Best Materiel for Boots...Suede Vs. Leather

Missrocks

Member
Apr 6, 2008
1,109
7
CA
I am really lusting after a pair of CL boots, (if I can get over the sticker shock!). Since it is such a big purchase, I want to make sure I make the perfect decision. I have narrowed it down to the black suede or black leather Babel or Alta Ariella boot.
Just wondering...what materiel wears better in your opinion? I've heard the suede can get bald spots and I'm sure would not be the best during rainy season, but I've heard the kid leather can get noticible wrinkles or creases.
The only materiels I own in CL's so far are python and patent...Just wondering the pro's and con's of the Suede vs. Kid Leather. ??

Thanks!
 

xsouzie

Material Girl
O.G.
Mar 27, 2008
2,030
3,542
Ontario, Canada
I would go for the Babel in leather. Suede looks more casual IMO and with leather you can dress it up or down. Also, I think suede would be more susceptible to stains as well as dust/lint attraction. I'm so lusting after the Ginerva's right now and am trying to justify the hefty price tag myself! :faint: I'm not sure what can be done about the crease and wrinkles on leather. I think they just do that naturally with wear. :shrugs:
 

rockvixen76

Member
Aug 15, 2008
470
0
yorkshire UK
I love the feel and look of suede but have found to my detriment in the past that it's a hugely impractical fabric so leather every time for me! it's just not worth spending the money and having them ruined by rain etc and the marks never come out!!! Plus I think leather is very classic and timeless. Good luck!
 

Vixxen

I'll take them!
Aug 3, 2008
555
1
Southern California
Okay, here are my two cents...

The kid leather will eventually crease, wrinkle and even slightly "bubble" (those bigger, slightly puffier creases that usually appear right where the ankles bend)with each wear; however those are the little features that will mold your boots to your legs and make them more comfortable over time. Also, being kid leather, you have the opportunity to try to "cure" scuffs, scratches and peels with leather cleaner, shine or polish. Finally, the kid leather will hold its thickness and form for a longer period of wear time.

With the suede--which is what I personally prefer--you will always have to accept that over time you will find little bald spots (even from leaning against something with your foot!), peeled areas, scratches, unever color and what feels like a slight "thinning" of the suede and a loss of shape or form because suede stretches out a lot faster than leather. I should point out; however, that I treat all of my suede shoes with an all weather conditioner and make sure that I brush them every now and then to maintain the suede. To be honest, all of them still look great despite having been rained on or even had drinks spilled on them. I like suede because it provides for a supple look and rich color tones. You just have to put more effort into taking care of it.

Hope this helps a little!
 

can008

O.G.
Feb 25, 2008
774
0
Melbourne, AUS
I actually like the feel of suede boots as they are soft. But if it is a CL boots, I will probably buy leather. My more expensive boots are leather and the cheaper ones suede. Because it is easier to keep leather stay good than suede. IMO.
My suede boots are Steve Madden slouch boots. I wear them through anything. I try to spray protect, clean and brush them but if some stains remained and some areas starting to go bald, I am okay with it. They are also black and gray, so it is not very visible. KWIM?
 

bagpunk

Member
Oct 31, 2006
4,692
21
i used to have this suede hat and a suede jacket. in those days i wear them in the rain and snow all the time. i did not know that rain and snow can leave marks etc, so i basically calmly wear them in such conditions. i always brushed them lightly with my hands as i take them off to go indoor. and they seem to have survived fine. now that i hear all this panic about their fragility, i have became very anxious about wearing certain leather - like suede - since i am always afraid that i will ruin them. so i am glad to hear how vixxen's suedes have held up. it means my past good experiences with suede were not mere happy accidents, and that with proper care, they can be durable in a variety of conditions.

suede definitely has a different look than kid leather. depending on colour and style, sometimes one might look better than the other. i would go with which ever makes your heart flutter....
 
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Vixxen

I'll take them!
Aug 3, 2008
555
1
Southern California
If you girls want, I can tell you all of the items I use to care for suede. Let me know if you do. I don't want to start blabing off on this thread.

FYI...Last week I had a pair of brown suede heels on and I accidentally knocked a bottle of water over on my desk. Well, the water splashed right near my shoes and there were tons of water sprinkles all over the sides. I took them off and noticed that all of the sprinkles were beaded on the surface of the suede and were not being absorbed. I just padded the wet areas VERY lightly and waited a few minutes before cheking for damage and there was nothing! The one thing you do have to do is weather guard suede on a continuous basis, every few weeks with heavy wear, every few months with less wear, etc., etc.
 

eggpudding

Coveteur
O.G.
Feb 23, 2008
5,632
83
Suede definitely for me, it's just so much more beautiful and elegant. Dirt and stains won't be as noticeable on black suede either!
 

LavenderIce

Vintage CLs please
O.G.
Dec 19, 2006
12,306
2,758
Why not get the Babel in leather and get Alta Ariella booties in suede? Best of both worlds! :graucho:
 

Missrocks

Member
Apr 6, 2008
1,109
7
CA
Why not get the Babel in leather and get Alta Ariella booties in suede? Best of both worlds! :graucho:
^
Haha! You're killing me! That would really hurt my bank account...eeek:Push:
And according to FI, to get both would be "piggin it" :graucho:

Eggpudding~ I do love the look of the suede, especially to wear with all of my suit skirts.

Bagpunk~ I'm glad to hear about your good experience with the suede.

Can008~ Thanks for your two cents, I had that same mind set.

Vixen~ Thank you for the detailed analysis. Sounds like the suede holds up great if treated well.

Rockvixen~ I would agree that leather is the classic boot material.

Echoes~ Thank you for you opinion!

Xsouzsie~ Good luck with your boot search too!
 
Sep 6, 2007
1,376
2
Down under
i would prefer suede personally cuz i just like the look. :smile: but leather for boots cuz it's alot of money for shoes and it'll last longer in cold weather/snow
 

keya

Member
Jan 5, 2006
3,896
2
I prefer leather, it's much more practical IMO, and I also prefer the look.
 

linpaddy

O.G.
Dec 26, 2007
3,387
3
I actually prefer the suede in terms of looks but am not willing to invest the time to care for it. IMO, rain and suede do not mix well and I don't think I can deal with heart palpations every time I see a water spot.

It's just me but I baby my bags and shoes so much that I would be afraid to wear the suede boots out. I would be constantly checking the weather report and have a big sign around my neck 'Don't Come Near me!!'

I think leather would be more practical if you want to wear your shoes everyday and not get too fussed about it. I also love the look of leather after it's been broken in. Creases, marks, and scuffs are all part of the appeal of worn in leather especially a rich patina!

Of course, I also second the opinion of getting the boots in leather and another pair of booties in suede... :graucho:
 

Missrocks

Member
Apr 6, 2008
1,109
7
CA
The suede is so beautiful and I love how it is a bit more feminine looking than the leather.... But I am with Linpaddy^ I would be constantly "spot checking" the suede and I really do want a practical boot I can wear without a lot of worry.
I think the leather boots would be best for me.... And then maybe suede bootie sometime in the future (maybe next year!).
Unless, I find a suede boot on ebay for a super deal, I think I may have to go with the leather.