6 Reasons: Why Running Shoes Are Expensive/ featured image

6 Reasons Why Running Shoes Are Expensive (2023)

Key Takeaways

  • Materials: Specialized and varied materials in running shoes, like mesh and synthetic leather, drive up costs.
  • R&D Investment: Significant expenses go into research, design, and testing for optimal shoe performance.
  • Marketing and Branding: High advertising and promotional costs impact shoe prices.
  • Shipping and Labor: The weight, size, and often international production mean higher shipping and labor costs.
  • High Demand: Protective features, comfort, and celebrity endorsements elevate demand and price.
  • Money-saving tips: Research, compare prices, opt for older models, and join running clubs for discounts to save on purchases.

Are you tired of breaking the bank every time you need to buy a new pair of running shoes? Do you often wonder why they are so expensive compared to other types of footwear?

Well, we have 6 good reasons that explain exactly why running shoes are expensive and why investing in quality running shoes is worth it.

From advanced technology and materials to extensive research and development, these features make running shoes more than just any old sneakers.

So, let’s dive into this blog post and discover what makes them worth the price tag!

Reason 1: Cost of Materials

One of the main reasons why running shoes are so expensive is the cost of materials.

Pairs of Running shoes are made with a variety of different materials, including mesh, synthetic leather, rubber, and foam.

All these materials come at a cost, which is passed on to the consumer.

In addition, running shoes often use specialized materials designed to provide specific benefits, such as cushioning or support.

These materials can also be quite costly.

Reason 2: Cost of Research and Development

The research and development of running shoes is a costly process.

In order to create a quality product, companies must invest in expensive equipment and skilled labor.

Additionally, it takes time to test new designs and perfect them. All of these factors contribute to the high cost of running shoes.

why running shoes are expensive/ Research & Development

Reason 3: Cost of Marketing

The cost of marketing is also one of the biggest factors.

In order to sell running shoes, companies have to spend a lot of money on advertising and promotions.

They also have to pay for research and development in order to create new products.

The materials used to make running shoes are also quite costly.

Running shoes must be made with high-quality materials to provide the necessary support and durability.

All of these factors add up to make running shoes one of the most expensive types of footwear on the market.

Reason 4: Cost of Shipping

The shipping cost of running shoes is often high due to the heavy weight and size of the shoes.

Additionally, many running shoes are made overseas and must be shipped long distances, which further raises the cost.

Shipping costs also vary depending on the retailer, with some retailers charging more for shipping than others.

6 reason why running shoes are expensive/ Cost of Shipping

Reason 5: Cost of Labor

The cost of labor is another reason for expensive running shoes.

It takes a lot of time and effort to design, test, and manufacture a high-quality pair of running shoes. 

All of these factors add up to make running shoes one of the most expensive items in your wardrobe.

Watch the video below to find out, do expensive shoes will actually make you run faster.

Reason 6: High Demand for Running Shoes

There are a few reasons for the high demand and, consequentially, high prices of running shoes.

  • Firstly, running shoes are designed to protect your feet and legs from the impact of running on hard surfaces.

They do this by absorbing some of the shocks and providing cushioning to reduce the risk of injury.

  • Secondly, they need to be lightweight and comfortable so that you can run long distances without feeling weighed down or uncomfortable.

This means that they need to be made from high-quality materials that are durable yet breathable.

  • Thirdly, running shoes need to be designed specifically for different types of feet, so that everyone can find a pair that fits them well and provides the support they need.
  • Lastly, running shoes are often marketed as premium products.

They are often endorsed by famous athletes or used in high-end fashion shows.

This raises the perception of their value and makes people willing to pay more for them, hence high demand

U.S. footwear market growth chart/ 6 reasons why running shoes are expensive
U.S. footwear market growth chart. Source: grandviewresearch.com

How to Save Money on Running Shoes

Assuming that you would like tips on how to save money when buying running shoes:

1. Do your research before heading to the store. You can check online reviews, ask fellow runners, or even read the manufacturer’s website to get an idea of what kind of shoe is best for your needs and which ones are currently popular.

2. Shop around. Compare prices at different stores, both in-person and online, to see where you can get the best deal.

Be sure to factor in things like shipping costs and return policies when deciding.

3. Consider buying last season’s model. Running shoes generally don’t change too much from year to year, so you can usually find a great deal on last year’s model.

Just be sure to do your research first to make sure the shoe will still work for you.

4. Check for sales and coupons. Many stores have sales throughout the year, so it’s worth checking back often to see if you can snag a pair at a lower price.

You can also search online for coupons that can be used at various retailers.

5. Join a running club or group. Some clubs or groups get discounts from certain retailers, so this could be a way to save some money on your purchase.

Read here, the truth about affordable running shoes reviewed as much better than expensive running shoes.


From the material used to the innovative technology that makes running shoes more comfortable and durable, there are many reasons why running shoes can be expensive.

But they are also worth investing in if you want to enjoy a healthier lifestyle with less injury risk.

With this knowledge in mind, make sure to research your options carefully before making any purchase so you can get the best value for your money.


How much should good running shoes cost?

Good running shoes can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 or more, depending on the brand, features, and materials used.
Premium shoes on the other hand can cost around $120 to more than $200, because of the better quality material used to make them.

Is it OK to buy cheap running shoes?

The short answer is, it depends. While there is nothing wrong with buying running shoes at a discount or taking advantage of free shipping and returns, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved with buying cheap running shoes.
Cheap running shoes may offer less support and cushioning due to the use of lower-quality materials, resulting in potential foot and ankle injury over time. 

How long do expensive running shoes last?

The lifespan of expensive running shoes can vary depending on factors such as the frequency and intensity of use, running surface, and individual gait.
However, most high-quality running shoes can last anywhere from 300 to 500 miles (480 to 800 kilometers) before needing to be replaced.

Which brand is best for running shoes in 2023?

Fleet Feet has compiled a comprehensive list of the best running shoes of 2023, based on customer reviews, personal experience, and expert feedback.
The following brands and their respective best models have been identified as the top contenders:
ASICS – GEL-Nimbus
Saucony – Ride ISO 2 
Nike – Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 
Brooks – Adrenaline GTS 21
Hoka – One One Clifton 6
Salomon – Sense Ride 3 

Do expensive running shoes make a difference?

Expensive running shoes don’t always make a difference when it comes to performance. It’s important to find shoes that fit correctly and provide the support and cushioning needed for the type of running done.
To choose the right shoes, research brands, and customer reviews or consult with a running coach.
The key is to find shoes that meet personal preferences.

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