By Lori Melton

Summer’s here, which means runners everywhere are ready to hit the road. If you’re looking to buy a new pair of shoes to officially break in the sunny running season, there are some great advantages to shopping at local stores instead of nationwide sporting good chains. Check out these picks for five of the best places in the Greater Detroit Area to snag the perfect running shoes to help you perfect your pace.

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441 West Canfield St., Suite 5
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 638-2831

The cool thing about this shop is the co-owners are both avid runners and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. They carry all major shoe brands and do a full gait analysis and biomechanical assessment to help you meet your needs and goals. They also host free group runs, every Saturday, at 8 a.m. all year, rain or shine. Plus, they offer training classes from beginner to experienced runners and tailor plans to help you meet distance goals.

Hansons Running Shop
8409 Hall Road
Utica, MI 48317
(586) 323-9683

There are four total Hansons locations, with the flagship store in Utica and branches in Lake Orion, Royal Oak and Grosse Pointe. These locations make it easy to serve a wide Greater Detroit Area customer base, no matter where you live in and around the Big D! Hansons offers all sorts of specialized training and coaching programs, including the Hanson-Brooks Distance Project which gives post-college athletes interested in continuing to train after college a platform to do so. They also do regularly-scheduled Group Runs and Marathon Training Runs. You can be confident the staff will help you find the right shoe for you!

Total Runner
15265 Dix Toledo Road
Southgate, MI 48195
(734) 282-1101

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Total Runner has over 35 years of experience in distance running and products and prides itself on great customer service. They carry several top brands at reasonable prices. The staff will take time to assess you to make sure you get the perfect fit and avoid common pitfalls associated with wearing poorly-fitted shoes. Total runner gets involved in several local races. They will also answer running and training questions in-store and online. They also do special orders and make personal deliveries.

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Running Fit
6623 Orchard Lake Road
W. Bloomfield, MI 48323
(248) 626-5451

Running Fit maintains a “community” spirit and is dedicated to “spreading the gospel of running” across their Michigan-based locations. They developed their own “fit philosophy” at the store which takes your individual history, a foot analysis, gait analysis, then goes through a fitting and recommendation process to help you decide which shoe is best-suited to meet your needs. They offer all levels of training classes and host fun, “themed” races – where runners may run in “costumes” (for example, Santa hats) and participate in a full calendar of events. They also offer a neat Ask the Expert service and a wide brand selection.

Runnin’ Gear
5390 Dixie Highway
Waterford, MI 48329
(248) 623-7296

Runnin’ Gear has been serving customers in the running business since 1978. There are two more locations in Brighton and Rochester Hills. They carry a wide shoe variety in addition to orthotics, clothing and gear. They offer several fun free clinics, several sponsored races and even team nights during track and cross-country seasons. The staff is full of knowledgeable shoe geeks to help you find the right fit. And, if you bring in your old shoes, they will donate them all over the world. How neat is that?

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