Skagit Running Company
724 South 1st St., Mount Vernon
On a corner at the edge of downtown Mount Vernon sits Skagit Running Company. Operating since 2001, the store has become a go-to in the lives of numerous runners in Skagit County for good reason: They care about runners’ feet. Skagit Running Company’s business cards say, “Proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life” and owner Lana Bargabos emphasized, “Feet are important. Feet are the foundation.”
It’s a place where your feet will get the special treatment, starting with real socks to try on shoes — not those flimsy pantyhose things that could double as hair nets. The basket of socks contains varying thicknesses and styles, so finding a preference is easy. After a customer is done with the socks, they are placed in a separate container to be laundered.
Enter the spacious store to find inviting staff and neat rows of inventory. Oftentimes specialty running stores can come across as pretentious. This is not that kind of place. Staff will help customers leaf through catalogs for inventory not in-store, then order items at no extra charge. Once a customer finds a pair to try on, there’s plenty of space to jog, run, lunge, or move as desired to break in the new shoes.
Bargabos enjoys being around runners. “Runners are some of the friendliest, most down-to-earth people,” she says. She began working at Skagit Running Company in 2002 and jumped at the chance to take over ownership in 2010. The avid runner has since equipped her staff to know what features to look for in a shoe based on a customer’s needs, for example, a pair with extra stability or a lightweight hiking boot.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
Comfy couches face a wall of men’s and women’s running and hiking shoes. Casual shoes claim another wall, with a selection so comfortable that nurses are a large demographic of the store’s clientele. You’ll also nd running tops and bottoms, along with accessories like compression socks, blister kits, hydration packs, body glide for aching muscles, re ective body straps (slim- mer than traditional vests, but with much more visibility), and insoles — basically everything a runner needs plus more.
Bargabos speaks highly of the Hoka ATRs, all-terrain shoes that go from road to terrain without missing a step. Balanced, cushy, and with great traction, these are ideal for someone who regularly mixes up the terrain.