Fleet Feet's story began in 1976, when Sally Edwards and Elizabeth Jansen—both collegiate athletes, educators, and not yet 30 —made the very unlikely, very risky decision to open a running store together on the second floor of a fixer-upper Victorian house in Sacramento, California.
Sally and Elizabeth wanted to create a place for their friends, their community, and their fellow athletes that provided the shoes, gear, and the community that was so lacking at the time for runners. Working seven days a week with one shoe brand in stock and a shoe box for a register, Sally and Elizabeth focused their efforts on community outreach. Using a refurbished U.S Postal Service van, the two put considerable effort into driving to area high schools to fit student athletes, as well as supporting the grassroots events of the Sacramento area's first running club, the Buffalo Chips.
It took a year, but eventually sales crept up, enticing other brands to become vendors. Opportunity came calling in 1978, and Sally and Elizabeth opened Fleet Feet's second location 90 miles north of Sacramento in the town of Chico. As additional requests came in for stores, Sally and Elizabeth decided rather than become a multi-store business, Fleet Feet would become a franchise operation built on an incredibly solid foundation of local ownership.
Since those doors first opened on J Street, Fleet Feet has inspired, empowered, educated, and helped runners of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds. Today, the brand remains committed to outfitting runners with personalized solutions and creating social experiences that deepen the roots of running in communities across the nation. The brand’s focus on evolving the customer experience has led to the recent introductions of the brand's exclusive 3D foot scanning system fit id™, an e-commerce platform at fleetfeet.com, the national training intitiative Fleet Feet Running Club, the nationwide 5K The Big Run event, and the most significant brand refresh in Fleet Feet history.
What hasn’t changed, and will never change, is Fleet Feet’s foundation of passionate, local ownership. Like the cultural influences that led to its opening, the brand remains inextricably linked to the sport of running and continues to serve as a destination for runners with 176 locations in 38 states across the country.