shoes - what is the price to pay

Hi all,
Hope you can help us.
I work/run an indie running store in the UK. We have been open for 10 years and have loved what we do, and how we help local runners. Over the 10 years we have seen the price of running shoes creep up and up from the main suppliers. When we started the Wave Rider was a £65 top level, marathon running distance shoe. That same shoe (plus advancements) is now about to have an RRP of £100 (in Dec 2011). We understand that costs of materials have increased and that new technology has been created and implemented. BUT where are the £65-£75 decent shoes now from all suppliers.
We have had a policy of not stocking shoe of £100 or more, but based upon what we have seen from suppliers for 2012, that would leave us with very little to stock, and certainly all the main named shoes, Onmi, Inspire, 2160 etc would not be in the store.
What do you all think about having to pay £100+ for your shoes? Is it something that you accept that is part of your sport, it’s still cheaper than Golf!!
Sorry for the mini rant, but we want to still offer the best service and range of shoes but not if you think the prices are too high.


  • I never pay anything like £100 for shoes.

    The shoe I use (Asics Gel 11-- series) are not that expensive to start with (£75 rrp), and I choose where I buy them based on who has the best special offer at the time.  If I find a particularly good deal, I may well buy two pairs.  At the moment I can get them for £49.99, with a free pair of socks!

    If I had my gait analysed again and was told that only £100+ shoes would do, I'd still be paying way less than that, by shopping around carefully.

    I haven't bought shoes in an actual SHOP for several years - always on line (which I guess is not what you want to hear!)

  • Hi Wilkie,

    thanks for your response.

    No problems with people shopping online at all, as long as they haven't been into a store and used the time/equipment and knowledge of said store with no intenetion of shopping there.

    Your chosen shoe of the asics 11.. series is another example. It was a £55 rrp shoe 7 years ago. Excellent for half marathon- marathon training. Mild Over pronation support.

    Its will be from Jan a £80+ shoe with less control than it used to have, and recommended by is manufacturer as at best a half marathon distance shoe, not for full marathon distances.

    But is there now a good asics (or other run brand) running shoe for £55... not that we can see. Well not a good one any way.

    As the main srp prices creep up, so will the prices that online company can afford to sell at !!

  • one thing that interests me is pricing and margin.  I used to have my own business in a completely separate trade and buying prices were not massively different for the small local store in comparison to the large multiples although it was possible to negotiate slightly better prices if buying bulk.

    When it comes to running shoes however, I have noticed huge (selling) price differences between some stores.  For instance in runners world, some retailers were advertising kayano 17s at £125 whilst a quick online search would find them being sold by sportshoes unlimited for about £75 - it crossed my mind then as to how the £125 retailers sold this product indeed if they actually did. (I can't remember if these were the exact prices but there was a massive difference)

    Is it the case that some large running gear retailers get much better looked after by manufacturers or what in terms of buying price?

     I'd be intrigued as to what your point of view is on this. Is it that buying prices for smaller retailers prevent selling so cheap or is it a principle that you won't devalue a product?

     This isn't a dig by the way; i am genuinely interested.  Given the choice, I would usually buy from a smaller/more local retailer but some of the price differences make this really difficult.

  • nellyb wrote (see)

      For instance in runners world, some retailers were advertising kayano 17s at £125 whilst a quick online search would find them being sold by sportshoes unlimited for about £75

    Its been noted in other threads that some of the Asics sold in Sports Direct are manufactured in a different country than the same models being sold in other shops, also some of the colour schemes offered by Sports Direct are not listed on Asics UK website.

  • Jeez. £100 for shoes - I'd really think twice about that. Most of my shoes are £70 to £80 from the shoe shop and I'll dabble with some bargains as I see on sale throughout the year. £100 seems silly money to me.
  • sportshoes unlimited not sports direct.  Sportshoes are a long established, independent sports store specialising in sports footwear (as the name suggests image) They only have one very large store based in Bradford near where I live and quite a big online presence.  They do video gait analysis in store although I couldn't comment on whether they do it better or worse than a smaller, independent store.

    There is a smaller shop in a town not far from sportshoes that is part of a chain ( so you would assume similar buying power)but they cannot touch sportshoes for price on most things. 

  • I have been 'stung' buying running shoes from Sports Direct this year and have boycotted them completely now - bit of a shame because their running clothes are very competitive but it's the principle of the thing.

     I will now only buy from a local specialist outlet where I get a bit of money off the shoes when I have a gait analysis. The ones they recommend don' t cost anywhere near £100 but if they did I would have to consider the fact that my feet are what get me round and need to be shod correctly!  I would generally only buy one new pair per year so wouldn't think £100 excessive.

  • Thanks for your thoughts...
    Nellyb, The price difference between the smaller indie stores and larger retailers (including web only)mainly comes from the suppliers giving the first opportunity to purchase end of season/closeout stock at increased discount levels to bigger buyers/retailers/online only. The indies do get access to some offers, but not at the levels the big players get.

    But I can fully understand that practise. The big players can buy more and hold more stock. They can most likely pre-pay for that stock (more discount on offer). This buying power applies to brand new stock as well. The big players attract better supplier terms. And I cannot argue with that policy. If I was a bigger fish, I would want better terms than smaller business.

    Cougie, are your £70-£80 footwear, current season or last season styles? what models are they, if you don't mind me asking.
  • I have noticed a general increase in price lately- not long ago kayanos could be bought quite easily for £60 at sports direct, now it is more like 75-80.

    I personally think this is too much for a pair of trainers, especially as they don't last a crack either. I wear a pair of kayanos out in about 6 or 7 weeks on an average 50-60 mpw.

     I recently bought a pair of ukgear pt1000 from sports direct, I think i paid about £60, promising good stability features and improved durability. I have trained for and ran 8 marathons in them since july and they are not far off done now in my opinion. I have not counted the mileage and guess they probably are good for the 1000 miles for many people. They are certainly far superior to kayano for durability. The only drawback is they feel slightly heavier and perhaps a bit less comfy if running exclusively on roads.

    I will be looking for another road shoe, as the kayanos in my opinion are overpriced, lacking in durability, and since they changed the standard sockliners in them this year I have to use old liners to avoid blistering.

    I might go back to brooks gts or something similar for road shoe, but the bulk of my training and trail runs will be in uk gear from now on as they give great mileage for a fair price, I would happily pay up to £80 for them but no more. I would buy more kayanos if they lasted a bit longer, I now reckon a cheaper shoe will  have the similar poor durability as kayanos and I will at least be able to replace them more frequently.

    would I ever pay £100 for trainers ?- no way

  • no.wouldn't pay over 100 for shoes....................

    interesting about what you say about the asics 11 series only recommednded for halfs what shoes do they recommend for slight overpronators who do high mileageimage

  • Jethro Boot wrote (see)

    No problems with people shopping online at all, as long as they haven't been into a store and used the time/equipment and knowledge of said store with no intenetion of shopping there.

    Your chosen shoe of the asics 11.. series is another example. It was a £55 rrp shoe 7 years ago. Excellent for half marathon- marathon training. Mild Over pronation support.


    I had gait analysis, then bought the first pair from the shop who recommended them.  Subsequently, I buy them on-line for significantly less.

    Everything has gone up hugely in the last seven years, so it's not as though running shoes are unique in this.  Look how fuel and energy prices have risen - that is reflected in the cost of everything.

  • the most expensive shoes I got (£120) which I foolishly got after a gait analysis and Sweatshops recommendation caused me the most problems until I ditched them after 120 miles
  • Would struggle to pay over £100 for a pair of running shoes, that would hurt. Seems crazy that they are that much now.
  • Seems like a lot, but yes, I'd pay £100 if I wanted them. Definitely if they promised to make me faster.

    Although I usually spend £60 to £80. And don't get any faster.

  • £75 is the most I've spent and that was because of a marathon coming up, I usually buy a pair when they are on offer (about £60) and keep them stored until needed, normally only a few months as I tend to wear a pair out in 8-10 weeks

    would never pay £100, have even considered barefoot as an option assuming I don't find a job and prices keep rising

    I see some Newtons are £130 a pair, absurd

  • I spent £110 on trainers last year after a gait analysis. Have to say now I am happy with the style, I have since bought cheaper else where.

  • Shoes have gone up a lot over the past couple of years, but probably only bringing the UK in line with the rest of Europe.

    But shop around and you can find decent discounts.  I recently bought a pair of Asics 3030s from Startfitness.  Together with their discount price and a further 10% discount code, they came to just under £80 with the p&p compared to over £100 rrp.

    I'd like to be able to support the local indie shop(although SF are independent) but I simply cant afford to when it comes to shoes.

  • what price would trainers be if barefoot running took off leaving shoed runners in the minority?
  • thanks all for your thoughts. It's very interesting to see/hear what people think & feel is acceptable on footwear pricing.

    BDB we like the fact that people want to support the local indie store, but fully agree that everybody can only spend what the can afford to. And if that means shopping online, well that's life.
    From the comments on here so far, it would appear that the best option is to have a store of last years or lower grade model shoes at reduced prices. This would mean that any motion testing service would have to go and also the amount of money/support given to local events would also have to be reduced.
    That is not a store I would want to work in !!
  • "What do you all think about having to pay £100+ for your shoes? Is it something that you accept that is part of your sport, it’s still cheaper than Golf!!"

    I don't think the £100 price has any significance on its own...its all relative isn't it?  If you are selling my shoes for £100 and everyone else is selling them for £122 I'm coming to you every time.  I accept that the price of shoes is a part of my sport but I'm still going to do everything I can to get the same for less.

    If I have to pay these prices then I will.  Before doing so I will put some effort into finding the same for cheaper.  For example this year I found my current shoe selling for £30 less in a big outdoor chain (vs usual local running shop).

    Something else I would happily do (now...maybe not before) is buy the previous model of a shoe (at least one I am familiar with).  I am not an elite athlete by any stretch of the imagination and wearing one model behind the latest shoe looks like a good way to save lots of money.

    One other adjustment I'll make (and am making) is to put off new shoe purchase until its actually needed rather than when I fancy a shiny new pair.

    In an ideal world I would prefer to buy bang-up-to-date shoes from a bricks and mortar local shop.  My perception is that this is currently a guarantee to paying at, or near, top-dollar prices.


    BTW if the motion testing service is any good then why not charge for it?  If I have some kind of problem and trust you can help with it then I'd be happy to pay.

  • I,ve been in the wave rider for several years now.  I bought my most recent pair at indie shop and the chap there did mention where the price was going.

    I am at the stage where I will probably look at other shoes as I dont see what exrtra I get for the increase in price.  They change the shoes regulary - colour changes, stitching changes, sometimes the  feel of the shoe changes.  But one thing that never changes is the mileage I get from the shoe. 

    If they improved the shoe lifeI might swallow the price increase, but I do feel a bit ripped off when they change the shoes, often make them worse, then use the change as a justification for a price increase.

  • Hi I'm new to the community Please suggest me the best shoes for running I want to loose my weight. I found a list of best running shoes for women kindly anyone here check the list and recommend me the best one .Thanks
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