Logo Orthopedic Rehabilitation Specialists
Bruce R. Wilk, P.T., O.C.S. Director
8720 N. Kendall Dr. Ste. 206
Miami, FL 33176
tel. 305.595.9425
 fax. 305.595.8492
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The Runner's High knows what’s best for its customers
 By Bruce Wilk, PT, OCS,

• It was never Bruce Wilk's intention to open a running store, but when the experienced physical therapist began seeing his running clients encounter an increasing number of injuries, he decided to take action. In particular, he noticed a number of issues related to quality control in running footwear in the late 1980s that were causing runners all sorts of problems.
Wilk got to work further educating himself about injuries, training, and the particulars of running shoes in the clinic and beyond. Soon, he was traveling around the country presenting his work at national meetings. That's when the light bulb went on: Runners often lacked the knowledge to select the best footwear and he could help them.

In March of 2000, Wilk teamed up with Byron Kibort, 52, who had been managing a family-owned shoe store in the Miami area. Both lifelong runners, Wilk knew biomechanics and shoes, and Kibort knew business and customer service. The result of their partnership was a new specialty running shop, The Runner's High, located at 11209 S. Dixie Highway in Miami. Setting them apart from other shops peddling running shoes is their attention to product detail and their understanding of biomechanics and injuries.
Wilk, 55, personally meets with every shoe company sales rep and analyzes the quality ‘of each and every model that comes through their doors, a scrutinizing approach to retail that meshes nicely with the shrewd business sense of Kibort.

"Instead of letting the reps tell me what I need, I pick the shoes based on function and do a number of tests before I decide what to bring in," Wilk explains. Rather than stocking fashion-oriented models, he works to bring in the most functional and technically sound products in order to offer footwear to a wide range of runners.

What's more, The Runner’s High also uses Wilk's professional protocols to assess gait and make shoe prescriptions. Through a rigorous training process, each employee has the ability to follow his tried and true fit process, which includes attention to function, fit and feel. By watching a runner on the treadmill, they first determine what level of support the runner needs. "For most people, it’s about stabilization," Wilk says. Next they look for the right fit for that particular customer. This helps narrow down the choices among the many offerings on the shoe wall.

Once several appropriate options have been identified, they encourage the customer to pay keen attention to how the shoes feel as they run on the treadmill. 'We ask them how they feel when they strike, transition and toe off, in addition to whether anything is rubbing or digging in," he says. This helps to cut down on problems down the road by helping the customer fully assess the shoes they'll be wearing for many miles.

Along with footwear, Wilk and his staff provide one-an-one assistance with everything from water belts to fueling strategies. Working with teams and individuals young and old, they cater to their customers needs both in the retail environment and in educational clinics throughout the year. It seems that they have discovered the key to longevity in both running and business as many Miami runners have become lifelong customers. "50 many of them don't want to talk to anyone else," Wilk says. "They trust us. We never sell fads and we help them find their perfect shoe."

-Mackenzie Lobby


In addition to working with his physical therapy clients and The Runner's High Customers, Bruce Wilk also serves as vice presi- dent and head coach of the Miami Runners Club. Having helped lead the team for more than 30 years, he has long been a stalwart supporter of the local running community. Comprised of more than 500 area runners, they work to promote health and fitness among their members and beyond.

On any given week, Miami Runners Club participants can attend everything from a beginner's running class, to a performance class, to a group long run, or simply a social outing. By accepting runners of every experience and fitness level, they have been able to introduce and enhance the running experience for hundreds of Miami-area runners over the years.
Joining Wilk in coaching the growing club are four other coaches, each of which specialize in specific training. The welcoming atmosphere and promise to work with runners

of all stripes are what has made the club so successful over multiple decades.
For more information, visit www.miamirunnersclub.com.

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