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Cheap Running Shoes? (Read 869 times)

    So all three current pairs of running shoes (2 Nike Pegasus ... Pegasi? ... and Asics Gel-Cumulus) are at or quickly approaching 500 miles. I've decided my recent toe problems are largely the fault of the Nikes, and too much mileage on the shoes (and I'm sticking with that story). Which leads me to conclude that I should probably be changing shoes at 300-400 miles, rather than 500-1000 miles. So I did a few quick calculations, used imaginary numbers, divided by Pi ... and discovered that this little hobby could get pretty frickin' expensive, pretty quick. I could easily spend more in a year on shoes than on beer. And that's just wrong. So - are there any decent CHEAP running shoes out there? As in, under $50? Any options? I wouldn't necessarily wear them all the time. Maybe buy a nice $150 pair and save them for races and long training runs. Or something. But I'm thinking my shorter runs I might be able to get away with cheap shoes. So my questions: 1) What'd ya think? If I don't stock my closet with $100+ shoes, do I risk maiming and brain damage? (insert your own joke there). 2) Any really cheap but decent shoes out there? 3) How about really cheap ways to buy NON-cheap shoes? I sometimes think 3/4 of the price is so you can go to the fancy running store and get lectures on over-pronating. Anybody buy pricey shoes at discount outlets? Am I again risking life and limb if I skip out on the part where the guy fondles my toes and watches me prance around the store? (No, I don't actually prance. Work with me here).
    E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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      I've decided my recent toe problems are largely the fault of the Nikes, and too much mileage on the shoes (and I'm sticking with that story)
      Tight lipped Whatever you say... Zoom-zoom's got some good on-line shopping resources. I think there's a thread around here called "The good, the bad, and the ugly" that you may want to check out too. And my opinion is that if you go the "cheap" (under $50) route I'll be seeing a lot more of you in the On the Bench forum...

      Roads were made for journeys...


      Needs more cowbell!

        Jake, what I have found is that going to the expensive running store is really a great way to find the perfect shoe and pay full-price (my own NBs are $135) and be properly fitted...but after that if you fall in love with them, start doing froogle.com searches from time to time to find bargains. Right now I could have a pair of my 1222s for about $100. I'd probably be able to find them cheaper on eBay if I didn't require wide widths (everything on fleabay seems to be medium). Honestly, the shoes are one place I won't scrimp. Most of my other running gear I have gotten on the cheap from TJ Maxx, Campmor, and Sierra Trading Post. But the shoes are one thing I just sort of close my eyes and hand over my debit card for. I have weird, hard-to-fit feet, so I am used to spending more on my footwear than pretty much any other part of my wardrobe (ask backroadrunner about my little Danish orthopedic clog fetish). I refuse to spend more than $25 for a pair of jeans (and that's only if I am desperate and can't get them on clearance), but shoes are a whole 'nother story. k

        I shoot pretty things! ~

        '14 Goals:

        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          Jake, what I have found is that going to the expensive running store is really a great way to find the perfect shoe and pay full-price (my own NBs are $135) and be properly fitted...but after that if you fall in love with them, start doing froogle.com searches from time to time to find bargains. Right now I could have a pair of my 1222s for about $100. I'd probably be able to find them cheaper on eBay if I didn't require wide widths (everything on fleabay seems to be medium). Honestly, the shoes are one place I won't scrimp. Most of my other running gear I have gotten on the cheap from TJ Maxx, Campmor, and Sierra Trading Post. But the shoes are one thing I just sort of close my eyes and hand over my debit card for. I have weird, hard-to-fit feet, so I am used to spending more on my footwear than pretty much any other part of my wardrobe (ask backroadrunner about my little Danish orthopedic clog fetish). I refuse to spend more than $25 for a pair of jeans (and that's only if I am desperate and can't get them on clearance), but shoes are a whole 'nother story. k
          That is actually a *really* good idea. I know there's an outlet place around here that sells good shoes for like half price. I think I'll follow that advice: spend some time getting fiscally violated at Fleet Feet, and then find the same shoe/size elsewhere.
          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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            Eastbay.com has some decent shoes cheap sometimes. You'll see last years model Cumulus for under or around $50 sometimes. Its sort of hit or miss and sometimes you'll see the shoe you want for $49 only to find out its only in a size 6. I've had good luck getting racing flats from Eastbay, less luck with trainers. Or you could do what I do and get a sister who works for a running specialty store and brings you whatever you need for cheap. Sometimes free. Tongue FWIW I don't think you need to spend a lot on shoes to avoid injury. Just find a decent running shoe that fits you well. And everyone's mileage varies but I generally always get over 500 miles per pair. I agree its worth going to a good running store (and Fleet Feet qualifies) and then once you settle on a shoe/size find them cheap anywhere you can after that.

            Runners run.


            Dog-Love

              Absolutely don't skimp on the shoes...skimp on the food...don't skimp on the beer...skimp on the furniture. Anyway, I have 2 kids who ski and are growing each year and $135 for my ASICS is a deal! If you have an uncommon size, I agree with MikeyMike (is that your real name?) that if you find a deal, buy 2 pairs and alternate them. I change mine after about 400 miles becasue I am not close to skinny and there for put alot of impact on the shoe, and I think that I get a lot of good runs in, and my shoes don't have the cushion they once did. When you get to my age, you don't drink as much beer either!
              Run like you are on fire! 5K goal 24:00 or less (PR 24:34) 10K goal 50:00 or less (PR 52:45) HM goal 1:55:00 or less (PR 2:03:02) Marathon Goal...Less than my PR (PR 4:33:23)
              vicentefrijole


                In my humble opinion, there's not much difference between the $70-80 category of shoes and the $100+ category (except a lot of marketing for the latter) (Anyone have any experience otherwise?). I do think that once you go under $70 you start losing some of the support features that keep your feet healthy. I'd be concerned about buying shoes JUST because they're cheap... if they're not a good fit also, you'll definitely end up on the bench. But the hardest thing is to find a pair of shoes that is perfect for your feet. If you find a pair for $50, $70, or $100+ that you love, stick with them.. they're worth their weight in gold. I've found my favorite (Boston Classic) for $80 and I won't switch until they stop making them.... even though Adidas has "fancier" ones for $100+. I think the idea others mentioned (get fitted the first time at a true running store, then buy cheaper online) is a good idea. I do try to support the local running stores because they provide a real community service, but I also buy shoes for cheap at RoadRunner Sports (there are lots of online places) because it get's a little expensive. Still, as someone pointed out, running is A LOT cheaper than most other sports (compared to biking, for instance!)


                Needs more cowbell!

                  In my humble opinion, there's not much difference between the $70-80 category of shoes and the $100+ category (except a lot of marketing for the latter) (Anyone have any experience otherwise?). Still, as someone pointed out, running is A LOT cheaper than most other sports (compared to biking, for instance!)
                  Hmmm...I don't have much experience, obviously, but I can say that my $135 shoes seem to be a LOT sturdier and offer more stability than my similar $85 ones did. By 200 miles those babies were feeling sorta floppy and I started having issues that really have not been a problem with my current shoes. The soles are a LOT less worn, too, since they use a tougher material in the high wear areas on these. And as a shuffler that does seem to make a difference in longevity. I think I will easily get 400 miles or so out of my current shoes. I think I stopped using my cheaper ones around 250. I'm around there in mileage on my newer shoes and they show no signs of major wear. Biking...heh. My hubby's carbon-framed road bike was $3500 (and those padded shorts cost a small fortune, too). I can buy a LOT of running gear for the price of that bike (and I don't let him forget it, ha!). Wink k

                  I shoot pretty things! ~

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                    Zoom zoom has introduced me to the wonders of froogle.com. I found a pair of shoes that I love at a great running store, now I'm checking froogle for better prices on the next pair of that model. I also like to buy local, but couldn't afford to do that every time. Maybe next time you go to your friendly local establishment, you can ask them to fit the best pair for your feet in a few price ranges??
                    So do not get tired and stop trying. - Hebrews 12:3
                      I've heard a lot of good things about Loco Running Shoes which are an independent company - for runners by runners idea. The website is http://www.locorunning.com/. Their prices are pretty good, and you can get them even cheaper at races. A lot of people I know have gotten shoes on ebay too...
                      -Jess
                        So I did a few quick calculations, used imaginary numbers, divided by Pi ... and discovered that this little hobby could get pretty frickin' expensive, pretty quick. I could easily spend more in a year on shoes than on beer. And that's just wrong.
                        Hysterical! But I wouldn't skim on the shoes either. Stephanie
                        To keep it, you have to give it away.
                          In my humble opinion, there's not much difference between the $70-80 category of shoes and the $100+ category (except a lot of marketing for the latter) (Anyone have any experience otherwise?). I do think that once you go under $70 you start losing some of the support features that keep your feet healthy. I'd be concerned about buying shoes JUST because they're cheap... if they're not a good fit also, you'll definitely end up on the bench. But the hardest thing is to find a pair of shoes that is perfect for your feet. If you find a pair for $50, $70, or $100+ that you love, stick with them.. they're worth their weight in gold. I've found my favorite (Boston Classic) for $80 and I won't switch until they stop making them.... even though Adidas has "fancier" ones for $100+.
                          Basically, I'm just curious about the whole thing. Interesting perspectives from all. I personally suspect VincentFrijole here has it right - that there are plenty of $70 shoes as good as plenty of $150 shoes. Here's my dilly-yo: I sort of make a hobby of checking out the generic stuff versus the brand name stuff, because the human nature that makes us go to brand names amuses me endlessly. It started with cigars. I'm a cigar nut, and like all cigar nuts, I started out assuming that a $30 cigar was always better than a $3 cigar. But it's a lie. And a funny one. For example: a lot of cigar companies sell what they call "seconds" - basically premium cigars with some minor imperfection. Something you'd never notice. They sell them without the brand name band for a couple bucks. Same exact cigar. Same taste. Only difference is the packaging. And yet most cigar snobs - including me - will spend ten times as much for that little band with Montecristo or Ashton or Davidoff on it. Sometimes, cigar companies will make different brands in the same factory, with the same tobacco. Same rollers. Again, with a few minor differences, it's the same product. But their premium brand will sell for 5-10 times as much. And my favorite might be reading the blind test results in cigar magazines: invariably, you'll find at least a few $3-5$ cigars scoring right up there with $30 dollar Habanos. Don't get me going on cigars. I could talk for days. In fact, I just did. And of course, it's not just cigars. My other favorite is over the counter medicine. When you buy, say, Nyquil, there's a generic store brand right next to it. The ingredients are the same. It is EXACTLY the same. Except for the price. True story: I bought a generic bottle of the antihistamine "Claritin" for $3 at Sam's Club. The same amountof the brand name drug would have cost me like $45 ... for the exact same thing ... You see my point, of course -- I've been wondering to what degree this all applies to running shoes. I *know* it applies to some degree. I just don't know how much. And there's a problem, of course: at least SOME of the time, you do not want to skimp. Take beer, for example. Ever see generic beer? It just says "beer" on the side of the can - which is freakin' hilarious. I bought a six-pack once. For $2.00. That's right. $2.00. And even at $2.00, it was way over-priced. Undrinkable. Cheese is another one. Trust me: Kraft is worth it. Kroger brand cheese could make a squirrel gag. So which is it with shoes? Is it a ridiculous rip-off like cold medicine? Or an absolute necessity, like the cheese/beer paradigm? Inquiring minds want to know. Well, mine does. But here's the real problem: with cheese or cigars, if I go cheap and it sucks, it's a lesson learned, right? But if I go cheap on shoes, run 500 miles and give myself stress fractures and Tourette's Syndrome, it just ain't worth it. The conclusion? There isn't one. I remain curious. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Actually, there is a conclusion: the conclusion is that even though I guarantee it's a rip-off to some degree or other, even though I know better ... I'm going to go out and find a $150 pair of high-speed, low-drag high-tech shoes with racing stripes, psychedelic colors, air pumps in the heels, and pneumatic lifts. Why? Because I'm stupid. And I like shiny pretty things. And then I'll tell myself over and over that I couldn't possibly run a step with anything cheaper. I'll show them off to other runners, bask in the glow of admiration for my footwear, and look down my nose at those with lesser shoes. Even as they sprint past me. Later, I'll puff my over-priced cigar as I drive home in my over-priced car to my over-priced dog, content and happy with my special new shoes. Like I said ... amusing. Big grin
                          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                          Needs more cowbell!

                            Cheese is another one. Trust me: Kraft is worth it. Kroger brand cheese could make a squirrel gag.
                            If you think Kraft is "good" cheese, then I have to question your sense of taste...Kraft is better than most store brands (for instance, the Meijer brand cheeses are usually caca), but it's closer in quality to store brands than it is to stuff from any small, independent dairy (and stuff from small dairies are often more bang-for-the-buck). Sargento is still better than Kraft for the same price. /Wisconsin-born cheese snob

                            I shoot pretty things! ~

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                            Scout7


                            CPT Curmudgeon

                              I will go with the general consensus here: DON'T SKIMP ON YOUR RUNNING SHOES!!!!!! I did this once. It caused wicked bad shin splints (to the point where I was on the ground writhing in pain). I couldn't run up the driveway, much less anything else. I'm not saying buy the most expensive pair, but I am saying that it's worth it to go to a running store and get a proper fit. I know that many people go out, buy a pair of shoes that fit, and do fine. I can generally do this now, too, because I know what to look for. But I would definitely go to a running shop and get a professional fitting at least once. Buy a shoe they recommend from them, and when it comes time to replace it, start looking at discount places. The problem with going to somewhere like Dick's (not picking on the, just a chain) is that they can't specialize. And fitting a football or soccer cleat is vastly different than fitting a running shoe. Besides, you'd be supporting a local business. Bonus! Besides, what you spend on a pair of shoes could be surpassed in 1 visit to the sports med doc.


                              You'll ruin your knees!

                                In biking, I am told the rule is...don't be a cheapskate on equipment that comes into contact with you and the bike...that, boiled down is gloves, shoes and padded shorts. I think there is a parallel in running...don't be a tightwad on what comes between you and the running surface! I also don't believe you need to spend $135 (UNLESS that is the right shoe for you!). If the NIKE served you well before you cross-bred your toe with a small dog, then go back to the NIKE (find a good deal online) and order some more of them...just trade them out at 50 miles short of the point that your toe (nose?) began to grow. I absolutely WOULD NOT buy cheap shoes for everyday running and have a $135 pair for races and long runs! But, I think you were kidding about that anyway... Lynn B

                                ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

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