I have 2 pairs of old Alpina cross country ski boots. The collars are flaking off the color layer exposing the foam which is slightly sticky. Has anyone found a way to recondition the collars, stop the flaking and eliminate the sticky feeling?
The collar seems to be made of something that looks like faux leather, which is why flaking happens. Peeling is a sign of a delaminating polyurethane (PU) coating on bicast, bonded or faux leather. Some people try to restore artificial leather by painting it, but this is not practical, especially on the collar of boots, it will not last long. This site describes How to repair peeling leather with results rubnrestore.com/
If the foam is in good condition, cover it with something - sew. If the foam is also not in the best condition, then replace the entire collar.
Alpina Sarna Cross Country 3 Pin Ski Boots Sz 38 Shoes 75 mm With Tags sold for $ 30
The price of Alpina 3 Pin Cross Country Vintage Ski Boots Blue Men's Shoe Size 41 US 8 is US $ 99
You can contact local shoe repairs in your area with this question. Shoe repair professionals have seen this issue before. Make sure you get the advice of at least a couple of businesses, to compare and what the process would be for this fix.
I would wash with saddle soap and then condition with leather conditioner. Finally, I would polish and buff.
Alpina cross country ski boots were made in Yugoslavia. The photo does not show the entirety of your boots, but I think you have a Sarna 5344-8 (3 Pin Cross Country Ski Blue Men's Shoe) www.etsy.com/
If you want to sell one of the pairs, then sell it as it is.
If you want to wear them yourself, then I would advise you to sew on top of a stronger fabric that will cover the flaking surface and foam, but you need to sew carefully.