After 12 hours of research evaluating 2 products, we picked ASICS Men's GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe as our top choice.
Who has $100 to blow on a single pair of running shoes for men?
Don't get me wrong: a good pair of running shoes is worth its weight in gold. Long-lasting, comfortable, supportive shoes can help you run better, decrease your risk of injuries, and improve overall gym performance. But $100 for a pair of shoes? That's a lot of money to spend!
Don't sweat it!
Thankfully, there are a lot of great options of running shoes for men less than $100. They're cheaper in price but not quality, and they offer everything you need for your treadmill, trail, street, or sprint running workouts.
Tell me more…
We've done the research to bring you the best running shoes under $100: the most stable, comfortable, cushioned, and affordable options around. Our list below will serve your needs, and at a price you can afford!
• Great price; cheap yet surprisingly good shoe
• A lot more comfortable than they look
• Lightweight, with good ventilation and snug fit
Incredibly lightweight, very cheap, "free runner" design, comfortable, fairly durable, snug fit, slip-on design, well-sized, good cushioning and shock absorption, and breathable.
No laces, lacks padding around the ankle, and a bit difficult to put on.
Performance: These shoes are sold at an incredibly low price (as low as $10!), but reviewers agree that their quality is surprisingly good. The sole doesn't have the impressive arch support you'd get from a $60+ pair of running shoes, but there's enough cushioning to keep you comfortable as you run. The stability and traction on these shoes are great. All in all, a simple pair of running shoes for those just getting into running.
Are these shoes designed for marathons? Not at all. You'll get maybe 6 to 8 months of regular use out of them before they wear out, but that's a lot better than you'd expect for such a low-priced pair of running shoes. The design, durability, and comfort are all great considering the cost.
Features: The shoe is a "free runner", meaning it's made with minimal structure for the upper (no laces), lightweight construction, and deep grids on the traction of the shoe. It's commonly used for parkour or other outdoor activities that require flexibility and versatility. Thanks to the design, you'll find these shoes can keep up with your runs and other athletic activities.
The slip-on design makes it a bit difficult to put the shoes on—the collar has to grip your ankles snugly, and there's no elastic stretch to put on the shoe. However, once it's on, it's not going anywhere. Sadly, the lack of padding around the ankle means it may rub your feet raw (if you wear ankle socks). However, the snug fit makes up for it, and you'll be able to run, jump, and play without worrying about the shoes slipping off your feet.
Price: Starting at $10, these are some of the best-priced shoes ON THE MARKET. No other shoes in this price range offers the same durability, quality, and excellence in design. If you're looking to save money on a good pair of shoes, definitely check these Tesla's out!
• Sleek, lightweight, minimalist design that offers comfort and support
• Good stability and versatility; a quality pair of shoes
• Among the most durable barefoot running shoes around
Good cushioning for barefoot runners, well-priced, lightweight, versatile, great mobility, breathable, durable Vibram rubber outsole, good forefoot fit, and improves pronation and stride.
Lacking midsole support/comfort, and prone to blistering.
Performance: For those who like the "barefoot/minimalist" style of running, these are the shoes you'll want. They're true to the barefoot design without sacrificing cushioning or support. You'll find they keep your forefoot, heel, and ankle stable as you run. (Midsole support is a bit lacking, sadly.)
The fit on this shoe is surprisingly good, with a wide toe box that makes for more comfortable running. They're a fairly lightweight pair of shoes that will protect your feet as you run outdoors—perfect for barefoot runners tired of their feet being shredded by concrete. They offer all the versatility and mobility you need from a pair of running shoes for fast lateral movements (sprint training).
Features: These shoes have an incredibly durable Vibram rubber outsole, one that can keep up with your all-terrain runs (snow, concrete, mountain and forest trails, treadmills, etc.). They're among the most rugged of the barefoot class of running shoes, and you'll find they're surprisingly comfortable, even after hours of running, thanks to the ventilation offered by the breathable mesh upper.
Price: Starting at just under $80, these can be a tad pricey. However, compare that to the cost of other barefoot running shoes (like Vibram FiveFingers), and you'll see that the durability, support, and design of these bad boys make them an excellent choice for any minimalist runner.
• Airy and comfortable—like running on a cloud
• Design ensures smooth heel-to-toe transition
• Heavier, more durable than average shoes; great for distance running
Very comfortable, corrects pronation and gait, durable upper and insole, great support, decent stability, good traction, and EVA midsole.
Sizes run small, and the outsole lacks durability.
Performance: For those who want a pair of shoes that can keep up with a lot of daily use, these Hoka shoes are the perfect choice. They're bigger, bulkier, and heavier than your average pair of running shoes, but they offer amazingly thick cushioning that reduces the impact as you run. Thanks to the breathability and impact-reducing design, you'll never have to deal with aching feet again.
The sole is designed to make the heel-to-toe transition smoother, helping you to run with less effort. It's definitely not a shoe built for speed, but it will keep your feet comfortable as you run—a treadmill workout, 5K, half-marathon, or IronMan race!
Features: The EVA midsole offers great arch support, encouraging a more natural gait. The mesh upper is surprisingly airy, keeping your feet ventilated as you run for hours. The non-marking rubber outsole offers good durability, with excellent traction that will keep you stable on gravel, dust, or even icy conditions.
Be warned: the midsole is oversized—up to 250% larger than other running shoes. This is done to ensure better cushioning and arch support. It adds a bit of weight, but it makes the shoe more comfortable even after long hours of running.
Price: Starting at $90, these are the priciest of the shoes on our "budget buy" list. However, they're worth every penny if you're a distance runner and are looking for the shoes that can keep up with hours of pounding the pavement.
• Cushioning makes it feel like you're running on a cloud
• Lightweight, flexible, and comfortable—great street running shoes
• Excellent shock absorption; ideal for heavier runners
Thick cushioning, great versatility, breathable, lightweight, comfortable right out of the box, shock absorbing, minimalist design, supportive, designed to reduce friction with your feet, and created using durable leather and nylon upper.
Tight around the forefoot, and the soles lack durability.
Performance: For those who need more cushioning in their shoes, the Kinvara 6 is a great option. Despite its "minimalist" design, you'll find it offers excellent cushioning for your heels, arches, and forefoot—including a shock-absorbing design that helps to minimize impact on your joints. It's also lightweight and beautifully flexible, making it an ideal pair of running shoes for streets, trails, and treadmills.
The traction of the shoes is decent, though the soles don't offer the durability you'd get with a pricier pair of shoes. However, if you spend most of your time indoors, it's the pair of cushioned running shoes you need.
Features: The shoes are built with a nylon and leather upper, which provides durability beyond that offered by synthetic fabrics. The breathable mesh keeps your feet nice and cool as you run and also minimizes odors. The lacing system is good, ensuring the shoes grip your feet tightly without being uncomfortable.
In addition to the solid midfoot and forefoot cushioning, the heel has extra layers of shock absorption to reduce joint impact. The FlexFilm support frame keeps your feet from sliding around in the shoes and prevents friction/blisters.
Price: The cost of these shoes starts at $64 and goes just over $100, depending on size. A slightly higher price tag, but worth it for a pair of shoes that offer excellent cushioning for your runs.
• Stability shoe perfect for overpronators (those with low arches)
• No break-in period required; comfortable right out of the box
• Great for long walks, runs, and treadmill training sessions
Excellent stability, good arch support, decent durability, flexible sole, lightweight, good cushioning, not as pricey as latest model, firm midsole, good ventilation, and very comfortable.
Sizes run small and narrow, and the heel cup tends to wear down and rub your ankles.
Performance: For those who need stability running shoes, these deliver quality at a price tag you love. The shoes are comfortable even for long runs, with a lacing system that's snug without cutting off blood supply and a thick outsole that offers good support and cushioning. They offer support without reducing versatility and mobility, thanks to their flexible sole. The stiffness of the midfoot is just right to correct your overpronation and support your low arches.
The shoes are comfortable right out of the box, so you can put them on and go for a run on the same day—no break-in time required. They're great for walks, hikes, runs, cycling, elliptical training, and treadmills. A runner's best friend, with all the stability you need!
Features: The shoe is made with the textile and synthetic upper that keeps your feet properly ventilated, preventing excessive sweating and bad odors. The rubber sole is durable and offers decent traction. The EVERUN cushioning built into the insole will encourage forward motion with less effort from your leg muscles, making your runs easier.
The shoe comes in a selection of bright, stylish colors that make them a great compliment to your running clothes.
Price: The shoes will run you anywhere from $55 to $150 per pair, depending on the size. Thankfully, they're cheaper than the latest Saucony Guide shoes, making them a great budget choice!
• A well-priced, long-lasting, highly versatile pair of running shoes
• Good support, stability, and cushioning; shock reduction technology integrated
• Perfect for running on tracks, trails, and sidewalks
Comfortable, durable, affordable, great for outdoors, decent cushioning, impact-reducing design, good support, offers stability while running, and waterproof upper.Overall, a highly efficient pair of running shoes.
The ankle cushion breaks quickly; and the shoe is sized small/narrow.
Performance: If you're looking for a high-performance pair of running shoes at a beautiful price, you'll love these bad boys. They're durable (save for the minor issue of the ankle cushion wearing out quickly), long-lasting, and offer the stability and support you need for running on trails, the running track, or through the city. You'll find they can keep up with most running shoes, but don't cost you an arm and a leg.
The shoes don't have uber-thick cushioning, but they offer enough to keep your feet comfortable without reducing your traction and grip on the road. You'll find they're surprisingly stable and supportive, especially around your ankles. If you're worried about ankle injuries while running, you'll love these shoes.
Features: The mesh upper is breathable, yet somehow waterproof at the same time! Your feet won't overheat in these shoes, and you'll love how tightly the lacing system grips your feet—keeping you stable as you run even in low-traction conditions (trail/mountain running).
The GEL cushioning built into the heel and midsole keep your feet comfortable while you run. The outsole has deep grooves that increase traction and grip, and the high-abrasion rubber can take a beating and still keep running. The sockliner is even removable, making this shoe compatible with orthotics.
Price: At just under $50, these are a beautifully affordable pair of shoes. They're able to keep up with many higher-priced offerings, and provide good comfort, stability, and durability—everything you want in a high quality running shoe!