There are several ways to approach the new spring season. One, of course, is to start at the top and buy a new outfit from head to toe. Another is simply to regroup what you already own: Shorten and trim down some of the skirts, inject an accent of bright color with a blouse, a belt, a bag. And then buy a new pair of shoes. In many ways the shoes are the essential ingredient for making clothes look new this spring. The lower and slantier heel and the bright-color leathers, suede and even canvas, change the way you look, feel and even walk. While the high heel is still very much around (for those willing to forfeit comfort), the slanty cone shape is the newest look. The best of the new shoes take the middle ground, bowing to both comfort and practicality. Here are some of the new shoes and the clothes silhouette -- new and old -- they best complement.

Red pump with white piping, an ideal suit shoe. By Nickels at Hecht's, $52.

Black patent leather pumps made in Greece. Ideal with suits, chemise dresses and even ankle-length pants. From Petridis Shoes, White Flint, $72.

Carved low heel sandal to wear with below-the-knee loose pants. (Try textured hose with them.) In fuschia and other colors. Dominque's, $56.

Leather pompon-decorated, low heel pump to give a modern proportion to spring clothes. Beige. By Joan and David, at Rich's and Hess Shoes, $78.