Shopping for new sneakers at Charles River Running, a full service specialty running and walking store newly opened in downtown Norwood, is different from the typical sports shop experience.
“We offer something that shoppers will not find at a larger big box store or on-line," store owner Charlotte Walsh said. "We want to ensure that our customers leave our store with the best pair of running shoes for them.
The new shop, located on Washington St., brings a local and completely personalized shoe fitting experience to the runners and walkers of Norwood and the surrounding communities. With each purchase, Charles River Running customers receive a gait analysis and full shoe fitting.
Every runner has a different gait, Walsh said. Their foot might roll in or out, the arch may not move, etc. These tendencies, if running often, can cause injuries without the proper support. The correct shoe technology, she said, can correct the angles between the foot, the knee and the hip, preventing such pains.
Walsh said she moved to Norwood from Pennsylvania last summer. There she worked for a physical therapist, and said she can now watch people walk and put them into categories - categories that can then be used to select the right type of shoe.
Charlotte began running as a high school cross country athlete and fell in love with the sport.
“Running maintains a special place in my life, and I want to share that joy with others in the community,” Walsh said.
When she looked into opening the shop, Walsh said the town was very welcoming.
"I immediately became aware of the fact that Norwood is a very business friendly and loyal community," she said. "As a town it was organized well to support and welcome new businesses."
The store will hold a grand opening on June 19, from 12-7 p.m. Refreshments will be served and store products and gift certificates with be raffled. A percentage of the grand opening sales will go to support the Friends of Norwood Center and the Norwood High School Track and Cross Country programs.
"I love Norwood," Walsh said. "The town has really welcomed me wholeheartedly."