Olympic Bootworks born in Squaw Valley, opens another location in South Lake Tahoe
Long-time Lake Tahoe resident and North Shore business owner Buck Brown is opening a second Olympic Bootworks location in South Shore.
Over 20 years ago, Brown said he began revolutionizing the orthotic industry with his Heel-Loc Power Transfer Orthotic.
Brown started his custom-fitting company after years in the ski industry. He received medical training and he realized that the technology in the orthotic industry ran counter to what he learned about how the body worked.
“Arch support is based on a standing model, so when you lift your foot, the arch support takes away the natural movement,” Brown said.
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His heel-loc technology focuses on supporting the heel so that the natural heel and ankle movement are supported.
He will design the orthotic while the person is sitting to get a more accurate reading of how the foot falls when it’s not bearing weight.
The first Olympic Bootworks, in Squaw Valley, has been immensely popular. Brown said he’s never had to advertise there because word of mouth brings him in all of his business.
“Since coming to Squaw, we’ve made over 1,000 custom footbeds per season,” Brown said, adding that it’s not even that big of a location.
While he mostly works with skiers, the heel-loc orthotics can be used in snowboard boots, golf, tennis, hiking and running shoes.
His orthotics have been used by athletes such as Travis Ganong, Adrian Ballinger and Shelley Robertson.
With business booming in Squaw, Brown decided to “share the love” with the South Shore and open a second location on Ski Run Boulevard. Plus, Brown said he already had a lot of customers coming from South Lake and Mammoth so now he can be more convenient for them.
Part of what makes Olympic Bootworks successful is the customer service, Brown said. The shops always have hot coffee and cold beer.
“We’re not just selling to people, we’re fitting them, we make them happy,” Brown said. “We’re in the happiness business.”
The staff spends time with each customer, giving them a custom fitting, getting to know them and their bodies.
“A lot of people are so disassociated with their bodies and they can’t describe how they feel,” said the South Shore’s Manager Sean Geitner. “It takes some time to draw that out of them.”
The South Lake Tahoe store is now open with limited hours.
Once winter kicks in, the hours will extend.
To find out more, visit olympicbootworks.com.
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