Sole Man: Where Do You Buy Your Shoes?

Brand Concept Shops

What It’s All About
Expect to drink the Kool-Aid from the moment you walk in, but don’t expect the same kind of running-specific expertise. When looking at a pair of Nike Frees at Niketown in San Francisco recently (in the temporary space while the original one on the corner of Union Square is being remodeled), I was told something like, “that’s the shoe Prefontaine runs in a lot.” Um, really? And, let me guess, Bill Bowerman made it in his wife’s waffle cone machine, right?

Why You Shop There
Because it’s cool! I’ve shopped and browsed at Niketowns in Boston, Portland and San Francisco in the past three months and have marveled at the energy and merchandising expertise. And despite the disconnect to various levels of running, it’s hard not to be reminded that Nike runs deep in running and is a big reason there have been so many technical and style innovations in running gear over the past 30 years. The same vibe is present at Puma, New Balance and The North Face concept shops I’ve been to recently. Running is cool!

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