How do I Repair Slick Cowboy Boots?

by Laure Justice ; Updated September 28, 2017

Cowbot boots are considered by some people to be important symbols of western life.

boots and hat 1 image by Jim Parkin from

Walking on slick cowboy boots can be like trying to walk on ice. Even if the ground is dry, your feet can slip out from under you when you are wearing cowboy boots. This is because many cowboy boot are made smooth-soled, with no tread. You can repair slick cowboy boots, and protect yourself from an embarrassing, painful fall, by following a few steps to apply tread.

Turn the boots upside down, and make sure you are in a brightly lit area. To avoid damaging your boots as you apply tread, you need to have a clear view of the soles.

Position the sole grip pads in the center of the front sole of the boot, but do not remove the adhesive cover yet. Centering the pads allows them to connect with the floor so you will have more traction when walking in your boots.

Trace a thin line around the pads using a pencil, and set the pads aside while you prepare the soles.

Use sandpaper to gently sand the soles of the boots, working inside the thin pencil line. This is called roughing the sole. You don't want to sand enough to remove a layer of the soles; just scuff the finish, and remove any large pieces of debris from the soles.

Wipe the soles with a soft, damp cloth, and then let the boots sit, still upside down, for about five minutes to make sure the soles are dry.

Peel the backing off of the adhesive-backed sole grip pads. Stick the sole grip pads over the freshly sanded and cleaned area, keeping them inside of the pencil lines you drew earlier. Press the pads firmly in place, making sure there are no air bubbles under them by pressing from the center and working your way outward.


  • Sole grip pads wear out quickly if the boots are worn a lot, so if you find them on sale you can save money by buying extras.

    You can find sole grip pads at most stores that sell cowboy boots, at shoe repair shops, or by ordering them online.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

Photo Credits

About the Author

Laure Justice is a professional copywriter, since 2008. Justice has a broad-based business education, holding an AA in business administration and a Bachelor of Arts in management, plus certifications in accounting and international trade. She has written for GMC, Bounty Paper Towels, Purina's Petcentric, Colgate, Type F, Kudzu, eHow and many others.