Running on a budget.

Clearly, as evidenced by my post following my adventures in Targetland, I’m not always the budget guru, however, when it comes to running on a budget, I kinda know the tips and tricks.

This came up the other day, when a friend, who is very cool and very very tatted up, mentioned that she loves to run, but that a pair of running shoes is nearly an entire one of her paychecks.

I totally get that.  I’ve been there before, and I feel so fortunate to not have to scrounge for shoes and some technical gear any longer.


So, I cannot stress to you enough how important good gear is.  If you want to avoid chafing, blisters, bunions, heel pain, the whole 9, you need to spend money on your stuff.  But how can you afford the stuff?  (Seriously, I just got a pair of tights that costed $90, so I feel you.)

  1. Recognize that the pricier stuff, both shoes and gear, is generally superior to the less-expensive stuff from Wal-Mart or Target.  I’ve worn both.  Sure, the less pricey stuff definitely has its perks – it’s great for bumming around, long drives, and sometimes, for the occasional workout.  But if you’ve ever tried to wear a cotton t-shirt during a hot, sweaty workout and it’s turned into a dress on you, you know that sometimes, the more-expensive stuff is worth it.
  2. Once you recognize that it might be worth it, let’s strategize on how we’re gonna save dem dollas.
  3. Pay for one anchor piece full-price.  That’s right, shell out that $110 for a pair of shoes at a running specialty place like a Fleet Feet, so you know what kind of shoe you need.  Get the whole fitting.  Let them fit you for a bra.  Try on some pieces of clothing that you think you might like or need.  And leave the store, guilt-free, with your new pair of shoes, and an idea of what your size might be in some other apparel.
  4. So let’s say you were fitted for something like the Brooks Ghost 6.  You know what you’re in now, right?  So there are a few things you can do to save money at this point.  Number one, ask your local Fleet Feet, or whatever running specialty store if they have a customer rewards program.  You may get 10% off of your next pair of shoes, a free pair of socks, or something along those lines!
  5. Ask the person fitting you if there is any discount for teachers or miltary. 
  6. Keep your eyes peeled for anytime your store might be having a sale, because often when a shoe is moving to its new model, the older model may be discounted. 
  7. As far as gear, shop in the off-season!  Shop the racks the end of winter and the end of summer, and you should be able to get some staple pieces to be able to use year-round at a pretty reasonable price.

What are you favorite tips for running on a budget?

2 thoughts on “Running on a budget.

  1. Great tips! I think people THINK they need so many little gadgets and gear but in reality, they need a good pair of shoes and clothing that won’t cause them crazy amounts of chaffing 🙂

    1. You’re right! Those little gadget and doo-dads are really really really fun – but it’s okay to purchase them later, once you’ve established a decent income!

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