South Boulder’s only running store Active Imprints had a built a sizable cult following. Their key location in the Table Mesa Shopping center had good parking and great access to trails/bike paths south of town. They made custom insoles for the some of the best athletes in the region as well as the world. RL Smith worked there for many years, learning the trade of building custom lightweight orthotics while working in the retail space.
So when the store’s owners broke off to concentrate on the Newton Running brand, it seemed natural that RL Smith and wife Tricia Vieth would open In-Step at the same location.
The store carries a core set of running shoe brands, apparel, running accessories that include Fuel Belt, GoMotion lights and Timex watches, therapeutic devices such as foam rollers and foot rubz and compression wear from Zoot.
Building on the legacy
The specialty of in-step is the fabrication of custom made insoles, also known as orthotics or foot supports. Unlike other similar types of products, In-Step’s custom insoles are specific to the individual.
They take a mold of your foot and build the insole while you wait. Estimated time is between 30 to 45 minutes. There is no follow up appointment needed, unless you are needing an adjustment, which is at no additional charge! if you are out of state you complete this process with a foam kit, mailed, that you can do at home.
“The other key thing that makes our insole process unique is that we do an ankle neutral, weight bearing mold. We put the foot in motion or impact and then make the mold. You get a much more accurate impression vs hanging your foot over a table and putting a casting boot on your foot. The results are different and we find more applicable to building an insole that is going to be used while in motion” Says Co-owner Tricia Vieth
Owners Tricia Vieth and RL Smith have worked in the active lifestyle business for over 30 years combined. RL is a Certified Massage Therapist, ex-professional duathlete. Tricia, is a Licensed and Certified Massage Therapist with a degree in Athletic Training. This rich education and experience in bio-mechanics helps them completely understand how the body works.
Opening a retail store can be a daunting task for a young family, but they are building the business as any other small biz does. Good products, great customer service, and building community.
The Friday after Thanksgiving was the First Annual Post Thanksgiving fun run and core class from the store. Approximately 25 people showed up for the easy 5k run followed by a short core workout in the store. The feeling of the run was relaxed and social.
Starting in January, In-Step plans on a few options for meet ups.
Through their PR Club, anyone could simply read and try the workouts for themselves via their Facebook page. The goal would be to help you towards a PR(Personal Record) in a 5k, 10k, Half up to a full Marathon for the next Denver Rock-N-Roll in October 2009. They also plan on supporting this with a meet up at the shop and run probably 2-3 times per week. Also in the works is a Lunch Crunch (core class) during the week starting in January as well.
“I think one thing that really sets In-Step apart, is that RL is truly a master at diagnosing athletic injuries and providing solutions that will get you back on your feet (or pedals if you are a cyclist). RL has this amazing hybrid of experience (being a former pro-athlete, massage therapist and with 12 years of building custom insoles) which benefits his customers. I had a pain in my shin that surfaced while I was running. My doctor said, ‘if it hurts, don’t run.’ Runners know that isn’t a long-term solution. I went to see RL, and he really got to the bottom of what I had changed up in my work-out routine. Although my leg hurt when I was running, he figured out that the cleats on my new bike shoes needed to be moved forward slightly. Problem solved and I was pain free in no time. His insoles really represent that commitment to getting his customer’s bodies aligned and in top form for whatever keeps them moving. They are light, comfortable and I honestly can’t imagine going back to running, biking or skiing without them.” – Hillary Martin
Dave of SwimBikeRun wrote a review back in 2007 included is a picture of RL shaping the insoles.