Why Are Running Shoes So Ugly?

Why are running shoes so ugly?

Do you wonder “why are running shoes so ugly?” There are several reasons why your running shoes might not be as attractive as you had hoped! Learn more below!

Are you wondering, why are running shoes so ugly? If you are anything like me, you probably have a couple of pairs of running shoes in your closet. You might even be a sneakerhead.

These running shoes are designed to last for hundreds of miles. If you run regularly (even as a marathoner), you probably swap out your pair of running shoes every few months. When you are looking for a pair of running shoes, you want them to be comfortable, consistent, and reliable. 

Your running shoes are probably not beautiful. Whether you are wearing Nike, Adidas, Brooks, Asics, New Balance, Balenciaga, Saucony, or even a simple pair from Amazon, your running shoes are probably not that attractive. 

If you are tired of looking at the ugly shoe on your foot, learn more about why your running shoes are so ugly. That way, the next time you go to Finish Line or any other retailer, you will know why shoe companies might not make the most attractive running shoes.

Table Of Contents

You Are Not the Most Important Customer 

Why are running shoes so ugly?
The most important customer is a wholesale buyer

You are not the most important customer when it comes to shoe companies. Instead, the most important customer is a wholesale buyer. Every shoe company wants to see their models do well.

As long as they continue to sell shoes, they do not care what they look like. Wholesale buyers purchase more shoes than you, making them more important to the shoe company.

When you walk into a running store, you are probably greeted by a wall of bright, loud shoes. Even though they might not be beautiful to you, the reality is that they are selling. Wholesale buyers have numbers right in front of them.

They know that their bright shoes will sell well, so wholesale buyers push shoe companies to make more of them. If their wholesale buyers are happy, they will stick with what’s working.

The Look of Your Running Shoe Is Not Your Most Important Concern

If your running shoes are beautiful, that is great; however, this is not your top priority Instead, you care more about the cushioning of the midsole, the durability of the outsole, and the ability of your shoes to absorb the shock of every step.

Whether you are running on a treadmill during the pandemic, trying out trail running, or attempting to complete the New York half marathon, you want your running shoes to improve your performance above all else.

If you find a shoe model that works, you are going to stick with it even if it is not what's trending. You have probably gone through dozens of pairs of shoes in the past. You might have even worn a shoe that was so hideous you never thought you would wear it again.

For example, take a look at this list of ugly shoes.

If the shoe prevents you from getting hurt and improves your running times, you are probably going to keep wearing it. The look of your running shoes is not your most important concern. If you don't care much about the look of your shoe, the running company is probably not going to care that much about it either.

That is why they continue to make shoes that are ugly. If looks aren't your most important priority, they don't matter to the running company, either.

The Price of the Running Shoe Plays A Role

When you are looking for a running shoe, you might be looking for a minimalist option. The price of the running she was going to play a role. In order for someone to purchase a running shoe, it has to stick out from the wall.

Even shoes that are relatively inexpensive require some sort of play flair. Otherwise, people are not going to notice that. 

If there are fancy logos, unique overlays, and eye-catching color gradients, people will perceive that running shoe has better value, driving up the price point. Everyone is in search of a higher perceived value with every purchase, including yourself. Shoes that stand out on the wall have a higher perceived value.

Therefore, running shoe companies will do anything they can to help their shoes stand out from the others. That is why they use bright colors and flashy designs, even if they look ugly.

The Final Word on Why Are Running Shoes So Ugly

In the end, wholesale buyers, the lack of focus on aesthetics, and the individual pricing model all have contributed to running shoes that are not the most attractive. When you are looking for running shoes, you would probably prefer to purchase shoes that are not so ugly; however, this is not your primary concern.

Instead, you are more focused on how the shoe is going to impact your performance on race day. It is always possible that shoes could become more attractive in the future; however, do not count on this.

Similar to other businesses, shoe companies want to stick with what works. Right now, that just so happens to be shoes that are ugly. 

FAQs About Why Are Running Shoes So Ugly 

Are ugly running shoes better? 

This is not necessarily the case. The performance of a running shoe and its appearance do not necessarily go together. It is entirely possible that an ugly running shoe could work well for you. Or, you might find a shoe that you like better that happens to be more attractive.

What is the most important thing when looking for a running shoe? 

This varies from runner to runner. Of course, you want to find a running shoe that is going to prevent injuries when you step outside. On the other hand, you also want to find a running shoe that is going to improve your performance with high-tech additions. 

How long will my running shoes last? 

It depends on the manufacturer and your running style; however, your running shoes should last for several hundred miles.

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