RIA Member – Sole Mate

Sole Mate opened its doors on March 31st 2023 to bring the running community in Wales together, becoming the only independent, specialist running retailer in the country.

The idea for Sole Mate was born 4 months prior, during an ultra-marathon in torrential wind and rain at the top of the highest peak in South Wales, when owner Paul Thomas thought “This! Why can’t I just do this as my day job?”

After really looking into what else was available in the area and discovering the answer was “nothing”, Paul started trying to contact brands to see if they would supply him. An online only offering was rejected across the industry, so the reality of a brick and mortar store, led by great customer service, giving customers the ability to try on shoes, touch clothing, get advice, get gait analysis, and build a community focused around getting people moving, and improving their physical and mental health was decided on.

The shop has been greatly received across the country, and the online brand has started to build too. People from all over Wales visit us, and our social run club is seriously gathering momentum!

We’ve attracted a huge range of brands, with a nice mix of global and independent, adding value where we can. We stock a number of sustainable brands too, as the industry moves towards a more sustainable approach with their products and packaging.

Paul and his partner Lucy’s love and enthusiasm for running, coupled with both of their prior experience in customer facing roles, has made the store a welcoming experience with regular 5-star reviews online.

They are looking to expand the offering on site, to also include physical and mental health therapies, as they realise the connection between running and improving both of these is enormous. With waiting lists for mental health therapy being at an all-time high, a Community Interest Company has also been setup in store to help fund private therapy for those that need it.




Running Industry Alliance

Email: membership@runningindustryalliance.com

Company Address – Running Industry Alliance, Colony Piccadilly, 5 Piccadilly Place, Aytoun St, Manchester M1 3BR

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