A Gentleman’s Guide to Men’s Suede Shoes

Suede is very much in fashion this season. Learn everything you need to know about finding the perfect men’s suede shoes and how to style them.

At Percy Stride, our sole purpose isn’t just to provide you with quality men’s Oxford shoes, we like to sell the lifestyle as well.

To dress like a gentleman, you need an array of clothing and footwear options. That’s where suede shoes come in.

The market is flooded with different styles, colours and brands, making finding the ideal pair extremely hard. So, to make your job a little less daunting, we’ve put together this definitive guide to men’s suede shoes.

What are men’s suede shoes?

As we covered in our previous blog, the type of leather material comes down to its quality grade.

At the top, you have full-grain leather, followed by top grain, corrected grain and bonded leather. Men’s suede shoes are a little different, as they’re made with the thin inner splits of the animal skin.

This part not only makes the shoes more flexible and lighter to wear, but they’re cheaper to manufacture as well. It’s for this reason so many retailers batch produces them and sell them between £20-50.

Different types of men’s suede shoes and how to style them

What to wear with men's suede shoes

Wondering what type of suede shoes to purchase? Like Oxfords, brogues and all the other kinds of leather shoes, suede footwear comes in all shapes, colours and styles.

Among the most popular types are chukka, Chelsea and desert boots. Perfect for date nights, casual city wear and a night out on the town, all of these types strike the perfect balance between smart and casual.

Classic men’s suede desert and chukka boots look great with skinny light blue or muted grey jeans with a plain tee. While black suede shoes in Chelsea style accompanied with a pair of smart black skinny jeans will enable you to opt for a louder shirt design.

During the summer months, suede loafers are an absolute must-own for any gentleman. Coming in horsebit, the moccasin and the tassel style, all of them can elevate a wedding suit or a pair of chino shorts.

If you do choose to wear them with trousers, they mustn’t be overhanging. The idea is to show a bit of ankle and showcase these beautiful suede shoes. Just be sure to stock up on invisible socks to stop them from smelling.

For more formal occasions all-year-round, you can find men’s suede shoes in Oxford and derby styles. However, these aren’t always the most practical and won’t look as smart as higher graded fabric leather alternatives.

You may come across suede trainers too. Nike and Asics seem to be championing this trend, with brown, blue and white versions making their way into the market. These are better suited for dry days with a pair of relaxed jeans, a plain tee and a casual jacket – such as a bomber or denim.   

How to protect your men’s suede shoes

Men's suede shoes cleaning guide

Whether you’re looking after your pair of Percy Stride leather Oxford shoes or regular chukka suede boots, we believe in promoting longevity in the footwear industry.

Just because suede shoes aren’t as durable as full-grain or top-grain leathers and are more susceptible to damage in wet conditions, there are certain steps you can take to keep them in tip-top condition.

  • Before setting foot outside, apply Suede & Nubuck Protector. This makes it easier to wipe away any dirt and even repels stains.
  • Always wait until your men’s suede shoes are dry before using a brush or cloth on them, as when suede is wet, the bristles are fragile and the rubbing motion will cause the fabric to tear. It can also push the stain deeper into it.
  • When you get home, fill your shoes with newspaper or put them on a shoe tree to help retain their shape.
  • When cleaning, brush the surface of the suede gently to remove big clumps of dirt – following the grain of the fabric. The key is to do it lightly to avoid damaging the thinner suede leather.
  • It’s worth using a quality suede cleaner and brush – which you can read more about in our guide to cleaning leather shoes.

Enjoyed reading this? Then check out our blog to see more guides to gentleman’s fashion.