woman jogging
Woman jogging on pavement

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Quality running shoes can easily run north of $100, but they don’t have to. If you’re a parent, your finances are likely all tied up with back to school essentials like backpacks, dorm room furniture, and other supplies. If your running shoes are on their last legs, you may be wondering how to find a new, high quality pair without depleting the rest of your funds.

“While you do not need a lot of gear to enjoy the sport we love, the one essential piece of equipment, running shoes, are (unfortunately) not cheap,” says Bill Reifsnyder, a former professional runner and the CMO of athletic laundry detergent company Nonaste. 

Thankfully, you can still find good deals on fitness essentials like a good pair of running shoes — you just need to know where to look (hint: read below).

“A quality pair of running shoes [can] cost anywhere from $110 to almost $300,” Reifsnyder says. “But rest assured, if you are shopping on a budget, there are recommendations to keep you happy and healthy.”

Reifsnyder and more running experts share their best men’s and women’s running shoe recommendations under $100 ahead, plus, we found even more reviewer-loved options. Some ring up right at $100, but it’s worth noting that prices often vary by color and shoe size on Amazon.

The best running shoes under $100

We know that when it comes to running shoes, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all (pun intended) sneaker for everyone. Between expert recommendations and our research into the most popular and reliable shoes out there, we built a list with a good bit of variety. Here’s a quick look at the best running shoes under $100.

From specific needs like lightweight builds and extra shock absorption to sneakers that are all about traction, there’s likely something for everybody on our list. Best of all, the running shoes ahead from trusted brands Asics, Brooks, Reebok and more won’t break the bank. 

Great shock absorption: Asics Gel Contend 7

asics.jpg

Asics Gel Contend 7

Asics


Runners on a budget will appreciate the Asics Gel Contend 7s. They’re no-frills, high-quality running shoes that are available in tons of color options. They can be the perfect match for runners interested in something that will keep up with long runs in various terrains and conditions. 

“They’re made by a quality running shoe company that combines durability with shock absorption to allow you to run in multiple different types of conditions,” says Andrew Blakey, a certified personal trainer and director of Your Future Fitness. Find them in men’s and women’s sizes. 

Men’s Asics Gel Contend 7, starting at $45

 Women’s Asics Gel Contend 7, starting at $47


Most recommended: Brooks Trace 2

Brooks Men's Trace 2 Running Shoes

Brooks Trace 2 Running Shoes 

Dick’s Sporting Goods


Reifsnyder, Dr. Gregory Alvarez (a podiatrist at the Ankle and Foot Centers of America) and Dr. Marc Matarazzo (an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine) recommend these Brooks shoes.

“They’re said to be a good shoe for beginners,” says Matarazzo. “They offer good support, cushioning and flexibility.”

“These come with BioMoGo DNA cushioning to provide extra shock absorption,” Alvarez says. “The internal fit system ensures that the shoe fits securely and comfortably on your foot. They also feature a segmented crash pad for responsive heel-to-toe transitions.”

Find them in men’s and women’s sizes. There are also options for standard or wide widths, depending on your preference. 

Men’s Brooks Trace 2 running shoes, $85

Women’s Brooks Trace 2 running shoes, $85


Ideal for both running and hanging out: Men’s Saucony Axon 3 

Saucony Men's Axon 3 Sneaker

Men’s Saucony Axon 3 Sneakers

Amazon


“Saucony is known for making quality shoes for runners, and they don’t disappoint with this running shoe that can be a great shoe for both running and casual wear,” Blakey says. If you want a solid go-to choice that can hold up during jogs and errand runs alike, these might be the shoes for you.

Find these men’s shoes in six colors on Amazon. They’re lightweight and have a breathable upper body, which can help with things like temperature regulation during hot or humid days.

Men’s Saucony Axon 3 sneaker, $90


Seamless construction: Men’s New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi V3

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Arishi V3 Running Shoe

Men’s New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi V3 Running Shoes

Amazon


“This shoe features a lightweight mesh upper with a seamless construction to provide breathability,” Alvarez says. “The Fresh Foam midsole cushioning provides exceptional comfort and responsiveness, while the rubber outsole provides excellent traction.”

A fun perk for these shoes is the sheer variety of colors and styles available. Find these men’s shoes in a total of 14 different colors on Amazon.

“This is the third or fourth pair of Arishi Fresh Foams I’ve owned,” one Amazon reviewer says. “[They’re] affordable and comfortable. Great as a light running and walking shoe or if you work on your feet all day.”

Men’s New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi V3 Running Shoes, starting at $49


Great traction: Women’s Asics GT-1000 10

ASICS Women's GT-1000 10 Running Shoes

Women’s Asics GT-1000 10 Running Shoes

Amazon


“These have a lightweight mesh upper and great cushioning in the midsole,” Alvarez says. “They also feature Flytefoam technology to provide shock absorption. The Ahar rubber outsole provides excellent grip and traction on any surface, making them perfect for running outdoors or on a treadmill.”

Take your pick between 10 different colors when shopping for these women’s shoes on Amazon. 

“They have a wide toe box, which allows my toes to move, but the rest of the fit is snug and my foot is stabilized and supported,” one reviewer says. 

Women’s Asics GT-1000 10, $39


Super breathable: Men’s Nike Rival Fly 3 road racing shoes

Nike Rival Fly 3

Men’s Nike Rival Fly 3 Road Racing Shoes

Nike


“These shoes feature a lightweight, breathable upper and a full-length midsole foam cushioning that keeps your feet comfortable during long runs,” Alvarez says. “The rubber outsole provides excellent traction on all surfaces.”

Find these men’s shoes in five colors. Nike’s lightweight design for this style can keep you cool during long runs.

“I am surprised by how comfortable they are for a ‘budget’ line shoe,” one reviewer says. “The design is sleek and the fit is great, the shoe feels like a true runner rather than an everyday casual shoe.” 

Men’s Nike Rival Fly 3 road racing shoes, $72 (reduced from $90)


Lightweight: Reebok Floatride Energy 3

reebok.jpg

Reebok Floatride Energy 3

Reebok


Durable yet stylish, the Reebok Floatride Energy 3s offer lightweight cushioning that provides a smooth, responsive ride for all levels of runners and athletes. Find these breathable shoes in both men’s and women’s sizes. They also come in several colors.

“Great for street running, as well as for everyday type of use,” one reviewer says. “I wear them for running and at work.” The general consensus here is that this lightweight running shoe can be a great all-purpose buy for runners that won’t put a big strain on your wallet. 

Men’s Reebok Floatride Energy 3, $100

Women’s Reebok Floatride Energy 3, $100


Is $100 enough to spend on a good pair of running shoes?

“There are many high-quality running shoes that you can pick up for $100 that can provide you with all the things you require in a good solid shoe,” Blakey says. So long as you know what you’re looking for (and at), there are some solid choices out there that are also budget friendly.

If you’re new to running, simply aren’t interested in all the bells and whistles that come with some expensive shoes, or don’t have any injuries that need tending to, $100 should suffice for running shoes you’ll be happy with. Running shoes need to be swapped out regularly (every 300 to 500 miles, according to REI), so their cost can easily add up if you’re always opting for expensive pairs.


How we chose these running shoes

  • Customer reviews: We combed through verified customer reviews – in other words, real buyers – to ensure they were consistently pleased with these brands and models. 
  • Expert recommendations: We spoke with former professional runner and Nonaste CMO Bill Reifsnyder; certified personal trainer and Your Future Fitness director Andrew Blakey; podiatrist at the Ankle and Foot Centers of America Dr. Gregory Alvarez; and orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine Dr. Marc Matarazzo for product recommendations and advice.
  • Star rating: All of these products have a four-star rating or higher, so you know you’re getting high-quality running shoes all throughout our list.
  • Your needs: We considered your needs for different widths, colors and more when choosing these running shoes.

Related: Read more about how we review products


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