Running enthusiasts buy their shoes from specialty run shops. It’s where those in the know and those looking to get better educated about running go. With today marking Global Running Day 2017, FN highlighted 12 of the best shops in the U.S. Here are four of them located in the South and on the West Coast.
Red Coyote Running & Fitness
Oklahoma City and Edmond, Okla.
Burke Beck, Co-Owner
Number of stores: Two
Open since: 2010
Best-performing brands: Brooks, Saucony, Hoka One One, New Balance and Nike
Fastest-growing label: “We’re seeing a lot of traction from Hoka One One. It’s our No. 3 brand right now,” said Beck. “In the past year, it’s made a big jump in our store.”
Top-selling styles: Brooks Ghost 9 and Brooks Ravenna 7
Customer base: “It’s a beginning runner up to people looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” she said. “The beginner is our most consistent demographic — it’s 70 percent women, 30 percent men. And we get people who are not runners, like people in the medical fi eld or those trying to get back in shape and walking a lot.”
Recipe for success: Local events make Red Coyote a community staple, especially the weekly Pack Pint Run. “We partnered with a local brewery, Coop Ale Works, and we have our own beer called Negative Split. We serve that each week; everybody gets a can,” Beck said. The run takes place Tuesday nights in Edmond and Thursday nights in Oklahoma City, attended by roughly 150 and 300 people each week, respectively.
Tortoise & Hare
Nathan Hohenstein, Co-Owner
Number of stores: One
Open since: 2012
Best-performing brands: Brooks and New Balance
Fastest-growing label: New Balance
Top-selling styles: Brooks Ghost, New Balance 880 and 860, Hoka One One Bondi
Customer base: “It’s [very diverse]: the new person getting into running, people who are doing boot camp, CrossFit and gym classes, and who come with doctor referrals,” said Hohenstein. “We have toddlers all the way up to retirees. Where we are, we have a lot of retirement communities and young families.”
Recipe for Success: Tortoise & Hare makes sure its community has a diverse selection of events to experience. “In an average month, we do 30 or 40 different events,” Hohenstein said. “We teach running classes a couple times every month, as well as Trigger Point foam rolling classes, yoga, track club every Tuesday, and we have a kids’ running club.”
Sole Sports Running Zone
Tempe, Scottsdale and Glendale, Ariz.
Lance Muzslay, Co-Owner
Number of stores: Three
Open since: 2007
Best-performing brands: Brooks, Nike, Hoka One One and Saucony
Fastest-growing label: “Nike is coming on pretty strong,” said Muzslay.
Top-selling styles: Brooks Glycerin and Hoka Stinson ATR
Customer base: “It’s your casual runner, between 30 and 50 years old. We don’t have an overemphasis on a more competitive runner,” Muzslay said. “We do great with people who are new to running. We also have a steady, local customer base that we’re always trying to expand.”
Recipe for success: Giving back to the community through charitable efforts is important to Sole Sports. One local program the store is involved with is Chances for Children. “They help to outfit and encourage kids from underprivileged backgrounds to adopt a healthy lifestyle through running. We help supply them shoes,” Muzslay said. “We know what running and a healthy lifestyle has done for us, and we’re happy to spread that idea to young people.”
Salt Lake Running Company
Salt Lake City
Guy Perry, CEO, President & Founder
Number of stores: Three
Open since: 1995
Best-performing brands: Brooks, Asics, Saucony, Nike, Hoka One One and Altra
Fastest-growing labels: Altra, Hoka One One and Brooks
Top-selling styles: For men: Brooks Ghost, Asics Gel-Nimbus, Nike Pegasus, Asics GT-2000 and Hoka One One Bondi. For women: Brooks Ghost, Nike Pegasus, Asics Gel- Nimbus, Brooks Glycerin and Asics GT-2000
Customer base: “People who move their body,” said Perry.
Recipe for success: “Salt Lake City is an athletic, outdoor area where people place a high priority on lifestyle,” he said. “Since early on, we’ve been able find ways to offer gear, events and solutions to folks interested in staying active year-round.”