I bought them originally on MandMDirect and despite knowing nothing about running shoes at the time, I really hit pay dirt because they were perfect for me.
Unfortunately my two latest purchases haven't been as ideal, although probably great shoes for someone else. The problem with buying online, is, of course, that you can't try on, but with a little bit of care and research you can still get a decent purchase.
I just don't have the budget for a pair of latest season top brand running shoes - they are incredibly expensive and I definitely can't afford to pay out that kind of money just for runners.
Which is where MandMDirect comes in - it's a great place to find older season, good quality running or sports shoes. It definitely is worth your while checking out reviews of the shoe if possible - I use Amazon or Run Repeat. Run repeat has loads of detailed reviews and is really useful if you want to get a better idea of performance. You may not always be able to find the particular shoe you're checking out but you might find the latest model or a similar version.
So I bought recently some New Balance trail shoes - they are incredibly comfortable when you put them on and the fit is perfect, as well as grip on muddy terrain. However, I found the cushioning inadequate for my needs, although I may get used to them. I'm definitely going to try again but I was starting to feel tell tale twinges in my shins after a run wearing them. I had shin splints some years ago and I find that good support helps to avoid this.
My next purchase was the Adidas adizero boston boost. The cushioning was much better, definitely more secure, yet not too heavy. Unfortunately, the sizing of the shoe was very small and although I bought a 39 (6), my normal size, they felt a little bit pinched around the toes. I think a half size up and they would be perfect for me. The grip wasn't perfect on muddy ground but that wouldn't be a major issue.
Fortunately, I've been able to pass them to my daughter, they fit her much better!
So when I saw running gear in Lidl, including shoes, I decided I'd give them a go. €20 is probably the best price you'll get for running shoes so it was worth a try!
First up, appearance - I really like the bright colours and design of the shoes, every bit as nice as bigger brand versions.
You can see from the second pic that the support is pretty good, they felt very comfortable from the moment I put them on. They are roomy, I felt that I might need to tighten the laces a little bit but they were good for me size-wise.
I like the fact that they have reflective elements and are breathable.
The real test was an actual run - the first thing I noticed was that they feel considerably heavier initially than my other shoes. That's not necessarily a problem for me as I'm not running marathons or anything but certainly an important fact to consider. However, apart from that, the support was great - I had to adjust slightly because of the heaviness but I didn't feel any discomfort and they have good support around the ankles and in the arch area. The grip was perfect - the run seemed a little easier on flat ground but I think that tightening the laces would help with that as there was slightly more movement within the shoe than I would like.
My verdict? I think if you are a starter runner or considering taking up running, these are perfect for you. They are a good, supportive, well designed shoe that won't cause any problems. You will probably want to move on to something more sophisticated if you plan on running races, etc. because they are that bit heavy. I think they would also be ideal for walking, so comfortable and a good fit.
Whilst I was in Lidl, I also picked up some running leggings and a top - I have a bit of a sportswear addiction :) To be fair though, all my gear gets good use!
You can see the leggings below - I was initially drawn to them because of the design, I thought the colour was cool and the material really soft.
They have a double layer of material around the waistband which again contributes to the comfort but the waist fit is fairly loose and I found when I was running that there was a bit of a drag downwards because the leg fit was so tight. Not a major problem on a short run but it could get very irritating! Having said that, I'm 5 foot, 8 inches, so fairly tall and this might not be a problem at all for someone smaller.
I also bought a top which I thought was cute, this will be for indoors definitely, probably zumba class but I tried it on and it was a good fit and looked nice.