Cheap running shoes — are they worth the money? Although more good running shoes are reasonably priced than ever before. It’s becoming harder and harder to determine which models best meet your particular needs.
This tends to be more of a dilemma for most runners because most people associate cheap running shoes with poor performance and quality. The choice of the best cheap running shoes doesn’t have to be a difficult proposition.
You just have to know what factors are most important to you. So, in my selections of the best value running shoes, I have taken into account all the crucial features that will provide you with a good running experience.
The Best Cheap Running Shoes Are:
|1. Brooks Men’s Revel 2 Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|2. Nike Men’s Revolution 5 Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|3. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Beacon V2 Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|4. Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|5. Joomra Men’s Supportive Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|6. Lamincoa Women’s Athletic Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|7. ASICS Men’s GT 1000 2 Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|8. AMAXM Men’s Athletic Air Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|9. Saucony Men’s Versa Foam Inferno Road Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
1. Brooks Men’s Revel 2 Running Shoe — Best Affordable Running Shoes
If you are looking for the best value shoe that’s best suited for pre-run, mid-run, and post-run, look no further than the Brooks Men’s Revel 2.
- Neutral support
- 12 mm midsole drop
- Medium, high arch
- Updated knit upper
- BioMoGo DNA cushioning
This incredible shoe from Brooks features an updated flat-knit upper, which is highly breathable for working out and post-work activities. The material is remarkably flexible and stretches considerably to fit your foot for a comfortable feel.
The brand’s proprietary BioMoGo DNA cushioning is designed to adapt to your speed, weight, and your every stride. This unique cushioning returns more energy to your foot than any other technology out there. This makes the shoe very quick to respond. Not to mention that the BioMoGo DNA protects your feet by repelling impact away from your body.
The BioMoGo DNA combined with the segmented crash pads of the outsole makes your heel strike to toe-off seamless. The internal bootie in the shoe keeps your foot super secure and adds to the comfort of the shoe. But the thing is, the sizing of the shoe tends to run small and may take longer than usual to break in fully.
- The flat-knit upper is highly breathable
- BioMoGo DNA gives more energy to your foot
- Has a seamless heel strike to toe-off
- Internal bootie keeps your foot secure
- Arch support is decent and reliable
- The fit tends to run small
- May take longer for some runners to break-in
Brooks Men’s Revel 2 is a great running shoe, especially if you pick the appropriate size and fit.
Overall Rating – 4.7/5
2. Nike Men’s Revolution 5 Running Shoe – Best Inexpensive Running Shoe
The Nike Revolution 5 is an entry-level, well-priced running shoe that is designed to cushion your every stride.
- Neutral arch support
- Knit upper and rubber outsole
- Revolutionary comfort
- Soft foam midsole
- Textured outer walls
This shoe offers you some of the characteristics and style of Nike’s more expensive models, such as the look of the epic react foam. It features a breathable mesh upper, which is great for hot weather. A seamless design throughout that’s going to help with less irritation against the foot on your runs. There are even reflective materials; so, you can be seen in low-light conditions.
Two different lacing options provide a wider fit around your foot. There’s a cushioned footbed, which is good because it helps absorb shock and works wonders with Nike’s renewed cushioning system. The soft foam midsole delivers superior shock absorption and energy return on your runs.
I appreciate the nice rounded design of the heel, which supports healthier strides. The shoe itself has a very flexible feel. But the thing is, the traction pattern tends to make a bubble or popping sound on most surfaces and the outsole itself isn’t the most durable.
- Suitable for running and gym
- Superior stability support a balanced ride
- Stylish minimalist design
- The upper mesh is highly breathable
- Reflective materials improve visibility
- Traction may produce bubble or popping sound
- The outsole may wear out faster
This running shoe feels lightweight and flexible in the hand. Not to mention that the fit is true to size and comfortable.
Overall Rating – 4.7/5
3. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Beacon V2 Running Shoe – Most Sleek Design
The Beacon V2 from New Balance has incredible cushioning, providing you with a soft-all-over feel on your short and long runs.
- Engineered knit upper
- Ultra-plush Fresh Foam midsole
- Rubber pods
- Lace-up closure
- Neutral arch support
The sleek heel construction is extremely impressive with a drop of 6 mm to better isolate impact forces and promote a smoother transition from heel-strike to toe-off. The engineered knit upper creates an air chamber that promotes air circulation to ventilate and cool your foot.
The system is designed to provide comfort next to your skin. The breathable lining; on the other hand, promotes a comfortable and secure fit. You’ve also got a lightly padded collar and tongue for added comfort.
It is fitted with a data-inspired fresh foam midsole that targets specific parts of your foot for maximum support on impact. It also allows for an ultra-cushioned, natural, plush ride. What I don’t like; however, is the quality of the shoe, which isn’t as long-lasting as you would have expected.
- Seamless and smooth heel-strike to toe-off
- Extremely comfortable and secure fit
- Provides an ultra-cushioned natural running experience
- Rubber outsole offers superior traction
- A great choice for road running
- The knit upper isn’t very durable
- The stability it offers may not be incredible for some runners
The New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Beacon V2 is lightweight and comfortable for neutral runners. But some parts aren’t very durable.
Overall Rating – 4.7/5
4. Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe – Most Comfortable Knit Upper
This is a stylish performance running shoe that fits like a dream with a Cloudfoam cushioning and a stretchy mesh upper.
- Women’s specific fit
- Cloudfoam technology
- Knit textile upper
- Embossed three-stripes
- Flexible textile upper
First off it has that sleek athletic look. The stretch construction goes on easily and hugs your foot for a fit that moves with you. The Cloudfoam midsole delivers plush, lightweight cushioning designed from EVA. It makes the footbed soft and cushy for otherworldly comfort that lasts all day.
Your foot sits on a Cloudfoam sock-liner, which is great because it molds to your foot for outstanding step-in. The textile lining helps keep your foot dry and warm. The sporty running-inspired construction is an on-trend take on when running errands or when commuting. But the thing is, some models don’t feel like they are made of Cloudfoam.
- Bootie design hugs your foot for a perfect fit
- Innovative heel tab makes for an easy on and off
- Sporty style makes it a great choice for casual wear
- Mesh upper is highly flexible and breathable
- Cloudfoam is soft, cushy, and very comfortable
- Some models may not come with genuine Cloudfoam
- The quality isn’t long-lasting
This shoe is sleek, comfortable, and cool. But make sure you receive a model with genuine Cloudfoam.
Overall Rating – 4.6/5
5. Joomra Men’s Supportive Running Shoe – Best Level Platform Design
Not only is this level platform shoe great for a more natural running position, but it is also lightweight, breathable, and comfortable.
- Level platform design
- Engineered knit upper
- Density foam midsole
- Padded collar
- Lace-up closure with lace garages
Notice the slight heel to toe drop, which is great because it promotes superior forefoot and midfoot strike. The lower heel drop supports a more natural gait. The shoe has a slightly engineered knit upper that has reduced weight and increased breathability.
The design increases structural support where it is needed the most. The tongue and collar are slightly padded for a secure fit and comfort. There are also two lace garages on the tongue, which keep the laces secured. The next impressive feature is the density foam midsole, which has decent energy return, superior cushioning, and shock absorption. But the thing is, the colors tend to wear off faster.
- Flexible upper is lightweight and breathable
- High-density foam midsole has a high energy return
- Lace garages keep the laces secured
- Slightly padded collar improves the fit
- Lower heel drop allows for a more natural gait
- The colors tend to wear off faster
- Possible off-gassing during unboxing
This inexpensive athletic shoe has a lower heel drop that allows for natural running and trendy design for added versatility.
Overall Rating – 4.6/5
6. Lamincoa Women’s Athletic Running Shoe — Most Inexpensive Model
Do you love running and working out but you have a limited budget? Get yourself this incredible shoe from Lamincoa.
- Lightweight construction
- Anti-collision toe cap
- Streamlined slip-on look
- Non-slip outsole
- Breathable knit mesh upper
The shoe has a fly knit upper, which is great because it is precisely engineered to only use materials where they are needed. This provides you with a featherweight, form-fitting, and virtually seamless upper that’s super comfortable and stretchy.
It comes with a stretchy and permeable midsole that’s highly flexible, shockproof, and does an incredible job of dispersing ground impact. You’ve got a memory foam comfort insert that adds cushiness. The midsole sits on a durable anti-slip sole that offers traction and adds protection for your foot.
There is also an anti-collision toe cap that reinforces your every stride. I appreciate the streamlined slip-on design, which integrates the tongue and body of the shoe for easy and quick wear. This shoe is a great choice for the money, but the ankle support isn’t the most incredible.
- Breathable upper keeps your foot dry and cool
- Memory foam insert is very comfort
- The midsole is stretchy, flexible, and permeable
- Anti-collision toe cap adds protection
- The slip-on design is super easy to put on
- Doesn’t provide the most suitable ankle support
- It is not as durable as high-end running shoes
This shoe is inexpensive, but well-built for running and jogging and stylish for shopping, walking, and traveling.
Overall Rating – 4.6/5
7. ASICS Men’s GT 1000 2 Running Shoe – Most Supportive Model
This running shoe is incredibly breathable, comfortable, and very supportive. It is one of the best value shoes from the GT 1000 series.
- Mesh upper with supportive overlays
- SPEVA foam midsole
- DuoMax support system
- Forefoot and rearfoot GEL cushioning
- Guidance line outsole
The GT 1000 2 upper is sleeker and more refined with a flexible, lightweight construction that showcases aggressive color options and an improved fit. It helps you maintain an undeniable sense of speed from heel to toe.
The forefoot and rearfoot feature a gel cushioning system, which is great because it assures that the shock absorption is at its peak throughout your run. The GT famous support and stability have been enhanced in the GT 1000 2 with the DuoMax midsole support. This system works wonders for overpronators.
The midsole is reinforced with the SPEVA, which is a lightweight foam that’s good for responsiveness and bounce back. My only complaint is quality control, which tends to be inconsistent from one model to another.
- Superior shock absorption underneath the heel
- Support, cushioning, and motion control are great for overpronators
- Delivers good responsiveness and bounce back
- Provides stability and prevents inward rolling
- Heel counter delivers extra stability
- Quality control tends to be inconsistent
- Not the most durable option for daily use
The GT 1000 2 is a good shoe for anybody who overpronates and wants to run a few miles.
Overall Rating – 4.5/5
8. AMAXM Men’s Athletic Air Running Shoe – Best Air Cushioning
If EVA and polyurethane midsoles aren’t comfortable enough, you can consider the air cushioning of the AMAXM Men’s Athletic Air Running Shoe.
- Air cushioning midsole
- Breathable and elastic mesh upper
- Anti-slip and PU outsole
- Protective and comfortable liner
- Trendy color options
The midsole of the shoe is fitted with air cushioning, which features hollow chambers filled with a proprietary gas in areas that receive the most impact. Usually, the ball of the foot and the heel. The air cushioning reduces the shoe’s weight and absorbs the impact of motion.
The upper vamp with knit fabric makes this shoe highly breathable. The collar is soft padded and strengthened to provide structured support for your ankles while running. I appreciate the rubber outsole with a water ripple pattern that enhances the grip and traction of the shoe. What I don’t like about this shoe is the fact that they are not extremely supportive.
- Air cushioning reduces the impact of motion
- Strengthened and padded collar provide structured support
- Rubber outsole provides superior traction
- The upper is lightweight and breathable
- Trendy and vibrant colors to choose from
- Not the most supportive shoe
- The size and fit tend to run small
This is a unique and comfortable shoe for running, walking, outdoor, and gym. But you must choose the right size and fit.
Overall Rating – 4.5/5
9. Saucony Men’s Versa Foam Inferno Road Running Shoe – Most Versatile Road Design
Lightweight, responsive, comfortable, and versatile, the Saucony Versa Foam Inferno is your go-to shoe for all-day road running comfort.
- Neutral arch support
- Versa foam responsive cushioning
- 4 mm drop
- Trail-specific outsole
- Removable insole
This very lightweight and stylish outdoor running shoe from Saucony comes with a breathable fabric upper that keeps your feet dry and cool. It has synthetic overlays placed in key areas, which is great because they improve structural support.
You’ve got a unique lace-up design that works with the synthetic materials on the side to provide a secure fit. There is the padding on the tongue and collar for additional comfort. The tongue is gusseted to keep out debris. The tongue and collar are one unit for a sock-like fit. Not to mention the pull tab at the tongue for an easy on and off.
I appreciate the removable cushioned footbed, which keeps your feet comfortable on your runs. That works great with the lightweight Versa Foam midsole to absorb shock. But the thing is, the shoe is bulky and the toe box appears to be a little bit wider.
- Fabric upper is highly breathable
- Synthetic overlays improve structural support
- Gusseted tongue keeps out debris and dirt
- Pull tab allows for easy wearing
- Lightweight midsole cushioning absorbs shock
- The toe box is a little bit wider
- The shoe appears bulky
Shift your runs to the next level with this great shoe from Saucony. But make sure you get the right size and fit.
Overall Rating – 4.4/5
Buying Guide: Things to Look for When Buying Cheap Running Shoes
Running shoes are designed to take a beating so your feet won’t have to. As such, you should choose affordable athletic shoes that have good quality features. Here are the most important things to look for.
Curved, Semi-Curved or Straight Last
The first and most important thing to consider when shopping for the best budget running shoes is the shoe last. The last is like a foot-shaped piece of material that your running shoe gets built around. Shoe lasts for running footwear can be curved, semi-curved, or straight.
A curved running shoe is banana-shaped and provides less medial support than a straighter shoe. But allows greater foot motion. Mostly, a curved running shoe is ideal for you if you are a fast runner who wants a more responsive, flexible shoe. Also, the supinated feet need curve-lasted running shoes.
A semi-curved running turns inward under the arch like the footprint of a normal foot. This type of last can be considered a hybrid between the curved and straight lasts. It is a great choice for runners with a medium or neutral arch. A semi-curved last allows for natural pronation. Superior support also makes it great for overpronators.
A straight last running shoe is relatively straight shaped on the inner or medial side and provides support and stability. It has very little inflare but more supportive and so is better suited to an overpronating foot.
Neutral, Stability, or Motion
The best cheap running shoes can be neutral, stability, or motion control.
Neutral Running Shoes
Neutral running shoes have an elevated heel with a heel drop that may range from ten to twelve millimeters. This type of shoe is suitable for you if you have typical foot pronation, alignment, mobility, and structure. It is also a great shoe for underpronators and hypo-mobile forefoot and midfoot. A neutral running shoe can have a curved or semi-curved last.
Stability Running Shoes
Stability running shoes have some kind of pronation control material included. It is a great choice for a runner who is a mild to moderate overpronator. This type of running shoe has enough mobility in the subtalar joint to improve shock absorption with every stride. This shoe is integrated with some additional stability in the midsole.
The idea here is to reduce the rate of compression and control the amount of maximum foot pronation. A stability running shoe serves to minimize arch deformation and indirectly limit peak rearfoot eversion. The design of this shoe is based on a semi-curved last.
Motion Control Running Shoes
Motion control running shoe is designed to control excessive movement in the joints of your foot. This shoe is made to be relatively rigid and provides stability and maximum support along the inside edging of the shoe.
Cushioning or Minimalist Running Experience
Most of the best cheap running shoes are designed to provide cushioning or minimalist running experience. The cushioning shoe category provides you with many options when looking for the best budget running shoes.
With a cushioning shoe, you get much less stability in the heel, allowing your foot to move naturally. This is great for most people and most runners who have a natural range of motion. What is great about a cushioning shoe is that it allows you to ramp up your mileage a little bit more quickly.
The drawback of cushioning shoes is that sometimes they do such a good job of cushioning you from the ground that you might find yourself pushing beyond your limits. This may lead to certain types of injuries, especially stress fractures.
You will also find many options in the minimalist category when shopping for the best affordable running shoes. Minimalist running shoes don’t have those fancy features you would find in cushioned and stability running shoes.
Simply put, the minimalist running experience is one that more closely approximates the barefoot running condition. A shoe that provides you with a minimalist running experience is defined by the following:
- The absence of a thick, overbuilt heel crash pad like that found in a cushioning shoe
- Has a thin sole regardless of the heel-forefoot drop
- The height differential is minimal between the sole under the heel and the sole under the forefoot
- The sole is extremely flexible to allow your foot to bend with the shoe regardless of the running surface
- Minimal structure in the upper part of the shoe
- The footbed is relatively flat and contain little arch support or cushioning
- The shoe is incredibly lightweight and flexible
- The toe box is non-constricting and roomy
Quality of the Running Shoes
If you are in the market for the best value running shoes, it’s best to tread carefully when inspecting the prospective buys on sale. Believe me! Cheap can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be so. First and foremost, don’t depend on a brand name for quality when shopping for inexpensive running shoes.
Tough competition as well as fluctuations in the running shoe industry have created a real dilemma for buyers. There are a few structural elements you can consider to ensure that whatever you are paying for will not be a waste of your money.
First, make sure the shoe has an engineered knit upper that is breathable, flexible, and its durability shouldn’t be less than moderate. Second, go for a decent quality midsole that corresponds to your style of running. So, if you are going for a neutral shoe make sure the quality of the cushioning is above average.
Third, regardless of how tight your budget is, you should never sacrifice size and fit. The toe box needs to be roomy to avoid irritation. The tongue and collar need to be slightly padded and strengthened for a secure fit. The heel must be properly designed to provide ideal support.
Fourth, the outsole should be made of good quality material that will not wear out after a single 5K stretch. The traction of the outsole should be more than decent.
The winner is the Brooks Men’s Revel 2 Running Shoe. It is a cheap shoe, but it has proven to be the ultimate best for road running, cross-training, and treadmill when compared to other models in this roundup. The neutral support and cushioning running experience it offers are the two most important things most runners prefer nowadays.
This shoe has an ingeniously designed semi-curved last that allows for natural pronation. The neutral support provides you with ample cushioning for superior shock absorption. The cushioning experience helps prevent late-race exhaustion. But most importantly the shoe’s quality is good in terms of performance and durability.