Your Guide To Men’s Suede Shoes

Suede chelsea boots beige chinos
PHOTO CREDIT: GQ

Suede is a massive trend this season, we have seen it in jackets, accessories and even trousers! Suede shoes however are a staple which every man should own. Here is our quick guide to styling them. 

Read more Men’s Style Guide features.

So you are finally ready to take the plunge and purchase a pair of suede shoes? Well the market is flooded with suede shoes, whether chukka, chelsea or trainers you can literally get any style of footwear in suede. So we will take you through every style, how to wear it and finally how to look after it.

Suede can be a little intimidating, due partly to its need to be maintained properly; but with the right shirt and trousers combination, suede shoes can be worn in all manner of situations from that work meeting you’ve been dreading to the date that you’ve been trying to score for three months.

Suede Shoes

When it comes to wearing suede shoes there are so many components or rules that you should abide to. They are very much make or break and are in more need of care than any other pair of shoes you might own. There seems to be a common misconception or fear factor among men to stay clear of suede, this shouldn’t be the case though. 

Types of Suede Shoes

So before we start let get the basics out of the way. Knowing the different types of suede shoes there are on the market will steer you into the direction of the ones for you. Now you can get boots, shoes, trainers, plimsolls – the lot, in suede. However, we are just going to pick out our favourite (we’re sure you’ll like them too)

Men’s Suede Boots

Suede boots usually come in the form of the chelsea boot. These are a classic piece of footwear that will up your style game immediately if worn well. Kayne West is a massive fan of these, as well as countless other fashionable men. Just remember that you need to wear skinny/slim jeans with your chelsea boots, anything else and you’ll just look a bit frumpy.

The other suede boot every man should know about is the chukka boot. Unlike the chelsea boot these have a lot more versatility to them. Chukka boots and desert boots have various suede options on the market, so you really have a chance to personalise you style here. Whether you opt for a colourful, patterned or textured boot, the chukka will give you endless style options.

mens suede boot looks
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Men’s Suede Loafers

Now we’ll look at the perfect summer shoe, the suede loafer. Before we go into the look itself it’s best to keep in mind the different forms of loafers. You have the horsebit, the moccasin and the tassel, all these can be found in a suede counterpart. Another thing to consider if the colour you are opting for, suede loaders tend to vary in colour. Just make sure you are wearing appropriate trousers with your loafers, there is nothing worse than a overhanging trouser messing up the ankle to foot ratio. You will almost certainly have to go sockless for this look, so invest in some shoe liners and invisible sock to avoid any foot funk.

Suede loafer looks
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest | Our Mode

Men’s Suede Trainers

This sounds like an odd one however, this is a really popular trend at the moment. Every one from Nike, Asics and Adidas are doing it. Suede brown trainers look particularly sleek in the summer, with dark denim and a white tee. With most trainers they aren’t all suede, they usually have a leather base with suede inserts.

suede trainers grid
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Suede Shoes for any Occasion

When it comes to occasion, most people will tell you suede shoes aren’t acceptable. This is an old rule, and in fashion we are always transitioning. Don’t get me wrong I am not telling you to wear your new suede shoes to a black tie event but weddings, work or the races are fine.

Men’s Formal Shoes

There aren’t many suede shoes that can be worn in a formal way (sorry suede fans). Due to the material suede is often deemed causal, so you need some really formal shapes to push them over the formal line. If you are still determined to wear this look though then look out for:

  • Loafers
  • Slippers
  • Derby
Mens Formal Suede Shoes
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Men’s Casual Boots and Shoes

Suede shoes excel in the casual department! This is the occasion the shoes are intended to be worn so you can find many different style on the market:

  • Desert boots
  • Chelsea boots
  • Trainers
  • Chukka boots
Mens Casual suede Boots and Shoes
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How to Protect Your Suede Shoes

One of the most important things you should take away from this article is how to protect your suede. There is no point in dropping copious amount of money on new shoes, if you aren’t going to look after them. First you need to wait until the suede is dry before you tackle it with a brush or cloth – when suede is wet the bristles are fragile and rubbing at them will cause tear in the fabric. Not only does the fabric damage it will actually push the stain deeper if you tackle when wetInvesting in a suede brush is a must if you are purchasing suede shoes,

  • Firstly, fill your shoes with newspaper or a shoe tree to retain the shape of the shoe
  • Brush the surface of the suede lightly to remove any large clumps of dirt
  • Using you suede cleaner lightly coat the shoe using a soft brush
  • Make sure you use the suede brush gently, sweeping in short, gentle strokes to freshen up the nap of the fabric
  • Finally, follow the grain of the fabric
suede care products
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Suede Shoes Outfits

Finally, we move on to the key part, the styling. Now there are many ways you can wear suede shoes but we want to leave you with the basics. Remember when styling you want to inject your own personality into your outfits. So we’ll take you through casual, smart, formal and that oh so special date night.

Casual Daywear

What better way to introduce suede in to your wardrobe than with a pair of suede chukka boots? For day-to-day wear, comfort is key but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on looking swish. Chukka boots provide the best of both worlds; when paired with smart jeans and a snug knit you can go about your business in ultimate comfort whilst safe in the knowledge that you’re wearing a good quality shoe that will last the distance (all the way to the pub, even!).

To accessories try throwing a duffle bag over your shoulder. It’s a practical addition to the outfit and one that may also trick your friends and co-workers in to thinking that you’ve got an evening gym session planned; versatile and stylish, you can take everything with you for the day ahead.

Casual Daywear suede shoe outfit
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Smart Daywear

For a daytime look which perhaps doesn’t involve a trip to the pub, desert boots are a great option. More comfortable than your average brogue but just as sturdy, these are a great way to tie together a smart outfit without looking like you’ve just stepped out of the boardroom. A button-down shirt is, of course, the go-to option when striving to achieve that highly coveted yet highly elusive smart-casual look. A collared jacket is also a great way to layer up without smothering those smart-casual vibes.

Smart Daywear suede outfot grid
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Formal Attire

Tasselled loafers might be a slightly more extroverted option – one to satisfy the inner fashionista’s needs – but when styled with a classic suit, they are the perfect way to make a statement. Whether you’re going for a working lunch at an upmarket restaurant or wanting to jazz up your Sunday best, the addition of tasselled loafers to an outfit is certainly a brave choice but one that can be easily pulled off with the right skinny fit suit. All-over navy with a pop of white is a tried and tested colour scheme that can be revitalised with some swanky footwear.

Formal suede shoe outfit
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Date Night

Whether your perfect date night is dinner and a movie or a few drinks down your local, Chelsea boots are a sure-fire way to smarten up your favourite pair of jeans and worn-out flannel shirt. Of course the Chelsea boots and skinny jeans combo is to be worn at your own risk; you may end up looking like you’re auditioning to be in a boy band. If you play it safe with a flannel shirt and simple jacket, you should be able to avoid the wannabe teen-heartthrob look.

Date night suede shoe outfit
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Best Brands for Suede Shoes

So we are nearing the end of our suede journey, by this point I hope you are leaning towards purchasing a pair or at least considering it. Now, like any shoes it is best to invest your money into some quality shoes. If you buy cheap shoes you have to be wary that they might fall apart while you are walking! Here are the brands we recommend making your shoe purchase from to avoid a talking sole at the end of the day.

mens suede shoe street style
PHOTO CREDIT: Lookbook

Your Quick Guide to Suede Shoes

  • Find the style that will suit you best whether, loafers, chelsea boots or trainers
  • Look after your suede, a scuffed up shoe can ruin your outfit
  • Keep in mind the occasion you are going for as this will determine the shoes you can wear
  • Don’t wear you shoes in the rain, regardless of using a shoe protector it is best not

On That Note

You’d better go out and purchase some form of suede shoe. Or all forms of suede shoe. Because honestly, unless we’re suddenly hit by a monsoon season, there is no situation which can’t be made a little bit better with some fabulous footwear.

Whether you’re wearing them to the pub with a casual jumper and jacket or teaming them with a suit to wear to the office, you can easily team your suede shoes with something stylish and bang on trend this season.

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