Are my Chromex Indys ruined?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JamesF, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. JamesF

    JamesF Member

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    I've had my natural chromexcel Indy boots for a little over a year now. In the last few months they've darkened considerably. But the worst is what happened on the toe. After riding my bike the last few times it appears that I've rubbed/scuffed the toe into a dark mess. It doesn't appear to be dirt, it's as if the oil from the leather has been darkened. Any idea if there is anything to do to fix it. Can Natural Chromex be stripped down? Or should I just retire them to lawn mowing boots?


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  2. Salad

    Salad Senior member

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    Not sure what could have done that but I don't think it will clean up. That said, they aren't ruined, In my opinion. They're work boots and so they should have some patina. Wear them as is, even to mow the lawn. They look fine to me.
     


  3. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    A certain amount of ruin is part of the look.
     


  4. cold war painter

    cold war painter Senior member

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    I agree, they should show signs of what they've been through.

    You may get more info by asking in the Alden thread in SW&D.
     


  5. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    JamesF, this is a natural patina that comes from enjoying your quality leather. Embrace it and enjoy it. Welcome to Styleforum.
     


  6. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    The clue to your problem is the self admission that you ride a bike.

    The darkness is due to motor/engine oil seeping onto and into the leather.

    I don't know if it is salvageable, but a leather specialist may be able to help. Should you wish to expend the time, money, and effort
     


  7. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

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    They look fine. Over time the the wear will even out adn they will just look broken in.
     


  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Yeah, the bike riding is what done it.

    Most leathers have a "grain surface". In some cases, it's relatively thick, in others not so much. It ordinarily acts as a barrier to dirt and to foreign oils, etc..Oil stuffed leathers are, in some respecst, like a moist sponge--the oil is already there and the spaces between the fibers of the leather already "open" such that more oil and dirt are easily transported through the grain.

    I suspect that the darkening is more apparent on the foot you shift with. I would guess that while shifting you've forced/driven "foreign" dirt and oil through the grain surface...maybe even doing some slight damage to the grain surface, in the process...and once that happens I doubt that it can be returned to anything close to original.
     


  9. JamesF

    JamesF Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input. And DW, I appreciate you chiming in. I believe you are right. I had a similar thing happen on my Wolverine 1000M boot, though to a lesser extent. It seems that the leather, specifically the chromex types, just soak up the dirt/oil/etc and no amount of Saddle Soap or Lexol would get it clean. I think my best bet now is to wear them without worry and hope the rest of the shoe darkens accordingly.
     


  10. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    I wonder if sprinkliing baking soda on the tops and letting them rest for a few days may work? Does the Baking soda not absorb oil out of the leather? leave 2 days, then briush off. DWF...what say you ?
     


  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know about baking soda. Fuller's Earth is what I was taught to remove oil.

    But the problem, as I see it, is two-fold...first, rubber by itself will mark floors and sometimes can, itself, softened or almost dissolved by oil. So the rubber on a shift lever could be contributing to the stain.

    And second, if the grain has been abraded by the rubber of the shifter...even if only at the microscopic level...then the oils in the boot will pick up rubber and dirt and so forth and transport it past the grain surface and into the underlying fiber mat. Even if you pull the oil with the baking soda or fuller's earth, the rubber and dirt may not automatically come with it.

    And of course, once the grain surface has been broken...esp. on light coloured leathers...the fiber mat will always pick up dirt and oil at a faster (and darker) rate than the surrounding leather.

    If what I suspect has happened prove to be true, I don't think...I don't know of...anything that can fix it.

    There may be something that I am not aware of on the market or some trick that I don't know...I try to deal in new leather not worn...but it
    doesn't look promising. Sorry about that.
     


  12. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Thank you DWF for your insights once again. I thoroughly enjoy your posts.
     


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