Philadelphia Runner

Text by Tim Hyland
Philadelphia Runner

WHAT: Philadelphia Runner, a specialty running store, recently opened its second Philadelphia location, right here in University City.

WHERE: 3621 Walnut St. The store’s other location is downtown, at 16th and Sansom.

WHY GO?: If you’re a runner—or if you’d like to be a runner—Philadelphia Runner probably has you covered. Targeted specifically toward the running crowd (though the store does offer some swim gear), Philadelphia Runner offers an impressive selection of shoes, apparel and other gear. The knowledgeable staff can also offer tips and advice, as well as information about everything from nutrition to upcoming local races. “More than anything, we’re trying to be part of the community here,” says Assistant Manager Matt Byrne.

SHOES, SHOES, SHOES: Nothing is more important to runners than their shoes, and Philadelphia Runner knows this. That’s why the store offers such a huge selection of runing shoes, by all the best makers. The store carries Nike, New Balance, Puma, Adidas, Asics, Mizuno and Fila. “When it gets right down to it, we can custom fit you for your needs,” Byrne says.

HOW, EXACTLY?: “We do foot-strike analysis here,” Byrne says. “That helps us find the right kind of shoe for the kind of structure that you need. Stability, cushioning—everyone has different needs. And we have a staff here that can help you find the right shoe.”

ARE SHOES REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?: According to Byrne, the answer is yes. “Shoes are hugely important,” he says. “You put so much more stress on your body when you start to run, especially from the knees down. Your knees take a real beating, both impact-wise and with lateral motion, which gets stressed as well. Having the right shoes is all about preventing injury, which is the main thing you want to do when you’re starting out.”

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?: “We carry insoles, socks, apparel, running tops, shirts, pants, hats, and sports bras. We carry some swim gear as well, since there’s a pool right there in the Pottruck Center. We’re not known as a swimming resource, but we do fill that niche a bit.”

HOW’S BUSINESS?: “It’s been good—steady. It’s a bit of the slow season, with winter, but knowing that, it’s been good.” Byrne says the store figures to attract a slightly different clientele than the successful downtown store. “It’s a little bit older downtown,” he says.

DETAILS: The store is open Monday through Friday from

10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call

215-662-5100 or visit

Originally published on .