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The Process of Believe in the Run

How Our Reviews Work

We Are Runners

Our core values here at Believe in the Run boil down to the following three points: 1) we are runners who live the lifestyle, 2) we seek to elevate run culture to the level of art form, and, 3) if we’re not having fun, then why are we doing it?

When we say we live the lifestyle, we mean it. It’s our early mornings, when we’re training 40-80 miles a week. It’s our workdays, when we’re shooting videos, editing reviews, taking photos, recording podcasts, interviewing athletes, responding to YouTube comments, etc. It’s our weekends, when we put on events, run with our run clubs, and travel to races.

Our core team of both road and trail reviewers has been together for 6+ years, which means we’ve tested hundreds of shoes together. We’ve shared our experiences on a daily basis, building a deep base of knowledge about shoe technology, performance, and the evolution of footwear over the years.

Believe In The Run Team at Hayward Field

From reviewing thousands of models of shoes over a decade-plus of testing, we know the feeling when a great pair of footwear helps net a PR. We know the feeling when you get a pair of fresh shoes and feeling of that first run out the door. We also know what it’s like to have a pair malfunction walking up to the start line of a race. Which is why all of our reviews are done with you in mind, because we get it: You work hard in running and in life, and you deserve to get the most out of that. We know the feeling when a shoe looks good and performs well. And we know how a great pair of shoes can change everything.

That’s why we seek to match you with the best pair of shoes that fits your training, your goals, and your style, for wherever you are in life.

How Our Review Process Works

When we review shoes, we run at least 20 miles in a pair before letting you know our final thoughts. As any runner knows, most runs are good days, but some are dog days, so a few runs are always needed in a shoe to give a sound assessment. Very often, we run much more in a shoe. 

In our final review of a shoe, we will call out the good and the bad and give you our honest thoughts. Of course, it’s subjective, so you may see reviews where two people have totally opposite opinions. Which is fine, we want honesty even in matters of dissent. No matter what, you can guarantee you’re getting our full thoughts on the shoe.

Affiliate Links

When a review is finished, we include shop links for you to pick up the shoe if it seems like something you’d enjoy. As with any review site, those shop links often– but not always– link to affiliate partners, and if you end up buying, we receive a small commission. We’re a small business here at Believe in the Run (literally, we’re five employees), so those small commissions help keep us floating on.

We’ve never received money and will never receive money in exchange for a product review. In fact– have been offered to do so many times, and always turned it down. We also don’t require brands to be part of an affiliate network to review their gear, because it’s limiting to smaller companies or start-ups who are trying to get their name out there. We want to review gear because we love it, not because it makes us money.

We also never charge brands to use our award badges or quotes from our reviews, which is a core staple of the legacy review sites (you know who they are). Call us crazy, but we just think it’s unethical and a bit of a shakedown model to charge small brands thousands of dollars to use an award badge or a sentence from a review on their website or social media. When we love something, we want to share it with you because we think you’ll love it and it’ll make your running more enjoyable. No strings attached.

In regards to affiliate links, let us be clear– we genuinely do not care if you buy a shoe through our site, and we never write a review to try and get you to buy a shoe. It just doesn’t matter to us, and whether or not you decide to buy a shoe will not make or break us. 

Our goal is to link you to the best partners and best places to get your shoes, whether that’s through Running Warehouse who offers 2-day shipping with a generous 90-day return policy, or official brands who stand by their products and offer generous return policies. Simply put, if you’re interested in a shoe, we want to get it on your feet in the easiest way possible, and in a way that makes you feel confident in your purchase. And guess what? If you don’t like it, you can send it back, and we don’t get a commission. 

At the end of the day, our decisions and recommendations are always driven by high editorial and product testing standards. And the crazy thing is that honesty works. We get far more positive feedback from brands when we trash a shoe than when we praise a shoe. Why? Because it’s so hard to get a non-biased opinion from runners who have tried hundreds of shoes across every brand, both internally and externally. So honest feedback about a product’s performance helps everybody. 

a pile of nike running shoes

A whole bunch of Nike shoes

Of course, part of Believe in the Run is bringing the run community together, something we’ve been very intentional about. Part of that is hosting runs and partnering with brands to bring people out to test new footwear. We also want to give you in-depth information with designers and product line managers, so we’ll often offer first looks or overviews of product at its initial launch. If we do partner with a brand for an event or launch, we strive to provide transparency in doing so.

Traditionally, most partnerships are event-based and have no bearing on our opinion of a shoe and whether or not we’d recommend it to you. We tell brands up front that we love doing activations and events, but if we don’t like a shoe, we’re going to say it in the review.  So while we may partner on events around product launches and offer first looks at footwear, you can always count on our reviews as the final word on whether or not we’d recommend a shoe/product.

Again, our primary purpose at Believe in the Run is to provide in-depth reviews that allow you to make an informed decision on your next pair of running shoes or gear. We think we’re doing a pretty good job so far, but are always open to suggestions and ways to improve. 

After all, if we’re not having fun, then why are we doing it?

If you do have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to us by using the form below. (Because of the overwhelming amount of email we get, we may not be able to respond to every email, especially if it’s an individual shoe recommendations, but we’ll do our best.)

Thanks for being part of the ride.

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Believe in the Run
1805 Eastern Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21224