A new report finds that runners prefer to buy their running shoes at boutique shops rather than online. ©lightpoet/shutterstock.com

(Relaxnews) – More runners prefer to buy their running shoes in running specialty stores than online, according to a report by the Finnish shoe company Karhu announced on Tuesday.

The survey polled 725 runners about their shoe purchasing habits. Nearly half (40 percent) of the respondents typically purchased shoes from a running specialty store, ahead of online retailers (32 percent) and major sporting goods stores (11 percent).

Runners who preferred specialty shops said their rationale was service and knowledgeable staff, both in terms of running shoes and running in general. The online shoppers and sporting good shoppers, in contrast, were primarily motivated by convenience, price, and selection.

Other findings:
68 percent said they prioritize a shoe’s fit over its brand.
58 percent said they buy three or more pairs of running shoes a year.
75 percent said they spend between $80 and $119 on their average pair of running shoes.
Just one percent said they spend $50 or less per pair.

In June, market research company The NPD Group reported that in the US the market share for the lightweight or barefoot-style running shoes contributed nearly 60 percent to the total gain in running shoe sales in the US. The sweet spot for price point? The report states between $80 and $89.99.

Access the Karhu report: http://www.karhu.com/industryreport