Readers’ Choice 2022: Shoes

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On the Run

(415) 682-2042
Owner Mark Wachter, who founded On the Run in 1977, lives by this principle: “When it comes to people’s feet and well-being, I don’t settle.” The family-owned business specializes in comfort shoes, and Wachter trains the store’s shoe specialists in the biomechanics of the foot and ankle to ensure a good fit. 



Shoes on Solano

(510) 525-3832 BERKELEY
(510) 823-2290 OAKLAND
(925) 300-3003 WALNUT CREEK
Shoes that epitomize comfort and style keep shoppers coming back. With stores in Berkeley, Oakland and Walnut Creek, that’s the philosophy of owner and president Carol Fabretti. The stores sell multiple styles for women and children, including the house brand, SoleTerra Shoes, manufactured in Portugal. Expect a monthly raffle, a rewards program and a wide range of terrific shoes.

The Walk Shop

(510) 849-3628  •
“We do not sell shoes. We sell foot comfort.” That was the slogan of the store’s founder in 1930. Today, The Walk Shop has modified the saying only slightly, to “We sell fashionable foot comfort.” Some 25 brands supply “footwear for people who love to walk,” including everything from athletic shoes to boots to clogs to pumps to sandals and more. 



Footwear etc.

(800) 720-0572  •
Footwear etc., a family-run company, now has eight stores (the newest is in Los Gatos) in the South Bay/Peninsula area and in Walnut Creek, plus an online operation. The company motto is “If it’s uncomfortable, we simply don’t sell it.” Styles from dozens of brands range from athletic shoes to dress shoes to sandals, with selections for women, men and children. Clothing, handbags and socks also are available.



Sole Desire Shoes

(707) 508-1363 SANTA ROSA  •  (707) 931-0357 SONOMA  •
Since David and Mary Astobiza opened Sole Desire in 1990, they have featured European comfort shoes noted for promoting health, a new concept then and a popular notion now. Today, Sole Desire has two stores in Santa Rosa, one in Sonoma and six others in Northern California. In addition to shoes, the shops sell quality accessories. 

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