Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Finding right race footwear depends on stride

Staff Writer
Austin 360
If you're planning on using a new pair of running shoes for the Statesman Cap 10K, be sure to break them in at least a week before the race.

The Statesman Capitol 10,000 is fast approaching. We hope you've been preparing for it by walking or running. Now that you're in the training groove, it's time to check your gear.

A visor or sunglasses for sun protection. Check!

Cap 10K race T-shirt so you can finish in style. Check!

A good pair of moisture-wicking socks to prevent blisters. Check!

One of the best parts about running or walking is it doesn't require a lot of equipment. But a quality pair of sneakers is the single most important part of any runner's wardrobe. As part of our weekly countdown to the March 25 race, the Statesman Cap 10K consulted resident shoe specialist and coach at Luke's Locker, Mac Allen, to give us the scoop on what shoes are ideal.

Cap 10K: How often should a runner or walker replace their shoes?

Mac Allen: You should replace your shoes when they feel worn down, usually after 300 to 400 miles of walking and running. Some things could make this figure lower. For example, shoes left out in the weather, whether very hot or very cold, will cause them to age quicker. Also, the way you use the shoes can shorten their life, like lifting weights in them or using the shoes in activities other than running or walking.

Every runner or walker has an individual stride. Which type of shoes works best?

It depends on the foot-strike as well as the goals of the runner. A stability shoe helps if you roll in or over-pronate. A neutral shoe is good for someone who does not over-pronate or who supinates (rolls out). Many factors go into picking the right shoe, such as length and width, weight of the shoe, the level of cushioning and stability. You may want a lighter weight shoe to run faster or as a tool to strengthen your feet and improve running form.

What is some advice you would give a new runner looking for his or her first pair of shoes for the Statesman Cap 10K?

Talk to a shoe specialist at a running shoe store and tell him or her about your goals and training history, including any injuries. Go through the fitting process and listen to the advice of the specialist. A comfortable running shoe with a thumbnail's width of room in the toe and no slippage in the heel will work. Typically, you would want to get the new pair of shoes at least one week prior to the race; ideally, a couple of weeks out. Be sure to get in a couple of runs before you race in a shoe. Usually, that means a run that is near the length of the race.

Look for more tips and facts next week in Venture Out. If you haven't registered yet, there's still time at

— Mercedes E. Orten, Cap10 event coordinator