Prime Day is great for most fitness deals, but awful for running shoes

Saucony Ride 14
(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

For the last few days, I’ve been scouring Amazon looking for the best of the Prime Day deals to write about. I’ve found lots of great discounts on big and small items, from Fitbit deals and discounts on Garmin watches to electric toothbrushes, air fryers and resistance bands. 

However, one thing that consistently bothers me each year is how hard it is to navigate the running shoe deals on Prime Day. And, what bothers me even more, is that nobody else seems to be talking about it. 

Typing in a request on Amazon for any particular product causes the website to serve you a range of options it believes you will be interested in based on a number of factors including your search history, Amazon’s most popular products in that category, the products Amazon is trying to push right now, and the keywords different sellers assign to those items. Amazon’s algorithm is doing its best to create some semblance of order out of chaos with every search request. 

Unfortunately, with running shoes, its best is not good enough. Looking through the running shoe section on Amazon presents you with a bewildering array of options that proves difficult to narrow down – a sea of brand names, discounts and jargon terms 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 bewildering mess of discounts and shoe recommendations with no clear indication of what they're designed for. Long distances? Short distances? Track? Amazon does provide the option to sort by road, trail, gender and more, but the landing pages are still nigh-impenetrable. 

Bewildering Prime Day shoe deals

(Image credit: Matt Evans/Amazon)

Trying to narrow things down is no better. Instead of “running shoe” in the men’s road running shoe category, I searched for “long distance running shoe” in order to eliminate speedy footwear built for 5Ks.

However, as well as the mess above, I now run into the problem of sellers tagging their products to reach as wide a net as possible, with off-brand entries including word salads like “Men's Running Shoes Walking Trainers Sneaker Athletic” and even "Nike soccer boots."

I am an experienced enough runner and fitness editor to spot a few lines by brands I know and like. So if an adidas Ultraboost 21 or Saucony Kinvara 12 deal comes up, I know I’m going to be pretty happy. But for people who are just browsing to find a good deal, this on-screen splurge of keywords is nigh-on impenetrable. 

It’s also made worse by prices being so varied: This Under Armour Charged Assert 9 running shoe is advertised at a flat 46% discount, from $70.00 down to $37.98. A good deal by any metric. Clicking through, things are a little different, as prices range from $47.99 (above the listed price) to $89.32 (above the listed RRP) for the same shoe, depending on which 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 bag a great running shoe bargain this Prime Day, you’re better off looking at independent guides like our best running shoes list. Or, you can begin to learn how to buy the best running shoe for you by understanding what your feet need. Once you have an idea of what you’re after, you can search for specific brands and lines that offer what you're looking for. 

In order to successfully navigate the Prime Day running shoe deals, you not only need endless patience but a clear idea of what brands and running shoe lines offer what you want. By searching for specific products, you stand a better chance of scoring a great deal than by browsing this horrid wasteland. 

Amazon Prime Day deals in the US

Amazon Prime Day deals in the UK

Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.