What you Should Know about GEAR Running Store
Selling shoes doesn’t drive the folks at GEAR Running in Edina. Like so many community gathering places throughout history, GEAR Running exists to help people achieve more than they thought possible. Since 1985, the oldest running store in the Twin Cities has been a place where tribal elders in the running community come to share decades of wisdom with the next generation of runners.
Located on France Ave in Edina between a Caribou coffee and Dick’s Barbershop, GEAR Running has seen a rejuvenation since Paul Horan (who grew up in the neighborhood) bought the store in 2009. In part because of Horan’s extensive retail background, GEAR Running has re-established itself as one of the premier local running stores in the metro – not only for great shoe fitting, but advice on your next race.
What is Gear Running
Gear Running is “a boutique running store staffed by real runners… the ones you see passing you running around the lakes.” says Brian Schubring, local business owner, runner and long time GEAR customer. “I go there because I know I can get [shoes] that actually work. They know what to get you for different workouts.”
While GEAR Running certainly helps advanced runners find specialty shoes, they’re also setup to help the everyday runner. “Our niche seems to be with the moderately competitive beginner,” says Paul Horan. They’ve built a loyal following, not only within the neighborhood of South Minneapolis, but with runners all over the metro willing to drive to get their expertise.
What You can Expect at GEAR
In addition to the self proclaimed, “most colorful shoe wall in town,” when you enter GEAR Running you’ll be greeted by staff who know a thing or two about running. Several elite runners work there while in training.
You can also expect a thriving running community offering opportunities to train for your next event, or just maintain base miles during winter.
In the winter, GEAR Running hosts a weekly group run on Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. Typically 5 – 7 miles around Lake Harriet (more or less), it is followed by beer and pizza – the staple of any group run.
Starting in March, GEAR will also host a Monday night run at 5:30 p.m. This run departs from Brits Pub in downtown Minneapolis. “This better serves our downtown customers who can grab a quick run after work,” says Horan.
GEAR Running Clinics
GEAR holds running clinics every other week during the summer. Covering a variety of running topics, they’re designed with those moderately competitive beginners in mind. Horan has a passion for natural running, and these clinics focus on helping runners improve their form, making them more efficient and faster. They offer gait analysis done outside (not on a treadmill) that shows you biomechanical areas for improvement.
If runners would like additional coaching, several staff members are certified running coaches and can help athletes of all abilities levels reach their next audacious goal.
All Comers Track Meet
In partnership with the Twin Cities Track Club and Brooks, GEAR Running hosts three all comers track meets in the summer. These full track meets are open to anyone. “This past summer we had the state cross country champ who did the high jump and shot put. He just wanted to try something different.” This is a great opportunity for you if you’ve ever wanted to try a track style event.
Shoe Fitting Philosophy
At GEAR Running, “we try to get people in as little correction as possible” says Horan. “Unless someone really really needs a stability shoe, we’re finding most people do quite well in a neutral.”
Horan’s own research has lead him to focus on natural running form. He cited new research which suggests trying to change pronation (the natural rolling of the foot during running) with shoes may actually cause more harm than good. The study cites that “deviant degrees of pronation may not in practice be abnormal and do not contribute to injuries.”
Have you been to GEAR Running? What was Your Experience Like?
Nathan currently lives in Portland, but works in Minneapolis and runs wherever he is. Favorite Minnesota running route is anything that takes him along the Mississippi River.
Nathan's day job is as a senior consultant with Leadership Vision Consulting in Downtown Minneapolis.