Running is often touted as one of the least expensive athletic activities. After all, you just need yourself and a good pair of shoes to participate. The thing is, if you’re on a budget those expensive shoe costs can really add up over time. Here are some tips to save on the sneaks:
- Check your (training) calendar. Before you buy new shoes, consider if you need them in the first place. I find I need a new pair every 5 months or so with my current mileage. Your sweet spot might be more or less, depending on your mileage. Also: Smelly sneaks? You can get that horrid odor out without sinking cash into a new pair. However, there are some tell-tale signs it’s time to break up with your running shoes. So, if you know it’s really over, progress to the rest of these tips.
- Buy old. No, not used shoes. But if you can get away with wearing an older version of a shoe – do it. In fact, there’ve been several times when I’ve preferred a previous version of a shoe over its flashier (and more expensive) counterpart. So, rather than head to the store, hunt around online and search for the tried and true version. I guarantee you’ll save a good percentage. If you see a particularly good sale, stock up.
- Hunt around. I never buy shoes at full price. Usually if I hunt around long enough, I can take advantage of a sale, loyalty coupons, or clearance specials. Occasionally these deals will require I sacrifice something, like the model or the look of the shoe. But I value function over form in this regard. Stores like Sierra Trading Post, 6pm.com, Running Warehouse, and Amazon are all good places to look. Join their social media sites to stay abreast of the best coupon codes and last-minute sales.
- Buy local. On the other hand, there’s something to be said to buying shoes locally. You can try them on and even jog around an indoor track or on a store’s treadmill before you buy. In a way, you might save money by buying a shoe you truly know feels good on your feet. Ask your associate if there are any upcoming sales or if new inventory is coming in (meaning last year’s models might see a price plunge). And also see if your membership to any community runners clubs, businesses, or education institutions garners additional savings.
- Make ’em last. You an extend the life of your running shoes in a few key ways. First, only wear them for running – not for mowing the lawn, walking through the mall, or completing other errands through town. If you stocked up on old model shoes, consider rotating them to extend their life, giving the cushions a chance to recuperate between workout and the insides some good drying time. Here are more tips for taking your shoes to the max.
What are your tips for saving big on this running essential?
Written by Ashley Marcin.