BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — With its full line of performance footwear, Dave’s Running Shop is Northwest Ohio’s headquarters for runners – as well as workers, walkers, hikers and standers.
“We reflect the community – and that includes walkers all the way up to people who qualify for the Boston Marathon,” said floor manager and sales associate Dave Moore. “Customer care is about meeting their needs and goals, not just running fast.”
In Dave’s four locations, including Delta, Findlay, Perrysburg and Sylvania, the staff are all wearing masks and politely asking customers to use hand sanitizer before perusing the store.
Among those shopping at the Sylvania store on June 8 were Sue Rottman, seeking advice from Moe Moubarak on shoes that will help her continue recovering from a knee replacement.
“We want to be here for people to be healthy and active,” Moore said. “One of the things that brings me joy is when someone says their hip or heel doesn’t hurt anymore.”
Physical therapists and podiatrists often refer clients to Dave’s for the right fit to help in recovering or dealing with special issues.
Others find Dave’s the best source for light, comfortable shoes to wear while working in a hospital, restaurant or other standing and walking jobs, said Matt Mason, grandson of Dave’s founder Dave Mason.
With Ohio’s COVID-19 shutdown and careful restart, getting outdoors is more important for physical and mental health than ever.
“Running is one of the cheapest things you can get into,” Mason said. “If you take up golf, you have to buy clubs. With running, you just need a good pair of shoes. It’s a great stress reliever. For new runners, once they’re out there and realize how they feel better and feel that endorphin release, they get into it.”
When running, three to five times your body weight is hitting your feet with each step, Mason said, so it’s vital to wear shoes that are made to resist that impact.
Nike led the pack in designing carbon-plated shoes that are lightweight to absorb the shock. Hoka and Saucony have followed suit. As a result of innovations in shoes, marathon times are getting faster, Moore said.
Facing the wall of shoes, customers are often overwhelmed. Dave’s staff is trained in helping customers find the perfect footwear.
“We can help shrink it down to manageable options. They’re all made for different feet and needs,” Moore said. “Feet are always changing with every decade of life.”
People are often shocked to find out they’ve been wearing the wrong size, so Moore usually takes a measurement first.
Dave’s has hiking shoes and sandals from Birken-stock, Keen, Merrell and Chaco. Brooks’ Ghost line is popular among nurses who spend long hours on their feet. Runners also appreciate slides to wear, either on the beach or after a run.
The store’s available apparel, including running shorts, shirts and pants by Prana, North Face and Cotopaxi, ensures comfort for each season, while the proper socks wick away sweat. Lately, everyone has at least a few face masks, and Dave’s printing division – which is normally busy making race-day T-shirts – has been churning out soft, comfortable masks.
Dave’s Running Shop was founded in Delta in 1973 by Dave Mason, after he took up running. His son James and grandson Matt have since taken up the cause of providing excellent care for all ages.
For more information, visit www.davesrunning.com.