Meet Heather Henderlong, owner of Extra Mile Fitness in Valparaiso. Extra Mile Fitness is the place to get your running and walking gear. They are dedicated to helping their customers find the right shoe that fits their needs.

We sat down with Heather to get a better understanding of Extra Mile Fitness.


How long have you been in business?

We’re Extra Mile Fitness, and we’ve been here for 10 years.


Who are your customers? Who can you serve?

This is our tenth year, and as we’ve grown as a business, we’ve evolved into being able to help anyone that’s on their feet, anyone that moves, anyone that needs a good pair of shoes.


What makes your store different?

What we have found is when people go to the store, like let’s say they go to Kohl’s or even like Dick’s Sporting Goods, and not to throw those names out there but… they’re overwhelmed, overwhelmed with the amount of footwear.

So, what we do is we have over 60 models of shoes. It’s not like a repeat of one model in different colors, it’s 60 different types of shoes, and what we do is help narrow that down.

It doesn’t matter if you’re running, which is part of our business, but the majority of our business is just everyday people wanting to walk, work, go to the grocery store, go to Disney. We have a lot of people who want to go to Disney and not have their feet hurt, and so we help them find that.


How do you help them?

So, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes and we just take our time and listen to them and evaluate their gait through … an interview. We have a small little interview, and then we also have them walk. We have a treadmill, and we can videotape them moving on the treadmill If they have like plantar fasciitis, we have lots of tools that will help with that. We have a great sock; we have a ball.

We have tips and tricks if they have, you know, like their heels hurt or their knees hurt. There are shoes that have more cushioning in them than others, and it surrounds their foot in both.

There’s a lot of things on the market that we have to help them be more comfortable.


It’s not just a good pair of shoes, it’s because you guys took the time to make sure I got in the right shoe.

And that’s key. Everyone goes, “hey what brand is the best?” It’s the shoe that fits your walk, your gait, and then taking the time to figure that out. And it does take time. As long as you give it the time and… allow us to try different things, we’ll figure it out.


What kind of events do you have?

We do free events. If you want to get out and move for three miles, you might need a walking or running buddy that will encourage you to keep going. We do a training group right now; we have a beginner 5K training group. And then, on Sunday, we kick off our half marathon training group to help anyone. We have people who do 20-minute miles all the way down to a 7-minute mile. We cater to everyone and help get them to the start line, healthy and ready to go.


Anything else to add?

We’re proud to be a part of the Valparaiso community, you know, to serve and help people.


If you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes or just having trouble finding a pair of walking shoes that fit, then check out Extra Mile Fitness. Their staff is always ready and willing to help put you into the right shoe for you. They also have some really great sports apparel including some really amazing socks.


Address: Extra Mile Fitness, 1330 E Lincolnway, Valparaiso, IN 46383

Phone: 219-286-3606 Instagram: