At the end of 2017, here at Running Shoes Guru we put together our first annual reader survey to learn everything from the habits of runners (such as when they run and how often) to how much they’re willing to spend on a marathon…or their next pair of Nike’s.
Our survey was completed by 2,574 runners of whom 77% of which were male, and 23% were female.
60% of participants have been running for more than five years, with 56% of participants running more than 26 miles per week.
In other words, this years’ data comes with feedback from experienced runners who have taken up running for a long time, and those who are just starting out and getting a mile per week under their belt.
Without further ado, let’s get into the results, shall we?
The Biggest Pet Peeve of Runners Is…Pets
We couldn’t let a headline like that go to waste.
The biggest pet hate that our runners shared with us on our survey was undoubtedly pets, or more specifically, dogs that aren’t kept on a leash.
Part of this reasoning could be because dogs get in the way of a run, but another likely reason is the possible fear people have of dogs running towards them or chasing them as they go.
Below you can see the entire results.
The second most popular response to this question was actually quite telling of the passion that people have for running. Over 20% of runners said there is nothing at all they dislike about running, emphatically clicking “I love everything about it”.
The other options, and the number of respondents who chose them, were:
- People walking / running in the middle of the route: 378
- Runners leaving litter: 273
- Not being able to find a great route to run: 270
- Cyclists: 114
- People running too close: 97
- Runners with headphones: 96
- Being left behind: 39
- Having to wait for others: 34
The second least selected option on our list, being left behind, was chosen by 3 times as many women than men.
Favourite Brand of Running Shoes
It just wouldn’t be right for us to not collect data on what your preferred brand of running shoes are.
Asics were our clear winner with Brooks in second place, and Nike and Saucony fighting it out for third.
80 readers selected the ‘Other’ option, which included brands like Vibram, Newton, On and La Sportiva.
Next year, when we run the survey again, it should be interesting to see if these figures change, and how brands and their ratings evolve over time.
37 Respondents Primarily Run So They Can Eat and Drink More
We can relate to that.
When asked why they run, the most overwhelming answer from both men and women was to help them stay fit and healthy.
It was interesting to note that this was chosen as their primary goal by 48% of those under 30, but by 65% of those over 30.
This suggests that people become more health conscious as they get older.
The second most popular choice for men was to push themselves, while the second most popular choice for women was to improve their mental well-being.
Men’s second most popular choice was the third most popular for women, and vice versa.
Here’s the data in its entirety.
2.3% of women stated they run in order to be able to eat and drink more, with just 0.7% of men saying the same.
60% of Runners Have Purchased Running Shoes in the Last Three Months
We’re all about helping you find the most stable, comfortable and reliable shoe for your runs here at Running Shoes Guru, but this one even surprised us.
Almost two out of three of respondents claimed to have purchased a pair of running shoes in the last three months.
Even more surprised was that 26.5% of men, and 26.6% of women, have purchased a pair of running shoes in the past 30 days (!).
If we look at the other end of the spectrum, 0.9% of men are still using shoes they purchased over two years ago, while 1.8% of women say the same.
Women Are 2X as Likely to Run With Headphones Than Men
Both men and women picked GPS watches as their favourite bit of tech when out on their runs.
Men were significantly in favour of them (67%) over women (52%).
15.7% of women stated they prefer to run with headphones, while less than half of that for men (7.2%) said the same.
Two people out of our 2,500+ respondents said that their favourite piece of technology when running is having a GoPro or other kind of camera with them.
The Favourite Race of Our Readers Is the Half Marathon
There shouldn’t be too many surprises here, with half marathons making up some of the most popular and publicised events in the world.
10K events were the second most popular, with 500 readers voting for this option.
There were 26 people who selected ‘Other’ – not included in the chart – who had tended to suggest race types, like fun run, rather than specific distances.
Runners Tend to Be Friendlier to Each Other in the Daytime
This is another result that shouldn’t be too surprising, but it does go to the show some of the interesting aspects of this data we were able to pull out.
The number of respondents who run in the mornings or lunch time and stated that they never acknowledge other runners (such as a friendly hello or nod of the head) were 1.5% and 2.7% respectively.
When we asked people who prefer running at night whether they acknowledge other runners, they chose ‘Never’ 10% of the time, or were 400x more likely to ignore other runners than their daylight-running peers.
There is more than likely a safety element to this; not wanting to communicate with (or even annoy) someone when it’s dark outside.
Perhaps more interesting is that 63.3% of people who run in the mornings said that they Always acknowledge other runners, while just 35% of nighttime runners noted the same.
Continuing with the theme of safety, when we looked at the ‘pet hates’ of runners who tend to run at night, they were up to 3x as likely to pick ‘being left behind by others’ as their biggest hate with running.
The age group that tend to be the friendliest overall are actually those in the 11-25 age range, with 68.3% stating they always acknowledge other runners. That said, the numbers for each age bracket were similar.
Other Notable Findings from Our Survey
We’ve already covered some of the main takeaways from our survey, but they’re not all.
Now we’ll go through more of the numbers you may be curious about.
The Time of Day Runners Prefer to Run
While some of you are content to run at any time of the day, getting in a run in the early morning is the overwhelming favourite choice.
- Morning: 53%
- Evening: 21%
- Afternoon: 11%
- No preference: 8%
- Lunchtime: 4%
- Night: 2%
How Many Miles Per Week on Average Runners Run
It’s great to see that even though a large portion of survey respondents had only just took up running, the majority of them are still running more than 10 miles each week.
- 11-25 miles: 43%
- 26-40 miles: 33%
- Less than 10 miles: 11%
- 41-55 miles: 9%
- 56-70 miles: 3%
- 71-85 miles: 1%
- 86-100 miles 0% (9 respondents)
- 100+ miles 0% (4 respondents)
How Long Ago Our Readers Started Running
We put a caveat on this question to avoid confusion, essentially saying that if you’ve had a break from running and started up again, how long has it been since you got back into a regular routine.
- 3-4 years: 17%
- 26+ years: 14%
- 1-2 years: 14%
- 5-6 years: 12%
- 10-15 years: 11%
- Less than 1 year: 9%
- 6-7 years: 7%
- 8-9 years: 6%
- 16-20 years: 5%
- 21-25 years: 4%
How Much Readers Spent on Their Last Pair of Running Shoes
- $101-120: 25%
- $81-100: 21%
- $121-140: 18%
- $61-80: 12%
- 141-160: 10%
- $41-60: 5%
- $161-180: 3%
- $181-200: 2%
- $200+: 2%
- $21-40: 2%
- Never purchased a pair: 0% (8 respondents)
- Under $20: 0% (8 respondents)
Thank you to everyone who took part in this years survey, and if you would like the raw data for your own analytical purposes, please do reach out to us.
Feel free to use the data or charts above in any articles or posts on your own site. All we ask is that you credit us as the original source.
Over the coming weeks we’ll have some more interesting and specific data to share with you, such as what people look for when they choose Asics shoes over a brand like, say, Nike, so look out for that!