Road Runner Sports

Road Runner Sports (RRS) is an American retailer specialising in mens and womens running shoes, running apparel and other accessories. Founded in 1983 in San Diego, California, RRS has expanded to 38 stores in 11 states across the country. Their online shopping portal roadrunnersports.com attracts around 1.5 million visitors every month.

Products

RRS claim to be the “world’s largest running and walking store” and it’s easy to see why when you see the impressive range of products they retail.

Major brands sold include Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Reebok, Saucony, Brooks and more. Although shoes are their flagship sale items, they also offer sporting apparel (including items under their own RRS brand); fitness “gear” such as drink bottles, sunglasses, socks and insoles and even music and phone accessories (so you can jog along to your favourite tune); and a range of nutrition products like nutrition bars and drinks.

RoadRunner WebsitePrices, Discounts and Coupons

RRS are one of the most competitively-priced online retailers for brand footwear. To get the best value and price you’re advised to be a VIP member (10% discount, see below) and to check out the latest coupons before purchase.

Shipping

Standard (6-8 day) shipping is free for VIP members (see below), otherwise prices range from $7.99 to $16.99 depending on the size of the order. At the time of this review free shipping was also being offered to non-VIP members for an unspecified ‘limited time only’.

2-day shipping is available for $7 or $5.99 for VIP members, and express next day delivery costs $20 or $14.99 for VIP members.

Shipping Internationally

RRS will ship to many international destinations with prices available on application. However there is a list of countries that they don’t ship to here so you’re advised to check that first. Oddly the list includes the Soviet Union which of course hasn’t been in existence for more than twenty years  (it also includes all former Soviet republics, but not Russia). Go figure.  If you’re unsure, you’d be best advised to check.

There are special shipping arrangements for Canadians who have a flat shipping cost of $35.50 and Australians, whose flat shipping rate is $59.99. It’s unclear what currencies are being quoted for those shipping charges.

ASICS, New Balance, Dunham, Merrell, Thorlo, Mizuno, CW-X, Hoka One One, Nuun, and Brooks cannot be shipped internationally.

VIP Membership

VIP membership is RRS’s customer loyalty program that provides members with a number of special privileges. These are:

  • Your 90 Day Wear’ em & Love ’em Guarantee
  • You SAVE 10% Every Day
  • Your BEST PRICE GUARANTEE
  • Enjoy FREE SHIPPING!
  • Your Exclusive VIP Family Perks
  • Your Membership Renews Automatically
  • Your VIP Hotline
  • Your WARP SPEED Promise

The “90-day wear ’em and Love ’em Guarantee” allows the member to try out shoes for an impressive 90 days and return them, for credit, if unsatisfied. As far as Stayhomeshopping is aware, no other footwear retailer offers this service. The usual practice for returns on footwear is that they must NOT be worn (beyond, say, trying them on at home).

We couldn’t help wonder whether the VIP-only privilege of Best Price Guarantee, VIP Hotline (they’ll answer your customer calls quickly) and WARP SPEED (they’ll send your order within 2 hours of receiving it) implies that non-VIP members can’t be assured of the best price, should expect to wait on hold when calling customer service and for there to be delays in shipping their order.

However, at $1.99 for the first year (online only), the 10% discount and free shipping alone probably ensures that most of the time it’s cheaper to pay the membership anyway.

It’s interesting and perhaps a little disingenuous that they cite the automatic renewal of your membership as one of the member privileges. Unless you specifically cancel your membership, your credit card will be billed $24.99 every year – even if you never intend to purchase another product from RRS.  There are lots of complaints from people caught unawares of this practice, with many also complaining that even though they HAD cancelled their membership, their card was still billed a year later. From all reports though, RRS will reverse the charge if this happens to you, but we wonder how many people never actually notice the charge in the first place.

Customer Service and Returns

RRS offer a 30-day money back guarantee – including on shoes that have been worn. A SmartLabel is included but the cost of the return shipping will be deducted from your refund.

There is a 60-day “Perfect Fit” guarantee which allows you to exchange the shoes if they’re not perfect for you. VIP members have this period extended to 90 days.

Conclusion

Quality brands
Great prices for VIP members and when using coupons
60-90 day return policy
Automatic VIP membership a potential trap

2 Comments

  • Phoenix

    Reply Reply September 3, 2014

    My God, I just went back through my credit card charges and roderunner have charged me the last three years for the vip membership and i havent even used it!!! i think thats really dishonest.

  • Rob

    Reply Reply October 30, 2014

    I went to look for barefoot shoes for my girlfriend and about died on the cost of them, but I’m glad I can send them back 60 days if she doesn’t feel they fit her well. Thanks for the review.

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