Shu's Shoes Are a Shoe-In

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Mike “Smile at you later” Shuman is the “Shu” in Shu’s Idaho Running Company. If you like to lace up your cross-trainer kicks and hit the pavement for a run or know someone who does, chances are you know Shu.

Maybe that’s why Shu’s has—yet again—been named one of America’s 50 Best Running Stores by Competitor Magazine and Formula4Media. Based on nominations from the community, and a secret shopper sting, winners were selected and whisked away to The Running Event 2010 on Nov. 17.

When we caught up with Shuman, he was literally just walking into Shu’s, having returned from the event.

“I’m humbled to be absolutely honest with ya. I’d like to say it’s me, but it’s not. I’ve got one hell of a staff. I’ve got eighteen of probably the best employees anybody could have.”

The expo was essentially runner nirvana, with big name sponsors like Nike and New Balance, presentations on business and runner news, and hundreds of booths from running stores all over the country.

“It was incredible,” Shuman says. “We got to see over 200 vendors, new items. We got to rub shoulders with some guys that are very very fast, and some that used to be very very fast.”

Competitor and Formula4Media are all about stores that are knowledgeable of the products they sell, but also how involved they are in their communities. Shu’s regularly offers workshops on anything from chi running to "healthy heels" clinics. They also sponsor running events (rain or shine), and encourage runners to join them on a run around town. Shuman even picked up a few marketing ideas from the expo.

“We’re gonna have a contest here … it’s gonna be called, maybe, Shu’s Oolypmics or something,” said Shuman. “We have a jacket here, and the sleeves are held on by magnets …whoever can take off the sleeves and reattach them the fastest wins the jacket.”

1758 W. State St.