Trainers. What should I buy, and where from?

Is there anywhere on the net where I could save money?

I'm a neutral foot

I like Asics Gel


  • Sports direct?
  • JJB Sports. 

  • Sweatshop or Sportshoes Unlimited

  • Whatever model you choose, how do you define 'saving money'?  If it's headline price then, yes, you'll probably appear to save money on the net... and if nothing goes wrong, then you will be better off.  But if you've got any foresight, you should at least consider factoring in the following:

    1/ The fact that you won't try on the trainers before buying, and won't get first-hand advice... this means that you are more likely to accept something that doesn't really satisfy you. Doesn't give you the pleasure.  Maybe isn't an absolutely perfect fit - or as good as some trainers on the next shelf, that you'll never get chance to truly consider.    (I'm not talking about gross problems here, because you could return those, I'm talking little niggles).  So, on average, people will replace these items bought on the net sooner and, IMO, that typically should add between 15-40% to the true cost.

    2/ Depending where you buy, then once in a while, you'll get  fake running shoes off the net (last time I looked, even ebay's help section was offering advice on how to spot them!)

    3/ You have the messing about with returns etc, which are never easy... and from most websites cost you postage to return. It's sometimes a bit messy getting back to a shop, but the chances of needing to return to a shop are much much lower.

    The trouble is, people never really factor things like this... they buy on headline price.  Some will end up happy customers...  some might be blissfully unaware that they've bought sub-optimal products.  Some will just not be as happy as if they'd gone to a proper shop.  Is that really worth feeling like you've saved a tenner on headline price?

    And I say a tenner, because the internet mega-deals are often mainly beautiful bits of marketing.  People are conditioned to believe the marketing hype of low low prices on the net... without realising that they are often little/no different, except for clearance stock...  and often forget that in-shop sales rails will also have great deals on clearance stock too - something that is often forgotten when people compare prices.).

    Basically, I recommend you visit you local SPECIALIST sports / running shop. Get good service, a fair deal, a product you'll get more wear and pleasure from. It might not pay off for every purchase... but on average, in the long run, you'll be better off. (and no, I'm not a retailer!)

  • Run Wales


    Agreed completely

    I swap my trainers every 3 month and was hoping on purchasing a trainer I love and then just buy them again and again

  • I disagree! If you know what you want shopping online saves money! Obviously if you are just starting out then it's a different story!

    Generally speaking specialist shops have limited stock and it's rare to find one stocking a shoe that I am interested in (fairly minimalist) so I'm often forced to shop online!
  • touie2

    Valid point

  • Basically, combine touie and Run Wales advice.


    I've been through several different shoes and have finally settled on some trail ones (salomon slab xt wings 3, cooler colours than the 5's) and some gym shoes (Adidas Adizero Bostons).


    Road shoes I'm struggling with. I felt that wave riders didn't have enough padding for long runs but my pegasus feel spongy.

    All these shoes have come from specialist shops except the slab, which are my second pair so were bought online to save money.



    Plus, try and time your new shoe purchase with the release of the new years models. You get last years on sale and can save a fair amount.

  • touie2...  Hmmm?  On occasion, you might be right.  If you truly know 100% what you want.... and I mean REALLY know.  I'm not against internet shopping (though I don't think I'd ever buy shoes on-line)  But I contend that, on average, you're better off using shops most of the time - for the reasons  I outlined (and also because so much internet business goes to companies - like Luxembourg-based Amazon - who bleed this country dry by avoiding UK taxes!!)

    For example, how many times do you try on a pair of trainers, and they don't quite fit as you expected? One in ten times?  One in four? 

    What if you've taken that "cheap" fifty quid deal from - and they're not quite right. (remember that it probably cost 6 quid for delivery too)

    Should you return them or put up with them? You are responsible for the cost of returning them. Indeed, unless you return everything on the order... then you won't even get back the original 6 quid you paid for delivery. So if you return them, that's 12 quid gone, for nothing.  (and also if you return and they get lost, then YOU are responsible for the full cost of the shoes).  

    Do people think of this when they see that 50 pound price tag on the net?(a price tag which is heavily promoted as 50% off..  without mentioning that it isn't 50% off. And also is old stock which you'd find heavily discounted on the sale-rail in your sports shop too. I doubt it.


  • And whilst I'm on my high horse...  I strongly disagree that shop-buying is for those "just starting out" - this is one of my main points.  How many times have you been into a shop to buy something / anything... Perhaps you've done some online research and read great reviews of a nice Panasonic TV...  but when you get to the shop, the particular model looks ok, but perhaps doesn't quite appeal as much as you'd expected.

    Ooh.. look at that Sony one next to it - it just looks and feels right. Love it.    Or that much cheaper Bush TV with its surprising good looks and great picture quality, despite the hundred quid saving? 

    By buying on-line, you might save 50 quid on that Panasonic and think no more about it... but 4 years down the line, you might be wanting to change it.. where the Sony would have satisfied you for 6 years.  50% longer.    You sometimes miss out on these opportunities when you buy online, often without realising it...  and don't realise that it's actually costing you a great deal of money.

    Not every time.  I'm not saying don't buy on the net....  just saying that some people (most?) think the internet is a far better way to shop than it actually is.

  • ok so what's the option if you live on a tiny island which has NO SPECIALIST SHOP? No idea if i under or over pronate. I do know that i have high arches and that i'm constantly having to go to the podologist to remove my second toenails, plus having blackened toenails even though i'm wearing toecaps now. i changed my first pair of Volmero's since they were apparently too small. Went up a full size to Nike Pegasus. much more toe room but still problems recurring. My best option is to take a short vacation to the UK since it's closest and find a specialised shop there...

  • Go to JJB Sports as quickly as you can. Everything is at least half price including Asics Running Shoes. Went there today and it was like it was being hit by looters.
  • Run Wales I think you need to go for a run to release those happy hormones!!!

    Most of my online shopping is done at little northern fell running stores rather than big chains, you just can't get the equipment down south! And my road shoes are Newtons so again slightly hard to come by!!! If for some reason the stuff I order is no good then yes I have to return it at my own expense which is a pain!

    But if you know what you want and you can get it at sports direct, jib, eBay or amazon then why not??? I tried 3 shops when I started out running and not one put me in shoes that suited me, it was getting rather expensive so unless they stock what I want, which I will have worked out in advance from reading reviews or looking at other peoples purhases, I am limited to online shopping!!!

    Not saying this is true for everyone, I'm an awkward customer image
  • Surely, the common sense approach is - do your research, i.e. find a brand you like in a size that suits, using high street retailers, then buy them online.

  • I've been buying my favourite Asics Cumulus online for years. Usually get my best bargains on eBay, with secondhand shoes that are actually new and unused and still have the labels on. Never got a pair that didn't fit perfectly yet. Try not to pay more than about half the usual shop price.

  • i would pay anything at the moment to find a shoe that fits properly and stops my nails from coming off and blisters image( booking a flight to London, England now!!! thanks Sussex Runner! will look for JJB - do they do gait testing? just want to find someone to offer a professional opinon. have only been running for a year so i'm not that experienced. and where i live you don't find different brands of running shoes image( so yes, it puts me in a pickle!

  • JJB and Gait Analysis do not go comfortably together in the same sentence.  JJB is a high street store which does not specialise in sportspeople.  You may be lucky and find something in there that is what you want.

    If your nails are coming off either the shoes are too small or your socks are too small or your nails are too long...? 

    There should be 1/2 to 1 inch of space in front of your toes to the end of the shoe.  Or another test is put them on (and do them up as if you were heading off for a run and then slide your fingers down the back of the shoe - if your toes hit the front then the shoe is too small.  All this advice and more will be got from a proper running shop.  Jaclyn - where are you (as in what country)... I don't believe you don't have some specialist shops closer to you than London. 

  • I went up a full shoe size for my running shoes, I am now two full sizes above my normal shoe size and this has stopped my nails falling off.  Three pairs have been bought based on proper running shops gait assessments etc.  The last pair were suggested by my fitness trainer who took one look at my feet and suggested my current shoes and size.  As a long term runner she has some personal experience.

    If your nails are coming off, it may be worth going up more than the recommended sizes!


  • i went up two sizes from my normal shoe fit, so if i usually wear 39's i am now wearing 41!  I cut my nails short and they hadn't been coming off for a while. only after this 17km it happened.

    PSC, i live in Gozo, Malta. Gozo is the smallest island from mainland Malta. we only have one Nike and one Adidas sports shop. no specialist information. no gait testing.

    I have had luck and found one store in Malta which does gait testing - hopefully will get some help from there. they stock Salomon and Saucony brands.

    Fingers crossed!  thanks again for all your help!

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