A treadmill might not be the first thing you’d picture in an athletic store, but for the skilled staff of Charlotte Running Co., it’s a key step in the art of finding the perfect fit. After lacing up or sweet-talking on a pair of shoes from Adidas, Nike, or Saucony, patrons hop aboard the treadmill, and the ‘gait analysis’ begins. Aided by a video feedback system, the specialists analyze each both the customer’s strides and the performance of the shoes to identify the ideal levels of support and cushioning, as well as the perfect fit–a process made much more precise by seeing the fancy footwear in action.
In addition to running shoes that can help increase speed and safety, Charlotte Running Co. can outfit its patrons in other jog-friendly gear. The FuelBelt keeps much-needed fluids at the ready on long runs, while shirts from Nike and Asics help to keep bodies cool, reducing runners' need to jog in the penguin habitat at their local zoo.
In TrySports's perfect world, everyone would aspire to a higher level of fitness and healthiness. Whether they choose running, swimming, cycling, charging into triathlons, or sweating through a gym regimen, customers receive help from the staff in acquiring the supplies they need to reach an improved state of physical wellness. They custom-fit shoes by analyzing each patron's gait and help to select bicycles according to legs' length and mouths' ability to make motorcycle noises. The crew also curates a collection of water bottles, wristwatches, nutritional supplements, apparel, and cushy insoles to further ease athletic pursuits. The colorful array of products bears labels from brands including Under Armour, Mizuno, Asics, Brooks, Saucony, Hoka, Altra, and Colombia, which prepares patrons to sprint through races or catch up to the one guy who knows the rules for competitive hide-and-go-seek.
At Stonebridge Golf Academy, with Fred Bond, we believe that no two individuals learn in the same manner or at the same pace. Therefore, we strive to offer personalized instruction programs to foster the development of each individual student, from junior to adult amateurs as well as professional players.
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.
Bow hunting since 1970, Clyde Hartsell knew his passion lay in the sport and what the great outdoors had to offer. While working as an executive at McDonald's, Clyde entered tournament after tournament, honing his skills and surrounding himself with other bowmen at the Tomo-Chi-Chi archery club who shared his enthusiasm for the ancient hunting tools. During training and tournaments, however, Clyde quickly realized the sights and scopes available to him were not up to snuff, lacking the precision a professional archer requires.
After Clyde met his wife, Jean, the two teamed up to start their own archery business and immediately began crafting McKenzie 3-D shooting cards. Now the duo helps equip other bowmen through a retail shop that supplies sights, arrows, rests, and bows. The two also welcome archers to their 18-lane indoor range to practice in a professional environment.
The moment his father first put a golf club in his hands, the then 11-year-old Bruce Parker knew it was the beginning of a lifelong dedication to the game. Bruce went on to star as the No. 1 golfer on his high-school team for four years and play on scholarship for the Georgia State University team. Through it all, Bruce never thought of leaving golf to pursue a career in the more glamorous world of croquet. When asked, Bruce still says that spending a day at the links is his favorite activity.
Today, Bruce puts his pin-hunting prowess and enthusiasm for the game to work while conducting lessons at The Effortless Golf Center. A driving range with both grass and artificial-turf hitting areas, lights for after-hours practice, and high-caliber practice balls provides an ideal training ground for Bruce to cure all forms of golf-game maladies, such as a slice-prone swing or a driver that has an irrational fear of fairways.