By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com
With the sun now setting later and later and warm weather spreading across the country, many people tired of treadmill monotony have taken their runs outside. Don't hesitate to join their ranks because you're afraid the "perfect" running shoes will cost an arm and two legs. Here are four picks from Cheapism.com that are lightweight, supportive, and breathable, yet reasonably priced at $100 or less. (Not shopping for yourself? They're available for men, too.)Start running in a pair of cheap running shoes.
The Saucony Kinvara 3 (starting at $61) is known for being light and flexible while still providing enough support for long distances. Memory-foam pods in the heel of the shoe keep runners' feet well cushioned. One online reviewer marvels that these shoes have held up for more than 600 miles of wear and tear. They come in 10 different color combinations.
The Saucony Guide 6 (starting at $100) is a stability shoe, which provides added arch support and can help ease pain in runners whose feet tend to roll inward. Reviewers say the sizing runs a bit smaller than they expected, but overall the shoe earns high ratings.
The Asics Gel-Blur33 2.0 (starting at $64) combines layers of memory foam with shock-absorbing gel for added comfort. One reviewer even likens the feeling of this shoe to wearing pajamas. Again, they seem to run a bit small, but many buyers assert that the quality, cushioning, and price fit perfectly.
The Brooks PureConnect 2 (starting at $68) slips on like a glove, or a mitten to be more precise: The big toe is separated from the rest of the toes, which one expert found off-putting at first but would up liking in practice, because it helped him push off with more power. Consumers attest that the lightweight, minimalist design is sufficiently supportive and comfortable.
Most shoppers will want to try on a new shoe and take a stroll around the store before buying. But, with free shipping and free returns, online retailers such as Zappos encourage shoe shopping from home. Either way, start by trying the so-called "wet test": Compare the footprint you make on a bathmat, pool deck, or brown paper bag with images from Runners World to check the shape of your arches and determine the right type of running shoe for your feet.
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Most runners with normal arches will fit comfortably into any of the shoes listed above. People who have high arches tend to be supinators, which means their feet roll outward as they run. If you fill this bill, try a neutral shoe such as the Saucony Kinvara 3, Asics Gel-Blur33 2.0, or Brooks PureConnect 2. In contrast, the Saucony Guide 6 is a stability shoe designed to correct mild or moderate overpronation, where the feet tend to roll inward as they make contact with the ground. If you're a severe overpronator, consider a motion-control running shoe such as the Brooks Addiction 10 (starting at $110).
More from Cheapism:
Top inexpensive treadmills
Best budget mp3 players
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