Back in 1984, a couple living in the DC area decided to move back to Jersey where they both grew up and start a running store. Bruce and Sharon Robinson opened up "Miles Ahead Sports" in a small location just north of the Manasquan circle and when they opened those doors, a store that is iconic to the running scene at the Jersey Shore got its start.
Bruce was a partner in a chain of running stores in Washington which was his "day job". It was a natural extension of his passion for running. Robinson is a veteran of over 100 marathons including two Olympic Marathon Trials and countless races at every imaginable distance. In addition to his running prowess, he excelled as a triathlete having competed in 6 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. While Sharon wasn't a runner, she shared her husband's passion for opening a business that catered to those interested in pursuing fitness and health through running.
Miles Ahead was built on the concept of providing runners, joggers, walkers and exercisers with the finest run-oriented footwear, clothing and accessories. They also understood that merely selling the products wasn't enough. The highest priority was given to making sure anyone who shopped at Miles Ahead came away not only with quality products but in addition, with the advice, encouragement and support necessary to fulfill their fitness goals. The employees they hired were experienced runners who were committed to helping everyone with their needs, whether they were elite athletes or just folks wanting to lose a few pounds.
Miles Ahead was a pioneer in the concept of fitting each customer's specific needs to the shoes that best met that criteria. The sales team would start each customer off with an assessment of their feet as it relates to arch characteristics, width issues and other factors important to running shoe selection. They took time to ask and understand each shopper's specific needs and expectations, whether the customer had any health issues affecting their running and what questions or concerns they might have. They knew that people had many choices as far as where they bought their shoes so it was imperative to maximize the one-on-one experience each customer received. They liked to say that every running shoe they sold was good but not every shoe was good for you.
As the years went by, the only constant in the running industry was 'change'. Not only did the products change on a regular basis but so did the technology in selling them. Stores began utilizing computer aided treadmills to assess stride, foot strike and stability needs. By analyzing these characteristics, the computer would tell the shopper what the best shoe was for them. Miles Ahead looked at all these new developments but in the end, stayed true to the human element in guidance. They felt computers made the process of selecting a shoe totally objective when in truth, it's really a subjective exercise influenced by many factors that are not so easily computerized. Miles Ahead relied on the knowledge and intuitions of their staff that only came through experience. There is no shortcut in gaining that wisdom. Using computers allowed other retailers to hire staff that was inexperienced but with the help of a printout, they could tell a runner what shoe they should buy. The problem with that is computers don't run, people do.
As the success of Miles Ahead grew, the little store on the Manasquan circle found itself practically bursting at the seams. With so many new products becoming available in so many new aspects of the fitness industry, it was time to relocate. Miles Ahead headed about a mile north on Rt 35 to their new home in the Sea Girt Square shopping area. While the locale changed, the basic beliefs of Bruce and Sharon didn't. Each customer still receives the personal attention Miles Ahead is known for. The full time staff are "lifers" with each having been at the store for 12 years or more. Perhaps the best thing of all for Bruce and Sharon is the involvement of their children, Shaun and Courtney. Over 30 years have past since that little store opened its doors but Miles Ahead remains just as committed to making sure that everyone who shops with them gets the same level of customer service they got on that first day in 1984.
Chris, Keith & Gunnar have all been with Miles Ahead Sports and the running community for decades! Our professional staff are passionate about what they do and believe that a custom shoe fitting is critical to an individual's running performance & overall health. Come in 7 days a week to our store for a one on one shoe fitting catered to your unique needs.