The rain has a way of awakening our senses. Because it renews and revitalizes everything, it is one of the few things in life that can be called perfect. But, can you wear suede shoes in the rain?
Suede is a type of leather that is constructed from the real skin of an animal, making it exceptionally durable. While suede leather naturally absorbs water, it can be protected from moderate rain by using a waterproofing treatment. Suede can be worn in the rain, but doing so will cause significant damage, such as flattening out the suede’s velvety nap.
If you were looking for a simple answer, you’ve found it. If you own any suede leather goods, you should know the risks of wearing them in the rain, how to prepare them for wet weather, and what to do if you get caught in the rain while wearing them.
Can You Wear Suede Shoes In The Rain?
The quick answer is no. Suede shoes should never be worn in the rain because they will absorb water and lose their shape. In addition, the wet suede will cause your feet to slip and slide inside your shoes, which could lead to an accident.
If you absolutely must wear your suede shoes in the rain, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage. First, apply a waterproofing treatment to your shoes before heading out. This will help repel water and prevent the suede from being absorbed.
Second, stuff your shoes with newspaper before putting them on. This will help them retain their shape as they get wet. Finally, walk slowly and carefully to avoid slipping.
What Is Suede?
Suede is a type of leather that is made from the innermost layer of an animal’s skin, known as the splits. This layer is exceptionally strong and durable, making it ideal for clothing and footwear.
While suede leather is extremely tough, it is also very absorbent. This means that it can soak up water like a sponge, which can cause the material to lose its shape and become misshapen.
Reasons Why Suede Is Not a Good Choice For Wet Weather
The Suede Becomes Less Dark When Worn In The Rain
The first and most obvious problem with wearing suede in the rain is that it can significantly lighten in color. This means your dark gloves, suede shoes, or jacket may fade after being exposed to the rain.
As it turns out, there are a few potential triggers for this. The acid in rainwater disrupts the suede’s natural pH balance, hastening the material’s wear.
This sets in motion a process by which the suede’s color gradually fades as tiny flecks of color wear off over time.
The salt content of rainwater is another factor in how quickly your suede loses its hue. Rainwater contains salt particles if you live near the coast. As much as getting wet, the salt in the rainwater is to blame for the suede’s discoloration.
While the suede leather is still wet, it is difficult to see the color shift. But, surprise, the suede will lighten up when it dries!
While in most cases this is what will occur, it is worth noting that this is not always the case. Over time, this could occur if the suede leather was worn in the rain frequently or if salt and acid deposits were allowed to build up and react with the leather.
Suede Can Also Be Elongated By Being Worn In Wet Conditions
Rain not only fades the color of suede but also stretches it out over time. Since suede leather is so permeable, it will absorb water if it ever gets wet, especially if it has not been treated to repel moisture.
Suede leather stretches when wet. When wet, natural leather and suede stretch and take on a new shape.
Whether you see this as an advantage or a disadvantage depends on your point of view, but the fact remains that suede leather’s elasticity makes it more prone to damage from repeated use.
If the suede leather on your shoes or jacket stretches when wet, then a rainstorm could be just what you need to break them in.
Overall, it’s up to the individual, but wet weather isn’t ideal for suede because it stretches and gets damaged.
Wearing Suede In The Rain Will Result In Water Stains
Another potential issue with wet suede leather clothing is the development of watermarks once the suede has dried. When suede gets wet, watermarks are most likely to appear on its surface or nap.
This occurs frequently because suede leather, unlike other smooth natural leathers, dry peculiarly after being wet. Since suede fibers are so open, the material can’t withstand being wet for long.
This, in addition to the fact that suede leather tends to take a long time to dry after getting wet, is what usually leads to the appearance of watermarks on its surface.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to remove watermarks from the surface of suede, which is especially frustrating if you care about maintaining the shoe’s, hat’s, or jacket’s brand-new appearance. You should try to stay out of the rain if at all possible.
If you must get suede items wet, it is best to wipe them down with a damp cloth before and after getting wet so that the items don’t absorb too much water.
Make sure to dry your suede item as soon as you’re done wiping it down to reduce the risk of water spots.
When venturing outside in the rain while wearing suede, it’s a good idea to use some sort of protection, such as socks or a shawl, to prevent the fabric from getting stained or torn from coming into contact with the wet ground.
If you put in the effort, your suede shoes or jacket should last for years.
The Nap Of Suede Can Be Altered By Rain
Suede leather can lose its beautiful, unique, and calming texture if worn in the rain, in addition to its color and shape.
The nap can become detached from the surface of the leather and the suede can be permanently damaged if worn in the rain.
Suede can be a fashion statement, but it should only be worn in suitable conditions, such as during dry, warm weather, to avoid damaging the leather’s precious nap and texture.
The hairy texture of suede leather is achieved by rubbing the leather with rough, coarse sandpaper. This nap can be distorted by the rain, becoming sticky or matted when wet and then drying in an unattractive way that cannot be easily cleaned with soap and water.
If dust has settled on the surface of an item, rainwater can easily transport those particles deeper into the fiber.
Don’t let anything sink into the nap of the suede, as doing so could cause irreparable harm.
Suede, as previously mentioned, is extremely permeable and is made up of fibers that have clotted together to form a skin-like material similar to leather.
Despite being what makes suede so special, its nap is easily damaged by liquids like rain and other moisture-laden substances.
It’s worth noting that the watermarks that can appear on suede leather eventually fade away as the material gets worn in.
Suede Leather Is Prone To Mold Growth If Worn In The Rain
The possibility of mold growth on suede leather is a common worry among those who wear their items in wet conditions. Due to its high porousness, suede is a prime substrate for mold growth.
Mold can spread and flourish because its spores feed on dead organic matter, such as the cellulose in suede leather. Worse yet, you won’t know your leather has a mold problem until it begins to change color.
The appearance of mold is unattractive, and it often produces a pungent musty odor as well. Plus, due to the porous nature of suede, scrubbing the mold away may result in the nap being distorted or the leather being discolored.
While this may make it seem like the mold is hopeless, it is not. If you know what you’re doing, you can get the mold out of your suede shoes, boots, and coats.
While mold on suede can sometimes be removed with the help of a specialized cleaner and some time, success is far from guaranteed. If the mold spores are still present in sufficient numbers on or in your shoes, the problem will just return.
That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly clean your suede; otherwise, the spores will just return. If you frequently wear suedes, you should clean them every time they get wet to prevent this kind of issue from occurring.
Suede shoes and clothing can be stylish, but they’re not the best choice for wet weather. If you must wear them in the rain, take steps to protect the material from getting ruined, such as using a shawl or socks to cover exposed areas. Be sure to clean your suede items thoroughly after they get wet to prevent mold growth.