Eagle company melding art, science for your feet | VailDaily.com

Eagle company melding art, science for your feet

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado
Dominique Taylor/dtaylor@vaildaily.comD2 Shoe co-owner Don Lamson demonstrates a laser-guided system to ensure a cyclist's feet are in the right position while in the pedals.

EAGLE ” After 30 years in the business, Don Lamson can usually look at someone’s foot and recommend a fix for biking, skiing or golfing. His job now is to transfer that knowlege.

Lamson, along with partner Dan Kurtanich, are D2 Shoe, which makes just-about-custom and full-custom shoes, as well as insoles for shoes made by other manufacturers.

D2 has opened its own small factory in Mexico to produce the shoes ” the vast majority of which are for bicyclists, which is why Lamson wants to transfer his knowlege. Using new technology, a computer can map the specifics of a shoe and/or insole once it’s been designed and tweaked by Lamson.

“It’s not necessarily better, but it’s repeatable,” Lamson said. “We can take my knowlege, put it into the computer and do something the same way three years later.”

Besides bike shoes, D2 also makes dress shoes, golf shoes and clogs in a dizzying array of sizes and widths. Every “semi-custom” shoe comes with a foam-filled box so customers can send back impressions of their feet. About six weeks later, a box with shoes in it comes.

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If the customer can provide a video, or come into shop, Lamson can tweak the fit with small shims.

“I can use a video of someone pedaling and I can see how far out of alignment their foot is,” Lamson said.

Beyond its own shoes, it’s making those helpful tweaks for customers with insoles where D2 would like to start focusing its business. And, Lamson said, insoles can help virtually anyone, since there are very few perfect feet in the world.

“We can make you biomechanically better, to get more power into the bike,” he said.

John Edwards has been wearing Lamson’s shoes almost as long as he’s been making them ” Lamson once owned the Boot Lab in Vail for skiers. Edwards has skied in Lamson-tweaked boots and may have been the first cyclist to crash-test his earliest bike shoes.

“I’ve got stuff from Don that goes back decades,” Edwards said. “Don’s put a lot of people’s feet in the right place.”

As a loyal customer, Edwards has referred both fellow cyclists and his winter

ski-school clients to Lamson.

And Lamson has gotten a reputation in cycling circles. There are foot impressions from Alexi Grewal, the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in cycling, as well as Rebecca Twigg, who won numerous national track cycling titles.

That respect has been a long time coming, though.

“So many people have no clue about the importance of having their feet aligned,” Edwards said. “But people have won Olympic medals in Don’s shoes.”

That word is still filtering into the general cycling community, Lamson said.

“People used to say orthotics in bike shoes weren’t needed,” he said. “But now it’s more widely accepted, especially with performance riders.”

Edwards believes he wouldn’t have been riding as long, or as well, as he has without Lamson’s help.

“The shoes fit so well ” there’s just no pressure points,” Edwards said. “I just couldn’t ride seriously without orthotics, and Don makes a helluva good shoe.”

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