The footwear aficionados at Fleet Feet Houston's four locations outfit runners, walkers, and other exercisers with the proper kicks according to specific gaits and foot biomechanics. Paired with a knowledgeable clerk, customers select sneakers from an inventory of shoes tailored to male or female arches better than pumice stones shaped like respective gender symbols. Masculine triathletes don the colorful Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 6, a racing flat that shirks socks in lieu of breathable open mesh and a perforated sock liner. Lady joggers experience the freedom of barefoot frolicking with lightweight Vibram FiveFingers Jaya shoes, snugly fitted sneakers that promote balance and maintain biannual pedicures by sequestering toes in separate sections.
More than 40 years ago, Daniel Boone Cycles began as a backyard operation as Joy and Dan Boone and their seven children started refurbishing used bikes to augment their income. Over the years, their little shop grew and evolved, becoming known throughout the cycling community as the place to go for rare, high-end bicycles and parts. Now, their inventory includes Specialized and Bianchi bikes, as well as tandems, recumbents, and special-order brands from Strida to Kestrel, all still located in the family’s backyard. The mechanics can custom-build frames to any specifications, short of attaching an E.T. to them, and perform bike fittings for riders to ensure their chosen steed is suited to their body for comfort.
Local artists and well-known personalities also influenced the shop: the flying-wheel logo was drawn by Adventure Cycling Association cofounder Greg Siple, and the ironwork at the shop’s entrance was constructed by artist and former bike-shop owner Lee Benner. In continuing with the family’s involvement with the bicycle community, Joy is in the process of raising money for a bicycle museum that she plans to construct on a parcel of her own land.
Texadelphia's menu of cheesy, steaky, 100%-Angus-beefy goodness kicks off any meal with a bang. Order some chips and guac ($5.49–$5.99) and chicken tenders ($6.49–$6.99) before tearing into the Founder's Favorite, the cheesesteak that started it all (Angus beef or thin-sliced chicken breast, cheese, mushrooms, and jalapeños, $6.89–$6.99). Branch out along southern lines with the Texican, a beef or chicken cheesesteak with all the trimmings and a side of chili con queso for topping or spooning ($6.89–$6.99), or the Hickory, laden with house-recipe hickory barbecue sauce and manned by a crew of mouth-pleasing cherry peppers ($6.89–$6.99). Items of non-Philly origin also dot the menu, such as the grilled-chicken sandwich on a toasted wheat bun ($6.29–$6.59) and the smoked turkey and guacamole salad ($6.79). Prices and menu offerings vary slightly between the two locations.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
As the indoor swimming arm of the Gigglin Marlin Divers and Swim School scuba-diving school?recently named Houston's best by the Houston Press?Gigglin Marlin Divers and Swim School entices water persons with a saltwater pool of titanic proportions. The facility's 75-foot long, up to 15-foot deep heated saltwater pool plays host to a crowded schedule of activities. The watery fun includes swim instruction for those less than 1 year old as well as adults. Regular times are also set aside for lap swimmers and indoor scuba sessions in which divers explore the saltwater pool's mysterious depths.
M2 Sports supplies adrenaline seekers the skills and gear to temper waves, powder, or concrete. M2's snowboarding division carries name-brand planks from brands such as Forum and Lib Tech, as well as all colors and styles of snow-ready gear. A Smith Holt men's snow helmet ($89.99) protects the brain’s ever-expanding library of memorized zip codes, and Volcom Believer men's snow gloves ($109.99) keep hands from making skin-to-snow contact. Skate enthusiasts can peruse an exhaustive array of decks, long boards, and protective gear, tuning out chatty crossing guards with Skullcandy’s iCon 2 on-ear headphones ($29.95), whose headbands are lined with rubber grips to prevent slips midride. M2 also equips wakeboarders with name-brand gear from Ronix and Hyperlite, and fosters future enthusiasts through lessons and summer wake camp held at a private lake.