I’m a big proponent of experimentation when it comes to running shoes. I’ve been lucky in that being a shoe reviewer has afforded me the opportunity to run in over 50 different shoes the past few years, which has really allowed me to hone my preferences to the point where I know if I’m going to like a shoe within the first few runs in it.
A major impediment to being able to do this for most people is that it’s simply cost-prohibitive to buy multiple pairs of shoes just to try them out in the hope that one will meet your needs. The two best ways to get around this are to either go to a good running specialty store that will let you take shoes on a short test run around the block (as my local store, Runner’s Alley in Manchester, NH does), or buy from an on-line store that allows you to return shoes that don’t work out even if you have run in them. A few stores have had such a policy, and I was pleased when I opened an email today from my advertising partner Running Warehouse that announced that they are starting a 90-day “No Sweat” return policy. Basically, the new policy allows you to buy a pair of shoes, run in it, and if it doesn’t work out you can return it for store credit or an exchange for another model. Sounds like they will place a limit on how often this can be done, so don’t plan on trying every shoe that they sell (which seems completely reasonable to me).
My big question is what happens to the returned, lightly used shoes? Seems like there could be a market for such shoes to be sold at a discount should they still be in decent shape (I’ve given away a bunch of lightly used shoes myself, and it really can help people for whom extra cash to spend on running shoes is not abundant). Hopefully the used shoes will get put to good use.
Here are the rules posted on the Running Warehouse returns page:
90 Day No Sweat Returns
Running Warehouse wants you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. Items can be returned at any point, new or used, within 90 days from the original invoice date.
- To receive a refund or exchange for the full value of your purchase, products must be returned in new, store-bought condition within 90 days from the original invoice date.
- Products returned in used or worn condition within 90 days from the original invoice date can be exchanged for another item, or are eligible to receive a store credit for the full value of the purchase. Please note that while we want you to be happy with your purchases, an excessive number of used returns within a twelve-month period may limit your eligibility for exchanges or store credit.
- Products returned beyond 90 days from the original invoice date may be eligible to receive a store credit at the sole discretion of Running Warehouse.
- Please note: PayPal refunds made more than 60 days after the original payment are considered new payments and regular PayPal fees for receiving money will incur. Running Warehouse will refund the value of the product returned; the total amount of money received will reflect the refund less any PayPal fees.
- Shipping charges are non-refundable.
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