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Most of us, if not all, spend more time in our trainers that any of the other sports shoes we own. So it is essential to pick the perfect pair for you. People may think that the idea of using different trainers for different sports is just another marketing strategy by companies to get them to spend more. However, according to experts, that is not the case. One research shows that wearing that wrong trainers may be one of the contributors to the stress fractures development. It is essential to select a pair of shoes appropriate for your chosen activity, as the demands of each differ.
For example, playing tennis requires plenty of lateral movements from you as well as changes of direction, while running is pure forward motion. Make sure to look for a nice stable lateral and upper support in your tennis shoes, while it is important for your running shoes to have stability and cushioning.
If each sport has its perfect shoe, cross-trainers are the jack of all trades, and master of none. Keep in mind that if you are doing more than the non-impact most basic gym work and exercise, you need more cushioning and support.
There are numerous shoe stores out there, but not everyone is necessarily right for you and your needs. Keep in mind that a good retailer will ask you what you need the shoe for, how much use the shoe will get, whether you’ve had injury problems or what kind of surface it is for. They will even observe you waling or running in the shoe when purchasing in-store. In some specialists store, you can find a useful tool called Adidas Footscan machine, which can measure where the most pressure is when you land.
The Importance of Getting the Right Fit
Fit is definitely everything when it comes to trainers. Wear a pair that’s too tight and you may very well end up with calluses and black toenails, while a loose fit will result in your feet slipping inside the shoes which will also cause calluses. When your feet are being measured, make sure that you’re standing up and not sitting down in order to get the most accurate measurement. If the trainers you’re training do not feel comfortable right away upon putting them on, move on to the next pair.
Any pair of trainers should not need to be broken in, they should be comfortable upon purchase. Ensure that you have at least a thumb’s width at the front of your to shoe to ensure the right fit. Clever techniques in lacing can help get a perfect fit, but if your feet are particularly narrow or wide, you may want to opt for a pair of New Balance as they are the only shoe manufacturer to date to offer different width fittings.
Another thing to remember when shopping for trainers is to shop in the afternoon as feet swell during the day. This will ensure that you will not be getting a pair that’s too small.
Other Things to Remember When Buying Trainers
Numerous brands like Nike and Asics, are not offering trainers specifically designed for women in order to cater for the different gait pattern and foot shape. According to a research done by Nike, women’s forefeet are broader compared to men’s, they also have narrower heel, higher arches and longer toes, so the company designed shoes to fit the female feet specifically, and to also cater for the various biomechanics caused by a wider Q angle, better flexibility and lower body weight. But you can also choose the men’s version if it feels more comfy.
Another thing you need to remember is to think function over fashion. Don’t be tempted by appearance, what’s more important is how they feel on your feet than how they look. Always remind yourself that trainers are part of your protective equipment and not a fashion statement. So do not get too hung up about brand names of the latest gimmicks as well. Even the most popular manufacturers have introduced revolutionary technology to their brands that has not clicked.
And lastly, a decent pair of trainers can cause you £60 upwards. But don’t expect that they will last forever. A good rule of thumb is that trainers last for the equivalent of around 500 miles of wear. However, do not rely on the mileage estimate, always look at your shoes. If the outsole’s black thread has disappeared, your trainers will not sit stable on a flat surface, or if tilts when you view it from the back, it’s definitely time to get a new pair.
If you find a pair you like and you have the budget, purchase two pairs. The EVA foam in a shoe’s midsole is compressed when you wear it and it will take some time to reform. If you have a couple of pairs, you will get the best use of them and make them last longer. Also, if you’re tight on budget, make sure to search for trainers voucher codes here at Latest Deals, you’ll surely find a deal that will perfectly fit your budget.
How to buy cheap trainers
Cheap trainers at ASOS
Here at Latest Deals, we have a massive community of bargain hunters who are always on the lookout for cheap trainers UK sale for men and women. So whether you’re looking for cheap Nike trainers online, cheap running trainers, cheap adidas trainers or cheap designer trainers online deals, we’ve got your feet covered! Enjoy massive savings and fantastic deals from the latest offers, voucher codes, promos and discount codes from JD Sports, MandM Direct, Amazon, Debenhams, Zalando, and Sports Direct. Plus get the best and cheapest price for brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, Converse, Reebok, New Balance and Asics!
In addition, here are three tips to get cheap trainers:
- Purchase trainers out of season, as this is where you can makes the biggest savings.
- Go beyond high street shops. You can get some of the best deals on the least likely places such as fashion dominant online shops like Asos and Very, as well as independent retailers like Route One.
- Don’t be afraid to ask our money saving experts here at Latest Deals! If a trainer’s price has been reduced, chances are our savvy team of bargain hunters know where they are, and if they don’t then they may know a voucher code or discount code for a retailer that carries them.
Best Trainers in 2018 (So Far)
Nike Epic React Flyknit
- Nike Air Span II, £90: Features an 80s vibe, this Nike Air Span II runner has been released to coincide its 30th anniversary.
- Vans Vault OG Slip-On LX, £55: This slip-on trainers come with iconic checkered design of Vans in red and white.
- New Balance For J.Crew 998 National Parks, £180: Inspired by Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, this 998 New Balance trainers are J.Crew exclusive and made from premium American suede in blue colourway.
- Nike Epic React Flyknit, £129.95: The latest offering from Nike is rather bright and highly advanced flagship runners that looked really good. The Epic React features the new React foam as well as a very soft and responsive midsole.
- Reebok x Hanon Workout Lo Plus, £99: Reebok and Hanon collaborated to create this very special edition trainers inspired by the “Belly’s gonna get you” Reebok cult advertisements from the early 00s.
Is it cheaper to buy from the brand or a distributor?
Brands, such as Nike and adidas, have their own stores both online and on High Streets. They also sell through distributors: M and M Direct, Schuh, and Zalando. The same product may be sold at different prices in each of these shops - so which is cheapest?
Let's look at some case studies to find out:
1. Nike Free RN Flyknit (Women's Running Shoe)
At the time of writing, this shoe was less than one year old. On the Nike website it sells at £109.95 (excluding delivery).
Using price comparison information from PriceSpy we can see that these trainers are much cheaper from distributors:
- Amazon - £55.30
- Zalando - £57.74
- RunnerInn - £74.95
- Littlewoods - £95
- Very - £100
Amazon and Zalando offer the exact same product at half the cost. Plus, when you look the product pages even the recommended retail price (RRP) is less than Nike's. Amazon lists the RRP as £92.17, almost £20 less than Nike itself lists it.
2. Converse Churck Taylor All Star Leather
This Converse trainer is a best seller at time of writing. It features top of the Converse website and sells at £60. How much is it elsewhere?
Again, buying the same product from a distributor rather than the brand itself is 40% cheaper.
Using price comparison sites such as Idealo, PriceSpy and just Google, the results are consistent. It is almost always cheaper to buy trainers from a distributor than from the official brand.
Behind-the-scenes: How much profit are they making?
This video reveals the true cost to a distributor of branded shoes. You can see the wholesaler is selling 700 pairs of Nike and Adidas trainers to distributors for just £14 a pair. These are brand new, never worn shoes that you'll find on Amazon, ebay and in-store. £14 a pair. As the man himself says, advising potential buyers, "I don't think it'd be wrong to expect you to double your money".
So when shopping for cheap trainers keep that in mind. You're trying to find the retailer operating with the lowest profit margin - selling the same product at the cheapest price.
Why are the official brand websites more expensive?
Phil Knight, founder of Nike, said in an interview with Harvard Business Review,
"Nike is a marketing-oriented company, and the product is our most important marketing tool."
And that's the key point: marketing. These days there are thousands of manufacturers creating trainers. Millions of shoes created in thousands of factories all around the world. If you wanted to, you could buy a cheap pair of trainers from Primark and perhaps soon from Poundland. Many people do.
However, the quality of these shoes are dubious, the labour standards are questionable, and well, they're not professional nor cool. Ah, "cool"... what does that mean again? Marketing.
Research company Market Realist revealed in 2014 that 80% of Nike shoes are sold through wholesale distributors. In other words, Nike only sold 20% of its shoes itself. And it's no wonder - as we've just seen you can get it half price elsewhere.
So why doesn't Nike just cut its prices and make more of the sales itself? In short, Nike purposefully keeps its prices high to market itself as a premium brand. Shoes that are £100 must be better than those sold at £10. Therefore, when you go to a distributor and see them half the normal price you think, great!
Premium trainer brands price their products artificially high knowing 80% of sales will take place when it is discounted. The first guiding principle to buying cheap trainers is to get them from a distributor.
How to find cheap trainers in the sales
Trainer brands often host their own sales. You can find the latest information on their retailer pages: adidas, Nike, Converse etc. Just use the search on Latest Deals, enter the brand name and select the retailer page.
Sales hosted on the brands own websites are rarer and more hidden than through distributors. Converse, for example, has 2-3 big sales throughout the year:
- Summer - up to 50% off
- Winter - up to 50% off
- Spring - up to 40% off
Adidas is similar, however it also has an outlet section where it sells end of season items at up to 50% off all year round. This includes clothing and accessories too.
Nike hosts sales almost monthly (as revealed in our newsletter) but keeps them secret. It creates special pages on its website featuring discounted products and advertises those pages specifically elsewhere on the web. You won't be able to navigate to them from the main site. This way, the brand maintains the image of high value but to those in the know they can get the trainers for less.
Many premium brands offer secret sales and often they will stack them with a voucher code.
When there is a sale on trainers from the brand with a combined discount code, this is when the products can be cheaper than the distributors. For example, in July Nike held an 'end of season clearance sale' which was 50% off, plus a 25% off voucher code and free delivery. This meant many of the trainers were cheaper than anywhere else.
- Sign up to our free newsletter to get alerts for these trainer sales.
When do the distributors have sales?
Approach with caution when researching trainer sales from distributors. Their primary method of marketing is through discounts and special offers. Therefore, they are Kings of making something seem like a deal when it is not.
The case studies above revealed you can get branded trainers for half price just by shopping through a distributor such as Schuh. However, note that this was not a special or unique offer. You can expect trainers to always be half price when buying through distributors, in comparison to the brand's own website.
You need to recognise that 'half price' is nothing special at the distributor. In fact, 'half price' is the norm. Think of JD Sports or Sports Direct. When you go into their shops they are full of special offer labels. It doesn't matter when you go, the products are always discounted.
So when shopping for trainer deals at distributors you need to look at the price history. How much were the trainers a week ago, a month ago, a year ago?
Here are some of our favourite methods to discover price history:
- Ask fellow members of Latest Deals - there are some real shoe dogs in our community who track prices. You can write a message in Chat, or put a question on our Facebook Group.
- Use tools with price history graphs - our favourites are PriceSpy, Idealo and CamelCamelCamel (Amazon only).
- Note from Tom - we have plans to integrate price history graphs and price comparison into Latest Deals. If you think this is a good idea, shout for it in our Feature Requests chat thread.
When using Price History tools pay close attention to the retailers that they monitor. CamelCamelCamel is Amazon only. Idealo varies a lot and tends to stick only to retailers they can earn commission from. PriceSpy is more comprehensive but the data is not as frequently updated. Use them to get a general gist: Is now a good or bad time to buy?
Distributors have sales all the time. You need to look for the sale of sales, 50% off the 50% off.
Outlet stores may help.
How to find cheap trainers at outlet stores
- Nike outlet store
- Adidas outlet store
- Converse outlet store (via Amazon)
- Asics outlet store
- New Balance outlet store
Outlet stores offer the chance to pick up some bargain trainers. They are where manufacturers sell surplus stock at a discount. Be careful though and check the price history before you buy.
Search Google for "[brand] online outlet store" to find more and use Latest Deals as well.
Homebrand trainers vs. big brands - are they worth it?
Academic literature is inconclusive whether cheap trainers are worse than expensive trainers, and equally whether expensive trainers are consistently better than cheap trainers. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found trainers priced at £40-£45 were just as good as trainers at £70-75 in terms of cushioning and comfort (the two factors most likely to prevent injury). However, the scientists themselves said the results were unreliable and looked at less than 20 people.
Some sports stars such as basket ball player Stephon Marbury have said shoe companies are "ripping you off", and Edge Hill University in Lancashire reviewed six pairs of cheap trainers with mixed results: Sainsbury's was scored 4/10, Lidl 7/10, Tesco 8/10 and ASDA 8/10. But these scores are specific to the shoes tested, not necessarily to the retailer: there may be another pair of shoes at Sainsbury's twice as good.
To add further complexity to the problem, it all depends on the wearer. A shoe may be loose and clunky on my feet, but snug and comfortable on yours. This is true of expensive trainers and cheap trainers.
Tesco Woodworm men's trainers, £14.99, scored 8/10 in the Edge Hill University study.
Cheap trainers from high street supermarkets and retailers may be just as good as expensive brands if they fit well and serve the purpose you're after.
Dr Langley from Edge Hill University explains:
- The best shoes have cushioning such as gel or shock-absorbing materials in the sole.
- TENNIS/SQUASH: For activities involving sudden movements (such as tennis), choose a shoe that stops the foot twisting and sliding.
- This means one with a rigid sole and heel counter (which cups your heel at the back of the shoe to stop you going over on an ankle during sudden changes in direction).
- It should have design features — stitching or panels — which stop you being able to twist the shoe in your hands, and a built-up arch area on the inside.
- WALKING/JOGGING: To reduce the impact on your joints, look for a more flexible, cushioning sole. Hold a shoe in both hands and squeeze the sole. It should have some “give” but not be too soft, or it may be too easily compressed by the weight of the body and offer little real cushioning.