Fleet Feet Chicago Celebrates 25 Years of Running Community

October 28, 2021


/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Fleet Feet Chicago, one of the nation’s most influential running franchisees, celebrates its 25th anniversary on Friday, October 29. A year-long Celebration of Running will commence Friday morning with a 3-mile fun run set at their original location in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood (details below).

Fleet Feet Chicago was founded in 1996 by Dave and Lisa Zimmer, a local couple with a huge passion for running. Neither had previous retail experience (Dave was in finance, Lisa in marketing), but they understood the transformational power of lacing-up a pair of sneakers. Both quit their jobs to pursue a shared passion, soon opening Chicago’s first Fleet Feet storefront on North Avenue.

Today, Fleet Feet Chicago has grown to seven stores across Chicagoland, and is the highest grossing franchise in the 190-store collection. They are continually voted as one of the “50 Best Running Stores in America.” Their impact on the local running community is unparalleled, evident by the Zimmers’ personal philosophy they infuse in every customer touchpoint.

“We live by a simple belief: Running Changes Everything,” says Dave Zimmer. “It’s more than a motto, it’s something we live every day and believe wholeheartedly. From the customers and communities we serve, to the organizations we are then able to support, running has the power to change lives.”

Since 1996, Fleet Feet Chicago has worked to transform running from a casual activity into a sought-after lifestyle. Their personalized, in-store fit process is only the beginning of their customers’ journey. They continue to educate and engage their community by hosting weekly fun runs, offering training programs through Chicago Endurance Sports, sponsoring advanced athletes through the New Balance Fleet Feet Racing Team, supporting dozens of charity endurance programs, and even partnering with the Chicago Area Runners Association and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on major industry initiatives.

Friday Fun Run

Fleet Feet Chicago kicks off a year of celebration with Friday’s Fun Run, free and open to everyone — employees, vendors, partners and neighbors alike. Join Dave and Lisa at 7:00 AM from their original storefront at 241 W North Ave., (North Avenue and Wells St) and follow their original 3-mile fun-run route to Fleet Feet’s current Old Town location at 1706 N. Wells Street.

25th Anniversary Celebration

Continuing the celebration, watch for a variety of in-store promotions as well as the re-introduction of events that built the Fleet Feet’s strong Chicago community, including the See and Be Seen Fashion Show, Original 5K, Elvis is Alive 5K as well as a relaunch of run club events, many of which were reduced due to the pandemic. Details will be posted at www.fleetfeetchicago.com as well as @FleetFeetChicago Facebook and Instagram soon.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Interviews with Dave & Lisa Zimmer are available upon request by calling or emailing dlakin@fleetfeetchicago.com or by calling 312-593-2296.

On a national level, Fleet Feet, founded in 1976, is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated running stores with 190 locations in 37 states and corporate headquarters in Carrboro, N.C. Committed to offering personalized outfitting, robust running programs and rewards, community support and outreach, and 24 / 7 brand access at fleetfeet.com, each Fleet Feet location serves runners based on the belief that RUNNING CHANGES EVERYTHING(TM). Stay inspired, motivated, and connected @fleetfeet.