Running is pretty darn expensive for a cheap sport. In theory, all you need is a pair of shoes, but somehow, you’ll inevitably find yourself spending a ton of money on a lot of gear. (And even the shoes seem to get pricier every season.)
Recently a redditor asked: “What’s the biggest waste of money you’ve spent on something running related?” Here are the most popular answers.
Shoes that don’t work for you
“Every pair of Hokas I’ve ever owned,” one runner answered. Hoka shoes were generally a popular response, but there was also plenty of griping about other brands, like Nike and New Balance. Avoiding regret is not as simple as avoiding specific brands, though: Other redditors said they loved their Hokas.
If we can take a lesson from this, I think it’s to trust your gut on which shoes work for you. The best advice I ever got about shoes was during marathon training. Our group’s coach told all of us to go out and replace our beat-up shoes, but only by buying the exact same model we were already wearing. When you find something that works for you, stick with it. And if you must try something new, buy it from a place that will let you return it even if you’ve taken it for a few runs.
Registration fees for a race you won’t run (or that you don’t really want to run)
“Every race I registered for in 2020” made the list, thanks to pandemic cancellations, as did other races not run or not finished for personal or injury-related reasons. One runner signed up for a marathon but then added too many practice races during their training. Several noted the expense of travelling to destination races wasn’t worth it. And one runner finished their first ultramarathon, a 30-miler, but regretted the choice since they felt so burned out afterward.
We can’t predict pandemics or injuries, but we can pay attention to what we’re signing up for. We can consider how much we really want to run a given race, and whether we’re able to afford and likely to enjoy any travel that might be involved.
Gear to solve problems that don’t need to be solved
Do you really need a foot pod to corroborate your treadmill readings or to provide extra metrics on your running? Several redditors learned the hard way that they do not. The same was said of phone armbands, hydration belts, and more — like a pair of shorts bought by a person who realised they only like running in leggings. One runner summed it up: “more running gear than I actually need or wear.”
That one thing everybody says is so great
There’s been a lot of buzz about “super shoes,” the models that supposedly return force to your feet as you run, potentially shaving minutes off your time. But they are expensive (up to $US300 ($416) a pair), wear out quickly, feel uncomfortable according to some redditors, and may not actually provide much of a boost to the average runner.
Other trendy items made the list: somebody got a Theragun and hated it. Another purchased a magnetic system to attach their numbered bib on race day, but ended up going back to plain old safety pins. Yet others bought clothes from popular brands like Lululemon but found they just didn’t live up to the hype.
Futile attempts to protect oneself from the elements
“£55 on a waterproof jacket/mobile sauna,” said one runner to whom I deeply relate. I bought a rain jacket as part of a team order once, and found that it was barely waterproof at all, so when the next group order went in and the jacket looked like it was going to be more waterproof, I bought that one too. The second jacket can be exactly described as a mobile sauna. I got just as wet as I would without the jacket, except that the moisture was all coming from my own sweat. (Ew.)
Meanwhile, one Vancouver runner bought a pair of “breathable, waterproof” socks that turned out to not do their job, either. By contrast, they said, “It doesn’t cost anything to accept running in the rain.”
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