Put Your Best Foot Forward at These Five Local Shoe Stores

It’s not just kids who could use a fresh pair of kicks come September—everyone deserves to step into autumn with new shoes. Here’s where to score the best.

The Concepts shoe wall. / Photo by Pat Piasecki

Saks Fifth Avenue

It’s tough to compete with the selection of a high-end department store, and both the women’s and men’s shoe sections at Saks have long been destinations for designer favorites (Christian Louboutin, Gianvito Rossi, Dolce & Gabbana), as well as hard-to-find emerging brands like Amina Muaddi. Bonus for shoeaholics looking for a pair of post-quarantine going-out stunners: The store is expecting an influx of fun, sparkly styles just in time for fall.

Prudential Center, 617-262-8500, saksfifthavenue.com.

Artemis Design Co.’s vibrant smoking shoes. / Photo by Lauren O’Neil

Artemis Design Co.

You simply can’t walk down Newbury Street or through Nantucket these days without spotting a few pairs of Massachusetts-based Milicent Armstrong’s nouveau prep slides and loafers fabricated from antique Turkish kilim rugs. Fresh off a partnership with the fashion brand Rowing Blazers, Armstrong recently debuted a new range of shoes made with suzanis, traditional and distinctive Central Asian embroidered textiles.

857-477-7189, artemisdesignco.com.

Helen’s Leather

In a place known for its icy, snow-covered winter streets, a good, sturdy boot is an absolute essential. Thankfully, this historical Beacon Hill shop has been serving stylish yet practical city slickers for decades. Though it specializes in a decidedly non–New England look—leather cowboy boots in practically every color and size—you can also try on more versatile, trendy styles, including the recent addition of cult-classic Australian brand Blundstone.

110 Charles St., Boston, 617–742-2077, helensleather.com.

A Stella McCartney stunner from Saks. / Photo via Saks.com


Trend-driven sneakers—a number of which are exclusive—are the name of the game at this homegrown concept shop, with options ranging from mild to wild. In the men’s section you’ll find collectibles such as Nike Air Jordan 1s, as well as fly-off-the-shelves rarities like Yeezy’s futuristic foam runners. The women’s selection is no less robust, with options that have been known to include elegant blush-hued sneakers from Lanvin, plus funky, glitter-encrusted trainers from Golden Goose.

18 Newbury St., Boston, cncpts.com.

A Converse x DRKSHDW Chuck 70 sneaker from Alan Bilzerian. / Photo by Alan Bilzeriana

Alan Bilzerian

Not a fan of stepping out in the same shoes as everyone else? Go for something a little edgier—but still wearable—from this avant-garde boutique, which continues to drive Boston’s fashion conversation with styles you won’t see anywhere else in town. Highlights for autumn include two striking high-tops: a surprisingly comfortable Converse x DRKSHDW Chuck 70, as well as a decadent shearling-lined high-top from Rick Owens that will transition beautifully into the colder months.

34 Newbury St., Boston, 617-536-1001, alanbilzerian.com.