According to a recent study (https://runrepeat.com/italia) based on 134,867 reviews of 391 running shoes from 24 brands, expensive running shoes are no better than cheaper ones. In fact, cheap running shoes are better valued than expensive ones.
Based on 134,867 reviews and 391 running shoes from 24 brands:
- The higher the list price, the lower the ratings that running shoes get.
- The 10 most expensive running shoes (average list price: $ 181) are valued 8.1% worse than the 10 cheapest running shoes (average list price: $ 61).
- Running shoe brands are rated 2.8% better than a generic sports brand’s running shoes.
- The three best rated brands are: # 1 Skechers, # 2 Saucony and # 3 VibramFiveFingers, while the three worst rated brands are # 22 New Balance, # 23 Adidas and # 24 Reebok. The Adidas group owns both Reebok and Adidas.
- The three most affordable brands are # 1 Skechers, # 2 Vivobarefoot and # 3 Puma, while the three most expensive are # 22 On, # 23 Newton and # 24 Hoka One One.
Any distortions that could affect the results
No study is perfect. Here are some obstacles of ours:
- One might expect that if a runner buys an expensive shoe, he will have higher expectations than the quality of the shoe and, therefore, it is easier for him to be disappointed. True, the more you spend, the more you expect. However, the list price should reflect these expectations. If you spend more on a pair of running shoes, it is logical to expect a better product.
- The reviews come from the RunRepeat.com collector, which attracts a certain type of runner, which could distort the results (both ways).
Having said that, we still believe that our conclusion is correct and that the potential bias has not significantly affected the data.
Here are the links to the reviews and rankings of the mentioned (expensive) shoes: Nike Flyknit Air Max , Mizuno Wave Prophecy , Asics Gel Kinsei , Inov-8 Oroc 340 , Nike Air Max , Salomon XT Wings , Adidas Springblade Drive , Adidas Ultra Boost , Nike Free Hyperfeel , Adidas Supernova Glide GTX – (cheap): Mizuno Wave Crusader , Nike Downshifter , Nike Dart , Adidas Duramo , Reebok One Guide , Saucony Cohesion ,Asics Gel Contend and Puma Haraka XCS . We also looked at the best 30 running shoes and the worst 30 and the results are always the same. Expensive running shoes get worse reviews: “ Runners are less satisfied with branded running shoes. I know that higher prices create higher expectations, but, in any case, the price should reflect the quality of the product and thus the evaluations, “says Jens Jakob Andersen.
Information on researchers
Jens Jakob Andersen is the chief researcher behind the study. He was a competitive runner and professor of statistics at the Copenhagen Business School, under the supervision of the director of the Finance department Dorte Kronborg. Today, he is founder and CEO of RunRepeat.com. The research was supported by the Polish statistician Wojciech Fedyszyn and reviewed by dozens of experts before being published. The research was funded by RunRepeat.com