Hiking | Trail Running | Road Running | Boating | Casual

Our footwear department is one of the largest that you'll find, we have everything from expedition boots, to flip flops. Hiking, trail running, and road running shoes are all lined up and ready for you to try on. We also have a comprehensive selection of casual shoes from your favorite outdoor and surf brands. Come have a chat with us, we'd love to fill you in on what's new with shoes!


End of Summer Swim Sale!


Bikinis, boardshorts, Birkenstocks--it's all on sale! The warm weather will be sticking around for quite a while longer, so stock up on new clothing, swimsuits, and sandals to continue enjoying this beautiful season! Select apparel and all swimsuits from Prana, Carve Designs, Patagonia, and more are going on sale for 20% off. Sandals are up to 50% off, from brands Reef, OluKai, Hari Mari, Birkenstock, Keen, Cushe, Merrell, and Sperry.

Here are a few styles we love: 

Spring Styles


Carve Dylan Gauze Shirt, $52; Oahu Short, $68



Carve Newport Tank, $42; Costa Capri, $72



Prana Dreamcatcher Top, $69; Ashley Capri Legging, $60


Patagonia Air Flow Shirt, $50; Strider Short, $49 




Carve Lexi Tankini, $64; Andi Bottoms, $52



Carve Tamarindo Top, $44; Bolinas Bottom, $48



Carve Isla Full Piece, $84



Patagonia Wavefarer Board Shorts




Birkenstock Arizona



Birkenstock Giza



Chaco Yampa

Go-To Running Shoes


We interviewed James Whipple, director of the Sono Half and experienced ultra-runner, to find his go-to shoes for running. No surprise here--James owns over 40 pairs of sneakers, and alternates between 2 to 3 during his training periods. James showed us the shoes he loves most for both trail and road running, and what makes them the best tool for a healthier run! Read on to find out how James prepares for a race, and the shoes that keep him on his feet!


James crossing the finish line at Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run with his family.


How often do you replace your running shoes?
"On average, it is wise to replace your shoes every 300-350 miles. Trail shoes may wear out faster if you have sections of road on your trail run, since pavement wears down the treads a bit faster."

How long does it take to break in a new pair of sneakers?
"The approximate break in period for most shoes is 20-30 miles. However, lighter, more minimalist type shoes require much less wear to break them in. It is crucial to get a feel for the shoes before you buy them! Spend some time walking around the store and make sure you do not feel any hot spots that could become painful blisters when you are running in them."

I want to try trail running; do I need different shoes for trail and road?
"There are road specific running shoes and a trail running shoes; each have their own benefits depending on the surface and terrain you'll be running on. If you're just trying out trail running for the first time, a crossover shoe is a great option because it's made to perform in both situations."

Do you have any advice for people who are planning to run a marathon?
"Have a plan! Be consistent! There are many terrific beginner training programs available online. Find one that works well with your schedule and follow it consistently. Keep most of your running easy and comfortable to build your fitness and avoid injury. Be patient! I do a lot of my training on the treadmill at home in order to spend more quality time with my family. This also allows me to control my pace and incline, so there is less risk of injury."

What are some important factors to consider when buying new shoes?
"The length of your run, your experience level and your foot's flexibility help break down the difference between running shoes. Your pedorthist can check based on flexing and twisting your foot whether it is rigid or flexible to reveal the amount of support you need. If you're running for longer distances a shoe with more support can protect your arch and absorb shock. I recommend the new brand Hoka for its lightweight and sturdier soles."

Our on-staff pedorthist Arlo Tarr will take measurements and examine your foot type, carefully to help you pick the perfect pair of running shoes for your feet. This is crucial to ensuring that you have a fun and safe running experience; everyone runs differently, so the same shoe is not necessarily the best shoe for everyone. With a pedorthic background, he can examine your feet and point out potential issues that you might not realize effect your running style, and also recommend a supportive insole to help tweak the fit.



James and his daughter Mia at the New York City 10K last year.



James shared with us his favorite running shoes, for trail running and road running. Here are his top picks in each category:



Hoka Clifton 2


 Although Hoka is a relatively new brand, it has already become incredibly popular in the ultrarunning community, with around 75% of ultrarunners using them. They have even become increasingly popular for all distances because of their thick soles that offer maximum cushioning. James likes to use these shoes on his recovery runs of about 8-10 miles; he says, "They keep your legs fresh and absorb shock." They are very lightweight (around 6.6 ounces) and have unique midsoles. Hokas have 2.5 times the midsole volume of a standard running shoe, and they incorporate Meta-Rocker geometry, meaning a sculpted outsole radius in the heel and toe which supports a runner's form. This shoe comes in men's and women's.



Salomon Speedcross 3


James' favorite thing about these shoes is the incredible lacing system: one-pull tightening is quick and easy, and there is a lace pocket on the tongue where you can quickly tuck away the pull tab. He also mentioned that it's incredibly comfortable: "it feels like a glove on your foot." A protective layer all around the base of the shoe protects against mud, and an anti-debris mesh keeps the area between your foot and the footbed free of debris. The deep tread on the outsoles provides the ultimate grip no matter what the conditions. This shoe comes in men's and women's. 


Other Road Shoes we Love:


Asics Gel Nimbus


This shoe incorporates a gel cushioning system in the rear foot and forefoot that gives it an incredibly smooth ride. The shoe is constructed of seamless materials, and the elimination of seams and stitching also eliminates the risk of irritating friction and scratching. This shoe comes in men's and women's.


Brooks Adrenaline GTS brooks

 A full-length segmented crash pad allows for smooth transitions from your heel to your toe, and the Progressive Diagonal Rollbar adds stability to the shoe. The midsole is designed to be great for people with moderate pronation, and for those with flat to medium arches. Your feet will stay dry and cool thanks to the moisture-management mesh upper. This shoe comes in men's and women's.


Other Trail Shoes we Love:


LaSportiva Mutant


This aggressive trail shoe will carry you over technical terrain with ease. The outsole incorporates FriXion® XF, LaSportiva's "stickiest running shoe sole compound," which provides superior traction. This shoe offers stability and grip on the roughest terrain, along with cushioning to keep your feet going longer. This shoe comes in men's and women's. 


North Face Ultra Cardiactnf

This is an excellent shoe for beginner trail runners, with a low price point and a stable fit. If your trail run includes portions of road, this is the shoe for you, as it is made to perform on any surface. It makes a great crossover shoe for anyone going from road to trail for the first time. It is flexible and light, but also protective, with a wide platform for added stability. Sticky threads give you traction on your uphill climbs, while the midsole cushioning protects your feet on the descent. This shoe comes in men's and women's.


Tuesday Night Running Club


We're excited for the first ever half-marathon in South Norwalk! Ready to conquer your first half? We had James Whipple, running coach and director of the SONO half, build us the perfect training plan to get race ready! Since there are 18 weeks until race day, we have plenty of time to build up our muscles and mileage! Outdoor Sports Center is here to help you stay motivated with our New Running Club meeting every Tuesday night @ 6:15 pm, June 16th until race day: Oct 17th! We will be focusing on short run days, varying mileage from 3-5 miles. Runs are lead by James and Shannon Whipple, and Outdoor Sports Center Staff: Kate, Brittney, John and Heidi. Check out our full training plan below and the weekly run schedule, with route map! Get ready to run! 

**Open to all experience levels! Race registration is not required to join in on the fun. Make sure to be well hydrated and fueled up before you run. No kids under 18 years old are allowed without a signed waiver or the supervision of a parent or guardian. Pick up waivers at Outdoor Sports Center! 


Get advice, motivation and support from the
Outdoor Sports Center running Community. 



Week 7- July 28th   -4 miles/ John

Week 8- August 4th   -4 miles/ John

Week 9- August 11th   -4 miles/ John

Week 10- August 18th   -4 miles/ James & Shannon  
+Clinic: TriggerPoint Foam Rollers
We will be meeting at the store at 6:15 for a run through Cranbury Park. At 7 PM, our rep Ryan Cornish from TriggerPoint will meet us back at the store to teach us the best techniques to relieve muscle and joint pain and improve flexibility and range of motion.

Week 11- August 25th   -4 miles/ Kate & Heidi

Week 12- Sept 1st   -5 miles/ Kate & Heidi

Week 13- Sept 8th   -5 miles/ James & Shannon

Week 14- Sept 15th   -5 miles/ James & Shannon

Week 15- Sept 22nd   -5 miles/ James & Shannon  
+Clinic: Learn the best foods to fuel your body for a race! 

Week 16- Sept 29th   -4 miles/ Kate & Heidi 

Week 17- Oct 6th    -3 miles/ Kate & Heidi

Week 18- Oct 13th   -3 miles/ Kate & Heidi 


COURSE Map for 4 mile route. 
Starting from Outdoor Sports Center's back parking lot, we will be running up Grumman Hill Road for one mile. When you reach a stop sign, turn right to continue onto Grumman Hill Rd until you reach Cranbury park's main entrance on your left. From here look out for the blue trail marker on your right, which will be before the first small building/kiosk. Enter the blue trail and continue out into the parking lot, running towards Cranbury Park's exit. Across from the exit, you'll see a white gate, run through the gate down the utility road. We will be running around the main lawn on the gravel path for 4 loops and exiting the same way we came in. *Check back for changes in course map, or join our facebook Group to get weekly alerts! Here

new course map2 

new course map

COURSE MAP for 3 mile route. 
Meet-Park and Ride, Rt. 7 @ Wolfpit Road, Near Orems Diner. Run: NRVT, Wilton Loop
*Check back for changes in course map, or join our facebook Group to get weekly alerts! Here 



If your excited about joining in on the SONO Half-Marathon its not too late to register, actually we have 5 months to train! This Full Training Schedule was created by James Whipple for Beginner and Intermediate runners. It is a 18 week plan, that gradually increases your mileage by 10% each week. Working your way up to a total of 11 miles a few weeks before the race and tapering off to 8 and 6 miles right before the race. Print your copy and join us for the group runs each week. 


Top Hiking Boots for 2015


Ready for Hiking season? Finding the right boots is essential to enjoying your hike. Trekking through mud, steep cliffs and slippery ground ensures you will be working up a sweat, but you can ease the pressure off your feet by finding the right boot. Every journey requires different footwear, whether you are on a long distance backpacking trip or a short walk in the woods, and we're here to break down the difference in footwear for you. 

Thru-Hiking The A.T.

Normally backpacking boots are made to be very stiff since you don't want too much flexibility when you're carrying a heavy load on your back. However, LOWA has come out with a couple of backpacking boots that offer just enough flexibility to make the boots easier to break in. These boots are made with a stiff shank in the rear boot, and in the front the shank tapers to allow flex, which will allow for a shorter break-in period. For men, we have the LOWA Camino Flex ($300), and for women, the Mauria Flex ($300).


Exploring Devil's Den

For day hiking, you have the option of boots or shoes, and it really just depends on which is more comfortable for you. A boot that encases your ankle is generally better when you will be doing more climbing on your hike, as it will give you added support and protection. For men's boots, our experts recommend the LaSportiva Core High ($200). This is not only a brand new boot, but it utilizes a whole new type of construction called GORETEX Surround. The GORETEX bootie is incorporated into the boot in a new way that makes it much more breathable, perfect for hiking in the summer. For women, we love the Vasque Inhaler ($159), another new boot that gives your feet added breathability. It is also made with GORETEX, but it incorporates a generous amount of mesh into its design to allow for maximum airflow through the walls of the boot.


Walking your dog in Cranbury Park

A hiking shoe with a low ankle can feel cooler in summertime than a high hiking boot, and we have a wide selection of hiking shoes to choose from. Our favorites are the Oboz Tamarac ($140) for men and the Phoenix ($140) for women. Oboz boots offer excellent quality for the price, and unlike most hiking boots, they come with very high-quality insoles. In addition, Oboz makes their own outsoles, which are very well crafted and helps them keep their prices low. BDry waterproofing keeps your feet nice and dry.




It is essential to your hiking experience to have a boot that fits well. With the right fit, the right insoles and the most comfortable socks, your feet will be blister-free and much less likely to be injured on the trail. Our experts can help you find the perfect fitting boot, and also the perfect insole to add comfort and customize your fit. We recommend using insoles in your hiking boots no matter what to give you added support, and since they come in a variety of thicknesses, you can also use the thicker ones to shrink any extra spaces inside the boot. Superfeet and Sole Footbeds make fantastic insoles that will keep your feet happy on the trail.


We have a huge assortment of socks that are perfect for day hikes or long trekking adventures. A common misconception is that wool socks are meant for cold weather, but this natural material can be used to construct thin, lightweight socks as well as thick winter socks. We carry socks from Smartwool and Fit that come in a variety of thicknesses and are excellent at wicking away moisture. Bacteria don't take to wool since it is a natural fiber, so even after hours of hiking you won't have that unpleasant sweaty foot smell. Never wear cotton socks while hiking, since cotton holds in moisture, sucks in bacteria, and is very slow to dry.

100 Head/Heart/Feet


If you thought a 26.2 mile marathon was tough, lace up your running shoes for a journey into the world of ultra-running. "100: Head/Heart/Feet" will follow the day-to-day life of ultra-runner Zak Wieluns as he trains for and finally runs a 100 mile race. The actual event is called the Vermont 100 Endurance Race, one of the original 100 mile runs in the USA. Runners attempt to complete this grueling competition over Vermont's paved streets, gravel back roads and wooded trails…in daylight and darkness… within 30 hours. A well-trained few will complete the race; many will never cross the finish line. Director Mike Mooney will be joining us to answer your questions and share his experiences making this film.


Come join us for this inspiring event! Tickets are $12. 

Click here for tickets.



Zak Wieluns (left) and Mike Mooney (right)


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