Shoe Care 101

July 19, 2019

If you want anything to last a long time, it pays to take care of it. The same rule of thumb applies to your favorite kicks. Make your wardrobe investment count by doing some regular shoe cleaning. Most of your Marc Nolans will be sheepskin suede or calfskin leather or both. Each material takes its TLC a different way, so we’re outlining the basics and giving you tips on how to care for your most beloved shoes so they look their best and have a longer lifespan.


Like any material, suede can be a little temperamental, so it’s important that you use the right tools and cleaners. Here’s what you’ll need and what to do:
  • You’ll need  a brush— ideally a suede-cleaning brush. These will best protect the natural texture of the suede, and you can find them for $9-20. If you’re in a pinch, a soft-bristle brush will do, including a toothbrush.
  • For standard cleaning, don’t apply moisture to suede or it may stain and ruin the shoe’s uniform look. Dry brush them in the direction of the fibers, always in one direction instead of back and forth.
  • Another great tool is a  suede eraser, which is great for spot treatments. Rub the water or grease stain with the eraser then brush it to remove remnants. Tougher stains will require you to use more pressure. Don’t have a suede eraser handy? A pencil eraser works too.
  • If you have a tough stain on your suede shoes, dampen a washcloth with vinegar and dab the dirty area. Let it dry completely and then brush.
  • Top off your cleaning routine by gently wiping your suede shoes with a clean towel.
  • Seal in your hard work with a suede protector spray.


There are plenty of ways to clean leather depending on your goal. For everyday care, follow these tips. For a more in-depth guide to cleaning your leather shoes, including  what not to do and tips of polishing, conditioning and storage, check out our completerundown.
  • First thing’s first: Remove your laces so they don’t get in the way or stained by cleaners.
  • Gently wipe away any loose dirt with a soft cloth or soft bristle brush, working in a clockwise motion.
  • Fill a small bowl with water and a couple of drops of leather cleaner or soap. Dip a clean cloth into the solution, wring it out and wipe down the whole leather upper in a clockwise motion.
  • Wipe away the soap with a different damp cloth then let the shoes air dry in a cool place. Don’t put them near a fireplace or heater, since heat can discolor and crack the leather.
  • Now make your clean shoes shine! Add a little shoe polish or conditioner to another cloth and wipe shoes in small, circular motions. Then wipe off extra polish or conditioner with a separate cloth or brush.

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