How to Stop Suede Shoes from Rubbing Your Heel

Suede shoes can be a stylish and comfortable choice for footwear, but one common problem that many people experience is the discomfort of suede shoe rubbing. This issue can lead to painful blisters and make wearing suede shoes a less enjoyable experience. In this article, we will explore the causes of suede shoe rubbing and provide practical solutions to help alleviate this problem.

Understanding the Problem

The discomfort of suede shoe rubbing

Wearing suede shoes that rub against your heel can cause irritation and discomfort. The friction between the rough suede material and your skin can lead to painful blisters, making it difficult to walk or stand for extended periods.

Imagine this: you’re all dressed up for a special occasion, wearing your favorite pair of suede shoes. As you take your first steps, you feel a slight discomfort in the back of your heel. Ignoring it, you continue walking, but with each step, the discomfort intensifies. Soon enough, you notice a red, irritated patch forming on your skin. This is the result of the suede shoe rubbing against your delicate heel, causing friction and irritation.

But what exactly causes this discomfort? Let’s explore further.

Common causes of suede shoe rubbing

There are several factors that can contribute to suede shoe rubbing. One common cause is wearing shoes that are the wrong size or fit. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause unnecessary friction against your heel.

Picture this: you’re at the shoe store, eyeing a beautiful pair of suede shoes. They look absolutely stunning, and you can’t resist trying them on. However, you notice that they feel a bit snug. Ignoring the discomfort, you convince yourself that they’ll stretch with time. Little do you know, those seemingly harmless shoes will become a source of irritation and pain. The tight fit will cause the suede material to rub against your heel, creating friction and discomfort.

Another cause of suede shoe rubbing is not properly breaking in your shoes before wearing them for long periods. Suede shoes, like any other footwear, need time to adjust and mold to the shape of your feet.

Imagine this scenario: you’ve just purchased a brand new pair of suede shoes. Excited to show them off, you decide to wear them for an entire day of walking and standing. However, you soon realize that your feet are paying the price for your impatience. The unyielding suede material rubs against your heel, causing irritation and blisters. Had you taken the time to break in your shoes gradually, this uncomfortable experience could have been avoided.

The importance of addressing the issue

Addressing the problem of suede shoe rubbing is essential for both comfort and foot health. Ignoring the discomfort can lead to more serious issues, such as infections or long-term skin damage. By taking proactive measures, you can prevent further irritation and enjoy wearing your suede shoes without pain.

Imagine this: you continue to wear your suede shoes, despite the discomfort and blisters they cause. Over time, the friction between the suede material and your skin leads to open wounds and raw skin. This creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, increasing the risk of infections. Furthermore, the constant rubbing can result in long-term skin damage, leaving your heel vulnerable and sensitive.

However, by addressing the issue early on, you can avoid these potential complications. Taking proactive measures, such as wearing properly-fitted shoes and gradually breaking in your suede footwear, can significantly reduce the discomfort and prevent further irritation.

Preparing Your Suede Shoes

Choosing the right size and fit

Before purchasing suede shoes, it’s crucial to ensure you choose the right size and fit. Take the time to measure your feet accurately and refer to the manufacturer’s size guide. Suede shoes that fit properly will reduce the chances of rubbing and discomfort.

When measuring your feet, it’s important to consider both length and width. Suede shoes that are too tight can cause friction and lead to blisters, while those that are too loose may result in your feet sliding around inside the shoes, causing rubbing against the material. It’s always a good idea to try on different sizes and widths to find the perfect fit.

Additionally, keep in mind that feet can change in size over time. Factors such as weight gain or loss, pregnancy, and aging can affect the size and shape of your feet. Therefore, it’s recommended to measure your feet periodically to ensure you are still wearing the correct size.

Breaking in your suede shoes

Breaking in your new suede shoes is essential to prevent rubbing. While suede is known for its softness and comfort, it can initially feel stiff and rigid. To avoid discomfort, it’s best to gradually break in your shoes.

Start by wearing them for short periods around the house. This allows the material to soften and adapt to the shape of your feet. You may notice some tightness or slight rubbing during the first few wears, but this is normal as the suede adjusts to your foot contours.

As you continue to wear your suede shoes, you’ll notice them becoming more flexible and comfortable. It’s important to be patient during this process and avoid wearing them for long periods right away. Gradually increase the duration of wear until you feel comfortable wearing them for extended periods.

Additionally, you can speed up the breaking-in process by gently flexing the shoes with your hands or using a shoe stretcher specifically designed for suede. These methods help to loosen the material and make it more pliable.

Properly cleaning and conditioning suede

Maintaining your suede shoes in good condition can also contribute to preventing rubbing. Regular cleaning and conditioning will not only keep them looking great but also ensure the material remains soft and supple.

When it comes to cleaning suede, it’s essential to use the right tools and techniques. Start by using a suede brush or cloth to remove any dirt or dust from the surface. Gently brush in one direction to avoid damaging the delicate nap of the material. For stubborn stains, you can use a suede eraser or a specialized suede cleaner.

After cleaning, it’s crucial to condition your suede shoes to keep them moisturized and less prone to rubbing against your heel. Use a suede conditioner or spray specifically formulated for suede materials. Apply it evenly to the entire shoe, following the product instructions. Conditioning not only helps maintain the softness of the suede but also provides a protective barrier against moisture and stains.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to rubbing and discomfort caused by suede shoes. By choosing the right size and fit, breaking them in gradually, and properly cleaning and conditioning them, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable wearing experience with your suede shoes.

Preventative Measures

When it comes to taking care of your suede shoes, preventing rubbing and irritation is key. By implementing a few simple measures, you can ensure that your footwear remains comfortable and in good condition for a long time.

Using heel grips or cushions

One effective way to alleviate rubbing in your suede shoes is by using heel grips or cushions. These handy inserts provide extra padding and support, creating a barrier between your heel and the rough material of the shoe. By absorbing the friction, heel grips or cushions can significantly reduce the discomfort caused by rubbing. You can easily find these inserts in most footwear stores, making it a convenient solution for your suede shoe woes.

When purchasing heel grips or cushions, it’s important to choose the right size and material. Opt for inserts that are specifically designed for suede shoes, as they will be gentle on the delicate material. Additionally, look for inserts that offer a combination of cushioning and breathability, ensuring that your feet stay comfortable and sweat-free throughout the day.

Applying moleskin or padding

If heel grips or cushions are not readily available, don’t worry! There’s another effective solution to prevent rubbing in your suede shoes. You can try applying moleskin or padding directly to the inside of your shoes. This method involves cutting the material into small strips and adhering it to the problem areas where your shoes rub against your heel.

Moleskin, a soft and durable fabric, is often used in medical settings to prevent friction and irritation. By applying moleskin to the interior of your suede shoes, you can create a protective layer that cushions your feet and prevents rubbing. Similarly, you can use padding made from materials like foam or gel to achieve the same effect.

When using moleskin or padding, make sure to apply it properly to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness. Measure the size of the problem areas and cut the material accordingly, ensuring a precise fit. Additionally, ensure that the adhesive used to attach the moleskin or padding is strong enough to withstand daily wear and tear.

Wearing socks or stockings

For a simple yet effective preventative measure, consider wearing socks or stockings with your suede shoes. The fabric of socks or stockings creates a barrier between your skin and the suede material, reducing friction and the likelihood of rubbing. This can be particularly useful if you prefer not to use inserts or if you want an additional layer of protection.

When choosing socks or stockings to wear with your suede shoes, opt for thin, breathable options. Thick or bulky socks may alter the fit of your shoes and cause discomfort. Instead, look for socks or stockings made from materials like cotton or nylon, as they are lightweight and allow for proper ventilation. Additionally, consider selecting socks or stockings that match the color of your shoes to maintain a sleek and coordinated look.

By incorporating socks or stockings into your suede shoe routine, you can enjoy added comfort and protection throughout the day.

Adjusting the Fit

Using insoles or inserts

If your suede shoes are slightly too big, you can try using insoles or inserts to adjust the fit. These inserts can be placed inside your shoes to provide additional cushioning and fill any excess space, reducing the chances of rubbing against your heel.

Stretching suede shoes

In some cases, suede shoes that are too tight can be stretched to alleviate rubbing. You can take your shoes to a professional cobbler who will use specialized tools and techniques to stretch the material and provide a more comfortable fit.

Seeking professional alterations

If none of the above solutions work, consider seeking professional alterations for your suede shoes. A skilled cobbler can make necessary adjustments to the shoe’s structure, ensuring a better fit and reducing the likelihood of rubbing.

By following these tips, you can put an end to the discomfort of suede shoe rubbing. Remember to always prioritize the right fit, break in your shoes properly, and take preventative measures to avoid unnecessary friction. With these proactive steps, you can confidently wear your suede shoes without worrying about discomfort or painful blisters.