For distance runner, fashion's a stretch


October 20, 1994|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Sun Staff Writer

For chiropractor Wayne Sodano, shoes make the man. Particularly if he's got 26.2 miles ahead of him as Mr. Sodano will Sunday when he runs in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington.

The shoes along for the ride are a pair of Saucony G.R.I.D. Americas, a style he discovered several years ago and now swears by.

Although he's been running for more than 20 years, this is his first marathon, and he says shoes are the most important part of his attire.

"Running shoes have to fit like a glove from Day 1," says Mr. Sodano, 36, who lives in Churchville. "You shouldn't have to break them in."

How many pairs of running shoes do you have?

About 10. They're mostly Saucony. With a shoe, if you find something that's comfortable, stick with it. I buy two or three at one time because the technology changes frequently. I also have Nikes and Reeboks. But they just didn't feel right because I have a wide foot.

Do you have shoes that bring you good luck?

No. With the longer run, it's mostly mental and spiritual.

How do you decide when to put a pair out to pasture?

At 400 miles. I clock my miles. Or I'll stop wearing them earlier if it feels like the mid-soles have worn out. Then I use them to paint the house or mow the lawn. I run 40 to 45 miles a week. Within 10 weeks, my shoes are history, even though they still look brand new.

That must cost you a lot.

They're $80 a pair. It's costly but it saves your foot, ankle, knee and back. It's better than having to see my chiropractor every week.

The world of athletic shoes has become so complicated. How do you ever decide what to buy?

You have to know what kind of foot you have. I have a wide foot. I've tried 25 or 30 different pairs. Some were OK, but none was perfect until I found this style two years ago.

What's been your most embarrassing clothing moment?

Wearing running shorts and not realizing they were a little too short. I was running in 100-degree weather. My bottom was kind of showing. I never wore them again.

When you're not running, what's your style?

I'm a casual dresser. What I do is physical, so I'll wear a dress shirt or polo shirt and slacks to work. Ties get in the way. Everything has to be loose-fitting. Around the house, it's sweats and a T-shirt. I take every opportunity to stretch. If I'm waiting in line at the grocery store, I'll do some stretching. If you wear tight clothes, you can't do that.

If you could trade your sense of style with someone else, whose would you most like to have?

Mel Gibson. He seems genuine in his clothes and always looks relaxed.

What in your closet is your true standby?

My loose-fitting Levi's, my denim shirt and hiking boots. I also like my overalls. People make fun of me. They say only little boys should wear them. But when I went to school in Houston, I tried a pair on and have liked them ever since. That was 1980.

Where do you shop?

My wife does all that for me. She dresses me from my socks to my boxer shorts. She says I have no taste. She's probably right. I'll buy sweats from Ames and Kmart. My good running stuff I order from Road Runner Sports, a California catalog company.

What would your wife most like to change about your style?

She would like to dress me like a guy in GQ magazine.

Left to your own devices, what would you wear?

Sweats and T-shirts all the time. Boy, I sound like a slob.

Do you know some dressers? Let us know. Write to Mary Corey, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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