Top tier athletic shoes can retail for about $140 when they immediately hit the stores, and in some states you have to add sales tax as well. For people on a budget, purchasing older-model shoes can save big money compared to purchasing the newest model. The older models are sometimes nearly identical, but often cost substantially less. Another benefit could also be using the savings to purchase a more expensive model you otherwise wouldn't/couldn't afford.
Every year shoe manufacturers update their shoes. Sometimes the shoes have significant functional updates. Often however, the updates are mostly cosmetic. In either case, the latest and greatest shoes may not be worth the price you will pay for them. More than likely, the updates will not be enough to significantly change your running performance.
Research what sneakers or shoes you would buy, preferably by visiting a local store and finding a brand and model that is comfortable for you. Often the store may have last years model of the same shoe already marked down and available for to purchase that day. If not, online research can be terrific for searching out the previous year's model. Depending on when the shoes were released and what shoe size you require, you can potentially find an abundance of shoes for two-thirds of their original retail price. By shopping on eBay, for example, sellers often sell old-model shoes for less than $100, including shipping and handling, instead of $140 for a brand new pair of shoes. Many online retailers, including Zappos.com and Amazon.com, also sell older-model shoes until they have sold out their stock.
If running, tri-athlon, etc. are your main hobbies, then buying this years top-tier shoe can be a great investment in your recreational time. If, however, you enjoy a casual walk around the block or shopping at the mall, last years athletic shoes will provide you with the support and cushioning you need to avoid having sore feet. You can purchase top-of-the-line shoes and save quite a bit!