May 01, 2023

"To ignite the power of human belief"

"To ignite the power of human belief"
"To ignite the power of human belief through a happier and healthier lifestyle"
Sole Mate, who are we? Why Sole Mate? It's not just a shop for trainers and clothes you know!

We opened our doors on the 31st March 2023, as an independent specialist running retail store in Merthyr Tydfil, and whilst Sole Mate seems like a clever play on words (maybe not that clever!), we want people to understand the meaning behind the name and the brand.

We had a few names for the shop, but we wanted to capture our mission, "to ignite the power of human belief through a happier and healthier lifestyle".
What do we mean by this?

Running and being active, has been a saviour for us in terms of our mental health, and we want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get active and to reap the benefits on both their mental and physical health.

That’s why we are always available to give advice to new runners on how to get into the sport, what training should look like, what kit suits them best for their body and running style, as well as signposting to the great organisations around the town and further afield, that can help you continue that journey.

We get that sometimes the organised classes or clubs aren't for everyone, which is why we'll be launching a Couch-to-5k programme where everyone will be at the same level, as well as individual training possibilities for people need that extra bit of "space" while they come to grips with a new hobby. We want to remove the entry barriers to running for everyone. Although to be fair, loads of clubs now also offer these sort of sessions as well as their regular night, which is amazing!

Nobody has ever said they feel worse after going for a run, honestly!!
We also encourage our "Talking Tables" downstairs in the shop. A scheme that was thought up post covid to combat loneliness across the UK. The idea is, if you're sat a table, then expect to be talked at. I'm sure someone will love to tell you about when they run a marathon, whilst drinking amazing coffee and eating homemade cake!

Upstairs we will have an event space where not only will we run events with brands (who are all super keen to come down and get you to try out their latest and greatest products!), but also to raise awareness around mental health.

We are looking to have an on-site psychotherapist to help where people maybe struggling with various parts of their life. A lot more on that to come. But if you are someone who wants to base themselves from the shop however many days a week that works for you, then please let us know!

Under the banner of "Mind and Solemate" we will be running a Community Interest Company which we will use to raise funds to help with the cost of therapy wherever we can. At the moment, getting a private appointment with someone could make the world of difference, as opposed to waiting in a lengthy waiting list.

We also have on site soft tissue and sports therapy, on a Tuesday and Thursday and we still have a couple of days left free in one of the rooms, so shout if you want to fill that space to offer your services!!

We are so lucky to be surrounded by amazing scenery, beautiful hills and "challenging" weather, and we feel better when we're out in it and with people whose company we enjoy.

There's so much more to come, keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Join the community, Run the roads, Run the trails, Run your life