Walking Gear on a Budget: Tips for Stocking Up without Breaking the Bank

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Hi, my name is Kristin, and I have a gear problem.  I am always shopping for new leggings, new shoes, new shades, new water bottles, and other great gear to make my morning miles pass a little more smoothly (or just a little more colorfully).  But I also cringe at that $100 price tag on leggings—and I consider it a personal win when I find a great deal on gear that other people are spending a fortune on.  So I’m always on the lookout for a bargain.

If you’re trying to find the best gear for a steal, here are some of my favorite places to check:

Your Local Outlet Mall

I’m lucky enough to have an outlet mall just 20 minutes away from home, so I pop in often to check out the latest deals.  There’s a good chance that your favorite brand is there—and at a huge discount.  I personally love perusing the clearance racks at Under Armour, where everything is usually at least half off the sale price.  You might not get the newest styles—and you might run into some odd issues (like my Cold Gear top, which has a piece of fabric in the collar that doesn’t always lay quite right, but it’s still perfectly functional).  But if you don’t need the very newest version of the hottest shoe, it’s definitely worth taking a look to find some huge discounts on brands like Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, and more.

I love my PowerSoft leggings from Old Navy!

Old Navy

I have tried a whole lot of brands of leggings.  So. Many. Leggings.  But pricier doesn’t always mean better—and my Old Navy PowerSoft pocket leggings are still some of my favorites.  (Not to mention the PowerSoft joggers for lazy afternoons at home.)  But you don’t need to hit the sale racks and outlet stores here.  The best deals are often on the app.  You can save your favorites—and since the prices at Old Navy are constantly changing, you can check back daily to see if there are any good sales on your favorites.  And if you find some good sales, you can pick up 4 or 5 pairs of PowerSofts for the price of a pair of Lulus.

On Your Phone

As I just mentioned, some brands (like Old Navy) offer extra sales, exclusives, sneak peeks, and more to loyal app users.    For instance, the Under Armour app has its own outlet section, so you don’t have to drive out to the outlet store to find great deals on gear for the whole family.  And, like the Old Navy app, the UA app allows you to save your favorites and check back often to look for price drops.  UA also tends to offer additional sales on outlet items—along with free shipping for anyone with an account—so it often pays to sign up.


The Marshalls of active products is my new favorite store—and I often drive across town just to browse the racks. (And with a new location coming closer to my house soon, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be a store regular.)  I’ve found some great deals on sports bras, shoes, gear, and even cool school clothes for my daughter—and, as if the store weren’t good enough, I’m always building my cart on the website, where there are even MORE deals.  You can get free shipping on orders of $89+—or you can ship to your nearest store for free (which also gives you an excuse to stop by to check out the clearance racks in person).


I’ve gotten some amazing products for great prices on Amazon—but you should definitely do your homework here and be prepared for some trial and error.  Those $12 fleece-lined leggings that seem too good to be true might actually be too good to be true (mine were quickly moved from my workout pile to my hockey mom pile).  Or you might just find a great product for a steal—like my $17 running vest.  I definitely recommend reading through the reviews on the site (and here on WeeViews), so you can get a better idea of what’s a good product and what will fall apart as soon as you try to wash it.  There’s definitely a lot of cheap junk out there—but there are some gems to be found, too, if you spend some time doing your research.  


Your success at the local thrift store might depend on your community.  But they can be a great source for super-cheap athletic wear.  One time, word spread around local runners’ groups that a race company had donated all of their leftover race shirts to Goodwill—bins and bins and bins of brand new tech shirts and half-zips—and I may have gone back a couple of times to stock up on more.  This is also a great source for throwaway items for chilly race mornings.  Before my last race, I was able to pick up some great throwaway layers for just $2.50 each—so I wouldn’t feel bad about tossing one of my favorite hoodies to the side of the road when I started warming up. 

Just some of the gear deals you can find on Temu


This straight-from-China shopping website/app is my new obsession.  There is just so much to be found here.  Want to pay a tenth of the price for a knock-off version of the tumbler that everyone is spending a fortune on?  Fun motivational stickers for said tumbler?  Cushy cloud sandals for recovery?  Some $2 compression socks?  A light-up running vest?  A foldable case for your goodr collection? Yep—it’s there, and it’s usually ridiculously cheap.  Of course, these things don’t show up overnight, but shipping is free, and your order will arrive within about 10 days (and if they’re late, they’ll give you $5 in credit to make up for it).  And if you know other people who are looking for a good deal on pretty much anything, you can share your link (here’s mine) and earn discounts in exchange for referrals.  It’s totally win-win!


This is a new find for me—so new, in fact, that I haven’t had the chance to place an order.  But I was thrilled to discover their site at RelayGoods.com, where you can get older versions of popular brands (like Brooks, ASICS, Saucony, and others) for great prices.  Relay picks up bulk shipments of leftover shoes from your favorite shoe companies and offers them at a discount.  The closeout nature of the site means that they only have certain sizes and colors—and limited stock available.  But if you don’t need the latest version of the hottest shoe, you can save a whole lot of money here.

If you’re always on the lookout for a deal, you never know where you’ll find one.  I never know when my mom will pick up a great shirt or jacket from TJ Maxx…or a garage sale.  I’ve gotten some great everyday workout socks and a pretty kettlebell from Five Below. And I have a friend who buys all of her gently-used leggings at an online thrift store.  And with the money you save on gear, you can probably afford to sign up for an extra race or two… 

Have you found a great place for cheap gear?  Where do you go to get the best deals?


Kristin has been hitting the trail (or the treadmill) for a walk almost every day for the past several years, and she recently completed her first half marathon. She loves sunny fall days, cushy walking shoes, and coconut caramel iced coffee from Dunkin.

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