If you are an avid runner, walker or just love sneakers, Sneaker Warehouse is a must visit. It has been on the same Ventura Blvd strip in Encino for 21 years, but it’s one of those ‘best kept secret’ kind of places. You have probably driven by it a million times but never paid attention. However, odds are if you want a particular brand, they have them here — Asics, Saucony, New Balance, Nike, Brooks, Converse and more.
I walked in with my sneakers on and asked Asher, who is the owner, for the same pair. Instead of going to get me a new pair, he told me to take my shoes off and walk toward the window. I could feel his eyes on me as I walked. When I stopped and turned around he told me that my sneaker is a great shoe and he has it, but it is not right for my foot. He explained his reasoning according to how he saw me walk. He recommended other sneakers he felt were better suited for me. I left with a new pair that were actually the same brand, but just a different style.
Working out is a huge part of my life and I’ve tried most every store in the L.A. area, but I’ve yet to find anyone who can fit shoes as precisely as Asher. Not only is he super knowledgeable, but has the best prices in town. If you find the same pair that’s less expensive elsewhere, he will give you that price. For westsiders, he also has a store in Santa Monica called Top to Top that his son runs.
In addition to Asher’s expertise and fair prices, I also shop here because he gives back to the community. Every time someone buys a pair of sneakers, he asks if they want to leave their old pair behind which he in turn leaves in a certain spot outside the store. Those who are in need of shoes, the homeless or those who don’t have means, know they can come by and grab a pair. Of course, I left my shoes there with a pair of old socks. I left feeling good about my new purchase as well as knowing I helped someone in need.
Sneaker Warehouse, 16736 Ventura Blvd, Encino, Ca 91436 818-995-8999 . Located between Hayvenhurst and Balboa just west of Petit.
Jocelyn Freid is a television creative executive who served as co-executive producer of the Lifetime’s Maneater mini-series. She previously worked as VP of Current Programming and Development at studios and networks in Los Angeles.