Have you recently started running more on a treadmill? Maybe you noticed that your favorite pair of running shoes are not so great anymore. They may have been perfect for running on the asphalt, but after a few miles on a treadmill, your feet are begging for mercy.
Treadmill running is a completely different beast from road running. Don’t expose your feet and legs to pain, get the right pair of running shoes for a treadmill. We’ve made it easy for you to choose with our list of the 12 best running shoes for treadmills. We also have some great tips to consider while trying to find the perfect pair. Check it out below!
The 12 Best Treadmill Running Shoes
1. Brooks Ghost 12– Best All-Around Runner
Search anywhere for the best running shoe brands and Brooks is always towards the top of the list. Five of the top 10 best-rated running shoes for men on Amazon are Brooks. The Brooks Ghost 12 is no different. It’s an innovative shoe that gives you the perfect balance everything; gliding-on-air cushion and durable responsiveness, secure fit and flexibility, marathon comfort and 5k speed. At the end of an interval with the treadmill on a maximum incline, the Ghost 12 will not let you down.
Features: BioMoGo DNA Cushioning, 3D Fit Print, and Neutral Support.
- The perfect balance of comfort and responsiveness
- Smooth transitions
- Neutral fit
- Perfect for almost any kind of run (5k, road, treadmill)
- Slightly bland design, but it delivers a great performance.
2. New Balance 890v6– Light yet Comfortable
The 890 has a little less cushion than the 1080 model. But for treadmill running, that’s not a problem. The 890v6 is lighter and more responsive while still providing enough comfort on the final mile of your treadmill marathon. And if your tootsies need more room, you’ll really appreciate the wider toe box.
Features: REVlite Midsole, Lightweight Cushioning, TPU forefoot strips.
- Great responsiveness
- Quick underfoot
- Some think it’s too stiff and may prefer a more flexible fit.
3. Skechers Unisex GOrun Razor 3 Hyper– The Speed Demon
The GOrun Razor 3 Hyper (what a name!) won the 2019 Runner’s World® Gear of the Year Award. Thanks to their Hyper Burst foam, you’ll get comfort while still retaining that “springy” feel that’ll help you blow through some of your speed records. As one runner said about these – “The hype is real!”
Features: Hyper Burst Foam and Lightweight Construction.
- Responsive cushion and “springy” feel
- Very light
- Great for speedwork
- The word SPEED written on the side. (We think it’s kind of cool!)
4. HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 4– If you prefer more cushion
If you prefer a shoe with extra comfort even when running on a treadmill, the HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 4 is for you. Don’t let the extra cushion fool you, it’s a fast and durable shoe for long-distance runs. You don’t have to rush though, you can run at a steady pace. Even if you have foot and knee problems the Clifton 4 can provide relief during your runs.
Features: Full EVA Midsole, Moderate Heel Bevel and 3D puff print frame
- Smooth and Comfortable
- Quite fast despite the cushion
- Great for long-distance runs
- Might be too cushy for a lot of treadmill running
- Although advertised as a neutral fit, some say the arch is too high for them.
5. Mizuno Wave Sonic– Fast and Budget-Friendly
The Mizuno Wave Sonic’s combination of its low-profile, lightweight and responsive feel makes it a great running shoe for the treadmill. It’s light, fast, durable and is surprisingly affordable. Although it doesn’t have SPEED written on it like the Sketchers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper, it’s part of Mizuno’s racing line up, so you’ll definitely be setting some new personal records.
Features: Wave cushioning, low profile, X10 outsole.
- Glove-like fit
- Fast, lightweight feel
- Very affordable
- The construction in some areas appears cheap to some. (For such a good price you can’t expect perfection.)
6. Reebok Floatride Run– Light yet Supportive
If your heels need a little more support, the Floatride Run’s 3D innovative plastic heel grid will give you extra stability. Thanks to the Floatride Foam, even at the end of your treadmill 10k’s, you’ll have soft comfort without sacrificing responsiveness.
Features: 3D Heel Cradle, Floatride Foam.
- Good heel stability
- Light and fast
- Soft, but not too soft
- If you have wide feet, you might not like the narrow toe box
7. Adidas Adizero Boston 7– Minimalist Speed
If you plan on keeping your treadmill at cheetah speed, you’ll love the Adidas Adizero Boston 7. The Adidas Boost cushioning is super responsive while their Microfit system helps you feel connected to the road (or in this case the treadmill). That combination means they are fine-tuned for your fast-paced training runs.
Features: Microfit System, Breathable Air Mesh, Responsive Cushioning.
- Designed for speed
- Snug fit
- Lightweight yet supportive
- Because of the snug fit, you might want to order a half-size bigger.
8. Saucony Liberty Iso 2– Supportive Speed
The Saucony Liberty Iso 2 offers fantastic support along with impressive shock absorption, and responsiveness. Their lightweight and impressive energy return as your feet lift off of the ground make this a great shoe to adapt to any kind of treadmill run.
Features: EVERUN Topsole, ISOFIBER reinforcements.
- Consistently great fit
- Quality construction
- A bit pricy, but worth the extra expense.
9. ASICS Gel Kayano 24– Low Arch Long Distance Comfort
Do you have flat feet? The GEL Kayano 24 gives your feet comfort on long-distance runs. Their GEL system combined with the FLYTEFOAM cushioning provides excellent shock absorption to keep your joints happy at the thirteenth or thirtieth mile, even if the treadmill is begging for you to get off.
Features: FLYTEFOAM Cushioning and FLUIDFIT upper.
- A great choice for flat feet and overpronation
- Strong shock-absorption
- Affordable Price
- A bit heavier than some of our other options (That means you burn more calories!)
10. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19– Easy on the Knees
The Brooks Adrenaline new GuideRails support system makes running easier on your knees by limiting excess movement. This, combined with the DNA LOFT cushioning provides the right amount of comfort without sacrificing their energy response and durability.
Features: DNA LOFT crash pad, New GuideRails support system.
- Adapts well to your stride
- Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
- Engineered to support your knees
- They can run big, so you might need to order it a half-size smaller.
11. Nike Flex RN 2019– Glove-Like Fit
The Flex RN’s stretchy knit upper gives you that glove-like fit as it expands and contracts to adapt to your foot. The grooved outsole provides consistent flexibility along the length of the shoe so your feet won’t feel the burn even if you decide to go that extra mile.
Features: SolarSoft Foam Cushioning and 4-way stretch knit upper upper.
- Stretchable knit upper
- Flexibility from heel to toe
- Minimalist feel
- Mud can get caught in the sole grooves (Hopefully your treadmill is mud-free).
12. Adidas Energy Cloud 2– Versatile and Budget Friendly
The Adidas Energy Cloud 2 isn’t our top pick. However, it has a good combination of Cloudfoam comfort, a quality sole and a responsive feel that is hard to beat for such a reasonable price. If you want a simple yet versatile shoe for your daily treadmill runs, the Energy Cloud 2 is a good choice.
Features: Cloudfoam midsole and neutral fit.
- Cloudfoam comfort and support
- Mesh upper to keep your feet cool
- Some feel the upper lacks durability but if you’re always on a treadmill, that’s not as important.
How To Choose The Best Running Shoes for the Treadmill
When running on a treadmill, you don’t have the changing and sometimes inconvenient environments of dogs barking and chasing your heels, or your strange neighbors staring at you from their windows. Aside from these obvious differences, there are some more subtle changes to treadmill running that directly influence the right shoe for you. Check out these 5 points before deciding.
- Correct Support
First and foremost, you have to know your feet. Do you have flat feet, normal feet or high-arched feet? This will affect the way your feet land and also the transition from heel to toe. Good running shoes are made to work with these differences. Quality running shoes will specify what type of foot they’re made for, so as you look through our list of the 12 best running shoes for treadmills, be sure to pay attention to this.
Shoes for road running should provide a little more stability to protect you from uneven pavement, potholes, rocks, sticks, and obstacles. Treadmills have a smooth and pothole-free surface so you can opt for a lighter shoe that might not provide as much stability in the upper.
Asphalt and concrete are hard and unforgiving. Treadmills are designed to give you some cushion. That means the cushy mattress-like shoes you may use for outdoor running will probably be too soft for the treadmill. More cushion should equal more comfort. You may also be interested in our guide on the best jump rope shoes here.
Extra cushion will absorb the shock of landing, but it doesn’t do much to propel you forward. Imagine running on sand versus a rubber track. Since the treadmill already gives you some cushion, you can look for a shoe that is firmer and more responsive. You may also like our guide on the best workout shoes. See them here.
Extra cushion and thick treads designed for rough roads can add a lot of weight to a shoe. Fortunately, the soft and smooth treadmill doesn’t require 4×4 sole tread and shock absorption, so you can look for a lightweight shoe for treadmill running. This will benefit your run and workout since a lighter shoe will enable you go faster with less fatigue.
Morning runs on wet or dewy pavement require soles with strong anti-slip rubber. Unless you plan on torturing yourself by putting your treadmill outside because you love running in the rain, you don’t have to worry about a slippery run. Looking for a shoe with big lugs or anti-slip soles isn’t necessary for treadmills.
Running is hard on your feet and joints. If it’s something you’re planning on doing regularly for more than a few weeks (even on a treadmill), it’s best to invest in a high-quality pair of running shoes that suit your feet. If you go cheap, ten years from now your aching knees will be punishing you for not having spent an extra fifty-dollars for a more durable pair of shoes.
Hopefully you have a better idea of the kind of shoe that would be best for your feet and for your run. But keep reading to check out our more detailed list of the 12 best running shoes for treadmills.
Final Thoughts on the 12 Best Running Shoes for Treadmills
Don’t let the treadmill become the “dreadmill”! Choose the right shoes and enjoy running indoors. Get to know your feet and as you choose your shoes, consider the differences between treadmill running versus road running.
We gave you some great options to choose from on this list of the best running shoes for treadmills. So surely you can find something that will keep your feet happy, your knees healthy and you always looking forward to your next run.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my shoes last longer if I only run on the treadmill?
Probably. If you only run on a treadmill, your shoes don’t have to contend with mud, rain, sticks, potholes, dogs, and other elements.
Can I run barefoot on a treadmill?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for your feet or joints. Running barefoot can increase the stress on your legs and feet, especially if you are not used to it. Running with the incorrect shoes can also cause problems for your feet and legs, that’s why it’s critical to choose a solid pair of running shoes, even for running on treadmills.
When should I replace my running shoes?
Many factors depend on the amount you run each week and the distances you tend to run. The average life of a running shoe is 400 miles. Keep track of how far you run and around the two-hundred-fifty-mile mark, start evaluating your shoes to see how much life they still have.
How do I prevent blisters when running on a treadmill?
Start slow and gradually build up to longer and/or fast runs. If you try to run a 10k on your first day, you’ll probably end up with blisters. Do the same when you get a new pair of shoes. Go for one or two shorter runs to break them in before doing any long-distance running.