The best way to save money on a pair of sneakers doesn’t necessarily involve trying them on first.
Buying running shoes online can save you an average of 38.14 percent, according to the latest analysis by RunRepeat.com. That translates to an average savings of $46.19.
RunRepeat.com helps consumers find running shoes — including sneakers that many people wear for everyday use, not just running, RunRepeat.com founder Jens Jakob Andersen says.
An earlier study by the site found that a cheap pair of running shoes might suit you as well as an expensive pair. RunRepeat.com’s latest study, released this week, is based on an analysis of prices from 41 online retailers.
Looking at 450 running shoes, the site found an average manufacturer’s suggest retail price, or MSRP, of $121.10. But the average price for the same shoes online was $74.91.
RunRepeat.com says the lower online prices are likely a result of the fact that shoe manufacturers have a tougher time controlling online prices than prices in brick-and-mortar stores.
Andersen shared his online sneaker shopping tips with Money Talks News. They include:
Use Shoefitr when it’s available. This tool uses three-dimensional images of the inside of shoes to help you find the right fit.
Amazon.com acquired Shoefitr last year, and it is available for certain shoes that Amazon sells. To see how it works, check out the ASICS GEL Cumulus 17 at Amazon.com — click the text that says “Find the right size.”
Check out Zappos.com. RunRepeat.com found that Zappos has the third-largest running shoe selection. But even if you don’t end up buying from Zappos, Andersen notes that the site can be helpful.
For example, Zappos’ “Fit Survey” information specifies whether most shoppers who bought a certain shoe felt it was true to size, or too big or too small. Shoppers also note whether a shoe is true to width, or too wide or too narrow.
The survey also notes what most shoppers thought of the arch support — nonexistent, moderate or excellent. You can see an example of the “Fit Survey” info here:
Check reviews. RunRepeat.com’s ranking of more than 500 shoes is based on more than 100,000 reviews. It can be filtered by category and brand, and is updated daily.
As with any online purchase, check the return policy. Some retailers offer free returns by mail and others allow online purchases to be returned to brick-and-mortar stores, which saves you return shipping costs.
Other ways to save include:
- Shop via a cash-back portal like Ebates.com.
- Pay with a discounted gift card from a reputable gift card marketplace like Raise.com or Cardpool.com.
Have you ever purchased sneakers online? Let us know what did or didn’t work for you in a comment below or on Facebook.
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