Gotta run: Some gift ideas for the runner of your life – Salisbury Post


Have you ever heard that all it takes is a pair of quality running shoes to get started? That claim is correct, but almost every runner I know keeps an eye out for extras that could improve the overall experience.

Here are a few things Santa Claus might have in his bag for that special morning around the tree.

Starting with the shoes, Ralph Jr. at Ralph Baker Shoes has been supplying my shoes for a decade now because he knows about shoe technology and what makes the best shoe. He said: “Brooks still dominates what I would call ‘amateur runners’. Ghost, Adrenaline, and Glycerin are going to cover most of the runner’s needs and of course, Hoka is always hot. We have added a new brand, Topo Athletic, which should be in stores within a few weeks. It’s owned by the inventor of Vibram 5 Fingers and looks a lot like Altra with a foot-shaped toe box, but most styles have a little heel drop instead of Altra’s zero drop. I am impressed with them.

The footwear market has been stressed by recent supply chain issues. I asked Ralph what to expect in the future. He said: “As far as ‘back to normal’, industry analysts say fall 2022 before we come back… hard to believe I know. The supply chain has been disrupted and everything like a ship at sea you can’t start and stop and light a dime. It will take a while to get things sorted out. I’m in a great position right now as I bought long before when I could still get them. Refill or special order is almost non-existent now. If I haven’t pre-booked I won’t have it. That said, I check the stock status of all of our major brands daily to increase stocks when or if other resellers have canceled orders. Sometimes we can’t get a customer’s first choice, but we can almost always give them a great option without compromising their needs. Maybe not the first color choice, but no comp romis on the function.

Ralph had a good stock on one of my two favorite models, and I’m set for five months. I suggest stopping off as soon as you can to fill your runner’s shoe needs, as the selection will continue to decrease. Another thought concerns salvage shoes. Ralph added, “They’re a bit pricey for stocking stuffers, but very popular for soothing tired feet after a run. We have Oofos, Hoka and Topo shoes and sandals, as well as the very popular Feetures socks.

Back Country and Beyond has a Ribbon Cutting coming up on December 10th and a Grand Opening the next day. Dewitt is reporting promotions on almost everything in the store next weekend, including the full line of Garmin watches. I’ve been running for over 40 years and nothing has convinced me that a brand of fitness watch is more accurate than Garmin. There are styles for every type of runner, triathlete, and outdoor fitness enthusiast. Solar technology in their watches seems an intriguing option.

Back Country also offers Fits socks and Bow Stance socks. The fits are the longest performance socks I have worn. Stance socks are available for all personalities, even the strangest. Dewitt added, “We also have Honey Stinger, an energy supplement, and Body Glide, for abrasion relief. For our weekend event, Traeger will be at the store to demonstrate and cook with their grill while live music will be available.

The best full-service running store nearby is Vac and Dash in Albemarle. Owner Peter Asciutto suggests checking out the stylish and affordable Goodr sunglasses and Turtle towels, used for car seat covers for sweaty athletes. It also offers various Dri-fit and safety clothing options for all weather conditions.

The books on running and adventure are always big hits. Discover Father and Sons Produce, Patterson Farm Market, and Rowan Public Library.

Additionally, some personal choices include entry to a beginner run or class, always available at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org. Nothing beats a destination weekend, planned around a run or a running venue.

The next local race is the 30th annual Santa Run 5K and Bigfoot Reunion, which takes place on Saturday in the Millbridge Ruritan building.


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