Has shoe quality been going down, are there still good walking or running shoes

I know there have been several ‘name a good shoe’ threads, and I’ve posted in a few.

But I used to love the New Balance 927 and 928 model. However my last pair sucked and are causing me leg and ankle pain. I Never had that before, and looking online other people said the quality went down. I don’t know if I bought bootleg shoes or they just cut corners and used cheaper materials. Suffice it to say, after several years of wearing 927s and 928s I’m in the market for something new. If a new pair of these is just as bad, forget it.

So I was looking into some asics, and the reviews online are the same. Used to be good, then the manufacturer started cutting corners and now the product is inferior.

I hate SAS shoes, crocs give me knee pain. I own Z-coils but I’d rather not wear them in public if I don’t have to.

Any shoes that are still good for walking? I’ll happily pay more for quality. I’m old enough now that knee, ankle and back pain is an issue if I don’t wear good shoes.

Sometimes shoe companies re-position a (running) shoe’s “mission”. A shoe that was constructed for a mild over-pronator(stability shoe) can be built for flat feet (motion control) the next year without warning or publicity.
Research the model you’re using and see if it’s positioned the same as before.

Another factor:did you buy from your usual place? Sometimes, a shoe will be built for running and is sold in running/athletic stores and a look-alike shoe(and lesser), under the same model name, will be built for department stores and chain sporting goods stores.

One thing I noticed is this shoe normally runs me $129 a pair. The last time I bought a pair (of the same shoes) everyone was only charging $70-80 for them. I bought them on amazon. Makes me wonder if I got a bootleg pair.

I’d be suspicious with a price difference like that. Unless it’s a clearance of last year’s stock.
Road Runner’s Sports is one of the best online stores for running and walking shoes.
Here’s the page for NB 927(out of stock)

You probably got bootlegs. I buy directly from New Balance, my most recent pair this May. I have not noticed a drop off in quality or price, and I’m buying the same models you are.

My latest shoes were New Balance. I sent the last pair back with quality control issues. I believe that I will stop buying certain items off of Amazon,.

I also like Saucony, the Redeemer and the Cohesion lines.

Brooks Ariel

My current favorite for general purpose walking is the Columbia Trailhawk. Very light weight. Looks less sneaker-ish then the New Balances I used to favor, so I can wear them in any non-formal situation (like to work). I usually grab a pair if I see one in the Columbia outlet.

I work walking and running from place to place on concrete. I have had pretty nice results from NBs 574 (although I have a slight preference for the old style over the redesigned) and the Reeboks “Zrated” that I can’t find a model name on are freaking fantastic. The Boks were pretty cheap from Sam’s Club and slightly more court than pure running shoes but my job is as much twists and turns as going in straight lines so that makes sense. The Reeboks that I mostly use look like this:


I have noticed the quality of the upper-end shoes going down. My last couple pairs of Addidas were crap and the wife is not getting the time/miles out of her Beasts she used to. But if you look around the lower end stuff you can find some pleasant surprises.

I’m a fan of Air Monarchs. The only downsides are their tread wears out quickly so going onto slippery terrain is inadvisable after a couple months and despite being called cross-trainers it quickly becomes tiring jogging in them.

But they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve had (they even cut down on knee issues for me), plus they give a lot of protection against water and cold. I’ve even stepped into tiny creeks without getting my feet wet because they are so high up and the side protection is so thick, and the same factors allow them to be quite warm as well. I prefer them to trail running shoes or boots on trails because they have enough side support for me and I rarely need the grip for climbing rocks.

I’ve never had the toes wear out on me. I’ve only had to replace them when they’ve started to look generally ratty or when the tread becomes so bad I’m afraid of slipping on a normal sidewalk.

Cross-trainers are not intended to substitute for running shoes. They’re more of a going-from-weight-room-to-aerobics-class-to-elliptical type of shoe.
They don’t have the cushioning/pronation control of a running shoe.

I suspect it’s not the shoe quality causing you issues, but the shoe’s positioning, i.e., what it’s designed for. The 928 is for motion control. Maybe New Balance has changed the design, or maybe your walking/running style has changed over time. Go to a good running store where they can analyze your gait and recommend shoes that match.

Given the price you paid, I’d guess they were last year’s models (or older) on clearance. Shoes that are one year old shouldn’t have structural degradation (unless they were stored in an unfriendly environment), but older than that could result in issues.

My last few pairs have been these. Hoka One Tor Summits. They are pricey but durable and the most comfortable shoes that I have ever owned.

I get all of my shoes from Zappos. They won’t sell you bootlegs, they have free overnight shipping and an extremely generous return policy.

I think the quality of shoes has gone ! I been buying NB for years and each year the quality is worse . The sneakers I buy use to have metal eyelets and now some of the eyelets are made of fabric and will rip making it hard to laces your sneakers . NB is making their shoes sizes smaller , I go to a foot DR. and he was surprise when I told him I was wearing a 9 D wide in NB b/c it was smaller looking . Women shoes are a joke , I was going to buy some women boots that were on sale and they cost 5.00 more than men in the same brand and the men have more support with thicker rubber soles . I looked at some hiking boots and they had the fabric eyelets and the boots were made of fabric too ! There was no way I was going to pay over 100 for that crap ! I wanted some waterproof hiking boots so wear when I take my dog out . It getting harder to find shoes that you can lace up ,they slip on or have
velcro straps which wear out long before the shoes do . Shoes sucks today !

Check out the Vivobarefoot brand. I picked up a pair of their walking shoes a few years ago and have been sold on the brand since. Top quality craftsmanship and very comfortable - I wear them for work and am on my feet all day.

I switched from NB to the Hokas that I linked above because the NB quality had gone down.

There are plenty of high quality shoes from all the major manufacturers. They are also all extending their brands downmarket, and some of the quality suffers as a result. You can find high and low quality shoes from all the major shoe makers. The key is finding a particular shoe that works for you and making sure they stay on the good side of the quality curve.

There are more fantastic running shoes available today than ever in history. Shoes for every size and shape foot, every running style, every preference.

I bought a pair of Clarks at the huge Kansas City discount shoe store Bob Jones and love them! Managed to get them for $35, as they were the last pair they had of this style. Very high quality and they have lasted wonderfully well.

After wearing New Balance for decades, a few years ago I switched to Merrell Moabs. They were perfect from the first time I put them on. No more blisters in sensitive areas, no more cramped toes and loose heels. Of course the exact model has been discontinued, so this pair has to last forever.

Well I was going to put in a word for New Balance 574s, which I have been wearing for decades, but obviously YMMV. I purchased two pairs this year, one direct from New Balance and one from Amazon, and they both seem just as comfortable and reliable as my past pairs.

My nephew ran cross-country and always wore Brooks. My wife bought a pair, super comfortable, and they’ve lasted very well.
I like Adidas myself.