In this age of convenience culture, it can be tempting to do all of our shopping online. Who among us hasn’t purchased something online that we were simply too lazy to go out and get? It doesn’t hurt that giant internet retailers often have rock-bottom prices on plenty of items, further incentivizing shoppers to forego the brick and mortar stores. Local running stores have much to offer both individual shoppers and the community, so here are four great reasons to pop in and give yours a visit!
- Expertise: “What better place to get advice on the right running shoes, gear, and devices than from people who are actually runners? A professional running store will fit you with the correct shoes for your history, body, and goals, and you won’t find that online or in a big box store! Not to mention, the employees have likely tried nearly every product in the store, so they’ll be able to give your real-time product reviews!” says Dave Armijo, owner of Fleet Feet in Rancho Cucamonga.
- Community Benefits: Your local running store isn’t just a place to shop – it’s also a place to train! Nearly every local running store offers weekly group runs, training programs, and other events designed to get the community up and running together. If the store disappears, so does that great community atmosphere – you certainly can’t find that on the internet.
- Support Local Elites: “Many collegiate and local elite athletes are either employees of local running stores or are sponsored by them. By shopping at your local store, you’re helping the sport reach new heights! And it’s pretty cool to be able to say you know the winner of your local marathon because he or she helped you pick out your favorite pair of shoes,” says Rod Crowell, owner of Top Speed Running in La Verne.
- Meet Other Runners: “If you’re looking to meet up with other runners for training, there’s no better place to find them than your local running store. Although you’re free to join the store’s group runs, the owners and employees might know about other runners who are looking to run at different times or places. The store is an awesome resource and you might make a new friend!” says Rob Lander, manager of Top Speed Running.
Local running stores are not only a great place to purchase all the gear you need with the help of some excellent advice, they’re also a cornerstone of the running community. These businesses support local races and schools. They are the people you’ll celebrate every success and train through the hardest miles with. You can find more at www.ierunningclub.com.
Ken Itahara, Founding Board Director, Inland Empire Running Club