Monday, July 31, 2023

Two of the Best Cheap Running Shoes

Running shoes are crazy expensive. Not sure why they cost so much, but they do. I understand inflation. I understand that shoes have gotten better over time--lighter, faster, more durable. But still, why so expensive? It's not uncommon to pay over $200 for a pair. Several are pushing $300. Try to find a pair for around $100 and you better find them on sale. A big sale! 

Fortunately, I have found two really good shoes that sell for a reasonable full retail price: both for $100. One is a daily trainer, the other a race or speed workout shoe. Still haven't found a perfect cheap trail shoe, but I have an honorable mention in that category too!

Best cheap daily trainer: Saucony Axon 3. Price: $100. This is a really nice shoe for a very reasonable price. It has a ton of cushioning, good grip, fits well, and seems durable. I like that it has a wider toebox to accommodate my wider foot. It's not super lightweight, but not heavy either. Does not have super midsole foam, but what it has, works fine. You feel a bit of bounce. Definitely crafted to be a daily trainer and not a race shoe. Not ideal for tempo workouts or track intervals. But go easy or go long and it'll do! For racing or speed, take a look at my second suggestion.

Best cheap racing shoe: Atreyu The Artist. Price: $100. I've had this shoe since it first appeared more than a year ago. I love it. It has supercritical foam and a carbon plate. Not bad for $100. And it fits well. Simple design with just enough room for my wider feet. Lightweight and fast. Nice bounce. Not as bouncy as the Nike Vaporfly, but it also doesn't cost $250. Check out this new running company from Austin, TX. Their other shoes are good too, but tend to fit slightly narrow and somewhat short.

If I had to pick a cheap trail shoe, I would stick with Atreyu and go with their "Base Trail" model. Cost? $115. It has nice cushioning, reasonable tread, and a good price! Traction is moderate since it has small lugs (good for road to trail). For me, it is slightly tight and a little short in size. I wear US13 and they do not make a 13.5. If so, that would probably work great. I've run a variety of trails and several trail races in the shoe (up to half-marathon). They worked well. Because of the tighter fit, I am hesitant to go beyond 13.1 miles. 

If you bought all three shoes--one daily trainer, one racer, and one trail shoe--it would cost you $315. That is full price. Find them on sale and you'd save even more money. I own all three and would purchase them again. I encourage you to investigate on your own, read a few shoe reviews, compare them to other similar similar prices...and see if you can beat their value. 

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