Shoe review - Are £50 running shoes worth it?

Can you get a decent running shoe for under £50? With running shoes and apparel becoming increasingly expensive, there’s an opportunity for cheaper brands to appeal to those who love a bargain – which, let’s face it, is all of us. But does a lower price come at a cost when it comes to quality?

Kalenji Kiprun SD, £49.99, decathlon.co.uk 

Kalenji is the running-specific own brand of budget supports retailer Decathlon. Its apparel has a reputation for being reliable, durable and excellent value for money. Decathlon recently moved into making shoes and the SD is the ‘tempo-run’ version in its three-shoe Kiprun range (the other two being neutral and stability long-run models).

What are the features?

Everything about the shoe is, predictably – but sensibly – middle of the road. There’s a 10mm heel drop, which is towards the traditional end of the spectrum; the weight is acceptable (280g for men and 230g for women); there is impact-attenuation technology built into the heel to disperse shock from landing; and the forefoot is seam-free to cut down on friction.

Related: The best running shoes 2018 

RW’s verdict

If you’re new to running, this is a good place to start. The fit is decent, as is the cushioning; the toebox is wide enough to allow your toes to splay naturally; and the mesh upper is comfortable and breathable. It’s not, in fact, suitable for faster runs, because the heel-to-toe transition is clunky, responsiveness is poor and the grip on the outsole isn’t great, unless there’s been no rain for days. As is usually the case, you get what you pay for and this is a solid option for what is an under-serviced segment of the market.