This is a question we get a lot at the ‘house. We certainly don’t blame you for wanting to look out for your wallet when you’re shopping for new shoes, especially if you’re racking up 70+ mile weeks and needing a new pair every couple of months. Fortunately, there are many solid running shoe options under $100, and the best one for you will depend on what you’re looking for.
Light, Flexible Running Shoes under $100
Asics Gel Lyte33 2 ($90 MSRP)
The Asics Gel Lyte33 2 was the surprise of the year for us so far. It feels completely different than it’s predecessor (in a good way), and offers a soft yet bouncy feel with a quality ride. We credit the combination SpEVA/Solyte midsole, which gives a particularly nice feel for mid/forefoot strikers where the shoe provides full-thickness SpEVA foam.
New Balance 730 v2 ($75 MSRP)
Flexible might be the first word that comes to mind when you think of the New Balance 730 v2. This shoe has many of the points we loved about the original, including a low offset, responsive ride, and upper that runs on the generous side. We also think it’s one of the best looking New Balance shoes for 2013.
Nike Free 4.0 ($95 MSRP)
If you want to get the Nike Free experience on your feet for under a hundo’, then reach for the Nike Free 4.0. This Free model doesn’t get as much attention as the Free 5.0 (nee Free Run) or the minimal Free 3.0 v5, but it still offers all the classic features of a Free running shoe: extreme flexibility, good cushioning, and a breathable, sock-like upper.
Zero-Drop Running Shoes under $100
Saucony Virrata ($90 MSRP)
In spite of its modest price tag, the Saucony Virrata has the power to amaze. It has a performance fit and a sweet spot just behind the ball of the foot – but it seems to feel good no matter how your foot lands. Unlike most zero-drop designs, this shoe has quite a bit of padding underfoot.
Altra Samson/Delilah ($95 MSRP)
Wide-footed “barefoot” runners of the world, rejoice! The Altra Samson (and the Women’s model, the Altra Delilah) has a rectangular toe box that comfortably accommodates wider feet without rubbing or causing blisters. It also has a removable sockliner so you can get extremely close to the ground.
Merrell Vapor Glove ($80 MSRP)