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The Best Affordable Running Shoes Under $100
By Bach Pham, Content Manager

There is an age old saying that the best thing about running is that you just need a pair of shoes. Well, the reality is that running shoes are expensive. That's just a fact no matter where you are.
Especially as you get more and more into mileage, the cost of shoes and rotating shoes is starts adding up fast. There are a lot of ways to help navigate this though, and in this guide we offer a few strategies and get into some of the best finds available now.

Tips for Finding the Best Price

In today's market, there are kind of two/three levels of price points for running shoes. Quality running shoes typically start around $110 and quickly skyrocket. There is then a new upper echelon of running shoes that are either highly cushioned and built or built for racing which starts around $160 and goes as high as $275.

There is then a whole layer of new shoes priced $100 and below, which starts getting tricky as the options become harder to parse. For the most part, shoes we review tend to be in the $100+ end as they are more well-built for higher mileage running. Most generic shoes under $100 lack a lot of comfort for racking up miles. While these generic shoes may work for getting started, eventually it is worth exploring a higher quality footwear to help you on your running journey as you go further and further.

There are a few tips we usually provide for finding a quality running shoe at a good price point. The first is to look for last year's models. When a new model releases, typically you can find excellent deals on the previous model. This is a great way to get started compared to buying models that are under $100, but typically lower quality. While in recent years shoes have gotten more and more exciting by the season, last year's models are both proven and plenty of fun for a new runner to get started with.

Doing some research to learn about the various models will also let you go a long way towards looking out for deals. Aim for shoes that are originally between $100-150 initially for deep discounts as well. Daily trainers like the Nike Pegasus, Saucony Ride, and others are often good places to start with and explore as the discounts can run fairly deep.

If you have a good local run store, also get to know them and see if they have annual sales! Stores have to clear inventory annually and when they do it's an amazing way to find deals on shoes you would not be able to get for the price anywhere else.

Finally, be on the lookout during holiday season. It's a great time to find super deals and save up.

Are you a Medical, Military, or First-Responder?
Asics has a 50% off program for those in these fields. It's a massive discount on new shoes that you should learn more about. Find the program here. 

Are you a Sports Medicine Professional?

Brooks has a 40% off program for those in the field. Find the program here. 

The following recommendations are from a variety of websites. This includes links to our friends at Running Warehouse, which are affiliate links that help support Doctors of Running. The remaining links are non-affiliate links.

Best Budget Running Shoe Picks:
July 2024

Daily Trainers (Neutral)
(Shoes for Everyday Mileage at Easy to Moderate Paces)

The Brooks Hyperion Max is a lightweight, rockered performance trainer that is equally comfortable at easy and uptempo paces. The nitrogen-infused DNA FLASH midsole provides ample underfoot protection while retaining a snappy and responsive ride. The rearfoot and forefoot rockers, which Brooks calls Rapid Roll technology, contribute to smooth transitions without forcing motion. I have been asking the shoe universe to send me a replacement for my beloved, discontinued New Balance Beacon, and this shoe may help fill the void. The Hyperion Max is a great option for runners looking for a lightweight trainer that can handle uptempo paces and easy miles.

Adidas Supernova Rise | Review

The Adidas Supernova Rise is a neutral daily training shoe featuring a PEBA-based midsole and a brand new design from Adidas. Equipped with what adidas calls their new Dreamstrike midsole, the ride is well cushioned and moderately bouncy in the heel while highly rockered forefoot rolls you forward. A slightly snug upper that breaks provides a normal to slightly snug fit with additional security from a strong toe guard. The design is clearly inspired by Adidas' performance line as this shoe features high-quality elements, greatly improved weight (the lightest Adidas training shoe in a while) and a ride that can handle daily training and some faster efforts. The Supernova Rise is best for those who want a comfortable, controlled bouncy shoe for daily miles and uptempo efforts from Adidas that is FINALLY lighter.

Brooks Hyperion | Review

Brooks has become unique in being one of the few companies that continue to provide a wealth of low-to-moderate stack options in today's high stacked market. The Hyperion is the performance training offering for the brand, providing a lightweight, nimble shoe that can do a little bit of everything. It's also non-plated, keeping the racing flat tradition alive for those who prefer a non-super shoe, neutral option.

Mizuno Wave Rider 27 | Review

The Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is a pleasant update to the 26. The shoe makes some tweaks to the upper and lacing design which provide a more locked down experience. The upper is from 90% recycled materials and the wave plate is plant based. The shoe is still the high drop training shoe, but transitions smoother through the heel.

Saucony Ride 16
| Review

The Saucony Ride 16 is a lighter, versatile daily training shoe that returns with some mild refinements that continue to push this series forward. A normal-width fit is paired with a comfortable and secure upper. A new PWRRUN+ insole adds a little more bounce to the moderately rockered and smooth ride. Coming in at under 9 oz for a men's size 9, the Ride 16 doubles as a mileage shoe and uptempo/workout shoe. This neutral versatile daily workhorse is an excellent choice for runner looking for a shoe that can handle many efforts while still hammering away at miles.

Brooks Revel 6 | Review

The Brooks Revel 6 is a neutral daily trainer that, along with the Launch series, has long been a solid daily training budget option in the Brooks line at the $100 level. Featuring an "energizing," springy midsole, it is a shoe that performs nicely a daily efforts and has a little capacity to pick up the pace as well. Best for newer runners looking for a classic training option with no frills and a well-fitting upper, the Revel 6 remains a popular choice that's both easy on the wallet and easy to find.

The HOKA Rincon 3 is a no frills lightweight trainer that is an interesting crossroads of maximalist design while still maintaining some ground feel. The third version brings a more breathable upper, slightly increased rubber outsole coverage, a drop in weight, and some changes in outsole design that has an impact on heel stability and effective heel to toe offset. The Rincon sits on the firmer end of the HOKA line and stays out of the way when different runs and conditions are thrown at it.

Daily Trainers (Stability)
(Shoes with some form of stability. See our Stability Guide to learn more)

Saucony Guide 16 | Review

The now surprisingly nimble Saucony Guide series returns with mild refinements that continue to to progress it forwards in performance and comfort. A refined upper provides a little more room while still providing a secure and comfortable fit for those with narrow to normal-width feet. A new PWRRUN+ insole provides a softer and slightly bouncier ride compared to the previous model. The Hollow Tech support frame continues to provide a moderate level medial support along with several other guidance based approaches. The Saucony Guide 16 continues as a comfortable stability daily trainer that runs on the lighter end while providing consistent and well-integrated new-age support.

New Balance 860v13
| Review

The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v13 is a moderate stability daily trainer for those who want a wider fitting, rockered, sturdy shoe for easy miles. A softer Fresh Foam X midsole sits underfoot, providing balanced cushioning from heel to toe. Well-designed sidewalls and an integrated medial post provide integrated and non-obtrusive stability. A wider fitting, but secure upper sits up top, providing room for those who either want a wider fit or have wider feet. The 860v13 maintains a similar weight that keeps it mostly for easy mileage, but the updated midsole and stability improve comfort in the long run.

Asics Kayano 30
| Review

The ASICS Kayano 30 is a radically different take on this long-standing series. Appearing to be highly inspired by the designs of the Kayano Lite, the new version is a maximal stack height stability shoe that integrates stability with current concepts on guidance. The wide platform provides a large amount of inherent stability, while sidewalls, internal geometry and a solid lockdown provide a centered ride that comfortably guides you forward. The new plush upper holds you comfortably without being overbearing while still having a high amount of hidden structure. The midsole softens slightly and makes a green move with the Eco version of Flytefoam Blast. While moving in a different direction, the ASICS Gel-Kayano 30 is still a high level stability shoe but moves into the maximal realm while a great focus on being centered. Those who still need medial stability will do fine here but with the goal being centered, this may work for a large range of runners due to additional lateral stability as well.

On Cloudflyer 4 | Review
Deal: $94.88 at Running Warehouse
Shop Men | Shop Women

The On Cloudflyer 4 is a mild stability daily training shoe for those that want a little thicker upper and a firm rolling ride. The upper is plush with a thicker knitted liner that makes for a lower volume fit in the forefoot with a secure and slightly snug fit elsewhere. The ride is extremely firm and strongly rockered, which combined the weight makes it better for slower efforts and walking. With a combination of newer and older of stability, the On Cloudflyer is a more traditional On design for those who want to feel grounded and roll along.

 Performance Trainers and Racing Shoes
(Shoes for Uptempo Running, May Be Used for Daily in Some Cases)

Hoka Mach 5 | Review
Deal: $97.88 at Running Warehouse
Shop Women

The HOKA Mach 5 is a performance trainer that can do a little bit of everything. The shoe is incredibly light for the category and provides a fun and balanced ride throughout. The Profly+ midsole gets a little stiffer as you transition through the forefoot providing a responsive toe off. The ride throughout is rockered and feels a touch softer thanks to the rubberized EVA outsole. The traction is not the greatest underfoot but does okay in a decent variety of conditions. Much of the DNA from the 4 is carried over to the 5 and those that enjoy the Mach line will continue to be happy.

Asics Hyper Speed 2 | Review
Deal: $59.88 at Running Warehouse
 The ASICS Hyper Speed 2 is a (rare) traditional racing flat for those who want a light, lower stack height, flexible shoe for faster efforts. The upper is slightly snug and secure but has decent room throughout for this shoe type. The ride underfoot is obviously on the firmer side, but is well cushioned for how low stack this shoe is. The sole is flexible but snappy and light at 6.7 oz (men's size 9). This makes the ASICS Hyper Speed 2 a great option for those who want a non-plated, non-super foam racing shoe for 5k/10k racing and shorter workouts.

Trail Shoes

(Shoes for tackling a variety of terrain)

The Saucony Peregrine 13 and 13 ST are lightweight trail shoes for everything from easy runs to races. Coming in at the lightest of all prior versions, the Peregrine 13 features a slight increase in stack height for more underfoot cushioning. Despite this, the Peregrine series continues to provide a slightly firmer ride that can handle pace changes and moderate mileage. The fit is slightly snug with a full-length, secure performance fit. The lower drop continues, so those with good ankle mobility and calf strength wanting a light and nimble trail shoe that provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces should definitely check out the Saucony Peregrine 13 series.

The Brooks Divide 4 is an update to this entry-level, moderate to lower stack height road/trail hybrid shoe. Continuing to run a little lower to the ground, the ride softens just slightly from the previous version but continues to be snappy when you want it to be. The fit is normal and secure, snugging up slightly from the prior version but still providing a little room for foot swelling. A slight, unnoticeable gain in weight has transpired, but that does nothing to stop the Divide 4 from still being a high performer for the new runner or those who want a simple, relatively light trail shoe for a variety of surfaces.

Saucony Blaze TR | Review
Deal: $100 at Saucony
Shop Men
| Shop Women

The Saucony Blaze TR is a budget-performance trail shoe for those who want a lighter, high-stack option at a great price ($100). The durable upper mesh provides a slightly snug fit that locks down well for those needing to feel secure over a variety of terrain. The midsole is full-length PWRRUN, providing a firmer but grounded ride despite the higher stack height. The Blaze TR is a great option for those who want a budget option to try trail running or others who want a second uptempo option for softer surfaces.

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Thanks for reading!

More Guides from Doctors of Running
Beginner's Guide to Running Shoes: Are you a brand new runner and unsure where to start? Visit this guide first to get started.
Stability Shoe Resource Page:
Our comprehensive guide to stability shoes and alternatives for neutral runners as well
Carbon Fiber Plated Shoes Resource Page:
Want to go as fast as possible for race day? Visit this page for all of our super shoe reviews
Guide to Walking Shoes:
Featuring some science behind walking and the best running shoes for walking based on our everyday testing and clinical experience working with patients.
Getting the Right Fit:
Unsure if your shoe fits? Visit this page to help you determine how to find the right shoe for your feet. Comfort is one of the most important things we emphasize at Doctors of Running before you get out the door and on the road. Sometimes the right shoe for you is not what works for many others. That is why it is important to try different shoes when you can to get a better understanding of works best for your needs.
Beginner's Guide to Nutrition/Hydration:
Guest writer Jennifer Giles (Registered Dietitan/Nutritionist) helps bring a new guide for fueling to Doctors of Running as part of our summer hydration series.

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