.

Closing: Footsteps of Reston

South Lakes Village Center running store will leave on March 31.

the running speciality store at South Lakes Village Center, will close its doors on March 31.

Owner Paul Zink says he will look for a smaller, more affordable space in Northern Virginia to reopen the store.

"[South Lakes] Center has become more of a food court than the mixed use center it once was," Zink wrote in an annoucement on Reston Patch. "Footsteps is the only soft goods business left. Additionally, the going rent for the 3,000 square-foot space has made it very difficult to run a small business in these poor economic times."

Zink said a more affordable rent will enable him to "compete with the chain running stores that have saturated the metro market."

Footsteps is the oldest existing running specialty store in Northern Virginia, said Zink.

Zink opened his first store in Springfield on April 15, 1988, as a Fleet Feet franchise. In 1995, he started independently owned Footsteps of Reston at South Lakes.

"Footsteps has been an integral part of the Reston running community and closely connected to the metropolitan area high school running scene," said Zink. "Many of the top runners in the area have worked at the store."

Zink has also served as an assistant coach of the West Springfield and South Lakes High School track teams. He was at South Lakes a decade ago when miler Alan Webb set the high school record.

There will be big sales as the March 31 closing date approaches, said Zink. He says he is looking forward to seeing his loyal customers and former employees who made Footsteps such a great clubhouse for local runners of all ability levels.

 

Are you a runner and a shopper who will miss Footsteps? Tell us in the comments.

 

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Keith A. February 21, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Yeah... If you can't afford the rent in South Lakes then you should seriously explore leaving the DC area entirely...
Java Master February 22, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Long May You Run, Zinky! Pau's running goods shop has been at South Lakes since before I lived here , back when the shopping center also had an auto parts store, Peoples Drug store ,Roy Rogers burgers, and that teen clothing store with the big bear sitting in the doorway. I became used to seeing him running on the paths that wind thru South Reston. Congrats on a long and successful run at the South Lakes location. Here's hoping you can find space for a more reasonable price elsewhere, now that this particular shopping center had suddenly become popular again as a feeding station! Be sure to let Reston Patch readers know where you land!
Maggie February 22, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Interesting. I don't think of that center as the one with places to eat. I think of it as the one with the Hair Cuttery, CVS, and Sunoco.
Kirsten Gracki Landeryou February 22, 2013 at 02:48 PM
We will miss the store, please notify PATCH of your new location!
BBurns February 22, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Cafesano, Lakeside Inn, Chipotle, Flippin' Pizza, Subway, Starbucks, deli at Safeway (does that count?). I always forget about Hair Cuttery. Pet Valu has good food for pets and birds. I hear they're moving within the shopping center to where the carpet store was.
Jerry Lewis February 23, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Paul Zink and Bill Haas of Footsteps have been a solid support to the Reston running community for years and it is a shame they are leaving. I will miss them. Jerry Lewis
Mike M February 27, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Java, Remember the Crown Books?
Mike M February 27, 2013 at 10:24 PM
My dog thinks of it as the strip mall with the pet store in the corner. I think of it as the beer aisle within a Safeway, within a strip mall, with totally inadequate parking.

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