Now open: Fit 1st Running

Credit: Manny Minter closely monitors the fit of each shoe at Fit 1st Running. Photo by Michelle Bruch
Credit: Manny Minter closely monitors the fit of each shoe at Fit 1st Running. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Manny Minter played track and football at Monmouth College in Illinois. That’s when he started paying attention to shoes. Everyone said Nike was the best, but he decided to dig deeper, investigating which shoes fit which types of feet.

“That’s the reason why it’s called Fit 1st,” he said. “It’s what made me want to open a store. So many places don’t take care of the customer’s feet. … I get them in the right shoes based on body mechanics, rather than a guessing game.”

At Minter’s store at 2327 Hennepin Ave., he measures each foot size and arch. Then he watches the customer walk barefoot, paying attention to the Achilles and which way the toes are pointed. He has a treadmill on hand if needed, and customers can even test the shoes outside and run them up the street.

Minter carries brands including PUMA, Scott, 361 and Ryka, with a price range from $60 to $140.

“You shouldn’t have to pay a premium price for a quality shoe,” Minter said.

Fit 1st Running also carries apparel, orthotics, and organic nutrition bars. A running group gathers every Wednesday at 6 p.m.

For more information, visit fit1strunning.com.