Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
11 Oct

Overpriced Running Shoes: Guess Which Brands

If you’re forking over extra cash for the high-end exercise kicks, save your money. Researchers performed a series of extensive tests with runners and discovered that the cheapest shoes offered by three top brands (they’re keeping mum on which ones – for now) were not only just as good as the priciest shoes, some of them were actually better! There was no appreciable difference in cushioning, support, quality or comfort. Not even pro runners could figure out the sneaker difference in a blind test.

Three brands…let’s take a guess, shall we?

Further reading:

Aaron investigates: Maybe you don’t need running shoes, anyway

The Bees report: Coolest fitness gadgets ever!

Six-pack Sisson: Watch Mark’s barefoot beach sprints (well, almost barefoot)

(Photo from Kicks On Fire)

Subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple feeds

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’m of the cut throat marketing opinion that there is no such thing as an overpriced shoe. The shoes are usually priced at exactly what people will pay for them, running quality doesn’t enter the equation.

    Snooty wrote on October 11th, 2007
  2. I’ll take a wack at it, my guess is Nike, that’s what i wear and i know they’re expensive.

    Donna wrote on October 11th, 2007
  3. A podiatrist and my chiro. both told me that Nike is not a very good shoe. They just spend the most on advertising. My exercise shoes are asics. My chiro. told me asics are good shoes for a narrow foot and new balance is good for a wider foot.

    Crystal wrote on October 11th, 2007
  4. New Balance is too wide for me. I like slim Pumas and Stellas (an Adidas line). And I’m having fun with the Vibrams too.

    Sara wrote on October 11th, 2007
  5. I wish you’d have a counseling session with my wife who insists on having the highest priced New Balance shoes available. Back when I was doing 50-60 miles running a week, my favorite shoe was a $40 pair of Reebok’s (before this brand became a fashion item). My biggest gripe with the running shoe industry was not with their pricing strategy–it was their insistance on IMPROVING a perfectly good model (nee marketing) to where I no longer liked it.

    Dave C. wrote on October 11th, 2007
  6. I would like to know if any of you have been willing to pay the $260 for MBT walking shoes??? I’ve seen online, etc., where apparently lots and lots of people are buying these shoes, but I have a problem with paying that much money for shoes.

    julie wrote on October 11th, 2007
  7. Julie,

    MBT is a scam. Check our old post on it:

    Sara wrote on October 11th, 2007
  8. I definitely think this is true if you’re talking about companies that make all of their shoes in Asian sweatshops. They might slap a higher price on some models and claim they have better “features” but ultimately one sneaker coming out of a sweatshop isn’t going to be much different from another.

    On the other hand, from personal experience this isn’t true of New Balance. I’ve worn a bunch of different models of theirs and find absolutely that the higher priced, Made in the USA models are vastly superior to the cheaper, Made in China models. Comfort and build quality of the 991 is vastly superior to the cheaper models that they offer.

    Dave wrote on October 11th, 2007
  9. On the New Balance models you can literally *see* the amount of cushioning that each model has in the sole. And the amount of cushioning goes up as the prices go up pretty linearly. The cheaper models only have a small amount of the better cushioning under the ball and heel of the foot. That’s where you need it the most, of course, but you can really feel the difference when you put the cheap model on one foot and the expensive model on the other foot and go for a walk or run. I didn’t find much difference between the two upper tier models, but you really notice a difference when going up from the very bottom tier.

    The most important thing is to find the model that *fits* your foot perfectly.

    BillyHW wrote on October 11th, 2007
  10. I know someone who wears ONLY “New Balance 642” shoe. He Says that’s the most comfy shoe ever, and will stick with that. He’s trying to convert me over to New Balance, guess i’ll have to try on a few pair and see if i notice a big difference. I’ve worn Nike for so many years, but, i’ll try’em on and see for myself.

    I like to wear Nike Sportswear.

    I’d love to know, WHICH 3 brands are the most over priced running shoes?

    Donna wrote on October 12th, 2007
  11. I switched from Asics DS Trainers to Asics GT 2110s because the 2110s were less expensive. When the newer model came out (2120s) the shoes were changed radically enough that they hurt both my arches and my knees. After deciding it was the shoe that hurt me I tried several different shoes and wound up in a pair of $120 Asics Kayanos. I was not happy to spend $120 on a pair of shoes but at least these shoes are working for me. I am hoping that the next version of the less expensive 21xxs that comes out will remove the aggressive arch support that caused me problems.

    CJS wrote on October 12th, 2007
  12. Great post! I’ll probably blog something similar later. Buying Running Shoes

    Buying Running Shoes wrote on October 30th, 2007
  13. target shoes are the worst champion brand is wayy over price I spent 8$ on my shoes from target they were so expensive i am never spending more that 8$ again on shoes

    sndbv wrote on April 14th, 2013

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!