Photos: ZIPPEL'S Läuferwelt
All across Schleswig-Holstein, from the North Sea to the Baltic coast, from Husum to Damp – the annual “Run between the Seas” relay race has thousands of fans. For the past 17 years, teams of five to ten runners have covered a distance of around 90 kilometers. ZIPPEL’S Läuferwelt has been one of the organizers from the beginning. Starting more than 40 years ago as a one-man running shoe business, ZIPPEL’S now supplies running enthusiasts in the northernmost state of Germany with everything they need for running. In our “RUN LOCAL, BUY LOCAL” series, we are portraying the running specialist from Kiel, which has also opened stores in Flensburg, Lübeck, Norderstedt, and on the island of Sylt over the years.
Rathausstraße 2 in 24103 Kiel – an address that has been synonymous for running for more than four decades. From a small running store on 45 m2, it has continuously developed into a 360-degree provider for all running enthusiasts: ZIPPEL’S Läuferwelt. “We want to offer a complete range of running-related services – to be the first point of contact when our customers have running-specific questions,” says managing director Paul Ziplinsky, whose father Rainer founded ZIPPEL’S Läuferwelt in 1982.
Participating in the 1980 New York Marathon sparked Rainer Ziplinsky’s idea of opening a running specialist store. It was there that he became acquainted with the concept of running stores. In the US, the running boom was already in full swing at the time, whereas at home in Germany, running was largely reserved for competitive sports. On the other side of the Atlantic, the enthusiasm for running was growing beyond best times and competitions, and running was increasingly becoming a popular sport. Rainer Ziplinsky was quickly hooked, went into a running store for the first time, asked for advice and bought four pairs of new running shoes.
Back in Kiel, the idea of bringing the running store concept to Germany stuck with him. No sooner said than done – just two years after his visit to New York, ZIPPEL’S Läuferwelt opened its doors in 1982. Today, it comprises a total of five stores throughout Schleswig-Holstein. The Flensburg store opened in 2002, followed by Lübeck and Norderstedt in 2015, before a store on Sylt followed a year later. A deliberately chosen strategy to help as many runners as possible in the state between the seas to choose the right running shoes – and to do so locally in personal contact.
The ZIPPEL'S Läuferwelt store in Kiel: the place to go for running enthusiasts from the region since 1982.
The choice of running shoes is huge. Countless brands, different midsole technologies, a seemingly confusing mountain of different models. All of this is difficult for the average recreational runner to keep track of. This is exactly where the ZIPPEL’S Läuferwelt team come in. After all, anyone looking for a new pair of running shoes should ideally seek advice from a running shoe specialist. “We are all different and have different needs when it comes to finding the right running shoe. The decisive factor is the feeling when we slip into a new running shoe for the first time and run the first few meters. This feedback is a great basis for further running shoe advice – in other words, working together with the customer to find the best running shoe for them,” explains Paul Ziplinsky.
Before the running shoe experts at ZIPPEL’S pick a selection of potentially suitable running shoes from the storeroom and let their customers test them, they have a detailed conversation about their running goals and running history. What surfaces do they run on, what distances, what pace – and have they ever had any problems or pain? In addition, Henning Schröder, store manager in Kiel, and his colleagues measure the arch of the foot and the leg axes to make a suitable pre-selection.
Trying out different True Motion running shoes: A treadmill analysis provides important information as part of a running shoe advice.
“The test run is extremely important. The customer gets a feel for the running shoe, and we can see the running movement from the outside, for example the footstrike when running,” explains the Kiel native. “If customer feedback and our assessment are positive, the right running shoe has been found.”
For five years now, the staff at ZIPPEL’S Läuferwelt have also been offering True Motion running shoes to their customers – as one of the first retailers to add the first U-TECH Nevos to their range right from the start back in 2019.
“We are always open to innovative ideas. We found the new approach, including the new midsole technology, exciting right from the start and were keen to try it out,” says Paul Ziplinsky. In order to be able to offer their customers new running shoes with a clear conscience, the employees at ZIPPEL’S prefer to test the new models themselves to get a first-hand impression.
“The best advice comes from personal experience,” explains store manager Henning Schröder. Two and a half years ago, the 56-year-old wanted to start running again after recovering from a slipped disc. The important thing was to start slowly and reduce the strain on the injured structures. That’s why he chose the U-TECH Aion. “The soft, springy feeling when running in the forest was good for me and helped me to take up running again,” says Schröder. “It’s valuable to be able to tell customers from my own experience: yes, it is possible to run again without pain even after more serious injuries. Provided you have the right running shoes for your feet.”
On any day, at any time – no matter how far or how long: to clear your head or improve your personal best, to have fun. All of this is running. And that’s exactly why we need relief, a reliable companion for our every training session. Or in short: the new U-TECH Nevos 3, the update of our award-winning running shoe. Even more comfort, even more dynamics. Fewer injuries. The logical next step. Or simply: evolution never ends!
Test the new U-TECH Nevos 3 and get all the advice you need at one of five ZIPPEL’S Läuferwelt stores in Kiel, Lübeck, Flensburg, Norderstedt or on Sylt.
Staying fit, setting a best time, clearing your head, losing weight, or having fun. The reasons why we run and the goals we want to achieve through running are diverse – and sometimes couldn’t be more different. A path on which new questions arise time and again. ZIPPEL’S Läuferwelt has turned this into their mission over the years. “Our goal is to provide our customers with support that goes beyond running shoe advice,” says Henning Schröder. Some ask for training tips or training plans, or for performance diagnostics, or they need new running equipment beyond shoes.
Many running enthusiasts also train to participate in a specific running event. A popular event in Kiel is the annual Kiel.Lauf organized by ZIPPEL’S in the fall. The largest field of participants takes part in the 10.4-kilometer fun run, but there is also a 5.3-kilometer short run and a half marathon on the program. In addition, Paul Ziplinsky and his team organize the Kiel Business.Run every year, a team run for companies from the state capital of Schleswig-Holstein and beyond.
The third major ZIPPEL’S running event, the so-called “Run between the Seas”, takes place every year. The runners cross the entire federal state of Schleswig-Holstein from west to east in teams of five to ten. The start is in the coastal town of Husum on the North Sea, the finish line is in Damp on the Baltic Sea beach. In 2024, the route will be approximately 90 kilometers long, divided into ten sections. In 2019, 928 relay teams were registered.
For the majority of recreational runners, signing up for one of the three running events is the same as starting or intensifying their own running training. If you want to constantly improve, you have to stay on the ball. However, it is not always easy to motivate yourself and start running on your own. This is precisely why ZIPPEL’S offers a community run every week on Thursdays from 6:30 pm and in summer from 7:30 pm. Different pace groups set off from the Kiel store to run together. That way, nothing stands in the way of preparing for the upcoming competition.
The ZIPPEL'S Läuferwelt team around founder Rainer Ziplinyky (right), managing director Paul Ziplinsky (2nd from right) and store manager Kiel Henning Schröder (3rd from right) also enjoy running together.
From running shoe advice to weekly training sessions and running events, ZIPPEL’S offers everything from a single source. Symposiums and evening events on topics such as the right nutrition for running training or the reasons why running injuries occur round off the comprehensive range. “We want to offer a wide variety of running-related activities that show how important it is to exercise in order to get or stay healthy – and to have fun at the same time,” says Henning Schröder.
So, if you are out and about on the running routes in Schleswig-Holstein, need new running equipment or tips and support in achieving your running goals, the running experts at ZIPPEL’S Läuferwelt are the right people for you. True to the motto: RUN LOCAL, BUY LOCAL.
Almost 100 % of our technology is derived from scientific findings and biomechanical research. Prof. Dr. Gert-Peter Brüggemann, head of the Institute for Biomechanics and Orthopedics at the German Sports University Cologne for decades, is largely responsible for this. Over the past 25 years, he has been part of numerous innovative running shoe developments – and thus a sought-after expert among the giants of the industry.
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