Nothing completes a Western-themed outfit like a nice pair of worn cowboy boots. Unfortunately, unless you live on a farm or wear your boots outdoors a lot, it can take quite a long time to get them looking authentic. Fortunately, city slickers have a few methods at their disposal to distress cowboy boots, making them look as though they've just stepped off the ranch.
Soften the leather by applying water to the outside of the boots with a damp cloth. Rub in the water, and apply a bit of saddle soap to your cloth. Rub the soap into the leather to create a lather, then rinse off the soap. This step will soften the leather and prepare it for the distressing process.
Blow-dry the boots until they are dry to the touch. Blow-drying is effective because it dries out the exterior of the leather and makes it look cracked and worn.
Apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball, and rub the cotton ball over the entire surface of each boot.
Use a wire brush or steel wool to distress the surface of the leather. Drag the brush or pad over the surface of the boots so scratches appear. Once you have added scratches, rub a piece of sandpaper in circles on the boots to distress the leather further.
Wear the boots outdoors in rough terrain to finish the job. Kick around in the dirt and rocks to add the finishing touches to your boots.
Elyse James began writing professionally in 2006 after deciding to pursue a career in journalism. She has written for "The Algonquin Times" as a general assignment reporter and published blogs and articles on Webcitybeat. James holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Ottawa.