I’ve gathered a few bits of info along the way that you might find helpful or interesting on your journey.
(I’m putting the running section first because it’s easier to categorize. 🙂 P.S. The store names are links that take you to the store websites.)
Shoe & apparel stores – brick and mortar
Because I live in a small town with just one sporting goods store to speak of (the kind where you can buy the most important piece of running gear – shoes), this list is heavy on out-of-town sources. I mention those first because that’s where you’ll get the best expertise. You don’t want to mess around when it comes to your running shoes. These stores also offer apparel, gear and gadgets, but shoes are why you go to a specialty store. There you’ll be analyzed and fitted with the right shoe 99 percent of the time.
If you’re looking for running shoes, don’t skimp. Buying a cheap shoe because of the price – or, even worse, because it’s “cute” – will cost you in the long run (in the form of injuries and medical bills). Invest in good shoes.
1819 N. Grant St.
Little Rock, AR 72207
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Description: Owned by Gary and Erin Taylor (no relation to me), Go! Running is a place where you’ll feel welcome as you shop for running shoes, apparel and gear. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the customer service is top-notch. I’ll never forget my first shopping experience there – Erin graciously and patiently helped me find the exact right sports bra for me, and I’ve been buying that model ever since. Here’s what I wrote about that experience.
The store sponsors running events in the community, including the 2014 RRCA National Championship race the Go! Mile. That is one fast little race, and it’s a ton of fun!
10300 Rodney Parham Rd., Suite D3
Little Rock, AR 72227
Phone: (501) 313-4689
Fax: (501) 313-4980
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Description: The name “Bill Torrey” is part of the store’s name because so many Arkansans have known Bill and relied on his expertise over the years. He worked for many years at Easy Runner in Little Rock (bought out by the Fleet Feet franchise a couple of years ago), and in 2013 he opened his own store on Rodney Parham. Bill and his peeps will give you excellent service and a good selection of shoes, apparel, gear and other items to help you run happy. With Bill’s bunch of helpful, friendly folks on staff, you’ll be in good hands at Rock City.
1016 Van Ronkle St.
Conway, AR 72032
Phone: (501) 328-9255
Fax: (501) 328-0504
Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturdays
Description: Store owner Linda Starr champions runners all across Arkansas through the Women Run Arkansas program, specifically the annual 10-week Women Can Run/Walk clinics throughout the state. She supports, cheerleads and guides the rest of us local clinic leaders and directors, on top of all the behind-the-scenes work she does. She is an invaluable asset to women runners across Arkansas and is a great advocate for the sport. Also, she’ll sell you a good sports bra. 🙂 (This beautiful lady looks about 15-20 years younger than her true age, because she has taken excellent care of herself!) Linda’s son Don works at The Sporty Runner, and he’ll also help you find just the right pair of shoes or other gear. (Maybe not a bra, but who knows?)
230 S. Main St.
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Phone: (870) 910-5569
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
Mall at Turtle Creek
3000 E. Highland Dr., Suite 116
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Phone: (870) 336-2453
Hours: Sunday: 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Description: You can get personal service and expert advice at Gearhead. Its flagship store is in Jonesboro, Ark., and the chain has expanded a bit around Arkansas and even into Louisiana. I’ve provided info on both Jonesboro stores, and you can click the link above to find out about the Little Rock, Rogers and Shreveport locations. There’s even a Gearhead Cycle House in Jonesboro; I’m including it below because some of our running friends also cycle but I don’t have a separate cycling page on my site. You can find the cycle store via the Gearhead Outfitters website or through its own site.
Description: Gearhead Cycle House sells, buys and services bicycles, and the website includes a price list of its services. (Sweet!) According to its website, Gearhead is northeast Arkansas’s largest full-service bike shop. Also, “It is Arkansas’ only Shimano service center and has the only Specialized Master BG Fit Technician in the region.” (I don’t know what that last part means, but maybe all you cyclists will!)
25 Eagle Mountain Blvd.
Batesville, AR 72501
Phone: (870) 793-2297
Hours: 1-5 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Description: If you live in or near Batesville, Ark., Hibbett’s is pretty much the only store for your athletic-gear needs. It’s a chain and caters to sports enthusiasts of all kinds, so don’t expect top experts specific to running. I do, however, have to sing the praises of the Batesville store’s manager, Michelle. She’s the one I want assisting me on running shoes. She knows her stuff. Besides that, she’s really nice.
3417 Harrison St.
Batesville, AR 72501
Phone: (870) 698-1700
Description: VanWinkle is your destination for trophies, awards and school-spirit apparel. Local race directors, coaches and just plain ol’ folks depend on VanWinkle for a variety of things, and we know we can count on the staff to help us out when we need it.
Shoe & apparel stores – online
Phone: (800) 743-3206
Description: My husband and I have moved more and more toward supporting our local retailers in the past few years, but on the rare occasion that we can’t get what we need from one of those guys, we turn to RoadRunnerSports.com. Some of the things we love about RRS: free (and fast) shipping and at least 10 percent off every item (first year’s membership is $1.99, then $25/year thereafter); the 90-Day Wear ’Em and Love ’Em Guarantee (if you order a pair of shoes and don’t like them, you can return them within 90 days and all you pay is the return shipping); and the knowledgeable staff. They know running shoes.
For further reading … about running
My husband, Bruce, has been running for 150 years, and he has a wealth of knowledge and technical advice, including shoes. He shares a lot of that technical knowledge on his blog.
(formerly Arkansas Runner Mom)
If you live and run in Arkansas – heck, even if you don’t – get yourself some inspiration from local running chick Tia Stone. She juggles marriage, momhood and marathon running (plus a ton of other stuff), all while looking awesome in tights 🙂 and being a super-nice person.
Erin Henderson, mom of 12, loser of approximately 80 pounds and runner of multiple marathons, is an inspiration to me as she juggles it all. Although I had to miss her talk, she spoke at our Women Run Arkansas pasta party in 2014. I’ve followed her blog since just before that event, and she never ceases to inspire me.
I’m still developing this section. If you have resources to suggest in the categories below, please leave a comment. – Suzy O
The thing I like about Cassie is that she’s a no-hype advocate of balances nutrition, and she’s nontraditional in her approach. She’s not afraid to buck the system and give advice that goes counter to what everyone else is saying. She does her homework, and I trust her. (Besides, she told me I could eat butter.) Here’s an example of why I like her:
For further reading … about wellness
(This section under construction.)
I’ve always been frugal and interested in debt-proof living, investing and all things financial-freedom, but I started educating myself in earnest with Mary Hunt’s newsletter, Cheapskate Monthly, in 1994. Back then it was a black-and-white printout distributed by snail mail. Now it’s online, it’s called Debt Proof Living, and the resources have grown by leaps and bounds. Mary is down to earth, funny and practical. Her practical tips cover everything from teaching your children how to handle money to the best ways to make a major purchase to how to choose a financial adviser. Mary’s advice is practical and right on the money (sorry, couldn’t resist). I like her resources so much that her site has been my browser’s home page for several years.
Disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with Debt Proof Living, so if you click the graphic and end up making a purchase, I might make a small amount of money from the sale. I’ve been an affiliate for only a few months but have been recommending Mary Hunt’s newsletter and books for two decades.
I’ve been associated with this ministry since its inception. I’m a volunteer budget coach and am trained to lead small-group Bible studies about handling money according to biblical principles. If you have questions about what God says about stewardship, Compass is your go-to source. Online studies begin in 2015, and you can click here for more info.
For further reading … about financial fitness
Here are a select few of Mary’s many books. At this writing (5/23/15), the prices seem to be lower at Christianbook.com than at Amazon.com. Paper copies and ebooks are available at both sites. In May 2015, Mary announced that she would discontinue selling physical copies of her books on the site (she will still sell her digital products, and that link is here).
- Debt-Proof Living: How to Get out of Debt & Stay that Way
- Raising Financially Confident Kids
- Debt-Proof Your Christmas: Celebrating the Holidays without Breaking the Bank
- Free and Clear: God’s Roadmap to Debt Free Living
- Your Money Counts: The Biblical Guide to Earning, Spending, Saving, Investing, Giving, and Getting Out of Debt
- Money and Marriage God’s Way
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko