There’s no doubt about it — running shoes are expensive. Fortunately, you can still find cheap running shoes that fit your athletic needs (and budget). In some cases, this might mean settling for an older model of a popular shoe or a color that normally wouldn’t be your first choice. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or are just getting started, you can surely snag a great deal on the right running shoes. If you’re shopping on a tight budget, these shoes offer the best overall bang for your buck. If you need some inspiration, take a look at some of the hottest new women’s running shoes for fall 2015.
1. ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 20 Lite Show Running Shoe
As if the regular GEL-Kayano 20 isn’t already packed with standout features, this special edition offers even more. The Lite Show features a glow-in-the-dark gel material and 360 degree reflectivity. Whether you frequently find yourself running in low light conditions or you just want enhanced visibility when running, these shoes deliver. Don’t let the special effects fool you, though, as this shoe is still a Kayano at its core. From rearfoot to forefoot gel cushioning and a just-right fit, these shoes seem like a steal at such a low price.
Price: $99.99 (41 percent off MSRP)
- Glow-in-the-dark gel
- Rearfoot to forefoot cushioning
- 360 degree reflectivity
- Tight toe box
- Limited color choices
- Runs small
2. Mizuno Women’s Wave Creation 13 Running Shoe
The 13th version of the popular Mizuno Wave Creation features some improvements over its predecessor. For example, it’s about half an ounce lighter, weighing in at 10.8 ounces. The shoe caters to neutral to underpronators who want just the right amount of cushioning and impact protection. As with other Wave shoes, this one features a comfortable and supportive infinity wave into the forefoot to help absorb impact and promote energy on every step. Another highlight is the air mesh upper and ventilated midsole system, both of which reduce heat and humidity build-up inside the shoe. A high-density rubber carbon heel ensures equal parts flexibility and durability.
Price: $94.95 (37 percent off MSRP)
- Supportive infinity wave
- Ventilated midsole system
- Ideal for neutral to underpronators
- Stiff forefoot
- A bit heavy
- Runs narrow
3. Saucony Women’s Cohesion 7 Running Shoe
The Saucony Cohesion 7 is a light and comfortable neutral shoe that stands up just as well to the demands of distance running as it does for shorter runs. Features include a comfortable ride with a snug and supportive fit. The shoe’s flexible forefoot helps to absorb impact while giving your feet a bit of a lift. When combined with the decoupled heel, this equals an uninterrupted gait. Another highlight is the high-abrasion outsole, which holds up well over time. This 8.4 ounce shoe promises cool, dry feet during the run with its breathable mesh upper.
Price: $39.98 – $89.99
- Snug, supportive fit
- Best for neutral runners
- High-abrasion outsole
- Runs a bit wide
- Can get slippery on wet surfaces
- Not ideal for those with flat feet
4. ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 4 Running Shoe
Ready to hit the trails? Take these adventure-oriented shoes with you. The Gel-Venture 4 comes with a trail-specific outsole that can easily tackle uphill and downhill terrain without slipping thanks to reversed lugs. Your heels will also remain comfortable with the rearfoot gel cushioning system, which reduces shock from impact and encourages a smooth gait. The removable sock liner makes cleaning the shoes easier and also provides space for an orthotic. At 8.7 ounces, the shoe is also a top choice for a lighter weight trail running shoe that will keep your feet feeling free.
Price: $33.58 – $60.00
- Trail-specific outsole
- Rearfoot gel cushioning
- Runs small
- Not ideal for low arches
- A bit stiff
5. Nike Women’s Free 5.0 V4 Running Shoe
These Nike shoes stand out for more than their vibrant colors. The emphasis is on natural foot movement without compromising comfort, cushioning, or support. You’ll also get the same amount of traction and underfoot protection in this shoe. The Nike Free 5.0 has some new changes and upgrades, including a new tongue design that promotes better support around the medial arch while reducing pressure on the top of the foot and a molded sockliner that cradles and supports the foot. Runners also appreciate the soft foam inserts under crucial areas such as the forefoot and heel, which makes for a more durable and cushioned ride.
Price: $71.99 – $100.00
- Promotes natural foot movement
- Optimal medial arch support
- Molded sockliner
- Runs small
- Breathability could be better
- Not available in narrow or wide
6. Salomon Women’s XR Mission Trail Running Shoe
Here’s another strong and rugged trail running shoe with a lot to offer. For starters, its quicklace lacing system makes getting ready a breeze. There’s also a breathable mesh upper for enhanced air flow and dryness when you need it. If you frequently run on rocky surfaces or uneven terrain, you’ll appreciate the shock-absorbing midsole. This shoe also offers an extra element of protection with its protective toe cap. As if the fun array of colors wasn’t enough, this shoe also boasts an abundance of cushioning and a rock solid grip.
Price: $60.60 – $110.00
- Quicklace system
- Shock-absorbing midsole
- Protective toe cap
- Can take awhile to break in
- Feels stiff at first
- Not waterproof
7. ASICS Women’s Gel-Contend 2 Running Shoe
The Gel-Contend 2 is a great choice for the low mileage entry-level runner. This shoe weighs just 8 ounces and comes with ample reflectivity for added safety, especially earlier in the morning or later at night. The neutral shoe also features a removable sock liner, giving you extra space for an orthotic or other insert of your choice. A rearfoot gel cushioning system provides just the right amount of support without added extra weight or bulk.
Price: $35.98 – $62.19
- Best for entry-level runners
- Removable sock liner
- Weighs just 8 ounces
- Short laces
- Not enough support for longer runs
- Runs small
8. adidas Performance Women’s Duramo 6 W Running Shoe
Aside from it stylish color combinations, the Duramo 6 stands out for its lightweight material and all-around comfort. Whether you’re gearing up for a marathon or training for a 5k, you’ll appreciate the breathable upper mesh material, which keeps feet cool and comfortable as you pound out the miles. Another highlight is the full-length midsole cushioning for added comfort. A durable outsole remains tough over time, especially in the most high-wear areas. The shoe also promotes a flexible movement to ensure a more natural gait.
Price: $25.99 – $80.00
- Available in many colors
- Breathable mesh upper
- Full-length midsole
- Runs large
- Could use more arch support
- Roomy toe box
9. Altra Women’s Intuition 1.5 Running Shoe
The women’s-specific Altra caters to runners seeking female-specific comfort features, such as the optimal shoe shape for added comfort and support along with cushioning in just the right places. These shoes also stand out for their zero drop platform, which parallels barefoot running with its ability to strengthen feet while minimizing pain. There’s also an abundance of support. These distance-oriented shoes also come with two removable insoles and a full-length seamless interior to keep blisters and irritation at bay. The women’s Intuition 1.5 caters to neutral runners and weighs just 7.7 ounces.
Price: $24.49 – $99.95
- Female-specific design
- Ideal for distance running
- Runs small
- Can take awhile to get used to zero drop platform
- Not ideal for flat feet
10. ASICS Women’s GT 1000 2 Running Shoe
The GT-1000 2 steps it up a few notches from the earlier GT-1000. This latest model has an abundance of comfort and support without restricting your feet. A rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning system helps to comfort feet as the miles tick by while providing shock absorption for a smooth flow. Aside from a responsive bounce that makes your feet feel as though they’re flying, these shoes stand out for their enhanced gait efficiency thanks to a handy guidance line and pronounced midfoot structural integrity. These stability shoes, weighing in at 9.2 ounces, are best for runners with an average arch height who need equal parts support and cushioning.
Price: $54.89 – $99.99
- Rearfoot and forefoot cushioning
- Responsive bounce
- Runs narrow
- Some consumers wish there was more arch support
- Feels stiff at first