The best shoes for a college student’s budget

By Shawn McFarland

Co Editor-in-Chief

Photo Courtesy of Adidas

Listen, we get it – you’re a college student. You probably have next-to-no money, and even if you have money, you still don’t have a lot of money. I don’t think I’m overstepping any boundaries by making that statement in regards to the majority of students in the United States.

Naturally, that’s going to present an issue or two. One problem is the constant struggle of having something nice on your feet while operating under a suffocating budget. Yeah, everyone wants to be rocking a pair of the latest retro Air Jordan release, or a pair of Adidas Yeezy 350’s, but not everybody can drop $200 plus on a moment’s notice.

But don’t freak out. You can still look presentable while facing financial struggles for eight months out of the year. Underneath those pricey retros and hard-to-find exclusives, there are actually a handful of great looking shoes you can find out there for some reasonable prices.

Adidas NMD

Three months ago, the NMD’s wouldn’t even be on this list. Not because of it’s price – the retail value is set at $120, not too bad – but because of it’s rarity. There was a point when you couldn’t even sniff these shoes in a FinishLine or FootLocker on an average day, but times have changed. Just a few weeks ago, I was at the Champs Sporting Goods near my home, and there was a whole wall of NMD’s – that doesn’t change how fresh they are.

They’re some of the lightest shoes I’ve ever personally worn. Along with the UltraBoosts ($180 retail), the NMD’s are among Adidas’ new wave of running shoes, and the public reception has been outstanding.

They look good with anything – joggers, jeans, khakis, sweatpants. They sport a variety of colors, from all-white to multicolored. The only downside is the lightweight material isn’t as durable as other shoes, and the all-white editions get dirty easily. But as long as you don’t wear them like hiking boots, you’ll have a fashionable pair of shoes for everyday use.

Nike Air Presto

The Air Presto’s are Nike’s answer to the NMD’s, the way I see it. Sitting at $120, they’re another reasonable price.

Personally, I don’t find them as visually appealing as the NMD’s, but, the material is much sturdier, and a harder, rubbery frame keeps the shoe together better. I’ve found that they’re harder to pull off with shorts compared to pants, but that’s more of a personal issue I suppose.

The color run is pretty extensive, so you can find just about anything to match your style. Nike’s signature material FlyKnit has its own Presto, but that goes for $160 (eliminating it from this story completely.)

Nike Air Max 90’s

What’s better than a classic? I’ve got an answer for you — absolutely nothing. One of Nike’s best-selling shoe lines of all-time, the Air Max 90’s are a classic look.

They’re usually pretty cheap, and depending on frequent sales, you can get them for as low as $80. The red-and-white colorway is an absolute classic, but black and grey looks nice too.

The beauty of Air Maxes are the versatility. Shorts? You’ve got it. Pants? Rock and roll. Khakis too – you get the point. What makes it reign supreme over the NMD’s and Presto’s are its sturdiness. You can seriously rock a pair of Air Maxes for years. While I can’t guarantee they’ll stay clean, you’ll have them forever – and for a great price.


1 comment

  1. Actually the nike’s air presto was originally released in 2000, people just started noticing them more after the ultra boosts were released giving Nike ability to do new projects like flyknit with them. Great article though, God Bless!

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