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Centaurus3200
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PostSat Aug 17, 2019 11:11 am 
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Found these 1970s Dexter mountaineering boots at the goodwill bins. Barely any sole wear, but someone put some obviously not suede specific protectant on them. Made them sticky and shiny.

I spent an hour hammering them. Wire brush, sand paper, steel wool. The suede wants to come out, but I definitely need chemical assistance. You can see the inside lining where there's some orange crap (or turned orange) that was applied.

What do I use? Saddle soap? Something stronger?

Pics make my efforts look like a mess. it's actually progress. There's just some areas of suede that will not "fluff up". Hence why I'd like a recco on what magic elixer to try because elbow grease ain't working on its own.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12FQCAnpb6BW5iHX9Fnh2aYWVYiAMZxfe/view?usp=drivesdk

https://drive.google.com/file/d/127a_B_913tZP1BfHY3kSnMo1sWyeF7n1/view?usp=drivesdk
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Aug 17, 2019 11:40 am 
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The links you posted are locked, can't be opened w/o "permission".

Not familiar with that particuar brand, but if your boots are anything like my old Raichle Montagnas, it was SOP back in the day to coat the sewn welt (and usually most of the boot) with some kind of waterproofing compound like "Sno-Seal".  Yes, it does reduce the "fluff" and changes the look/feel of the leather, but that's not the point.

See this discussion on boot waterproofing also:
http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8028614&highlight=leather+coatings+boots

Those products are probably an improvement over old stuff like Sno-Seal.   How they perform is what counts, not cosmetics, right?   wink.gif Sounds like you made a good find.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Its why we cant have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Centaurus3200
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PostSat Aug 17, 2019 3:32 pm 
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I fixed the sharing access. Pictures should be viewable now.
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Aug 17, 2019 4:14 pm 
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Yep, same basic design/materials as my old Raichles.  Went thru two pairs over the decades.  The way your boots looked when you found them is what they're supposed to look like after typical treatment of the era, as member Ski mentioned in the thread on waterproofing.  They're probably better made than a lot of what's out there. Heavier than many modern boots - made with steel shanks,  lots of support and can be used in all kinds of conditions. I'd even skied from Banff to Mt. Assiniboine using them with cable bindings.

My feet could never handle rocky trail without a lot of cushion and support - even when I was in my 20's. You've scored a lot of boot for cheap; give them a good coating per recommendations in the other thread (especially the welt - ie, the sewing around the sole).

As an aside, about 6-7 years ago while at REI (not looking for shoes), I peeked into their discount/returns section and found an amazing pair of men's Italian Zamberlain leather boots that fit me perfectly.  I didn't think anyone still made the old style - same Norwegian welt but improved with gore-tex lining, rubber toe guard and hinge at the ankle. Sale-marked for under $200.  Couldn't find a display pair to check the original price and the salesperson told me they'd been a special order.  I was dancing in the street when I got home and found out the retail price, at the time around $400.  eek.gif  The best gear score of my life  - and - the most comfortable boots I've ever had - no breaking in necessary.

You might want a lighter pair for easy trips, but those boots will serve you well.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Its why we cant have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Ski
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PostSat Aug 17, 2019 4:46 pm 
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all you need to know:

Obenauf's LP

not sure why you'd worry about whether the suede finish is "fuzzy" or not.

if you want dry feet, Obenauf's LP

it will darken the leather (as any leather treatment will) and it will completely change the appearance of suede (as any leather treatment will) but your feet will be dry.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Centaurus3200
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PostSun Aug 18, 2019 2:38 pm 
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I just wanted to try and revive the suede finish... But yeah... Decades old sno-seal ain't coming off no matter what I try.

So guess what? I'm gonna slather some more sno-seal on them, but try to do a better job. Then hit them with kiwi clear and just make them look like leather.

Then go hiking!

http://www.90thidpg.us/Equipment/Projects/Dubbing/index.html
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Ski
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PostSun Aug 18, 2019 2:48 pm 
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no... don't do that.
use the Obenauf's.
you should be able to find it at most any shoe shop.

Sno-Seal isn't the best choice for leather.

Obenauf's = way mo' betta.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Centaurus3200
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PostSun Aug 18, 2019 3:52 pm 
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Thanks ski!
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Aug 18, 2019 6:23 pm 
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I used to have similar boots, mine were not suede, but rather "rough out" leather.  Which was standard construction for full grain, steel shanked boots of that era.  The leather is sew so the skin side was in towards the feet and the side that was toward the cows guts is on the outside.

This construction resist scraping better and retains water resistance longer.

Ski's recommended leather treatment is excellent.  I suspect Sno-Seal was what was used previously.
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Chief Joseph
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PostSun Aug 18, 2019 8:00 pm 
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I like Mink oil but might have to try the Obenauf's LP.

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Ski
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PostSun Aug 18, 2019 9:57 pm 
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if you review previous threads on boot care (and there are a couple dozen) I believe you'll find that Obenauf's gets the best reviews.

I've been using it now for.... about.... 35 or 40 years... only thing I'd ever use on leather.


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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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