Running Shoes are probably one of the only areas where I don't skimp. You can find the best value shoe, but if it isn't right for your foot and your gait, it could end up costing you more in the long run from injuries. I definitely don't want to sound like you *CAN'T* find a shoe that is right for you, but you should be fitted first by a running professional and then you at least know what to look for. Do you need neutral, stability, neutral plus, motion control? Do you have high, low or normal arches? Do you need a wide shoe or a larger toe box? Those are things you'll find out in a fitting. But once you know the TYPE of shoe you need, you can start to find ones that are inexpensive.
Hope you find something that works for you!!
Oh - and to answer your question, for me the most economical shoe I ever purchased for running was the Nike Pegasus. They are usually a really good value, but I wear a neutral shoe which is the type the Pegasus is. But I will say, it didn't last as long as the Mizuno's or Saucony's that I've also purchased. Less buck, but less bang too.
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