Maybe you’ve heard Elvis croon about blue suede shoes and his insistence that nobody step on his elegant sneakers. This classic song has probably brought two things to mind: you definitely need some blue suede shoes of your own (obviously), and Elvis sure seems uptight about these suede sneakers.
We can’t blame Elvis though because suede sneakers are both unbelievably stylish and a soft material. So while you’re debating those blue suede shoes, you might wonder what the difference is between those dreamy suede sneakers and the classic leather sneakers. Here’s your very own guide to the difference between suede and leather and how to choose the best shoes for you.
Leather and Suede Origin Stories
Suede is a type of leather. Like squares and rectangles, all suede is leather, but not all leather is suede. Kind of neat. One key difference between the classic look of leather and the gentle feel of suede is how the materials are created. Both suede and leather come from a variety of animal skins, but suede is the underside of the skin, and it’s split. Basically all that means is suede is softer and gentler than the sturdiness of the classic leather look.
Styling Leather and Suede Sneakers
Another important difference between leather sneakers and suede sneakers is where you want to rock them. Leather is your classic go-to for, well, basically everything. You can wear those babies to the office, a garden party, or brunch with your grandma. They’re basically the peak of shoe fashion. Leather sneakers go well with sharp outfits, but you can wear leather with jeans, no worries. You can wear leather in a timeless black or even a bold white, so there’s no shortage of options for leather looks.
Suede sneakers have a more casual feel that doesn’t skimp on luxury. Since you can’t go wrong with black suede sneakers, try black suede sneakers to combine the stylish feel of going out with the casual look of strolling the streets of New York City. Want to blow minds with a brilliant pop of color? You can wear suede in everything from pink to an unapologetic orange. These suede sneakers will go with jeans, khakis, skirts, or whatever style you choose love. Did we mention suede is insanely comfortable?
Caring for Leather and Suede Sneakers
One of the great advantages of both leather and suede is the durability. Both materials will last you years. Neither leather or suede are waterproof though. Keep the colors popping by keeping them dry. Suede, in particular, needs to be bone dry to maintain its luster for all those years. You can waterproof your sneakers to help them last if you do happen to get caught in the rain (or spill your piña colada).
Leather and suede sneakers give you styling, texture, and color options for any mood, season, or phase. But maybe you’re like us and can’t decide between leather and suede. We get it. You can also have the best of both worlds by combining suede and leather into one pair of sneakers. Suede and leather sneakers usually have a body of leather with an accent of suede that combines the gentle luxury with the sturdy classics. Now you never have to choose.
But if you’re really just looking to get shoes like Elvis’s kicks, we get it. Once you try those blue suede shoes, you wouldn’t want anybody stepping on your suede sneakers either.