Popular footwear materials include suede, velor and nubuck. Each of them has its own distinctive features, advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed in our article.

Suede is made from natural raw materials. This is the inner layer of the skin of horned animals. Most often, calfskin is used, although there are products made from deer, elk, goat and mutton leather. The material is impregnated with fats, which makes it soft and porous. This process is called fat tanning. The surface is then sanded until it is very smooth and soft to the touch.

The peculiarity of suede lies in its amazing softness, while it is quite susceptible to moisture and pollution, and also requires careful care. But she has an undeniable advantage: if the suede gets wet, then all its performance properties and shape will be preserved.


For the production of nubuck, the outer side of genuine leather is used. The most popular option is calfskin, sometimes there are models made of deer or elk skin. Please note that nubuck and suede are the same type of genuine leather, and the difference lies solely in the surface treatment.

If you compare the outer layer of the skin with the inner, then it will be rougher. Accordingly, nubuck, in comparison with suede, is more rigid and dense. The advantages of nubuck include an increased level of wear resistance, as well as a higher resistance to dirt. The increased wear resistance of nubuck increases the cost of products, so shoes made from this material will be more expensive than suede counterparts.


Natural velor is among the budget options for the production of shoes. For its manufacture, small and dense skins of goats, pigs, calves and sheep are used. Depending on which processing technology is used, the material is hard or soft.

The surface of velor is less homogeneous in composition than that of nubuck. This is explained by the fact that velor can be made even from leather with small defects on the front surface. Among the minuses, it is worth noting the low level of material strength, as well as the complexity of care. But its cost is noticeably lower than velor and nubuck.


To independently determine the type of material of the upper shoe, you should pay attention to the following characteristics.

Density of pile

Suede has a soft, slightly uneven and short pile. Nubuck has a velvety, fine and fluffy pile. Velor is characterized by a long, thick and shiny pile, on which traces of touch are noticeable.

Color and structure uniformity

Suede products are slightly uneven in shade. Nubuck is completely monophonic. Velor is also plain, sometimes with small color splashes.


The thinnest and softest material that can be easily deformed is velor. Suede is elastic because it is quite thin in structure. Rigidity and density are the hallmarks of nubuck.

Seam quality

Velor products are made with folded seams. Suede models are distinguished by the absence of hem and edge processing. Shoes and accessories made of nubuck are sewn with hemmed seams, which are additionally glued.

Damage resistance

There are almost no scratches on suede, which is explained by the softness of the material. On the surface of the nubuck, damage will be quite noticeable, and scratches will not be visible on the velor, however, when the pile is abraded, white stripes appear.

In the SOHO network and on the site this shop you will find many models of shoes made of different types of leather from the world’s best manufacturers. Knowing the features of each material, you can easily make the right choice!