40 years and counting

40 years and counting


On May 15, 1973, Sheldon Boehm, my Dad (56 years old) opened an Earth Shoe Store at 5724 Sunset Drive in South Miami. For you youngsters who don’t know about Earth Shoes…they were shoes in which the heel was lower than the toe, like walking in sand, invented by a Danish yoga teacher. They were the latest greatest product in the early seventies – Shell had gotten a pair in Minneapolis and they cured his back pain. As I have reached 62 years old, I realize it may have been a midlife crisis that prompted him to retire from being a Civil Engineer and leave Minnesota to come to sunny Florida to start a new venture. He secured the franchise for both Dade and Broward Counties.

Great family friends lived in Miami and showed him around to find desirable locations. It came to a choice between Coconut Grove or South Miami and South Miami won out. Hans and I (Laurie) moved down so Hans could manage the South Miami Store, brother Rick managed the Skylake Mall location and Shell ran the 3rd store in Lauderdale Lakes.

It’s funny how we have come almost full circle now, with shoes that are lower to the ground, lower in the heel and simulate running barefoot. These help with back, knee, hip and other pains much like the Earth shoe did for my Dad.

My father passed away in December of 1975 and Hotdish (my mom) wanted to get back to Minneapolis. We liquidated the North Miami and Lauderdale stores and Hans and I bought the business in South Miami from my Mom.Two months later Earth Shoe went out of business. During this time Hans began his running career with his friend Kari Johnson and he had the vision to create a “Running Specialty Store”. The only stores that sold running shoes were general sporting goods stores. Hans went to Atlanta to meet Jeff Galloway, a well-known runner to learn about becoming a Phidippedes franchise. We decided to go it on our own, and in fall of 1976 FootWorks “where runners feel at home”, was born.

Some of our accomplishments:

  • Founding members of the Miami Runners Club in January of 1978 in our living room.
  • Established FunRuns from Matheson Hammock and helped organize the first road races in Miami.
  • Hans ran (2) sub 2:50 marathons & 35:08 10K Laurie 3:43 marathon.
  • Established TeamFootWorks 501 (c) (3) Nov 9, 1994 which has donated over $1.5 million to local charities.
  • Trained over 10,000 people to run marathons, half marathons, fitness 101 and triathlons.
  • After 38.5 years in South Miami, opened second location on South Beach 4 kids, 5 grandkids.

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