top of page

Our Mission

Here at 9th Street Active Feet our main goal is to help you find the perfect pair of shoes. Since our founding in 1989, we have consistently met this goal due to our intimate understanding of kinesiology, physiology, and biomechanics.

At 9th St. Active Feet, you will discover a personable and knowledgeable team member who holds a college degree in sports science or athletic training. This expertise will allow us to perform an individual gait analysis, thus resulting in proper shoe and/or orthotic selection for you.

Whether you are training for a marathon or need help making it through the work day, 9th Street Active Feet can help!  


The Starting Line:         Our History

Before we were a world renowned running store, we were an idea that had been simmering in the mind of our founder for quite some time.

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Walt Cleary began his career as a tri-sport athlete at Westminister College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania where he lettered in football, swimming, and track. Walt's passion for athletics is what eventually led him to Durham, where in 1969 he became a football and track coach at Duke University.

During his time coaching at Duke, Walt earned a Masters Degree with a focus on Anatomy & Exercise Physiology and began to realize the root of most lower body injuries: improper equipment selection. This led him to open 9th Street Active Feet in March of 1989.  

With over two decades training the NC State Highway Patrol, years working with athletes of all levels, and constant work developing Health Fairs and Charity Races, Walt has positioned himself as a pillar in the community. He continues to work diligently with the top brands in running and injury prevention and as a result has been recognized as a pioneer in the technical running industry. This impressive resume led to his induction into the Running Specialty Hall of Fame in 2007. 

Today, Walt has the same passion for helping others that he had almost 30 years ago. He is still active in the running community and can be found at 9th Street Active Feet on a daily basis.

Our Team


Walter Cleary


A pioneer in the specialty running industry, Walt is the founder of 9th Street Active Feet and an expert in physiology and sports medicine.


Gwen Cleary

Co-Owner / Business Manager

Gwen handles the day-to-day business finances for 9th Street Active Feet.


Scott Dice

Inventory Specialist

B.S. in Kinesiology

The Pennsylvania State University

Our longest tenured associate, Scott has worked at 9th Street Active Feet since 2001. 

The Store

Although we became famous on 9th Street, we relocated in 2006 to expand our size and better meet our customers' needs. We remain in Durham's famous 9th Street district at our new location, 725 Iredell Street. This location offers our own parking lot, a sales floor that spans 3000 square feet, and an expanded product selection. We let every customer test their shoes in our parking lot or down Iredell Street to ensure that their shoe feels perfect in a true running environment.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page