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Are expensive running shoes worth it?

The world’s largest athletic footwear review website, RunRepeat, analysed 323,776 reviews of 336 shoes from 20 different brands.

Are expensive running shoes worth it?
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Running shoes have come a long way in the past 50 years. Or have they?

When Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon record in Vienna earlier this month, the attention swiftly moved away from the athlete and towards his footwear: a customised version of the Nike Vaporfly Next%. They include a carbon fibre midsole, something you might expect in a racing car. But certainly not a shoe. The Nike’s retail price is for around $400 and is being touted by the company as “a racing shoe that breaks record”. Given that they were worn by athletes who broke two world records this month (Brigid Kosgei won the Chicago Marathon in a record of 2:14:04) the shoes are now being investigated by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

So it was timely that RunRepeat decided to conduct its extensive research into expensive running shoes, which focused on the pricing, rating, and savings for shoes across the entire category as well as individual brands.

The data makes it clear that expensive workout shoes are not better than more affordable ones.  In fact, the inexpensive workout shoes are overall rated better than the more expensive workout shoe options.

Check out some of the key findings, as well as the most affordable and the most expensive training shoes on the market:

Key findings 

• The cheaper a shoe is the higher ratings and user satisfaction are.
• The top 10 most expensive workout shoes cost 183.05 per cent more and had a 2.3 per cent lower rating on average than the 10 cheapest workout shoes.
• The three worst workout shoe brands: Merrell, Vivobarefoot, The North Face.
• The three best workout shoe brands: NOBULL, Skechers, Jordan.
• The three cheapest workout shoe brands: Avia, Skechers, Ryka.
• The three most expensive workout shoe brands: Vivobarefoot, NOBULL, Inov-8.

Top 10 most affordable workout shoes:

1. Reebok Flexagon Energy
2. Avia Avi-Edge
3. Skechers Haniger - Casspi
4. Skechers Haniger
5. Avia Avi-Tangent
6. Avia Avi-Rival
7. Adidas Essential Fun 2.0
8. Adidas Essential Star 3
9. Avia Avi-Verge
10. Avia Avi-Solstice

Top 10 most expensive workout shoes:

1. Under Armour ArchiTech Futurist
2. Asics Gel Fit Vida
3. Vivobarefoot Motus
4. Vivobarefoot Motus II Mesh
5. Vibram FiveFingers V-Train
6. Vibram FiveFingers KMD EVO
7. Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit
8. Vivobarefoot Primus Trio II
9. Reebok Froning
10. Reebok CrossFit Nano Pump Fusion