LOLZLetter 151 | Why Are Running Shoes Getting More and More Expensive?!
I hope you are having a happy holidays. This was the first year my spouse and I celebrated Christmas alone. I've spent Christmas with immediate family, but this is the first year we spent it just the two of us. It was quiet, but after a busy month, the relaxation was welcome.
This is our first Christmas in the Mojave, and we were lucky enough to spend Christmas Eve at the Feline Conversation Center watching big cats eat their turkey dinner. (A tradition they do every year.) Then we spent Christmas with our own cats, relaxing and eating cinnamon rolls. Today we are on our way to Salt Lake City area for skiing.
But anyway, that was my holiday in a nutshell, and I hope you had a wonderful holiday too. Most people don't read the newsletter for my life updates.
Now on to a question I've gotten a few times recently...
So Why are Running Shoes So Expensive?
If you've run for a few years, you know running shoes have increased in price. Just a couple of years ago, the Brooks Ghost was $120, and the Nike Pegasus was $100. Now the Ghost is $130 and the Pegasus is $120.
As we head into 2022, the supply chain problem is hitting running brands too. Running shoes are anticipated to go into a shortage. Some of your favorite models like Brooks Ghost or Hoka Clifton might be hard to come by in the Spring. I say this not to scare you or exaggerate but say it because now might be a good time to pick up a second pair of your favorite shoes before you can't find them anywhere.
I also say it because the supply problems are making it more challenging to manufacture shoes and will affect the pricing as well. This article about the supply chain and small businesses even interviews a running store!
This newsletter wasn't meant to be about 2022; it's meant about now.
Why are running shoes getting more and more expensive? Are running shoes just that much better than 10 years ago?
Why is a good pair of running shoes over $100? What happened to that $60 pair that used to exist? Do I need a pricy pair of shoes? Is the $180 shoe better than the $120 pair?
If you run, you should get fitted for a good pair of shoes. Based on your gait, foot shape, injury history, and activities, someone in running specialty can help narrow it down from 100 different shoes to a 5.
How is the Cost of a Running Shoe Created?
First, the brand sets the cost of the running shoe (not the individual store). There are regulations in place so that your favorite running shoe won't be undersold. For instance, you won't find an authentic iPhone sold for $100. You also won't find an authentic Brooks Ghost 14 sold for $75. (I use Brooks Ghost as an example because it's a widely known and popular shoe.)
If it’s sold for less, whoever is selling can be shut down and lose their privilege to sell that brand. For instance, if you see the Brooks Ghost 14 sold at $75, the store doing so
a: isn’t making money
b: might be forced to close their account with Brooks
Run Specialty stores sell at the retail value. The shoes aren’t marked up.
What is the Cost Breakdown of Running Shoes?
Most run specialty brands like Nike, Saucony, Asics, etc., have about a 40-50% margin. This means the shoe costs the brand about half of the retail value. For instance, if the shoe is $120, it usually costs about $60 to the brand.
The cost includes building the shoe, packaging, and also delivering it. Then the retail cost is what stores price it so the store can make money and stay in business.
What about the most expensive shoes?
There is no research to prove more expensive shoes save you from injury. The more expensive the running shoe, the more cushion or support it has. More cushion does not always mean better.
Here is a Shoe Cushion Example in the Brooks Family:
$110 Brooks Launch 8: Least amount of cushion, best designed for workouts or shorter runs. You will get about 300 miles) Review here.
$130 Brooks Ghost 14: Most traditional and most sold shoe in the industry. You’ll get about 400 miles. (Review here)
$150 Brooks Glycerin 19: More plush, more cushion than the Ghost. You’ll get about 400 miles. (Review here).
BUT Shoes Under $100 Do Not Last as Long as Shoes Above $100:
If you purchase a minimalist shoe or racing flat, keep in mind that they don’t last as long. For instance, a racing flat like the Nike LT streak (retails at $80) is not going to get as much mileage as the Nike Pegasus ($120) or Nike Vomero ($140).
However, the Nike Vomero ($140) will not get more mileage than the Nike Pegasus ($120). There is just more cushion to the Vomero. If you like a shoe with more cushion and a shoe that takes the impact more, the Vomero is a better shoe. If you want a lighter, faster shoe, the Pegasus is a better shoe.
The takeaway here is: as you get more cushion in a shoe, the price goes up.
If you zoomed past all of this here are a few key takeaway points:
Running brands set the cost of running shoes, not running stores
Authentic and current running shoes are the same price everywhere, or the store selling them can lose their privilege to sell shoes.
The supply chain will affect running shoe prices, so it's a good idea to get an extra pair now.
Just because a running shoe is more expensive doesn't make it better.
What is Keeping Me Entertained This Week?
Safe Sport Bans Alberto Salazar. It's important to note that he was banned for sexual misconduct, not drugs. It's also important to note that no athlete has come out publically and accused him of sexual misconduct. The general public will probably never know the entire store of what he has done.
A Closer Look at the Shakeup at NAZ Elite: I don't typically link to Lets Run articles, but I found this to be informative about the changes we are seeing in the Naz Elite group.
Finally, thank you to everyone who shared the newsletter last week. There were 89 shares through email, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The winner is Rob T who shared on twitter. You can just respond here and I'll get you taken care of.
I'll have more giveaways in the future.
If you are enjoying the newsletter, I appreciate you sharing. Sharing helps new people discover it!
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