Wanting to expand their business into the northwest area, owners and married couple Pete and Jeanne Snell recently opened their second Fleet Feet running store.
Fleet Feet is a franchise that has stores in over 30 states throughout the U.S. The company prides itself in not only being a running store but a place where people can be educated about how to live a healthy lifestyle and be fitted with footwear or clothing that will specifically meet their needs.
The Snell’s opened the first Fleet Feet on the east side of Tucson in 2004 – that location now being on 7301 E. Tanque Verde Road. Numerous requests from regular customers led to the Snell’s opening their northwest location at Oracle Crossings.
“People were having to drive a long way to get to this location and some said they just couldn’t make it down here (Tanque Verde) anymore,” said Jeanne. “We just want to continue having a positive impact on the community.”
Fleet Feet offers specialized fitting for footwear, sports bras and inserts. Other items that are sold in the store include: socks, sportswear, recovery equipment and information on injury prevention.
More than half of Fleet Feet’s customers are not runners. Fitting a shoe for a customer starts by measuring his/her foot and then having the person run or walk on the treadmill. The customer is then videotaped from three different angles – allowing the Fleet Feet employee to analyze the entire biomechanics of the customer.
“If you don’t have the support you need in your foot then it’s going to affect the whole rest of your body,” said Jeanne. “You can do a lot of things to address some of the results of not having the right footwear but if you don’t have that (right footwear) you’ll have chronic issues.”
Employees at Feet Fleet are required to go through 3-4 months of training on fitting shoes and foot care. Even though they aren’t medical professionals, Fleet Feet employees are educated enough to help you with the basics. If further help is needed they refer customers to reliable podiatrists or massage therapists.
“It takes a community to keep people moving,” said Jeanne. “We are more than just a running store. We are here to answer people’s questions and provide them the necessary information.”
Apart from in-store help, Fleet Feet also puts on training groups from people wanting to run a 5k all the way to those wanting to run a marathon. The northwest location is currently open but will have its grand opening on Saturday morning, Oct. 5.