Common Projects: 5 Reasons to Buy Suede or Leather

Looking at Buying Your First Pair of Common Projects?

The 5 Decision Factors for Suede or Leather

You’ve probably noticed how much I enjoy wearing my Common Projects. As of this moment I own three pairs. Burgundy nubuck, grey suede, and white leather. A mix of materials and colors. The decision can sometimes just come down to the specific choice of color that you’re looking for. However, the material will also be a major factor there are options. Especially for shoes, the decision can come to going with suede or leather?

For the Common Projects Achilles Low there are an assortment of options. Each new season may bring a standard color selection with a new material. Here’s my opinion on the number of distinguishing factors between the two to help ease your decision-making process.

Suede or Leather?

Do You Take Care of Your Shoes?

That’s probably going to be one of the biggest factors in choosing the material shoe to buy here. Are you one to just straight-up beat the crap out of your shoes within a few months? Or are you somebody who has a nice rotation of shoes and will actually do the required maintenance of keeping certain materials clean? That’s a question to ask yourself. If your one who just wears one pair of shoes a chunk of the time and is harder on the shoes then go with the leather.  This doesn’t mean not take care of the shoes, the leather will probably just hang longer with your tendency with shoe care. Suede will actually be less maintenance as you just need to spray and spray them with water-resistant sprays. A leather shoe requires constant shining and conditioning to be in top-looking shape.

Creasing is another major factor with leather shoes, they age with the way you wear them.  You can see the white Common Projects Achilles here is white leather show creasing from hardly any wear at all. The Suede needs some TLC and if you’re willing to properly protect it can go a along way as well.

Suede or Leather? Leather 

Suede or Leather?

The Suede Standout

Suede to some is a dressier leather. It adds a nice texture to a shoe and elevates the complete outfit from afar. Some will consider it a casual material usually to be utilized with only certain style shoes. The style of shoe is a big factor, but for sneakers many will probably consider leather the most convenient and what they’re used to.

For me, I love my Common Projects in the grey suede. They were my first pair and fit comfortably right off the bat. They are also one of the few suede shoes I own. I consider my grey suede Common Projects a slightly dressier option than many of the standard leather sneakers I see guys’ wearing. If you have multiple leather sneakers already, I would recommend giving the suede sneaker a look. I believe you will see yourself being more fashion authoritative and will find yourself wearing them more often. Forget the seasonal rules of past, suede can be an all-season style shoe.

Suede or Leather? Suede 

Climate Factor

This will be the only factor to where I will say suede can be affected due to the seasons. If you’re in a rainy climate or in a wet area, then suede may not be the most optimal shoe for you. Yes you can find waterproof-suede options, Common Projects just isn’t quite there yet with the technicalities. If you’re in a rainy area especially, suede shoes will get dirty quicker than you imagined. In this case stick to the Common Projects Achille Low in leather.

Suede or Leather? Leather √

Back Heels of Common Projects Achilles Low

Style of Shoe

Common Projects has been doing great in expanding their shoes styles and going into collaborations with other designers. One style that people normally see suede shoes are in boots and oxfords. Common Projects did some nice Chelsea style boots that are completely out of suede. If you don’t own any Chelsea boots I would definitely look into it. It’s a very versatile and sleek style to mix in with a lot of different outfits. It’s also nice to have a suede and leather version to rotate between. Some outfits look better with suede and some with leather. Desert boots have always been known as a suede boot.

For oxfords, I still recommend leather just due to the texture of leather and how they do look very dressy. However, for summer outfits and even some blended material shoes, suede oxfords can pop with the right outfits. For sneakers, I definitely recommend looking at some suede styles. For the Common Projects Achilles, pick up a suede version first. You’ll notice how easy a transition it was from your old leather sneaker.

Suede or Leather? Suede 

Comfort Factors In

Suede is soft obviously. Leather is stiffer. There are different finishes to both, but in general you will hear that suede shoes are more comfortable. The leather is not as thick as it comes from the underside of leather skins. Naturally it has the soft fibers that give it the shaggy nap which help produce the softer feel. For my Common Projects I immediately noticed an instant fit and comfort level of the suede style. For the leather version, it was a different fit. The shoes seemed like they needed breaking in and weren’t s outright comfortable. As a result it wasn’t as great a fit as I was accustomed to with the suede. The leather ones just seemed too stretched out. For me personally, I believe the suede kept its form better.

With the Common Projects Achilles Low you will notice that the back heels of both styles are actually suede. It’s more comfortable and doesn’t rub as much as many leather shoes will.

Suede or Leather? Suede 

Comparing Common Projects Achilles Low Suede to Leather

Decisions Decisions

As you can see there are pros and cons to both options. What I would do is take a look at the 5 factors I mentioned above and see what fits into your lifestyle best. The weather and your personal style will be the biggest influencers. Also check out your own shoe collection and see what you currently have. Maybe it’s time you take a different direction on your fashion style and look at suede if you don’t own anything. I told you my opinion and hopefully you’ll pick your own pair of Common Projects Achilles Low in suede as well. Let me know what you ended up going with!

Anson Zong-Liscum

Lots of things interest me in this complex world. The things that have the biggest influence on my life however would be the creative world of fashion, mesmerizing art, the life-changing effects of traveling, the global world of cultural connections, and the way marketing effects all of us. It's an interesting world out there. Hit me up if you live in my world.


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