By Joel Furches

The fine art of running knows no season; but if it did, summer wouldn’t be a bad one.

With warm weather, no school, vacations and holidays, summer presents plenty of opportunities for hitting the pavement. So if you are thinking of participating in a local 5K or marathon, and you’d like to have the proper footwear to make you toned, competitive and quick on your feet, there are a few select merchants in the Baltimore area with the knowledge, experience and resources to hook you up with what you need. Consider the following when shopping for your running shoes.

Charm City Run
1713 Whetstone Way
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 645-8266

Charm City Run is a store that is serious about running. In addition to selling the footwear, Charm City Run organizes and hosts a variety of running events at locations all over Maryland. The store terms itself a “specialty shop” for running and walking. Whether an experienced runner, a casual runner or a plebeian, Charm City Run will fit you for your running shoes, and give you every resource and tip possible. Once you’ve gotten the shoes, socks and whatever other running gear you require, check out any one of the multiple races Charm City Run hosts year round to put those shoes to the test.

Falls Road Running Store
6247 Falls Road
Baltimore, MD 21209
(410) 296-5050

Falls Road Running Store has a family feel to it. While experimenting with various footwear, take advantage of its on-site treadmill to let you see how the shoes feel when in use.  As a small vendor, Falls Road Running Store is deeply concerned with customer satisfaction and feedback. This works out for you, as they will do practically anything to see a satisfied customer. Additionally, the entire staff has the knowledge and passion for running that make them ideal to get you ready for your running experience or event.

Holabird Sports
9220 Pulaski Highway
Baltimore, MD 21220
(866) 860-1416

The first thing you may notice when shopping for shoes at Holabird is the massive selection of footwear it has to offer. But if that is too overwhelming for you, don’t worry: the staff is excellent at fitting you with the best shoe for your personal style and sport of choice.  Of course, the best recommendation is to make the trip into the store so that you can take advantage of the knowledgeable staff, the fitting and the personal handling. The store is conveniently located from practically anywhere in the Baltimore area, but should you wish, Holabird has an online store that’s as varied as a trip to the store itself. And should the store not have a product in stock, they will ship it to you for the same price.

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Princeton Sports
6239 Falls Road
Baltimore, MD 21209
(410) 828-1127

Princeton Sports carries products for biking, skiing, snowboarding, tennis and, as one would expect, running. The store has an 80-year history and the experience shows. If you want quality shoes at good prices from an experienced staff – and maybe the chance to look at the wider world of sports and fitness – Princeton Sports delivers.

Feet First Sports
6420 Freetown Road, Suite 130
Columbia, MD 21044
(410) 992-5800

Different shoes offer different advantages, depending on what your goal in running is. Track and field? Sprints? Jogging? You’ll want the shoes that give you the right advantage for the type of activity you’ll be doing. Feet First Sports understands this, and will give you the pros and cons for the shoes you try. You also don’t want to settle for the first thing you try, so Feet First is going to recommend trying on a variety of brands and designs in order to get the feel that is perfect for you. Once you’ve chosen the shoes you like, the store can offer inserts or modifications to get the fit perfect. As a small business, Feet First is very interested in quality service and in followup to your experience. For that personal touch in footwear shopping, hit Feet First.

Related: Best Fitness Classes In Baltimore


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