.
Waterproofing: Yes | Item Volume: 6.53 oz | Type: Spray | Intended Use: Multipurpose
Why it’s great: Not only does this suede protector keep your shoes safe from water damage, but it also protects them from dirt, grass, oil, and various other potential stains. It’s safe to use on all colors and can be used year-round for peace of mind.
How to use it: Once shoes are clean, hold the can approximately 20 cm from your footwear and spray evenly. Pay attention to seams and other areas where water could get inside. Allow your shoes to dry for around 40 minutes before wearing them outside.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The spray bottle can be a tad temperamental, so it helps if you’re the kind of guy who has patience.
Waterproofing: Yes | Item Volume: 5.5 oz | Type: Spray | Intended Use: Multipurpose
Why it’s great: There’s a good reason Crep Protect’s spray is an Amazon bestseller. A must-have for every sneakerhead, it’ll help keep your kicks box-fresh by repelling water, oil, and various other stains that have the potential to ruin your day (and shoes). The solution sprays and dries quickly, while holding up for at least two weeks.
How to use it: Ensure your sneakers are clean and test on an inconspicuous area first. Once you’re happy, keep the can at least 20 cm away from your sneakers and spray them generously in a well ventilated area or outside. Allow to dry for 10 minutes before applying a second coat and repeating the drying process once more.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Be careful with how much product you use. While the brand claims to be able to protect up to 12 sneakers with one can, the reality is often far less.
Waterproofing: Yes | Item Volume: 4.39 oz | Type: Spray | Intended Use: Sneakers
Why it’s great: Whether you’re walking in the rain or navigating sticky bar floors, Angelus’ waterproofing spray is non-negotiable. It provides an invisible layer that repels water and stains that can ruin the appearance of your favorite boots. Once you’re done covering your footwear, you can also use it on purses, bags, furniture, and more.
How to use it: Shake the bottle well and spray the solution onto clean shoes from around 20cm away. Cover all areas and then leave them to dry for 12 hours before wearing them.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The brand suggests waiting around 12 hours for the spray to be totally effective, which is quite a long time. You’ll have to plan in advance if you know when you want to wear them.
Buying Considerations for The Best Suede Protector
When buying a suede shoe protector, consider if it’s specifically designed for use on suede materials. Some shoe protectors are formulated for various types of leather but may not be suitable for suede, which requires a different formulation to maintain its unique texture and appearance.
Look for a shoe protector that offers effective water and stain resistance for suede shoes. Suede is more susceptible to water damage and staining compared to smooth leather, so a reliable protector should create a protective barrier to repel water and prevent stains from setting in.
Suede protectors come in different forms. Which one you choose will determine how easy it is to apply. The best protectors for suede should be easy to use with clear instructions provided. Whether it’s a spray-on or a brush-on product, ease of application contributes to a hassle-free shoe care routine.
Why You Should Trust Us
When I’m not writing about men’s fashion, you’ll probably find me shopping for sneakers. And once I’m done shopping, I often spend every waking hour trying to save them from splashes, stamps, and scuffs. What I’m trying to say is, I know a thing or two about looking after shoes.
This guide features the very best suede protectors that I’ve used over the years. Plus, there’s plenty of other popular options that I’ve found thanks to the glowing reviews of hundreds of other guys trying their hardest to keep their kicks fresh.
When it comes to looking after your footwear, the top tier suede protectors stand as reliable guardians of our most cherished possessions. These must-own products provide a crucial defense against life’s spills, stains, and wear, ensuring that our suede shoes always remain in tip-top shape.
By exploring the best suede protector sprays such as Pedag’s, you can now safeguard your suede treasures and allow them to pound the pavement come rain or shine.
Protecting suede requires a combination of preventive measures and suitable products to maintain its appearance and texture. You’ll need the best suede protector spray, while you can also use a special brush to help restore the nap. Avoid water exposure where possible and be cautious around liquids, oils, and substances that can cause discoloration.
To find a suede protector that won’t discolor, there are various things to consider. Firstly, look for a product that is specifically formulated for use on suede. Secondly, you should always test your suede protector on a small, inconspicuous area to assess how the product interacts with the material. And finally, check reviews and turn to formulas from reputable and trusted brands that specialize in leather and suede care.
Suede protectors can be effective in helping to guard against stains, water damage, and other forms of wear and tear on suede shoes. However, their effectiveness can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the product, the type of suede, and how well they are applied.
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