The nap is made of small leather “hairs” that become stiff and brittle when they get wet, or when they dry out after getting wet. Brittle hairs are more prone to shedding, and once that happens, the chamois is permanently damaged. Can suede get wet? Generally speaking, yes, the cloth will not spoil if it gets wet. But for this to be true, certain conditions must be met.
The same applies to nubuck, which is a similar type of leather. You don't have to put on your suede shoes again because it's raining or snowing outside. Keep reading to learn more. After water damage, the chamois may become stiff, dull, or stained.
The sooner you try to restore suede shoes, the more successful you will be. If you wait too long to repair your water-damaged suede, you risk permanent damage. It may be impossible to fix everything, but it's quite simple to make your suede shoes look much better. Does water ruin suede? Yes, water ruins the chamois.
The reason for this is that the suede material is very porous and absorbs moisture quite easily. This feature can leave stains and other damage. Vinegar is said to be harmless to chamois and it is safe to use on that fabric. Yes, suede shoes can get wet and continue to be worn.
To avoid damage, you need to deal with them quickly. If you know it's going to rain or you know your shoes can get wet, it's best to avoid wearing suede shoes altogether. If stains persist, prepare an equal parts solution of white vinegar and warm water and gently clean them with a brush (dip the brush in the cleaning solution, not the cloth) before pressing with a towel to absorb some of the water. This spray helps repel water from those materials, helping them last longer and delaying any potential damage that may arise.