The new Fleet Feet Wooster store is officially open as of October 28th. Fleet Feet, the largest franchisor of specialty run stores, recently announced the grand opening of its new location in Wooster, Ohio, which started welcoming customers in late July. The store is owned and operated by Jeff Henderson, along with his business partner Mike Farris and minority owners Kaila Westbrook and Aaron Olbur, who own three other Ohio Fleet Feets, and acquired this location – formerly Vertical Running Wooster – from longtime friends Brian and Tammy Polen. Located at 148 W Liberty Street, the store is in the heart of downtown Wooster and is housed in a historic building that has been home solely to footwear retailers since its inception in the 1880s.
“As a runner who grew up in Columbus, I’ve been dedicated to making Central Ohio a healthier, more active place to live,” said Henderson. “For years, I’ve watched and admired Brian and Tammy, and I’m extremely proud to carry on their legacy. It truly is a privilege to serve the vibrant Wooster community.”
Henderson began coaching high school track and field in 2004, around the same time Fleet Feet Lewis Center opened. He began visiting Fleet Feet with his team to purchase shoes and eventually started volunteering at Fleet Feet managed races. Henderson formed a relationship with the previous owner of the Lewis Center location while working at these sponsored events and was later brought onto the Fleet Feet team, eventually becoming the owner.
An involved member in his community, Henderson serves as a board member for Girls on the Run of Central Ohio, which impacts over 3,000 girls and has raised over $30,000 for the program. Henderson is also the Executive Director for Rocks and Roots Trail Runners Association, a non-profit that builds and maintains running and hiking trails in Ohio State Parks.
“We are excited to see Jeff continue expanding Fleet Feet’s footprint into northeast Ohio,” said John Moloznik, vice president of retail development at Fleet Feet. “The new location will help to support the thriving running community in Wooster and the surrounding area. As technology giants such as Intel continue to extend their presence between Wooster and Columbus, this store is perfectly situated to serve the growing area.”
Fleet Feet Wooster currently offers weekly track workouts, trail runs and fun runs for the community. In 2024, the new location will also offer a beginner 5k training program, a trail running group, and marathon training programs.
Fleet Feet Wooster operates with the brand’s exclusive outfitting experience, fit id®, which includes pressure plates and 3D foot scanning technology that allows the brand to accurately assess the size and shape of customers’ feet and how each foot moves through the gait cycle. This personalized, expert-led approach allows outfitters to offer the right fitting footwear and accessories for each customer.
For more than 47 years, Fleet Feet owners, operating partners and employees have created welcoming environments that allow runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts of all abilities to conquer their goals at every level, on every surface, at every distance with personalized solutions, knowledge and empowerment. Fleet Feet’s nationwide network of community-based retail stores are a place of inspiration, showing people how Running Changes Everything®.
Visit the Fleet Feet Wooster website to learn more about the new location and grand opening activities.
About Fleet Feet Wooster
Founded in 1976, Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated run specialty stores. With more than 260 locations in 40 states and a national headquarters in Carrboro, N.C., Fleet Feet is committed to providing runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts with outfitting expertise, robust training programs, community support and rewards. Fleet Feet believes that RUNNING CHANGES EVERYTHING® and has been recognized on Fast Company’s Brands That Matter List, Inc.’s Best in Business List and PRWeek’s Purpose Awards. Stay inspired, motivated and connected at Fleet Feet.