As a student I’m always on the lookout for discounted/cheap/free running gear. The majority of specialist running shops don’t seem to accept student discount cards; presumably running gear isn’t classed as an essential buy for students.
Below is a list of my favourite shops/websites (in no particular order) for tracking down cheaper running gear and bargains.
1. TK Maxx. TK Maxx has to come in at number one. When I am in the mood for rummaging through rows and rows of clothes in the Activewear section I love TK Maxx.I would estimate that over 50% of my winter running wardrobe comes from TK. The range of running gear varies from store to store and unfortunately my local store, Sutton Coldfield is not that great. The large store next to Birmingham New Street station is amazing. Last time I popped in on Thursday I came away with a bright yellow i.e. great for winter running long-sleeved Mondetta top for £14.00, some Mondetta tights for £19.99 and some Odlo pants for £4.99.
Some quick research informed me that Mondetta (MPG) is a Canadian Performance Gear company; unfortunately they only appear to ship to customers in the USA/Canada. Being 6ft tall means the majority of running gear doesn’t fit, however, Mondetta tops seem to have really long arms and are long enough in the body. The running tights are perfect, I’m beginning to wish that I bought a few more pairs. Next time I’m in TK I’ll be on the hunt for more Mondetta.
2. H&M. A recent addition to the running and gym clothing market is H&M. I love H&M for two reasons (1) their clothes are cheap and (2) they always have a GREAT range of discount codes available for online shopping. As I wanted to see the sports range I popped into the slightly hidden away, Birmingham High Street store.
Tucked away at the back of the top floor is a great range of running and gym gear. I was relatively restrained and only bought some running tights, a sports bra and a tee-shirt.
Give H&M a try, you will be pleasantly surprised.
3. eBay. I don’t think that I need to provide a link to eBay! Over the years I have picked up some real running bargains off this site. Although I generally only purchase trainers; the range of discounted running gear is impressive. Have a budget in mind and a list of what you want to buy, otherwise eBay can be dangerous. eBay is also great for selling off unwanted running clothes £££££££££!
4. SportPursuit. Sportpursuit is a recent but potentially very dangerous discovery. I first saw the Sportpursuit website mentioned on twitter. The next thing I’m doing is registering and buying yet another pair of tights for the winter. The site appears to sell gear from a range of up-and-coming sports brands. This is great as I love trying out new brands (one day I’ll get some tights that are long enough!!).
5. Freebies/Competitions/Races. I have won a couple of competitions recently, the free race tee-shirts were an added bonus of my free entries into the Color Run in Manchester and RTTB in London. A number of local races have moved away from handing out medals and now provide technical tee-shirts. Race organisers this is a good thing. I have got so many medals I much prefer a race tee-shirt.
6. Get Really Good at Running. …attract a major kit sponsor and get all of your running clothes, trainers and accessories for free. OK so very not likely in my case. There are a couple of sponsored athletes at my Club and they get given a LOT of free running kit.
I love the Nike kit and compression calf guards in the photo! Finally, get selected for England/Great Britain and get even more gear for free.
7. Aldi. I’ve never bought running gear from Aldi, and I have no idea where the nearest store to me is located. I have heard really positive reviews from other runners; apparently their running gear is both cheap and durable. I believe that there was a running ‘Specialbuys’ event recently, the next Aldi cycling sale is due to take place on September 26th.
Sign up for the Aldi newsletter via the Aldi website.
8. Join a Running Club. When you join a ‘proper’ running club you get access to cheap training sessions, expert advice, new running friends and discounted race entry fees. When I joined my running club I was also presented with a free club vest, bargain!
Bargains can also be found in Sales (obviously), charity shops, car boot sales…
If anyone else can think of any other less obvious cheap places to buy running gear please let me know.
Finally, If anyone can recommend some extra long running tights I would love to hear from you.