Why running isn’t really cheap

It’s easy to believe that running is a sport that’s basically free. You put on a pair of trainers, slip on your sweat pants and old t-shirts and you’re good to go. At least that’s what we think.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from four years of running and three marathons, is that running can be just as expensive as going to the gym. While it maybe true that you can make it as cheap as you want, a serious runner invests on his gears, particularly shoes.


Favourite pair of running shoes so far, Nike Air Zoom Structure 19

The better running shoes cost between €70 – €120 and it can go as much as €1000 (I kid you not) if you’re into the latest trend.

When I started running in 2014, I bought the first pair of shoes I saw on sale, a purple Asics Gel-Kayano for less than €70.  It was an expensive mistake that landed me on the clinic of a podiatrist, diagnosed as an over-pronator. I was advised to wear insoles that cost €250. Naive that I was, I paid for the insoles, which I used only a few months, instead of just buying a new pair of shoes.

The Nike Lunar Glide was the first pair that really felt right. With it I ran my first marathon. When it was time for a new pair, I was drawn to the designs of the Nike Epic React and Nike Pegasus. But the Nike Air Zoom Structure was the one that fits best. Since then I had two pairs of Zoom Structure 18 and one pair of the 19 and I’m not planning on changing to any other model soon. Why change something that works excellently, right?

These pairs cost €120 each.  They usually go on-sale online but then you have to settle for an older version. Always watch out for deals.


Chafing is a common irritation among runners especially if you use old sweat pants and t-shirts for running. That’s because cotton absorbs perspiration and rubs on your skin. Good and functional running clothes are made of synthetic materials that prevents the skin from chafing.

But not all synthetic running clothes are the same. I once made the mistake of buying running shorts from H&M and half of the time, I’m pulling the damn thing down because it keeps riding up and ends up looking like knickers after half an hour. It looked cute but it wasn’t functional.

So I bought more expensive pair of Nike running shorts that set me back €45 but I’ve ran two marathons on them already. Of course I couldn’t have only one so I bought another pair from Asics, which is about the same price.

And these are just running shorts. Running tights, especially the ones with thermal function for the winter are more costly, averaging from €50 to €180 for the really special ones.

And you need specialized running socks, sport’s bra’s and running tops for different seasons and the list goes on. Always go for quality.


GPS watches, camelbags, waterbelts, caps for when it’s too sunny, reflectors during winter, gels for endurance runs, etc. Together these items could easily cost a few hundred, even thousands of euros depending on your taste and style.

But the return of investment is also huge (granted that you are buying running items for function and not for fashion). Regular running has been proven to have many health benefits and it also helps protect us from dementia, perhaps the most old-age disease I’m most afraid of. If you can invest on stocks and your house, why not on your health, right?

Disclaimer: This is a Collaboration