Shoe Alterations – If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Make it Fit!



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Ever fall in love with a pair of shoes but the fit isn’t quite right? This is the story of my life. With a AAA narrow foot, it’s nearly impossible to find a pair of shoes that will fit right out the box, especially flip flops and sandals. Imagine the length of your foot being that of a size 8.5 but the width of your foot being more like a size 6. Naturally, this has strictly limited my shoe collection over the years….until I learned about shoe alterations!! This hack has been a GAME CHANGER for my shoe wardrobe.

Is it Worth it to alter shoesA friend of mine introduced me to shoe alterations and even referred me to the man who would forever change my life. Jose at Shoe Lab. If you’re in the LA area, you’re gonna wanna look him up. He’s located in the Topanga Mall (but Shoe Lab has multiple locations in LA). And if you’re not in LA, no worries babes – you can find shoe cobblers anywhere!! 

Shoe cobblers usually specialize in working with leather goods. That means in addition to altering and repairing shoes, most shoe cobblers will also work with belts, handbags, leather jackets, etc. 

Common Shoe Cobbler Offerings


  • Ankle Straps Adjustment on Sandals
  • Repair Broken Straps on Sandals 
  • Calf or Shaft Alterations on Boots (to make bigger or smaller)
  • Zipper Replacement and Installation on Shoes and Boots
  • Clean and Recondition Dress Shoes and Boots
  • Repair Heel on Shoes
  • Add Sole Protection and Slip Resistance to Dress Shoes
  • Heel Shorteningbefore and after shoe alterations


  • Shorten Belts 
  • Add New Holes to Belts
  • Clean and Condition


  • Add Lining to Handbags
  • Add New Strap or Make Straps Shorter
  • Add New Piping 
  • Clean and Condition Handbags

Shoe Alterations: Is it worth it?

Altering and repairing shoes is super sustainable. Not only does it mean that I’m not limited on my shoe options, but I find that it makes me want to invest in shoes that I want to keep forever. 

Not every shoe in my opinion is worth altering. Three things that I consider when deciding whether to purchase and alter a shoe:

  • Love for the Shoe
  • Is it a Need?
  • How is it different from something I already have?

How to Alter SandalsWith these three things in mind, I find that I have adapted a very sustainable shoe collection. I feel way more inclined to invest in designer shoes because I know that with regular maintenance and repair, I can keep wearing them forever. Imagine never needing to part with a pair of shoes you’re in love with. Like I said, Game Changer! 



  1. Keisha says:

    Love a good shoe cobbler. Depending on make & quality of shoe, they can even be widen a bit. That’s usually my issue. LOL

  2. Angelica says:

    Thanks for posting this! I’m a 9.5 SS or AAAA. The struggle is real. I usually have to wear old lady shoes.

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I’m a clean beauty expert, a plant-based recipe guru, a fashion maven, and a mature black woman embracing my natural hair, silver streaks and all.

Welcome, I'm Tennille Murphy