Best Running Shoes for the Treadmill Reviewed & Rated
One of the absolute musts when it comes to shoes for the treadmill is that you want something that is going to be lightweight. This is a rule that is generally applied when it comes to running shoes, as you don't want something weighing your feet down as you try and speed forward. Having heavy shoes is going to be a much more burdensome workout, so taking the time to look for shoes that are made of lighter materials is well worth the effort.
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Breathable Mesh Upper
Continental Rubber Outsole
Sleek, Modern Silhouette
1. Saucony Kinvara 9
FLEXFILM Lightweight Upper
Woven Heel for Stability
EVERUN Responsive Cushioning
Neutral Running Design
Too Bouncy for Some
Not for Wide Feet
From one of the leading brands of all things sportswear comes the Saucony Kinvara 9, a design that was declared the Winner of Runner’s World - 2018 Editor’s Choice award. This option is not outstanding only for the outdoors, but also for the gym as well, as its lightweight construction and underfoot feel make it stand out above the rest when it comes to indoor running.
The Kinvara 9 has a minimalist upper with a sock-like fit. Its heel is woven to provide better support, and there are reflective elements on it, should you decide to take these out for a night run. The heel-to-toe drop is 4mm, which provides a natural stride, and the design is outfitted with the EVERUN technology. This is a cushioning system that is lively and responsive, and that delivers easy landings and more explosive toe-offs.
The Saucony Kinvara 9 is an easy, comfortable option to wear to the gym. Thanks to its FLEXFILM flexible upper you will have no problems moving about, not least because of its seamless feel. It will keep you comfy and lightweight, and you will find yourself going that extra minute or two on the treadmill without any problems.
2. Adidas Adizero Adios 4
Breathable Mesh Upper
Continental Rubber Outsole
Sleek, Modern Silhouette
The Adidas Adizero Adios 4 is, apart from being a mouthful, designed by a master shoemaker from Japan named Omori, intended to be used by the best marathon runners in the world. The Adios 4 has a locked-down fit, but its responsive cushioning and ultra-lightweight construction are what make it a great option for indoor running.
The upper of the Adizero Adios 4 is made from mesh, textile, and synthetic materials to provide snug support and breathability. It comes with the Boost technology, as most Adidas designs do these days, meaning that it delivers amazing rebound and a cloud-like feel. The outsole of the Adios 4 is made from durable Continental rubber for superior traction on both wet and dry surfaces, so you won’t have any problems taking these out for a road run as well.
The Adidas Adizero Adios 4 is not only light in weight and exceptional in cushioning, but it is also supportive in all the right places. It is a well-rounded option which you can wear both indoors and outdoors, and it will help increase your mileage in the blink of an eye. Don’t hesitate to go for a sleek, modern design such as this one!
3. ASICS GEL-Venture 6
- Rearfoot Gel Cushioning
- Smooth Transition
- Shock Absorbing
- Removable Sockliner
- Trail Ready Outsole
- AHAR Outsole
- Extremely Durable
- Multiple Colors
- Sizing Runs Larger
- Width is Quite Wide
Hitting the number one spot on our list is, of course, going to be anything by ASICS. When it comes to shoes for the treadmill, ASICS has numerous models that give you comfort, support, traction, breathability; all while looking amazing on. Everything you could want in a design can be found in a pair of ASICS, so picking just one of their models to highlight was a challenge. Eventually, we settled on the GEL-Venture 6, as it's a great representation of all the magnificent features that ASICS as a brand has to offer. Use these indoor, while running on the road, or even hit the trails and experience nature; no matter where you want to go, ASICS will take you there.
The GEL-Venture 6 features ASICS unique Gel technology which makes their footwear extremely comfortable, supportive, and gives you a smoother run. To help you transition between strides, the gel will absorb any shock during impact and then return that energy to give you a more powerful take-off. Your foot should then be returned to a more natural position, reducing your risk for injury or foot fatigue after a run. The removable sockliner will also help protect your foot, and it can easily be taken out so that you can put in a customized or orthotic insole to suit your personal needs.
If you want to make sure your feet stay where they should be, then the outsole on these is guaranteed to give you the results you want. With a sturdy lug pattern, the GEL-Venture 6 can keep you secured to the treadmill, safe on wet pavement, or stable on muddy and loose trails; all done with ease. Your feet will love the security and stability that this outsole provides, and you will notice a major difference in how confidently you hit that exercise machine now that you know there is no chance of you slipping off.
As ASICS produces new models constantly, their older models decrease in price all of the time, so you can get these on a budget without issue. With so much versatility and performance, this is a running design that is almost impossible to pass up.
4. New Balance 890v6
Flexible Mesh Upper
Snug Supportive Fit
REVlite Midsole Cushioning
Not for High Arches
Narrow in the Front
With a well-known silhouette and a completely re-engineered interior comes the New Balance 890v6, a cult favorite from the brand. This design has a sleek upper and a bootie construction for a snug fit and much-need support. It is ultra-lightweight and comes with responsive cushioning that you have to experience to believe.
The New Balance 890v6 has a mesh upper for breathability and a silhouette that hugs your arch for a more secure fit. It has a comfortable 6mm drop, and a REVlite midsole foam, which is New Balance’s signature cushioning technology. The TPU forefoot parts provide a good underfoot feel, meaning that with the 890v6 you will have no problems with pounding the treadmill, or even a tame, well-trodden track.
The New Balance 890v6 is part of a collection of the lightest designs for daily running. It has a secure upper and a flexible outsole, allowing you to be fast and carefree on your feet, all the while enjoying the exceptional response and cushioning of the REVlite midsole. If you’re not sure where to turn, then turn to New Balance, because they definitely won’t let you down.
5. Brooks Launch 5
- Minimal Break In Time
- Durable Outsole
- Great for High Arches
- Breathable Knit Upper
- Not for People Prone to Ankle Rolling
Brooks Launch 5 will give you superior agility and top-level response. Your heel will find its natural alignment with the use of the U-Groove design, keeping your feet comfortable and secure. The use of rubber keeps this sneaker springy while the transition zone helps your foot rock in its natural motion.
The additional layer of blown rubber gives the Launch 5 and your run the boost you need to go longer and stronger. This added layer gives you bounce like you won't believe. The lightweight addition won't slow you down, in fact, it will give you better cushion and spring as you attack the hardest course your treadmill has to offer.
We have all been in the situation where we love the shoes we are running in today and hate them tomorrow. For whatever reason this happens, it is not only frustrating but also costly. The Brooks True Blue Guarantee will allow you to return your shoes within 90 days for any reason. We love the security that comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It shows that Brooks stands behind their products and are sure you will be satisfied with every purchase.
The support, structure, and design of these trainers are all features we want when thinking of the best indoor running footwear. In addition to all these features, the Brooks Launch 5 also guarantees our satisfaction, at a fraction of what some designs will cost. Easily fit them into your budget and watch how easily they become your new favorite athletic sneakers.
6. Skechers Go Walk 4
- GoGa Pillars Sole
- Slip On Style
- Lightweight Walking Shoe
- Memory Foam Heel Cup
- Mesh Upper Design
- GoGa Mat Footbed
- Resalyte Midsole
- Superior Impact Absorption
- Not Good for Running
- Width Tends to be Narrow
Not everyone who hits the treadmill is a runner, and for those of you who like to use it for walking then this design by Skechers is going to be perfect. Skechers has thrown in a bunch of their main technologies together in order to craft one of the most comfortable, and best performing walking designs to date. The performance Go Walk 4 is an extremely lightweight, mesh made sneaker that easily slips on and off; making it easy to throw on before a workout or before running errands. Although the insole doesn't use memory foam, and we will explain why later, the sneaker does feature a memory foam heel cup which gives you a much more comfortable and supportive step.
This sneaker is designed to GO and in order to make it so productive and comfortable, Skechers has used three of its most recent footwear technologies to enhance this model. The GoPillars, located on the outsole, combined with the GoImpulse makes this responsive design surprisingly flexible. Each step you take will be easy and natural, allowing you to walk for hours without noticing any discomfort.
As we mentioned, the sneaker doesn't use a memory foam insole and instead relies on its unique GoGa Mat to give you that extra cushioning and comfort you love. Memory foam can flatten easily over time, so the GoGa mat uses more of a yoga mat textured foam that is more firm and will hold up for long. You will still get all of the support and cushion, the only difference being that it will still be springy and plush after multiple uses. To keep your foot even more comfortable, the Resalyte midsole is amazingly good at absorbing shock, so your foot will have no aches and pains even if you stay on that treadmill all day.
Given that these are only for walking, and not running, you're already saving yourself a good bit of money there as they don't need to be as supportive or durable as outdoor footwear. For the gym walker who wants superior comfort, this design has amazing value and a price that won't break the bank.
7. Nike Tanjun
- Supportive Foam Sole
- Simple Look
- Superior Performance
- Versatile Wear
- Sizing Runs Small
- Narrow fit
Nike is a well-known brand in most households and has been a leader in athletic footwear for what seems like forever. With exceptional quality and innovation, the Nike Tanjun is exactly what we expect from this powerhouse company. A breathable upper and no-nonsense design is what gives this design its name, Tanjun, which means 'simplicity'.
The Tanjun is almost all foam, giving it almost no weight. Heavy footwear can turn an awesome run into an awful trudge. Not only does Nike give us a foam midsole as well as an outsole, but they also give us a lightweight textile upper. It’s important to note, the textile upper gives superior breathability on top of being lightweight, making it feel as if you aren’t wearing footwear at all.
Most of us don’t like to wear our exercise footwear beyond the gym, but with the great style and breathability of the Tanjun, you may think differently. Simple and comfortable, the option to wear these for a jog or down the street for a cup of coffee will help you get the best bang for your buck. Nike gives us a design for most situations in life; this one just so happens to cover multiple needs.
Nike has proven through years of success that quality footwear doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. If you need a great value for a versatile lightweight design then look no further, the Tanjun has you covered. Simple is not a word we often get to use in life but may be able to use more often after trying out these sneakers.
8. Brooks Ghost 11
Great for Wide Feet
Good for High Mileage
Short Break-in Period
Pebbles Get Stuck in Grooves
The Ghost 11 is a great option for those who need a neutral running design that offers plushness, maximum cushioning, a smooth ride and is made of lightweight materials. As an added bonus for the environmentally-conscious folks, the Ghost 11 is made with Brooks’ groundbreaking BioMoGo mid-sole that will biodegrade in 20-25 years, while most other mid-soles on the market will last 1000 years in our landfills.
Brooks’ BioMoGo midsole is more than just good for our environment, it helps to deliver a soft feel and adapts to your every stride while providing flexibility and a personalized-feeling in cushioning. With an added layer in the midsole from the Ghost 10, it gives slightly more cushioning than its predecessor. The Ghost is one of Brooks’ flagship styles, but the newly released Ghost 11 differs from its very successful predecessors in its freshly engineered mesh uppers. They now feature 3D printed overlays to help aid in integral foot support and provide a consistent, supportive and adaptive fit.
On the pricier end of the spectrum, the Ghost 11 is an investment for the runner who is searching for an option that will last through any workout - tempo runs, long runs, 50k’s. There’s a reason this design won the Runner's World "Editor's Choice" award!
9. Nike Free RN Flyknit 2018
- Feels Like Wearing a Sock
- Sole Contracts and Expands
- Bendable sole
- Snug, Personalized Fit
- High Breathability
- Reinforced Toe Area
- Feather Light Design
- Rounded Heel
- Lacking Arch Support
- Width is More Narrow
The Free RN Flyknit from Nike is taking the running world by storm, and for good reason, as the entire concept was designed based on feedback from actual runners about what they needed in a trainer. Spending the last four years putting the Flyknit together, Nike has managed to create a featherlight design that is breathable, supportive, and extremely flexible while also being able to fit snuggly to each individual foot. This option is a runner's dream all wrapped up in one beautiful package, and this will be great for the gym, the streets, or during any type of activity you like.
If you've ever thought to yourself that you wish you had a design that felt more personalized and custom fitting, then now is your chance to buy one. The fabrics and materials used to create the Free RN Flyknit are specially picked for their flexible and elasticized nature. These will fit snugly to the contours of your foot and will give you a one of a kind fit that is sure to impress. The material used is also extremely breathable, so your foot will not overheat and sweat while running. Even though the material is thin, it's strong and durable with an enhanced toe area to reduce any breakage over time.
Although this is a running design, it has the feeling of a minimalist option because of how lightweight and conforming it is. No matter how your foot likes to move, the Free RN Flyknit will move with you, providing you expansive freedom to have the most natural gait possible. The unique materials are meant to help mimic your foot's movement, and they will fold, contract, and expand with each step you take. Every step and take-off will feel beyond natural and your foot will get the support and direction it needs to perform at its best.
This is a design that puts most other running footwear to shame. It's perfectly designed and will be your favorite minimalist running shoes if you're willing to shell out the money for it.
10. ALEADER Mesh Sport
- Durable Rubber Sole
- Double Mesh Upper
- Breathable and Lightweight
- Durable and Sturdy Design
- Five Claw Lacing System
- Cushioned Insole
- Moisture Wicking Liner
- Hydro Grip Outsole
- Shock Absorbing Midsole
- Sizing Runs Smaller
- Lacking Arch Support
One of the things that make ALEADER footwear so great is that they are extremely inexpensive, especially when compared with similar styles by other brands. You aren't getting a luxury name attached to this design, but you are going to be getting a comfortable and supportive sneaker that will serve you well while you get moving on that treadmill. One of the unique features of this mesh sports design is their five claw designed lace-up system; an eye-catching way of giving you full control over the tightness and security. Including a full cushioned insole, this option still remains incredibly lightweight, so your feet will feel like you're not wearing anything at all.
This mesh option has a very breathable upper design, which allows for enough air flow to keep your feet cool. To ensure that the mesh is durable, it is double layered, allowing it to keep its shape over time and give your foot adequate protection and support. The mesh is also soft, working as an additional liner to prevent any chaffing or blistering from occurring while you work out.
Having footwear that you only use for indoor training is one thing, but having a design versatile enough that you can take it outdoors gives you more value for your money. These feature an amazing outsole that will grip to nearly any surface regardless of how wet or dry it is. If the mood strikes and you feel like getting outside in the rain instead of being indoors, they will be just as effective on the wet pavement as they are on the dry treadmill. You'll be sure to maintain your balance and gait while wearing these, and the supportive sole has some of the best traction of any of the choices we've looked at so far.
The truth is that these aren't as long lasting as some of the others we have seen. However, with that said, you are getting a high level of performance out of the Mesh Sport, and it will last a while if you keep it solely for indoor use. If that's the only reason you are looking for new footwear, and you don't plan on taking it outside, then treat yourself right away!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
We will talk a bit about cushioning in the Weight section; however, the importance of correct cushioning for the running shoes you are wearing on a treadmill can mean the difference of meeting your daily exercise goals or skipping them all together. There are several types of cushioning in athletic shoes. Like most things, some are great for runners and others, not so much.
Cushioning to look for:
Cushioning to watch out for:
Dual Density EVA*
Use of Posts
*Polyurethane and Dual Density EVA are excellent for cushioning. The reason you need to watch for them is the fact that they can add a lot of weight to the shoe. Long runs need light shoes and this can really dampen your pace.
Thick Foam outsoles are becoming all the rage. We are emerging from a world of minimalist running shoes. The future looks a little odd but gives an extreme amount of cushion with very little weight. The super thick foam outsoles feel like a dream on your feet and don’t weigh you down. You may find a lack of flexibility in this cushion system which has some staying away. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis this type of shoe may be just what you have been looking for!
Sometimes, finding that perfect-fitting pair of shoes is like finding a needle in a haystack; it's almost impossible. Fortunately, we've scoured the internet to find the top 10 treadmill running shoes that actually fit the way they're supposed to.
To come up with a score for fit, or trueness-to-size, of a shoe, we evaluated several factors, like the type of shoe, the purpose of the product, the construction and the materials used. We then combined that information with thousands of customer testimonials and reviews from across global online marketplaces in order to choose only the best fitting shoes for our list.
By scoring high on this criterion, the product demonstrates a high trueness-to-size and you can bet that a size 11 pair of runners will fit your size 11 feet.
Knowing your routine and knowing your feet are a big part of choosing the right shoes. Running on a treadmill is very different from walking on one. One of the key components of a great running shoe is flexibility. The toe and heel of the shoe should offer substantial movement while the arch stays a bit stiffer offering support.
There should also be some twist to the shoe. When holding the heel and the toe you want some give. This allows your foot to maneuver with you while running. It is a difficult rope to cross, finding the correct give with enough support to give you an amazing experience for your feet on your treadmill.
Treat flat feet and high arches accordingly, hence the know your feet statement. If you have high arches make sure you are giving the support level needed for the type of impact you go through while running on a treadmill. The correct support will keep you from bearing the pain of shin splints. On the other hand, if you have flat feet, a shoe with a built-up arch may cause you all kinds of future pain and trouble.
It all really comes back to the fact that you want a well fitting shoe that moves with you. Find flexibility and a fit that is made for your particular foot. Our guide covers a variety of styles and fits to give an option to most feet out there.
The outsole, or more simply, the sole of the shoe, makes direct contact with the ground and therefore supports the entire foot and body when in motion. Needless to say, a poorly-constructed outsole will lead to discomfort, slipping and foot or other bodily injury. For this reason, many manufacturers use materials that are water-, weather-, heat-, and impact-resistant.
Depending on the type of footwear, one will often see outsoles made from natural or synthetic materials, such as PVC, EVA, rubber and leather. Each of these has their advantages, depending on the shoe’s purpose; however, as a general rule, they each are resistant to the aforementioned factors. They are also flexible enough to support a proper foot cycle when in motion, but they are not so flexible that they feel like a pair of socks.
A sole made of the materials above tend to score higher on this criterion, as they are not only comfortable, but also support other features, such as arch support. Be aware of the weight trade-off for certain materials, however. See the "Comfort" criterion for more information on cushioning and weight.
Runners know when training for a marathon or sometimes even just your daily 5k can be greatly impacted by the weight of your shoes. Keeping it light will keep you moving. Finding a running shoe to wear while on your treadmill requires a deep look at the weight of the shoe. You certainly don’t want to see mile times lengthen or worse not be able to meet yesterday’s distance because you feel like you’re dragging your feet in heavy shoes.
The problem with wearing ultra-lightweight running shoes is the lack of cushion. Making sure to do your research will prove fruitful in this type of situation. Think about your feet and problems you have encountered in the past. If you have ever suffered due to shin splints you know what too little cushioning can feel like. We have offered a wide variety when it comes to cushioning but that also means a wide variety when it comes to the weight of the shoe.
It may not seem like running shoes for a treadmill could have too much cushioning however they certainly can. As I said earlier, weight matters. The more cushion the more weight and the more drag you are going to feel as you head into the day’s course. Your entire body will notice the difference if you are used to a very lightweight shoe. There may be added soreness to your muscles or joints. Again, you may also see mile time decreasing or not reach the distance you were hoping for. Keep it light and find yourself moving toward distances never seen before.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Let's face it, running on the treadmill can sometimes be a bit tedious, especially if you're logging some longer mileage.
To keep yourself focused and motivated, crank on some of your favorite tunes, try a few interval sets, or give yourself a walk break when you hit certain mile goals.
One of the great things about treadmills is their ability to give you an option for inclines, instead of trying to find hills outside for workouts.
Hill repeats are a great way to increase muscle strength, endurance, and torch calories. Ramp up the incline every quarter mile for one full mile, then start over at the starting incline for a great workout!
Other Factors to Consider
Not only should your shoe be lightweight, but it should also be breathable. Stinky, sweaty feet and shoes aren’t pleasant for anyone, and the more moisture you build up inside them, the more likely they are to deteriorate and break down. You don’t want to be spending money on shoes that fall apart within months, all because they got too hot and sweaty and the material couldn’t wick it away.
Keeping all of these factors in mind, plus more, we have taken a look at some of the best shoes currently on the market for those who love to walk or run on the treadmill. We’ve included a range of brands, some very well known and others that are a bit more unknown, in order to really showcase everything the shoe market has to offer.
All you have to do now is narrow down your choices, decide which features are most important to you, click buy and enjoy. Now go hit that treadmill!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can I wear my walking footwear to run indoors?
The answer to this question depends on a couple of things. If the shoes you are walking in are built for walking you should avoid wearing them for running. A walking shoe has different support areas as well as different structure, cushion, and support.
Running shoes for a treadmill are built with a structure like those of road running shoes. They give you great flexibility in the toe and heel. In addition to flexibility, the heel usually offers a heel cup with added cushion and support for heel striking that is common with runners. They also have a slightly rigid midsole for added support.
In conclusion, if your walking shoes meet the criteria for a good pair of running shoes for a treadmill, then go for it. If they fall short, do yourself and your body a favor, pick out a great pair of running shoes that will keep you going for miles.
q: How is running indoors different then on the street?
There are a variety of reasons that running on your treadmill is different than heading outside for a run. First and probably the most obvious reason is that there is not weather problems inside your house or the local gym. Combating rain, ice, and snow can shut a run down quickly or worse lead to injury from falling.
Next, we must consider the lack of give in road running. Pavement is unforgiving and let’s face it, our trusty treadmill not only adds spring to our step, it also helps us run faster. Most people see their best times on a treadmill because it supports the way your body needs to move to increase speed.
q: I’m bored with my treadmill, HELP!
We have all been here, whether running on the treadmill or our weekly spin class, burnout! When you find yourself getting sick of the same old routine, find a way to spice it up. Some tricks that have helped me and my workout buddies in the past are:
Make a New Playlist – Keeping the music fresh keeps you fresh.
Save your favorite recorded show – Only allow yourself to watch during your exercise time.
Video Chat a Long Distance Workout Buddy – While hard to talk, a great motivation is having someone run with you. Plus, it helps keep you close!
Switch the Routine – Run in the evening instead of the morning or better yet, change your course setting. Give yourself a new thing to strive for.
Completed them all? Start from the beginning but do track one and two or any other two that you enjoy running. Just remember to keep it changing.
q: Why do I feel unbalanced when I run on the treadmill?
The problem here for most runners is not being able to keep a steady focused pace. It is also important to note that a treadmill allows a runner to go faster than they normally would on the street. This can not only be dangerous if the runner missteps it can also cause that wobbly feeling
So where do you start? Start slow, you may find that you want to speed up quickly because of how good your muscles feel but this will lead to an unsteady pace. Starting slow will let your body adjust to the different type of running surface.
Next, you want to maintain a steady focal point. For me, I adjusted my treadmill so it looks out the back window, at a giant apple tree, I’m always running for the tree. Stay away from the T.V., I know it’s easy to focus on, however, moving pictures can be distracting and lead to unsteadiness while running.
Finally, stick with it. New routines can take time for not only your mind but your body to adjust to. What feels awkward and unsteady today, will feel completely different after a few weeks of consistent treadmill running.
If you are still having a hard time after this, take a look at your shoes. The best running shoes for a treadmill are not necessarily your best road running or gym shoes. Always remember what is on your feet needs to be thought out and made for the task you are going to ask of them.
q: How do I care for my new shoes?
Our best advice would be to consult with the manufacturer directly. Often, reputable brands will have care guides to each of their products available online for anyone to download. Depending on the material and construction of the shoe, there will be different directions for cleaning and maintaining, so it is always best to consult with the manufacturer before taking action.