Craft & Design
Open thread: What’s the best stuff for black suede to protect against water and stains?

Pt 2474
I’m going to try out posting little “open threads” on various helpful topics, we’ll see how it goes: As winter approaches it might be time to protect your shoes – What’s the best spray, substance, product and/or DIY solution for black suede to protect against water and stains? I’m sure many folks have sprays, products and homebrew solutions they’ve had success with – post them up in the comments!

18 thoughts on “Open thread: What’s the best stuff for black suede to protect against water and stains?

  1. it ‘may’ cause some slight graying, but I have always had good results with WD-40, apply a feww light coats, brush between, but it works GREAT!

  2. Must say: I *LOVE* 99 percent of what is posted on MAKE:
    However, there needs to be less of the editors using this space as a place for non-DIY personal inquiries that are easily googled. I’m sure there are dozens of denizens of some other forum out there, just waiting for a question like this. Not to mention: shoe store employees.

  3. @nester – thanks for the kind words about the 99% of our content. go ahead and google my question, you’ll get spam, crap and a lot of nothing, 99% of that is useless. at MAKE we try to have a good resource that’s clearly not spammy in any way. if the makers here have good suggestions and DIY solutions they can rely on it. i’d rather hear what makers have to say than shoe store employees.

    the first comment was about wd40, i didn’t think of that one – and i plan to try it.

    1. Agreed, Philip.

      While Google *can* return valid responses, questions of this sort usually have a lot of garbage returns.

      This blog is a perfect venue for asking those questions!

      Plus, I thought a chunk of these questions were the result of a bunch of readers asking them.

      As a bonus, you can “Tweet a tip” with the more popular/logical responses.

      Though I do have to ask: Are you in the southern hemisphere? “As winter approaches…” seems a little dated, right now.

      1. The ‘winter approaches’ confused me too! Was going to point out it’s not even the height of summer down in these southern parts :)

        And am I the only NZer who is always annoyed that Kiwi shoe polish is actually Australian!

        I have some spray from the shoe shop I used on suede Speedcats and that always worked well. It’s just called Footlocker sneaker protector but it doesn’t say what was in it on the can. One can has lasted me years.

    2. I guess what I was saying was: this is the internet. Undoubtedly, there are throngs of boot-o-philes on a forum that would be relatively easy to find who have already answered this question. And yes, you did get a decidedly DIY answer. However, I would trust a product specifically designed for your footwear, perhaps suggested by a knowledgeable employee at an independent sporting goods/footwear store, over ANONYMOUS. Especially if you like your boots. I do appreciate the tangents that MAKE: takes, this just seems a little far? Anyway, no sweat.
      Hey, I wish I was a MAKE: editor, then I could ask the community to recommend a good whole-nutrition diet for my crested gecko! =-)

  4. @simon, thanks! i was on an island when i wrote this post, so it wasn’t winter where i was :)

    @nestor, i’d rather have makers help me than big box retailer shoe people and i’m willing to experiment. that’s point of this, and why MAKE is MAKE :)

    if you want to be a MAKE editor, write tutorials, do cool projects, send in great tips and posts, start a DIY blog – meet the gang. it’s possible, most of the folks here are people we’ve met from online.

  5. I’ve always had good luck with Tectron:

    http://www.rei.com/product/624530

    As with all of these things, try spraying a little bit on an unobtrusive corner of the fabric if you worry about color changes/etc. But it works like a charm on most fabrics I’ve tried. Note that it’s not as permanent as some of the wax-based things that you have to let really soak in to the fabric, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to apply at the beginning of the wet season.

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