We're excited to continue our "Faces of Fleet Feet" series featuring the wonderful staff that make our in-store atmosphere so special. These features serve to bridge the gap and make those faces you see in the store every day that much more familiar. If you haven't read the previous ones, be sure to check them out!
Today, we're excited to highlight Renton outfitter and "shoe elf", Kristen Hemke.
How did you get started in run specialty (or at Fleet Feet)?
When I was young, I obtained a position working for Geppetto carving wooden clogs for Pinocchio. I also did a stint as a live-in cobbler in the house of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves--boy, that was a lot of shoes! My real breakthrough came when I did minor repairs on Hermes' winged sandals. From there, I brought that speed over to Fleet Feet.
What do you do outside of Fleet Feet?
I'm a musical elf, so the trees in the Forest of Only Uphills dance to my merry songs--tunes you can really wiggle your ears to. I'm never lonely in a dark wood because I have my canine dragon to keep me company. She can't fly yet, but at the speeds she's running, I think she'll take off soon.
What stands out to you about working at Fleet Feet?
Every day I learn the magical secrets of the latest shoe innovations from all the shoe witches and wizards of the Pacific Northwest.
What's your go-to shoe and why?
Well, I can't choose a favorite, but I can certainly say glass slippers are the worst. They never fit, and they slide all over the place in the snow. I have multiple shoes from On and Brooks that work much better.
Do you have any exciting race stories or big running accomplishments?
I very much enjoy racing triathlons and shorter distances for speed. I'm only three feet tall, so imagine how fast my legs are moving to win those races! I'm just a green blur to my woodland friends.