Kelly the Culinarian: How to Save Money on Running Gear

Friday, May 3, 2013

How to Save Money on Running Gear

My college friend, Meg, recently asked me for some advice on running clothes and accessories. She recently took up my sport du jour and said since she knows I can spot a quarter from 500 yards and like to run a bit, she asked me how I keep these costs in line.
Meg and I circa 2007. She's on the left end.

I love a good deal, so here are some of the ways I save money on apparel and the general equipment required for running.

Online Sources

If there's something specific that I need, I'll search on Amazon first. I found a cycling jersey for $18 once there, as well as parts for my bike and my bike cleats. I'm also a member of The Clymb, ActiveGearUp and LeftLaneSports. These are like Groupon for active apparel and gear.

Brick and Morter Stores

I do not cheap out on shoes. These are vital to your comfort and health, as well as directly related to how much you will enjoy running. I go in and get fitted for shoes and buy them there. Typically, shoes at a good running store will not cost you more than what you can find online. Plus, you're paying for the expertise as well as the merchandise, so go to a running store. My favorite local running store offers a reward program and send me a $15 coupon for every $200 I spend. Also, they have a mailing list where they will advertise sales, deals and upcoming in-store events. Check your race registration packets, too, as they often contain coupons for local running stores. I have two postcards for running socks with my next shoe purchase, and every little bit helps.
Additionally, cruise the clearance racks (or online clearance) for JC Penney, which carries my favorite loud and proud running tights and gear. Their Exersion line is excellent.  My favorite knock-off Lululemon Define jacket came from Costco, so check there, too.

Save on Race Entries

Race entries can be really expensive. There are some races that just can't be helped; you're not going to find a deal for an Ironman or the Chicago Marathon.  However, I follow smaller, community races on Facebook and Twitter because they will occasionally share deals or promotional codes. Also, check your Groupon, LivingSocial and AmazonLocal e-mails. There are occasionally race entries in there that are steeply discounted.


Unknown said...

I totally agree with not cheaping out on running shoes, especially if you're getting fitted for shoes for the first time. You can sometimes find deals if your current shoe is being discontinued, and if you know it works well for you,, going for those deals can be helpful. I love Amazon for running clothes, too. One way to potentially save on races if you're going to register for a lot of them: join a local running club like CARA that provides its members with discount codes.

Unknown said...

Also, if you go to Sports Authority and go down to the clearance section. Ask if they have X type of item in the back. I went in during the winter looking to pick up some new running shorts and didn't see any on the rack. I asked an associate, and she came back like Santa!

And for shoes, once you find a type of shoe that works good from a shoe store, you can try . Put in your current shoe, and it will match you up with shoes closet to it, then just search for deals!

Beth Sheridan said...

Completely agree on the shoes! And I don't think I ever buy anything online without making sure I can find a discount code and a free shipping code :)

Losing Lindy said...

I tried to post this before, but was receiving error messages, so please delete this if the other came through.

So my biggest mistake was when I went to Kohls to buy running shoes to save money, because they were on sale. They were not the brand I had been using, nor the style. Anyway, I ended up injured and spent way more on medical bills than what the shoes would have cost

Zenaida Arroyo said...

Good advice on the shoes. They cost money but so worth it.

I like Running Warehouse too. I can always find Brooks gear at great prices.