The 9 Best Budget Running Shoes of 2021, According to a Running Coach

Affordable kicks to get you moving towards your fitness goals

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Our Top Picks
"Designed for female runners, the mesh upper ensures you won't overheat while the sockliner keeps your sweat in check."
"Affordable without sacrificing comfort, it's suitable for long periods of standing and road running thanks to the rubber outsole."
"For those who prefer lightweight footwear, this option features an abrasion-resistant outsole and neutral support."
"An ideal pick if you prefer a lot of cushioned support, it's also complete with a ventilated mesh upper and a performance insert."
"Perfect if you prefer hitting the road over treadmills, its rubber outsole and cushion tech keeps you equipped for the elements."
"In addition to a removable sockliner, it features impact-absorbing cushioning and an outsole tailored to managing trails."
Best for Long Distance Runs:
Adidas Supernova Running Shoes at Amazon
"Ideal for distance runners, it promises to prevent blisters and provide long-lasting comfort throughout the duration of your run."
"Those with flat fleet can find relief in this pick's shock absorbing, stride efficient features and its support for overpronation."
"Designed for hitting the pavement while staying lightweight, it's especially suitable for athletes with wider feet."

It can be tough to find well-made, high-quality running shoes that are also inexpensive. And most runners know that they’ll pay a price—either in discomfort or injuries—if they run in cheaply-made running shoes.

However, there are some solid deals on good running shoes to be found. There are quality options with many of the same features as popular, more expensive choices—but with a lower price tag.

Here are the best budget running shoes that will give you the most bang for your buck.

Best Overall for Women: Asics Gel-Excite 7 Running Shoe

Asics’ GEL-Excite 7 is a perfect fit for female runners looking for a comfortable, lightweight, and affordable running shoe. The combination of Asics’ signature GEL technology and its Amplifoam midsole cushioning provides a cushioned underfoot for plush comfort and a stronger rebound into your stride.

Even during long, hot runs, its fully engineered mesh upper delivers excellent airflow to help feet stay cool and dry. Available in a range of neutral or fun colors and multiple widths, they’re stylish and also work well as a casual, all-day wear shoe for leisure activities.

Best Overall for Men: Saucony Cohesion Road Running Shoe

Saucony Cohesion Road Running Shoe

A trusted and popular brand among runners, Saucony offers an affordable running shoe that rivals its more expensive options. The Cohesion is a great option for casual runners, marathoners, and anyone who needs a comfortable shoe when spending lots of time on their feet.

With a durable rubber outsole, this shoe can handle running on asphalt for many miles and promises not to weigh you down. Meanwhile, the light, breathable upper mesh keeps your feet dry and comfortable.

Even towards the end of a long run, its heel PowerGrid system provides a cushioned, stable ride. It's available in multiple color combinations to suit any style preference.

Best Lightweight: Brooks Anthem 3 Running Shoes

A high-quality, versatile shoe, the Brooks Anthem 3 has many of the same features as pricier choices from this popular brand. The BioMoGo DNA midsole provides just the right amount of softness while still allowing for natural forefoot movement. The blown rubber in the Anthem’s forefoot allows for an extra-springy toe-off, while the abrasion-resistant rubber throughout the outsole adds to the shoe’s durability.

Lightweight and breathable, it's ideal for neutral runners looking for a responsive shoe that feels comfortable from start to finish on their runs. Like other Brooks shoes, they come with a removable footbed, making it ideal for those who need more space to accommodate inserts.

With one width option and multiple classic color combos, it's sure to match any athleisure you're sporting.

Best Cushioned: New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3 Shoe

New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3 Shoe

If you’re looking for an affordable and well-cushioned pick for running, New Balance's Fresh Foam Arishi v3 running shoe is a solid choice. The shoes feature New Balance’s cutting-edge Fresh Foam cushioning for the ultimate comfort. Despite the ample cushioning, the shoes are still extremely lightweight, so you can wear them for miles without feeling weighed down.

These shoes come in many cool color combinations and are stylish enough to be worn even when you’re not working out. Available in multiple shades and medium or wide widths, they do run a bit small, so go up half a size for the best fit.

Best for Road Running: Saucony Versafoam Inferno Road Running Shoe

Another well-made shoe from Saucony, the Versafoam Inferno is an affordable option for neutral runners who log many miles on the road. They feature Versafoam cushioning for shock absorption and a durable, full rubber outsole for added protection and support.

The sleek, lightweight upper adapts to the unique shape of your foot, giving you a secure and custom fit. For comfort, performance, and style all wrapped up in one, the Versafoam Inferno provides excellent value for a neutral running shoe. Saucony offers multiple color options to choose from.

Best for Trail Running: Asics GEL-Venture 7 Women's Running Shoes

Asics GEL-Venture 7 Running Shoes

A running shoe that works well for road and trail running, the Asics GEL-Venture 7 is a superb option for those who enjoy both. Asics’ popular GEL cushioning helps absorb shock from impact and provides overall comfort, no matter your mileage. The reverse-traction lugs on the outsole give the shoe some additional cushion as well as great traction when running or walking on trails, even in wet weather.

The pair comes with a supportive sockliner, which can be removed if you want to wear orthotics, making it ideal for those with a history of foot pain. Additionally, the outsoles are reinforced in high-wear areas, which adds to their durability.

Whether or not you need more space in the toebox, you're sure to find the right fit among the medium or wide width options and multiple statement color combos.

Best for Long Distance Runs: Adidas Supernova Running Shoes

Distance runners need cushioning and support that holds up from their first to their last mile, which isn’t easy to find in an inexpensive running shoe. The Adidas Supernova gives runners the comfort and protection they need, all at an affordable price.

It's designed with flexible cushioning in the forefoot and responsive cushioning in the heel for a comfortable, smooth ride. The mesh upper allows for extra airflow and has no uncomfortable seams, keeping your feet dry and blister-free on lengthy runs. Pick from multiple color options.

Best for Flat Feet: Asics GT-1000 9 Running Shoes

Asics GT-1000 9 Running Shoes

If you have flat feet or you're prone to overpronation when you run, you need a stability shoe like this option from Asics. The GT-1000 9 running shoe gives you support and motion control at a lower price compared to other high-quality shoes.

Whether you wear them for running, walking, or other activities, they’re comfortable and supportive enough to keep you going for hours at a time. No matter the weather or the surface you're tackling, the durable rubber outsole gives you the right amount of traction.

They come in regular or wide widths, as well as in many different color combinations, so you can pick the one that best fits your size and style.

Best for Wide Feet: New Balance Women's 680v6 Running Shoes

New Balance 680v6

Runners with wide feet often have a hard time finding quality shoes at an affordable price, but quality bargains do exist. Known for their varied widths that accommodate wider feet, New Balance delivers with the 680v6 running shoe.

The shoe is lightweight and breathable, yet still sturdy, supportive, and durable. Whether you’re on your feet all day at work or you need comfy running shoes, you can’t go wrong with this pair, available in multiple color options and width sizes.

Final Verdict

With the features and performance of a higher-priced running shoe, Saucony's Cohesion running shoes are perfect for male runners who want an affordable, versatile, and lightweight shoe. For female runners, the Asics GEL-Excite 7 is a well-designed option that provides extreme comfort for both exercise and casual wear.

What to Look for in a Budget Running Shoes

Running Style

Determining your foot type and running style is key to making sure you get the right running shoes. Most running shoe brands offer specific shoes for overpronating, supinating, and neutral runners. You can do your own basic gait foot analysis by looking at shoe wear patterns or visiting a specialty running store for a running form evaluation.

Fit

Ideally, the shoe should fit comfortably right out of the box and not require a break-in period. You should have enough room in the toebox to wiggle your toes, and your heel should feel secure. If you have narrow or wide feet, look for brands like New Balance, Asics, and Brooks, that offer a diverse range of widths. 

Price

In addition to looking for bargains, such as those included in this list, there are other ways to save on high-quality running shoes. Older models of running shoes often have many of the same features as newer ones, with a lower price tag. If a new model of your favorite running shoe comes out, stock up on the older, discounted model.

Some colors and patterns may also be less expensive than others, so it’s worth price-checking the different options if you’re not particular about the shoe’s appearance. Another tip for women with small feet is to browse the boys’ version of their favorite running shoe, which may be very similar but less expensive.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a running coach, personal trainer, and avid runner, Christine Luff has researched and tested countless running shoes. While it’s fun to look for deals on running shoes, she recommends researching the right shoes before just heading for the clearance rack at your favorite store.

 

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