Nubuck shoes are a popular choice for both men and women who want stylish and comfortable shoes. Nubuck shoes can be worn for practically all occasions, from casual to formal and everything in between.
Taking proper care of your nubuck shoes will their appearance and prolong their life.
This blog post will provide a complete guide to nubuck shoe care, including how to clean, protect, and store your nubuck shoes.
Let’s begin with a daily care routine for nubuck shoes.
Daily Care Routine
You must follow a daily care routine if you wear nubuck shoes regularly. This will prevent the build-up of dirt and grime and help to keep your nubuck shoes looking their best.
Here is a simple daily care routine that you can follow:
Brush your nubuck shoes regularly with a nubuck brush. This will remove dirt, dust, and grime that has built up on the surface.
Brush the shoes in circular motions. Do not brush a particular area for too long. This could damage the nubuck’s nap.
If there are spots or stains on your shoes, you should clean them as soon as possible. Neglecting spot marks will make them harder to remove.
Use a nubuck or suede eraser to remove the spots. Rub the eraser over the scuffs or stains in a circular motion. Be gentle so that you don’t damage the nubuck.
If a particular shoe area is soiled, clean it with a nubuck cloth. Nubuck cloth is specially designed for cleaning nubuck leather. Wipe the soiled area with the cloth until the dirt is removed.
Use a Protectant Spray
Nubuck shoes are susceptible to water damage. To protect them, you should spray them with a nubuck protectant spray. This will create a barrier on the shoe’s surface that will repel water. It will also help to protect the nubuck from stains.
To use, simply spray the protection evenly over the shoe’s surface. Keep your hands at a distance of about 6-8 inches while spraying. Allow the spray to dry completely before wearing your shoes.
Reapply the spray every three months and after every cleaning.
How to Clean Nubuck Shoes
If your shoes are starting to look dull, it is time to clean them properly. You should clean your nubuck shoes at least once a month.
- Nubuck cloth (Leather Master recommended)
- Nubuck brush (Shacke recommended)
- Nubuck cleaner (Bickmore recommended)
- Nubuck protectant spray (Crep Protect recommended)
- Remove the laces and insoles of the shoes. Clean the laces and insoles separately.
- Wipe the nubuck shoes with a nubuck cloth. This will remove the light soiling and dirt from the shoes.
- Brush the shoes with a nubuck brush. Use gentle, circular motions. Apply a small amount of pressure while brushing. Do not brush a particular area for too long, as this could damage the nap of the nubuck.
- Apply a small amount of Nubuck cleaner to the nubuck cloth. Rub the cloth over the shoes in circular motions. Be sure to cover the entire shoe.
- Wipe the shoes with a damp cloth. Let them air dry in a shaded area away from sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause nubuck to dry.
- Once the shoes are dry, brush them back and forth with a nubuck brush. This will bring back the nap of nubuck.
- Finally, apply a protectant spray to the shoes. This will protect them from water damage and stains.
- Let the shoes air dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated area away from sunlight.
Removing Marks and Stains
If you have marks or stains on your nubuck shoes, clean them as soon as possible. If you leave the stains on your shoes for too long, they will become harder to remove.
After getting wet, the nubuck darkens. However, it will turn to its original color once dried.
If your nubuck shoes get wet, dab the whole shoe surface with a damp cloth. Stuff the shoes with paper towels and let them air dry. This will even out the color of your shoes.
Oil or Grease Stains
You must act quickly if you have oil stains on your nubuck shoes. The longer you leave the stain, the harder it will be to remove.
Sprinkle some cornstarch over the oils or grease stain. Instead of cornstarch, you can also use talcum powder. Let the cornstarch sit on the stain for about two hours. The cornstarch will soak up the oil from the nubuck.
After that, brush off the cornstarch with a Nubuck brush. If the stain is still visible, then repeat the process.
You should remove ink stains from your nubuck shoes as soon as possible. It is suggested that the ink stain be removed within the first five hours after it has occurred.
You can use an ink lifter to remove the ink stains. An ink lifter is a greasy substance that helps to break down the ink. It comes in a tube similar to lip balm and is easy to use.
Simply run the ink-lifter over the stain and cover the stain properly. Then, apply some nubuck cleaner on the nubuck cloth and wipe off the ink-lifter. The ink should come off with it.
If the stain persists, then repeat the process.
If the stains on your shoes are old, dry, and rigid, remove them with a suede block or sandpaper.
Gently rub the sandpaper over the stained area until the stain lifts. Do not apply too much pressure while rubbing the tougher stains. Excess pressure can damage the nubuck leather.
Once the stain lifts, brush the shoes with the nubuck brush. This will remove the sandpaper residue and bring back the nap of the nubuck.
Waterproofing Nubuck Shoes
Nubuck is naturally water resistant to a minimal amount of water. However, it will get damaged if exposed to large amounts of water or if it remains wet for too long.
Thus, it is essential to waterproof your nubuck shoes with a nubuck protectant spray. Not only will this protect them from water damage, but it will also prevent stains.
Hold the can of spray about six inches away from the shoes. Spray the entire surface of the shoes evenly. Be sure to cover the whole shoe, including the seams and sides. Do not saturate the shoes with the spray.
After spraying, let the shoes air dry in a well-ventilated area.
After purchasing a new pair of shoes, spray them with the protectant spray before wearing them.
Reapply the spray every three months and after every cleaning, session to keep your shoes in good condition.
Restoring Faded Nubuck Shoes
If your nubuck shoes have lost color, use a nubuck color spray to restore the color. However, before using the spray, test it on a small shoe area to see if the color is compatible. Follow the following steps to restore the color of your nubuck shoes.
Before starting the restoring process, cover the area around the shoes with a cloth or newspaper. This will prevent the surrounding area from staining. Also, wear rubber gloves while spraying the shoes with renovating spray. Rubber gloves will protect your hands from getting stained.
- Brush off the dirt, dust, and debris from the shoe’s surface with a nubuck brush.
- If your shoes have stains, rub the stained areas with a nubuck eraser.
- Mix one tablespoon of baby shampoo and half a cup (4oz) of water in a bowl. Stir to create a soapy solution. You can also use nubuck cleaner instead of baby shampoo.
- Dip an old toothbrush in the solution and scrub the shoes in circular motions. Do not scrub for too long, as this will saturate the nubuck.
- Wipe off the soapy solution from the shoes with a damp cloth. Make sure to remove all the soap suds from the shoes.
- Soak up the excess moisture from the shoes with a clean and dry towel. Let the shoes air dry.
- Once the shoes are completely dry, brush them in a back-and-forth motion with a nubuck brush. This will bring back the nap of nubuck.
- Hold the can of spray about six inches away from the shoes. Spray the shoes evenly with smooth strokes. Be sure to cover the entire shoe, including the seams and sides. Do not saturate the shoes with the spray.
- After spraying, let the shoes air dry in a shaded area. Make sure the shoes are completely dry before wearing them. Also, do not forget to spray them with a protectant spray. This will provide a protective coating to your shoes.
How to Store Nubuck Shoes Properly
Nubuck shoes must be stored properly to maintain their quality. Whether you keep your shoes for a short or extended period, follow the steps below to store them properly.
- Before storing your nubuck shoes, make sure they are clean and dry. Storing wet and dirty nubuck shoes can cause the leather to rot.
- Store the nubuck shoes in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight and moisture. Avoid storing them in humid areas such as the attic, basement, and garage.
- For long-term storage, place your nubuck shoes in a shoe box.
- Wrap the shoes in a soft cloth or newspaper before placing them in a storage box. This will keep the shoes dry.
- Avoid using plastic bags or non-breathable materials to store nubuck shoes. This can cause the leather to rot.
- Insert shoe trees in the shoes to keep their shape. You can also insert your shoes with crumpled newspaper.
- Never put them near heat sources such as radiators, fireplaces, or heating vents. The heat can cause the leather to crack and fade.
When to Wear Nubuck Shoes
Nubuck shoes are best for dry weather conditions. Nubuck leather is top-grain leather sanded outside to give it a velvety texture. Therefore, it is more durable, unlike suede which is made from the inner layer of the leather hide.
However, avoid wearing nubuck shoes in rain or snow. This is because prolonged exposure to water can damage the nubuck leather. You should not wear them in dusty or muddy settings and when the snow is melting. Mud and snow can stain the nubuck shoes.
Does nubuck get ruined in the rain?
Nubuck leather is not waterproof, so it can be ruined in the rain. You can use a waterproofing spray to protect your shoes from water. However, repeated exposure to water can damage the nubuck leather. Therefore, you should avoid wearing your shoes on a rainy day.
Does nubuck scratch easily?
Yes, nubuck scratches easily. Nubuck leather has a soft surface, so it can get scratched easily. Therefore, you should be careful while wearing nubuck shoes. Also, it is essential to take care when handling and storing your shoes.
Can I use leather cream on nubuck?
No, do not use leather cream or mink oil on the nubuck leathers. Doing this will darken the color of your shoes. Nubuck and suede shoes have a velvety texture that can get damaged with the application of leather cream.
So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about nubuck shoe care. Remember to clean your shoes regularly and avoid wearing them on a rainy day. Also, apply a layer of nubuck protectant before wearing a new pair of nubuck shoes. By following these simple tips, your footwear will last much longer and look great.