Why do shoes have such a hold over our imaginations? From blue suede to those made for walking, no other accessory has inspired as many songs or so much frenzied devotion. But why, if we adore our shoes so much, is it so easy to chuck them when they’ve gone out of style or have fallen into disrepair? Don’t they deserve better? Before you kick your old pair to the curb, check out our seven tips for refurbishing and refashioning your footwear—and get set to fall in love with your shoes all over again.
GET “CARRIE-D” AWAY
Who doesn’t own a pair of plain-Jane strappy sandals that could use a little extra oomph? Hope Studios has an easy way of transforming them into the dreamy Christian Louboutins worn by Sex & the City’s resident shoe-guru, Carrie Bradshaw. If C.L.’s Petal Sandals are what you hanker for, hop on over to MissMalaprop for a how-to.
If you know your way around a crochet hook, this handy (or should we say “footy”) tutorial from Crochet Me will teach you how to add a flirty ruffle to a pair of ankle boots.
DRAW SOME INSPIRATION
Take a cue from Wayward Girls’ ivory and black “wingtips” and draw your shoes a whole new personality. All you need are some markers and a yen for whimsy.
Turn your kicks from tired to inspired with Pretty Sneaky’s fabulous hand-knit covers for your Chucks. Choose from houndstooth, skull-and-crossbones, or quirky “Nun Chucks” designs.
If you’re bored with the color of your shoes, a bit of textile paint is all you need to put some pizzazz back into your soles. Dot & Line has a step-by-step guide (complete with photos) on how to spiff up a long-neglected pair with a new coat of color.
PUT YOUR OWN STAMP
Artist Yasmin Bochi gussied up a pair of boots by decoupaging a few international postage stamps onto their surface. With some Mod Podge and a fabric brush in hand, you’re limited only by your imagination. Some fabric scraps can liven up boring canvas, while pages from your favorite glossy can make a clever statement.
And last, but not least, our No. 1 way to spruce up your shoes is a no-brainer: Take them to be repaired! Most shoe uppers are surprisingly resilient, but the soles take a daily beating. Bringing them to your local shoe-repair shop is a simple way to keep your favorite shoes looking like new, save a ton of money, and avoid having to go through that painful break-in process with a brand new pair.