Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Best Place for Running Shoes in Los Angeles: Arch and Sole


When you're traveling, good shoes are beyond essential. But even if you just live in Los Angeles and are like me, eager to do your exercise outside because outside is NICE and it's one of the major reasons you moved here, well-fitted, thought-out and long-lasting running shoes are a must-buy. And yes, you might not be running, you might be hiking or you might be playing a specific sport -- but whatever it is you're doing you need to have the right sneaker. Is "sneaker" a word from the 70's? Is it an East Coast word? Whatever you call it - that thing that goes on your feet when you're stomping around burning calories HAS to be right. To ensure that you'll get a high quality shoe, quickly and at a reasonable price, go to the store I should have gone to when I went on Zappos where I bought really uncomfortable shoes because I was being lazy.

Go to Arch and Sole.

The guy who runs this place takes extra special care of you. He can tell by how you walk what is really going on with your feet. Just by looking he could see my feet are a little wide and I have a high instep. And my bunyon's more prominent on my right foot. When he measured me, I learned I'm 7 1/2 on the right. 8 on the left. With compassion, he let me know, "That's normal."

Maybe so but my feet suck. I inherited a lot of good physical stuff from my mom but the one thing that sucks and has sucked since childhood are my feet. They get sore easily, get blisters, have bunyons. I had surgery on them when I was in my early 20's (that would be like 3 years ago) but bunyons grow back. Thank God it took long enough that I did get to wear cool shoes for several years in the interim. That being said, I need to take special care of my piggly wigglies. And I don't want to spend a lot of money doing it. But I need to trust that the person selling me the goods knows what he's doing and is on the up and up. This guy is the real deal.

Meaning this store isn't huge, there's no blasting music and though they sell clothing and useful workout products, the selling point are the shoes and the personal attention you receive when buying them.

Meet Mahmoud. He's the Arch & Sole Owner and he is okay by me.
And afterwards, if you're not planning a run at The Silverlake Reservoir or a hike up at Runyon but rather you're a little bit hungry... you know, you worked up an appetite trying on shoes... right down the street, I mean like a few doors down is...

Pink's Hot Dogs. Established in 1939.
I can't say whether or not to eat at Pink's.
Photo by Giant Robot
That all depends on what you're made of. But I can say THE coolest thing to me about Pink's is it's where Sean Penn asked Madonna to marry him. I think that alone would make me do a little swing by. And it's a hot dog. Every now and again... as long as you're working out, right?

And now, allow me to introduce my new running shoe-sneakers!

By the way, Mahmoud said that if I was unhappy I could exchange them. Even after a couple of weeks. He said, and I quote, "I stand by my work." 

No kidding.

"I stand by my work."


Arch & Sole is located at 745 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Nearest cross street is Melrose. Open mon-sat 10-7. sun 11-5.


Mahmoud's also selling different black American Apparel shirts for 3 bucks a shirt or 2 for $5. It goes to some fund raiser for his daughter's school. 3 bucks. Come on! (I've been watching the entire second season of "Arrested Development" to get me primed to binge watch the new episodes. Meaning, "come on" has special significance).

Enjoy! Come on!


  1. I SO NEEDED THIS RECOMMENDATION!!! Now that i'm back to running on a more regular basis, i want to be sure i'm running in a good shoe. I've been using the same style for over 10 years now. Open to an alternative. Thank you Cynthia! I find it interesting that i read this article at 7:05pm. 5 min. AFTER Mahmoud's shop closes. Ah well, good things come to those who, well, you know...(P.S. I haven't done anything as the BIG YAPPER for years. Don't look for it!)

  2. All their stuff are definitely a steal and bang for the buck.

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