Hitting the Pavement
Southern Runner finds new owners and a new home on Oak Street.
April 6th, 2016 by: Misty Miloto
Southern Runner has been the premier running store in New Orleans since it first opened in 1982. And when the original owners recently decided to retire, locals Andy Dickhut and Stephanie Hankins decided to take over ownership and operation. “[Southern Runner] stood the test of time by offering great running gear and being heavily involved in the New Orleans running community,” Dickhut says. “We thought it would be a shame to let such a great tradition end, so we approached the owners and asked if they would be willing to pass the baton to us. To our delight, they agreed, and we took over operations in Nov. 2015.”
At the time that Dickhut and Hankins became the new owners, they chose to move the store from its location on Magazine Street to a new spot on Oak Street in the Carrollton neighborhood. “Oak Street was our top choice given the vibrant retail shops in the area,” Hankins says. “Oak is experiencing a major growth spurt with the addition of new condos and retail, so it seemed like a perfect fit. It’s also positioned along a major running corridor between the levee running trail and Carrolton Avenue.”
As always, Southern Runner carries all of the major brands that runners expect — including Asics, Adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, Nike and New Balance — as well as new brands that are becoming popular, such as Altra,Hoka, ON and Under Armour. The best part of the shopping experience, however, is the personalized approach that Southern Runner offers its customers.
“We examine the customer’s running style, and determine what type of cushion and support needs they have,” Dickhut says. “We do this by closely examining the customer’s unique foot motion, using advanced video gait analysis software that can compare up to four different pairs of shoes to help us zero in on the perfect pair [of shoes] to match their running style.”
In addition to a new location, Southern Runner also is ramping up its involvement in community running events. Expect to see the store’s presence all over the NOLA running scene. “We also host a weekly run group at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday,” Hankins says. “All ages and paces are welcome to join. The biggest news, however, is the launch of our new online store. Customers can now shop online for running shoes. We even make same-day deliveries in New Orleans.” 8123 Oak St., (504) 891-9999, southernrunner.com