By Gus Herrera
When it comes to specialty running shops, A Snail’s Pace sits in a class of its own. The store distinguishes itself from the competition through its Five Step Fit Process, excellent customer service, and unmatched selection. A Snail’s Pace opened in Monrovia (750 S. Myrtle Ave.) back in 2011 and since then they have worked diligently to service the local running and walking community. Whether you are a serious marathon runner, a high school athlete, or simply seeking a comfortable walking shoe, A Snail’s Pace is the go-to spot if you truly want to find the right fit.
The Five Step Fit Process is a one-on-one service that combines cutting-edge technology with expertise in order to make sure every customer not only leaves with the appropriate product, but more importantly, with a newfound knowledge of their biomechanics, “we would like to educate the consumer on something that they didn’t know, I want them to know more when they leave than when they came in,” says owner Eddie Johnson.
The Fit Process begins with a brief interview, followed by a static analysis where the customer’s foot is scanned to find out their arch height and width, exact foot size, and to reveal any maladies such as arthritis or plantar fasciitis. Next, the store associate videotapes the customer running or walking on the treadmill in order to properly analyze their biomechanics. Once all the data has been assessed, the associate will exercise his or her expert judgment to bring out a selection of appropriate products from their massive inventory. “We have the widest selection of running shoes in Southern California and I would venture to say that we have one of the widest selections of running shoes in the country,” says Johnson.
All the technology used in the Fit Process is located right in the store and the whole process only takes about 30 to 45 minutes, allowing many customers to come in and get fitted during their lunch breaks. There is no appointment necessary.
In order to ensure the Five Step Fit Process maintains its high standards, A Snail’s Pace requires a staff with unparalleled passion and attention-to-detail. Johnson describes the staff: “Generally we only hire runners, in fact we have a very active staff … we spend a lot of time training on product knowledge, biomechanics, foot maladies, and running injuries. It’s a constant battle, I want them to be a student of the sport … the ultimate goal is for them to learn something new every day they come into work.” In addition to monthly internal training headed by Joe Lourenco, chief operating officer and co-owner, A Snail’s Pace also engages with the medical community, as many of their customers are medical referrals.
Ultimately, the store provides an engaging and educational personalized experience second to none. “I think our staff is extremely passionate about what they do, they really invest the time and care about the people that come in. It means a lot to us to get them fitted in the right shoe … I think that’s something that really sets us apart,” says Jenny Welch, store manager.
A Snail’s Pace also offers a running academy for all levels, a running club, Tuesday Night Runs, Pub Runs, trail runs, and a special hands-on Nina Runners program intended to help educate women on running safely by themselves. For more information, visit www.ASnailsPace.net or call (626) 471-9101.