Why Expensive Shoes Are NOT The Answer

I got this panicky email this week:


At what point would you say running shoe price hikes stop adding functional value to the shoe and are purely about brand/fashion?

I.e. I assume a $20 shoe is probably going to be total garbage, but I also assume a $250 is mostly going to be overpriced from a purely functional standpoint.  I’m sure pro runners have very expensive shoes but I also assume that tiny bit of extra performance doesn’t matter for most people.

What is a good amount to spend for the recreational runner?


The absolute most important thing is comfort.  If a $50 pair of athletic shoes from Kohl’s feels good to run in they’re fine (though they’ll probably wear out more quickly than a brand name shoe).

For many years, I ran months in a $9 pair of shoes from Goodwill and they worked great.

However, there’s a caveat:

Even the best shoe (no matter the $$$) won’t fit right, if you have foot problems and/or crappy form.

Consider this…

Most people get a new pair of running shoes, and very quickly ramp up from fifteen-minute jogs to 5+ miles.  I believe this is the reason that most running injuries occur, because this rapid mileage increase is too much for the tendons/ligaments in your lower legs, leading to injury.

So instead of shelling out loads of cash on Brooks, Nike, Altras, etc.

The wiser investment is to start slowly and focus on the not-so-sexy fundamentals.

That’s what my book Endurance Secrets is all about.

It discusses at length how to establish a rock solid base.  A foundation that primes the body to best handle the rigors of training.  So no matter what’s on your feet (or lack of), you’ll be set up for success to be as fit and healthy as possible.

Better yet…

I’ll ship you a free copy when you subscribe to the “Runner’s High” newsletter.  More info at:



Barefoot Alex