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Customers make a run for it

'If the shoe fits É'

Nobody understands the wisdom behind this old saying better than Sean Coster and Dave Sobolik, owners of Pace Setter Northwest. The store, at 1207 N.W. 23rd Ave., provides the only videotaped gait analysis in the state, a free service that enables the staff to assess the individual needs of customers before getting them into the right footwear.

As the customer runs barefoot on a treadmill, a video camera records foot strike and stride. A staff member then analyzes the tape as it runs in slow motion, taking note of any idiosyncrasies. At this point, shoes are 'prescribed' to the customer.

This attention to detail is critical in getting a personalized fit, Coster says.

'Your feet are unique; they're shaped differently than anyone else's, and they move differently than anyone else's,' he says.

Coster says that once customers try the video analysis, they see the proverbial light:

'People have been putting themselves in a shoe for the wrong reason and are pleasantly surprised when they get something that's more appropriate for them.'

Ñ Jill Spitznass