We have all stood drooling in our local running shop and have created a mental wish list of our favourite running gear we would spend our hard earned cash on if we could justify it but can you run on a budget?
If you go into your local knowledgeable running shop they will always give you great advice but we also have to remember that they need to sell their wares to keep afloat. So the question keeps coming back to how much do we have to spend on our kit?
Now I have to be honest and being a true Adidas running fan I haven’t been able to jump whole hog into cheaper brands of trainers but I know people who have, and love them. Trainers are a real personal choice and with lots of miles under their tread we want to be confident they are going to support and help us go faster however, all the other paraphernalia it may be worth considering cheaper brands. Also in this e commerce day and age you can find a good trainer bargain if you know the size, brand and style you want but I would never go with buying the unknown! Try before you buy! (Not always possible online, some online shops allow returns if worn inside)
Now like most I can never keep up with the amount of running kit going in the wash each week and have to have multiple sets of kit. This is where I truly have embraced the cheap kit. Buying most of my running shorts and tops from my local sports direct and picking up cheap compression gear and socks from my local Aldi I truly have got the knack for finding a bargain.
Don’t get me wrong I also have a set or 2 of my ‘posh’ running gear but most of this has either been bought in the sales or as presents. But I have to say I truly prefer my Karimor shorts to any other! The cut is not as slick as other brands but the functionality is no different. As expected I have had a few glitches, mainly the back pocket gaining a hole quickly from where I stash my keys but I’m no stranger to a needle and thread. As T shirts go I can’t know them, they have the same high viz options and reflective panels for a fraction of the cost. In my experience they wash well and have stood the test of time.
Now I honestly can say my favourite running socks are my Aldi socks, when they come into the shop I make sure I stock up. I always reach for a pair for races too. They are comfortable and never cause blisters and seem to have padding in the right places.
In the end the key thing is to make sure you stay comfortable in whatever gear and conditions you run in and to remember that it’s better to plan to be wet and warm than try to stay dry as even the best kit will struggle at times with the British weather!
So what is the answer? The true answer is buy to your budget, if you can afford it get the best buy the best, but if like me, you cannot always justify the cost I suggest you prioritise. Spend your money on your trainers and make you savings on you clothing. Let’s be honest if spends more time sweaty or going round the washing machine than it does looking pristine!