Running is a simple sport. Just grab a pair of sneakers and put one foot in front of the other. But for all its simplicity, getting exactly the right shoes can be pretty darn hard.
It’s with that in mind that we think about the Run Specialty industry, and all of the small local retailers whose goal is to ensure that their customers’ running journeys are as rewarding and successful as possible. We love the communities they build and the people they welcome into their stores, whether for a custom shoe fitting or for a 12-week couch-to-5K training program. Yes, they’re businesses, but their business is in enriching their customers’ lives through running; that's why Saucony has been dedicated to supporting the Run Specialty trade for decades.
These days, local retailers face more challenges than ever in running a successful and profitable business. Big sports chains, discount stores and online options abound, all of which tout their own benefits. They may dial up their running shoe offering today, and then focus on basketball shoes or homewares tomorrow. But with all that competition, local running stores continue to thrive, not by cashing in on a trend, but by playing the long game and offering a full service experience dedicated to the sport they love.
To celebrate small running businesses, we're spotlighting some of these amazing shops and the people who work there. Small businesses like Sneakerama in Massachusetts and A Runner's Mind in California are what make the running industry so special, so we’re doubling down on our efforts to help support the work they do.
RUN BIG, SHOP SMALL Stories
Inspired by Small Business Saturday, we put the spotlight on some of the best run specialty shops near you. Check out the Run Big, Shop Small stories below, and then do your part by checking out our Dealer Locator and finding a run specialty retailer to visit near you!
February 2017 Features:
- Indiana - Athletic Annex
- South Carolina - Fleet Feet Greenville
- South Carolina - Fleet Feet Mt. Pleasant
- North Carolina - Bull City Running
- New York - Sayville Running Company
- Pennsylvania - Appalachian Running Company
- Alabama - The Trak Shack
- Massachusetts - Whirlaway Sports Center
- New York - Fleet Feet Rochester
- New York - Fleet Feet Syracuse
- Wisconsin - Movin’ Shoes
- Oregon - Portland Running Company
- Nebraska - Peak Performance
- Ohio - Fleet Feet Cleveland
- Wisconsin - Performance Running Outfitters
- Colorado - Vertical Runner
- Texas - Fleet Feet San Antonio
- Michigan - Gazelle Sports
November 2016 Features
- Arizona - Sole Sports
- California - A Runner's Mind
- California - Runner's High
- Colorado - Shoes & Brews
- Florida - 1st Place Sports
- Georgia - West Stride
- Illinois - Running Central
- Maryland - Charm City Run
- Massachusetts - Sneakerama
- Minnesota - TC Running Company
- Nebraska - Lincoln Running Company
- New York - Westchester Road Runner
- North Carolina - Fleet Feet Sports Winston-Salem
- Ohio - Dave's Performance Footgear
- Ohio - Vertical Runner
- Pennsylvania - North Wales Running Company
- Texas - On The Run
- Virginia - Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke
- Washington - Super Jock n Jill
- West Virginia - Robert's Running & Walking Shop
TOP THREE WAYS SAUCONY SUPPORTS RUN SPECIALTY
The Saucony Shadow Rep program is a nationwide squad of running experts that work with local shops every day to help them thrive. From teaching staff about our latest gear, to leading fun runs and special events, they bring their charisma and expertise to everything they do. As a top-rated program in North America, it's one of the best ways to learn about the running shoe industry from top to bottom and inspire runners every day. Meet our team and get inspired by following our Team Shadow Rep instagram account!
We’re making some serious upgrades to our Dealer Locator. The new tool on our website integrates run specialty stores’ live inventory into our dealer map, so that if you can’t wait for your shoes to ship, you can just as easily find a pair in your size at the shop down the street. Stay tuned for the launch of our new dealer locator in December 2016!
THE RACE TO KINVARA
Every year we host the Saucony Race To Kinvara, an all expense paid, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ireland. We invite 30 US Run Specialty sales associates (i.e. the people fitting you into your shoes), and 40 of their European peers, to create 7 teams that pile into vans and tackle a 2-day, 180-mile relay race across the Emerald Isle. It’s the ultimate way to experience a new country through running, and we so value the opportunity to celebrate and give back to the retailers who so passionately share our brand with you. Check out our 2016 recap video here or #RaceToKinvara on Instagram to get a glimpse of the action over the past four years of the race.
Have a local running shop you love? Tell us about them in the comments!