RUNNING is free, runners are fond of pointing out, kitted out in their top-of-the-range GPS running watch, hundred quid compression leggings and custom-made Swiss-engineered running shoes.
For those thinking of taking up running, the cost of gear can be off-putting – cheap running shoes are possible though.
They don’t have to be super flashy, but as any expert runner will tell you, they shouldn’t be cheap to the point of shoddy either.
There are plenty of twelve-pound sports shoes in a shop on your High Street, but we’d be doing you a great disservice if we rounded up any old shoe – a flimsy pair that doesn’t offer the right protection won’t just be uncomfortable, they could cause serious injury.
You need a well-made pair that holds your heel, feels firm, flexes properly, and needless to say, is the right size.
If you’re not sure whether you may be a half more or less than your usual size for footwear, you can pick up a foot measuring gauge for the family for as little as £2.60.
The good news is, because footwear is famously on-season, what was out of reach even last season is likely to be marked down significantly already.
So we’ve browsed through the racks of the High Street and online to find the cheapest top brand running shoes to help you find your ideal sole-mate.
What are good cheap running shoes?
It can be difficult to find a pair of high quality and trendy running shoes for less than £100.
However, we’ve spotted a good few pairs for less than £60 that will do the job for avid runners.
Read on to find out our top 5 pairs of affordable running shoes, from the likes of New Balance and Nike.
1. Cheap lightweight spikes: PR Sprint
- For men: Brooks PR Sprint 3 Running Spikes, £10 at Start Fitness – buy here
- For women: Brooks PR Sprint Women’s Running Spikes, £10 at Start Fitness – buy here
Brooks is not a cheap footwear brand. Its cheapest running shoes start at £120, but as big fans of limited-edition and next-generation trainers, models fast become last year’s news – which is great for bargain hunters.
Lightweight running shoes are designed for speed and agility.
Cased in an aerodynamic shroud with latex heel pad and ultra-thin shark skin outsole, the 6mm spikes on the Brooks PR Sprint are designed to make the track, field or cross-country course know who’s in charge.
2. Cheap cushioned shoes: Asics Gel-Exalt
- For men: Asics Gel-Exalt Shoes, £45.90 at Wiggle – buy here
- For women: Asics Women’s Gel-Exalt Shoes, £31 at Active Instinct – buy here
Designed for mid to long distance runners, the invisible rearfoot gel provides cushioning comfort, while the midfoot support overlay and moulded rubber sole also help protect the feet.
The synthetic outer material and mesh insole of the Asics Gel-Exalt increases breathability, which helps take care of the post-run odour that can linger in your shoe rack.
The extra underfoot comfort and moisture management is completed by the ortholite sockliner.
3. Cheap stability shoes: New Balance Arishi
- For men: New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam Arishi Running Shoes, from £31.99 at Amazon – buy here
- For women: New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi Women’s Running Shoes, £32.49 at Sports Shoes – buy here
Proving cheap doesn’t have to look it, the New Balance Arishi blends style with comfort.
This is in part thanks to the synthetic mesh which helps to create a breathable foot environment, keeping the feet feeling cool and dry during runs.
The no-sew material application reduces the risk discomfort, with the padded tongue and collar making for an extra snug fit.
A fresh foam midsole, created from a single piece of foam, provides a lower and more natural underfoot feel – perfect for minimising pressure on hard surfaces.
The rubber outsole also provides optimal grip and traction.
4. Cheap motion control shoes: Nike Free RN
- For men: Nike Men’s Free RN Sense Running Shoes, From £48.61 at Amazon – buy here
- For women: Nike Women’s Free RN Running Shoes 002, £45 at Achilles Heel – buy here
Motion control shoes are rigid, durable, and stable control-oriented.
With a minimal, moulded sockliner mimicking the curvature of the foot to add support, the Nike Free RN’s low-profile cushioning and rounded heel is great for encouraging a more natural foot strike to your stride, with segments of solid rubber under the toe and heel enhancing traction and durability.
A breathable circular-knit upper and a tri-star outsole pattern adjust to your foot’s every step, delivering support and flexibility, while the auxetic outsole pattern expands with your step for flexible cushioning.
5. Cheap trail shoes: Saucony Koa
- For men: Saucony Koa St Trail Running Shoes, £59.99 at Sports Soes – buy here
- For women: Saucony Women’s KOA ST Running Shoes, £60 at Go Outdoors – buy here
Trail shoes are made to withstand rough conditions while powering you through bumpy or muddy terrains, so naturally, they don’t tend to be cheap.
Saucony has made its name by its range of durable shoes at affordable prices, and the KOA ST shows why.
Its synthetic upper sheds mud and moisture, and the aggressive outsole pattern with 8mm lugs keeps you on your feet – the toggle lacing system allowing for quick adjustment throughout the run.
You’ll feel the benefit of the oblique toe-box ad cushioned top-sole after a few miles.
Which are the best shoes for running?
No matter what level you’re at all runners need a decent pair of shoes on their feet.
The ‘best’ shoe depends on where you run and what you want to get out of your shoe.
For example, are you a beginner doing Couch to 5k or are you training to run the marathon?
Take your time when purchasing your shoes, as they’re a crucial part of your kit.
Always read the specifications and weigh up which would suit your running style best.
If you haven’t had one before, or for some time, a gait analysis is also essential. These are offered by shops like Runnersneed and Nike Town London.
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