Although less expensive, the best running shoes under 100 dollars or pounds can still enhance your training experience. But, it can be challenging to select the ideal pair of sneakers that meets your needs.
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.
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 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 when visiting one of the best places to buy running shoes around. With that in mind then, let's get into it...
Best running shoes under 100
1. New Balance Arishi V4
Best running shoes under 100
Material: Mesh / Rubber
The New Balance Arishi V4s look to be extremely well-rounded running shoes for the price, making them great value for money in our opinion.
First and foremost, it's exceptionally lightweight, weighing just 8.7 oz. This is achieved by incorporating a mesh upper, which not only minimises the weight but also provides ample ventilation for added comfort.
Additionally, the shoe boasts New Balance's innovative Fresh Foam cushioning in the midsole. This specially engineered foam delivers a responsive and lightweight ride, effectively reducing shock with every stride.
Furthermore, the trainer is equipped with a grippy rubber outsole, ensuring optimal balance and control during training sessions. So, even though it comes with an inexpensive price tag, there are still a ton of great features that make this one of the best running shoes on the market.
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2. Brooks Revel 6
Best running shoes under 100 for beginners
Material: Recycled mix of materials
If you're a beginner jumping on the road and simply looking to run your first 5K, then you'll want to check out the Brooks Revel 6 shoes. In many ways, they are the perfect entry point as they don't swing too far in the direction of being too cushioned or undersupported, with an emphasis placed right in a neutral position.
That being said, the Revel 6s are designed to deliver an energised feel with each stride you take. This is all down to the springiness of the cushioning underneath, helping you save energy by relaying the energy you've already exerted right back to you.
They're also lightweight, weighing just 8.8oz., to avoid feeling weighed down by your trainers. This may not make a massive difference in the grand scheme of things, but running is very much a psychological game, so making sure you're not feeling encumbered by your shoes is one way to ensure you're running to the best of your ability.
The 10mm midsole drop is also worth a mention, as it's designed to keep your momentum moving in the right direction. As a result, you should find you're smashing your PBs week after week with these great running shoes on your feet.
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3. Merrell MTL Skyfire
Best trial running shoes under 100
Road running and trail running are distinct from one another and, therefore, demand different footwear tailored to their unique challenges.
Enter the Merrell MTL Skyfires, equipped with mountain-grade Quantum Grip rubber outsoles, offering unparalleled traction for navigating rugged off-road paths with confidence.
Beyond their EVA foam midsoles, these shoes boast rock plate platforms, shielding your feet from the unpredictable terrain often encountered on trails as well.
Featuring breathable mesh uppers and cushioned foam midsoles too, the Merrells stand out as an exceptional choice for enthusiasts seeking reliable footwear specifically crafted for off-road adventures.
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4. Nike Winflo 9
Best running shoes under 100 for comfort
Material: Flywire Mesh
Nike demonstrates its expertise in running here with the Winflo 9, a prime example of why the company is one of the market leaders in sportswear.
Designed for both track and road use, the Winflo 9 showcases Nike's prowess through features such as Zoom cushioning and foam midsoles, delivering unparalleled comfort during workouts.
Incorporating Flywire cables, these shoes provide a remarkable combination of lightweight construction and robust reinforcement, specifically engineered into the laces. Nike ensures that these cables offer steadfast support during lateral movements, safeguarding you throughout your training sessions.
All in all, the Nike Winflo 9 trainers offer plenty of upsides, especially if you seek an inexpensive option for long-distance running. However, it is crucial to choose the correct size to avoid discomfort. For helpful guidance on sizing, take a look at our Nike vs adidas sizing comparison.
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5. adidas Astrarun
Best lightweight running shoes under 100
The adidas Astraruns offer several appealing features, most notably the lightweight and breathable mesh upper, engineered to reduce the feeling of being weighed down by your footwear.
In terms of comfort, these trainers incorporate adidas' Boost technology in the midsoles, along with Bounce cushioning, which works to absorb impact of each stride you take.
Additionally, the fit counter heels and durable Adiwear outsoles deserve mention, as they enable natural movement for your Achilles and provide an unrestricted running experience.
All in all, these performance trainers are a compelling choice for individuals looking to elevate their training without breaking the bank.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
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.
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
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?
Yes, you can use running shoes in the gym, but it's not always the best option. Running shoes are designed for forward motion and cushioning, which are essential for running, but they may not provide the support and stability required for lateral movements and weightlifting exercises performed in the gym.
If you plan on doing a lot of cardio exercises like running on a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, running shoes can be a suitable choice. However, if you plan on doing strength training exercises or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), CrossFit trainers or weightlifting shoes may be more appropriate. These shoes provide a flatter sole and more stability, which is essential for exercises like squats, deadlifts, and lunges.
It's always a good idea to choose shoes based on the type of exercise you plan to do and the level of support and stability your feet require. Ultimately, it's about finding a shoe that feels comfortable, supportive, and allows you to perform your workout safely and effectively.
Can you wear running shoes every day?
Yes, you can wear running shoes every day if they are comfortable and provide the support you need. Running shoes are designed to provide cushioning, support, and stability for the foot, which makes them a good choice for everyday wear.
However, it's important to keep in mind that running shoes are designed for a specific purpose, which is running. If you are wearing running shoes for activities other than running, such as walking, standing for long periods, or playing sports, you may want to consider a shoe that is designed for that specific activity.
Additionally, if you wear your running shoes every day, they may wear out more quickly than if you only wear them for running. This is because the cushioning and support in the shoe can break down over time, especially if you are wearing them for activities that they are not specifically designed for.
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.
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?
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.
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.