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Suede vs. Leather Shoes

Leather shoes can make or break any men’s outfit. It’s what ties your whole outfit together and gives you that elegant formal look. However, there are so many shoes out in the market in different types of fabric nowadays. Some are made out of synthetic leather, completely animal-free. Yet nothing can beat the classics. Leather and suede are still among the most commonly used materials for shoes. But what makes the two different?

Leather Shoes

You can probably already tell the difference just by the look and feel. However, there are a few differences that set the two shoe types apart. That begs the question, is one of them better than the other? Which one is the better option for you? Read on to find out.

What Is Suede Made Of?

Suede is another type of leather. It makes all suede leather, but not all leather is suede. For starters, regular leather is made from the grain side of animal skin. On the other hand, suede comes from the flesh side. Its grain side is the exterior, whereas its flesh side is the interior of the skin.

Quality & Texture

Since the two materials vary in terms of creation, there are notable differences in their qualities.

In terms of quality, there is no doubt that leather is tough and highly durable. Additionally, leather is a bit patterned. Its appearance reflects what an animal has gone through in its life, such as scars and blemishes. Despite that, however, leather is still smooth and buttery. It adds to that nice sheen leather typically has.

On the other hand, suede is highly soft, smooth, and flexible. The downside to this is that it is not as durable as leather. In terms of texture, suede is matty and has a napped finish. Moreover, it feels velvety when touched. It is also more pliable than traditional leather.

Style, Maintenance, & Price

Styling leather and suede shoes will depend on the look you are going for. Still, both are highly stylish.

Leather shoes are easy to match because of their versatility. Many leather shoe styles will complement any occasion, be it a wedding reception or a night out with friends. However, these shoes look best with formal or smart casual attire for that elegant look.

Men’s suede shoes are also versatile, but not as much as leather shoes. However, suede shoes lean more towards a casual and laid-back style. If you want to look more relaxed, suede shoes are an excellent choice. Additionally, suede shoes tend to be more affordable than leather shoes. Leather can become quite expensive, especially if it is of high quality.

While suede is more wallet-friendly, it is also more susceptible to damage. Its textured nature means that it has open pores making it vulnerable to water damage. However, even if leather shoes are more durable, it still requires a degree of maintenance and care. Leather shoes can be more complicated to maintain because you would need to apply creams and polishes regularly.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s leather or suede, both shoes are excellent choices. It is only a matter of your preference and style. Each has its pros and cons, and it is up to you to decide which you like more. Nevertheless, at least you now know what to consider when choosing between leather shoes and suede shoes.

Written by Mark Greene

Mark Greene is writer and life coach dedicated to helping men to perform at peak level. He shares dating advice, style tips and strategies for building wealth and success.