(I can never resist a terrible pun …)
So here’s something I recently learned from a very fashion-wise co-worker of mine:
Instead of buying a special brush, maintain your suede shoes by brushing them gently with the “scrubby” side of a sponge.
This is assuming that you were going to buy a special brush in the first place (say whaaaat … ?). I actually didn’t know that this was the “proper” way to care for suede until reading an article like this a year or so ago. With fast fashion being so, well, fast these days, I didn’t think any of my suede items would live long enough to be maintained in the first place! But this is something that I’m trying to change; I categorize it with recycling soda cans, i.e. the “keep unnecessary stuff out of landfills” intent.
Anyhoo, I tried this advice on a pair of black booties and some blue oxfords last week, and it worked like magic! The dust and dirt rubbed right off, so the boots appeared a more uniform color. I would say the only trick is not to rub too hard (or you’ll de-suede your shoes!), and to make sure that you rub in same direction (not in a circle). To be extra gentle on my shoes, I used one of those blue Scotch Brite “no scratch” sponges.
One last note on keeping shoes happy … The best way to dry out wet shoes is to stuff them with newspaper and put them in a dry, warm place (but not too warm, like in front of a heater). This has saved many a pair of my running shoes after rainy training sessions.