I hope you read the headline with Sean Connery’s voice in your head, because that’s how it sounded in my head when I typed it.
As many know, shopping for shoes can be a headache for everyone involved.
Usually,you’re out there because you need something. Your favorite flip flops broke, you need a new pair of heels to match a new outfit, your boots from eight years ago just won’t handle another winter, your athletic shoes are full of sand, whatever. Shopping for shoes in Israel isn’t quite as easy as it is in America. In the States, I go to Wavelengths or Pacific Sunwear for flip flops, Macy’s for heels, Nordstrom’s Rack for boots, and Footlocker for athletic shoes.
We don’t have those stores here.
- Mostly, you have to go to a number of stores to find exactly what you want. If it’s imported Nikes, Pumas or Adidas, expect to spend a lot of money. You’re better off waiting, or asking someone to send you a pair from home. But, as for the rest of the styles, you’re in luck! Tel Aviv is a great place to find stylish, and inexpensive, shoes, sandals and boots. Unless, of course, you want to spend a lot of money. There are opportunities for that too.
There aren’t large department stores here, so you have to go to many individual shops to find exactly what you want. And if what you want costs a lot of money, it will probably be high quality. Look in the malls(Dizengoff, Ayalon, Azraeli) or on Dizengoff Street for high-priced, high-fashion, high-quality footwear. Though I can’t shell out the bucks for Kardashian-style footwear, I can pause a bit at a window and pretend. My favorite places to pause are on Dizengoff.
My favorite places to enter are on Allenby, near the Shuk. Or on King George Street, which is juts out from Allenby and upwards toward Ibn Givriol. My last shoe shopping experience had me spending less than $52 and I bought four pairs of sandals. So, if you’re like me, you like to have a lot of shoes because one pair of black sandals is not going to match with everything you own. And some dresses call for long sleek skinny heeled shoes, whereas others are better paired with cute chunky wedges. Whatever your desires for shoes are, be sure to find what you’re looking for in Israel.
And my personal recommendation, as an expert on Tel Aviv, living here and roaming the streets, submerging myself in the culture to find where to go and where not to go, so you don’t have to, …where am I? I’ve gotten lost in commas.
You may have heard of Naot, which is Israel’s most popular leather shoe company. The shoes do last a long time, and are apparently comfortable. I must say though, from a fashion standpoint, they’re a little awful. And they are crazy expensive. And you can find much better all-leather shoes made in Israel for a reasonable price.
Which reminds me, my personal recommendation is Chief. The owner, Eitan, and his brother make all the shoes by hand. They are hand-made leather crafts which are custom fit and custom designed. They sell sandals, and sandals that lace-up, moccasins, boots, bags and belts. They are very popular with Birthright groups traveling through Israel from the US, Canada, England, Australia and the former Soviet Union. Average price is 150 shekels(less than $40). The shoes are very cute, and very comfortable. If you go there, say Shoshi sent you. Eitan is the kind of guy that remembers people, has a smile for everyone and will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Some interesting Shoe sites to peruse:
Samples of Israeli Shoes by Gazith
Israeli Shoe Designer’s Trade Show
Happy Shoe Shopping! And whatever you do, avoid the Crocs! They’re everywhere!