Running on a treadmill is a great way to get your cardio in without having to endure the unpredictable weather, foot traffic, and the people who ‘forget’ to clean up after their dogs.
You can get your daily run in from the comforts of your own home or the comforts of a gym.
One of the best parts of a treadmill is the uniformity of the surface, you won’t have to worry about rocks or sticks getting under your feet or uneven ground possibly rolling your ankle.
With all the benefits of treadmill training, you need to consider not just which treadmill you’ll be using but almost more importantly, what you’ll be wearing while you run.
Your running shoe should be different from your treadmill shoe, normally they are interchangeable but for the best results and optimal comfort/performance you’ll want to consider a few things before jumping on a treadmill with your 10 years old unbranded, bottom of the shoe cupboard trainers.
A huge difference between road running and treadmill running is that when you stop running on the road you completely stop, but a treadmill will keep going if you decide to take a break, even with the emergency brakes applied a treadmill can take a couple of seconds to stop.
Because of this we won’t have any foam soled trainers on this list, they may perform well on tarmac but that high pitched whine you hear you hear when your shoe glances the running belt is the sound of your expensive new trainers being sanded away.
We’ve also added a buyer’s guide and FAQ at the bottom to arm you with the knowledge you need to make sure you feel confident in your purchase.
In a rush?
Is your finger hovering over that purchase button and you’re pre-workout is about to kick in and you need to know which shoes to buy right now?
No worries we’ve got you sorted with our top pick right here. adidas Men's Ultraboost Running Shoes
This shoe is perfect for running on a treadmill adidas’ partnership with continental is one of the driving factors on their shoes being so durable.
Here’s just a few reasons this is our favourite shoe:
- Continental made gum rubber sole increases traction and durability.
- Primeknit upper fits all foot shapes and adapts while you run.
- BOOST cushioning provides complete comfort without compromising spring.
OUR TOP PICK
Our number 1 pick from adidas is the Ultraboost running shoes, these shoes are the top-spec shoes you can currently get.
They come equipped with gum rubber outsoles produced by continental, yes the tyre company. With almost 150 years of rubber making experience, you can guarantee quality and durability in these shoes.
The way adidas has sandwiched the BOOST foam sole between the rubber of the outsole and the primeknit upper truly revolutionises the support you will feel while running in these shoes.
They also boast about BOOST technology’s unrivalled energy return which means running in these shoes is actually easier than running barefoot.
The shape of the sole has also been optimised to allow for maximum comfort.
The worst thing about getting new running shoes is the breaking in period where you’re trying to get the shoe to mould around your feet, this isn’t an issue with the Ultraboost.
You can forget about the uncomfortable pain in the arch of your foot that’s so common with less optimised shoes.
The Primeknit upper is flexible enough to conform to your feet without being so loose that it feels like a sock.
The optimal placement of the rubber lace grips adds an even amount of support over the bridge of your foot to adhere the shoe to you without squeezing and suffocating you.
If you have an issue with clammy feet during and after a run this trainer will alleviate your worries, the Primeknit is extremely breathable but will still offer adequate protection from the elements on your walk into the gym.
These shoes also look really good, with their tongueless design you get less moving parts which means less chafing but also a clean, high-quality look.
You’ll be turning heads walking around in these and they are more than comfortable enough to double as an all-day shoe so if you’re a busy person and need to run errands immediately after your treadmill session rest assured that you’ll be looking good while you do it.
- Continental gum rubber outsole increases traction and durability.
- Primeknit, breathable yet supportive upper allows your foot to breathe without letting everything in.
- Adidas BOOST technology built into the sole adds a spring to each step making it easier to run for longer.
- Lightweight design.
- High-quality look that rivals the likes of Yeezys without compromising on performance.
- Even though the bulk of the materials are mesh these cannot be machine washed.
adidas takes the 2nd spot on our list too, the Adizero line of trainers is designed for speed.
Did you know that most people actually run faster on a treadmill than they would if they were on flat ground?
Because of this adidas has designed these trainers for that speed boost.
The break in the outsole for better designed arch support adds an extra spring to each step accentuating the other BOOST foam.
They still come with the continental gum rubber outsole to make sure you don’t wear away the bottom of your shoe on the running belt.
As mentioned this shoe also uses the BOOST foam to decrease the impact of each step on your joints to make sure you don’t fatigue as fast.
With these on you’ll be able to run further than you normally would.
The difference between the sole on this trainer and the last one is the addition of the stretchweb layer which has been implemented to keep your foot in position whilst you run.
Bad posture on a treadmill can lend itself to many running injuries but the technology added to these trainers ensures that you run with the correct foot positions.
With a traditional tongued design, the Adizero Adios 4 keeps itself in place on your foot.
This matched with the stretchweb technology added to the innersole, you won’t have to worry about rolling your ankle because your shoe becomes loose on your foot while you run.
The lightweight synthetic mesh that makes up most of the upper of the shoe adds a breathability element (not as much as the Ultraboost) and a tighter knit means that a quick step in a puddle won’t ruin your day.
- Continental gum rubber sole.
- BOOST foam with stretchweb innersole increases foothold.
- Arch support reduces foot fatigue and increases the spring from the sole.
- Tongue and lace design keeps the trainer securely fastened to your foot.
- Tighter knit mesh adds a layer of protection.
- This shoe runs a bit small so purchasing them at least 1 size up is recommended.
Nike has designed these trainers to be the most comfortable shoes you could wear while running and their efforts have not gone to waste.
The revolution 5s use a soft foam midsole surrounded by a soft inner sole and rubber outsole to maximise the cushioning your foot will feel after each step.
Keeping all the different layers of the sole hidden Nike aims to give this shoe a minimalist look to make sure it meets the requirement for everyday usage and it really does.
This trainer looks fairly inconspicuous while still hiding all its performance features under the hood.
The heel of a shoe is normally the first part to become worn down when running on a treadmill and Nike is aware of this, the Revolution 5 trainers come with a reinforced heel to withstand the wear and tear.
The extra material overlaid at the heel also offers extra support.
Back to the point of comfort throughout the inside of the shoe, there is a plush yet breathable lining.
These Nike trainers are made with spacings in their rubber outsole to allow the foot to flex naturally.
The flex in your foot can contribute to the breakdown in the sole of the shoe so this spacing massively increases the lifespan of your trainer.
- Comfort in all aspects of the trainer.
- Breathable synthetic mesh adds to the comfort of the shoe when it comes to temperature.
- Reinforced heel and spacings in the sole increase longevity of the shoe.
- The minimalist design makes this an all round shoe.
- Overemphasis on comfort makes the shoe a little bit squishy (less spring back)
Next on our list is the Floatride Energy from Reebok, this trainer is perfect for the treadmill.
The whole sole is covered in a carbon rubber outsole that is abrasion-resistant and provides reliable traction on the running belt.
The shape of the Floatride Energy’s meets the natural curve your foot makes when you run, so the fact that the outsole is full length and abrasion-resistant really ups the grip and durability.
Reebok has opted for a square knit upper to increase the breathability of the shoe and while this doesn’t help with rain and puddles it makes it ideal for treadmill running.
The Floatride Energy Foam is Reebok’s answer to the BOOST foam from adidas, and while it doesn’t have the same spring factor it adds an almost unrivalled level of comfort.
The foam is lightweight but still decently responsive. If it’s a smooth run you’re looking for Reebok has the best option for you.
To increase the comfort you feel in the trainer a padded collar has been added so that your heel and ankle meet minimal resistance as you run.
- Full length carbon rubber outsole for grip and longevity.
- Added heel and ankle support for optimal comfort.
- Floatride Energy foam adds smoothness and cushioning to your run.
- The curved shape adds comfort to treadmill running.
- Square knit upper increases ventilation but decreases protection from the weather.
We’re rounding out our list with another adidas trainer, their partnership with continental really gives them a leg up when it comes to durability, their patented knit patterns make for perfect indoor running shoes.
The Adizero Boston 8 M running shoes are no exception to the overall quality adidas brings to the table.
adidas has added their BOOST foam to the midsole of these shoes again optimising each step you take to ensure you get the highest energy return possible.
This paired with the unique shape of the Boston 8 M trainers adds similar responsiveness to the Reebok shoes at number 4.
The continental rubber doesn’t cover the whole of the outsole, instead, adidas has opted to go for a webbed pattern that adapts to the natural contours of your foot.
These shoes have been designed for marathon distances so you can rest assured that they will be able to keep up with the toughest of treadmillers.
These trainers are extremely lightweight at 238g per shoe, you’ll barely notice they’re on as your feet blur past each other.
- Continental webbed rubber to increase durability and grip.
- BOOST foam midsole.
- Torsion System between the ball of foot and heel to increase responsiveness.
- Lightweight materials and overall design.
- The spacing in the rubber may lead to more wear in the foam.
Best Trainers For Treadmill Buying Guide
When you’re considering getting a pair of running shoes specifically for indoor treadmill running there are few different criteria you need to consider, you won’t face the same issues as running on the pavement or even trails.
The things we need to consider are:
How heavy are your shoes, studies have shown that when running on a treadmill people tend to take much smaller strides meaning that you’ll almost double the number of steps you take to travel the same distance.
The more steps you take the more you’ll be lifting your legs so if your trainer acts as an ankle weight would you aren’t going to achieve those extra distances you normally would.
Whether you’re a newbie to treadmill running or a seasoned vet, the amount of support you do or don’t want from your shoe is going to be completely unique to you.
We recommend a light amount of support especially in the arch area as most of the population actually pronate slightly and a bit of arch support stops the foot landing completely flat and causing acute RSI.
Most people will tell you that treadmill running already offers more cushioning than outdoor running and we’d have to agree which is why when looking at cushioning we recommend a more responsive cushioning that will propel your foot back up.
A soft foam or cushioning will become compacted after a decent run but high quality cushioning like BOOST foam will retain its shape and responsiveness as you pack on the miles.
You won’t be battling the elements, dodging roadside debris, wading through puddles or dealing with uneven road surfaces inside your sheltered gym or on your home treadmill.
So overall durability isn’t that much of a worry, the only place of major wear on your treadmill trainers will be the very bottom of the outsole.
With the treadmill moving at a constant pace and your feet having to keep up standard abrasion is normal so a thick durable outsole is always recommended.
Without the outside winds to keep your feet cool you need to make sure they can breathe.
A scary fact is that your feet actually have the highest concentration of sweat glands compared to any other part of your body.
This is why clammy smelly feet are a problem so the last thing you’re going to want to do is to trap sweat and odour in a non-permeable shoe.
What’s worse is that an unventilated shoe promotes complications such as athlete’s foot and none of us wants that.
The fit of your shoe may be the most important factor of all to consider.
An ill-fitting shoe can cause issues like blisters, bunions and RSI so make sure you get the size that’s best for you.
Amazon is really good for this as they accept returns for wrong sizes, so make sure to order the right size or if the product page states that the shoe runs a bit small or a bit large then account for that in your choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need specific socks for running on a treadmill?
The type of sock doesn’t massively affect the treadmill running experience but a sock that’s too thick or too large can cause a shoe to feel overly tight and cause unnecessary chafing.
So wear a sock that fits you correctly and isn’t overly thick.
If I’ve been running on roads for a long time can I just jump on a treadmill?
Of course! It may feel slightly uncomfortable at first as treadmill running actually uses your hamstrings less than traditional running.
You aren’t trying to propel yourself forward on the treadmill so your quads will be taking the brunt of the force.
As with any new exercise don’t rush into it, take your time and make sure you’re doing adequate stretching and cooldowns.
There you go, you now have all the information you need to purchase your new pair of running shoes, follow the advice we’ve laid out for you and you’ll be running marathons while not actually moving anywhere.
Last update on 2021-04-13 / Amazon Product Advertising API