Cold weather. Rain or snow. Personal schedule. Unable to leave the kids home alone. Waiting for the cable man. The reasons you might not be able to get outside for a run are myriad, but they all share a common truth: as much as we runners might not like it, running on a treadmill can be both useful and necessary. And to rock your workout, you need a pair of shoes that are ideal for treadmill running.
So whether you are using the treadmill to avoid running in the snow, or to dial in your stride and pace with a hard interval workout, you need shoes what will work with you and the machine.
As with most running shoes, the best choices for treadmill use will be lightweight. Less weight reduces fatigue as you run, so more of your energy goes into your workout. Since treadmills simulate typical running conditions, the shoes you wear on a track, road, or paved trail will generally transition well to your indoor running.
Start by determining your pronation—the degree to which your feet roll in or out as you run. Whether you overpronate, underpronate, or have a neutral gait, you will benefit from shoes with features built for your stride characteristics. It is equally important to find a shoe that gives you the right amount of arch support and cushioning.
Your shoes need to resist the motion of the treadmill passively as you run. A solid tread that can easily grip the surface of the treadmill is a good choice. Tread grip increases in importance as your mileage and pace increase.
Take a minute to check out some of the best shoes for treadmill running, and find the pair that best fits your needs.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
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Asics Gel-Nimbus 21
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Saucony Kinvara 9
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Best Overall Running Shoes for Treadmill
1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 puts focus on not only support and comfort for your feet, but also for your knees. The extra cushioning helps to absorb shock, reducing the wear and tear on your whole leg.
The underfoot softness of the cushioning ensures optimal comfort, even on longer runs. But the Adrenaline balances this comfort with a highly responsive ride.
The 3D Fit Print upper conforms well to most feet, and moves with your foot, conforming to your stride so that provide stability, fit, and comfort throughout your gait.
The breathable material helps to keep your feet cool and dry even in the hottest gyms.
- Stable and comfortable ride
- The soles are durable and provide sufficient traction
- The shoes have a sturdy construction
- Can feel too wide for some runners
Top Treadmill Shoes for Flat Feet
2. Asics GT-2000 7
The ASICS GT-2000 7 is an incredibly versatile all-purpose running shoe, good for a variety of pronation types and foot shapes, including flat feet. The GT-2000 works to provide an even distribution of pressure and weight every time your foot strikes the ground.
This shoe puts less stress on your legs, since it is designed to help push your body mass forward. The foam inside the shoe has strong responsiveness and bounce-back, helping to keep you comfortable during your runs. These abilities also ensure greater stability as you are running.
There is a gel cushioning system in both the forefoot and rearfoot of this shoe. This gel works to absorb shock to protect your feet as they strike the ground, and distribute the forces of your foot strike to maintain stability throughout the gait cycle.
Vertical flex grooves lining the outsole further works to enhance the efficiency of your gait by improving tractions and flexibility.
The midsole is especially durable, and is designed around special bounce-back characteristics that improve shoe performance, life, and comfort.
- Responsive and lightweight cushioning
- Comfortable and stable
- Secure lacing
- The upper could be more breathable
- Not as cushioned as the Brooks Adrenaline
Most Cushioned Shoes for Treadmill
3. Hoka One One Bondi 6
The signature of all Hoka One One shoes is their large stack height, providing the most cushioning you will find in any shoe brand. If you are someone who loves a soft, pillowy ride, this is the shoe for you.
Cushioning isn’t the only way Hokas go easy on your feet. The Bondi 6’s midsole is built in a rocker shape, easing the transition from heel to forefoot in each stride.
A very flexible outsole makes full contact with the ground, ensuring stability, traction, and smooth transitions throughout your gait.
The Bondi 6 might look like a big shoe, but they are surprisingly light. Even the rugged outsole is made from a high-abrasion lightweight rubber. Areas of the shoe that are more vulnerable to wear benefit from this addition of this material.
The Bondi 6 has an upper that allows for greater ventilation. The breathability ensures that your feet remain cool and dry, indoors or out.
- Maximum cushioning to keep feet comfortable
- Reduced muscle fatigue and joint discomfort
- Significant breathability due to the fabric
- Rubber outsole may wear down prematurely
- Not stylish
Top Treadmill Walking Shoes
4. Asics Gel-Nimbus 21
The Asics Gel-Nimbus 21 is ideal for treadmill and solid-surface walking, while also serving as a high-performance, general-purpose running shoe. The ventilated and flexible upper is breathable and keeps your feet cool and dry.
ASICS shoes features FlyteFoam Propel and Lyte. This material gives the shoe a gentle forefoot bounce that maximizes energy in your step. The rearfoot and forefoot both feature ASICS’s signature gel cushioning for extra comfort, stability, and flexibility as you move.
The toe box allows for a natural toe spread if you need it. An efficient heel-to-toe transition is thanks to the outsole, which fully contacts the ground with each stride to provide solid traction.
The Gel-Nimbus 21 is lightweight and durable, helping to decrease fatigue. Enjoy optimal gait efficiency due to the vertical flex groove component of the midsole.
- Runs true to size
- The wide toe box promotes flexibility and comfort
- The heel area might be too tight for some people
Most Supportive Running Shoes for Treadmill
5. Brooks Addiction 13
Brooks is a very popular running shoe brand, and they offer many great options for the treadmill runner. Among those options is the Addiction 13, a great shoe for runners who need extra support.
This is provided by an internal support saddle that contours to your feet, providing structure for the unique shape of your feet and varying degrees of pronation. With the better support, stability, and control, you land more softly and enjoy a better return of energy.
A diagonal roll bar also works to support and control your pronation. This feature ensures that you transition through your gait cycle in a smoother manner for a more comfortable run.
Above your foot, the Addiction has a padded tongue and collar to reduce irritation to the top of your feet, while a textile lining helps ensure that your feet remain dry.
The sole of the shoe provides sufficient traction for treadmills and smooth outdoor surfaces. The outsole is also flexible, giving the shoe a natural feel and easy, flowing ride.
- Textile lining and diagonal roll bar for comfort and stability
- Breathable material
- Tons of stability and support
- The sizes run approximately a half size too small
- May feel clunky to some people
Best Value Treadmill Running Shoes
6. Brooks Launch 6
A great option from the Brooks line for runners on a tighter budget, the Launch 6 is a neutral shoe with a springy midsole. This midsole helps to promote energy and alleviate fatigue. The rebounding rubber of the shoe gives you some extra bounce with every stride.
The midsole features a transition zone to help you get from your heels to your toes, quickly and effortlessly.
The one-piece mesh upper ensures durability and keeps the shoe lightweight. Combined with the internal bootie, these elements work to ensure the right level of ventilation to ensure cool and dry feet.
The Launch 6 has plenty of cushioning, reducing fatigue as the miles mount and helping to each footstrike, whatever part of your foot you land on. And a wider toe box than most shoes allows for a natural toe spread for a more natural feel to your stride.
- Good all-purpose choice for running and gym
- Extra cushioning in the midsole promotes comfort
- Extra space in the toe box
- Narrower through the arch and heel than other similar shoes
- Arch is rather high
Top Shoe for Treadmill and Gym
7. Saucony Kinvara 9
The Saucony Kinvara 9 features Strategic Rubber at the forefoot and heel to protect your shoes against wear in areas that are prone to it—where your foot strikes, and where it pushes off. The forefoot is also flexible, allowing for a faster and smoother toe-off when you are running.
The Engineered Mesh that makes up the upper is highly breathable and lightweight for comfortable feet during hot treadmill sessions at the gym. The woven heel provides additional stability and comfort.
The neutral interior of the shoe provides adequate arch support. There is an EVERUN full-length topsole inside the midsole area that provides more responsiveness and cushioning for your feet.
The Kinvara 9 provides a small amount of rebound each stride due to the EVA+ material that also enhances the shoe’s overall durability and comfort.
- Responds well to hard surfaces
- Breathability of this shoe ensures dry and cool feet
- Wide toe box promotes comfort on longer runs
- The midfoot and arch might be too tight for wider feet
- Shoes wear faster than other models
Best Treadmill Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
8. Hoka One One Clifton 5
If you are struggling through, or recovering from, plantar fasciitis, a common type of tissue inflammation that often stems from over-training, the right shoe is critical to helping you get through workouts while not putting undue stress on your feet. If you are recovering from this condition, follow your doctor’s advice about when it is advisable to run again. Once you get the green light, the Hoka One One Clifton 5 can be a good choice to ease your feet back into the treadmill miles.
The Clifton 5—Hoka’s most popular road running model—uses a lightweight rubber material for the outsole. Reinforcements in this area help to promote optimal durability and solid traction.
The flex grooves in the outsole provide more natural movement of your foot. This feature also benefits the gait cycle while giving your feet the support they need to exercise during recovery.
The midsole uses an ethylene vinyl acetate compound. This compound is a type of foam that provides soft cushioning for your feet. It also absorbs shock during the foot strike. The heel-to-toe transition is smooth due to the rocker shape of the midsole.
All of these features are in addition to Hoka’s signature maximal build, featuring a huge amount of cushioning to ease your feet through hard workouts and long miles.
- Maximal cushioning
- Durable materials
- High level of breathability
- Supportive underfoot
- The midsole might be too soft
- Might be too narrow for some runners, especially in toe box
Lightest Running Shoe for Treadmill
9. New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon
The New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon is a lightweight shoe with a cushioned midsole, perfect for crushing a hard interval workout on the treadmill. The inside and outside of the shoe are soft, allowing the material to conform to your feet. This characteristic ensures a comfortable fit and adequate support.
The shoe material is breathable so that your feet remain dry and cool on the hottest days. The lacing system makes it easy to get the right level of security without making it difficult to get the shoes on and off.
The sole is thicker, but this feature does not add weight to the shoe. At the heel and toe areas are rubber pods that help to reduce abrasion when you are running on hard surfaces. These pods allow for extra durability, so that your tread lasts, even with frequent use.
- Cushioning molds to your feet
- Ideal for many surfaces, from treadmills to asphalt
- Flexible upper provides more comfort
- Prevents leg fatigue on long runs
- Might be slightly smaller than true size
Best Treadmill Shoe for Wide Feet
10. New Balance 990v4
One of the most common ways for running shoes to fail their owner is by being too narrow, especially in the toe box and midfoot. The New Balance 990v4 is a good solution to the problem.
This versatile running shoe comes in a range of widths that features a 12-millimeter drop to ensure sufficient comfort and shock absorption in the heel. The blow rubber outsole is durable and will stand up to extended wear while providing good traction on multiple surface types.
Around your ankle, the dual-density collar foam helps to reduce irritation. The core of the shoe allows for ventilation for cool comfort.
As much as you might not want to think about something like the shoe strings when choosing a shoe, they can be important; the flat strings that the 990v4’s come with help to prevent them from untying mid-run—something surprisingly uncommon in running shoes.
- Multiple width options
- Made in the USA
- Not as responsive and flexible as similar shoes
- Not true to size