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UK Sports Podiatry

Cheap Vs. Costly Running Shoes

Open up a running magazine or view a running blog and you will come across the mantra or warning against the perils of cheap running shoe but is spending over £100  or even £200 on a pair of running shoes worth it?

All purpose trainers are often cheaper than specific running shoes but they may not be able to cope with the riggers of running so the treads can wear down quicker and the uppers can become damaged much earlier then a running shoe. Running shoes are generally designed to be more resilient then a regular trainer. The materials used, especially in some of the supported running shoes (which is a blog post on its own!) can be constructed of superior quality materials.

Shoes specific to running have a precise construction, designed to hold the foot, encourage forward motion, and maintain comfort. Running shoe technology is continually evolving, fueled by a distinct body of research that looks to create faster, healthier, and happier runners. All-purpose athletic shoes, on the other hand, haven’t changed much over the years.

That doesn’t mean that pricier running shoes are always better. New technology is nice, but many runners prefer to stick with what they already know works for them. Because tried-and-true shoe styles from established brands sell well, more of them are produced, thereby driving down the cost.

At the end of the day, however, it comes down to individual preference. Some runners are willing to pay a higher price for a particular feature, be it energy-returning foam or a stiffer heel counter. Others swear by a shoe’s capacity for injury prevention or faster splits, making a high-priced shoe well worth the cost. Shoes are as individual as the runner wearing them – a new runner should try on a variety of styles at a variety of price points, rather than simply assuming more money automatically equals a better shoe.