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Most Black Friday Footwear Deals Were Anything But, Data Shows

The footwear experts at performance sneaker review site RunRepeat studied more than 4,000 sneaker and performance footwear deals over the past three years to uncover the truth about Black Friday sneaker deals—and the reality may be tough for sneakerheads to swallow.

On average, 27 of the sneakers tracked in RunRepeat’s database were $23.95 more expensive during Black Friday than on the cheapest sneaker shopping day of the year, which usually falls in the middle of July, according to RunRepeat. That means Black Friday sneakers are 36.3 percent more expensive on average, according to the footwear publication.

“If Black Friday truly was a one-day event where prices are cheaper, we would see a stable pricing trend in the lead-up to Black Friday, and then a noticeable drop in price on the day,” RunRepeat sneaker expert Danny McLoughlin wrote. “Instead, we see a gradual trend where prices are steadily decreasing.”

Data gathered by RunRepeat shows that Black Friday might not have been the best time for sneaker shopping
Data and graph provided by RunRepeat RunRepeat

Overall, sneakers are cheaper on average for about 66 percent of the retail calendar compared to Black Friday.

Some styles like the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit are up to 57 percent more expensive, an increase of $63.58, on Black Friday than when purchased at their cheapest. For another dose of perspective, RunRepeat said the average price for a pair of sneakers in 2018 was $64.63.

Data from Run Repeat shows that Black Friday might not have been the best time for sneaker shopping
These sneaker styles experienced the highest markups  during Black Friday last year. RunRepeat

“The fact that there is no discernable price drop on Black Friday versus the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday strongly suggests that there are not savings to be made by shopping on one of the biggest shopping days of the year,” McLoughlin concluded.

Comparing sport-inspired footwear with other categories, RunRepeat also looked at electronics prices on Black Friday and found similar results. A quick search through popular tech products found that prices were often cheaper at other times of the year, although Black Friday prices were lower on average than a given day during the year.

However, shoppers were not turned away by spurious deals on footwear and electronics on Thanksgiving weekend. Consumers spent roughly $7.4 billion on Black Friday—and that’s just online. Coresight research projects that holiday sales will increase by about 4 percent in 2019.