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Best cheap running shoes: Save money with the best budget running shoes from £15


Grab a bargain with this guide to finding the best cheap running shoes available

One of the best things about running is that it’s relatively inexpensive. A pair of running shoes and some sporty clothes is all you need to start pounding the pavement in earnest. Even if you pay to enter the odd event and join a club, it’s still much cheaper than most other sports.

However, when the moment comes to buy a pair of running shoes, it doesn’t feel like a particularly cheap sport because high-end models often cost north of £150.

You don’t have to spend that kind of money, of course, but if you are looking to pick up some cheap running shoes, you need to be careful to ensure you are getting a quality pair that fulfil all your running requirements and don’t fall apart after 50 miles. On this page, you’ll find all the info you need to ensure you don’t come a cropper when hunting down a deal.

How to choose the best cheap running shoes for you

Should I buy cheap running shoes or just look for a good deal?

As most brands update their popular models every year, you can usually find deals on past editions of those shoes and often the differences are purely cosmetic. Similarly, if you shop during sale periods such as Black Friday, you can almost certainly find big savings on top-end shoes you like, and it’s always wise to stock up on a few pairs when possible. These are best options if you want top-quality running shoes without having to pay through the nose.

However, even with hefty reductions on flagship shoes, it’s still usually cheaper to opt for a budget running shoe. The problem with this approach is that quality is a lot more variable when buying cheap shoes, and you could end up out of pocket if they last half as long as a pricier pair.

How much should I spend?

If you wait for a deal on shoes that normally cost £120 to £150, you’ll usually be able to get them for £60 to £80 and sometimes you’ll find a truly excellent deal that sees a flagship shoe reduced to £50 or less. On the other hand, when it comes to budget shoes, you’ll always have several solid options for well below £50, with some costing as little as £20.

Do I need stability or neutral shoes?

Pop into any specialist running shop and you’ll likely be able to get gait analysis, where an expert observes your running form for free. Primarily, the specialist will look at how much your foot rolls inward when it hits the ground. “Overpronation”, where the foot rolls excessively inwards, can increase your risk of injury, so runners that overpronate are generally advised to buy stability shoes that gently guide your foot into a neutral position when they land. If your foot already lands in a neutral position when running, you should generally go for a neutral shoe, although heavy runners might welcome the extra support of a stability shoe.

All of the above is worth bearing in mind when picking shoes, but it’s also important to listen to your body and consider how the shoes feel. A good rule of thumb is that, if you like running in a shoe and find it comfortable, it’s not worth changing without good reason such as a recurring injury.

How long do running shoes last?

You can expect most running shoes to last you around 500 miles – unless you’re taking on especially rough terrain constantly. Some racing shoes will last a lot less, as will many budget options, and that’s why it can be smarter in the long term to find a deal on a premium shoe over saving the money in the short-term with a budget shoe.

You can judge whether a shoe is past its best by checking the sole and seeing if the grip has been substantially eroded, as well as looking out for the cushioning losing its bounce and starting to feel squishy than responsive while running. At this stage, you can still carry on running in it, of course, and many people eke nearer 800 miles out of a pair, but it’s not at its best in terms of performance.

One final note on durability is that it’s important to get the right size if you want a shoe to last. Using shoes that are slightly too small, in particular, can lead to the upper falling apart more quickly. Running shoes generally fit smaller than smart shoes and you want a good amount of room in the toe box for maximum comfort while running, so size up and read reviews to find out about the fit of a particular shoe because this can vary significantly, even within the same brand.

READ NEXT: Run further and faster with the best running shoes

The best cheap running shoes to buy

1. Adidas Solar Drive 19: Best cheap all-rounder running shoes

Price: £50 | Buy Men’s | Women’s from Adidas

If you can find yourself a cheap Adidas shoe that uses the company’s Boost foam, you’ve done well, because that foam is renowned for its durability and you can guarantee you’ll get many hundreds of miles out of the shoe before it needs replacing.

The Solar Drive is a shoe built for racking up a lot of miles in training, with the bouncy Boost midsole combining with some stability features to guide you through your footstrike. It’s not a full stability shoe, but that extra bit of structure just helps to ensure you’re not pronating at all when logging your daily runs.

While it’s not the speediest shoe out there, the spring in the Boost midsole does mean that the Solar Drive is a solid option for longer races as well as training runs. The shoe is currently being included in deals on a few websites, but the best one seems to be with Adidas itself, which has cut the price by 50%.

Key specs – Arch support: Neutral; Best used for: Training; Weight: 318g; Heel-to-toe offset: 10mm

Buy Men's from Adidas

Buy Women's from Adidas

2. Adidas Galaxy 4: Best cheap running shoes for beginners

Price: From £36 | Buy Men's | Women's now from Amazon

These plushy cushioned running shoes ensure a comfortable ride, with the Cloudfoam midsole being both bouncy and lightweight. Although the outsole rubber grips well and won’t erode quickly, the Galaxy 4 is not a shoe that will last long if you’re logging massive mileage. However, it’s an ideal pick for beginners going out for a couple of runs a week who want a comfortable, breathable shoe. The Galaxy 4 is also always available for £30 to £50, meaning you won’t have to wait for a deal to pick up a bargain.

Key specs – Arch support: Neutral; Best used for: Training; Weight: 284g; Heel-to-toe offset: 10mm

3. Puma Velocity Nitro: Best cheap marathon running shoe

Price: From £39 | Buy now from ASOS

The Puma Velocity Nitro has an RRP of £100 but frequently pops up in sales for less, and savvy shoppers will head to the somewhat unlikely destination of ASOS to find it for the lowest price right now.

Even if you have to pay full whack, the Velocity Nitro is an impressive bargain, offering a comfortable, durable and surprisingly bouncy ride. The shoe is a great option for marathoners looking for a cheap option to train and even race in, with the Velocity Nitro being lightweight and speedy enough to tackle your event.

The PumaGrip outsole is another strong feature of the shoe, providing reliable grip in all conditions on the road, and even coping with light trails as well. All in all, the Velocity Nitro was one of the most surprisingly impressive new shoes of the year, and it’s certainly a top option for bargain hunters.

Key specs – Terrain: Road; Arch support: Neutral; Best used for: Training; Weight: 276g (UK 9); Heel-to-toe offset: 10mm

Buy now from ASOS

4. New Balance FuelCell Prism: Best cheap stability running shoes

Price: From £66 | Buy now from Sports Shoes

Runners who overpronate and need a stability shoe sometimes miss out on the most exciting new developments in running. That’s often because brands focus on creating new soft, springy foams, which are great fun but not exactly what you want underfoot if seeking stability.

However, the FuelCell Prism bucks that trend, using New Balance’s delightfully bouncy FuelCell foam to create a fun and fast ride. To ensure the shoe doesn’t become unstable, New Balance has also placed a medial post in the midsole to counter overpronation and reduce the risk of injury.

The Prism has an RRP of £110 but, with the Prism v2 recently launched, the original version of the shoe is available in sales for a lot less, and there are a few different colours on offer at Sports Shoes, with both men’s and women’s styles discounted.

Key specs – Terrain: Road; Arch support: Stability; Best used for: Training; Weight: 244g; Heel-to-toe offset: 6mm

Buy now from Sports Shoes

5. Kalenji Run Cushion: Best shoes under £20

Price: £10 | Buy Men’s | Women's from Decathlon

If you’re a new runner, perhaps working through a Couch to 5k programme and not sure if the sport is for you yet, you might want to spend as little as possible on your first set of running shoes. In this case, you should check out the Kalenji Run Cushion, which are a snip at £15.

These aren’t shoes designed for a lot of running, so once you complete that Couch to 5K programme you might want to upgrade to a better pair. However, if you’re just heading out for short runs on pavement or the treadmill two to three times a week, the Run Cushion will work just fine, providing enough cushioning to protect your body from the impact of the sport.

Key specs – Arch support: Neutral; Best used for: Training; Weight: 235g; Heel-to-toe offset: 6mm

Buy Men's from Decathlon

Buy Women's from Decathlon

6. Reebok Floatride Energy 3: Best running shoe under £100

Price: £75 | Buy men’s | women’s from Reebok

When it comes to bang for buck, the Floatride Energy 3 is about as good as it gets, with the shoe having a low RRP of £75 and often appearing in sales for even less. The Floatride Energy 3 is loved by runners of all levels simply because it provides a very similar experience to shoes that cost twice the price or even more.

The Floatride Energy foam midsole isn’t exactly bouncy, but it is undeniably comfortable and the shoe is enjoyable to use for long runs. It’s also reasonably light and can handle faster running as well, and it will work as a training and racing option for runners on a budget. The outsole grips well in the wet and is durable enough to withstand many happy miles of running.

Key specs – Terrain: Road; Arch support: Neutral; Best used for: Training; Weight: 268g (UK 9); Heel-to-toe offset: 9mm

Buy men's from Reebok

Buy women's from reebok

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