Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts

We have a WINNER! A huge congratulations to Don Campbell on winning the Sports 4 $50 gift card! Many thanks to all who entered!


Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

Running Shoes: Brooks Ghost 8, Sports 4 |Top: Lululemon | Running Tights: Lululemon (similar)

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

My new Brooks Ghost 8 running shoes

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

I have to admit that I was in a workout rut over the winter. I found it next to impossible to motivate myself to hit the gym regularly during the winter months. Running on the treadmill just doesn’t do it for me all the time.  All that running only to get nowhere made curling up in front of Netflix with a glass of wine that much more appealing. It didn’t help that my local GoodLife Fitness would play Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on repeat. I always felt like I was running towards a greasy burger or deep fried Mars Bar.

NOOOOO!  WHY???? (Source:

Now that the sun is shining and it’s finally warm outside, I’ve got that fitness bug back! I’m back into my running routine, savouring the fresh air as I run around my beautiful neighbourhood in the sunshine.


Every year, I get fitted for a new pair of running shoes. I’m Queen of the Supinators (running on the outside of your feet), so it’s really important to me to get a sturdy running shoe that properly supports my feet and balances out that issue. I usually overlook the big athletic wear stores because I basically need to be told by someone educated in running what type of shoe is right for me. That’s where Sports 4 comes in.

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

I’ve shopped at this great little independent athletic wear store for years.  The personal, friendly service always stood out from others. From ordering in your favourite pair of shoes to just being able to speak to someone who knew running inside and out, it’s been my go-to for the best service, myriad of options and great prices.

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the store and interviewing Pete, Sports 4’s longest serving employee, a no-nonsense, walking encyclopedia of running facts. At 65 years of age, Pete looked much younger and was full of energy. With more marathons under his belt than he could count, I was startled when he told me that he never trains for races, that he runs for fun. My jaw is still on the floor.

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

Sports 4 – the benchmark for friendly, knowledgeable service

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

The amazing Pete assisting a paramedic who popped in


I told Pete of my love for running and how I’d participated in several local 5K and 10K runs over the years. I soon learned that Pete, an avid runner, started running after becoming a little burned out. It was suggested to him that running would be a great outlet to relieve stress and boost energy. I also learned that Pete started the running the same way I did – too fast and too soon. After his initial run, his wife asked him if she should call an ambulance.  I could relate.

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

Within a few minutes of Pete listening to me recount old and new running injuries including a nagging, tight IT band, he suggested several pairs of shoes that would help me from “over -supinating”, and gave me some sage stretching advice. He also suggested that I might suffer from an “all over imbalance” that might be throwing my running off.  He was right – all words that I’d heard before from my physiotherapist. He even asked if I was a former ballerina. I said yes as I stared at him in shock. He said he could tell by the supination, way I walked and little knee and ankle issues I had described.  Incredible.


It was here where I bought the best running socks of life.  No blisters here!!

We talked some more about how to choose the correct gear and Pete explained the importance of finding a great store with knowledgeable people to assist with finding the right running shoe. Reviews in revered magazines such as Runner’s World are great, but they are subjective and won’t be of help to every single person out there. Running shoe reviews don’t necessarily take into account the height and weight of a runner, etc. You have to go in and try several pairs on to make an informed choice.

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

Another thing I admired about Pete was the pride he took in making people feel at ease and empowering customers to be confident enough to make their own decisions. He laughed when I was adamant about picking the “prettiest shoe”, and was gentle about steering me towards the best option while saying “Forget about the label, Dom.” Thanks, Pete – you’re the best. He also conveys to the customer to go with the option that felt the must natural and comfortable and to not get overwhelmed by the huge wall of shoes. “Have fun with it – take your time and enjoy the process of finding the perfect shoe.” Such a common sense notion that we all seem to forget!

After about an hour of chatting with Pete, I chose an amazing pair of Brooks Ghost 8 running shoes that felt like they were made for me. Coincidentally, they were Pete’s first choice for me. I poked around the great selection of running gear too, such as water bottles, clothing, socks and more blister remedies than I’d ever seen in my life.

To really get into the swing of things, I’ll be joining Sports 4 and Run Ottawa’s 5K Free Saturday 5K Series that gathers ever first Saturday of the month at the Experimental Farm bright an early at 8:30am. I couldn’t think of a prettier venue than the Experimental Farm for a morning run!

Getting Into Shape With Sports 4, Your Sports Apparel Experts |

Ottawa’s Arboretum and Experimental Farm

I left Sports 4 feeling energized about running and marvelled at the sense of camraderie that the Sports 4 team had. My visit was Pete was so enlightening – I left with new tips and tricks to better my running and can’t wait to shave a few more minutes off my 10K PR!

Be sure to visit Sports 4 located at 149 Bank Street, Ottawa. You can also check out Sports 4  on Facebook and Twitter, and by visiting

So, to top things off – I have a little surprise for you! I’ll be giving away a $50 Sports 4 gift card! Here’s your chance to treat yourself to some awesome gear!


  1. This giveaway is open to those living in Ottawa only.
  2. This giveaway will run for one week and end on Monday, May 16, 2016 at 11:59pm EST.
  3. In order to enter the contest, tell me in the comments section below how you like to exercise, or visit the Style Domination Facebook page and leave me a comment what you would buy with a Sports 4 gift card.
  4. Have fun and good luck!

A huge thank you to Jim and to Pete for the stellar service, and good luck to all who enter!

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Leave a comment

  1. May 9, 2016 / 8:13 am

    I have my 5K run on May 28! I’m doing the Ottawa Race Weekend and raising funds for Endometriosis. Unlike you, I am a pronator, especially in my left ankle. It’s throwing off my left knee and I even have foot cramps :S I think I need a good assessment and a new pair of runners… or dare I say it (ORTHOTICS!!)… Goodbye heels!

    • May 9, 2016 / 9:20 pm

      Oh man! You totally have to visit Sports 4 then and talk to Pete! He’s incredible! You are going to do great in the 5K, Chantal! I support you completely! Thanks so much for entering – good luck! xo

  2. Christine
    May 9, 2016 / 8:52 am

    I’m mostly a swimmer, but now that the good weather is back, I’m out on my bike again too. Yay good weather! I always feel like the only non-runner in Ottawa, but I make it work.

    • May 9, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      Hey! That’s ok! There is a huge running culture in Ottawa which is great, but the pressure to join in is a bit overwhelming. Swimming is such a fantastic “all-around” exercise and I have to admit, cycling is my all-time favourite. I absolutely love my bike!!! Thanks so much for entering! xo

  3. Alexandra Schlesiger
    May 9, 2016 / 10:05 am

    I just started running outside but I mainly like to bike and play basketball.
    With $50 I’d buy a new sports bra to support these puppies properly!

    • May 9, 2016 / 9:18 pm

      NICE! LOL! I totally agree! Couldn’t think of anything better to put the gift card towards! Happy to “support” your cause! LOL! Good luck!

  4. Emily Gingras
    May 9, 2016 / 10:12 am

    I set up a home gym and started doing Beachbody programs almost a year ago. Before that I was doing CrossFit. I also do yoga and enjoy biking in the summer time. I’m in need of new trainers so would put the $50 towards that.

    • May 9, 2016 / 9:16 pm

      Beachbody! I’ve heard nothing but good things! Cycling is probably my #1 favourite. I feel free as a bird on my bike! I had an awesome red cruiser (the same as Pee Wee Herman’s – lol) that I sold to get my beautiful Trek…but boy, I miss “Big Red”! Thanks so much for entering! xo

  5. May 9, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    This post was really motivating to get back to the gym. I think I haven’t gone for a month now because I’ve only been running on the treadmill, and like you said, running to go nowhere starts to seem really unappealing.

    • May 9, 2016 / 9:17 pm

      Hi Erin! I’m glad that there is someone else out there who feels my treadmill pain! LOL! I just got so bored with it. I wish the weather would warm up just a tad so I can run outside consistently (I’m a real cold wimp). Thanks so much for entering and all the best with the contest! xo

  6. May 9, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Running is a fabulous way to get outdoors and working out! Nice profile on a local business and great giveaway (the ONE time I’m sad that I live in Toronto 😛 )

    • May 9, 2016 / 9:15 pm

      Aww Stashy! I’m sorry you’re not in Ottawa to participate! I wish I could run even more. I just love the “runners high” afterwards! Thanks for reading! xoxo

  7. May 9, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    Your post comes at a perfect time as I’m trying to get back to a regular work out as I type this. Ughhh it’s so hard so it’s good to know that while you went through your winter slump you got through it. Wish me luck as I try to do the same. BTW, those tights are GORGEOUS!!!

    • May 9, 2016 / 9:12 pm

      Thank you so much, Danielle! I love those tights, despite the fact that they attract a ton of stares at the gym! LOL! I’m thrilled that you are getting back to your regular workouts and I wish you all the best with this contest! xoxoxo

  8. May 9, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    I’m a multi sports person, I run, cycle, swim, ski. Despite all these great options, my favourite way to exercise is a good long trail run out on some single track paths. That’s where everything else becomes so distant and I can decompress from a stressful time or simply enjoy a day out in the park.

    I love going to Sports 4, because they simply know their stuff. It is always a pleasure to get great advice from actual runners when shopping for gear!

    • May 9, 2016 / 9:14 pm

      Hi there! Thank you so much for entering! We think alike! There is nothing I love more than a trail run surrounded by gorgeous nature and just the sounds of the forest.

      Sports 4 is the best. I always feel at ease and pretty much always leave the store knowing that what I’ve bought will be awesome. Thanks so much for entering! All the best with the contest!

  9. M3Lbot
    May 9, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    Like Pete, I jog for fun! I love the rhythm of jogging and the fresh air. Most times, I jog by myself but there are times when I lack motivation and look to others to jog with me. I also do weights and resistance training at the gym and bike on flat, paved surfaces. I should also mention that I love eating food… so, I counter-balance my exercise with loads of food 😉 Aside from that, I’ve been hesitant to look into new jogging shoes – sometimes, it’s hard to get rid of something that fits so well and has been with you for many distances (kind of like my husband). A gift certificate would encourage me to get a much needed new pair of joggers (or a new husband… kidding! I’d never give him up… unless, someone would offer me $50). 😀

  10. Jesse
    May 9, 2016 / 10:09 pm

    I am a dedicated runner! Rain, shine or snow. Great post about a gem of a store – such a resource here in Ottawa.

    • May 11, 2016 / 11:48 am

      Thank you so much, Jesse! It really is a gem of a store. Good on you for running rain or shine! I wish I wasn’t such a weather wimp! Thank you for reading and good luck with the contest!

  11. May 9, 2016 / 11:18 pm

    I have been shopping at Sports4 for years. It’s a gem.

    I run year-round; I find the changing seasons in Ottawa keep it interesting.

    Thanks for the great post.

    • May 11, 2016 / 11:48 am

      Good for you having such a great outlook on running during the changing seasons! I’m a total winter wimp, so I run on the treadmill, which I have a love-hate relationship with. Thank you so much for entering and good luck with the contest!

  12. May 10, 2016 / 8:39 am

    I am an all year runner as I am involved in professional sports as an official. I do a lot of my training at the track, at the Functional Training Academy and the treadmill. I’d love to buy new shoes and compression socks!

    • May 11, 2016 / 11:47 am

      Hey Pierre! Amazing – good for you. Love “virtually meeting” all of you like-minded people. Thank you so much for entering and good luck with the contest!

  13. romado
    May 10, 2016 / 9:21 am

    I run through the whole year, but spring is my favourite time to race, I’ve done a 5k and a 10k this spring. Thanks for the contest.

    • May 11, 2016 / 11:46 am

      Wow! Great job, Super Runner! I’m envious of you and your dedication! Thank you so much for entering and good luck with the contest!

  14. Natalie Fraser
    May 10, 2016 / 10:11 am

    I am super into running and yoga! Also hoping to check out classes at other places this summer, like Wheelhouse and Iron North Fitness.

    • May 11, 2016 / 11:45 am

      Hey Natalie! Thank you for entering! You must check out Wheelhouse – it’s incredible. Wishing you all the best! xo

  15. Jennifer
    May 15, 2016 / 9:34 pm


    Great article about Sports 4 and Pete! He is my go to guy for running shoes. Never led me astray! If I am not on the trails running or biking, you can find me down on the Ottawa River rowing and enjoying the fantastic scenery we have in this glorious city of ours! Best place to be in the heat of the summer!
    As I am getting ready to participate in the 10km during Race Weekend, a gift card would go towards a new pair of shoes – look great, shave some time off my run! Thanks!

    • May 16, 2016 / 9:52 am

      WOW! Jennifer! You are pretty inspiring…but I already knew that. ;o) Thanks so much for entering. Good luck!

  16. Don Campbell
    May 16, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    I’ll be running my first ever race at Ottawa Race Weekend this year. I’ve signed up for the 10k.
    I also have liked the staff at Sports4 and was considering dropping in soon for some running shorts. They’ve been very helpful in the past.
    Wish me luck in two weeks! Hope to see you there.

    • May 16, 2016 / 5:09 pm

      Hey Donnie! Thank you so much for entering! Wishing you all the best in your 10K (you’re going to do great) and in the contest! Not running it this year, but hopefully I’ll see you next year. Thanks for reading!

  17. May 16, 2016 / 6:54 pm

    after loosing 100 plus pound im determent to run a 5k love sports4 and have my eye on a great new pair of runners ty for the chance

    • May 16, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      Hi Lynn! Way to go! A huge congratulations on losing 100lbs! I can’t thank you enough for entering the contest. Good luck!

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