All too often we’re led to believe that by spending more money—no matter what the item might be—we’re investing in a higher quality product. Sure, for some goods this may be true, but this logic doesn’t hold up across the board, and as one recent study found, it definitely doesn’t when it comes to running shoes.
Conducted by RunRepeat.com, the study examined 134,867 user reviews for 391 different running shoes from 24 brands. The main conclusion: expensive running shoes are often rated worse than those that are more affordable. In fact, the data showed that spending less money on your sneakers just might guarantee you’ll be more satisfied with them.
“Our study very clearly outlines that runners buying more expensive running shoes are less satisfied than runners buying mid-range or cheap running shoes,” said Jens Jakob Andersen, founder or RunRepeat.com. “People buy three times as expensive shoes to get eight percent less satisfaction.”
Of course, as Andersen noted, those spending more money on their running shoes likely have much higher expectations for the product, which ultimately may lead to a larger sense of dissatisfaction. But still, he explained, prices should accurately reflect the quality of the product, and therefore, the ratings too.
So, which shoes from the study were identified as the most affordable? It’s a pretty diverse list and surprisingly enough, some of the brands who produce what the data found to be the most expensive (and arguably most overpriced) running shoes also produce some of the highest-rated shoes that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Here’s a look at the 10 most affordable running shoes, and each shoe’s “Runscore” (a number from 0 to 100 generated by both user and expert reviews) as identified by RunRepeat.com.