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...And a Deal to Boot

Positively 8th Street: The downtown shoe-seeker's mecca, formerly on a downscale spiral, turns on its heel -- and we pay its shops a booty call.

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You're after a new pair of boots: sleek and warm, with heels that'll conquer slick streets but won't make you look like an Outward Bound refugee. You may have stopped shopping on 8th Street eons ago, but give it another shot: Higher-end stores have moved in with the old standbys, and there's nary a pair of Doc Martens to be seen. You can also hit a handful of stores to hunt down that perfect, calf-hugging fit without spending the better part of a weekend in a taxi.

Gianni Bravo, a bona fide Italian designer boutique, has lots of sexy knee and ankle boots with those must-have tapered heels for $250 to $350 a pair (even python's a good deal at $650). Many other shops on the street offer similarly designer-inspired ankle styles for about $150 to $200 and knee-highs for $200 to $300. You'll want to wander, but here's a rundown: Tsakiris Mallas has loads of trendy stuff, like colorful pony skin, but if you want a look that'll last through spring, go for plain leather; ditto at Shoe Closet (where there's also some sleek faux python). For sleek, square-toe mid-calf boots in a range of colors, try Milena Shoes, and if you're after major texture, check out Petit Peton, where sleek, mock-croc knee boots are $249.

Walking boots abound at Shoe Plaza, where sturdy ankle boots are mostly $40 to $60. At Make 10 you'll pay $30 to $70 for basic leather ankle styles, and knee boots are as little as $49. In the cramped quarters at Village Shoes, the slightly more fashion-forward selection includes short and high boots starting about $100 (they're best in red leather). At Stiletto Shoes, the spindly-heeled stuff flourishes in everything from calfskin to bright fake snake (mostly $150-$250). And -- yes, this is 8th Street -- sizes are decidedly his-and-hers.

Gianni Bravo, 31 W. 8th St. (212-505-0122); Tsakiris Mallas, 37 E. 8th St. (212-677-7873); Shoe Closet, 9 W. 8th St. (212-529-0840); Milena Shoes, 23 W. 8th St. (212-254-5132); Petit Peton, 27 W. 8th St. (212-677-3730); Shoe Plaza, 60 W. 8th St. (212-420-8832); Make 10, 49 W. 8th St. (212-254-1132); Village Shoes, 11 W. 8th St. (212-253-2881); Stiletto Shoes, 59 W. 8th St. (212-677-4151).

Picks of the Week

Tucker Robbins, a dealer in Eastern-inspired furniture made from antique wood, is taking half off everything in his showroom. Bowls are $25-$250, chairs and chests are $750, wood-and-shell screens are $1,200. 366 W. 15th St., fifth floor (212-366-4427); A.E., M.C., V., checks; Mon.-Fri. 10-6, Sat. 11-3; 12/27-1/8.

Burberry is taking 30 to 40 percent off stock for men and women, including the fall designer collection (pictured), plus select outerwear and basics. Prices are from $49 for ties to $799 for a wool-bouclé jacket. 9 E. 57th St. (212-371-5010); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 9:30-7, Sat. 9:30-6:30, Sun. noon-6; 12/27-1/31.

The MoMA Design Store is taking 20 to 50 percent off most stock (half off all holiday items): An aluminum candlestick is $11, a Japanese table runner is $50, a wall-mounted CD case is $210. 44 W. 53rd St. (212-767-1050); A.E., M.C., V.; Sat.-Thurs. 10-6:30, Fri. till 8; 12/27-1/15.

Zeller Tuxedo has a $79.95 special on tuxedo rentals for the big night (shirt, studs, cummerbund, etc., included). Makers include Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, and Chaps by Ralph Lauren. They're open till 6:30 on New Year's Eve, but try to be fitted two days earlier. 1010 Third Ave., at 60th St. (212-688-0100, for more stores, call 800-464-0462); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 9-8, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 11-5; 12/27-12/31.

Small Change is putting all their high-end kids' winter duds on sale (from companies like IKKS, Magil, and Sophie Dess). Prices are mostly from $20 for T-shirts to $165 for velvet dresses (girls' suits are about $300). Sizes newborn-14. 964 Lexington Ave., near 70th St. (212-772-6455); A.E., M.C., V, checks.; Mon.-Fri. 10-5:45, Sat. till 4:45; 12/27-1/31.


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