Escape Outdoors stocks its shelves with an extensive wardrobe of apparel and gear designed to withstand the world’s harsh outdoor environment. With popular name brands such as The North Face, Patagonia, Helly Hanson, and others to choose from, customers will find themselves face-to-face with an ominously large list of options, not unlike the time they witnessed a troop of yetis materialize out of the mountain mist after hours of wandering over treacherous bunny hills. Guard your feet from the ground’s mood swings with a pair of men’s Reef AWOL sandals ($30), whose grippy outsole ensures optimal traction while freerunning to work. A women's Under Armour Proxima hoody shirt ($45) keeps female athletes cool, dry, and fresh-smelling with HeatGear moisture control and UV protection. Enwrap a gentleman’s noggin within the acrylic embrace of a Nixon Smoky beanie ($25), or keep your body’s precious heat from escaping through your navel by wearing a women’s ColdGear UA Base 2.0 crew shirt from Under Armour ($49.99), which comes in black, cornflower, or pink.
Even though Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has locations throughout the world, it still maintains the small-town candy-store feel envisioned by its creator and CEO, Frank Crail. Crail founded the original location in his adopted hometown of Durango, Colorado, filling the sweet-smelling space with homey accents, such as candy-making demonstrations and games of Pin the Tail on the Chocolatier. Behind the counter, staffers roll fresh granny smith apples in dense caramel and mold lumps of rich fudge on old-style marble slabs. Other fresh confections include mint bark, chocolate-dipped pretzels, and boxed chocolates.
At Polka Dot Pottery, you become a work of art. Sure, there's a bevy of paint-your-own pottery and canvas classes to choose from, but the studio also creates clay impressions of your child's?or your entire family's?hands and feet. Whether scheduling one of these commemorative pieces or a pottery party for you and your loved ones, Polka Dot Pottery helps bring the entire clan together.
Wade and Julie Pannell—the owners and operators of Fleet Feet Sports' Spokane location—know what it's like to wrestle with health challenges. Wade turned to running after finding himself 60 pounds overweight and dissatisfied with his fitness level. A friend challenged him to become more active, and, since his first 5k in 2006, he has devoted his life to helping other people along their journey toward wellness. Julie has struggled with her own physical challenges; despite growing up a gymnast and leading a healthy lifestyle, she suffered a heart attack at the age of 37. As part of her recovery, she rededicated herself to actively training, and aims to inspire others to overcome their own obstacles. The Pannells and their two sons enjoy running, triathlons, and participating in other athletic activities as a family.
Wade and Julie and their team also coordinate social runs and help other runners train safely and effectively. They outfit runners, walkers, and exercisers of all abilities with the proper kicks—according to specific gaits and foot biomechanics—in a shop lined with shoes, apparel, and gear. The footwear aficionados employ a six-step personal-fit process to match runners with their ideal shoes, based on sitting and standing foot measurements. Once they make their recommendations, customers sample footwear from brands such as New Balance, ASICS, and Nike, and, like choosing from a chocolate box, pick the squishiest one. After tracking down their soles' mate, customers can also find gear and apparel from brands such as Brooks to match their favorite activities.
The logos and colors of nearly any college, university, K–12 school, or 1870s baseball farm team in Ohio turn cozy apparel into declarations of fandom. The online shop stocks a variety of performance and everyday wear, such as sweatshirts, T-shirts, shorts, hats, and backpacks. Customers may further customize their selections by choosing from a range of printed designs based on their favorite sports, activities, or graduation years, and may even add their names to some pieces.