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The market for running shoes isn’t always easy to navigate. It’s common to come across $250 runners that promise (and, to their credit, deliver) faster times. But for the average runner, that’s more shoe than you’d ever need.
Thankfully, there are plenty of affordable options — and I’ve spent more than two decades exploring what exactly makes a “cheap” running shoe. During those 20-plus years, I’ve tried just about every type of shoe for every type of run. Marathons, weekend trail runs, around-the-block sprints, you name it.
Below are five of our favorites from brands like Hoka, Brooks, and New Balance. I’ve also included tips on how to shop for cheap running shoes, as well as insight into how I tested everything, at the end of this guide.