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On the Run with Sam: Get Ready for the Holidays

Get Ready for the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, let’s talk gifts. Every year we see family and friends come in looking for items for the runner(s) in their lives. It’s so thoughtful. Many people would just keep running in t-shirts they got for free at homecoming in high school. But, let’s be honest, they either don’t fit, are extremely worn out, or uncomfortable. I was one of these people. When I started running -- and for a long time -- I wore anything I had. Why buy something when what I have works? I still stand by this, but I know that the holidays are when everyone is asking what you want, not always need, and is a great time to try something new.

Growing up you never want to get clothes or socks or something similar, you wanted toys. I know you did, don’t lie. Oh, to be a kid again, I would appreciate the socks a lot more.

I can’t ask for shoes (I don’t think my mom would have it… I know she wouldn’t. We’ve had too many conversations about my shoes. Specifically, them being strewn across the kitchen, living room, the stairs, bathroom, laundry room... shall I continue?).

But I can ask for other little treats. While I may be biased as a Fleet Feet Albany & Malta employee, I think we’ve got some pretty good gift options. We recently brought in Birkenstocks. As a Birkenstock fanatic, it’s pretty sweet to have my favorite shoes here now. Yes, I do love sneakers, but ‘Birks’ have my heart when I’m not running. We’ve got a few different styles and colors -- we bring the options!

Charlie and I were recently discussing our apparel. In my 4.5 years here, I whole-heartedly think this is our best selection yet. There are more colors, styles, and options. For a while we struggled identifying exactly what we think customers would want. As styles change every season, you must be ahead of the curve to order product for the following spring a year, if not more, in advance. And while companies really do control the style, it’s up to customers to decide to buy into it. We’ve had times where we had only bright and reflective apparel, lots of dark colors, or lots of pastels. But this year, we have a mix of colors and textures and functions.

We recently brought in Lululemon (Exclusively at the Malta location). This has been a fun addition because it truly is different than our typical product line. More so in Malta than in Albany, but much of our customer base are people looking for comfort at work or in daily life who aren’t always runners (Or, merely future soon-to-be runners as we like to call them, Editor.). I think while Lululemon offers plenty of running apparel, it is great for that person who just wants some comfortable loungewear. And we all know the belt bag wave. Everyone’s got one of those suckers — as do we. 

And for you sock lovers, we recently brought in Jogology from the designers of Balega, one of the most popular running socks on the market. They have features more like Feetures, hugging your arch and providing cushion while not being as bulky as the Balegas.

Lastly, I want to highlight the importance of being seen. Every year we experience daylight savings and yet people are still running, walking, taking the dog out, and biking in the dark in dark clothing. While not every piece of outerwear needs to be bright and reflective, you must incorporate reflectivity and active lights your safety. A blinking light or two, reflective vests, bright colors: It doesn’t have to be anything special. Just be seen. (And we can help you be seen!)

Hope you all have a great holiday season and get to spend it with who you love doing what you love.

Samantha Simmons

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