Mark Wachter: The Shoe Genius

Mark Wachter

Owner/Founder- The shoe genius

Owner/Founder- The shoe genius

The shoe genius - founded On the Run in 1977 on a very basic principle: 'When it comes to people’s feet and well-being, I don’t settle.' Using that principle as his beacon, Mark transformed a modest shoe store into the best foot health retailer in the Bay Area. It all started with Stanley Wachter. In 1964, Stanley and his wife Lidia brought their young children, Luba and Marek (Mark), to San Francisco from war-torn Warsaw, Poland. Stanley worked as a tailor at the famous San Francisco clothier Fritzi’s and instilled in both his children a passion for customer service and the desire to improve peoples’ quality of life. In 1974, Luba started Luba Designs - a women's clothing store - in what is now CitiShoes at 751 Irving Street. In 1977, Mark opened On the Run on the 1300 block of 9th Avenue.

Inspired by his passion for improving his customers’ quality of life, Mark began utilizing the knowledge and experience he had gained to design and manufacture his own brand of high-quality orthotics, imported from Poland and Germany. In 2005, he added CitiShoes based on the principle that “just because it’s fashion, doesn’t mean it can’t be comfortable.” CitiShoes offers the same focus on foot health and shoe customization in fashion shoes.Today, Mark trains all of his sales associates to biomechanically evaluate specific foot issues and match shoes to specific individual needs. At On the Run & CitiShoes – we believe that a knowledgeable and courteous staff that provides genuine and specific customer service can offer far more than “discount prices” can.

Mark started his business during the running trend of the 70’s. He was then working at Luba Designs - His sister’s clothing store - and got into running. There was a store up the street across from that sold running shoes so he went in to buy his very first pair. The sales associate knew nothing about shoes or feet and consequently, his shoes didn’t fit and he was in pain. He knew running was a growing sport so he decided to address the problem.

Mark is the trainer for footwear and foot health for the San Francisco Police Department. He has presented at UCSF Medical School and San Francisco Emergency Services Department.Do you have an organization or business where proper shoes are imperative? Mark will come to your work place, evaluate your employees' feet and suggest footwear and orthotics that will prevent pain and injury and improve performance. Attendees receive a discount card toward their next purchase.

Please email at: to inquire about on-site consultation services. In support of those who sacrifice their own safety for our health and well-being, His On The Run store offer all police, fire and emergency service personnel a 7% discount on all our products.

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