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CHAPTER 13 (RLBL)

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Photos: Dresdner Laufsportladen

RUN LOCAL, BUY LOCAL – AT DRESDNER LAUFSPORTLADEN:

ACROSS ELBFLORENZ IN NEW RUNNING SHOES

Past Dresden’s Frauenkirche church on Neumarkt, through the Brühl Gardens, upstream along the Elbe bike path to the Albert Bridge and back along the Königsufer to the Canaletto View. A route along many sights – not only the perfect stroll for countless tourists, but also popular with Dresden’s running community. Through the countryside and preferably along the water – the favorite running routes for many running enthusiasts. And if you like to run a lot, you need one thing above all: the right pair of running shoes. But how do you find the running shoes that suit you? Lutz Melzer and his father Bernd have made a career out of answering this question. With a great passion for sports and for running shoes as a product, the two have been running the Dresdner Laufsportladen for over 30 years now. The Melzers sold their first pair of running shoes out of a camper van window, but a stationary store was soon to follow. In our “RUN LOCAL, BUY LOCAL” series, we are portraying the running specialists from Dresden.

Today, Dresden’s runners can find everything they could wish for on 140 m2 – from running shoes to running clothes and sports watches. At Fritz-Reuter-Str. 34, Lutz Melzer and his six employees welcome everyone who wants to pursue their favorite hobby and needs new equipment. “We are all united by our enthusiasm for the same sport – whether customer or salesperson. Helping our customers find the best running shoes for their individual needs and everything else that goes with running is simply fun,” says Melzer. The Dresden native and his team can draw on years of experience – both as active runners and as passionate salespeople.

The now 53-year-old was already enthusiastic about running as a young boy. However, Melzer was initially drawn to high diving at kindergarten age, before taking up athletics and becoming a decathlete and pole vaulter. As a decathlete, running already played a major role as a discipline in competitions, but above all in daily training. Even when he wasn’t training, he went running regularly with his father Bernd.

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Lutz Melzer (on the right) and his team at the Dresdner Laufsportladen.

At the age of 15, he then focused entirely on running. At that time, Melzer won a cross-country race and – still a decathlete and pole vaulter at the time – left the specialists in his wake. The switch to the runners’ training group followed quickly. From then on, he was fully focused on middle distances, with and without hurdles, as well as on road running. “Running is simply my thing and basically always has been,” says the managing director of the Dresden running store today.

“PASSING ON THE ENTHUSIASM FOR RUNNING”

A passion that he shares with his father. Together, they have attended many running events in the region and are firmly rooted in the running community in and around Dresden. Both ran themselves and cheered from the sidelines. Bernd Melzer organized his own running competitions. His son Lutz was always there. From an early age, he wasn’t so much interested in the other runners than in the shoes they wore. A product that fascinates him. And a passion for the sport that would lay the foundation for the Dresdner Laufsportladen.

The idea was born after Germany was reunited. In September 1990, the Melzers started selling running shoes – initially out of a camper van. Just three months later, the first stationary store opened. At Großenhainer Str. 133, running enthusiasts were able to get an overview of their potential new running shoes on 18 m2. “From then on, we were able to give customers comprehensive advice on something that we ourselves are passionate about and fascinated by – a great feeling,” recalls Lutz Melzer, who initially supported his father as an employee in the store before joining the management team two years later.

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The Dresdner Laufsportladen at its current address at Fritz-Reuter-Str. 34. On the shoe wall: running shoes from True Motion.

A year later, they moved to 100 m2 in the rear house and were thus able to considerably expand products and advice, until the Dresdner Laufsportladen moved for the last time in 2010; to Fritz-Reuter-Str. 34, its current location. Today, Melzer and his team offer a wide range of different running shoes, including the different running shoe models by True Motion.

“A NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT QUICKLY WON US OVER”

Since the launch of the first True Motion running shoe model, the U-TECH Nevos, in 2019, the Dresden running store has carried the running shoes with the horseshoe-shaped midsole. A partnership that made perfect sense right from the start – the Dresdner Laufsportladen as a competent local running specialist and True Motion as a new running shoe brand with an innovative midsole technology to expand the range.

“It was something new that hadn’t been done before. A new approach. The goal of reducing the frequency of injuries among runners was and is super important and exciting. We wanted to pursue this further and be part of it,” says Lutz Melzer. Since then, the Dresden running store has been an important True Motion retailer in the region – so that runners in and around Dresden can also test the latest True Motion running shoes on site.

A new midsole technology based on scientific findings, such as the U-TECH™ technology, requires expert advice when talking to customers. True Motion has been receiving precisely this support from Lutz and Bernd Melzer and their team at Dresdner Laufsportladen for five years now.

THE NEW U-TECH NEVOS 3:

AVAILABLE AT THE DRESDNER LAUFSPORTLADEN

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 Dresdner Laufsportladen.

WIDE RANGE OF PRODUCTS – FROM RUNNING ANALYSIS TO CROSS-COUNTRY SKIS

In addition to running shoes and clothes, the running experts from the state capital of Saxony have a wide range of running accessories in stock – from heart rate monitors and rucksacks to headlamps and reflectors or sports glasses. If you want to equip yourself from head to toe for your next training session, you will find everything in one place.

Interested runners also have the opportunity to receive a comprehensive movement analysis as part of a running shoe consultation. Lutz Melzer and his team use video recordings to film running on a treadmill – with the old running shoes, barefoot, and with potential new running shoes. Combined with the results of various exercises to determine the leg axes, the employees at the Dresden running store take a look at the foot, knee, and hip position during running. They also consider the runners’ subjective sensations when they test various running shoes on the treadmill or outside the store. “There are a number of components that need to be taken into account when selecting the optimal running shoe for each individual,” says Lutz Melzer.

In addition, the Dresdner Laufsportladen offers its customers a mix of different events and talks. Running shoe test events are complemented by running technique seminars, stabilization courses, yoga classes and nutrition lectures. The Dresdner Laufsportladen also has a hand in organizing the two major marathon events in the state capital, the Dresden Marathon and the Oberelbe Marathon. Lutz Melzer and his team are even the organizers of the Dresden team cross-country race.

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Besides running shoes and running clothes, the running experts at the Dresdner Laufsportladen also have running accessories available.

As a sponsor of the Schloss-Triathlon Moritzburg, the Dresdner Laufsportladen also demonstrates its connection to sports – even beyond running. The decision to also offer triathlon products in the store was quickly made in the mid-1990s. Not only is running part of triathlon, but Lutz Melzer was also an enthusiastic triathlete himself at the time and competed for TV Dresden in the Bundesliga Ost. Dresden’s proximity to the Erzgebirge also led to an expansion of the product range to include cross-country skis and the associated equipment. “A logical step – cross-country skiing is a perfect winter alternative to running in the summer,” explains Lutz Melzer.

Regardless of which of the three sports, comprehensive advice is the safest way to go when looking for new sports equipment; whether testing running shoes or trying on running shirts – when buying in the store around the corner, we don’t run the risk of being unpleasantly surprised with new products during our first run. True to the motto: RUN LOCAL, BUY LOCAL.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT:

SCIENTIFICALLY VALIDATED TECHNOLOGIES

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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