9 Best Cheap Running Shoes in 2022

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
9 Best Cheap Running Shoes in 2022

Running can be cheap. Especially if you’re not chasing records or racing competitively. A cheap pair of running shoes might perfectly accompany you on your occasional runs along with casual walks and running errands.

We define running shoes as cheap if they cost less than $100.

Having put over 100 budget-friendly pairs through the wringer, we came up with the top picks in five different categories. Depending on what you find the most important in your running shoes, there are options that highlight style, cushioning, durability, or a little bit of everything.

How we test running shoes

Cheap doesn’t always mean bad.

Our team of experienced shoe fanatics has reviewed over 350 cheap running shoes to help you find the best deal. Our shoe testers and an independent RunRepeat lab scrutinize every new release, seeking out the underdogs among budget-friendly models. Here is our process:

  • We do multiple test runs in each pair, averaging 30-50 miles per shoe.
  • Measure 30+ different parameters in our lab, including flexibility, softness, breathability, etc. We even cut shoes into pieces to evaluate each component.
  • All shoes are purchased with our own funds to avoid bias.
  • Our system incorporates over 2.5 million ratings from shoe experts and regular users to keep the scores comprehensive.

As a result, every shoe gets a CoreScore, which reflects its performance across the board. It is a number from 0 to 100 which allows us to pick out the best running shoes under $100.

Best cheap running shoes overall

Asics Gel Contend 7
Asics Gel Contend 7
Top pick

Corescore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 24,149 users
100 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Fits true to size
  • Good heel lock
  • Stable
  • A fair amount of cushioning
  • Value for money
  • Durable, grippy outsole
  • Guidance line keeps the foot steady

Cons

  • Rubber outsole is squeaky
  • Not comfortable on longer runs
  • Inefficient arch support

Verdict

A budget shoe that’s loaded with high-end benefits, our feet felt premium comfort in the Asics Gel Contend 7! 

It’s marshmallowy soft and it’s impact-dampening, our feet did NOT feel beat-up even after a series of long pounding on the pavement! 

Even better, it doesn’t make its presence known because it’s so light. It felt like we had barely anything on our feet! 

The Contend may skimp on price, but it sure doesn’t when it comes to lockdown! It’s snug, and it wraps like a glove. It just contributed to the overall confidence-inspiring ride this shoe gave us. 

And if you’re a runner who wants one shoe for everything - running, jogs, aerobics, and walking - this shoe won’t fail you! It’s got all the support you need to get through your activities! 

Another reason why this shoe sits atop our list is that it’s plenty durable! Yes, you may think that cheap running shoes don’t really pack a lot of strength to last you miles. But this shoe will prove you wrong! 

50 miles in, we still don’t see any wear on the outsole. And we expect it to last 300-500 miles before we retire them in our closet. 

At $65, it couldn’t get better than this!

See our full review and facts
Nike Quest 4
Nike Quest 4
Also great

Corescore

75
Decent!
4.2 / 5 from 203 users
N/A

Pros

  • True to size
  • Wider than other Nikes
  • Breathable
  • Durable
  • Very affordable 
  • Grippy thanks to mini lugs
  • Sleek modern looks
  • Great, secure fit
  • Outstanding weight

Cons

  • Not a springy ride
  • Short runs only
See our full review and facts

Best cheap trail running shoes

Asics Gel Venture 8
Asics Gel Venture 8
Top pick

Corescore

80
Good!
4.5 / 5 from 49,005 users
N/A

Pros

  • True to size
  • Secure fit
  • Extremely durable
  • Grip on wet, muddy surfaces
  • Responsive
  • Very comfortable
  • Little to no break-in
  • Feels light and not bulky
  • Super affordable

Cons

  • Narrow toebox
  • Sweaty on hottest summer days

Verdict

For anything short to mid-distance, we wouldn’t consider any other shoe but the Asics Gel Venture 8! It’s everything that screams trail-ready! 

It won’t hurt the bank and it won’t hurt the feet! This shoe just had us swooning over its VERY comfortable cushion. And it’s got a lot too to keep the foot protected and free from impact pain. 

Not only does this shoe dampen impact but it also mutes the harsh elements on the trail. Even better, it smashes them! This shoe doesn’t hold back on energy return too. In fact, it’s got loads of it, it didn’t feel like a heavy trail beater at all. If anything, it made us run fast with a lot of fun! 

And to really test this shoe’s caliber, we took it out on a variety of terrain. And boy, did it surprise us! From gravel pedestrian trails to the more technical trails, this shoe just latched into everything! 

We’ve tested a lot of trail shoes, but the Venture 8 is nothing like a budget shoe. For us, it’s in the same league as the more expensive trailblazers! 

And wow, this shoe just takes the spotlight in the durability arena! After punishing it on the most unfriendly trail surfaces, it withstood everything fantastically! It’s a high-strength shoe we expect to last 400-450 miles. 

Like you, we think trail shoes are burly, but NOT the Asics Gel Venture 8! It’s got all the goods jam packed in a lightweight package! We never felt like it was weighing us down

See our full review and facts
Nike Air Max Torch 4
Nike Air Max Torch 4
Also great

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 23,534 users
87 / 100 from 8 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Well-cushioned
  • Snug fit
  • Durable
  • Very comfortable
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Stiff
  • Looks clunky and too bright
  • Not for technical terrain
  • Not breathable

Verdict

Okay, we admit, we didn’t really take Nike seriously in the trail running arena, but the Nike Air Max Torch 4 had us rethink our decision! 

But first, what’s cookin’ good lookin’? This is, by far, the most eye-catching trail shoe we have in our arsenal! But it goes BEYOND looks. It’s a serious performer on the trails! 

In our test runs, we took the shoe out on moderate to technical trails, and this shoe killed it with its highly grippy outsole! So much so we didn’t even consider jagged rocks and roots obstacles in our running. We just breezed through them! 

It’s got plenty of protection too! What we appreciated the most was the toe bumper. Even when we hit some hard ground objects, we didn’t feel any pain, let alone some bruising! 

And if you think all this comes at the expense of comfort, we’re here to tell you NAH. It doesn’t. That’s what’s great about this shoe, it’s got a lot of cushion to protect the feet and keep it nice and comfy! 

If there’s anything we don’t see ourselves picking the Nike Air Max Torch up for, it’s on muddy sections. It’s still got a long way to go to truly deliver that soft-surface bite!

See our full review and facts

Cheap running shoes with best style

Nike Revolution 5
Nike Revolution 5
Top pick

Corescore

87
Great!
4.6 / 5 from 324,707 users
80 / 100 from 7 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Secure ankle fit
  • Good for long walks 
  • Doubles as a gym shoe
  • Cheap
  • Clean minimalist design 
  • Great for beginners (<10 miles/week)

Cons

  • Stiff 
  • Short laces

Verdict

Nike is a killer in the style department, and the Nike Revolution 5 is the looker that didn’t dig deep into our pockets! It doesn’t have a lot of gimmicks, but it’s what makes it attractive and a certified eye candy! 

And for a $65 shoe, it’s got a lot of tricks up its sleeve! But what really won us over its unrivalled lockdown, especially in the heel area. It just cupped our heel nicely in place, so we can run with confidence on the road! 

It’s not cloud-like soft, but it’s also not as rigid as a brick. It’s a middle-ground, generating a stable and comfortable ride. 

And because of this, it’s easily our pick for both our daily runs and walks around town. 

The upper also flexes generously. This allows for easy entry and for us with wide feet, it’s an accommodating fit, adding to the shoe’s overall comfort! 

While it didn’t really serve a nice, fun ride, we didn’t want to punish it too much for something that it’s not designed to do. For such a meager price, the Nike Revolution 5 is truly a bang for the buck!

See our full review and facts
New Balance Fresh Foam Roav
New Balance Fresh Foam Roav
Also great

Corescore

83
Good!
4.6 / 5 from 156,022 users
70 / 100 from 4 experts

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Eye-catching design
  • Affordable
  • Great for the gym
  • Super comfy for walking
  • Good for standing all day

Cons

  • Better as a sneaker/gym shoe
  • Feels loose a bit

Verdict

The New Balance Fresh Foam Roav has its eyes set on comfort and style, and it would be a sin for us to disagree! 

Looks-wise, it’s unassuming and sleek, we would take it out anywhere and be confident that we’d have some head-turning moments. It’s that much of a stunner! 

And when it comes to performance, it’s just as good! Fresh from the box, our feet were enveloped in plush comfort. It was so cushy, we didn’t want to take it off! We just wanted to run in it. 

A succession of long runs after, our feet just felt fresh! And all the cush we got came in a featherlight package that didn’t drag us down. 

Even better, this shoe gives off a lot of spring that will make the ride fun and lively. And it sure did feel like it! 

Ultimately, if you want a daily trainer that’s sexy and on fleek, buy the New Balance Fresh Foam Roav! At $80, it’s the kind of sexy that won’t break the bank. 

See our full review and facts

Cheap running shoes with best cushioning

Asics Gel Excite 8
Asics Gel Excite 8
Top pick

Corescore

83
Good!
4.6 / 5 from 19,403 users
N/A

Pros

  • Fits true to size
  • Good cushioning
  • Breathable upper
  • Very consistent midsole
  • Reliable grip
  • Good heel lockdown

Cons

  • Could provide longer laces

Verdict

We were just as excited as our feet to lace up the Asics Gel Excite 8! And guess what? All the excitement we had was justified on the run! 

The Asics Gel Excite 8 is another budget-friendly running shoe in our arsenal. It’s been around for quite some time, and because of this, we had high hopes for it; hence, the excitement! 

It’s a neutral shoe that packs a lot of stability. Yep, that’s right! We’ve had our issues with bad knees, but this rascal gave us all the support we longed for to be pain-free in our daily runs. 

And of course it wouldn’t make its way to our top pick for best cushioned budget shoe if it didn’t steal our hearts with its midsole. It didn’t only WOW us in the stability arena, but it also impressed us with its ride. 

It’s not marshmallow-like soft, rather it’s a balanced ride. You get all the support you need while getting all the comfort and protection to last several miles on the road! 

And like a true Asics, the Gel Excite 8 is built like a tank! After a series of harsh wear testing, this shoe blew our minds because it remained bouncy (no packing out at all) and there’s little to no wear on the outsole!

See our full review and facts
Nike Downshifter 11
Nike Downshifter 11
Also great

Corescore

82
Good!
4.4 / 5 from 3,064 users
79 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Wider fit
  • Lightweight
  • Super durable outsole
  • Breathable
  • True to size
  • Insanely good value
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Great for every day and gym

Cons

  • Entry-level feel
  • Firm underfoot
See our full review and facts

Tips for finding shoes at cheap prices

finding-best-cheap-running-shoes.png

Here are some tips to help you find a good deal. 

  1. Browse online stores. Usually, they allow for shoes to be filtered by price or discount. 
  2. Browse online shoe databases. Much more comprehensive than regular online stores. RunRepeat database is updated on a daily basis and offers sorting by discount (from less than 30% to more than 70%) and the cheap filter. 
  3. Use “price drop” email alerts. Some shoes are worth waiting for, so why not get an email once their price drops. 
  4. Pay attention to older models, they tend to be discounted more often than new models. Especially if you’re offline shopping, smaller shops might have those models on sale.
  5. Exercise caution if buying on Black Friday. Turns out sneakers are cheaper on 66% of days throughout the year than they are on Black Friday. Worth keeping in mind when buying running shoes too.

Saucony Axon is a $100 version of the premium Endorphin line. It delivers a sense of the more expensive shoes for budget-friendly price.

What’s a good price for a running shoe? 

$110-130 will probably get you the most value for money. The premium price of $150-350 simply isn’t always worth it. When looking for a cheap running shoe, people tend to stay in the $60-80 range. 

Keep in mind that shoe prices are defined by: 

  1. Shoe features - e.g. rock plate, GTX membrane, maximum cushioning, innovative technologies (might work wonders for specific conditions, but also might not be needed for your every day running);
  2. Marketing - the bigger the campaigns - the more expensive shoes get;
  3. Timing - do you want the new shoe as soon as it’s available? Or even pre-order? The more you wait, the greater the chances to find that certain model discounted.

Cheap vs. expensive running shoes 

The line that separates inexpensive from expensive running shoes is the price: $100. It’s nothing official, but a wide-spread notion. 

What might support your decision to buy a cheaper pair of running shoes is our study on shoe prices. According to RunRepeat’s research on expensive and affordable running shoes people are 8% less satisfied with expensive running shoes.

brooks-hyperion-elite-2-heel-design.jpg

Brooks’ elite racer, the Hyperion Elite, was a big letdown for the fans. They booed this $250 pair for being too frail and heavy for its price.

Are expensive shoes better?

They are not. 

According to our study, the trendline on this graph surely backs this up. It shows that expensive running shoes get lower ratings:

price-vs-rating.png

Brands with the biggest % of cheap running shoes

To help your shoe hunt, this is the overview of the top 10 brands with the biggest % of cheap running shoes and their average MSRPs. 

cheap-models-by-brand.png

Here’s how those brands compare to each other when it comes to their average MSRPs.

cheap-shoes-prices-by-brand.png

To assist you with this search, we’ve created collections of cheap Reebok, Puma, and Skechers running shoes separately. Keep in mind that the overview was based on the initial retail price. This in no way means you won’t be able to get a more expensive shoe at a great price. Keep looking for discounts!

When you’ve nailed a great deal, make sure you keep in mind these few tips:

TIP #1. Shoes should be comfortable! (try them on before buying).

TIP #2. Shoes should satisfy your intentions (check the performance details or use our guide to buying running shoes).

TIP #3. Shoes should fit. If you’re having doubts about the size you need, use RunRepeat’s ultimate shoe size guide.

What are the cheapest cheap running shoes in 2022?

  1. Reebok Lite Plus 3 - from £16
  2. Nike Revolution 6 - from £22
  3. Adidas Runfalcon 2.0 - from £23
  4. Adidas Questar Flow NXT - from £24
  5. Adidas Duramo 10 - from £25
  6. Adidas Galaxy 5 - from £30
  7. Reebok Energen Plus - from £30
  8. Under Armour Charged Rogue 2.5 - from £33
  9. Adidas Fluidstreet - from £35
  10. Asics Jolt 3 - from £36
  11. Adidas Runfalcon 2.0 TR - from £37
  12. Reebok Energylux 3 - from £38
  13. Asics Patriot 12 - from £39
  14. Asics Trail Scout 2 - from £39
  15. Nike Renew Ride 2 - from £40

See all cheap running shoes sorted by lowest price

Author
Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic

Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.