For the past few weeks, anytime I run, I’ve had some nasty shin and knee pain. Babyface has been complaining about the same thing, so we resolved it was about time to order some new running shoes.
Experts generally recommend that you should replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles, and I’d have to say we were loooooong overdue for new pairs.
When I first started running, I scoffed at the idea of needing good shoes. But during my first few months of running, I had near constant (and severe) shin pain. I would wake up in the middle of the night from sharp pains running up my shins. I landed myself in physical therapy and the first thing my therapist recommended was a good pair of shoes.
But unfortunately, a good pair of running shoes can easily set you back between $100 and $200. And if you are running a lot, that 300-500 mile limit can go by in only a few months. So here are some tips to score great deals on running shoes.
1. Get fitted by a professional
This may seem counter-intuitive, but I tried four different pairs of running shoes before I finally broke down and got fitted at a running store. Four pairs of “cheap” shoes plus the costs of physical therapy? That adds up pretty quickly. If I would have simply gotten fitted in the first place, I would have saved a ton of money.
A lot of running websites will recommend going to a running store and go through their free fitting and just purchasing the shoes online, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that. Many of these running shops are locally owned and they are spending their valuable, professional time with you. The least I can do is spend the money and buy the shoes from them. Yes, it’ll be pricier than Amazon, but the folks at my running store spent over an hour helping me get fitted into the right shoe. I can’t imagine walking out of there without spending a dime.
2. shop around and find coupons
Now that you have found a pair of shoes that work (and are ready to buy your second pair), shop around! You’d be surprised at which online retailers offer the best deals. Google Product Search is one of my favorite tools on the internet. Type in the exact shoe you are looking for (ex. Saucony Progrid Omni 8), and then sort by price. I recently found a $140 pair of Keen boots for $99 by using Google Product Search. I was ready to buy them full price from Zappos and found them elsewhere on sale.
You know how much I love coupons! Make sure you search for coupon codes from any retailer you are looking to buy from. Just Google “(name of online retailer) coupon codes”. Those Keen boots? I found a coupon code for 10% off and free shipping. I ended up getting a $140 pair of boots for $89!
3. buy an older model
Many of the big name shoe brands issue their shoes in series. There are minimal differences from model to model. If you love your Saucony Progrid Omni 8s (like I do!) look into the Omni 7s. You might be able to find them on clearance! There is actually a Saucony Progrid Omni 9 out now, so I was able to get my shoes for nearly half the price they were when they were the newest model.
4. ignore the color
Oh, this one is so hard for me! But when searching for the right shoe at the right price, you have to put all color preferences aside. A red version of my shoes was $10 more and the pink (the ones I really wanted) were $60 more! Do I love the blue? No. But the blue, $59 ones are going to perform just as well as the pink $109 ones.
5. Stock up
Find a shoe you love at a great price? Jump on it! Buy two, three, four or more pairs and stash them away to tap into at 300-500 mile increments. Not only is this a great way to save money, but you’ll hear plenty of horror stories of a runner’s beloved shoe being discontinued.
It’s also pretty hard to ignore a running program when you have a few hundred dollars of shoes stacked up in your closet reminding you of your dedication to the road.
We ended up buying both pairs of shoes for the price we spent on just one pair the first time we bought them! Saving money makes me fast. I’m off to run on my new, blue (not so) suede shoes.