New specialty store gets running start on Bainbridge

Michael Shema is the operations manager for Runner’s Edge, the island’s newest specialty source for running enthusiasts. - Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review
Michael Shema is the operations manager for Runner’s Edge, the island’s newest specialty source for running enthusiasts.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

Bainbridge’s newest store is up and running, and helping put islanders on the road, trails, treadmills and more.

“Runner’s Edge is a specialty running store,” explained owner Dorothy Scott. “It’s kind of a niche market, it’s geared toward serious runners and walkers.”

Runner’s Edge is Bainbridge Island’s newest source for runners, walkers and more for the tools they need.

It’s located at the Village Shopping Center at 275 High School Road, next to its sister store, Sole Mates, and directly facing Safeway.

“It’s for people who are out running, exercising, jogging, even exercise walkers and trail runners,” said Michael Shema, operations manager for Runner’s Edge.

“They can come in here and we can get them everything they need from shoes, apparel, nutrition. Even if they injure themselves, we have that [covered] too,” he said.

The store had a soft opening March 1 to get a running start on business, but the official grand opening is Saturday, March 16. Runner’s Edge will give away two pairs of Brooks, Apex and Saucony running shoes at the event.

Shema has taken the helm of the store as it warms up for its grand opening. He’s no stranger to the world of running.

“Michael is a pro, he’s been in the shoe business for years,” Scott said. “He knows how to run a gait analysis.”

The analysis can give runners a jump start on healthy stomping.

For starters, he’ll stare at a TV screen fed by a camera focused strictly on a person’s stride and move on from there.

“What I can do here that they may not be able to do at other running stores is I can videotape you on a treadmill, and watching you running,” Shema said. “Depending on what their ankles and feet are doing we can determine what kind of shoe works best for them. After that I can use a foot balance machine to even better define what you need.”

“You’ll have some people that when they run, their foot will roll in and cause their ankles and knees to hurt,” he added. “Other people might be light on their feet and they will have a different kind of shoe.”

Then comes the arch analysis.

“We will measure the arch on your foot,” he said. “Some people have low arch, some people have collapsed arch, others will have a high rigid arch. That would change what type of shoe I would recommend.”

From there, Shema moves onto custom insoles.

“If you need arch support I can make an insole that will support your arch, making it more comfortable and more healthy for your run; a more enjoyable experience overall,” he said.

“Most of the time the shoe manufacturers will put an inexpensive piece of foam in the shoe. This is going to last much longer,” Shema said. “It will last two or three pairs of shoes and it will be much healthier for you.”

The insoles start flat. Shema inserts them into an oven.

“It’s a very small easy-bake oven,” he joked.

The insoles get heated to 180 degrees. They are then molded directly to a customer’s feet, making them like no other insert.

It’s a unique store for a unique market. But Scott said that she wants Runner’s Edge to more than the island’s source for running goods, but an active community member.

“We want to be involved in the community and get involved with local running groups, the schools and fitness centers,” she said.

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