I’ve been scouring Amazon for the past few days looking for the best Prime Day deals write about. I found lots of great discounts on items big and small, from Fitbit offers and discounts on Garmin watches to electric toothbrushes, deep fryers and resistance bands.
However, one thing that keeps bugging me every year is how difficult it is to navigate Prime Day running shoe deals. And what bothers me even more is that no one else seems to be talking about it.
By typing in a request on Amazon for any particular product, the website will present you with a series of options that it believes will interest you based on a number of factors including your search history, Amazon’s most popular products in that category, products that Amazon is trying to push right now, and key words that different sellers assign to those items. Amazon’s algorithm does its best to create some semblance of order out of chaos with each search request.
Unfortunately, when it comes to running shoes, best is not good enough. Browsing the running shoe section of Amazon presents you with a bewildering array of options that are hard to narrow down—a sea of brands, discounts, and jargon like “multi-density” and “hybrid.” Some of these brands you’ve probably heard of, like ASICS and Nike, while others you haven’t.
The result is a confusing jumble of discounts and endorsements for shoes with no clear indication of what they’re designed for. Long distances? Short distances? A clue? Amazon provides the ability to sort by road, track, gender, and more, but the landing pages are still nearly impenetrable.
Trying to narrow things down isn’t any better. Instead of “running shoes” in the men’s road running shoes category, I searched for “long distance running shoes” to eliminate speed shoes made for 5Ks.
However, like the mess above, I’m now running into the problem of sellers branding their products to cast as wide a net as possible, with off-brand listings including salads like “Men’s Running Shoes, Walking Shoes Sneaker Athletic” and even “Nike football boots.”
I’m a seasoned enough runner and fitness editor to spot a few lines from brands I know and love. So if an adidas Ultraboost 21 or Saucony Kinvara 12 deal comes through, I know I’ll be pretty happy. But for people just browsing to find a good deal, this splatter of keywords on the screen is almost impenetrable.
It is also made worse by the prices being so different: this Under Armor Charged Assert 9 (opens in new tab) running shoes are advertised at a flat 46% off, from $70.00 to $37.98. Good job by any metric. When you click through, things are a little different, with prices ranging from $47.99 (above listed price) to $89.32 (above listed price) for the same shoe, depending on the size you get. This is not uncommon and is not from an independent seller. How on earth can anyone shop like this?
If you’re looking to round up a great deal on running shoes this Prime Day, you’re better off checking out independent guides like our list of the best running shoes. Or, you can start learning how to buy the best running shoes for you by understanding what your feet need. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can search for specific brands and lines that offer what you’re looking for.
To successfully navigate the Prime Day running shoe deals, you need not only endless patience but also a clear idea of which brands and lines of running shoes offer what you want. By searching for specific products, you have a better chance of achieving a great deal than browsing through this horrible wasteland.