- Pavlos Shoe Repair
125 E. 88th St., nr. Lexington Ave. 212-876-8569
Even though it’s one of those places whose name is passed among fashion editors like samizdat, Pavlos doesn’t get as much attention as the big midtown places like Shoe Service. But the work speaks for itself: One recent job involved a pair of tattered black snakeskin cowboy boots that the customer had been wearing for more than 30 years, since she was 18. They were so thoroughly worn that her toes were sticking out the sides. Pavlos’s repairmen were able to patch the holes, stitch in new soles, replace the lining, tack on new heels, and clean and condition everything else. “I won’t say they looked brand new—but they looked close,” says Michael Papoutsakis, whose father founded the place 35 years ago. Basics are competitively priced (heels start at $6, replacement zippers at $25). But the real reason to come here is for more specialized tasks like leather stretching (from $5 to $15), calf alterations ($50), lowering or elongating heels (from $10), and dyeing ($40).