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.