While running is practically free, the cost of buying shoes can quickly amount to a considerable sum. I still remember walking into my local Dick’s Sporting Goods every August to pick up a new pair of sneakers for pre-season, and cringing when I realized that these shoes would likely only last me for a couple months despite their price tag. While life has certainly put the cost of running shoes in perspective (thanks to college loans, rent checks and credit card bills), if I don’t have to spend $150 every time I run all the cushioning out of my current sneakers, and can get the same quality for $100 or less, why not?
Brooks Launch 5
While the newer Launch 5 is precisely $100, the Launch 4 is even cheaper at $65. Both are great shoes with a lightweight upper, BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning, and a fit that feels true to size and is very comfortable.
Nike Air Zoom Winflo 5
The same Cushlon foam that you’ll find in the Pegasus 35 trickles down into the Winflo 5. The 10mm drop and durable rubber tread make this a standard runner that’s a solid buy for under $100.
Skechers Performance Gorun Ride 7
When Meb Keflezighi runs, he picks a pair of Skechers (usually a pair of the GoMebs). The 2004 silver medalist in the marathon now runs mostly for charity, but he ran his last official race, the 2017 New York City Marathon in a pair of Skechers. The combination of lightweight materials and a small heel drop makes these shoes worthy of your training days. The days are long gone where Skechers fell behind in performance.
Reebok Fast Flexweave
These shoes made our list for Best Gym Sneakers in 2018 — the flexible and breathable upper performs both on and off the treadmill. Grab these for any mixed surface workouts as they’ll easily handle the turf, track or packed trail.
Under Armour UA Speedform Intake 2
The Under Armour Speedform shoes have gone through quite a transition since they first launched about four years ago, but they’re still the same impressive road shoe coming in under $100. The Charged cushioning midsole feels like a cloud (similar to the newest franchise, the HOVR). The moisture-wicking sock liner means you can wear socks if you want, but it’s not necessary.
New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz
Another winner in our best gym shoes of 2018, the New Balance Fresh Foam sneakers are incredibly comfortable, easily customizable and riff off the aesthetic of some of the originals, just with a more narrow construction. The variety of color options lets you pick from a more street-style sneaker or one you only wear to the gym.
Asics GT-1000 6
The Asics GT-1000 offers high energy cushioning alongside an engineered mesh upper that wraps around your foot to help protect your arch. Each step is softened by the gel system that works regardless of your natural gait.