How to Fix Bald Spots on Suede Shoes

Suede shoes are known for their sophistication and timeless style, making them a popular choice. However, like all delicate materials, suede needs special care to stay looking its best.

One common issue suede shoe owners encounter is the appearance of bald spots, where the fibers become flattened. The good news is that there are methods to address and improve this issue.

In this article, we’ll walk you through some efficient ways to fix bald spots on suede shoes. From gentle brushing and erasing to tips for protecting your suede footwear from future damage, you can learn all from this guide. So let’s start.

What Causes Bald Spots on Suede Shoes?

Bald spots on suede shoes happen when the soft texture is damaged or lost in specific spots. Numerous important factors contribute to the creation of these bare spots, including:

  • Friction and Wear

One of the most common reasons for bald spots is friction. The nap may eventually disappear due to repeated friction with surfaces, such as from walking or coming into contact with items, exposing the underlying leather.

  • Moisture Exposure

Another important element that might cause bald spots to appear is moisture. The nap of suede shoes may become matted down and lose their texture when they are exposed to water or other substances. Where the nap has distorted, the suede may have bald areas as it dries.

  • Ineffective Cleaning Methods

Incorrect cleaning techniques can also have an impact on the development of bald spots on suede shoes.

Suggested Reading: How Do You Clean Suede Shoes at Home?

How to Fix Bald Spots on Suede Shoes

Can you Fix Bald Spots on Suede Shoes?

Yes, you can fix bald patches on your suede shoes. There are effective solutions to bring them back to life. With the right techniques and materials, you can revive the suede’s texture and color.

Whether it’s through gentle brushing, erasing, or ironing, there are several methods to address these imperfections.

While complete restoration may not always be guaranteed, there are viable options for enhancing the overall look and condition of your suede shoes.

How to Fix Bald Spots on Suede Shoes

1. Using a Suede Eraser

One of the best ways to fix bald spots on suede shoes is with a suede eraser. Use a suede eraser to carefully remove any dirt or debris that could be the cause of the bald spot.

Suede surfaces can be lightly scratched and marked with suede erasers. Small bald spots can be treated using this technique.

The texture of the eraser aids in removing any particles that might be stuck in the suede’s nap. Remember to use a suede brush to restore the nap’s texture after using the eraser.

2. Using Suede Brush

Use a soft brush to fix the flat area on the suede. Gently rub the bare spot in small circles to make the suede soft again. Spreading the suede threads in this way may help cover the exposed area.

The suede looks better after brushing since it stands straighter. Remember to use a specific suede brush to prevent further damage.

How to Protect Suede Shoes

3. Ironing the Shoes

Ironing suede shoes can potentially help fix minor bald spots, but it should be done with extreme caution to avoid damaging the suede further.

Here’s a detailed explanation of how to iron suede shoes to address bald spots:

  • Clean, lint-free cloth

  • Steam iron (with no water)

  • Suede brush

1. Assess the Bald Spot: 

Examine the bald spot on your suede shoes. This method is best suited for minor bald spots or flattened areas caused by wear. If the damage is extensive or deep, it’s advisable to seek professional help.

2. Prepare the Shoes:

Ensure the suede shoes are clean and free from any dirt or debris. Use a suede brush to gently remove any surface dirt. This will prevent any particles from becoming trapped in the suede during the ironing process.

3. Setting up the Iron:

Make sure the steam function is off and that your steam iron is set to the lowest heat setting. High heat or steam must never be used on suede, as this might cause permanent damage.

4. Place the Cloth:

Cover the bald patch with a fresh, lint-free cloth. Between the suede and the iron, this fabric serves as a safeguard. To avoid coming into direct contact with the iron, make sure the cloth is just a little bit bigger than the bald region.

5. Use light pressure:

Lightly push the iron onto the bald region that is wrapped in fabric. Don’t move the iron back and forth; just use light pressure for a short period. The suede should be gently warmed to promote nap expansion and texture recovery.

6. Monitor Progress:

To check the progress, raise the iron and the fabric. The texture of the nap ought to be a little bit better. Be patient and stay away from high temperatures or pressure. Stop right away if the improvement is slight or if you experience any negative effects.

7. Brush the suede:

After ironing, take off the garment and carefully brush the treated area with a suede brush. This aids in restoring the nap even more and blending it with the surrounding suede.

  • Use the lowest heat setting on your iron and avoid utilizing steam.

  • Avoid ironing suede directly without using a shielding cloth.

  • Extreme heat can harm suede permanently, so practice complete caution and patience.

  • For very large or severe bald areas, this treatment is not recommended.

For little bald areas, suede shoes can be ironed, but caution must be used and the instructions must be properly followed.

If in doubt, it’s recommended to consult a professional shoe repair expert to ensure your suede shoes are treated properly and effectively.

can you fix scratched suede shoes

4. Using Sandpaper

Getting your hands on sandpaper, a DIY staple, can sometimes be all it takes to figure out how to cure bald areas on suede shoes. Because the rough surface helps elevate the fabric’s nap, suede shoe repairs using sandpaper can help cure bald areas.

Starting with a fine sandpaper grit and gently rubbing over the issue area in a circular motion. The goal is to lightly buff the area and raise the nap, not aggressively sand it down.

5. Using Steam for Bald Spots

Preparation: Ensure your fake suede shoes are clean and dry before you begin. Any dirt or debris on the surface could interfere with the steam treatment.

Steam Application: Direct the steam toward the raised fibers on the affected area. Move the steam source gently and methodically across the uneven texture. The objective is to dampen the fibers without saturating them.

Uniform Reshaping: As you brush, ensure you’re encouraging the raised fibers to blend back into the surrounding area. The brushing motion helps realign the nap, creating a smoother and more even appearance.

Your fake suede shoes can benefit from a steam treatment that not only removes elevated fibers but also enhances the texture overall.

Suggested Reading: How to Steam Clean Suede Shoes

6. Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a way to fix bald spots on suede shoes using a common household item. Here’s a simple explanation of how it works:

  1. Identify the bald spots on your suede shoes.
  1. Dampen a clean cloth with a small amount of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol).
  1. Gently rub the cloth over the affected area of your suede shoes. The rubbing alcohol helps to lift dirt and stains from the suede material.
  1. If necessary, add a bit more rubbing alcohol to the cloth and continue gently rubbing until the bald spot is cleaner and less noticeable.
  1. Allow your shoes to dry naturally. The rubbing alcohol will evaporate, and you can use the brush once again to restore the suede’s appearance.

Using rubbing alcohol can be an effective way to clean and potentially restore the look of your suede shoes, especially if the bald spot is due to a stain or dirt.

Moreover, you can also use white vinegar instead of rubbing alcohol.

Related Article: How to Clean Suede Shoes with Vinegar

7. Using Water to Fix Suede

If the bald spot is small and not too severe, you may be able to fix it by spraying your shoes with water. Simply take a clean cloth and dampen it before gently rubbing the affected area.

This can help restore the texture of the suede and make the bald spot less noticeable.

But it’s important to approach this method with care and precision. Suede is sensitive to water, and excessive moisture can lead to water stains or further damage.

MethodEffectivenessTime ConsumptionCost (Assuming no existing tools)
Suede EraserModerate-High5-10 minutesApprox. $3-$5 (one-time purchase)
Suede BrushModerate-High5-10 minutesApprox. $5-$10 (one-time purchase)
IroningModerate15-20 minutesLow (uses existing iron)
Sandpaper Low-Moderate5-10 minutesApprox. $3-$5
SteamModerate15-20 minutesLow (uses existing steamer)
Rubbing AlcoholLow-Moderate5-10 minutesAvailable in almost every kitchen
WaterLow-Very Low5-10 minutesFree (uses readily available water)

How to Protect Suede Shoes

1. Rotate Your Shoes

Wearing the same pair of suede shoes repeatedly can cause concentrated friction on particular regions, which might result in bald spots. Rotate your shoe collection frequently to avoid this.

2. Use Protective Sprays

Before you wear your suede shoes, take a moment to protect them. Get a suede protective spray made for suede. Make sure your footwear is dry and clean.

Spray gently in a sweeping motion to spread the spray over the shoes. Before wearing the shoes, give them 20 to 30 minutes to dry.

By using this spray, you can protect the suede against dampness and stains while maintaining the attractive, well-maintained appearance of your shoes.

3. Avoid Rain and Moisture

Suede is particularly vulnerable to water and moisture. Water can easily damage the texture and appearance of suede, causing it to become discolored and stained.

When there’s the possibility of getting into wet surroundings, it’s important to go with another type of footwear to preserve the quality and longevity of your suede shoes.

4. Cleaning Shoes Regularly

In order to increase the lifespan and maintain the beauty of your suede shoes, regular cleaning is necessary. The delicate suede material might eventually become damaged by dirt and debris.

Make it a routine to frequently clean your suede shoes to avoid this. For this job, you can use a suede brush or eraser.

Related Article: How to Protect Suede Shoes from Rain

how to get creases out of suede shoes


Q1. How do you fix damaged suede shoes?

Fixing damaged suede shoes depends on the extent of the damage. For minor scuffs and marks, you can use methods like using a suede eraser, brushing the nap back into place, or applying a suede cleaner.

Deeper damage may require professional shoe repair services. It’s essential to assess the damage and choose the appropriate method to ensure effective restoration.

Q2. Can you fix scratched suede shoes?

To fix scratched suede shoes, you can try the following methods:

  1. Gently brush the leather fibers to minimize the scratch. Optionally, use a wire brush with stiff nylon bristles to lift small fibers.
  2. For deeper scratches, apply suede conditioner to the scratch and surrounding area. Buff it out to help adjust the fibers and cover the scratch.
  3. If scratches persist, seek help from a leather-cleaning expert.
  4. Regularly treat shoes with suede conditioner to enhance suppleness and resistance.
  5. Note: Damage to suede may be permanent, but these methods can reduce scratch visibility. If severe, consult a professional cleaner for potential restoration.

Q3. How do you fix a tear in suede shoes?

To fix a tear in suede shoes, you can use the following method:

  • Select a flexible contact adhesive or fabric glue specifically designed for use on suede.

  • Clean the torn area with a suede brush to remove any dirt or debris. Ensure the suede is dry before applying the glue.

  • Squeeze a small amount of the chosen adhesive onto each half of the torn suede.

  • Carefully bring the torn edges of the suede together, ensuring they align as closely as possible. Press the edges firmly to create a secure bond.

  • To hold the suede in place while the glue dries, use fabric tape. Wrap the tape around the repaired area, applying gentle pressure to keep the torn edges in contact with each other.

  • It’s crucial to allow sufficient time for the glue to set and create a strong bond. This may take several hours or overnight.

  • Once the glue is completely dry, use a suede brush to gently restore the texture of the suede.

Q4. How can suede shoes be repaired at home?

Cleaning; Start by cleaning the surface with a suede brush to remove any dirt or debris.

Repair scuffs: Use a suede eraser or brush to remove minor scuffs and scratches. They may become less noticeable as a result.

Refresh the Nap: Brush the suede in the proper direction with a soft-bristle brush. Steam can be used to restore the soft texture if necessary.

Apply cleaner: If the shoes need a thorough cleaning or there are stains, apply a suede cleaner.

Consider Dye: If the color has faded in some spots, you might think about using a suede dye that matches the original color.

Protect: To prevent future damage, apply a suede protector spray. This helps keep your shoes safe from water and stains.

Final Verdict

Although restoring bald areas on your suede shoes may seem difficult, it’s possible. You can restore the look of your shoes with the appropriate techniques and some perseverance.

With techniques like gentle brushing, erasing, or a simple steam treatment, you can tackle these bald spots. Remember, regular care, keeping your suede shoes dry, and avoiding excessive wear can help prevent these issues.

The most important thing is to take care of the problem as soon as you see it, whether you decide to handle it yourself or hire a professional. Take your time and handle your shoes gently to avoid further damage.

You may maintain the gorgeous appearance of your shoes in the same manner as when you initially bought them by applying preventive techniques. Give your suede shoes the care they need now.

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