Sarah Lightley/ The Broadside
Each year there are more than 26 running events in Bend. Runners from all over Central Oregon come and run or walk in these events. Most pictures from these events are focused on the faces of the runners, the smiles as they cross the finish line, maybe even a picture of a group running.
But what is missing from the photos are a close-up of the shoes. The shoes that the runner used to condition for the race, the shoes that they lace up in the morning before the race begins, the shoes that carried them from start to finish. A runner’s shoes are a key component in the runner’s ability to run miles and not have blistering feet.
Many people may pick up running shoes from Dick Sporting Goods or Nike, but there is a local gem that has been providing the Central Oregon community shoes since 1995.
FootZone has the shoes and gear for running, trail running, walking, working and most of life’s adventures.
This year, many races went virtual and the community events many were accustomed to did not happen. The feeling of disconnection, along with local closures and COVID-19 restrictions, affected FootZone.
The shopping experience changed for the whole community.
“To remain engaged with the community and keep selling products, we started offering private fittings, virtual fittings, curbside pickup, same day delivery (in Bend & Redmond) and launched our eCommerce site in April,” said Mark Stockamp, marketing manager for FootZone.
The support and love of the Central Oregon community is continuing to get the FootZone through these hard times.
“It’s been a stressful year, but our community has been wonderful, and we are so grateful for them helping us get through it. Our community has continued to support us both in-store and online, written positive reviews for us, and cared for us,” Stockamp said.
Supporting local businesses during these hard times are important, as they rely on their community.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt just about everybody financially, so we appreciate any local shopping that our community can do this holiday season, Stockamp said.
“We want to remain a strong positive presence in the Central Oregon business community, and we need our community to shop small and local to do so. Whether it’s in-store or online, we’re so appreciative of any local shopping that our community can do to support us.”
“We appreciate our community so much and showed our gratitude for them with our recent social media campaign #13daysofgratitude,” Stockamp said.
On the third day of #13daysofgratitude, the FootZone delivered 8,000 pounds of water to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs community.
Stockamp further explained the experience of giving this season, “It was an honor to be welcomed into the Warm Springs community and help so many wonderful families and community members with clean water,” he said.
The help of donations to the FootZone for the Warm Springs water fundraiser is what a community does for one another.
“It’s amazing how much joy and gratitude can be generated by something as simple as helping your neighbor when they’re in need of clean water,” Stockamp said.
“We look forward to growing our relationship with the Warm Springs community.”
“Thank you so much for supporting us, Central Oregon community,” Stockamp said.
FootZone is not the only store that needs help this season, and shopping local can help assist other wonderful community businesses.