By Melanie Graysmith

Runners need running shoes, although non-runners buy and wear them just the same. Maybe it’s the good fit and comfort, or ease in running for the bus that keeps at least one pair of running shoes in everyone’s closet. Just scan the row of legs ending in running shoes waiting on line at Trader Joe’s and the numbers are clear. Running shoes are incredibly popular and sought out not only by runners on daily runs or in training, but also by just about everyone else in the family. Read on for five thumbs up places to buy running shoes in San Francisco.

A Runner’s Mind
3575 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 800-7575

A knowledgeable staff, great customer service, and quality shoes — and staff expertise to fit them – all come together at A Runner’s Mind, a place where “time, care, patience and attention to detail” is a reality, backed up by a loyal fan base of repeat customers and families too. A Runner’s Mind is a locally owned, independent running store operated by passionate, knowledge-savvy runners. ARM sells the usual quality running shoe brands, plus smaller specialty brands not widely available, such as On and Hoka. Whatever shoe you choose you will receive the best fit possible from an ARM fitting expert trained in the personal shoe fitting process. As running is the lifeline passion here ARM highlights tons of runner events throughout the year, including weekly group runs, races and training events. San Francisco group runs are terrific opportunities to loosen up after work in the evenings, or for short or long distance runs on weekend mornings. Check the website to learn more about the ARM events and runs. In addition to the San Francisco store, this local Bay Area favorite has additional stores in Burlingame, Lafayette, and Los Gatos.

Related: Best Places To Buy Shoes For Kids In San Francisco

On The Run
1310 9th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 682-2042

On The Run goes beyond the basic shoe fitting and buying experience. Think being fit by highly knowledgeable and trained staff whose jobs require performing customer foot evaluations and continuing education to improve and refine their skills so customers have the best shoe fitting experience possible. The website dutifully explains common foot trouble that runners might deal with, including what causes them and what On The Run recommends to feel better. With such information available customers want to come in for personal attention, guidance and advice on the best-fit, just-for-me shoes to purchase. Selling more than running shoes alone, On The Run is dedicated to ensuring customers leave with the best advice and solutions for healthy, happy feet. In the words of one highly satisfied customer, “The entire staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive. Highly recommended for first time walkers/runners and seasoned ones too!”

Fleet Feet Sports
2076 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 921-7188

Fleet Feet Sports winds up on every list of a runner’s best, where running shoes are revered along with the Fleet Feet roster of fun promotional running events that engage with the running community. Weekly running events are a highlight as an extension of Fleet Feet Sports’ customer service. Plan on spending 20-30 minutes for a complete shoe fitting by one of Fleet Feet Sport’s well-trained staff people, and whether a walker, jogger or runner, expert fitting is the key to a proper fit and healthy sport experience. Fleet Feet Sports carries an extensive line up of shoe brands, shown here. For the full line offered here stop into the store. Visit the website for additional details.

2398 Lombard St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 931-2400

From the first step inside anyone can see that Shoes-n-Feet is a place totally dedicated to its lofty mission of providing the “retail, education and service that has ‘closed the loop’ between the medical community, their patients, and retail shoe stores…” Once inside, the incredibly knowledgeable and helpful staff takes over to provide expert shoe fitting based on education and understanding of athletic shoes, and are certified expert shoe fitters with more than 100 hours of required shoe fitting experience. Quite an impressive group along with high quality shoes, including athletic and general daywear; all brands are chosen with customer health and comfort in mind. Brands such as New Balance, Merrell, and Dansko are here, plus smaller names like Noat and Aravon, just to name a few. The company is also a resource for the many on-the-move races, walks, runs, clinics, and community fitness activities around. Visit the website to learn more on everything Shoes-n-Feet offers.

Related: Best Places To Buy Women’s Athletic Wear In The East Bay

Footprint 27
1701 Taraval St.
San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 664-4353

More than an athletic shoe store like The Athlete’s Foot or Foot Locker, Footprint is family owned, neighborhood centric and carries an eclectic line of quality shoes, outerwear, and outdoorsy accessories from mainly European and American makers. Among Footprint’s wide variety of shoe styles for men, women and kids are athletic shoes, with emphasis on top brands like Brooks and Mizuno, plus Nike. When not running, air out those toes in a pair of perennially cool Birkenstocks, traditionally styled and forever a classic. The website doesn’t highlight all the store carries so stroll over to this popular Taraval Street corner spot and check out what’s inside.


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