Best running shoes under 100: Amazing trainers for fitness and exercise

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Finding the best running shoes under 100 dollars or pounds can be tricky, especially if you don't know how much to spend or what features you need to get the most out of your running ability.

Fortunately, we're here to help with our list of top picks based on reviews, features, and prices which, in comparison to some of the best running shoes around, are relatively inexpensive to pick up.

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In terms of features, you'll need to take the weight, cushioning, and support of the shoes into consideration as well as overall build quality to ensure what you're getting will deliver a comfortable, lightweight fit and ride whilst training.

You may also want to consider the weather conditions you typically run in. The best winter running shoes, for instance, typically come with a layer of waterproofing to keep your feet dry when running outdoors.

With these features in mind, if you're looking for some lightweight road running trainers, like these adidas Astraruns, or shoes built for trail running, like these Merrell MTL Skyfires, we've got you covered right here.

We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions about running shoes so you can come to a more informed decision on which pair to pick up. With that in mind, let's get into it...

Best running shoes under 100

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Best all-round running shoes under 100 - New Balance Arishi V3

Best running shoes under 100 New Balance product image of a grey, white, and orange shoe.
Credit: New Balance
Brand: New Balance | Material: 50% Synthetic / 50% Mesh | Closure: Lace-up

The New Balance Arishi V3s look to be extremely well-rounded running shoes yet don't come with the accompanying hefty price tag.

What we like about these trainers, in particular, is that they feature Fresh Foam midsoles which, New Balance boasts, are precision-engineered to deliver an ultra-cushioned, lightweight ride.

Moreover, the uppers are made from a no-sew mesh that should be both stylish and well-ventilated to help your feet breathe during your workouts.

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On the whole, we feel these sneakers are well worth considering to take your running game to the next level for less, especially as they even put in a strong case to be considered some of the best marathon shoes around as well.

Best running shoes under 100 for beginners - Brooks Revel 5

Best running shoes under 100 Brooks product image of a single grey, blue, and yellow knitted shoe.
Credit: Brooks
Brand: Brooks | Material: Fabric | Closure: Lace-up

The Brooks Revel 5s look to be some of the most advanced budget sneakers for running right now.

Brooks states that the addition of BioMoGo DNA cushioning helps these shoes adapt to your stride, weight, and speed to protect your body and joints by deflecting away any shock during your runs.

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Furthermore, the arrow-point pattern in the outsoles is designed to let your foot move from heel to toe faster, helping beginners improve their running technique and performance.

Ultimately, we feel these shoes are a good option to consider, especially if you're just starting your fitness journey and in need of a top pair of budget trainers.

Best running shoes under 100 for trails - Merrell MTL Skyfire

Best running shoes under 100 Merrell product image of a bright orange and green shoe.
Credit: Merrell
Brand: Merrell | Material: Mesh | Closure: Lace-up

Road running is one thing, but running on off-road trails is an entirely different beast that usually requires footwear with more grip.

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Thankfully, these Merrell MTL Skyfires feature mountain-grade Quantum Grip rubber outsoles which should help you maintain traction as you tackle tough dirt tracks.

As well as EVA foam midsoles, you also get rock plate platforms with these shoes, designed to protect you against the unpredictable terrain of trails.

With the mesh uppers and the foam midsoles, we feel these Merrell shoes are a great option to consider if you're a fan of off-road running.

Best lightweight running shoes under 100 - adidas Astrarun

Best running shoes under 100 adidas product image of a single black and white shoe.
Credit: adidas
Brand: adidas | Material: Mesh | Closure: Lace-up

There's a lot to like about the adidas Astraruns, most notably the lightweight and breathable mesh upper, engineered to reduce the feeling of being weighed down by your footwear.

In terms of comfort, they feature adidas' Boost technology in the midsoles and Bounce cushioning inside the trainers which should absorb the impact during each stride you take.

It's also worth noting that they come with fit counter heels and durable Adiwear outsoles, allowing your Achilles to move naturally for an unrestricted ride.

All in all, these adidas Astraruns look to be a solid option to consider to take your training to the next level for less.

Best running shoes under 100 for comfort - Nike Winflo 8

Best running shoes under 100 Nike product image of a single all-black shoe.
Credit: Nike
Brand: Nike | Material: Flywire Mesh | Closure: Lace-up

Nike is one of the leading manufacturers of sports equipment around, producing the likes of some of the best CrossFit shoes on the market, however, the Nike Winflo 8s are a great example of its expertise in running.

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Nike boasts these are the perfect shoes for either the track or the road thanks to its Zoom cushioning and IMEVA foam midsoles, designed to keep you comfortable during your jogs.

Moreover, they feature multi-directional tread patterns which should offer incredible grip so you remain balanced and confident as you exercise.

It's also worth mentioning the Flywire mesh outer which will likely be highly breathable and ventilated, which is another reason why we're including the Winflo 8s in our list.

Frequently asked questions about running shoes

With so many different kinds of running shoes available, you probably have a number of questions about them, but we're here to clear up some of the most common queries.

What should you look for from running shoes under 100?

One of the stand-out features you'll want to take note of is the type of cushioning that comes with the trainers in question.

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Anything with plenty of absorbent foam in the midsoles is ideal as this should remove some of the impacts felt in your legs during each stride which, in turn, puts less strain on your body and joints.

Also, it's worth paying attention to how much your trainers weigh as heavier shoes have been linked to feeling weighed down which ultimately negatively impacts your performance.

One study of note by Rodrigo-Carranza et al. supports this as they found adding 100g per shoe impaired running economy and performance in trained runners.

This study aligns with a meta-analysis by Fuller et al. where a positive association between shoe mass and the metabolic cost of running was found, thus demonstrating the adverse effects heavier sneakers have on performance.

Are running shoes worth it?

Although the price of running shoes does vary, our list suggests you can still pick up a solid pair of trainers for a relatively inexpensive price.

To completely answer the question though, you'll need to establish whether you're serious about running and feel a pair of running trainers can take your performance to the next level

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If the answer is yes, then in order to keep your body safe and to help you progress, running shoes will probably be worth it as they offer you a number of key features tailored specifically for running that normal trainers don't provide like foam midsoles to soften the impact with the ground.

Can you use running shoes in the gym?

For weightlifting, you need a pair of trainers that have flat, thin soles to increase your contact with the ground to improve traction and so you can drive through during lifts such as squats.

By contrast, running shoes are typically quite curved and padded to absorb the shock from each stride and to help with forward momentum, so aren't really the ideal trainers for weightlifting.

However, for cardiovascular, machine-based activities such as rowing, a pair of running trainers should be more than suitable.

Can you wear running shoes every day?

The stability and cushioning provided by a pair of running shoes should make them a great choice for everyday wear. The additional support will likely keep you comfortable if you end up on your feet for most of your day.

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However, the more miles you cover from wearing your running shoes every day will result in them becoming worn a lot quicker. Most notably, you'll typically find the insole and grip to wear out faster than other components.

As a result, you may need to replace your running shoes more regularly if you opt to wear them on an everyday basis; however, the choice is down to you.

How long do running shoes last?

There's not really a clear timeline on how long running shoes will last as it depends on their build quality and on how regularly you wear them.

However, there have been some studies that have tried to determine when exactly running shoes need replacing. For example, research conducted by Verdejo and Mills found structural damage to running shoes took place after 750km of wear whilst running.

If you were to run regularly, this would equate to around six months to a year's worth of using the shoes before it might be time to start looking for a replacement pair.

However, your weight and the environment you run in can also place a part in how quickly your running shoes will wear out. For instance, a light runner with near-perfect technique should find their running shoes last longer than a slightly heavier individual running through rough, uneven terrain.

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As there are a lot of variables to consider, we'd recommend starting to look for a replacement pair of running shoes if you notice a significant drop-off in performance or comfort from your current set.

How do you lace running shoes?

While there are a few different techniques you can use, one of the most common methods is one we've outlined in our guide to lacing football boots.

Begin by threading your shoelace through the first eyelets to create a straight bar across the tongue of your shoe.

Then, take each end, cross them over in the middle, and thread through the next eyelets up on the opposite sides.

Repeat this step until you reach the top, and on your other shoe, making sure to leave enough shoelace to tie the two ends together.

How do you clean running shoes?

It's important to clean your running shoes to help you maintain grip with the ground and for hygienic reasons given they're typically used for training.

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We'd argue the simplest way to do this is by using warm water, a little bit of shoe cleaner or detergent, and a soft-bristled brush.

Simply use the brush to remove the dirt across the uppers and soles. For some of the harder-to-reach areas, use an old toothbrush and scrub in small circular motions.

Once clean, leave them to dry naturally and away from direct sunlight to avoid damaging your shoes.

As to when you should clean your shoes, well this will come down to you. That said, if you begin to notice a significant drop-off in performance due to dirt, then we'd suggest you consider giving your shoes a clean before your next run.

For more information, check out our guide to cleaning running shoes right here.

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