Best Running Shoes for the Treadmill Reviewed & Rated
There are so many reasons why someone may choose indoor running versus outdoor running – maybe you have a strong preference, you make running part of your gym time or you include both in your routine. Whatever your reasoning and choices are, treadmills are an amazing part of a gym or at home workout that is efficient and will really get you sweating. Some of us like to walk, while others jog or run; regardless of what you’re doing on the treadmill, you are going to need shoes that will keep up with you.
On those cold rainy days when going outside is the last thing you want to do, throwing on some comfortable shoes and hitting the treadmill is an ideal way to keep up with your routine without having to brave the weather. For those who are new to running, or just starting to figure out their workout routine, the treadmill is one of the most simple and straightforward machines, so you don’t need to be intimidated to give it a try.
One of the absolute musts when it comes to shoes for the treadmill is that you want something that is going to be lightweight. This is a rule that is generally applied when it comes to running shoes, as you don’t want something weighing your feet down as you try and speed forward. Having heavy shoes is going to be a much more burdensome workout, so taking the time to look for shoes that are made of lighter materials is well worth the effort.
- ONEMIX Air Cushion
- Air cushion
- Well ventilated
- Nike Tanjun
- Simple Style
- Very durable
- ALEADER Mesh Sport
- Durable rubber sole
- Double mesh upper
Not only should your shoe be lightweight, but it should also be breathable. Stinky, sweaty feet and shoes aren’t pleasant for anyone, and the more moisture you build up inside them, the more likely they are to deteriorate and break down. You don’t want to be spending money on shoes that fall apart within months, all because they got too hot and sweaty and the material couldn’t wick it away.
Keeping all of these factors in mind, plus more, we have taken a look at some of the best shoes currently on the market for those who love to walk or run on the treadmill. We’ve included a range of brands, some very well known and others that are a bit more unknown, in order to really showcase everything the shoe market has to offer.
10 Best Running Shoes for the Treadmill
1. ONEMIX Air Cushion
When you're going hard on the treadmill, the last thing you want is for your foot to slip; leaving you falling off and possibly sustaining an injury. To ensure that your feet stay right where they should be, this shoe has a very durable sole that is enhanced with anti-slip properties. From the treadmill to the rainy roads, you can be confident that your shoes will give you great traction and support so that your gait is never hindered by slippery conditions. The thick air-cushioned sole is not only durable but is amazing at absorbing shock; with its thickness and uniquely shaped design.
Free Matching Socks
Nothing makes a person more interested in purchasing a product than knowing that there is something free included. When you purchase a pair of ONEMIX Air Cushion Running Shoes, you get a free pair of matching socks included in your order. These included socks are similar in design to the shoes, so you can have a more matched and striking appearance when you hit the gym. The socks fit perfectly with the shoes and even give you a slight bit more padding so that your feet are extra comfortable all day long.
Cost and Value
These shoes are a bit more expensive than some of the others on our list, but with that price tag comes a lot more style and choice. Whereas with most shoes your color options are fairly limited, these are offered in a wide range of mixed colors and patterns, giving you a more personalized and fun look. Performance wise, these tend to be noted as extremely comfortable, so you should find that you enjoy throwing these on and hitting the treadmill without feeling any aches or pains during your workout.
- Microfiber Build
- Lightweight Running Shoe
- Flexible and Breathable
- Anti Slip Sole
- Air Cushion
- Environmentally Friendly
- 3D Knit Upper
- Well Ventilated
- Sizing Runs Small
- Toe Box May Feel Too Wide
- Limited Selection
2. Nike Tanjun
The Tanjun is almost all foam giving it almost no weight. Heavy shoes can turn an awesome treadmill run into an awful treadmill trudge. Not only does Nike give us a foam midsole as well as outsole, they also give us a lightweight textile upper. It’s important to note, the textile upper gives superior breathability on top of being lightweight, making it feel as if you aren’t wearing shoes at all.
Versatile Wearing Options
Most of us don’t like to wear our exercise shoes beyond the workout room in our house but with the great style and breathability of the Tanjun, you may think differently. Simple and comfortable the option to wear these running shoes for a treadmill jog or down the street for a cup of coffee will help you get the best bang for your buck. Nike gives us a shoe for most situations in life, this one just so happens to cover multiple needs.
Cost and Value
Nike has proven through years of success that quality shoes don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you need a great value for a versatile lightweight shoe then look no further, the Tanjun has you covered. Simple is not a word we often get to use in life but may be able to use more often after trying out these running shoes.
- Supportive Foam Sole
- Simple Look
- Superior Performance
- Versatile Wear
- Sizing Runs Small
- Narrow fit
3. Brooks Ghost 10
The added cushioning in this shoe is made to absorb any impact that you incur every time your foot meets the treadmill. Over time, the shock that occurs will affect your feet, legs, and even your back, so having a shoe that helps absorb it while distributing the weight means you will have a healthier body over time. These shoes also are designed to be low to the ground, so you have a much more controlled feeling and can better notice if your feet are hitting too hard against the treadmill. This ground feedback will help you better position your foot and find the right weight and pressure to give you more effective and comfortable results.
Neutral to Supination
Knowing your foot type is extremely important when purchasing shoes, but even more so when it comes to running shoes. The way your foot lands and rolls with each stride will affect what type of shoe you are going to want to purchase. These Ghost 9's are ideal for anyone who ranges between neutral to supination and is going to be far less comfortable for overpronators. If you are an overpronator, you will either want to add in an insole specific to your foot or possibly opt for another model on our list.
Cost and Value
This shoe is typically priced for a running shoe, and while it isn't cheap it isn't expensive either. For such a well known and popular shoe, it's a pretty good deal, and since Brooks is always coming out with new models, you are likely to find a bargain on this shoe if you wait a bit or hunt around. For individuals who are going to be getting a lot of use out of these, such as daily gym goers, the price of these is nothing compared to other models which may not hold up as well over time.
- Neutral to Supination
- Cushioning is High Energy
- Mesh Upper for Breathability
- Lightweight Overlays
- Padded Tongue and Collar
- Soft Interior Lining
- Removable Insole
- Crash Pad
- Omega Flex Grooves
- May Be Uncomfortable for Overpronators
- Better For Walking
- Width is Wider
4. ASICS GEL-Venture 6
As the name says, these shoes feature ASICS unique Gel technology which makes their shoes extremely comfortable, supportive, and gives you a more smooth run. To help you transition between strides, the gel will absorb any shock during impact and then return that energy to give you a more powerful take off. Your foot should then be returned to a more natural position, reducing your risk for injury or foot fatigue after a run. The removable sockliner will also help protect your foot, and it can easily be taken out so that you can put in a customized or orthotic insole to suit your personal needs.
Outsole Designed for Trail Running
If you want to make sure your feet stay where they should be, then the outsole on these shoes is guaranteed to give you the results you want. With a sturdy lug pattern, these shoes can keep you secured to the treadmill, safe on wet pavement, or stable on muddy and loose trails; all done with ease. Your feet will love the security and stability that this outsole provides, and you will notice a major difference in how confidently you hit that treadmill now that you know there is no chance of you slipping off.
Cost and Value
As these are our number one pick, you would assume that the price would match the quality, but lucky for you the price is far less than what would be expected. These are relatively inexpensive shoes and are a complete bargain value wise since you're getting something that performs outstandingly. As ASICS produces new models constantly, their older models decrease in price all of the time, so you can get these on a budget without issue. With so much versatility and performance, this is a running shoe that is almost impossible to pass up.
- Rearfoot Gel Cushioning
- Smooth Transition
- Shock Absorbing
- Removable Sockliner
- Trail Ready Outsole
- AHAR Outsole
- Extremely Durable
- Multiple Colors
- Sizing Runs Larger
- Width is Quite Wide
5. Brooks Launch 5
We have all been in the situation where we love the shoes we are running in today and hate them tomorrow. For whatever reason this happens, it is not only frustrating but also costly. The Brooks True Blue Guarantee will allow you to return your shoes within 90 days for any reason. I love the security that comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It shows that Brooks stands behind their products and are sure you will be satisfied with every purchase.
Added Layer of Blown Rubber
The additional layer of blown rubber gives the Launch 5 and your run the boost you need to go longer and stronger. This added layer gives you bounce like you won't believe. The lightweight addition won't slow you down, in fact, it will give you better cushion and spring, as you attack the hardest course your treadmill has to offer.
Cost and Value
The support, structure, and design of these shoes are all features we want when thinking of the best running shoes for a treadmill marathon. In addition to all these features, the Brooks Launch 5 also guarantees our satisfaction, at a fraction of what some running shoes will cost. Easily fit them into your budget and watch how easily they become your new favorite athletic shoes.
- Minimal Break In Time
- Durable Outsole
- Great for High Arches
- Breathable Knit Upper
- Not for People Prone to Ankle Rolling
6. Nike Free RN Flyknit 2018
If you've ever thought to yourself that you wish you had a shoe that felt more personalized and custom fitting, then now is your chance to buy one. The fabrics and materials used to create the Free RN Flyknit are specially picked for their flexible and elasticized nature. These shoes will fit snugly to the contours of your foot, and give you a one of a kind fit that is sure to impress. The material used is also extremely breathable, so your foot will not overheat and sweat while running. Even though the material is thin, it's strong and durable with an enhanced toe area to reduce any breakage over time.
Natural and Lightweight Movement
Although this is a running shoe, it has the feeling of a minimalist shoe because of how lightweight and conforming it is. No matter how your foot likes to move, this shoe will move with you, providing you expansive freedom to have the most natural gait possible. The unique materials are meant to help mimic your foot's movement, and they will fold, contract, and expand with each step you take. Every step and take off will feel beyond natural and your foot will get the support and direction it needs to perform at it's best.
Cost and Value
It shouldn't come as any surprise that these are the most expensive pair of shoes on our list. The reasoning behind the price tag is threefold, and each reason is fair. First of all, you're buying a high-end brand name which guarantees you a shoe that is well made and of good quality. Nike isn't putting out poorly made shoes, as they have a long history behind them that gives them their positive reputation. Also, this shoe is a very new model, so you are obviously paying more for something that was just released in 2017. Finally, this is a shoe that puts most other running shoes to shame. It's perfectly designed and will be your favorite if you're willing to shell out the money for it.
- Feels Like Wearing a Sock
- Sole Contracts and Expands
- Bendable sole
- Snug, Personalized Fit
- High Breathability
- Reinforced Toe Area
- Feather Light Design
- Rounded Heel
- Lacking Arch Support
- Width is More Narrow
7. New Balance 1080V8
Support while running on any surface, especially a treadmill, is crucial. While your foot needs to be able to move in a natural way you also need to know that your arches are supported as well as the rest of your foot. A mesh outer gives you structure with just the right amount of stretch. The way the 1080V8 hugs your arch, your feet will be feeling better than ever.
Removable Ortholite Insert
Adding cushion and comfort, the Ortholite insert is a dream come true by itself. The ability to remove it for cleaning, not only improves the smell of your sneakers, but also the longevity of them. Letting an insert dry after a strenuous run can keep their condition better for longer. Once they wear out, you can replace them with a new set or even add a gel cushion under the heel for added comfort.
Cost and Value
The cost of this pair of running shoes may have you adjusting your budget. Your feet will love you with the exceptional comfort that New Balance gives us however, it will cost you more than most of the other best running shoes for a treadmill. You will have durable, comfortable shoes that will last for trails that have yet to be accomplished.
- Great for Wide Feet
- Perfect Fit
- No Break In Time
- Handles Distance
8. Skechers Go Walk 4
If you read that and noticed it was all go, go, go then that helps explain why this shoe is on our list of best shoes for the treadmill. This shoe is designed to GO and in order to make it so productive and comfortable, Skechers has used three of it's most recent footwear technologies to enhance this model. The GoPillars, located on the outsole, combined with the GoImpulse makes these responsive shoes that are surprisingly flexible. Each step you take will be easy and natural, allowing you to walk for hours without noticing any discomfort.
GoGa Mat and Resalyte Midsole
As we mentioned, the shoe doesn't use a memory foam insole and instead relies on their unique GoGa Mat to give you that extra cushioning and comfort you love. Memory foam can flatten easily over time, so the GoGa mat uses more of a yoga mat textured foam which is more firm and will hold up for long. You will still get all of the support and cushion, the only difference being that it will still be springy and plush after multiple uses. To keep your foot even more comfortable, the Resalyte midsole is amazingly good at absorbing shock, so your foot will have no aches and pains even if you stay on that treadmill all day.
Cost and Value
You'd imagine a shoe with this much unique technology and advancements in its design would cost a fortune, but thankfully Skechers keeps all of their shoes fairly reasonably priced. Given that these are only for walking, and not running, you're already saving yourself a good bit of money there as they don't need to be as supportive or durable as outdoor running shoes. For the treadmill walker who wants superior comfort, this shoe has amazing value and a price that won't break the bank.
- GoGa Pillars Sole
- Slip On Style
- Lightweight Walking Shoe
- Memory Foam Heel Cup
- Mesh Upper Design
- GoGa Mat Footbed
- Resalyte Midsole
- Superior Impact Absorption
- Not Good for Running
- Width Tends to be Narrow
9. Adidas Neo Lite Racer
Bringing together their CloudFoam and FitFoam technology, Adidas has made a shoe that is going to be beyond comfortable every time you put them on. The CloudFoam Sockliner prevents any chafing or blistering from occurring; giving you a soft and protective lining for your foot. The FitFoam insole is plush and cushioned, that will feel like it is molded specifically to your foot. It contours around you giving you a personalized fit, while remaining springy even after multiple wears.
Durable Rubber Outsole
These shoes are going to be great for walkers and runners alike and can be worn to the gym or outdoors depending on your mood. The rubber outsole has extra grip to provide you with secure traction on wet and dry surfaces. You should find the sole to be long-lasting, and high impact areas shouldn't wear down overly quickly. There is an additional overlay on the heel to give you that added boost of stability, making these an all around great shoe.
Cost and Value
You might think that just because these are made by Adidas that they are going to be out of your budget, but I'm happy to tell you that these are really cheap running shoes from a great brand. As Adidas is always coming out with new models, this is one of their older shoes so the price has dropped significantly since it's arrival on the footwear scene. This means you can scoop up a pair for far less than other models, and you're still getting a superior shoe that is comfortable and well performing.
- Breathable Mesh Upper
- Durable Rubber Sole
- Honeycomb Design
- Comfortable Textile Lining
- CloudFoam Sockliner
- Lightweight Cushioning
- EVA Midsole
- Gripped Rubber Outsole
- Heel Overlay
- Sizing Runs Larger
- Width May Be More Narrow
10. ALEADER Mesh Sport
As you know, having shoes that are breathable is so because it enables your feet to be more comfortable while also helping your shoes to last longer. These mesh shoes have a very breathable upper design, which allows for enough air flow to keep your feet cool. To ensure that the mesh is durable, it is double layered, allowing it to keep its shape over time and give your foot adequate protection and support. The mesh is also soft, working as an additional liner to prevent any chaffing or blistering from occurring while you work out.
Hydro Grip Outsole
Having shoes that you only use for indoor running is one thing, but having a shoe versatile enough that you can take it outdoors gives you more value for your money. These shoes feature an amazing outsole that will grip to nearly any surface regardless of how wet or dry it is. If the mood strikes and you feel like getting outside in the rain instead of being indoors, these shoes will be just as effective on the wet pavement as they are on your dry treadmill. You'll be sure to maintain your balance and gait while wearing these shoes, and the supportive sole has some of the best traction of any of the shoes we've looked at so far.
Cost and Value
ALEADER isn't a big brand name, so you're saving a lot of money right off the bat due to that fact. These shoes also aren't as long lasting as some of the others we have seen, so that brings the cost down quite a bit as well. With that said, you are getting a high level of performance out of these running shoes and they will last awhile if you keep them solely for indoor treadmill use. If that's the only reason you are looking for new shoes, and you don't plan on taking them outside, then these are some of the best value shoes for your money.
- Durable Rubber Sole
- Double Mesh Upper
- Breathable and Lightweight
- Durable and Sturdy Design
- Five Claw Lacing System
- Cushioned Insole
- Moisture Wicking Liner
- Hydro Grip Outsole
- Shock Absorbing Midsole
- Sizing Runs Smaller
- Lacking Arch Support
Now that we’ve had a chance to look at the 10 best shoes, it’s easy to see that there is a lot of variety when it comes to treadmill shoes. For those who walk, you aren’t going to require nearly as much cushioning and padding, but you will want to ensure that your shoes remain lightweight and stable. For runners, your focus will be on support and cushioning, but that doesn’t mean you should forsake factors like weight, as this will impact your activity level.
This list is a general overview, and by no means covers all of the treadmill shoes that exist. Some brands, like ASICS, have a multitude of models that can be used for both indoor and outdoor running, and it would be easy to dedicate a list to them alone. Nike and Adidas are also well-known brands with many models available, while some of the others on our list may only make one or two types of shoes that work for running. Use this list to jumpstart your shoe hunt, and you are guaranteed to find a pair that you fall in love with.
Regardless of why you’re hopping on that treadmill, give yourself the best workout possible by ensuring your footwear is up to the task. With the right pair of shoes on, you will be sure to walk, or run, your way to a great and healthy life.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Running Shoes for the Treadmill
Knowing your routine and knowing your feet are a big part of choosing the right shoes. Running on a treadmill is very different from walking on one. One of the key components of a great running shoe is flexibility. The toe and heel of the shoe should offer substantial movement while the arch stays a bit stiffer offering support.
There should also be some twist to the shoe. When holding the heel and the toe you want some give. This allows your foot to maneuver with you while running. It is a difficult rope to cross, finding the correct give with enough support to give you an amazing experience for your feet on your treadmill.
Treat flat feet and high arches accordingly, hence the know your feet statement. If you have high arches make sure you are giving the support level needed for the type of impact you go through while running on a treadmill. The correct support will keep you from bearing the pain of shin splints. On the other hand, if you have flat feet, a shoe with a built-up arch may cause you all kinds of future pain and trouble.
It all really comes back to the fact that you want a well fitting shoe that moves with you. Find flexibility and a fit that is made for your particular foot. Our guide covers a variety of styles and fits to give an option to most feet out there.
Runners know when training for a marathon or sometimes even just your daily 5k can be greatly impacted by the weight of your shoes. Keeping it light will keep you moving. Finding a running shoe to wear while on your treadmill requires a deep look at the weight of the shoe. You certainly don’t want to see mile times lengthen or worse not be able to meet yesterday’s distance because you feel like you’re dragging your feet in heavy shoes.
The problem with wearing ultra-lightweight running shoes is the lack of cushion. Making sure to do your research will prove fruitful in this type of situation. Think about your feet and problems you have encountered in the past. If you have ever suffered due to shin splints you know what too little cushioning can feel like. We have offered a wide variety when it comes to cushioning but that also means a wide variety when it comes to the weight of the shoe.
It may not seem like running shoes for a treadmill could have too much cushioning however they certainly can. As I said earlier, weight matters. The more cushion the more weight and the more drag you are going to feel as you head into the day’s course. Your entire body will notice the difference if you are used to a very lightweight shoe. There may be added soreness to your muscles or joints. Again, you may also see mile time decreasing or not reach the distance you were hoping for. Keep it light and find yourself moving toward distances never seen before.
We talked a bit about cushioning in the Weight section, however, the importance of correct cushioning for the running shoes you are wearing on a treadmill can mean the difference of meeting your daily exercise goals or skipping them all together. There are several types of cushioning in athletic shoes. Like most things, some are great for runners and others, not so much.
Cushioning to look For:
- EVA Foam
- Fresh Foam
- Blown Rubber
- Lunalar Foam
Cushioning to watch out for:
- Carbon Rubber
- Dual Density EVA*
- Use of Posts
*Polyurethane and Dual Density EVA are excellent for cushioning. The reason you need to watch for them is the fact that they can add a lot of weight to the shoe. Long runs need light shoes and this can really dampen your pace.
Thick Foam outsoles are becoming all the rage. We are emerging from a world of minimalist running shoes. The future looks a little odd but gives an extreme amount of cushion with very little weight. The super thick foam outsoles feel like a dream on your feet and don’t weigh you down. You may find a lack of flexibility in this cushion system which has some staying away. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis this type of shoe may be just what you have been looking for!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I wear my walking shoes to run on the treadmill?
The answer to this question depends on a couple of things. If the shoes you are walking in are built for walking you should avoid wearing them for running. A walking shoe has different support areas as well as different structure, cushion, and support.
Running shoes for a treadmill are built with a structure like those of road running shoes. They give you great flexibility in the toe and heel. In addition to flexibility, the heel usually offers a heel cup with added cushion and support for heel striking that is common with runners. They also have a slightly rigid midsole for added support.
In conclusion, if your walking shoes meet the criteria for a good pair of running shoes for a treadmill, then go for it. If they fall short, do yourself and your body a favor, pick out a great pair of running shoes that will keep you going for miles.
Q: How is running on a treadmill different then running on the street?
There are a variety of reasons that running on your treadmill is different than heading outside for a run. First and probably the most obvious reason is that there is not weather problems inside your house or the local gym. Combating rain, ice, and snow can shut a run down quickly or worse lead to injury from falling.
Next, we must consider the lack of give in road running. Pavement is unforgiving and let’s face it, our trusty treadmill not only adds spring to our step, it also helps us run faster. Most people see their best times on a treadmill because it supports the way your body needs to move to increase speed.
Q: I’m bored with my treadmill, HELP!!
We have all been here, whether running on the treadmill or our weekly spin class, burnout! When you find yourself getting sick of the same old routine, find a way to spice it up. Some tricks that have helped me and my workout buddies in the past are:
- Make a New Playlist – Keeping the music fresh keeps you fresh.
- Save your favorite recorded show – Only allow yourself to watch during your exercise time.
- Video Chat a Long Distance Workout Buddy – While hard to talk, a great motivation is having someone run with you. Plus, it helps keep you close!
- Switch the Routine – Run in the evening instead of the morning or better yet, change your course setting. Give yourself a new thing to strive for. Completed them all? Start from the beginning but do track one and two or any other two that you enjoy running. Just remember to keep it changing.
Q: Why do I feel unbalanced when I run on my treadmill?
The problem here for most runners is not being able to keep a steady focused pace. It is also important to note that a treadmill allows a runner to go faster than they normally would on the street. This can not only be dangerous if the runner missteps it can also cause that wobbly feeling
So where do you start? Start slow, you may find that you want to speed up quickly because of how good your muscles feel but this will lead to an unsteady pace. Starting slow will let your body adjust to the different type of running surface.
Next, you want to maintain a steady focal point. For me, I adjusted my treadmill so it looks out the back window, at a giant apple tree, I’m always running for the tree. Stay away from the T.V., I know it’s easy to focus on, however, moving pictures can be distracting and lead to unsteadiness while running.
Finally, stick with it. New routines can take time for not only your mind but your body to adjust to. What feels awkward and unsteady today, will feel completely different after a few weeks of consistent treadmill running.
If you are still having a hard time after this, take a look at your shoes. The best running shoes for a treadmill are not necessarily your best road running or gym shoes. Always remember what is on your feet needs to be thought out and made for the task you are going to ask of them.