In October 1976, three childhood friends: Alan H. Cohen, David Klapper, and John Domont, opened a franchise of The Athlete's Foot in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Initially, Domont was a silent partner, Klapper ran a daily business, and Cohen was involved part-time while he practiced law. By 1981, the owners' were ready to expand beyond the ten franchises in Indiana, but The Athlete's Foot franchise rights ended at the Indiana border. They, therefore, started their company called The Finish Line. Cohen, Domont, and Klapper approached another friend, Larry Sablosky, with a partnership opportunity. Dave Fagin, a manufacturer's representative who had been selling products to Cohen and Klapper, was offered the same deal. At this point, they opened the first store under the Finish Line brand name in the Speedway Shopping Center Speedway, Indiana.
By 1991, the company had grown to 105 stores located primarily in Midwestern and Southeastern states with an annual gross of nearly $100 million. The company went public in 1992.
Known for its signature "shoe wall," a Finish Line store will show between 600 and 1,300 kinds of athletic footwear, including basketball, running, walking, gym, aerobics, hiking, cross-training and skate shoes, and cleats, casual shoes, and sandals. Brands carried by Finish Line include Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Reebok, New Balance, Oakley, Puma, Converse, Lacoste, Saucony, Timberland, Pastry, Brooks, Asics, Under Armour, Skechers, The North Face, K-Swiss and Baby Phat.