Westwood Resident Opens Specialty Running Shop in Norwood
The store, which is currently open, will celebrate its Grand Opening on Tuesday, June 19.
Shopping for new sneakers at Charles River Running, a new full-service specialty running and walking store in 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," said store owner Charlotte Walsh, a Westwood resident. "We want to ensure that our customers leave our store with the best pair of running shoes for them."
The store, which held a soft opening on June 1, 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.
The new shop, located on Washington Street in Norwood, brings a local and completely personalized shoe fitting experience to the runners and walkers of Westwood, Norwood and the surrounding communities.
With each purchase, Charles River Running customers receive a gait analysis and full shoe fitting.
"What we do here, what we try to do, is match your goals and what you would like and we take a look at your foot, we measure your foot," Walsh said. "We watch you walk, see how you stand. You only have two feet and really you just need to take care of them. It's an investment you need to make."
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.
Last summer, Walsh moved to Islington from Pennsylvania, where she worked for a physical therapist at a similar specialty store, 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.
"We give you a lot of choices within your category," she said.
What's more, Walsh said Norwood was the ideal spot for the business, even to target folks in Westwood and elsewhere, as no such specialty running store exists within at least a 13-mile raidus. Her store, she said, can help accomodate a growing interest in the sport.
"Running is literally experiening it's second boom," Walsh said. "It's being redefineed, older people are running now. Peope are not starting their running career with a 5K, it's a half marathon."
She added, though, that not all runners are out there for the competition.
"The majority of runners don't race," she said. "They're just out there at 5 a.m., after work or at their lunch hour, and they do it because it makes them feel better about themselves. It brings them peace and adds balance to their life."
For her part, Walsh began running at the age of 14, and continued competitively in high school before going on to run for the U.S. Marine Corps. ROTC program in college. She continued to run during her five years of service thereafter.
“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 of Norwood 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. I love Norwood. The town has really welcomed me wholeheartedly."