Thousands of styles of shoes from cobblers such as Nike, Jordan, Converse, Skechers, Adidas, and Puma reside at WSS Footwear. A 60-store southern California footwear chain, WSS allows customers to browse their extensive shoe selection online and find a store nearby. New styles, such as Nike Running shoes, arrive daily alongside classic Vans Authentics, which come in sizes to accommodate the feet of both adults and future adults. Women's fashion shoes ready feet for holidays parties, weddings, or walks in the park, and WSS also offers trendy clothing and accessories such as hats, backpacks, and sports balls.
With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
Helmed by a team of skate enthusiasts, Long Beach Skate is dedicated to preserving its neighborhood's skateboard culture. The warehouse space specializes only in skating gear and apparel. Its walls brim with colorful decks filled with images of geometric owls, vintage pinups, pop-culture figures, and strange monsters. The shelves are filled with DC and Adidas skate shoes, sweatshirts emblazoned with the store's logo, and useful skateboard accessories such as Penny wheels and giant pillows to help you stop. At the full-service, onsite maintenance center, technicians perform services ranging from board setup to repairs.
And yet Long Beach Skate's staff don't spend all their time in the shop—they also promote local skate-park development, and often materialize at skate-park gatherings to hand out gear and food. Their charitable programs have included clothing and shoe drives. In addition, they volunteer time and energy to organizations such as Action Sports Kids Foundation, Autism In Long Beach, and Maloof Money Cup's Skate and Donate program, which benefits people in South Africa.
Port carries the sort of casual, unfussy menswear that characterizes southern California, from short-sleeved T-shirts in vintage washes to slouchy, earth-toned duffel bags. As noted by the New York Times, it “has a minimalist assortment of vintage finds and store-brand clothes inspired by the city’s nautical spirit.” Its wares include graphic-print tees that portray acerbic humor, cuffed shorts, and sweaters with stripey embellishments. In addition to its collection of clothing, the store’s cool-conscious staff maintains a blog and a Tumblr account, where they post images as inspirational as Mohandas Gandhi quoting himself.
The husband-and-wife team at Shelter Surf Shop stocks the shop with surfboards, wetsuits, and beach-worthy clothing. Boards come in new, used, and restored vintage varieties, alongside the requisite sidekicks in surfboard paraphernalia. Custom and top-brand wetsuits provide protection for bodies while riding waves or friendly humpback whales, and the store’s colorful selection of men’s and women’s clothing recalls the 1960s and ‘70s with a modern flavor free of shag carpeting. Artists, such as co-owner Graham Day, design the locally made togs, which include Shelter tees by Tyler Warren, John Hintlian, Brian Banuelos, and Jimmie Hines ($24). Lightning Bolt–brand garb for men and women harness the jagged-projectile power of Zeus (both $24+).