“MAIN STREET” SERIES WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT SEE IT HERE

Story #70Two Rivers TreadsShepherdstown, WV

This is not just a clothing item, this is really a medical intervention. It’s like your food. It’s that important, because what you put on a kid’s feet is not just a style thing.

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine, experienced in obesity and metabolic illnesses, is a strong proponent of the minimalist footwear movement. The movement, which has been gaining momentum in recent years, stems from the idea that running barefoot or with minimalist footwear is more natural for our body and can reduce the risk of injury. Feeling that his community of Shepherdstown, W. Va., lacked a place that taught people how to properly move and run, Cucuzzella founded Two Rivers Treads, the nation’s first minimalist shoe store. In addition to selling “healthy” footwear, the shop seeks to educate the community on living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Cucuzzella was a competitive runner in college and continues to compete at a national level as a Masters runner, so his passion comes from a place of experience. Visitors to Two Rivers Treads undergo a unique fit and evaluation process through which Cucuzzella and his staff help them understand the way their body moves, and essentially reinvent the way that they run. While the concept goes against what many have been taught for years, he says, “I challenge my students to re-think everything they’ve learned.”

In addition to owning Two Rivers Treads, Cucuzzella works 12-hour shifts at a local hospital and travels to teach courses in the military and to coaches and health care providers once a month. He also directs three local races, which draw a significant amount of tourism to his tiny West Virginia town. He sees it as a way to grow and nurture his community in a way that large corporations aren’t able to, saying that “it brings out a layer of community that no website can provide.”

For Cucuzzella, seeing his employees succeed is the greatest reward. Two have gone on to graduate from physical therapy school, two are at U.S. Military Service Academies, and one is in the running to be a part of the 2016 Olympic steeplechase team.

“I don’t expect younger staff to work in a small running shoe store their whole life. But if you can positively impact a young life, teach them something, and get them motivated to pursue a goal, that’s cool.”

 

Photos by Nadav Neuhaus

  • Dr. Mark Cucuzzella also travels once a month to teach courses to the military, to coaches, and to health care providers. He was recently funded to create a series of videos that will help to "reshape how they do basic training in the Air Force. Because 20 percent of Airmen entering basic training get hurt and the majority of them delay graduation or have to go home because of an injury."

  • The storefront of Two Rivers Treads in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

  • Dr. Mark Cucuzzella with his employees at an event celebrating the store’s 5th year in business. For Cucuzzella, seeing his employees succeed is the most rewarding aspect of his work. Two past employees have gone on to complete physical therapy school, two have entered U.S. Military Service Academies, and one is in the running to be part of the 2016 Olympic steeplechase team.

  • Customers at Two Rivers Treads in Shepherdstown, W.Va. In addition to selling “healthy” footwear, the shop seeks to educate the community on living a healthy, active lifestyle.

  • A cake with the Two Rivers Treads logo at an event celebrating the store’s 5th year in business.

  • The barefoot running movement has become more widespread in recent years. While the concept goes against what many have been taught, Dr. Mark Cucuzzella says, “I challenge my students to re-think everything they’ve learned.”

  • Cucuzzella directs three local races, which draw a significant amount of tourism to his tiny W.VA. town. He sees it as a way to grow and nurture his community in a way that large corporations aren’t able to.

  • Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, owner of Two Rivers Treads, works with a customer.

  • Visitors to Two Rivers Treads undergo a unique fit and evaluation process through which Cucuzzella and his staff help them understand the way their body moves, and essentially reinvent the way that they run.

  • Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, owner of Two Rivers Treads, is a physician experienced in dealing with obesity and illnesses of metabolic concern. He founded Two Rivers Treads, the nation’s first minimalist shoe store, in 2010.

  • The minimalist footwear movement has been gaining momentum in recent years. The movement stems from the idea that running barefoot, or with minimal footwear, is more natural for the human body and can reduce the risk of injury.

  • Two Rivers Treads, located in Shepherdstown, W.Va., is a minimalist shoe store that is challenging the traditional wisdom behind proper footwear and how we run.

Business Details

Proprietor: Dr. Mark Cucuzzella
107 W German St. Shepherdstown, WV 25443
PH: 304-876-1100 / Website
_ _ Back
To Top