Are Running Shoes Hsa Eligible

Running shoes are an essential part of any running enthusiast’s gear. Whether you’re a casual jogger or a dedicated marathon runner, having the right pair of running shoes can make a significant difference in your performance and overall comfort. But have you ever wondered if you can use your Health Savings Account (HSA) funds to purchase running shoes? In this article, I’ll explore the eligibility of running shoes for HSA reimbursement and provide some personal insights along the way.

Understanding Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

Before we delve into the eligibility of running shoes for HSA reimbursement, let’s quickly refresh our understanding of what an HSA is. An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account that allows individuals to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses. These accounts are typically paired with high-deductible health insurance plans and offer individuals the opportunity to save for future medical expenses.

Eligibility of Running Shoes for HSA Reimbursement

The primary factor that determines whether a medical expense is eligible for HSA reimbursement is whether it is considered a qualified medical expense by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). According to IRS guidelines, eligible medical expenses include the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.

When it comes to running shoes, the IRS does not explicitly state whether they are eligible for HSA reimbursement. However, in general, running shoes are considered to be a personal item and not a qualified medical expense. This is because running shoes are primarily used for athletic purposes and are not directly related to the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of a specific medical condition.

It is important to note that some medical conditions may require specialized footwear or orthopedic shoes, which may be eligible for HSA reimbursement. However, these conditions would typically need to be diagnosed by a healthcare professional, and the prescribed footwear would need to be directly related to the treatment or prevention of the specific condition.

Personal Insights and Commentary

As an avid runner myself, I understand the importance of investing in high-quality running shoes. The right pair of shoes can provide essential support, cushioning, and stability to help prevent injuries and enhance performance. While it would be convenient if running shoes were eligible for HSA reimbursement, it’s important to remember that HSAs are specifically designed to cover qualified medical expenses.

While running shoes may not be eligible for HSA reimbursement, taking care of your feet and overall health is still crucial. Investing in a proper pair of running shoes that suits your individual biomechanics and running style can help prevent common running injuries and promote long-term foot health. It’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable running shoe specialist or a podiatrist to find the right pair of shoes for your specific needs.


In conclusion, running shoes are generally not eligible for HSA reimbursement as they are considered personal items rather than qualified medical expenses. However, it’s important to remember that the purpose of an HSA is to provide financial support for qualified medical expenses. While running shoes may not fall into this category, prioritizing your foot health and investing in the right pair of running shoes is still crucial for injury prevention and overall well-being.

So, while you may not be able to use your HSA funds to purchase those new running shoes you’ve had your eye on, it’s always worth considering the long-term benefits of investing in your health and choosing the right gear for your running journey.