If you’ve got a pair of shoes at home that you never wear—maybe the style is outdated, or the heel is too tall—don’t send them to Good Will just yet. First, head to your local cobbler. He can do a whole lot more than slap on a new sole, or touch up a scuffed toe.
If the heel is bothering you, ask him to lower or raise it. Generally a half-inch higher or lower is the limit, but that’s enough to see and feel a difference. You can also have him replace the heel block with a thicker or thinner shape for a brand new look.
Wish your beige flats weren’t so, well, beige? If they’re made of leather or fabric, you can get them dyed for under 50 bucks. Just keep in mind: It’s only possible to go from light to dark.
Shape is changeable too. A cobbler can convert knee-high boots into ankle booties (amazing, huh?) and he can alter the toes—that is, make pointy toes round, or create peep-toes out of closed shoes.
Of course, you could also just go out and buy yourself a new pair. You’ll never want to alter these fabulous spring work shoes, handpicked by Real Simple’s fashion department.