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Aldi v Adidas: How do £19.99 trainers fare against £130 ones?


Running is often touted as a budget sport because you don't have to pay expensive gym fees or buy lots of equipment. But trainers can be costly - proved by the latest adidas Boost shoes that have gone on sale for £130.

Femail writer and marathon runner Lucy Waterlow tested out £130 adidas Ultra Boost trainers against Aldi's budget £19.99 pair ahead of the London Marathon next week In contrast, supermarket chain Aldi have a running flash sale in stores from tomorrow (Thursday) with trainers available for the budget price of £19.99, while stocks last.

The shoes you run in are important to prevent injuries and ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience - so can you really get the same results from a cheap supermarket pair over the costly version from a major sports brand? I took them for a test run for the MailOnline (view the original article here)


Adidas Ultra Boost, £130: Adidas promise to deliver 'your greatest run ever' with their new trainer which features their much-hyped 'Boost' technology. 

This is a type of cushioning that the sports brand have developed that looks like polystyrene and offers support and comfort to the wearer.

Adidas say the Boost cushioning also gives 'energy return' so the wearer can run more effortlessly.

The adidas Boost technology is a type of cushioning that they say will deliver 'your greatest run ever' while the Primeknit fabric is said to 'allow the natural expansion of any foot shape'

The adidas Boost technology is a type of cushioning that they say will deliver 'your greatest run ever' while the Primeknit fabric is said to 'allow the natural expansion of any foot shape'

At £130, the shoes only offer value for money if you intend to run in them often but the bumpy undersole doesn't seem to be that durable

At £130, the shoes only offer value for money if you intend to run in them often but the bumpy undersole doesn't seem to be that durable

It certainly seems to have worked for the numerous elite athletes, including Jessica Ennis, who have worn Boost trainers thanks to sponsorship deals. Wilson Kipsang wore the adidas Adizero Adios version when he ran what was then a World Record time of 2:03:23 in Berlin in 2013.

Speaking of the Ultra Boost version, which have been on sale since February at a RRP of £130, adidas executive Eric Liedtke said: 'Ultra BOOST represents the culmination of years of work and meticulous research striving to create the greatest running shoe ever. 

'All of the very best in adidas technology has been combined to create a shoe that provides industry leading Energy Return, alongside unprecedented adaptability and comfort.' 

Aldi Premium Running Shoes, £19.99: The premium running shoes are part of the Aldi's latest 'Specialbuys' running range under the label 'Crane', which will be in stores from 16th April and available while stocks last.

It's not the first time Aldi have sold running trainers as a non 'premium' version went on sale for £14.99 in 2013. 

Aldi's £19.99 premium running shoes for women comes in a turquoise and pink shade

Aldi say their running range is 'high spec' despite the low prices, as they keep their costs down by stocking their own products over big brands, having minimalist store interiors to reduce overheads and charging for plastic bags.

The supermarket chain aren't in the business of sponsoring elite athletes so can't lay claim to helping Olympians to medals or World Records with their shoes. 


Adidas: The trainers come in black with purple embellishment for both men and women and are made using adidas Primeknit fabric which is said to 'allow the natural expansion of any foot shape.'

The dark colour makes a refreshing change for women - who are often only offered running shoes in pink and pastel shades - while the Primeknit fabric does look stylish and professional. 

The Boost cushioning encompasses the shoe a bit like a hovercraft so they don't make your feet look small and dainty. But while friends I met for a run did observe my feet looked big in the trainers, they also admired the fashionable appearance of the shoe. 

Aldi: The supermarket's trainers look the part and come in a bright turquoise and pink shade for women and royal blue for men. The appearance is reminiscent of Brooks popular Adrenaline running shoes so friends didn't guess they were made by Aldi until I told them.

The Aldi trainers feature reflective material - which is great for being seen when running at night - but the rest of the fabric used does look cheap. The outsole looks bulky and plastic so it doesn't look like it will have much give when running.

VERDICT: FIT AND RUNNING FEELLucy found the Boost trainers fitted well and felt comfortable on a long run

Adidas: The shoes have a tongue at the back of the heel so they can be pulled on easily and the Primeknit fabric makes it feel you're putting your foot into a comfortable sock.

The laces are sleek and elastic so can be easily tied for a snug fit.

Adidas shoes can often come up small, so it's advisable to buy a pair half a size larger than your usual shoe size. In doing so, I found my pair to be a perfect fit. My toes had plenty of space at the front so they didn't pinch when my foot pushed forward when I was running, and they weren't too lose at the heel so they didn't rub.

Often after trying new running shoes blisters can form but this wasn't the case, even after a nine mile run in the shoes. 

The Boost cushioning gives a comfortable and springy feel and despite its bulky appearance, the shoes do not feel too heavy on the foot while running. 

Aldi: The shoes are not available in half sizes so I opted for my usual shoe size, despite this they still felt too big. 

I ran in the same running socks I had worn when running in the adidas trainers but felt I could have used a thicker pair in order for the shoes to fit better.

The trainers were not a snug fit so I felt I had too much room around my forefoot and tightening the laces further did not help

alleviate the roomy feel. Wearing thicker socks did help but I still felt my feet were sliding around a bit too much.

The trainers also felt heavier on my feet than the Boost and didn't feel as cushioned.

Overall, they felt more sturdy then the adidas pair and I didn't feel like they adapted to my feet in the same way - running in them for a short run was fine but I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing them for a long run or when doing speed work. 


To my surprise, the Aldi shoes on the whole looked and felt the part - although the fit wasn't ideal. 

I'd recommend these to runners on a budget who are just starting out, who may just be running two or three times a week and aren't sure yet if they'll stick with it. At £19.99, if you don't carry on running if your motivation wanes, you won't be too much out of pocket.

The supportiveness of the shoes also means they would be suitable to wear at the gym or for walking.

However, if you intend to carry on running, I'd recommend going to a specialist running shop to be fitted for a shoe exactly to your foot type. They can analyse your running style to see if you need any extra support.

The adidas shoes felt comfortable and I was happy running in them for miles. Although they feel a little too bulky for speedwork, they're great for steady runs and I would run a marathon in them.

I'm not convinced this Ultra Boost model is worth the £130 price tag though - unless you can run in them often to get value for money. I'm also not convinced that the unusual bumpy undersole they have will be that durable - after just a few runs the rubber has shown signs of wear. 

What I convinced by was the cushioning provided by the Boost technology. But in the future I would be more likely to buy the Adizero Adios version for speedwork and racing as they are lighter in weight and not as expensive as their Ultra counterparts.