Running as a method of exercise is popular for many reasons. It burns a high amount of calories per minute, it’s something you can do alone or with friends, and you may already have most of the gear needed to get started immediately. Eventually, though, the most important piece of running equipment wears out and will need to be replaced.
I’m talking about the running shoes, and these can be expensive. Good running shoes can cost anywhere from $60 to $160 or more. Here are some tips to help you buy the right running shoe at a great price, and get the most life out of that shoe as possible.
What’s Your Type?
The first thing any runner should do is to have their stride analyzed. Buying the wrong running shoes can cause discomfort and frustration at best. At worst, you may find yourself paying for a doctor bill to diagnose and treat an injury. I speak from personal experience.
Most running specialty stores will do this for free by having a customer run on a treadmill. The employees at these stores are trained to look at your stride and tell you what kind of shoe would be most comfortable, as well as to prevent injury. You can then try on shoes to find brand and models that you like, and are within the price range that you can afford.
Once you’ve done that, stop. Do NOT buy the shoes yet. Make note of brand and model shoes that you liked. It’s time to go bargain hunting.
Check the Clearance Racks
Many running stores have a clearance rack to liquidate unpopular color schemes and last year’s models. For example, my shoe of choice is the Asics Kayano. The current model is the Kayano 21 priced at $160. However, the store had a limited stock of last year’s Kayano 20s on clearance for $30 less. Note that the model number is incremented each year. Thus to get last year’s model, simply subtract one from the model number. The only difference between last year’s and the current model may be some minor tweaks and new color schemes. If you’re looking to save some money, last year’s model will serve you just fine.
Not only can you find great sales, but the previous year’s model can be found online as well. I searched Amazon and found the Kayano 21 for $120 (25% discount) and the Kayano 20 for $110 (31% discount), both qualifying for free shipping. Again, your color choice and sizes may be limited for previous models, but it’s worth looking into in order to save some money.
Buy One Get One Half Off sales seem to be gaining popularity. One local shoe store runs a constant buy one get one half of sale. There’s no time limit, I just save my receipt and the next family member that needs shoes automatically gets them for half price. If I would use the sale to purchase two pairs of my shoes, I would pay $160 + $80 = $240 for two pairs of shoes, or an average of $120 per pair. Check shoes stores in your area that may have similar promotions.
As a runner, you have to be very mindful of the condition of your shoes. The support and cushioning degrade over time – most shoes providing 300-500 miles of running life. Personally, I start feeling aches and pains in my legs as my shoes approach the 400 mile mark, or after about 15 weeks of use. That’s not a long lifetime for shoes that may cost over $100, so I use something called “shoe rotation” to get the most for my running shoe purchase.
- Running Shoes (Weeks 1-15): They’re new, with lots of support and cushion for running.
- Every Day Shoes (Weeks 16-30): The shoes are past their prime, but they’re still fine for walking around in every day.
- Work Shoes (Weeks 31-45): These are the shoes I use to mow lawn, do yard work, paint, or anything other activity where I don’t care if they get scuffed or stained.
When I buy a new pair of running shoes, my current shoes get rotated to the next category, and my current work shoes get thrown away.
Running for exercise doesn’t require a lot of gear, but the right shoes can be expensive and they wear out quicker than most people realize. By utilizing these shopping tips you can get the most running shoe for your money, and a shoe rotation methodology can help runners extend their usefulness as long as possible.
Are you a runner that spends a lot on running shoes? Do you have any additional tips to save on running shoes?
Editor's Note: Did you know about the service called $5 meal plans? For $5 a month, they send you recipes of delicious, healthy, yet cheap food that costs just $5 a meal.
Several of my friends signed up and they are able to eat at home more because the instructions are easy to follow, making everything convenient. The deal also comes with grocery shopping lists, which saves them so much time. Check it out yourself by clicking here and you too may be able to save more and become healthier at the same time.