Running shoes can be a costly investment, but with smart shopping, you can save money while still investing in quality running shoes!
When I first started running regularly a few years ago I realized one thing: running is expensive. Everyone always seems to think you can just head out for a run and call it good. When in reality, you need the right equipment: running shorts, running top, and… running shoes. And for many of us, we need specific running shoes. Whether they be stability shoes, motion control shoes, or cushioning shoes, we need a specific type and those types lead us to reputable running shoe brands from Mizuno, Brooks, Nike, Asics, etc. Shopping those brands can be alarming as their prices are quite high, but after a few years of running on a college kid budget, I have found some ways to save myself a chunk of change every time I buy a new pair of running shoes.
Here are 5 ways I have found to save money on running shoes:
I just started shopping on Zulily and when I realized they often sell some of my favorite brands of running shoes I got way too excited. Zulily offers daily deals from brands and can save you a lot of money. I often go on the site and see if any of my favorite athletic brands are being offered and check out what is on sale. Recently, Mizuno was offering a ton of running shoes at great prices. I picked up two pairs of running shoes that usually cost over a hundred dollars each for less than $100 total. They are new and come in all of the original packaging, so you just have to be patient to find when the model or brand you are after goes up on the site. I was not in need of two new pairs of running shoes, but since they were such a good deal, I figured it would not hurt to stock up so when I need a new pair, I already have them.
Purchase Older Models
I rarely purchase a new model of running shoes (besides my recent Zulily purchase). I have no problem buying an older model of running shoes, especially since they are usually on discount and you can save a good chunk of money. For example, I recently bought the Mizuno Wave Rider 18s. The 19s are already being sold, so many running stores and online sites like Amazon are putting the 18s on discount to make room for the 19s. There is nothing wrong with the 18s, or even the 17s. The hardest part about buying older models is they are often low in stock in certain sizes. I often find older models on deep discount, but only for sizes I cannot fit into. So, if last year’s model is on discount in your size, go for it.
Extend your running shoe’s life
Use your running shoes for running, and running only. You can extend the life on your running shoes by not using them to go grocery shopping or going to the park. By limiting the use of your running shoes, you will save miles on your shoes and will be able to go longer before buying a new pair. Most people say to buy a new pair of running shoes every 400 miles, so if you are using them to walk around doing stuff other than running, you are wasting miles on them.
Join a running club
While I haven’t done this personally, joining a running club can often get you deals and discounts with local running stores. If a running club is partnered with a local running store, you can often get a special discount for being a part of that running club. I know from my time running high school track, if I mentioned that I was a part of the local high school track team, the local running store would give me 10% off my purchase.
Running clubs are also great for talking with other runners about where they get their shoes. They may know of certain stores that have great deals on running shoes. Especially if you are new to the area, they can give you the ins and outs of where to and not to shop.
Keep your running shoes in good shape
Further extend the life of your running shoes, and therefore go longer before buying a new pair, by keeping them in good shape. Read the directions on how to wash them to prevent damaging them. Many running shoes are not suitable for machine washing as they can damage and destroy the technical fibers used on the shoes. Often times, it will be recommended to hand wash them with soapy water and let them air dry. Pay attention to the care instructions to keep them in good shape.
Also be cautious when travelling with your running shoes or changing terrains. I have one pair of running shoes that I only use on the treadmill and I have certain pairs of running shoes that I will not take out on the trails. By being cautious where you take your running shoes, you can further extend their life.