Should I Buy Suede or Leather Boots?

Well this is a question that most of us struggle with. If you are someone who prefers the smooth, buttery texture of a leather or soft, nappy texture of a suede leather, then this article is a must read for you because we will help solve your dilemma. 

But you should know that there are considerable differences among the two with regards to the materials they are extracted from and the care and maintenance each of them require. 

You can pick one of the two depending on your personal style and where you’ll be wearing it the most. A leather boot has a lovely gloss to it and offers you a classy and refined appeal that is perfect for making a powerful but formal statement. Suede, on the other hand, is a good option if you prefer a more casual look.

However, there are other factors involved too while making a choice between suede and leather. We’ll be discussing it in this article. 

Should I Buy Suede or Leather Boots

Now let us go into details about leather and suede leather. 

There are different varieties of leather and each leather is not created equal, and this is especially true with traditional leather. It is made by removing the hair off the outside of the animal hide which is called the grain, and buffing it to a smooth, lustrous sheen.

High-quality leather has fewer blemishes and requires less processing, whereas lower-quality leather requires more processing to produce the same look. This is the difference between full grain and top grain leather in terms of how much sanding and buffing is done to remove blemishes.

The outside of the animal hide forms the exterior of the shoe which is the visible surface, on a traditional leather boot, and it requires extra attention so frequent washing, conditioning, and polishing is required.

Suede, on the other hand, differs from regular leather, which means that the outside surface is actually the underside of the skin.

Suede is made by splitting leather, removing the grain and leaving the soft inner surface with longer fibres and a smooth, velvety texture. But suede is more susceptible to cuts, stains and discoloration since the interior of the animal hide is not as strong as the exterior potions.

While you may have come across many people saying that suede will require more care than leather, it is hardly true. Both leather and suede leather materials need to be cared for equally.

Leather boots must be conditioned, shined, and polished to keep its shine, whereas suede boots require protection from other damages. But it’s true that when a suede gets wet, it requires a lot more maintenance than leather. 

 Things you need to consider before choosing between suede and leather

1.) Your personal preference

Whether you choose to dress up in suits and other formal attire most of the time or keep it casual with a pair of denims, leather boots come in a variety of styles to fit your needs. Choosing between suede and leather is entirely a matter of personal taste. 

Suede is generally designed with a comfy insole, but leather may take some time to break in. Both types of materials have a different purpose, yet they all work together to give you all that you desire out of your leather boots. 

2.) Which one is more durable?

Well, we all must be aware by now that leather boots are more durable than suede because of the materials that it is extracted from. Suede is considered to be a delicate leather which requires extra attention for their longevity.

Also, suede does not react well to water. Most leather boots are naturally water-resistant, however, moisture tends to leave its stain behind on suede causing discolorations if proper precautions are not taken. 

3.) Weather also plays an important role

Suede and leather boots aren’t designed to withstand extreme harsh climates. If you own these boots, you’ll need to be cautious if you are wearing them during rain or snow. 

Because leather is derived from animal skin, it must be treated with caution to avoid drying out and breaking. While it isn’t suitable for extreme temperatures, it fared far better than suede. You’ll spend a lot of money on a pair of authentic leather boots, despite the fact that they require less care. 

Suede does not fare well in rain and snow. It, unfortunately, lacks any form of natural protection or conditioning, making it impossible to wear if there is any moisture in the air.

See also: Can Work Boots Be Used as Snow Boots?

4.) Is it easy to maintain?

While some leathers come pre-treated with a protectant, a spray or conditioner is a cost-effective solution to keep your boots looking great.

It’s a good idea to treat them with these protectants every few weeks to keep them moisturised and protected from the surroundings that might hamper their longevity. 

If your leather shoes do get wet, make sure to wash them down as quickly as possible to avoid damage. And if they’re damp, you can stuff them with paper towels or newspaper.

This will assist them in maintaining their form. After that, you should spray a leather conditioner to keep them moisturised. 

Check out this Weiman Leather Conditioner, which not only moisturized, but also prevents your boots from drying and cracking- 

Suede is more hard to defend since it is manufactured from the inner layers of an animal’s skin, which, while less expensive than leather, makes it less durable.

There are still ways to protect your suede boots, but they shouldn’t be used as frequently or as heavily as leather protectors because they will harm the suede’s softness and color.

Check out this Nikwax Spray that is especially designed for your delicate suede boots-

If they’re budget friendly

When picking between a suede and a leather boot, there are numerous factors to consider, one of which is your budget. There is a cost difference between the two materials, which may assist you decide if you’re having trouble deciding. 

Leather boots are generally more expensive than suede. This is primarily owing to their long-term durability. As you can see, leather requires more maintenance, but it can maintain its quality in most conditions if properly cared for.

Suede isn’t as durable as leather, but it’s a great budget-friendly option that allows you to make any outfit as casual as you like.

While you will have to think twice about the weather when you decide to wear suede, if you live in a place that doesn’t have much rainfall, suede is a great choice for you. It’s also appropriate for a less formal work atmosphere.

In choosing between the two

Compare the differences between the two fabrics depending on their intended purpose. Both are considered to be exquisite fabrics, and each has its own distinct style.

Suede is a velvety, elegant material that feels nice and soft to touch, while leather has a smooth appearance and an earthy, rough aesthetic. Both are warm fabrics that help keep our feet warm, making them suitable for winter. 

Here we have compiled a list of both leather and suede leather boots that are best in the market.

Recommended leather boots

1.) Chelsea Boots

These leather boots from Chelsea are not only stylish, but also provide great comfort and resistance against water. 

Check it out here- 

2.) Rockrooster Steel Toe leather boots

These tough, durable leather boots are ideal for outdoor work as they come with water-resistant features and a steel toe that protects your feet from any object that might fall and injure your toe. 

Check it out here- 

3.) Timberland Soft Toe Leather Boot

These boots are an ideal pair for an environment where there is a danger of you hurting your feet. They’re also pretty comfortable so that you can be on your feet for a long time without any discomfort. 

Check it out here-

Recommended suede boots

1.) Ariat Lookout Suede Boot

These stylish looking boots are not only comfortable, but are strong enough to provide all safety features that you look for in  your footwear. 

Check it out here-

2.) Carhartt Suede Boot

These slip on boots are super easy to put on and slip out of. The insoles provide great arch support and comfort. They’re also super flexible. 

You can check it out here- 

3.) Relleno Polack Suede Boot

These suede leather work boots are strong and sturdy, also providing comfort as it comes with a padded collar. 

Check it out here-


Well, when it comes to choosing between leather and suede, you need to weigh in all the pros and cons of both the boots before you make your purchase.

Also, it is extremely important to read all the features of the product and verify it yourself if it fits into your desire. 

I hope this article was helpful! 

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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