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Best Running Shoes for Treadmill Running – Buyers Guide

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woman running on a treadmill with grippy shoes

The right shoes are important. There is nothing worse than having shoes that don’t fit, or simply don’t have adequate support or padding. It makes something that’s already tough, running, even tougher. That’s why it’s so important to buy the right pair of shoes. But how? When shopping for the best running shoes for treadmill running, you should look for more than just comfort and support. 

You need to piece together the perfect options such as midsoles with compression-molding and built with a shock-absorbing technology. It’s generally better to have a lower profile shoe and one without a ton of cushioning. Lightweight? Why not.

We have done the work for you. Through hours of research and learning from others mistakes, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 shoes that will make your treadmill running experience much more enjoyable. It’s not always necessary to buy new shoes, but when it is, it’s important to make sure you get ones that really work for your goals. 

What Are the Best Treadmill Running Shoes? 

When looking for the best treadmill running shoes, you need something that offers support. You need a great shoe that will provide you with a stable ride. Running can be strenuous on the body, and the more you run the more stress it puts on the knees, hips, feet, and shins. The right shoe helps reduce that stress.

Our Top 3 Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Best Overall Treadmill Shoe Best Overall Treadmill Shoe Brooks Ghost 13
  • Support:Neutral
  • Best For:Long runs, cushion
  • Drop:12mm
  • Weight:10.6oz
  • User Reviews:4.7 / 5 stars
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Lightweight Speed Shoe Lightweight Speed Shoe Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit
  • Support:Neutral
  • Best For:Speed
  • Drop:6mm
  • Weight:9.6oz
  • User Reviews:5 / 5 Stars
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Best Budget for Women Best Budget for Women New Balance Women’s 608 V5 Casual Comfort
  • Support:Supportive
  • Best For:Budget, Comfort
  • Drop:NA
  • Weight:10.8oz
  • User Reviews:4.5 / 5 Stars
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Why is it important to find the best running shoes? Because if you aren’t wearing the right shoe, you stand the risk of a potential injury. When shopping for a treadmill running shoe look for following features: 

  • Breathability
  • Flexibility 
  • Durability 
  • Stability 
  • Lightweight cushioning 
  • Shock absorption 
  • Energy  return 
  • Security 

The following buyer’s guide was formed to aid you in shopping for the best athletic product possible.

1/ Brooks Ghost 13

Best Overall Treadmill Running Shoe with new-age technology to maximize comfort and performance.

Men Shoe

Women’s Shoe

Product Description and Features

Great Feature: It has newly engineered mesh and 3D Fit Print.

The Ghost 13 Running Shoe (men’s and women’s) is an imported shoe with a rubber sole. It is made for runners seeking a ride with a shoe that is soft, smooth, and reliable. Certified as a PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe with the APMA Seal of Acceptance. 

This is a flexible running shoe that offers neutral support and has a high energy extra cushioning. A great shoe for cross-training, road-running, and treadmill running at the gym. 

It has a DNA LOFT and BioMoGo DNA extra cushioning that comes together to provide the right softness for all foot shapes. The segmented Crash Pad of shock absorption is an integrated system designed to protect each foot strike. 

Last, it has newly engineered mesh and 3D Fit Print. The fit is so securely soft, it almost disappears when you put your foot inside.  

Similar Models

  • Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy XLR8 Run 
  • ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 27 Running Shoes
  • Lamincoa Womens Air Running Shoes

Pros:

  • DNA Loft Technology
  • BioMoGo DNA for extra cushioning
  • Neutral support – great for
  • Integrated system of shock absorbers for smooth heel to toe transition

Cons:

  • The angle of the shoe is uncomfortable for some.

Who Is It Perfect For?

A great shoe for cross-training, road-running, and treadmill running at the gym. 


2/ Nike Men’s React Infinity Run Flyknit Running Sneakers

Nike’s most tested shoe – designed to be great.

Nike Men’s Shoe

Nike Women’s Shoe

Product Description and Features

Great Feature: This Flywire technology offers the midfoot and toe box extreme support. 

Nike React Infinity Run 3 offers a smooth ride that is stable and soft. These shoes carry the runner through routes that are short or long. The upper is breathable, with a flexible feeling, yet contained. There is extra cushioning added to the collar for that feeling that is guarded and gentle. 

The Flyknit is added throughout the upper, with zones that are specifically created to give the optimal amount of flexibility, shock absorption, and breathability.

Other Features:

  • A traditional design that is a combination of a sock-like feeling and hybrid tongue 
  • The collar has a soft-padding giving a touch point that is also cushioned. 
  • The outsole is made of rubber to give extra durability and traction. 

Similar Models

  • Nike Men’s Stroke Running Shoe
  • TSIODFO Men Sneakers Fashion Sport Running
  • QANSI Mens Sneakers Slip-on Lightweight Athletic Running Walking Gym Shoes

Pros:

  • Traditional design with a hybrid tongue
  • Soft padded collar
  • Durable, rubber outsole for traction

Cons:

  • Could be too soft for some runners

Who Is It Perfect For?

Perfect for someone who wants a high-tech, quality, comfortable shoe. It also comes in all black!


3/ New Balance Women’s 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer

Product Description and Features

Great Feature: This shoe has an interior Phantom Liner with very nominal stitching

New Balance is a name you can trust when looking for shoes for the treadmill.

The New Balance Women’s 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer shoe is made of 100% leather.  To ensure support and lasting comfort, this shoe includes the PU Foam insert. 

Every step you take has the cushioning of real rubber soles. As well as a cushioned midsole that is lightweight, injection-molded EVA foam. To lower the risk of irritation, this shoe has an interior Phantom Liner with very nominal stitching. 

 You will enjoy continuous support and comfort all day long with NB Soft plus Supportive Comfort Insert. Lastly, the internal midsole shank provides additional support and structure. 

 Other similar models

New Balance also has the 860 V12 Running Shoe and New Balance Fresh Foam 880 V11. This brand of shoe ensures a fresh feeling with double jacquard mesh upper allowing a softer, breathable fit that is unrestricted.

Pros:

  • Podiatrist recommended 
  • A neutral shoe that offers support and comfort
  • Double jacquard mesh upper

Cons:

  • The sizes have changed. 

Who Is It Perfect For?

Women who want a quality shoe without spending a ton.


4/ Nike Men’s Air Zoom Structure 22 Running Shoe

Great Feature: Sockliner adapts and offers complete support while the outsole has waffle pistons that are impact absorbing, giving traction on various surfaces. 

Product Description and Features

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 offers extreme breathability. Another one of the best shoes for the treadmill available. It has a mesh upper engineered with more perforations than ever before to keep the feet cool and provide a secure fit.

The highest warmth places on this shoe’s upper are the addressed areas of breathability.  When running at higher speeds in the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 you will have a comfy fit because of the Flywire cables that have been exposed.

The Air Zoom Pegasus has a tongue and slimmer heel collar in place. This reduces that bulky uncomfortable feeling. The Pegasus is also a neutral shoe, giving you a more responsive and smooth run at full length capacity.

In addition, the sockliner offers high resiliency and contours to your foot. This sockliner adapts and offers complete support while the outsole has waffle pistons that are impact absorbing, giving traction on various surfaces. 

Other similar models

  • The Puma Hybrid Astro gives additional cushioning as well as a heel counter to keep the foot in place.
  • Gravity Defyer Men’s G-Defy XLR8 
  • WHITIN Men’s Max Cushioned Running Shoe | Superior Comfort, Yet Remaining Stability
  • Joomra Whitin Men’s Supportive Running Shoe Cushioned Lightweight Athletic Sneakers

Pros:

  • Shoe is so comfortable, can be used for walking
  • Offering the support of a stability shoe  
  • Optimal durability and adequate support 

Cons:

  • Sizing chart is not correct
  • Has a narrow toe box

Who Is It Perfect For?

People with flat feet have reported these are great and help reduce discomfort.


5/ Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Men’s Supportive Running Shoe

Great Feature: This running shoe offers the technology of Brooks GuideRails with cushioning and medium support.

Product Description and Features

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Supportive Running Shoe has a rubber sole and is imported. It is one of the legendary shoes for the treadmill, favored by runners for years. 

Created to give the runner an ideal support, softness, and balance. When wearing the right shoes, you will love the smooth ride you get on everyday jogs as well as the soft landings. 

The Brooks Ghost midsole has been updated with a now 100% DNA LOFT cushioning that offers extra smooth, soft cushioning. Another enhancement to midsole flexibility are the Omega flex grooves.

It has a segmented Crash Pad and the soft midsole conjoin together to form a flow that is easy from toe-off to landing. 

When seeking a neutral running shoe, the Brooks Ghost 13 can give you the traction, breathability, and responsiveness you desire.

The Brooks Ghost has been a favorite of shoes for the treadmill for over 20 years (and counting). 

Other similar models

Men’s ASICS Gel Kayano 28 Running Shoe. The Asics gel kayano 27 is another solid shoe, providing gel cushioning to improve one’s running gait and offer a secure fit.

Brooks Mens Adrenaline GTS 20 Running Shoe

Pros:

  • Great support for heel and arch
  • Shoe is very breathable with gel cushioning
  • Makes standing on your feet for hours easier

Cons:

  • Plastic support rubs and irritates the ankle bone
  • Excellent shoe, except the toe box needs reinforcement 

Who Is It Perfect For?

The Asics gel kayano is meant for both indoor running and running outdoors.


6/ ON-Running Mens Cloudventure Running Shoe

Our Top Pick For The Best Overall Treadmill Running Shoe

Great Feature: It has a micro-engineered sole that grips in four distinct ways for extra traction.

Product Description and Features

The On-Running Mens Cloudventure Running Shoe has a profile that is known as Grip-Rubber. It is meant to behave well in conditions that are extremely demanding.  This shoe is not just one of those regular running shoes.

It has a micro-engineered sole and grips in four levels that are distinct. Whether jogging on the street, a trail, or even a treadmill, you will be in control with the Cloudventure on.

 The 2-layer upper is ingeniously constructed for extreme comfort and extra support. These shoes have an inner layer that is breathable, and the outer layer is lightweight and has a (DWR) durable water repellent coating.

Similar Models

Pros:

  • Breathable
  • Great traction
  • Durable outer layer

Cons:

  • Grip may be too severe for treadmill running for some people.

Who Is It Perfect For?

This shoe is perfect for someone who wants extra grip to make sure their feet won’t slip or slide on the treadmill belt.


What to Look for When Purchasing a Pair of Treadmill Running Shoes

Whether you run on a treadmill or the road; there are imperative differences between the two. For this section, we will begin with the most obvious of the two.

Even though the treadmill belt is not as abrasive as asphalt is, you need a shoe with a durable, rubber outsole and good traction. 

Important Features in General 

When you are looking to find the best running shoes for a treadmill ensure the following features are met: 

  • Outstanding cushioning.
  • There is flexibility in all the right areas. 
  • Good motion control and stability. 
  • Solid traction on surfaces like trails and roads. 
  • This shoe has torsional stability and is stiff where required. 
  • Adequate reflections for night running. 
  • Mesh upper material for breathability. 

The Importance of An Eva Foam Midsole

A treadmill running shoe that has EVA foam midsoles will give your foot the stability it requires. Allowing your feet to handle any challenges such as weight, terrain, and any other running or walking pressure. 

Disadvantages of Running on A Treadmill

As good as a treadmill workout is, unfortunately, there are still some disadvantages. Although you might have added cushioning on your treadmill when you run or jog it still creates an extreme impact on the joints.

The hips, ankles, and knees can be affected and sometimes injured if you do not pace yourself or know when to stop and rest. 

If you wonder why you run slower on the treadmill, there could be several reasons. One common one is that it isn’t sitting properly. Sometimes in order to get the treadmill to sit properly, you need to adjust the back legs. When it is off to one side it can affect your stride and make you run slower.

Tilting the treadmill upward makes running more difficult because you are at an incline.

Tip: In fact, the rule of thumb is that a 1% incline will better simulate running outdoors.

How Long Do They Last on A Treadmill?

It’s a good idea to follow this general rule regarding replacing a pair for running. They should be replaced every 300-400 miles.

This, of course, is dependent on body weight, running style, and where you run. A quality pair will last longer for a smaller, lighter runner than one that is larger and heavier.

 The faster your gait cycle is on a treadmill can be detrimental to their lifetime. When running at faster speeds, they tend to wear out quicker. The faster, and more you run, the faster your treadmill will wear out as well.

A Treadmill Can Help Prepare You for Outdoor Running

Incline Treadmill Running

However, when starting out on the treadmill there are limits to be set. The optimal treadmill walking speeds for beginners is less than 3 miles per hour. As you walk and build more stamina you can increase the speed to 5 miles per hour. Anything exceeding 5 mph is actually running. Treadmills can be great tools for helping increase your overall running speed if you use them correctly.

The great thing about treadmill workouts is you can choose the same speed or adjust it whenever you feel comfortable. You can modify the pace from a walk to a jog, and eventually to running all with the touch of a button. If you feel like stopping, you can when you are ready.

To get the most out of a treadmill workout you need to invest in the best shoes you can find. A good running shoe that is made for treadmill running speed is one with a rubber outsole and EVA foam midsole is ideal. The Brooks Ghost is a lightweight shoe offering solid traction and lets the runner feel supported even on uneven surfaces.

Related Reading: Can Walking 3 Miles A Day On The Treadmill Improve Your Health?

The Best Treadmill Running Shoes Overall

When looking for the best treadmill running shoes overall, hands down it’s the Nike Pegasus! This running shoe has clearly proven to be one of the best treadmill running shoes time and time again! 

The Pegasus is in its 38th iteration, and has been continuously tested on treadmill running and performance. 

It handles gym training sessions to daily runs no problem, the Nike Pegasus is truly the GOAT of treadmill running shoes!

What Type of Shoes Are Best for Treadmill?

Whatever shoes you decide to use for outside running will also be great on the treadmill. The best running shoes have solid traction and a knit upper which allows good ventilation for the foot. In addition, you should look for a durable shoe with a rubber outsole, this ensures when running on uneven surfaces you get solid traction.

Schedule an appointment with a running specialist at your local sporting goods store. They can recommend a shoe that will aid in analyzing your gait cycle. A running specialist can help when you have special characteristics such as narrow feet, low arch, or wide feet.

If the top of your foot is continuously becoming irritated, try a textile lining. This ensures feet remain dry. In addition, a diagonal roll bar and textile lining combined will provide you with added stability and comfort.

Some runners capable of maintaining control when running opt for less cushioning. Because of the smooth surface of a treadmill, less cushioning should not be an issue. 

Why a Good Grip Is Important for Treadmill Shoes

grip technology shoe

Grip is extremely important when shopping for treadmill-friendly foot accessories. To be stable, the shoe you use for running on a treadmill needs to grip well.

If you are going to a gym, you will likely stretch prior to and after the treadmill. In this case, you don’t want a stable shoe that is too soft.

You want something on your feet that works well out on the actual road, so keep this in mind.

How Important Is the Grip?

When shopping for a running shoe, check out the tread on the bottom. This will indicate what kind of gripping action it has.

You are going to want a shoe that aids you in preserving a stable approach with the ground. Whether you are running over mud, boulders, or loose gravel, what you are wearing on your feet should resist it all. 

How the Flex Grooves Create a Stable Shoe

Look for shoes with a macro-grip shoe sole. They have large flex grooves in the sole. These grooves are made to form deep depressions in the terrain. Allowing the feet to actually “grab” hold of the ground, similar to teeth. 

Another type of sole is a micro-grip. This type has grooves that are smaller, forming patterns in a similar pattern as scoring clay does.

Micro-grip soles work like an adhesive does. When you run on packed terrain you need lightweight foot apparel with grip. 

However, should you go to a snowy or muddy area, you need a larger, waffle-shaped lug grip. Yet, you need the best of both worlds– both grip and cushion– when shopping for a running shoe. 

The next factor when choosing the grip on a treadmill shoe is stability. This can be tough, particularly when it is so difficult to discover the balance between agility and stability. You often end up sacrificing one for the other.

When the soles are wide, with larger lugs, they are more stable. Yet, do tend to be clunky and heavier. A lighter shoe that fits perfectly might offer agility but isn’t quite as stable. 

What About Breathability? 

When you are jogging on the treadmill (or trail) you aren’t the only one in need of breathability. It is imperative for your shoes to be well ventilated. 

This ensures less blistering and it keeps the feet warm and dry. Look for a lining in shoes that is moisture-wicking with lots of mesh in the uppers to allow breathability. 

Tip: Remember to maintain this breathable material’s lifespan by cleaning it often. It’s normal to want a little dirt to be a reminder of our inner strength, however, you don’t want your new treadmill shoes caked and smelling of filth.

Just spray them off with the garden hose and allow them to dry in natural sunlight. Avoid washing in the washing machine or keep them inside a plastic bag without ventilation. 

Protecting the Forefoot

Another thing to look for when in the market for treadmill shoes is to ensure protection to the forefoot region.

Many runners suffer injuries in the ball of their foot such as torn ligaments, nerve damage, and even bruised toes.

This is often caused by insufficient room in the toe box. A shoe with a toe cap made of rubber only maintains the dryness of your socks.

You need a shoe that will safeguard the toes in the event you trip on rocks or tree roots along the trail. 

Maintaining that Ultimate Level of Comfort

Make sure when you shop for foot apparel for running on a treadmill that any foot or gait issues are addressed.

For instance, narrow feet, tender soles, a high arch, or walking or running pronate. Pronate means that you walk or run with the majority of weight-bearing on the foot’s inner edge.

Wearing the wrong shoe and not properly addressing these issues can result in a great deal of discomfort. It’s important that the shoe feels comfortable when wearing it.

What muscles does running on a treadmill work? When you run on a treadmill you work the following muscles — hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calves. You need to find the best running shoes for treadmill that allows you to use road running shoes on treadmill

What Qualifies a Shoe to Be Named the Best Running Shoes for Treadmill?

two shoes on a treadmill

When you are purchasing treadmill running shoes, there are a few key features you need to look for. The best treadmill running shoes should be lightweight cushioning, stability shoes that have good shock absorption. If a running shoe has these features, you will not only get a versatile performance but also achieve the results you seek.

Conclusion

The right treadmill running shoes will not only give you a versatile performance but your back and knees will be protected. You should choose the pair of shoes that match your goals. For example, you need jogging shoes for the goal of getting back in shape; or high treadmill shoes for prepping for a race.  

Whatever the reason you have for wanting a pair of running shoes, ensure those shoes are comfortable and offer stability. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about running shoes

Can You Use Road Running Shoes on Treadmill? 

Yes. You will be able to run on a treadmill when wearing shoes made for road running. However,    they might have a different feeling after being on the treadmill and going to softer terrain.

Will I Be Able to Wear My Trail Running Shoes on A Treadmill?

When you run on the treadmill it is not the same as trail running and road running. This is due to no puddles, twists, obstacles, or turns in the treadmill’s running course. Making it an ideal place for doing speed runs. However, the surface of a treadmill is much softer than that of a road. It isn’t advisable to wear trail running shoes on a treadmill, but it can be done.

Can I Run on Treadmill with Socks?

Yes.  It is an excellent way to augment the muscles when you jog without shoes, wearing only socks. The benefits of walking barefoot on treadmill is you will have better balance and a smoothe running surface.  Not wearing shoes on the treadmill protects feet from blisters. 

Is Running on A Treadmill Bad for Knees? 

In comparison to an elliptical training workout, treadmill jogging or running does create stress on the joints and bones. This can lead to common injuries such as shin splints, stress fractures, and knee injuries. 

Do Running Shoes Last Longer on Treadmill?

Yes. Running on a treadmill causes less wear and tear on your running shoes because it is generally easier on them. The surface of the treadmill is not as abrasive as pavement or other terrain. Therefore, aiding the outsole to last longer. The added cushion lowers the compaction rate making it the best way to avoid shin splints. A good pair of the best running shoes for treadmill running will help make sure you get the most longevity as well.

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About the author

Jasper loves to write about fitness, running, and anything else that gets him moving outdoors. He's an avid hiker, backpacker, and climber who loves to stay fit so he can make sure he's healthy enough to enjoy his favorite hobbies. He also spends time writing about his true passions in life.

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