I bowed out of the discussion after a small fracas developed on the board, but I wanted to let everyone know that I had gone through several applications of corn starch to draw out the oil from the leather, and I had then decided to take the shoes directly to my local cobbler first thing in the morning. He indicated that there was little to no hope, and insisted that degreaser would damage or alter the finish of the shoes... Question for the forum: he indicated that I should coat very light shoes with a repellant in order to avoid stains. Thoughts? I will post after pictures in case anyone is interested.