Who has two fingers and is obsessed with running sneakers?
THIS GAL. Fair warning – this post includes a lot of data about running shoes. For the running nerds out there (such as myself), I think you’ll find it interesting, but if this is already sounding boring, THEN I GIVE YOU FULL PERMISSION TO SKIP THIS POST. No hard feelings.
Now that I’ve given full disclosure, let’s talk shoes. I’m always pumped to get new running sneakers. But since I’ve become more serious about running, I also get a little bit stressed when it comes time to get a new pair. Running sneakers can be pretty pricey these days and sometimes, you just can’t tell how a running shoe is going to feel before you get some miles in them.
That’s where the website RunRepeat.com can be a serious lifesaver (or a huge time-suck if you enjoy reading reviews of running shoes). RunRepeat pulls reviews of running sneakers from all over the web, gives them a ranking, and sorts them all – by brand, similar designs, best/worst rating – you name it! One of my most popular posts is my review of my FANTASTIC Asics Gel Electro33’s, because my review is linked through their website (I’m listed as an expert review, NBD. 😉 See it here!)
The website has compiled a TON of data on running shoes, and it’s actually pretty fascinating! Recently, the founder of the website reached out to me to share the findings from comparing 134,867 reviews of 391 running shoes from 24 brands.
Basically, what this chart shows is that price is not necessarily associated with quality/customer satisfaction when it comes to running sneakers (No, that does not mean you should start training for a marathon wearing a $20 pair of sneakers you bought at Payless – DO NOT DO THAT!!) In fact, the less expensive brands they studied tended to have better satisfaction ratings. One of the findings I found the most interesting was that “Running shoes from running specialist brands are rated 2.8% higher than running shoes from broad sports brands (Nike, Adidas etc.)”
This didn’t really surprise me. Remember when I shared the data on the shoes most runners wore for the Boston Marathon? Well here it is again.
Adidas (despite being the headlining sponsor of the Boston Marathon) represented less than 10% of runners and Nike was even less than that. Now, take a look at this chart which shows price and rating.
Frankly, I was very surprised to see Skechers at the top of the list, as I don’t really see that as being a popular shoe brand for runners. But I think that’s exactly the answer– Skechers only has 5 models reviewed and rated on RunRepeat.com, and for all but one of those models, there are less than a thousand reviews. Compare that with Asics, who has at least 53 different models reviewed, with far more reviews per model on average. Frankly, I think there’s probably just not enough data on Skechers to truly compare it to some of the other brands.
It’s kind of interesting data, right?!
Like any study, I would take these findings with a grain of salt. Basically, the takeaway (as I see it), is that you don’t need to be spending $120+ on a pair of running sneakers for them to be good quality. You should also be weary of sneakers that are from a broader athletic wear line, like Nike. They churn out A LOT of different merchandise, and may not specialize enough to really focus on designing an awesome running shoe.
If you’d like to read more about the study for yourself, you can check it out here on RunRepeat.com’s website. What shoe brand is your go-to? Have you ever tried a pair of sneakers that you ended up hating?