It's important you buy the right shoes for your preferred type of running, but there's no reason to spend a fortune on them. A recent study examined thousands of running shoe reviews and found that pricey pairs are generally rated worse than their affordable counterparts.
Photo: Flickr, nprpdx
The study, conducted by RunRepeat, looked at over 130,000 reviews of nearly 400 different pairs of running shoes. The reviews encompassed 24 different brands as well, including all the popular ones like Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Asics. [Caveat: plenty of US-centric brands are included which aren't readily avalable in Australia, although pretty much of all them can be purchased online.]
Here's what all that data suggested:
- The higher the list price, the lower ratings the running shoes get.
- The 10 most expensive running shoes are rated 8.1% worse than the 10 cheapest running shoes.
- Running specialist brands are rated 2.8% higher than running shoes from broad sports brands.
- The top three best rated brands are: #1 Skechers, #2 Saucony and #3 VibramFiveFingers, while the three worst rated are #22 New Balance, #23 Adidas and #24 Reebok. Adidas Group owns both Reebok and Adidas.
- The three most affordable brands are #1 Skechers, #2 Vivobarefoot and #3 Puma, while the three most expensive brands are #22 On, #23 Newton and #24 Hoka One One.
It's hard not to look at an expensive pair of running shoes and assume that they will do wonders for your feet, but you're probably just wasting money on brand names and new designs. There is, however, a chance that a little bias is coming into play here.
If you pay more for a pair of shoes, you might expect them to be better than a cheap pair. If they're not, you might rate them more harshly. That being said, it seems that being overly-satisfied with a reasonably priced, perfectly capable pair of shoes is better than being dissatisfied with a pair you spent $250 on. You can see more data at the link below.
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