Park City ski boot retailer Surefoot has nearly tripled in size following the recent acquisitions of two running shoe companies, FrontRunners based in Los Angeles, and Super Runners Shop based in New York City. Surefoot, which has been based in Park City for nearly three decades, specializes in custom athletic orthopedic footwear and specialty ski boots and has expanded its operations into six countries, according to a company profile.
Bob Shay, co-owner of Surefoot, said the idea to buy the stores had long been in the works. As a runner himself with Surefoot stores located in New York City and Los Angeles, Shay was familiar with both companies before the purchase. Over the last year, Shay spoke with the company owners, corralling them into an agreement.
"We are the largest maker of orthotics in the U.S.," Shay said. "We sell 1,000 or more pairs in a year and some of the biggest sports names come to us, including Lance Armstrong. We had over 70 PGA Tour players use our products, and a number of professional baseball and basketball players. And lots of runners."
While Shay plans to keep the FrontRunners and Super Runners names intact, each location will feature Surefoot customization technology, scanners that help identify the best shoe for each customer. Shay said the company will continue to expand under all three names, growing the company to more than 400 employees. But the expansions will impact Park City the most. The headquarters for Super Runners Shops and FrontRunners will be relocated to Park City, bringing more jobs into the area.
"My brother and I own Surefoot," Shay said, "and while it's fun to come to cities and have stores in these areas with more than 20 million people, we still came from a town of 20,000 people. This is exciting, but our home is Park City."
Super Runners Shop in New York City owned eight running shoe stores, seven of which are in Manhattan, an Asics concept shop, an outlet shop, and one seasonal store in an indoor track facility that opens for the Marathon Expo. Super Runners Shop, which serves upward of 250,000 customers in a year, provides a variety of shoes for running, walking, training, track & field, and cross training.
FrontRunners owns three shops based in Brentwood, Santa Monica, and West Los Angeles and carries several large brands including New Balance and Adidas.
"These stores are big businesses," Shay said. "We have stores that are the number one and number two volume for sales of New Balance product. We're looking at big markets."