Imelda's and Louie's
3426 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233-7476, shop.imeldas.com.
WW readers' poll pick for Best Shoe Store, Imelda's and Louie's boutique shop stocks stacks of high-quality men's and women's boots and shoes along with hip Portland-centric accessories. The retail here looks as much like art as it does footwear.
815 SW Alder St., 225-1241, johnnysoleshoes.com.
Because you aren't just another guy in the IT department or merely an administrative assistant, you may be trying to track down footwear with a bit of swagger that is still office-appropriate. Johnny Sole has an assortment of brands such as Wolverine, Bed Stü and Frye.
938 NW Everett St., 331-0366, haloshoes.com.
Located in the Otis Elevator Company Building, this shop boasts finely made footwear. Most of the inventory comes from smaller designers out of Romance language-speaking countries and is molto di moda.
Manifesto (and PedX)
3806 N Mississippi Ave., 546-0910, manifestoshoes.com.
This bright and inviting storefront on Mississippi is a fine resource for footwear brands like Swedish Hasbeens, Camper and Jeffrey Campbell. If you can't find what you are looking for here, the older sister store, PedX (2005 NE Alberta St.), is worth visiting—especially if you're in the market for vegan shoes.
7419 N Burlington Ave., 720-6118, romshoes.com.
A shoe store grows in St. Johns. This little family-run shop, opened in September, is more in the tradition of old St. Johns than new New Seasons St. Johns—a home for quirky comfortwear and international designs like Indonesian-style Bali Elf and fair-trade Oliberté from Africa.
Lloyd Center and six other Portland-area shopping malls, shoemill.com.
It is a weirdly heartening thing that in Portland, our most dominant shopping-mall shoe outlet is not Payless or Foot Locker or Shiekh but rather Shoe Mill—a humble 37-year-old chain still owned and run by two generations of the Habre family.
417 SW 13th Ave., 224-3591, solestruck.com.
This showroom for the Warby Parker of shoes is worth a field trip to wander its rows of very unordinary inventory. Find rainbow-sole creepers and giant platforms among other eclectic pairs fit for a dance floor or festival. All shoes must be purchased online, but you can order a try-at-home box with up to three styles to help make up your mind.
Winn Perry & Co.
209 SW 9th Ave., winnperry.com.
Menswear shop Winn Perry—like John Helmer Haberdasher just blocks away—stocks a single brand of dress shoe: New England's Alden, the $500 hand-stitched shoe heavily prized by fops and dandies alike. What else could one possibly need? Why, a Kasuri-woven Doek canvas boat shoe, of course! For the yachting!
3430 NE 41st Ave., 282-4555, amenityshoes.com.
It's practical but hardly basic—a boutique stocking high-end, artsy alternatives for folks who can afford the price of hand-dyed leather but want the aesthetic of a crafty street vendor. The fine leather loafers, flat boots and practical heels here (mom purses, too) look like a trendier version of Danskos that cater to Waldorf parents and aging theatergoers.
600 NW 23rd Ave., 295-7959; 2105 SE Division St., 841-6597.
Tweens and 20-somethings window-shopping Trendy-Third will inevitably find all their one-season ankle booties, leggings and knockoff Hermes satchels here. You'll find the same design in various shades of synthetic leather, and any leftovers are at the Division "warehouse" location, which is neither cheaper, larger nor a warehouse.
728 NW 23rd Ave., 224-1228, sloanpdx.com.
An annex of Sloan boutique, Platform has hip women's boots, heels and sandals in mainly blacks and neutrals from brands like Franco Sarto, Chinese Laundry and Toms. Prices range from about $25 to $100, and Platform also has an impressively large sale section, jewelry, accessories and lingerie.
7871 SW Capitol Highway, 445-4585, switch-shoes.com.
This spacious, two-level store smells like lavender and carries a large selection of boots for cool moms and urban women in their 30s, as well as accessories. Thanks to the connections of the shop's owner, for the past 10 years Switch has featured Israeli designers no other shoe store offers. Regular prices start at around $90, though there's also a large sale section.
1230 SE Grand Ave., 208-3631, wildfang.com.
Portland's explicit home to tomboys sports plenty of kicks alongside beanies, bow ties and blazers: burgundy Mackay boots, black metallic Olympias and Red Wing boots specifically made to pound pavement.
717 SW Alder St., 226-0363, zeldaspdx.com.
Recently moved from its 21-year home on Northwest 23rd, Zelda's new downtown space is a brightly lit, spacious store carrying upscale shoes from Spain, France and Italy. While prices range from $85 for sandals to $600 for boots, Zelda's has a large sale section and generally keeps shoes for over a year.
Outdoor and Boots
The Annex/Animal Traffic
4018 N Mississippi Ave., 493-7363, animaltrafficpdx.com.
Long a new-and-vintage sartorial home to Portland's urban lumberjacks and would-be midnight cowboys, Animal Traffic's Annex carries shoes like ankle-height Florsheim and Red Wing boots alongside upscale skater leisurewear like Pointer and Clarks.
1022 W Burnside St., 262-0331, danner.com.
Danner has been in the bootmaking business since 1932, and the emphasis on quality is still present today. Here at the flagship store, located in the north entrance to Union Way, you can find American-made boots, accessories and apparel to outfit your next adventure.
2 NW 10th Ave., 552-9000, drmartens.com.
A haven for work boots-turned-grunge and crust punk, this large outlet for the famed English brand carries shelves and shelves of basic black leather, chunky sandals and special-edition boots with pop-art and floral prints.
505 NW 13th Ave., 971-200-4040, keenfootwear.com.
Portland hiking-shoe titan Keen has a store right below its headquarters that looks like the loft rumpus room of a '90s-era tech startup, with cash registers wrapped in soles of Keen's very own shoes, little slides, a drop roof made of street signs, furniture made of things that once were not furniture, and doors made of wood repurposed from old barns. Keen is best known for its hiking shoes ($90-$180), but casual campers may go for the closed-toe sandals, which let air in without letting in gunk and pine needles through the front of your damn shoe. And if you are—dear Lord—one of those people, there's a sandal in the pattern of the PDX carpet.
3920 N Mississippi Ave., 281-0815, halfpintpdx.com.
If it is made with leather or worn with leather, it will be here, at this shoe-obsessed used and vintage shop that looks like the backdrop to a whiskey ad or '70s Playboy shoot. It is home to cubby upon cubby filled with boots—whether shitkicker or fleece-lined—alongside a smaller collection of showy heels and flats.
426 SE Grand Ave., 233-0706, nextadventure.net.
Next Adventure is a three-story purveyor of all you need for the outdoors, with a basement of used gear and a whole hell of a lot of sandals, hiking boots and running shoes.
Portland Outdoor Store
304 SW 3rd Ave., 222-1051, portlandoutdoorstore.us.
If your idea of "the outdoors" looks like a midcentury Marlboro ad, the nearly century-old Portland Outdoor Store is your huckleberry—expect Wranglers, Pendleton, stacked pagodas of cowboy hats and (oh, man) way more boots knocking together than at a Motel 6 after a rodeo.
U.S. Outdoor Store
219 SW Broadway, 223-5937, usoutdoor.com.
U.S. Outdoor Store is a palace of gear and equipment, but what is truly brilliant is the staff: exceptional in product knowledge, application know-how and friendliness. It's also home to a massive catalog of shoes—hiking boots, sandals, watertight rain and fishing gear, running shoes, snow boots and skatewear.
107 NW 5th Ave., 796-2733, compoundgallery.com.
Blind-packed Japanese toys join forces with a pop-art gallery and the latest streetwear. As for shoes, this shop has a boutique Nike account, so those hard-to-find Air Force 1s are probably here.
114 NW 3rd Ave., 208-3599, indexpdx.com.
Old Town's source for new and pre-owned rare and hard-to-find sneakers, Index prepares you for a game of 3 on 3 or a dance-off with a pair of Air Jordans, Air Yeezys or Nike Dunks. It's also ground zero for Portland's obsessive sneakerheads, bar none.
542 E Burnside St., 206-8626, machusonline.com.
This modern menswear shop is all monochromatic high concept and metropolitan street style. The shoe selection is minimal, sure—but this is where you get those high-fashion Yeezys and Y-3s, if you're lucky.
The Sneaker Cart
4709 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 975-9234, sneakercart.com.
Yeah, that's right: a shoe store in an RV, in an MLK parking lot, repping Jordans from 2 to 20, plus Barkleys and some Adidas Derrick Rose. Oh, and the whole store is painted to look like a Black Cement Air Jordan 3, and the license plate says SNEAKR. Doesn't it, sometimes, just feel good to be alive in Portland?
Fleet Feet Sports PDX
2258 NW Raleigh St., 525-2122, fleetfeetpdx.com.
This place is so inspiring it's literally written on a wall. From Fleet Feet's monthly First Thursday events during the less-rainy season to the growlers perched on shelves above running gear, this is the place in town for group race running.
333 SW Taylor Ave., 525-1243, and three other Portland locations, foottraffic.us.
Now with four locations and running groups every school night except Sunday, Foot Traffic leads all competitors in race-packet pickup locations. Kind enough to talk customers down from buying too-pricey gear, this is the place to send newbies.
2916 NE Alberta St., 288-1999, piefootwear.net.
If you're looking for minimalist or barefoot-style shoes in Portland, this is where you go. Vegan and leather options are nicely labeled, and none of the employees will judge you for buying toe shoes—they're fans, too.
Portland Running Company
800 SE Grand Ave., 232-8077, portlandrunningcompany.com.
All the big brands are here, and every employee walks and talks like a runner. With run clubs every school night except Wednesday and a free first round after the Thursday jaunt, the only knock against this place is a small parking lot.
Clogs, ’Vogs and Birks
617 NW 23rd Ave., 224-5896; 3435 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 232-7007; and two other locations; clogsnmore.com.
If you want clogs, go to the store with clogs in its name. Clogs-N-More is a mecca for Portlanders who prize comfort over style—so, you know, most Portlanders. If you want Danskos on sale, this is the spot, but if you're looking for anything besides clogs, the deals and selection are less impressive.
1224 SW Stark St., 241-3338, fluevog.com.
Fluevogs may come from the other Vancouver—the nice one, in Canada—but the famously eccentric line of quirkily dapper shoes belongs in Portland. Look out for a riding boot designed in collaboration with Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols.
1433 NE Broadway, 493-0070, footwise.com.
The German health shoe, Birkenstocks, go in and out of fashion like skinny ties. Luckily for every human with feet, they are in once again. Footwise sells every style of Birks an Oregonian could desire, from Arizonas to Gizehs. Plus, the store has a decent selection of other good-for-feet shoes, boots, slippers, insoles and socks.
Big and Tall
Oddball Shoe Company
1801 NW Thurman St., 827-7800, oddball.com.
Since 1997, Oddball has been providing big shoes for big feet—mostly male, mostly size 14 to 18, and mostly athletic and casualwear, with a small but expanding stock of dress shoes. You can also get large socks in brightly colored stripe and polka-dot patterns, designed by Oddball. Plus, it has a bar, vintage arcade video games and a wall of footprints from NBA players like Tim Duncan (size 16) and Channing Frye (size 17).