Bare Sole: An out-of-the-box shoe store in Burbank

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amandatraxler110x110BY AMANDA TRAXLER

Cissy Conner’s concept for shoes with interchangeable straps—which came to her in a dream and which inspired her to open Bare Sole ,  the Burbank shoe store she runs with daughter Kate Longley—no doubt qualifies her as an out-of-the-(shoe)box thinker.

The fact that one of her pairs of shoes eventually led to a marriage, at least to some, could also qualify her as a matchmaker.

Three generations: Owner Cissy Conner (r) with her daughter, Kate Longley, and grandaughter, Kiki.  Photo: Gabriel Acevedo

Three generations: Owner Cissy Conner (r) with her daughter, Kate Longley, and grandaughter, Kiki. Photo: Gabriel Acevedo

“A guy came up to her [a woman who was wearing Bare Sole shoes] and said, ‘Those are the sexiest shoes I’ve ever seen,’ ” Conner said. “Eight months later she emailed me that they were getting married.”

Bare Sole shoes are triple padded

Bare Sole shoes are triple padded for comfort. Photo: Gabriel Acevedo

According to Longley, the dream shoe that led to the store, which opened about two and a half years ago, was the medium cork wedge heel with loops running alongside the sole; fabric woven through the loops was tied around the ankle—adorning both foot and ankle beautifully.

And that was just the beginning. Can we say foot (strap) fetish, anyone? Some customers definitely can.

“They literally jump up and down in the shoes, they’re so excited,” Longley said.

Something that would actually be comfortable–given that Bare Soles are triple-padded, with even a little extra under the ball of the foot.


Bare Sole legend has it that this shoe led to a marriage proposal. Photo: Gabriel Acevedo

Shoes range from $100 to $300 (with the option of paying in installments for the higher-priced shoes). A variety of heels are available (from one inch to six-and-a-half inch, with wedge, classic or kitten heels); plus, three sets of straps or fabrics come with each purchase (as does a life-time guarantee).


An assortment of colorful strings to attach to shoes. Photo: Gabriel Acedvedo

“The shoes are hand-made locally,” Longley said. “We’re so custom now that if you have a shoe in your closet that you want to replicate, we can even do that.”

Aside from the colorful assortment of straps and fabrics for the shoes, the store also has shoe adornments. Customers are encouraged to use their own, too.

“What I like to do is encourage people to use sections of old belt loops or jewelry as a shoe adornment,” Conner said.


Cissy and Kate humorously call these "the cheaters" because there are no strings to attach. Photo: Gabriel Acevedo

With infinite possibilities, women can make the shoes look as casual or as dressy as they want.

And all without the suffering oft associated with high heels.

“Comfy and sexy is good for women,” Conner said, adding that orthopedic shoes, as well as a line for plantar fasciitis, are also available.


A variety of heels and styles are available. Photo: Gabriel Acevedo

The store also offers girls’ night out retail therapy, which happens the first, third and fourth Friday of each month (when the store stays open until 9 pm). According to Longley, various jewelry, make-up and clothing vendors bring an assortment of goodies to be perused along with the shoes. Private parties are also available.

Bare Sole is located at 3414 West Magnolia in Burbank and is open Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday 12 to 5 p.m. The store is closed Sundays. To find out more, email or call (818)848-SOLE.

Amanda Traxler is an L.A.-born writer with degrees in journalism from the University of Kansas and creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been rediscovering her roots since she returned to the area three years ago from the wintry Midwest.

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.