Karrimor D30 Trainers – Worn/Run In/Rated

I currently have an embarrassing running related affliction. No, I haven’t got a gammy toenail (yet) or anything worryingly sweaty, instead, I have squeaky trainers. And I don’t mean just a little ‘peep’ every now and again, I mean something that sounds like ‘ehe -schwelch, ehe – schwelch, ehe – schwelch’ with every single step I take. Honestly, I was doing my Parkrun yesterday (beat 30 minutes for the first time in about ten years BTW) and it was just ludicrous.

The problem is that I have to wear orthotics and, even with my wide fitting New Balance, they squish up and down as you move. I was therefore very excited when a few months ago the invitation to try a new pair of Karrimor D30 trainers hit my inbox. They were selling them as their sturdiest design so far. Here was the blurb…

Karrimor’s new running shoes feature D30 shock absorption technology to lower the impact when running against the road, teamed with gel technology to the rear and forefoot to help lessen impact and a clutch counter to the heel for more ride control and stability. Basically really comfortable and lessen impact  thus preventing injury!

Hmm, I thought. A nice sturdy shoe, maybe I can try them without orthotics and no longer squeak my way round the neighbourhood. Sadly, that wasn’t to be as I’ll explain in the slightly unorthodox review that follows, the Karrimor D30 are still a nice basic shoe to run in – especially, in my opinion, if you’re just starting out and don’t want to spend a fortune on super swanky shoes. Here’s what I found….


1) The ones they sent me were white – very, very white – for normal people this probably isn’t an issue but they do scream NEW TRAINERS I’M WEARING NEW, SHINY, TRAINERS. I’d prefer a darker colourway.

2)  They are grippy – you have to fight a bit to get your foot in them but when you do it’s held fast. My feet definitely felt secure. the only downside of this is that after a few wears and attempts to force my feet in the heel is bending in a little which could create a problem with rubbing in the future.

3) They’re a really comfy shoe on the inside. I am plagued with blisters on the underside of my big toe but I didn’t get any problems wearing these. I also have issues with shoe backs rubbing on my heel – but again, no problems

4) All that support means they do feel heavy on your feet – that’s why I say they’d be a good beginners shoe. I was conscious of their weight while I was running and it was a bit like they were weighing me down (though I did PB on the day I wore them for a Parkrun so they obviously aren’t) but if you’re just getting started, the added stability is probably more important while you start to build up your muscles (which then reinforce your own natural stability) than something that is going to speed you up.

5) Full recommended retail price for this particular pair of Karrimor D30 shoes is £159.99 – which is frankly silly. Though they’re normally sold via Sportsdirect for far less – particularly older colourways (last time I looked the price was less than £25). Personally, whenever I’m buying new trainers I always buy last year’s colours at a discount cost. I didn’t experience this for myself, but other online reviews have suggested they might wear out a bit earlier than other shoes and the dipping at the back makes me believe that might be true – but there again, if you’re just starting out that might not be such a problem for you, as, once you know you’re committed to running you might want to upgrade to a higher tech shoe anyway.

6) They don’t sort out your pronation. I didn’t notice this while I was running, but when I was walking to the bus stop afterwards I really noticed how much my foot was turning in. Normally I can tell if this is happening as I feel it in my ankle, obviously the fact that my foot was held firm stopped that, but still, I wouldn’t risk wearing them without my orthotics. So, looks like I’m still going to squeak for a while yet.

Update: I actually solved my orthotics problem. I found the perfect shoe from New Balance that keeps my feet supported enough without needing them – but if you’re still suffering squeaks, I did get some expert advice on how to reduce the noise levels and wrote a post about it.

Main image: @Orangeline | Dreamstime.com

This post now contains affiliate links – but at the time I originally wrote this I hadn’t even heard of such things as such my review was completely independent. 


  1. Brett

    I know this is an old article, but ive only just discovered it. Quick question, why are you mentioning the fact that they dont sort your pronation? theyre not a pronation shoe, theyre neutral … theyre not designed to sort your pronation.

    1. healthehelen

      Thanks for asking. Because, as I explain, I’m sick of squeaking and the way the shoe was sold to me was that it would keep my feet stable – ergo, perhaps they wouldn’t move so much. To be honest, even in shoes that are designed to fix pronation I have to wear my orthotics so I wasn’t holding out much hope but my feeling is if no-one tries things that aren’t supposed to happen we never discover anything.

  2. Jasmine


    I’ve just bought a pair of these running shoes and then stupidly decided to look up reviews. They are awful apparently. Now your review is the best as it is honest and not full of emotive language. I’m really quiet annoyed with myself for buying them because sports direct has an awful returns policy so it looks like I’ve wasted money however I’m just starting out running and noticed you said they were good for beginners. In terms of the trainer did you find it offered support and cushioning an was durable because that’s what I’m really looking for? It would really help if you let me know before I take them back and get a silly store card voucher to spend on other useless crap.

    Thank you

    J Reeves

    1. healthehelen

      Thanks for the compliment. Right, as I said in the review, I found them a bit heavy but they did feel stable.That. combined with the fact that at the time they were selling at under £50 was why I suggested they were good for beginners.You can have the fanciest, most expensive shoes but if you decide you hate running three weeks later they’re not going to help you.

      So re this particular shoe. I don’t run in the Karrimor that often – because I find them heavy as I’m used to a lighter shoe. That’s one reason many regular runners don’t like them. I did run in them the other day though and still found them sturdy and supportive. As I said in the review, I have read other people saying their durability isn’t great but I haven’t worn mine enough to comment on that, but, as noted I did notice the back dipping after putting them on a few times so I can see people might be right on that.

      To be honest, buying running shoes is a minefield. I’ve bought shoes that felt fine in the shop but blistered me so badly they had to go in the bin in a matter of weeks. It’s really hard as you can’t tell what a shoe is going to do until you run it (by which time you can’t take them back in most stores – some proper running stores will let you but they’re rare).

      My best advice is. Ignore the reviews for now. You bought the shoe for a reason (feel, look, price?) so see if that still stands. Put the shoes on in the house (so you don’t mark the soles) and run in them – if you like the way they feel, then they’re a shoe that’s going to work for you. Keep in mind the possible durability issue though – do you think you’re going to start upping the mileage quickly? Then maybe these aren’t the best product to choose and you should take them back.

      If they don’t give you a refund and you have to get the gift card. Yes it’ll suck, but check how long it lasts. If you don’t use the whole amount to buy another pair (which you might not depending how much you paid and what brand you buy next), then use that extra cash to get another pair before the card runs out – shoes should be replaced about every 500 miles to reduce your risk of injury, which, depending how much you’re running could be in less than a year anyway.

      By then you’ll have a better idea of what you want from a shoe and can choose something you really like. Think of it as a down payment.

      I don’t know if that helps at all but fingers crossed.

  3. Romano

    Hi, I have just bought the D30 Excel running shoes. These are the top range version (£60) and knew this was a risk. I have tried them on a 10k road run so far and was suprised at the good level of cushioning and comfort. To be sure, Karrimor cheaper running shoes are rubbish compared to other makes. The Excel one is poles apart from those. The D3O Excel material handles the shock and dissipation. according to the D30.com website that has a better effect than current pu materials. It also has a good midsole support. I rate these 8/10 so far. But I will see how long they last.

  4. Romano

    Having completed a few 10K runs, the in soles are disintegrating and the tread are showing ‘bleed through’ from the supporting sole. This is bad. I would not recommend for frequent use. the quality/price tradeoff is poor compared to other good makes. It is a shame as the comfort/ride is good. i rate these 4/10.

    1. healthehelen

      Thanks for the feedback. I still run in mine now and again but haven’t put the miles on them that you have so really appreciate you taking time to give people the longer term view.

  5. Andre

    After 5 trail runs my Karrimor D30 Excels are trashed. The soles and uppers have fallen part. I would not recommend these shoes,

  6. Yehudis G

    Apologies for resurrecting an old thread. What New Balance ones did you go for?


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