Greetings from Mike Conforti, owner of Sneaker Factory

Mike Conforti, owner of Sneaker FactoryFirst I was a customer. It did not take me very long to know that the people who worked at the Sneaker Factory had something special going on that was easy to recognize but hard to find at other retailers. They loved talking about running and seemed to have the answers for any problem or question I presented. Like most new customers, I was truly amazed that they somehow knew which shoes would and would not work well for me. This was confirmed when I purchased (in spite of their best advice not to do so) a very lightweight pair of trainers designed for some guy who weighs a lot less than me and runs 5 minute miles. Needless to say, I was injured within a few weeks and could not run at all without pain. Did I go see a doctor? No. Something told me that the answer to why this was happening was at that running store in Millburn.

And then it happened, one day when I stopped by the store on my way back to the office with my unhappy feet that these two worlds collided. At that time, I was working my way up the corporate ladder. Maybe you can relate to long periods of sitting at a desk, many more hours of meetings, copious amounts of hotel and airplane food and little inclination or time for running. While the company I worked for was very generous and I liked my occupation, I needed to do something that I really loved to do whether or not I was well compensated.

I was willing to start from square one, but it was easy to recognize that success breeds success so I spoke to the owner, Dean Shonts, about my interest in buying his wonderful business . . . which was not for sale. Many questions and months later we came to an agreement that would change my life. Since purchasing the Sneaker Factory, I have personally met over 10,000 runners and learned more than I ever thought possible about this wonderful sport. Imagine this: most every day I am excited to get to work and thankful to Dean for providing me with this incredible opportunity.

When you visit our stores and interface with our staff, I hope you find the experience both positive and educational. Please ask any questions you feel are relevant and share with us anything you think we should know about you that will help us assist you with reaching your running goals. Let us know your training goals, weight, where you do your running, issues or injuries you may have had in the past or are currently experiencing. Please bring your well-worn shoes so we can use the information contained in their wear patterns along with our analysis of your foot type and gait characteristics. This will allow us to hand pick a selection of models that we feel will provide the best fit and help prevent common overuse related injuries.

Our well trained staff includes many marathoners, 5K specialists, trail runners, former track stars, ultra marathoners, endurance relay runners, Ironmen, former age group national and world champions and even one crazy person who rode his bike directly from California to New Jersey averaging over 1,000 miles per week. Yes, some runners also like cycling even when it does not involve a triathlon! We also have our share of treadmill and fair weather runners who are equally as qualified to help you.

Whether you were referred from your doctor, training for a 5k, contemplating your first triathlon event or just hoping to graduate from walking to running, we would love to have the opportunity to meet you and be your resource for all things running. Please stop by any of our locations and speak to our staff!

If you would like to make an appointment to see me or have a particular concern or issue, contact me at mike@sneakerfactorynj.com and I would be more than happy to meet with you.

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