Tired of huge lines, wading through products and employees who don't know their stuff? Here are the top reasons to check out a specialty store near you.
1. Excellent customer service
Why shop at a specialty run shop for your running needs? Excellent customer service, individualized fitting (which often includes expert video gait analysis) and in-depth knowledge of all things running.
2. Learn how to train
It’s the best and least intimidating place to learn about training for your first race, whether it’s a 5K or a full marathon.
3. Learn from experienced employees
Running shop employees eat, sleep and breathe running. It’s about what you’re getting for your money. Running smarts = priceless.
4. Get your injury questions answered
Most specialty running stores have coaches and sports medicine experts on staff (or easily available) for questions about health, injuries, rehab and recovery.
5. Help the local economy
If you spend $100 at a locally owned business, on average, $68 goes back to the local economy. Spend the same $100 at a national chain and only $43 returns to the local economy.
6. They're all about running
You wouldn’t go to a bakery to get an oil change or new windshield wipers, would you? So there’s no sense going to a store that sells football and hockey gear to buy running shoes and apparel.
7. Support local races, schools and causes
Local running shops support local races, schools and running groups.
8. Group runs and special events
Specialty running shops offer group runs and special events on a regular basis. Sporting goods stores offer fly-fishing demos and great deals on pro sports jerseys.
9. Get shoes you can't get anywhere else
Specialty shops often have running shoes that aren’t sold at larger sporting good stores or national chain retailers.
10. Unparalleled customer service
Passionate, knowledgeable runners work at running stores. That's one of reasons Fleet Feet Syracuse was named the 2012 Running Store of the Year by Competitor and Formula4Media.