Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Running Shoes Are Expensive

Everyone always says, and I've said it myself too-- Running is so low-maintenance, all you need is shoes and a sidewalk!

This is true-ish.  Yes, you don't need equipment, but I still manage to spend a ton of money on running stuff every year.  Every time I buy something, I think Ok, I've got all the running shirts I need, I'm set!  That never seems to be the case, plus, sometimes you just want new things.

In the case of running shoes, it's not as much of a want as it is a need.  I replace my shoes about every six months or so.  I mark when I start a new pair of shoes in my training log, and then eventually when they break down, I can just feel it.  My calves get really tight, running overall is just harder, and then I check my log and sure enough, the shoes are done for. 

So, two pairs of $100 shoes every year obviously adds up, moneywise and having tons of shoes in your house-wise.  Digression: My dad saved all of his old running shoes.  He would tie the laces together and throw them over the beams in the unfinished garage ceiling.  It looked like some kind of bizarre shoe forest, and I never knew that it wasn't normal until I asked a friend where all her dads old running shoes were and she looked at me like I was bonkers.
I couldn't find a picture online--perhaps my dad is the only one who did/does this?
I don't keep my old shoes--except my most-recent old pair (just in case), but I do hoard new shoes.  The way that I've found to get around going broke buying running shoes is by strategically hoarding and knowing when to buy.

For instance, I wear Nike + Moto shoes, I have for about seven years now.  I don't particularly like Nike as a company, but I tested a few shoes before settling on these, and they have worked well for me over the years.  One of the things that's annoying about Nike, is that they discontinue shoes every year.  Even if shoes are wildly popular, they change then annually, kind of like a car.  I started wearing the Moto + 4 and now I'm on the Moto + 8.  However, at least with Nike, you can use their fickleness (and the fact that they're trying to dupe you into buying new shoes all the time) to your advantage.
My current kicks

Every couple years, I wait for the new Nike + Moto shoes to come out.  When that happens, I buy as many pairs of the older model as I can find.  These are usually discounted by at least 30%, and sometimes I've found them for up to 50% off.  I buy as many as I can find, and then I have a shoe stash for the next few years.

Doing it this way also eliminates the Oh my god, my shoes are breaking down and I need to find a new pair because the ones that I love are discontinued but I have a race coming up! Panic.  That is truly the worst feeling in the world, and before I started shoe-hoarding, I went through it a lot.

The downside to this is that you never really try anything new.  There are tons of shoes out there that I'd like to try, but I just can't justify spending the money when my shoe needs are already met.  Other running bloggers rave about Brooks and Mizuno, but I just don't want to take the chance.

Admittedly, I have never gone to a running store and been properly fitted, but trial and error count for something, and I've got a pretty good system.


  1. My feet are too fat for brooks but I have been hoarding Mizunos lately because I'm in love with the gold waverider 15s haha.

    Its sad how much $$$ a year I spend on running shoes, but at least I stopped buying heels haha.

  2. Oops, deleted the first comment! I swear by my Asics Gt-2000 series shoe. I don't rack up quite the mileage you do, so I only need a new pair every 10 months or so making it less expensive. I'm lazy and just go in with my old ones and tell them I need another pair of same (or the newest version). Happily this was new shoe week!