One of the great charms of running has always been that it doesn’t require expensive equipment or a monthly membership. You would be forgiven, however, for calling BS on that statement, because the cost of any brand’s new, flagship running shoes is well above £100 and frequently tops £150.
If you’re someone who has to have the best of everything the minute it comes out, there’s no getting around it – you’ll have to splurge to get the running shoes you want. To be fair, they will usually last you over 800km of running and the materials used in some of the top-line shoes afford some very impressive benefits. However, if you are looking to spend less on your running shoes there are certainly ways to do so.
The best strategy is to seek out an older model of a shoe, because the differences between it and this season’s model might well only be cosmetic, but the price will be significantly lower. If you take some time to shop around on brands’ websites and third-party retailers like Runners Need (and its sales page), Sports Shoes, Wiggle and Amazon, you’ll be able to find a top shoe for a song.
The other option is to seek out a budget shoe. This can be a bit of a crapshoot but if you stick to the “does it feel right” test when trying it on, you should be able to find one that works for you.
Here are our favourite budget running shoes, including a few great deals on flagship shoes we’ve spotted. Deals can change, so if the retailer we link to has sold out of that model it’s still worth having a root around the internet.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34
The Pegasus line of running shoes is always a good place to start if you’re on the hunt for a bargain, because Nike releases an update every year – it’s now on its 35th iteration – meaning there’s always a previous version available at a discount. Even the latest pair is pretty good value, costing around £100 for a great all-rounder option for training and racing. Right now is a particularly good time to invest in a past Pegasus, though, because we rated the 34 as better than the 35.
There’s a lot of good-quality gear available at great prices in dhb’s running collection and the cushioned Victory neutral running shoe is no exception. Its RRP is an already reasonable £60 but it’s currently reduced to just £24, though the sizes available are limited.
Buy from Wiggle | £24
Adidas Galaxy 4
This budget running shoe doesn’t have the Boost tech that makes Adidas’s premium trainers so popular, but the Cloudfoam midsole in the Galaxy is one of the more comfortable and bouncy you’ll find in the bargain bracket.
Buy from Sports Direct | £37
New Balance Beacon
Even at its full price of £90 we’d stretch the the term “budget” to include one of New Balance’s latest releases as it’s substantially cheaper than most other new shoes. It’s incredibly lightweight for such a cushioned shoe and suitable for all kinds of running and racing, so with a little shopping around you may find one of our favourite running shoes of the year for a steal.
Buy from Wiggle | £63 | Read our review
Adidas Adizero Boston 6
Serious runners looking for fast, cheap rides would be wise to check out past versions from Adidas’s Boston and Adios lines. Aside from new colourways, these shoes tend not to change much between updates, and they are right up there with the very best racing shoes available.
Buy from Runners Need | £79
Saucony Ride ISO
We were amazed to see the excellent Ride ISO in sales already, because it’s a relatively new shoe we class as among the best all-rounders we’ve tried this year. It’s a comfortable neutral trainer that’s a terrific option for training and long races.
Under Armour Charged Bandit 3
Under Armour’s Bandit shoes have always impressed us ever since we tried the second edition of the shoe. The Bandit 4 is the latest version and is available for £80 – but more importantly its release has led to the Bandit 3’s price dropping to absurd levels.
Buy from Sweatshop | £24
Asics Gel-Pulse 10
Most running and sports shops stock a bewildering array of Asics shoes and bargains abound if you take the time to try on a few. The Gel-Pulse 10 is a durable, well-cushioned shoe that’s widely available for considerably less than its RRP of £85.
Buy from Wiggle | £59.50