Summer Sloth? Summer Running Shoe Destroyer!

summer running shoeSo, it’s officially summer in Alabama and that means that it is hot and humid. It also means that everyone who complained about how cold the winter was will now be complaining about how hot the summer is. Even if they’ve lived here 137 years. But not me brother (and/or sister), not me. Never had a running shoe melt.

Summer is the time to get a step or two ahead of runners from other areas of the country that are milder and more temperate. I don’t want mild or temperate in pretty much anything. Give me wild and extreme any day. As long as I’m hydrated and not stupid about running in the heat, let me revel in the head shakes, stares, honking, and finger-pointing that occurs when people who don’t get it see a runner soaked to the skin in sweat “humping it” over a hill at the end of June or July.

And what is one thing that keeps me going? New shoes. Now, I don’t want to sound fancy or anything, but I really like a new trail running shoe. They make the world feel better when your contact with that world occurs 180 times a minute for a couple of hours at a time on packed earth or pavement.

Running Shoe Destroyer!

The last couple of weeks I have been able to spend some time with representatives from some of the shoe companies that we carry (or are thinking about carrying) and their new shoes. This has given me incentive to run. I want new running shoes and I need to be able to justify them by completely running through my current shoes. They must be destroyed. Should I choose the New Balance 1210 Leadville, La Sportiva Helios, or maybe a nice Pearl Izumi N1? What about some of the new brands and styles that we are either bringing in or looking to add? Looks like there could be some great big surprises with new trail running shoes. Sorry, can’t divulge the details yet or else!

At any rate, I’ll be out on the trails (and the roads) a lot this summer training for some fall races and just trying to wear out my running shoes. If you’re doing the same stop by Alabama Outdoors and let us help you get the right trail running shoe for you to destroy!

Upcoming Events:

  • July 4th Peavine Falls Run: The best 8.3 mile race on the 4th of July in Birmingham! register here.
  • July 11th Big Benefit Run: This month’s 5K fun run will be hosted at Good People Brewing and raise money for Triumph Services. Registration starts at 5:30, run at 6 pm. Your $10 donation includes the 5K fun run with clock timing, first Good People beer free, giveaways, live music, and prizes!
  • July 19th AO Party on the Porch: The second Party will feature a live band, a great food truck, Good People beer, and a rockin’ 5K fun run plus great deals in the store. This is the kick off for Alabama Outdoors’ $25,000 matching funds campaign for Red Mountain Park. Come join us and support a local treasure.
  • July 20th Sizzlin’ Summer Trail Series at Turkey Creek: The inaugural 5K/8K trail run at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve features new trails, beautiful scenery, and the opportunity to jump into the refreshing falls immediately after finishing your run. Registration is only $15 and the link will be up soon!



Alabama Outdoors Closing Tuscaloosa Store, Looking for New Location

 Alabama Outdoors Announces Store Closing Sale

Specialty Outdoor Retailer closing Tuscaloosa, AL. location; seven other locations will remain in operation.

TUSCALOOSA, AL. – Alabama Outdoors, a specialty outdoor retailer that has been outfitting Alabamians for outdoor adventure since 1975, is closing it’s 5,000-square-foot store in Tuscaloosa while seeking a site for a new location in the area. Alabama Outdoors’ Tuscaloosa store is located at 700 Towncenter Boulevard. A store closing sale in this location will begin June 19th.

“Alabama Outdoors has been serving customers in Tuscaloosa at our current location for almost 15 years,” said company president Scott McCrory. “We are taking advantage of the expiration of our lease and closing the Towncenter Boulevard store. We continue to explore other areas of Tuscaloosa for a future location.”

Inventory at the current location will be liquidated. The current lease in Tuscaloosa will expire on July 31st.

“We greatly appreciate the local customers who have supported Alabama Outdoors in Tuscaloosa,” McCrory said. “By closing our existing store, we will be better positioned to select a location that will support an enhanced shopping experience and increased service to our customers.”

Alabama Outdoors is a leading provider of apparel, footwear and equipment that enhances the outdoor life. Specializing in product from Patagonia, The North Face, Chaco, Merrell, TOMS, Mountain Khaki’s, Salomon, Yeti, ENO and more, Alabama Outdoors has established itself through excellent service to customers, quality products and expertise in the outdoors.

Alabama Outdoors also operates locations in Homewood, Trussville, Inverness, Montgomery, Huntsville, Florence and Mobile. For more information, see

Media Contact:
Tyler Smelley – Marketing Director (205) 239-9071

Party on the Porch

Party on the Porch Makes a Difference

Those of you who know me, know that I believe every thing each of us does can make a difference in the lives of others. If you don’t know me I just told you, so now you have a little insight into how and why I do what I do at Alabama Outdoors.

party on the porchThis Friday, Alabama Outdoors is hosting the first of three summer “Party on the Porch” events. The party starts at 5:30 pm with a 5K fun run heading out at 5:45.

The Party on the Porch features:

  • live music by The Hollows
  • Good People beer included with your donation
  • 5K fun run
  • Cantina food truck to purchase dinner from
  • great specials on trail running gear – shoes, apparel, socks and accessories
  • store-wide Father’s Day specials

Party on the Porch to benefit Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

This is an opportunity to help an amazing organization/venue right here in Birmingham, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. As you may know, in his proposed FY 2014 City budget Mayor Bell eliminated all funding for Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, even though approximately half the land managed by the facility is owned by the City of Birmingham.

According to figures in an editorial in Weld, in 2012 the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve served approximately 50,000 men, women and children from the Birmingham metro area and beyond. The recent Associated Press article, “Once Dying, Birmingham is Suddenly Hot” shows a city in renaissance. While it doesn’t point out the beauty of our natural green spaces, they can only be a crowning jewel on what is being done here.

At the party you’ll have the chance to participate in a 5K fun run, buy dinner from the Cantina food truck, enjoy some Good People beer, listen to some great music from The Hollows and get some great deals on trail running gear – shoes, socks, apparel and accessories as well as Father’s Day specials throughout the store. All of this for a $5 donation (an extra $5 for the 5K) which all goes to Ruffner Mountain.

Just as importantly, we’ll have folks from Ruffner here to give you information, allow you to sign letters and petitions, and generally help you learn more about this very cool piece of nature that’s helping make Birmingham so HOT!

Come out and join us at the Party on the Porch for a cool time on a hot day!



Sizzlin’ Summer Trail Race Series

Alabama Outdoors Presents “Sizzlin’ Summer Trail Race Series”
Sponsored in conjunction with Birmingham Track Club and Resolute running

Alabama Outdoors is pleased and proud to announce our partnership with both the BTC and Resolute Running to put on the “Sizzlin’ Summer Trail Race Series” offering three great races this summer. The first is an old favorite run by hundreds every year, the other two are brand new and will offer fun and challenges to both seasoned veteran trail runners and newcomers alike.

The races are designed to highlight some of the great trails and natural resources available to Birmingham residents and are priced so that they won’t break your summer budget.

Peavine Falls Fourth of July 8.2 Mile Race

This race is a Birmingham Fourth of July tradition and is done by hundreds of intrepid runners. The course is mostly downhill from the turnaround at the Falls back to the finish, with the final 1.2 miles on beautiful single track trail through Oak Mountain State Park. Start time is 7:00 am at the South Trail head.

The top 3 Overall Male & Female runners, Top Overall Masters Male & Female will receive a special collector’s edition medal.

Turkey Creek “Float Your Boat” Festival 5K/8K Trail Race, July 20th

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve was established through a partnership between Alabama’s Forever Wild Program and the Freshwater Land Trust and is co-managed by the Southern Environmental Center (SEC). This amazing nature preserve is home to several endangered species and a beautiful, natural waterfall and swimming area.

Sizzlin' Summer Trail SeriesThe 5K/8K route will highlight the natural beauty of the Preserve and will take runners along the creek then up into the hills on a fun, yet challenging, set of new trails. The finish line is directly at the Falls, allowing runners to finish and then head directly into the refreshing, cool spring-fed waters of Turkey Creek. Start time will be 8:00 am and the race will be followed by the 4th Annual Float Your Boat balsa wood boat race with food, entertainment and prizes.

Ruffner Mountain Adios Summer 5K/10K/15K Trail Race, August 10

Amazingly this is the next to last weekend before school starts up again (and more importantly only four weeks before opening kick off) and to celebrate Alabama Outdoors is presenting the final race of the Sizzlin’ Summer Trail Race Series. This one has something for everyone so plan on being there.

Start time is yet to be determined (morning or evening?), but either way following the races we will have an awards ceremony/cookout/party on the Pavilion at the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve.

Sizzlin’ Summer Trail Race Series Registration

Check the Alabama Outdoors, Resolute Running or Birmingham Track Club website for more information about registration. The cost will be $15 or you can register for Peavine Falls/Turkey Creek/Ruffner Mountain together for $40.

Everyone who completes all three races will receive a special, limited edition Sizzlin’ Summer Trail Race Series tee shirt.

Need to get some gear before you go? Check out the running gear section of our online store, or stop by a store near you!

See everyone on the trails!


Yellow Bluff Trail Day

Yellow BluffAfter 20 years of closure, Yellow Bluff was re-opened in 2009. In the past four years, this Huntsville crag has come a long way. With nearly 60 established routes ranging from 5.5 to 5.13, Yellow Bluff has become a go-to crag for North Alabama climbers.

On Saturday, June 15th the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) will be hosting a trail day to further the upkeep of Yellow Bluff. This event will serve to improve the trail conditions, clean up any trash (if you can find it!) and, most importantly, bring the community together. In a tight-knit climbing community like the one found in Huntsville, it is not uncommon to see everyone joining together for a greater cause. For this trail day, we’d like to extend the invitation to not just local climbers, but all Alabama climbers and outdoors enthusiasts!

yellow bluffSo what is it about Yellow Bluff that is so awesome?

If you’re a beginner, it’s the easy, but tall sport routes like Outstanding (5.8) and Butterchubs (5.7). If you’re an experienced climber, it might be the several steep 5.12+ routes, like Sampson & Delilah or Vulgar & Rude. Maybe you’re a real charger and it’s the unfinished projects that are attractive to you. And if you’re somewhere in between beginner and advanced (and let’s face it, most of us are!) there are plenty of excellent moderate climbs, both trad and sport. Lucifer’s Revenge (5.9) and Orange Crush (5.11) are a couple of classics not to be missed.

Yellow Bluff is conveniently located in Somerville, AL which is only 20 minutes from Huntsville and 1.5 hours from Birmingham.

yellow bluffTrail day will begin at 8am sharp and last until noon. It will be followed by a free self-rescue clinic with Peregrine Climbing Guides, Tim Maddox and Sam England. Lunch will be provided for all volunteers who RSVP on the Facebook event page. And of course, there is plenty of climbing to do in the afternoon! So, bring your tools, gloves, boots, plenty of water, and get ready for a day of hard work and fun climbing!!/events/363571527077559/?fref=ts

For questions about Yellow Bluff or the trail day, email

If you need to get any climbing gear before you go, be sure to check out our online store or stop by an AO store near you!