Starting Block store owner Penny Trudel has helped Vernonites find the right fit since 2002. (Contributed)

Starting Block store owner Penny Trudel has helped Vernonites find the right fit since 2002. (Contributed)

Small Business Spotlight: Vernon shoe store starts you off on right foot

Columnist Sam McNair turns the spotlight on the Starting Block

Footwear is likely one of our species’ greatest inventions, protecting our poor feet from the rough and pointy surface of the earth.

Rocks really hurt you know!

But shoes have come a long way since the days of uniform footwear, produced en masse in a niche group of sizes.

Hence why the Starting Block exists to not only ensure you’re protecting your feet, but to give every customer a shoe that is suited to them.

Starting Block’s track record goes back all the way to 2002, so there’s no need to be concerned with reliability. It’s not easy to stand up to the test of time after all.

But what’s their secret? Well, as I have previously touched on in my previous Spotlights, it is only when care and attention are given to fine-tuning a product to each individual customer’s needs that true mutual success is achieved by both parties.

“We are really grateful to have such a loyal customer base, it amazes me every day…the people that continue to support the store,” Starting Block owner Penny Trudel said.

Commerce is a symbiotic relationship that relies on loyalty and sincerity from both the merchant and the customer.

These two things are, normally, hard to provide on a consistent basis. Yet that is just what Trudel wants to achieve with the Starting Block.

Any store can pump out a product, but when it comes to footwear it needs to be taken seriously when considering the numerous medical conditions affecting an individual’s way of movement.

“The goal of the store is to make sure that not only do we have the right fit, but comfort for each individual whether they’re a walker, a runner or just getting back into moving in general,” Trudel said.

Personalization and an in-depth understanding of your own preferences allow you to be fitted with a shoe that not only looks good but one that has durability and a good comfy sole.

Think of it like buying an apartment for your foot: If you wouldn’t want to live in a cupboard under the stairs, then why would your feet?

So in short, if you are getting ready for a daunting series of hikes this summer or if you just want that perfect fit, the Starting Block is for you!

Sam McNair is a fan of adventure novels, as well as writing about the people and places that make Vernon a great place to live. He got his diploma in writing and publishing from Okanagan College in 2020.