Run Scared 5K window display at Super Jock N Jill, one of Seattle's most beloved stores
I can, for local running stores. I just got done shopping for a new running bra at my local running store and it made me realize how much I absolutely love locally owned stores. Here is why:
1. Amazing service - not only can you try on shoes by experts with very personalized service, but if you shop at one store long enough they might even remember what kind of shoes you have purchased in the past. Most local running stores keep track for you. You can ask questions and hang out talking about running for as long as you like. Most stores around here are more like running club hangouts than stores. Sometimes I have to pull myself out of the store because I feel so welcomed, like I could just live there and be happy.
2. Instant gratification and no shipping charges - When you shop online, from a big box store, you have to wait to receive your goods, and usually pay for shipping. Not so when you shop local. For someone with the patience of a mosquito this is a good thing for me. I need to wear those shoes that same day, not 3-7 business days from now.
3. When you support a local running store you are also supporting local running events. Most runners do not even know the extent that running stores help out events. From promoting runs to sponsoring races to creating training plans and groups to help people complete a local run to hosting packet pickups and registrations parties, to donating merchandise for prizes, to hosting in-store paper registrations, and everything in between. Super Jock N Jill has committed to displaying nothing but local running races in their windows, year round. They could be promoting their next big sale or the next big shoe coming in but they support local events and that is awesome. West Seattle Runner even hosts their own 5K (which we happen to produce for them) called Float Dodger 5K.
4. Running groups and fun events - most running stores host a once or twice a week run and most of the time there is something free or fun as an added bonus too like a vendor giving away stuff or hot chocolate on a Christmas Eve morning run. There is an instant group of friends all awaiting you every Tuesday night. Its always so much easier to run with people then on your own, especially in the dead of winter. I have received some pretty awesome swag for showing up to running store runs; socks, gear, free race entries, energy products, advice....Many stores have free PT/medical nights as well.
5. Shopping local is just good - good for the environment (assuming you can run to your local store and there are no nasty shipping emissions), good for the economy; you keep the money local to local owners and we all know how good that is and good for the community.
6. I just feel good when I shop at these stores.
The only bad thing? So many good stores and only so many dollars to spend on running gear!
Here are a few of my personal favorites around here:
West Seattle Runner
Super Jock N Jill
Fleet Feet Seattle
Seven Hills Running