Running on a treadmill is different from running outdoors- the surface is smoother, the ground moves beneath you to build momentum and speed, and the impact is different.
If you choose the right kind of shoes then you will notice an improvement in your comfort and your performance during your workouts.
Choosing the right kind of shoes to run on a treadmill is quite tricky because there is so much choice. If you are struggling to figure out which shoes are going to be best for you then you are in the right place.
We have put together this guide to help you make your decision by recommending the best shoes for running on a treadmill and reviewing them so you know which product is going to be more suitable.
We have also provided a buying guide with advice on narrowing down your choice. Keep reading to find your next pair of running shoes.
Here are our top recommendations for the best running shoes to use on a treadmill to improve your performance.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
One style of running shoe you can use on a treadmill is a barefoot running shoe. They are designed to be as close to running barefoot as possible, whilst still protecting your feet.
Some runners believe that the best posture for running comes from being barefoot as our ancestors would have been, and that this also allows you to achieve your best performance and limit injuries.
These shoes have a slim profile with limited cushioning, but the outer sole offers great grip and traction. They are suitable for outdoor use as well as treadmill use.
The shoes come in 13 different colors so you can choose a style that suits you. The shoes are very flexible, allowing your foot the full range of movement.
They are also made from natural and recycled materials which makes them environmentally friendly.
- Barefoot - These shoes are barefoot style which lets you run in a more natural way
- Traction - They offer excellent grip to stop you from falling
- Flexibility - They allow your foot a full range of movement
- Colors - There are lots of colors to choose from
- Eco-friendly - They are made from natural and recycled materials
- Support - There is very limited cushioning
- Insole - These shoes have a removable insole which slides around the shoe
These shoes are similar to the ones above, but for men. They also have a bit more cushioning to make them suitable for trail running as well as road running and treadmill running.
They have fabric uppers and rubber soles with plenty of grip to stop you from falling over. The toe box of the shoes is nice and wide so you have plenty of space for your feet.
These shoes come in 17 different colors so you can find one that matches your workout clothes.
They have a removable insole so you can choose to have more or less padding depending on how ‘barefoot’ you want them to feel.
- Barefoot - These barefoot style shoes allow you to run with natural posture
- Versatile - They can be used on the road, trails or a treadmill
- Traction - They provide excellent grip to prevent slips and falls
- Cushioning - They have a bit more cushioning than other barefoot shoes
- Width - They are nice and wide at the toe
- Durability - Some people found that the shoes didn’t last very long if they were being worn outside as well as on a treadmill
These women’s running shoes are designed to be super lightweight to allow you to build up speed on the treadmill.
They are made from a stretchy material that fits snugly to your foot whilst allowing excellent flexibility. The material is also very breathable which prevents moisture from building up inside the shoe.
The cushioning on this shoe is brilliant and provides your foot with a lot of support.
There is a thick outsole for shock absorption, and energy cloud mid midsole for support, and a cushioned insole with moisture wicking technology and odor resistance to keep your feet fresh and comfortable.
These shoes slip on and off which is very convenient, but they fit securely and won’t fall off while you are running. They come in 4 different colors so you can choose one that best suits your style.
- Lightweight - These shoes are light so you can be fast
- Flexibility - The material is stretchy to flex with your foot
- Breathable - The ventilation prevents a build up of moisture
- Cushioning - This shoes provides plenty of support for your feet
- Convenient - The slip on style is convenient but still secure
- Color - There are only four color choices which might not be ideal for some people
- Traction - The outer soles are non slip but don’t have as good traction as some other shoes
These non-slip running shoes for men are ideal for wearing on a treadmill. They have a rubber sole with plenty of grip and breathable mesh uppers to keep your feet cool and dry during your workout.
The knit construction is lightweight and flexible, allowing you to build up speed and have a full range of movement.
The insole is nice and thick to provide excellent cushioning and support, protecting you from impact. It is also moisture wicking and odor resistant to keep your feet fresh.
The shoes come in 15 striking colors, so you will be able to make a statement with these stunning designs.
- Traction - The non-slip sole provides excellent traction
- Breathable - the mesh uppers with knit construction llow good airflow
- Flexible - The material is stretchy so your foot can move how it needs to
- Cushioning - the insole is thick and offers great support
- Fresh - Your feet stay fresh with odor resistant and moisture wicking
- Colors - There are plenty of colors to choose from
- Durability - These shoes are designed for indoor use in gyms and on treadmills, so if you wear them outdoors they will wear out quickly
Asics is a top brand when it comes to running shoes. The gel technology in these shoes provides great shock absorption and cushioning as well as flexibility.
They are designed to support the foot as it moves through the cycle of your running gait, making you comfortable and helping to improve your performance.
The cushioning is also designed to be lightweight so it doesn’t hold you back from hitting your highest speeds.
The outsole is made from synthetic material which is durable and provides good grip. The uppers are made from breathable mesh material which keeps your feet cool and dry as you run.
They come in 9 different colors including classic black and white, blue and green and gray and orange.
- Support - The gel technology provides amazing cushioning and support
- Flexibility - The shoes are very flexible
- Lightweight - These shoes will not weigh you down
- Breathable - The mesh material allows for excellent ventilation
- Colors - There are 9 color designs to choose from
- Tongue - Some customers have said that the tongue of the shoe is too stiff which can make them uncomfortable, but this will relax over time.
These women’s running shoes from Asics are an excellent choice for running on a treadmill.
The outer soles provide great traction to stop you from slipping or falling, and they have plenty of shock absorption to protect your joints.
The mesh uppers are durable yet breathable, so there is plenty of airflow through the shoe as you move.
The cushioned midsole supports your feet whilst still being lightweight so you can run quickly.
The shoes benefit from gel technology which provides flexible and comfortable support for your feet in every position.
They are ideal for people with neutral pronation- meaning that the center of your foot hits the floor first when you run. They are available in 23 different colors.
- Traction - The soles of these shoes provide brilliant grip
- Shock - They have shock absorption to protect your muscles
- Breathable - The mesh uppers are breathable and keep your feet cool and dry
- Support - The gel cushioning supports your feet
- Flexible - The shoes are flexible and move with you
- Lightweight - They are lightweight and won’t slow you down
- Color - The color choice is very impressive
- Size - Some customers found that the sizes run small so you might have to order a bigger size than usual
Adidas is another big brand in the world of running which means that these shoes are more expensive than some of the others on the list.
However, they benefit from the latest technologies and developments and are perfect for treadmill workouts.
The sole is made from 100% rubber and is lightweight with brilliant traction. The upper is made from breathable mesh material which fits snugly to your feet like a sock.
There is plenty of airflow through the shoe to keep your feet cool and dry.
The shoes slip on and off for convenience but feel very secure on your feet. They are made from up to 50% recycled materials which makes them environmentally friendly.
You can choose from 23 different colors so you will be able to find one that suits your style.
- Brand - Adidas is a well known and trusted brand
- Traction - The rubber sole provides brilliant grip
- Ventilation - The mesh uppers are breathable
- Convenient - They slip on and off for convenience but fit securely
- Eco-friendly - They are made from up to 50% recycled materials
- Colors - there are 23 colors to choose from
- Support - These shoes don’t have as much cushioning as some other shoes
These slip-on running shoes are ideal for training on the treadmill. They fit snugly and are easy to get on and off with a pull tab.
The soft uppers are stretchy and super comfortable and the lightweight cloudfoam midsole provides excellent cushioning and support.
The outer sole is made from synthetic materials and has lots of grip to stop you from slipping as you run. They are available in over 30 different colors.
- Convenient - These shoes pull on and off with a tab on the tongue
- Flexible - The uppers are stretchy and soft
- Lightweight - They will help to you to run fast
- Support - They are very well cushioned
- Traction - They have great grip
- Size - Some people found that the sizes run small on these shoes
These under armor shoes have uppers made from a combination of breathable mesh and durable leather.
The EVA sock liners provide extra cushioning and comfort along with compression molded foam midsoles. The rubber outsoles have great grip to stop you from falling.
The shoes are lightweight and are ideal for runners with neutral pronation.
These shoes lace up but have a convenient pull tap on the back to help you get them on and off. They come in 17 different colors.
- Durable - The leather on the uppers make these shoes durable
- Breathable - The mesh material provides good ventilation
- Support - The sock liners and midsole cushion the foot
- Traction - The rubber outsoles have great grip
- Lightweight - You can build up speed in these shoes
- Color - They come in 17 different colors
- Indoors - These shoes are best for indoor use and won’t last as long when worn outdoors
Now that you know what our top recommendations are for treadmill running shoes, it is time for you to decide which ones are going to be best for you. Here are some things for you to consider to help you make your decision.
The first decision you need to make is how much money to spend on your shoes. We have included a range of prices on the list to suit every budget.
You should spend enough to make sure that you get a good quality pair of shoes, but you shouldn’t go over your budget if you can’t afford it.
We have included a range of brands on our list, including some of the best manufacturers of running shoes. We have also included some smaller brands that have lots of positive reviews from their customers.
You might already have a brand that you prefer for trainers or running gear, or you might be open to trying something new.
You should always try to buy breathable running shoes as your feet sweat as you run, and this can lead to moisture building up within your shoes. If that moisture doesn’t dry quickly, then bacteria can grow.
This makes you more vulnerable to fungal infections and bad foot odor. Breathable shoes allow air to flow through the shoes so the sweat can dry and your feet stay cool.
Traction on treadmill running shoes is not as important as on road or trail running shoes as the surface of the treadmill is entirely flat.
However, the soles of the shoes still need to have some grip so that you don’t slip off the treadmill. If you fall on a moving treadmill it can be dangerous, and you could end up with some unpleasant friction burns.
People tend to run faster and harder on a treadmill than they do on the road. This is because the treadmill itself provides a large part of the momentum as it moves beneath you, which spurs you on.
This means that you need to buy shoes that have plenty of cushioning and impact absorption to prevent you from injuring yourself and to keep you comfortable.
Some people like to wear running shoes that are the same color as their running clothes. Others like to make a statement with their shoes and choose a bright color.
If you have a color preference, then the number of colors available might sway your decision.
Having flexible running shoes is important for running on a treadmill as it allows your foot to have a full range of movement. This can help you to increase your speed and power, and allows you to improve your form.
Treadmill running shoes need to be lightweight to ensure that you can build up maximum speed. It also helps to prevent excess fatigue of your muscles.
The best treadmill shoes have a great balance between plenty of cushioning but lightweight features.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Wear Trail Shoes On A Treadmill?
You should not wear spiked shoes on a treadmill, such as track shoes or cross country shoes. There is nothing stopping you from wearing trail shoes on a treadmill, but they will not help you to achieve your best performance.
They are thicker and heavier as they are designed to support your feet on uneven terrain and provide excellent grip in outdoor conditions.
This means that they could slow you down on a treadmill when those features are not necessary.
What Socks Should You Wear Under Your Treadmill Shoes?
It is best to wear running socks under your trainers. They provide extra cushioning in the areas that need it most, helping to prevent blisters from forming.
They also have moisture wicking and quick drying technologies to help your feet stay dry and comfortable.
What Should You Wear On A Treadmill?
You need to make sure that you dress comfortably for your treadmill workout. You might prefer tight workout gear like leggings, or you might like running in floaty shorts.
Make sure that your clothes don’t rub or chafe. Try to go for lightweight materials to help you stay cool. Moisture wicking clothing is best as it will be more comfortable for your skin when you start to sweat.
Running on a treadmill is different to road running, track running, trail running and cross country running. It requires lightweight shoes with plenty of cushioning.
Choosing the right shoes will ensure that you are comfortable during your workout and it will help you to achieve your best performance.
You should be able to find your ideal trainers in our list of recommendations. If you are struggling to choose the right pair of trainers then remember to read the buyer’s guide for some helpful advice.