Suede is a marvellous material for making footwear and I particularly like suede boots. Suede is the reverse side of the hide and as such is a great deal more supple and flexible than the outside of the hide. As a result when made into footwear it provides a superbly comfortable upper leather. In addition suede is highly unlikely to ever split at the weak point where the shoe creases with the bend of the foot. Regular leathers inevitably do eventually split at this point once the lining has gone and/or the fibres in the upper leather weaken.
Of course there are many different grades and qualities of suede but essentially the tighter the grain the better and more durable the suede will be. But there are some things to bear in mind to enhance the longevity of suede boots. Due to its suppleness suede does not require feeding with polish to maintain the fibres. However as with all footwear it’s definitely advisable not to wear the same pair of boots every day. We all expel a considerable amount of sweat through our feet during the course of the day and it’s important to allow this to evaporate between outings. Otherwise the linings will begin to degrade and once the linings have deteriorated the uppers will begin to wear.
There are some excellent suede protectors on the market which can help waterproof your suede boots. I particularly like Carbon Pro which continues to allow your feet to breathe through the uppers whilst deterring moisture ingress. It’s a good idea to give your suede boots a protective spray every few months.
Should your suede boots get very wet in a downpour then just let them dry out naturally at normal room temperature. If they are totally waterlogged then insert some screwed up newspaper to absorb some of the excess moisture. So long as this is observed a good soaking will not negatively affect your boots.
Finally avoid using a wire suede brush but instead use a rubber suede brush to maintain your suede boots in tip top condition. Wire brushes are too fierce.