The first thing you notice upon entering Pasadena's Run With Us, other than the colorful displays of running shoes, is the phalanx of at least four uniformed employees standing yards ahead, all smiling and eager to help you, the newly arrived patron. Contrast this with your average overcrowded chain sporting goods emporium, where you're lucky to grab one employee who can answer a question or, better yet, get you a pair of shoes. Run With Us' specialists start by measuring and analyzing your gait, step and foot size, and then bring out multiple choices of such top-quality brands as Brooks, New Balance, Adidas, Asics and Mizuno, trying them extensively until they find that glove-tight, just-right fit. On top of that, they promise a 10-day trial-use period, within which you can return your shoes if there's a problem. 235 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena. (626) 568-3331,

—Adam Gropman

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