DO YOU SOMETIMES SUSPECT THAT you are paying too much for running shoes? An article, “Cheap vs Expensive Shoes: Does it Matter?” by Susan Lacke for Running,competitor.com addresses that question. The title is somewhat confusing though, as the body of the piece begins by discussing the difference between general-purpose athletic shoes and shoes especially designed for running.
“While any shoe can be used for any activity, it’s important to note that running shoes are crafted to function more resiliently than regular sporty kicks,” the article indicates.
True. But to me the cheap shoes are not general-purpose types, but older model shoes that can be purchased through online stores or in big-box stores. These retailers have the advantage of buying wholesale in such huge volumes that they can sell the shoes at lower prices to the masses. In specialty running stores some shoes might be discounted because they are last season’s models and a significant new update has just been issued and is on the shelves.
Usually stores don’t advertise these products as having the high-priced technology of the newest season debuts. Veteran runners who buy them may be replacing a tried-and-true pair they love and feel good about wearing season after season. They're not shopping for innovation.
Personally, I have turned to high-end, top-line shoes when 1) recovering from an injury, 2) in the process of experiencing difficulty running, and 3) doing so well in training that an extra edge seems like it will be worth the expense. To be truthful there’s only been one instance where I paid more for a pair of shoes because I thought my improved performance merited an upgrade.
But the article gets down to discussing this, and ultimately says that: it’s all a matter of individual preference. An expert provides his perspective, partly based based on a study, which suggests that the more that is paid for a shoe, the more is expected, and the less satisfaction is reported.
Earned Runs opinion: unless you are an elite runner, you’ll do fine in a lesser-priced specialty running shoe that fits well and provides the level of comfort and support that suits your training and competing regimen. Color and style preferences might best determine choice of shoes that are intended to be worn outside of training sessions. If top-performance is one your mind, spend more and go for the next evolution.
Enjoy shopping for new shoes, spring season is coming.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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