Seven Awesome Running Stores in the Boston Area
There are many reasons Boston is the best running city in America—access to a plethora of running stores stacked with the best brands and expert advice is just one of them.
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Maybe you’re a lifetime runner, with plenty of miles under your belt, or maybe you’re just dipping your toes into the rich culture and history of the sport of running in Boston. Either way you look at it, you’re going to need the best gear to keep up with the best running city in America, and if you ever have hopes of racing in the Boston Marathon, you have to start somewhere. Whether you’re looking for a new pair of sneakers, or even a new running buddy, these running stores in the Boston area have plenty to offer. All you have to do is take the first step.
Where: 652 Tremont St., other locations in Cambridge and Newton
Go here for: High community vibes and stellar coaching through their membership program
Pioneered by one of the most sought-after marathon coaches in Boston, Dan Fitzgerald, Heartbreak Hill Running Company was born in the South End in 2009 and the community that grew around it, coined the Heartbreakers, has taken the city by storm ever since. The 2019 Best of Boston winner has so much more to offer than apparel, though. For $20/month or $220/year, you have access to a virtual training center that includes cross-training workouts and tips from Boston-based professional runners, like Cory McGee. And if you have #goals of racing in a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or marathon, there are training programs included in your membership geared towards each one, not to mention the weekly coached practices, sessions in the indoor running studio, and more. Running may require a lot from your body, but it’s made easier by surrounding yourself with people who have a lot of love for the sport.
Where: 285 Washington St., Unit D, Somerville
Go here for: Eclectic gear for a good cause
Spawned in Mike Burnstein’s college dorm room at Washington University in St. Louis with some help from his cross-country teammate Dave Spandorfer, the apparel startup Janji has strong philanthropic roots. All of the gear sold, both in their flagship location in Somerville and at different running stores included on this list, are inspired by different parts of the world—including Haiti, Kenya, Peru, and more. They team up with local artists from those countries to collab, and when the collection is launched, they give five percent of the proceeds directly back to the country through a non-profit clean water project. If you sign up to become a member (a one-time purchase of $50 gets you in), your fee goes to the cause. You’ll also gain access to exclusive Janji merch, as well as 15 percent off for life, and special deals on Nomadic Run adventures to places like Chile and Mexico City.
Where: 617 Boylston St., other locations in Brookline and Cambridge
Go here for: A no-appointment-necessary gait analysis
Founded in 1975 in a first-floor apartment near Harvard Square—and later taken over by Colin Peddie, who revolutionized the concept of gait analysis during the shoe selection experience—Marathon Sports now has 11 retail locations across New England. The one in Boston is just steps from the Boston Marathon finish line. As soon as you walk into the store, the wall of colorful, technical-looking shoes may, to the un-trained eye, look intimidating. But don’t worry: The knowledgeable staff doesn’t leave you wandering around for long. They’ll have you walking, and then running, around the store to determine how your foot and ankle bear weight—narrowing your shoe choices down significantly. Bringing you only the ones that fit your foot best, they’ll then let you test drive them outside on the sidewalk. It’s an opportune time to run across the finish line—pretend it’s Patriot’s Day.
Where: 140 Guest St., and others
Go here for: The Stride ID and NBRx technology
Between launching special-edition shoes and the ground breaking of a brand-new multi-sport complex, New Balance is dedicated to athletes in Boston. Whether you’re a professional racer or a weekend-warrior, visit the global flagship store at Boston Landing to have your feet scanned by 3D scan technology to generate an advanced fit analysis and get the best recommendations for your foot type. If you’re prone to aches and pains, the New Balance NBRx approach to foot health is also here to help—making sure your kicks match your arch type and running style based on your doctors recommendations. Never log another painful mile again.
Where: 200 Newbury St.
Go here for: Great quality, and long-lasting, running clothes
Blurring the lines between function and form, Nike Boston is the best place to indulge in a few pairs of leggings or running shorts that won’t chafe your thighs or move out of place while you’re jogging. For particularly cold training days, make sure you’re outfitted with compression tights, such as the Nike Pro Icon Clash, and jackets, such as the Nike Pro women’s fleece cropped top. Even though it may be cold, crop tops are always acceptable. The Boston store even has Boston-branded gear (in the gold and blue colors of the Boston Marathon), as well as free run clubs beginning and ending at the store.
Where: 25 Drydock Ave. North
Go here for: Free training runs and tips from the pro running club
Reebok was founded on the desire to help runners be the best they can be, and their dedication to this mission is apparent in every piece of apparel at their store. Plus, the employees of Reebok aren’t the only ones who get to take advantage of the beautiful amenities inside the sports brand company’s dazzling new headquarters in the Seaport. You can pop into the retail store, connected to the headquarters and next to the gym, for a shoe-fitting. Plus, during select times of the year (especially as the Reebok Boston 10k for women approaches) the store hosts free weekly training runs. The Reebok Boston track club is also a resource you can tap into, with tips and tricks available on their website. Because the team tests and experiments product launches first, you can rest assured that what you buy will be a standout. They know firsthand what works and what doesn’t.
Where: 285 Newbury St.
Go here for: Regular weekly training runs
Everything about Tracksmith, from its apparel to its store locations, has roots in New England. Launched in 2014 in Wellesley, at the halfway point of the Boston Marathon, the team moved the store 13.1 miles down the course to Newbury Street. This hub for runners prides itself on its “Amateur Spirit,” or what Tracksmith describes as “the non-professional yet competitive runners dedicated to the pursuit of excellence.” If this sounds like you, be sure to swing in for apparel that has a collegiate feel and join the team. Led by manager Louis Serafini, who is a 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier and the 2015 New England Runner of the Year, the group meets for Tuesday and Thursday workouts. Tuesdays are all about speed and Thursday’s focus is tempo. Plus, if you like to log long runs on the weekends, they do that too, starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday. The shop even has a lounge and a rooftop, both of which make for great places to enjoy a much-needed beer post-run.