Couple who love running also love running business
Bob Klein, owner of The Runner's Edge said he tests out most of the shoes the store carries, by running at least 12-15 miles in each pair. | Jackie Pilossoph~Sun-Times Media
The Runner’s Edge
355 Ridge Road
Updated: November 13, 2012 9:52AM
WILMETTE — Laura Allswang of Skokie is an avid runner, wearing the right running shoes helps her to have a more effective, less painful and overall better workout.
So, when she needed a new pair of shoes, she headed to The Runner’s Edge, the Wilmette athletic store with a strong focus on running.
“This is the third pair of running shoes I’ve bought here,” Allswang said. “I like the personal attention they give me to make sure the shoe really works to my foot.”
Owners Bob Klein and Nancy Schultz are both into fitness, and are passionate runners themselves. The two met in 1986 when they were on the same swim team, and have been together ever since.
Klein has completed 15 marathons and a few triathlons. He said he tests most of the running shoes the store carries.
“A company will tell us, ‘This shoe is going to do x for you,’ and I will check to make sure they’re accurate,” said Klein, “It typically takes two or three runs in a pair of shoes, or about 12-15 miles to get a feel for what’s going on with a shoe. We’re more than happy to do that for our customers.”
The Runner’s Edge, which also has stores in Libertyville and Chicago, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in December. Klein, who was a mortgage banker, and who worked at an athletic store part time before opening the first store, said he saw an opportunity because there weren’t a lot of running stores in the area at the time. He said he thought of the name, The Runner’s Edge, years before opening the store, and kept it in his back pocket.
With a full line of running and other athletic shoes for adults and children, including tennis, cross-training, and swim shoes, the store also sells athletic clothing and equipment, and electronics, which Schultz said is a big part of the business now.
“We sell everything from watches to GPS to heart rate monitors,” said Schultz, who practiced law for many years before joining her husband in the business. “Those things make it easier to track your training and focus on your progress.”
Customer, Sheri Muneno, of Evanston, purchased a pair of running shoes and other running gear, and said, “I figure if a place specializes in running, then they’re able to fit my needs.”
Shultz and Klein have 13-year-old twins, who both play a variety of sports. When asked why she enjoys and promotes the sport of running, Schultz she said it all comes down to seeing clear results.
“You get out of it what you put in,” she said, “If you’re willing to spend the time, you’ll feel fitter and faster, and you’ll be more relaxed and less stressed as well.”
“There’s a great energy that comes from people who are into running,” Klein said. “When new customers come in here, and they’re excited about all the stuff we’ve been doing for so long, that makes us feel excited about it, too.”