Best Shop for Designing the Shoes of Your Dreams - 2009
East Village Shoe Repair
1 St. Mark's Place
New York, NY 10003
Whether you want your Converse to be thigh-high or your Nikes to have a fierce stiletto heel, there's nothing—and we mean nothing—the savvy shoe artists at East Village Shoe Repair can't do. Located on the bustling St. Mark's strip (just look for the raggedy Barney doll out front), this closet-size shop is brimming with old heels, boots, and sneakers just waiting to be turned into something one of a kind. Or, of course, you can bring in a pair of your own shoes to be airbrushed, dyed, or somehow radically altered. Run by Belarus natives Boris Zuborev and Eugene Finkelberg, the shop's a hit not just with the East Village locals (who rave about the speedy, high-quality shoe-repair service on Yelp), but also with the fashionista crowd—a few years back, W magazine commissioned them to make a pair of platform boots to be worn by none other than Kate Moss. And if they're good enough for her, well . . . why would you go anywhere else?