It’s no secret, I’m a runner. And in the past year, I have fallen in love with running in a way I never knew possible! If you ask Mr. Adventure Rich, he would likely tell you I am obsessed, and I tend to agree. I just competed in my 18th race of 2017 (including a half marathon and a 15K), so between all of the training and racing, to say I go through shoes on a regular basis is an understatement. My shoes take a beating!
I recently wore one pair for 4 months and they were quite literally falling apart at the seams (picture proof below). But the bigger issue is not the tears or shabby look of my shoes. I know I need new shoes when I start feeling it. My knees will ache a little and my feet will feel like pancakes after a run. And when I inspect my shoes, I find that they are structurally worn down and floppy, no longer supporting my body properly though the miles.
Suffice it to say I needed to figure out how to save money on new running shoes.
How to Save Money on Running Shoes
Tip #1- Find the Right Shoe
Go to a local running store (note- I said “running store”, not big box discount sports retailer… you need the experts here) and get fitted for a running shoe. Everyone is built differently and there are thousands of running shoes out there to choose from! An expert will take a look at your physiology, the type of running you plan to embark on and many other factors in order to fit you properly with a specific shoe.
The reason I suggest getting fitted properly is not “just” so you are wearing a shoe complimentary to your body and running plans, but you may find out that the most expensive shoe is not for you! I wear Asics, but the style of shoe I wear is not the most expensive because the pricier option is not the correct shoe for my foot structure.
Tip #2- Buy a Previous Model of the Right Shoe
Now, once you find out which shoe to buy, it’s time to research. I mentioned above that I wear Asics. They release their shoes in “models”, starting with 1, 2, 3 and going up from there. Currently, their store models are on the “Model 19”. I wore the Model 17 until last week, when I bought the Model 18 for cheaper that I could find the Model 17!
The updates that shoe companies make to their shoes between models are typically minor and I doubt your average to avid runner would notice the changes (maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see much difference!). The older models are often marked down in store as retailers look to clear their shelves when the new models arrive. But brick-and-mortar stores are still likely to be on the pricey side, which leads me to Tip #3…
Tip #3- Look to Discount or Online Retailers
With the size, style and model of shoe you are looking for in hand, it’s time to scour the web. The best deals I have found are from Amazon.com (*affiliate link- please see below!) but sites like eBay, 6pm.com, and others can have great deals too!
Tip #4- Don’t be Choosy!
I have seen the same exact shoe (size, model, etc.) go for $47.98 in one color scheme and $120.00 in another… on the same website at the same time! These are shoes, people! If you are really that concerned about matching your running shoes to your cute jogging shorts and tank top, go ahead and spend an extra $72.02 on the same shoe! Personally, I will be the one wearing the hideously colored shoes to compliment my already mismatched shorts and random t-shirt.
Tip #5 Stock Up
So, you’ve found that sweet deal. Your shoe in your size for 60-80% off retail. What to do next? Stock up! I go through shoes every 4-6 months, so buying 2-4 pairs at a time at a good price is a good investment for me. I will need them, I will use them, and I will wear through all 4 pairs of those shoes in a relatively short timeframe.
Bonus Tip! Buy Second Hand
I have not tried buying running shoes from the second hand market, but our friends over at $76K Project just wrote a post about finding a great deal by purchasing used running shoes! You can check out their tips and story here.
How much do I save?
I run often, so I typically buy a new pair of outdoor running shoes every 4 months. I also keep a pair of indoor shoes (same style) for trips to the gym, treadmill runs and indoor home workouts (such as strength or HIIT training). This way, I am not tracking mud, dirt and grime from the outdoor runs into my house or into the gym. These shoes get a lot more use in the winter (go figure… its cold out = more indoor workouts), so I typically go through 1 to 2 pairs a year.
3 Pairs Outdoor Shoe + 2 Pairs Indoor Shoes = 5 Pairs/Year
List Price of my Shoe = $120/pair
My Deal Price = average of $52/pair
$120 x 5 = $600
$52 x 5 = $260
ANNUAL SAVINGS = $340
What to do with the old shoes?
Good question! There are a few options.
Decent shape? Goodwill may take running shoes if they are not too worn out (mine are typically too far gone for this option…).
If they are completely shot, then pitch ’em!
If they are still useful, I keep extra pair (or two… ok fine, I have 3 extra pairs right now) around for muddy walks and hikes, painting, or other messy projects.
I also will keep used shoes in my car as backups in case I forget my shoes or find myself in a shoe-appropriate situation I was not anticipating.
I have also heard of shoe recycle or donation programs, but like I mentioned, my shoes are typically too far gone for these options.
How about it… any other running shoe money saving tips for readers? Looking forward to your comments below!
Always an Adventure,
Mrs. Adventure Rich
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