fbpx

Is There a Difference In Leather Footwear?

When it comes to selecting the perfect leather for your footwear, the debate between Suede, Nappa, and Nubuck leather often takes center stage. Each type of leather offers unique characteristics and benefits, making it crucial to understand their differences to make an informed decision.

This article aims to dissect these leathers’ distinct features, practical applications, and care requirements, providing a clear guide for anyone looking to purchase leather shoes.

Topic Key Points
Suede Leather Soft texture, casual look, requires meticulous care
Nappa Leather Smooth finish, luxurious feel, durable and easy to clean
Nubuck Leather Velvety surface, elegant appearance, needs regular maintenance
Care Tips Techniques for maintaining the quality and longevity of leather shoes
Choosing the Right Leather Factors to consider based on lifestyle and footwear needs

With a clear understanding of Suede, Nappa, and Nubuck leathers, let’s delve into the nuances of each, ensuring you find the perfect match for your style and needs.

Understanding Suede Leather

Suede leather, known for its soft texture and matte finish, offers a casual yet sophisticated look ideal for a variety of footwear. This leather is made from the underside of the animal skin, giving it a plush, velvety feel that is both comfortable and stylish. Despite its aesthetic appeal, Suede requires diligent care to maintain its appearance, including regular brushing and protection from moisture.

Suede shoes are a popular choice for their versatility, blending seamlessly with both casual and semi-formal attire. However, their susceptibility to stains and water damage necessitates the use of specialized cleaning products and waterproofing sprays to preserve their condition.

Suede Shoe Options:

Men's Water Resistant Shoe | Cash by Propet

Men's Water Resistant Shoe | Cash by Propet
Don't compromise on comfort when venturing outdoors with our incredible Cash slip-on shoe from Propet.

BONUS Gift with purchase - one set of custom heat moldable inserts. A $80 value included FREE!
CHECK PRICE
Pros:
  • Water Resistant: The Cash features a suede upper treated with Scotchguard for water and stain resistance.
  • Comfort: Designed for all-day comfort with a padded collar, breathable open-cell PU insole, and EVA midsole for cushioning .
  • Easy On and Off: The Cash is a slip-on style shoe with twin gores for a snug fit, making them easy to put on and take off.
  • Wide Width Availability: The Cash comes in a variety of widths to accommodate different foot shapes.
Cons:
  • Limited Reviews: There are currently not many reviews available online for this shoe, making it difficult to gauge real-world experiences on comfort and durability.
  • Not Fully Waterproof: While water-resistant, the Cash is not intended for submersion and may not hold up in heavy rain or wet conditions for extended periods.
  • Style: The Cash may not be suitable for all occasions due to its casual, slip-on design
Color:

Dark Grey, Gunsmoke, Navy

Size:

7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Width:

D, 3E, 5E

Women's Casual 5" Boot | Delaney Suede by Propet

Women's Casual 5
Introducing the Delaney women's 5" boot by Propet - a perfect blend of style, comfort and affordability.
CHECK PRICE
Pros:
  • Comfortable and supportive: Scotchgard-treated suede upper with a padded tweed fabric collar provides warmth and comfort.
  • D-ring lace-up: Ensures a secure and adjustable fit.
  • Removable, cushioned EVA insole: Provides shock absorption and can be replaced with orthotics for added support.
  • Durable rubber outsole: Offers good traction on various surfaces, including sidewalks, paved paths, and light snow.
  • Multiple widths: Available in AA to 4E widths to accommodate different foot shapes.
Cons:
  • Limited arch support: While comfortable, the Delaney might not offer enough arch support for individuals with severe foot conditions.
  • Lacks insulation: While the boot is water-resistant, it might not be warm enough for extremely cold weather conditions.
  • Shaft height: The 5-inch shaft height might not be suitable for everyone, especially those who prefer a taller boot for deeper snow or added support.
Color:

Black Suede, Brown, Grey, Navy

Size:

6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 11

Width:

AA, B, D, 2E, 4E

Women's Suede Casual Shoe | Kinsey by Propet

Women's Suede Casual Shoe | Kinsey by Propet
Fall in love with the ultimate comfort of the soft suede sneaker with the DuroCloud™ Foam footbed, the Kinsey by Propet.

FREE Gift with purchase - one set of custom heat moldable inserts. A $80 value included FREE!
CHECK PRICE
Pros:
  • Comfortable and supportive: Soft suede upper and padded collar and tongue provide comfort, while the lace-up closure ensures a secure and adjustable fit.
  • Removable, breathable insole: Allows for customization and accommodates orthotics.
  • Mesh lining: Enhances breathability and keeps feet cooler during warm weather.
  • Shock-absorbing midsole: DuroCloud™ foam embedded in the midsole provides responsive cushioning and reduces impact on your joints.
  • Durable rubber outsole: Offers good traction on various surfaces, including sidewalks, paved trails, and light gravel paths.
  • Multiple widths: Available in medium to wide to accommodate different foot shapes.
Cons:
  • Limited arch support: While comfortable, the Kinsey might not offer enough arch support for individuals with severe foot conditions.
  • Break-in period: The suede upper might require some time to soften up and conform to your foot shape.
  • Limited widths: Only available in medium to x-wide (3E) widths.
Color:

Black, Grey, Taupe, Blush

Size:

4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Width:

B, D, 2E

Suede leather combines style and comfort but demands attentive maintenance. As we transition to Nappa leather, we’ll explore another luxurious option that offers durability and ease of care.

Did You Know?
According to GVR, the global leather footwear market was valued at USD 166.53 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.8% from 2019 to 2025. This growth is attributed to factors such as the increasing working-class population, rising consumer income, the flourishing retail e-commerce sector, and growing fashion trends in business wear. The market’s expansion is further driven by the durable and elegant nature of leather shoes, along with their breathable features, which help cool down feet and prevent odors.

Delving into Nappa Leather

Nappa, also writen as “Napa”, leather stands out for its smooth finish and supple texture, making it a premium choice for high-quality footwear. Derived from the top layer of skin, Nappa offers enhanced durability and a luxurious feel, suitable for formal shoes and everyday wear. Its resilience to wear and ease of cleaning make it a practical option for those seeking both style and functionality.

Nappa leather’s adaptability across different shoe designs, from elegant dress shoes to comfortable casuals, underscores its versatility. To keep Nappa leather in pristine condition, regular conditioning and the use of a soft, damp cloth for cleaning are recommended.

Highlighting Nappa leather’s advantages, we see a blend of luxury, durability, and practicality. Moving forward, Nubuck leather introduces another dimension to the leather spectrum, combining elegance with a unique tactile experience.

Nappa Leather Shoe Options:

Men’s Extra Depth Leather Dress Shoe | 708L by Apis

Men’s Extra Depth Leather Dress Shoe | 708L by Apis
Men's extra depth dress or casual Nappa Leather shoes can be made in widths up to 14E and size 20!

FREE gift with purchase - three set of custom heat moldable inserts. A $240 value included FREE!
CHECK PRICE
Color:

Black

Size:

5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Width:

D/2E, 4E, 6E, 9E, 10E, 14E

Men's Casual Slip On Leather Shoe | Preston by Propet

Men's Casual Slip On Leather Shoe | Preston by Propet
Men's casual slip-on with soft Nappa leather upper with padded collar and tongue. Nylon mesh lining and removable cushioned EVA insole.

BONUS gift with purchase - one set of our heat moldable customized inserts. An $80.00 value included FREE!
CHECK PRICE
Color:

Black, Coffee

Size:

8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Width:

D, E, 3E, 5E

European Designed Leather Boot | Marla by Pilgrim

European Designed Leather Boot | Marla by Pilgrim
The Marla by Pilgrim Shoes is a women's Nappa leather boot that is incredibly soft and comfortable.
CHECK PRICE
Color:

Black

Size:

5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11

Width:

D/E, B, 3E

Exploring Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather, with its velvety surface and refined appearance, offers an elegant alternative within the leather family. Similar to Suede, Nubuck is sanded on the outside of the hide, resulting in a soft, brushed effect that is pleasing to the touch. Its distinct texture and aesthetic make it a favored choice for high-end footwear, providing an upscale look without compromising comfort.

Despite its beauty, Nubuck requires careful maintenance to preserve its appearance, including the use of specific cleaners and protective sprays. Its vulnerability to stains and scratches means that Nubuck shoes are best reserved for special occasions or light use.

Nubuck leather combines the best of both worlds: the sophistication of a luxurious material with the unique charm of a textured finish. As we approach the conclusion of our exploration, we’ll reflect on the importance of selecting the right leather for your needs.

Nubuck Leather Shoe Options:

Men's Nubuck and Sheepskin Boot | Kindra by Cloud Nine

Men's Nubuck and Sheepskin Boot | Kindra by Cloud Nine
Men’s Kindra sheepskin boot by Cloud Nine - the perfect companion for any adventure!
CHECK PRICE
Color:

Chestnut

Size:

7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Width:

D

Men's Nubuck Leather Casual Shoe | Ped Lite George

Men's Nubuck Leather Casual Shoe | Ped Lite George
The Ped Lite George is a men's soft Nubuck leather casual dress shoe is as comfortable as it looks. The sleek white sole and stylish grey upper make this shoe an attractive option for any occasion.

Wow, one of our famous triple-layer heat moldable customized inserts for FREE!
CHECK PRICE
Color:

Lt Grey

Size:

8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14

Width:

D, 2E, 4E

Men's Athletic Stability Walker Shoe

Men's  Athletic Stability Walker Shoe
This men's walking shoe, the Stability Walker by Propet, has a wider forefoot and heel base, providing a wider, more stable foundation that increases stability.

*BONUS Gift with purchase - one set of custom heat moldable inserts.
CHECK PRICE
Color:

Black, Brown, Grey, Navy, White, White/Taupe

Size:

7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Width:

B, D, E, 3E, 5E

Which Leather is Right For You?

Below is a comparison table that outlines the pros and cons of Suede, Nappa, and Nubuck leather, particularly in relation to footwear and addressing specific foot conditions.

Leather Type Pros Cons
Suede – Soft and flexible, offering comfort for sensitive feet.
– Porous nature allows for better breathability, suitable for those prone to foot sweating.
– Provides a casual yet stylish appearance, versatile for various occasions.
– Requires extensive care and is more susceptible to water and stain damage, potentially problematic for outdoor or active use.
– May not provide sufficient support for severe foot conditions due to its soft structure.
Nappa – Known for its durability and ease of maintenance, ideal for everyday wear.
– Smooth and luxurious feel, offering a higher level of comfort for sensitive skin.
– Resistant to wear and easier to clean, suitable for those with active lifestyles or minor foot issues.
– Can be more expensive, which might not be ideal for all budgets.
– Less breathable compared to Suede, potentially uncomfortable for those with excessively sweaty feet.
Nubuck – Offers a unique, elegant texture with a comfortable feel, good for formal and upscale footwear.
– Similar to Suede in breathability, beneficial for maintaining foot health.
– Durable when properly maintained, suitable for a wide range of foot conditions.
– Requires regular maintenance to keep the surface clean and prevent damage, which may be challenging for those with busy lifestyles.
– Prone to scratches and stains, not ideal for rough or outdoor activities.

Final Thoughts

When choosing leather footwear, especially for those with specific foot conditions such as bunions, swollen feet, or high insteps, it’s essential to consider not only the aesthetic and feel of the leather but also its practicality in terms of care, durability, and comfort. Each type of leather has its unique benefits and drawbacks, making it important to select the one that best aligns with your lifestyle, foot health needs, and personal style preferences.

By understanding the characteristics and care requirements of each, you can select footwear that not only complements your wardrobe but also stands the test of time. Remember that the right leather can elevate your footwear collection, enhancing both your style and comfort.

Next Options

If you’re keen to explore a wider range of leather footwear or have specific questions about finding the perfect fit, our Fitment Specialists are here to assist. Whether you’re dealing with foot issues such as bunions or simply seeking shoes that offer a spacious toe box, our extensive selection includes options for every need.

With Happy Feet in mind, we encourage you to contact our Fitment Specialist for personalized advice and solutions tailored to your unique foot contours and preferences. Let us help you find a comfortable and stylish shoe or boot you can wear with confidence.

The DT Footwear Guarantee

SHOP NOW

 

Disclaimer: Educational Information Only

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment, including any foot-related concerns. If you have any health issues or questions about your feet, please consult a qualified healthcare professional, like a doctor or podiatrist. Don’t ignore medical advice or delay seeking help based on what you read here or elsewhere. We’re not responsible for any harm caused by using this information. Everyone’s response to treatments can be different, and medical recommendations may change over time. If you experience a medical emergency or serious foot problem, seek immediate medical attention, or call your local emergency services. By using this resource, you agree to these terms and understand the importance of getting personalized medical advice from a qualified professional.

We collect cookies ok?