7 Best Cheap Sneakers in 2024

Jaydee on
7 Best Cheap Sneakers in 2024
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Gone are the days when sneaker fans had to spend lavishly to look up-to-date. Scoring a pair of dope sneakers without squandering is much easier than most think. This is why we’ve put together a user-friendly guide to help you pick the best sneakers on the market. 

We've admitted the task of wearing, testing, and dissecting cheap sneakers so you do not have to. We also owned up to assessing them and choosing which ones definitely aced our scrutinization. Look over our selection in this article.

How we test sneakers

  • To avoid biased feedback, we use our money to purchase these cheap sneakers. 
  • For authentic results, we subject them to a whole slew of tests and comparisons by wearing them indoors and outdoors in different real-life settings and activities.
  • We meticulously gather more information inside our independent lab. We do all sorts of testing such as breathability, flexibility, and stainproofability. In addition to that, we also bust the shoes open with a saw to bring light to all the technologies and elements included in each of them.

One characteristic we find an absolute must for cheap sneakers is durability. We test this feature with our Dremel test. Basically, we observe how much a sneaker gets damaged upon applying a drill with an attachment to its various parts, including the upper, outsole, and sock liner. 

Best cheap sneakers overall

New Balance 574

What makes it the best?

The New Balance originally retailed for $90 upon its most recent re-release, but you could get it for as low $50 (current average is $110) now if you get lucky. This cheap shoe captured our hearts through the immense stability that it provided. We were also amazed by how durable this sneaker was all over. The best cheap sneaker, hands down!

The stability and surefootedness that we enjoyed came from a number of factors. First was the twist resistant base. We squeezed and bent it in the lab using our hands, and it was quite a chore to do all those. The New Balance 574 was a 4 out of 5 when it came to torsional rigidity. We would also credit the moderately secure heel counter, which was given a 3 out of 5 rating for its stiffness.

Durability was definitely a strong point of this shoe. From the upper down to the sole, the materials were just so resistant to abrasion, even from an aggressive Dremel. We scored the toebox materials a 4 out of 5 for durability. The outsole, for its part, only got a 0.5 mm dent after our drilling. The typical outsole would have been damaged up to a millimeter deep.

Fans of plush cushions should stay away from this shoe, though. Our HA durometer gave it a rating of 44.0 when the average was only 30.9, making the outsole of the New Balance 574 42% firmer than usual.


  • Classic NB silhouette
  • Budget-friendly
  • Suitable for all-day wear
  • Real suede
  • Highly durable
  • Stable and supportive
  • Great for wide feet
  • Easy to style
  • Numerous color options


  • Lacks breathability
  • Stiff and firm platform
  • Tongue shifts a little
Full review of New Balance 574

Best cheap classic sneakers

Adidas Samba

What makes it the best?

The Adidas Samba has transcended time, evolving from a sporty football shoe in the 1950s to a timeless closet essential. Its enduring legacy is validated through our lab and wear tests, where its premium materials, minimalist design, and consistent traction shine. Remarkably, this icon comes at an accessible price of just $90, significantly below the $158 average for sneakers.

In the lab, we put the upper against our Dremel, butane torch, and metallic brush to test for its durability and authenticity. We’re pleased with the sneaker’s high quality for its affordable price, boasting high toebox durability of 4/5 and genuine leather and suede materials in the upper, except for a minimal white part on top of the collar.

Slipping into the Sambas provides a natural sensation, thanks to the lack of a foam midsole and its lightweight construction. With its low-to-the-ground design, it enhances surface sensitivity and stability, promoting balanced strides. Weighing in at 12.1 oz (342g), it's notably 14.1% lighter than the average. 

The soft gum rubber outsole and two-directional lugs kept us steady through all kinds of surfaces we tested. Adidas Samba honors its football roots by delivering unquestionable traction in our strolls.

However, the solid materials in the upper leave less room for airflow. We recommend sporting a different sneaker for those who prioritize breathability.


  • Clean and minimalist style
  • Unbelievably affordable
  • Real leather and suede
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Long-lasting construction
  • Lighter than average
  • Highly flexible build
  • Good grip for casual use


  • Poor breathability
  • Tongue slides to the side
  • Not for all-day wear
Full review of Adidas Samba

Best cheap leather sneakers

What makes it the best?

The Reebok Classic Leather was true to its name. Its upper was made of genuine leather, as ascertained by our fire test in the lab. But just because of leather–a premium material–did not really mean it would be pricey. For only $75 (ave $110), we already got to enjoy not only its leathery softness but also a nicely secure foot containment and considerable lightness. This was the best leather find in a sea of cheap sneaker offers.

The leather upper became softer through time, allowing it to conform much more sharply with the contours of our feet. Aside from improving fit, this also added to the containment that we felt. 

Speaking of containment, we felt quite supported and stable while wearing this shoe. We attributed the experience to the well-balanced flexibility of the shoe’s overall structure plus its torsional rigidity. In the lab, we learned that it needed 26.8N of force to bend at 90 degrees. The average sneaker required around 23.2N. After giving a good squeeze and bend in the lab, we concluded that this shoe’s torsional rigidity was quite high, earning a score of 4 out of 5.

It was a good thing that the shoe’s structural rigidity did not translate to a significant weight increase. Quite on the contrary, this shoe was actually lighter than average (14.04 oz or 398g). The Reebok Classic Leather weighed only 11.39 ounces or 323 grams.

Breathability was its waterloo, we have to admit. Being made of leather, the upper felt soft but pretty closed-off. The Classic Leather only got a 2 out of 5 in our breathability assessments.


  • Mighty plush
  • Great investment
  • Leader of the pack
  • Supportive
  • Aesthetically well-rounded
  • Enduring
  • Affordable


  • Downgraded upper
  • Dirt-magnet
Full review of Reebok Classic Leather

Best cheap lightweight sneakers

New Balance 327

What makes it the best?

The New Balance 327 was not only light, it also felt pretty minimal on our feet. We must note here that the light comfort that we enjoyed was never at the detriment of support and stability. Because it had a pretty wide platform, this sneaker was actually among the steadiest that we’ve ever worn. It was truly the best lightweight pick among all the cheap sneakers that we tried. The $90 (average is $110) that we paid for it was surely not put to waste, especially when we considered the fact that it was made of genuine suede as ascertained in our fire test.

Weighing only 10.62 ounces or 301 grams, the New Balance 327 was a lot lighter than the average sneaker which weighed 14.04 ounces or 398 grams. It was such a breeze to walk around given such lightness and comfort.

Besides being light, this sneaker also felt pretty minimal on the feet. Its tongue, for example, was a lot thinner than average. Our caliper measured the tongue to be only 2.0 mm thick when the average tongue could go as high as 8.7 mm. 

When it came to stability, we enjoyed a lot of it while wearing the New Balance 327. This was because it had a very wide platform. Our caliper measured it to be 119.5 mm wide at the forefoot when the average was only 108.9 mm. It was 90.6 mm wide at the heel when the average was only 83.4 mm.

Too bad this New Balance sneaker was not suitable for wide-footers at all. At its widest, the footbed was only 94.0 mm wide. The average measurement was 99.1 mm.


  • Fashionably sporty
  • Well-cushioned
  • Stable and planted platform
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Above average breathability
  • Superb grip
  • Suitable for driving
  • Budget-friendly


  • Relatively stiff
  • Fits a little tight
  • Not suitable for wide feet
Full review of New Balance 327

Best cheap basketball-inspired sneakers

Adidas Superstar

What makes it the best?

Despite its popularity and superstar status, the Adidas Superstar never felt out of reach. It was actually a cheap pick at only $90 when the average sneaker was priced at $110. Good thing this basketball-inspired sneaker was more than just its low price. It delivered a good deal of traction, amazing structural flexibility, and perfect heel clasp. We had all the reasons to believe that this sneaker was the best basketball-inspired pick among all the cheap kicks we tried.

The zigzag pattern etched in the outsole of the Superstar from Adidas did its job well. It was able to bite any surface that we walked in–be it concrete, hardwood, and rubber. We were able to stop on a dime as if we were actually on the court.

The shoe’s overall flexibility was amazing. We learned through our standard flex test that it only needed 13.8N of force to bend at a 90-degree angle. This was an impressive 41% lower than what the typical sneaker would need. The flexibility of the shoe allowed it to smoothly move with our feet, no matter how peculiar the angles had been.

Just because the shoe was flexible did not really mean that the heel counter was flimsy. Quite on the contrary, the heel counter of the Adidas Superstar was among the stiffest that we’d encountered. Giving it less than a perfect 5 for the stiffness and security of its clasp would be a huge injustice.

We were just a little bummed with the narrow platform. Our caliper measured it to be only 101.2 mm wide at the forefoot and 71.8 at the heel. The average numbers were 108.9 mm and 83.4 mm, respectively.


  • Iconic style
  • Great for all-day use
  • Generously padded and comfy
  • Nice and flexible
  • Sufficient arch support
  • Very durable toebox
  • Accommodating toebox
  • Lots of colorway options
  • Affordable


  • Needs breaking in
  • Average breathability at best
  • Not for rainy days
Full review of Adidas Superstar

Best cheap canvas sneakers

Vans Old Skool

What makes it the best?

The Vans Old Skool is a surprisingly cheap canvas sneaker that is a joy to wear. It retails at $60, which is nearly half the price of the average sneaker at $115. This price also makes it cheaper than 95% of the sneakers in our database.

After several days of testing it in our lab and on the streets, we found it to be a brilliant shoe. While its iconic and time-tested look is already a given, it's the sneaker’s breathability, quick break-in period, and price which led us to choose it as our best overall cheap sneaker.

After walking and skating with it on hot summer days, we noticed that its canvas was highly breathable. What we particularly enjoyed was the fact that the air flowed well from several directions, whereas modern sneakers often depend on mesh panels in key areas. We tested this further in our lab by performing our weatherproof test. When we poured water over its upper, the liquid seeped through the canvas, going into the shoe’s interior. While this shows that it cannot be used in wet conditions, it also demonstrates how breathable the sneaker is.

While it may be tempting to wear the Vans Old Skool everywhere, we warn that it isn’t able to handle stains well. We conducted a stain resistance test by applying both wet and dry marks on its upper to see how well they could be cleaned. While dry marks were removed well, wet stains proved to be very difficult to clean because they penetrated the canvas. Thus, we don’t recommend the Vans Old Skool if you want a sneaker that stays in pristine condition.


  • A classic silhouette deserving of any wardrobe
  • Easy to wear in
  • Super comfortable
  • Fits true to size
  • Incredibly breathable thanks to the all-canvas upper
  • Clean aesthetics
  • Very durable outsole
  • Brakes well on the board


  • Not very durable in comparison to other modern skate shoes
  • Collect stains easily
Full review of Vans Old Skool

Best cheap skate shoes

Adidas Busenitz

What makes it the best?

Setting side by side with the average price of all the low-top kicks in our database, Adidas Busenitz is 29% more affordable. But that is not even the squeaker! Despite its competitive price of $80, the things it offers are fascinating: water tightness, easy maintenance, and, most of all, sturdiness. 

We subjected Busenitz to casual use and skating, and we noticed that it could flawlessly handle wear and tear. Little did we know that this was the least it could handle. When we brought Busenitz inside our lab, we pressed a drill with a wire brush attachment to its upper. To our surprise, it came out without any damage, not even a scratch!

Another thing that shocked us was its ability to keep off water effectively. If not for the sneaker’s tongue, not even a bit of the water we poured would enter the Busenitz. When it comes to maintenance, we also discovered from our stain-proofing test that Busenitz is a breeze to clean, whether it is marked with wet or dry stains. 

Our only concern is that it took us a while before we broke into the Busenitz. We confirmed the sneaker’s stiffness when we tried to bend it using our bar clamp, and it didn’t flex much. If you share the same concern, we suggest picking up more flexible sneakers. 


  • Incredibly durable
  • Fits true to size
  • Grippy as anything
  • Technical shoe for responsive skating
  • Surprisingly weatherproof
  • Classic silhouette
  • Easy to clean


  • Takes a long time to break it
  • Narrow in the toe box
  • The big tongue isn't for everyone
  • Not very breathable
Full review of Adidas Busenitz
Jaydee dispels the myth that women can't be experts when it comes to sneakers. With hundreds of sneaker articles under her belt, she gained a surefire edge over others claiming to be experts. Since joining RunRepeat in 2017, she’s published formidable arrays of sneaker write-ups - some covered in lifestyle magazines. Interested in scrutinizing a pair of sneakers? Jaydee is the best person to talk to as she can intuitively chew it over with you even while doing her laundry. When she’s not writing, you can catch Jaydee playing with her two kids, online shopping, and spending far too much time on Instagram.