Don't give up on a great vintage find just because it's not in the best of shape- most things can be saved!  I found these perfect Justin leather boots at a thrift store in less-than perfect condition, but after a little TLC, they are almost as good as new. 

I used a soft-bristled brush to gently brush the boots to remove any dust and dirt that was on them.  Next, I rubbed them all over with a nourishing protectant (I have Frye's paste for leather boots, but you can use anything you'd like).  Then I buffed them to a nice satin shine and they are beautiful, waterproofed, and ready to wear.
The tassel bits can probably be wrastled back into submission, too.  My plan is to rub them down with leather moisturizer, wrap them tightly to the shoe with a rubber band, and let them sit for a week or so to straighten out.
*Note: there are better tutorials out there on shining shoes, I just wanted to get the word out that even the most sad-looking leather shoes can usually be saved.

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