What It’s All About
Outdoor shops (both larger ones like REI and small local stores) have made a killing selling trail running shoes in the past 10-15 years or so. But most of their brands come from the hiking/mountaineering side of the industry, which means the shoes are often somewhat burlier, more durable for technical trails and mostly available in seven shades of earth tones. The salesperson (who might or might not have shaved in recent months, regardless of their gender) can usually supply good local trail knowledge in between sips of their chia-infused soy chai latte. (Or is that only a Boulder, Bend and Burlington thing?)
Why You Shop There
Because you’re a dirt-bag trail runner, you live in a mountain town, you really need a new camping stove or you really like eating freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches instead of energy gels.