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Nubuck Leather: Silky Soft, Long Lasting Quality

by jackie keating October 23, 2018

There’s nothing quite like the pleasure in owning something timeless, genuine, and quality. Sometimes you just deserve to feel like an old Hollywood icon and treat yourself to a closet staple that’s meant to last...like a pair of shoes made from nubuck leather.

Nubuck leather is top-grain (finest quality) leather that’s been buffed on the outside, making it velvety-soft. Like suede, nubuck is tough and long-lasting, but should be kept away from liquid that would stain the leather. Water usually dries to the nubuck’s original color, but liquids like oils or coffee can stain. Nubuck takes a long process to make, and can be more expensive than suede because of this and because of a slightly better quality.

Nubuck was originally made from the skin of deer or elk, so the term nubuck is probably a contraction of the words “new’ and “buckskin.” Nubuck is now made from calfskin, and while suede is made from the inner layer of calfskin, nubuck is made from the tougher, more durable outer layer. Nubuck is usually naturally a white or tan color, but can be stained any number of shades and hues.

Because nubuck is such excellent quality and usually quite pricey, it is important that it be taken care of properly. The care instructions for nubuck include airing out your nubuck shoes so that any moisture accumulated can dry quickly. The shoes should also be kept away from dirt and mud when possible, making them best for urban environments.

Should your nubuck shoes get dirty, brush as much dirt off as you can, ideally with a suede-brush or suede-block. There are also special cleaning liquids made for suede that work equally well for nubuck cleaning.

Nubuck is excellent quality leather, and it shows. Some of the advantages, besides the aesthetically-pleasing aspects of the leather, are that it is one of the most-breathable leathers and that it’s extraordinarily soft and comfortable. These traits make nubuck very desirable for shoes.

When nubuck is taken care of, such as being kept away from dirty, muddy surfaces, it is a much lower-maintenance material than other leathers. For instance, it does not require any buffing or polishing, as many types of leathers do.  

Nubuck is also desirable for its durability. As long as you take the steps to take care of it, there is no reason that your nubuck shoes shouldn’t last many years.

Of course, shoes are not the only products that use the great traits of nubuck to their advantage. Nubuck is used in products like saddles and other equestrian equipment, purses, belts, wallets, and other accessories. The softness, toughness, and gorgeous look of nubuck makes it a sought-after material for many consumables.

Still, a pair of shoes made of nubuck can’t be beat in terms of comfort, fashionability, and style. Wear them all over town and even at home; the softness and quality are sure to garner you some well-deserved compliments. Every once in a while one should splurge on something that’s really good quality and exhibits fine craftsmanship---why not start by gracing your closet with a pair of slippers made with soft, durable nubuck?





jackie keating
jackie keating

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