Shuz of Davis owner John Riker shows off a pair of shoes.

Shuz of Davis owner John Riker shows off a pair of shoes.

Special Editions

These ‘Shuz’ were made for walking or hiking or working

By July 20, 2011

If you’re not supposed to judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes, make sure that man bought his shoes from Shuz of Davis — then you know it’ll be a comfortable walk.

Shuz of Davis owner John Riker and his wife of more than 30 years, Dawn, hand-select the inventory and then takes it for a test “drive.”

“We search out what we feel are the best brands for our customer,” Riker said. “My wife is a sample size. We try on every shoe before it’s placed in the store. If it’s not right, we don’t buy it. If we make a boo-boo — which we don’t do too often — but if we do, we get them out of the store immediately.”

Having a family business is extra special for Riker, who has additional stores in the East Bay Area.

“Family is everything,” he said. “It’s more about family than the shoe business. It’s been my whole philosophy since we started. It’s about people, not about shoe business; it’s about relationships.”

The one-on-one attention customers gets when visiting Shuz of Davis helps the family feeling. Davis feet have been well taken care of by the staff at 801 Second St.

“It’s about getting to know customers and getting to know their needs,” Riker said. “We have great shoes for going on trips, to work, to school and to make them feel good. Our niche is about health and well-being.”

In addition to special events and sidewalk sales, Shuz of Davis has the added feature of the Istep machine. It is not affiliated with other i-products, but it is part of the next generation of technology. The machine measures each individual’s foot, giving points of pressure, hot spots, etc.

“It enhances everything that our shoes do for you. If needed, we can fit you into some orthotics,” Riker said. “Our shoes are really focused on heath and well-being with fashion mixed in too.”

While building relationship and fitting people into the right shoe are part of Shuz, another part is forward fashion.

“We’re looking forward to a great fall,” Riker said. “Uggs are going to be bigger and better than ever this fall.”

Whatever shoe customers are after, if they find it at Shuz of Davis, they will find more than a shoe.

“We’re there to service them,” Riker said. “Again, it’s not about selling shoes, it’s about building relationships. We’d love to meet (new customers), and see (previous customers) again. We really appreicate their support in these hard economic times.”

Kim Orendor

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