Although Nubuck Shoes appear to look like Suede Shoes, they are actually quite different and require different shoe care handling. Sanding the inside of calfskin leather creates Suede while sanding the outside of the calfskin leather creates Nubuck. The difference results in a texture similar to suede but much, much finer in texture and nap. Because of this, Nubuck Leather is very delicate. A normal brass or hard-bristle suede brush that would be appropriate for brushing out Suede would damage the more delicate Nubuck Leather.
Nubuck isn’t very popular here in the United States but has been gaining popularity in the United Kingdom and Japan for its distinctive and rather uncommon texture. The photograph below displays Edward Green Cherwell’s Chukka Boots made in Nubuck Leather. This fine texture is difficult to discern from a photograph, it really must be seen in person.
Our Saphir Crepe Brush is perfect for cleaning Nubuck Leather and is a great Suede Cleaner. The softness of the natural, rubbery crepe cleans Nubuck but will not damage it. An additional characteristic of crepe is its gummy texture, which “lifts” dirt from the shoe. With use, the color of the crepe begins to darken as it picks up dirt. This can easily be cleaned by simply rubbing it off with your fingers.