Study Suggests Expensive Running Shoes May Not Be Better

Editors Note: Study author powers ATRA’s “Trail Shoe Finder” tool.

Press release provided by: Marcelina Horrillo, media contact,, Ph: 817 945 6606

134,867 user reviews of running shoes collected by the independent review aggregator reveals that expensive running shoes are not as highly rated as inexpensive shoes, and that not all brands are liked equally well.

A new study by evaluated 134,867 user reviews of 391 different running shoes from 24 brands.

Talking about people’s tendency to purchase expensive shoes, the founder of Jens Jakob Andersen says, “People buy three times as expensive shoes to get eight percent less satisfied. This makes me question the consumerism we are experiencing towards premium running shoes.”

This study is the first to compare the correlation between the list price of running shoes and user reviews.
“We did the study to inform consumers, not to promote or hurt any specific brands. We are an independent institution that pursues the vision of sharing the truths of the running shoe industry, and to help consumers choose the right running shoes.” Say Jens Jakob Andersen, founder of

Key conclusions from the study are:
1. In general, the higher the list price, the lower ratings the running shoes get.
2. The 10 most expensive running shoes (avg. list price: $181) are rated 8.1% lower than the 10 cheapest running shoes (avg. list price: $61).
3. Running specialist brands are rated 2.8% higher than running shoes from broad sports brands.
4. The top three highest rated brands are: #1 Skechers, #2 Saucony and #3 VibramFiveFingers, while the three worst rated are #22 New Balance, #23 Adidas and #24 Reebok. (Note: Adidas Group owns both Reebok and Adidas).
5. The three most affordable brands are #1 Skechers, #2 Vivobarefoot and #3 Puma, while the three most expensive brands are #22 On, #23 Newton and #24 Hoka One One.

The full study including graphics is available at:

Infographic Study 1200px

About is an ad free and cost free website driven by a community of runners that review running shoes at the website. It has more than 100,000 user reviews and 2,500 expert reviews. The site is the World’s largest review site in running.

Mr. Jens Jakob Andersen is the founder of, and the lead researcher on this study. Previously, he was a competitive runner and lecturer in statistics at Copenhagen Business School. Recently he dedicated his career to help runners choose the right running shoes at