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Tips for choosing cheap running shoes

If you are resistant to advertising, branding and top runners telling you to buy the same shoes as them, there are plenty of decent cheap running shoes out there which are perfectly adequate. Just make sure you follow a few rules.

  1. Don't expect expert advice from a High Street sports shop. There may be exceptions but mostly these are outlets for selling football jerseys in high volume rather than running shoes. They will steer you towards the expensive brands and say something unhelpful like "these are cool".
  2. Take account of the individual shape of your foot. This can be as basic as needing a wide-fitting shoe for example, or rather more complex like finding out whether you have high arches or a flatter foot.
  3. Take advice from other runners. If you train or run with a group for example, get chatting about the flaws and advantages of certain shoes. Fellow runners will also be able to pass on tips about where to find the best prices.
  4. Don't compromise on strength and resilience. You might have found the most comfortable shoe in the world, but that won't help if the sole falls off just when you are looking good for a personal best time in a half-marathon.
  5. Don't be ashamed of the discontinued lines or retro look of some major brands' past designs. Check ebay (www.ebay.co.uk) outlet stores for brand new cheap running shoes that might not exactly be 2012 sharp, but will still keep you comfortable through your daily 8 miles (or 400 metres). If anyone derides your shoe, just tell them it's a timeless design classic.

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