Last Updated: February 8th, 2021
Planning for a treadmill run?
Then be prepared.
Don’t just walk in with your tennis shoes and then whine about the pain later.
Here are 14 best running shoes for treadmills in 2020 for you to choose from.
Brooks Ghost 13 Running Shoes will be most comfortable.
It has the right amount of support and responsiveness needed on a treadmill belt.
However, the rest in the list are also good options and take care of your pronation, supination, plantar fasciitis, etc.
Let’s check them out one by one.
Our Top Picks
Best Running Shoes For Treadmill in 2021
On this page
- ✅ Best Running Shoes For Treadmill (Men and Women)
- 1. Brooks Ghost 13 Running Shoes – Best for Medium to High Arch, Plantar Fasciitis
- 2. Mizuno Wave Rider 22 Running Shoes – Best for High Arches and HIIT
- 3. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8 – Best for cushioning and mild supination
- 4. Merrell Trail Glove 4 – Best for barefoot running experience, trail running
- 5. ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 – Best for overpronation, flat to low arches
- 6. Mizuno Wave Sonic – Best for durability
- 7. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 – Best for style
- 8. ASICS Gel-Excite 4 – Best for everyday running and affordability
- 9. ASICS Roadhawk – Best for Concrete, Pavement
- 10. Inov-8 Mens Bare-XF 210 V2 – Best for Light Treadmill running
- 11. HOKA ONE ONE Cavu 2 – Best for Medium To High Arch
- 12. New Balance 890v6 – Good for even standing for long hours
- 13. Brooks Launch 6 – Best for Road Running
- 14. Saucony Kinvara 10 – Best for all distance running and short/fast training days
- • Our Top Pick
- • FAQs about running shoes for treadmills
When considering a running shoe for the treadmill, you should look into the shoes’ weight, support, breathability, cushioning, flexibility, responsiveness, durability.
Based on these parameters, Brooks Ghost 13 surely stands out.
If you have high arches or plantar fasciitis, these running shoes are the best.
These are multipurpose shoes and you can use them even for every day running.
They come in 4 widths. Normal, Narrow B, Wide (2E), and Extra Wide (4E).
Ghost’s DNA LOFT heels soften your landing and the BioMoGo DNA midsole provides you with perfect cushioning and responsiveness.
Its forefoot has a segmented crash pad providing you with shock absorption and an easier heel-to-toe transition.
It’s new engineered mesh has stretch and structure placed strategically to provide you with good breathability and support.
It also provides you with a comfortable customized fit.
This is one of the best sellers of Mizuno. It comes with the company’s proprietary CloudWave heels, giving you protection against shock.
The mid-sole is made of U4ic and makes these running shoes very cushy.
Upper of this shoe is made from a stretchy engineered mesh which gives you good breathability and fit.
The heels are now more articulated than ever and give you a smoother heel-to-toe transition.
The forefeet are segmented to add more flexibility and also helps to absorb shock.
The outsole is made from durable rubber and this enhances the longevity of this running shoe.
If you want the comfort of some plush cushioning while running on a treadmill, this one should be your choice.
The mid-sole of 1080 is made from Fresh Foam. New Balance has created this foam after gathering statistics from athletes.
This is one of the most comfortable mid-soles around and is guaranteed to keep your feet safe while being fully responsive to your strides.
The out-sole is made from blown rubber. This is both lightweight and gives you good grip on the running surface.
Segmented forefoot helps to absorb maximum shock and guards your feet from any impact-related injury.
The upper has engineered mesh, which gives you good breathability and custom fit.
For additional stability, the molded foam collar keeps your feet in place.
As you might know, I’m strictly against running barefoot on a treadmill. It may give you blisters due to the heat generated from friction.
This is one of the best running shoes around that will give you the ultimate barefoot running experience.
For your underfoot protection, you have a trail protect pad that will keep you protected even in the trails.
The upper is made from mesh and TPU materials and will keep the in-shoe environment breathable and healthy.
It comes with Vibram TC5 outsole which is known to give you the feel of the surface you are running on.
This is a 100% vegan-friendly running shoe and doesn’t use any animal product for its construction.
This is a zero-drop running shoe and you will have the most natural running experience.
This is a lightweight running shoe which is built for performance.
It provides you with very good cushioning and superb comfort by combining two technologies called FLYTEFOAM Propel and FLYEFOAM Lyte.
This also makes the mid-sole 55% lighter than traditional EVA foam mid-sole without compromising on the cushioning.
These running shoes are meant for overpronation and stabilize your feet for a very comfortable and smooth ride.
The upper comes with a stretchable engineered mesh which is lightweight and takes up the shape of your feet.
The I.G.S or the integrated guidance line system helps to improve your gait efficiency and midfoot structural support.
While running on a treadmill, you will get good traction from this running shoe as the out-sole is made from blown rubber.
They are high abrasive rubber meant to increase the grip and longevity of your running shoe.
This new member of the Mizuno wave series is a bit different.
Here the wave is not present at the heels. Rather it is present at the mid-foot.
It is a totally new design. However, it is made from the same U4icX material that is used in the heels of other Mizunos.
It has a low mid-sole drop which improves your natural running position and efficiency.
You get a quicker heel-to-toe off as the mid-sole has increased toe-spring and zig-zag shaped out-sole.
Upper is constructed like a sock. It is light, sleek and seamless, including the overlays.
This gives you a glove-like customized fit.
Also, the rubber sole provides you with good traction on the treadmill surface.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus is a lightweight shoe and is very comfortable.
This is the 35th generation of Pegasus and is very popular among runners for its style and functional design.
The mid-sole cushion is made from ST Foam. This makes this running shoe cushy.
It has blown rubber on the out-sole and it provides you with good grip on any kind of surface like a treadmill belt or pavements.
It has a unique design and collar turn back from the Achilles.
As a result, it doesn’t rub against your skin and you are spared from the painful blisters.
Also, the heel is a bit extended towards the back. This helps you to have better stability on any surface.
The upper has engineered mesh and makes this running shoe very breathable.
The rear foot of this running shoe is made from gel cushioning.
This works as a superior shock absorbent. This is very much needed when you are running on a treadmill.
This especially if your treadmill doesn’t have built-in shock absorption.
The sock liner is removable giving you the flexibility to use your favorite orthotics if needed.
In the out-sole, you have AHAR rubber which is a high abrasive rubber and is standard in any ASICS.
This proprietary material improves the life span of your running shoe by making it more durable.
You will also be visible in low light condition as it has built-in reflectivity.
If you are a night or early morning runner, this is especially needed to avoid any kind of accidents.
The upper has engineered mesh which gives your cool and dry experience during your runs.
ASICS Roadhawk is a road running shoe. It is suitable for all kind of smoother surfaces like pavement, concrete and treadmill belt.
The mid-sole is made from FlyteFoam and is proprietary to ASICS.
It gives you superior responsiveness and good amount of cushioning which is much needed for when running on treadmills.
It is a neutral running shoe and is lightweight and flexible.
The out-sole is made from AHAR or ASICS High Abrasion Rubber.
It is a long-lasting rubber and will add more life to your Roadhawk.
Also, it will provide you with good grip on smoother surfaces like concrete and treadmills.
The sock liner is of ComfortDry material and is removable. You can use your custom orthotics if you need to.
With a breathable mesh upper and breathable fabric lining you will have a very good in-shoe and running experience.
This running shoe is the second zero drop running shoe in our list.
Inov-8 is also a minimalist running shoe and is the next best thing to barefoot running.
It has a wide shoe box and can accommodate almost all feet width.
It’s fit scores 4 in the company’s scale of 1-5 where 5 is the widest.
Out-sole of this shoe comes with a flex groove technology, where it flexes and contracts with your feet.
This gives you the most natural running experience possible in a running shoe.
The out-sole also has a sticky grip and it is a patented feature of this running shoe.
It gives you a non-slip grip and you can run comfortably on any surface (except trails).
Cavu 2 is built on a special mid-sole called PROFLY. This mid-sole will give you a smooth and lively ride at every step.
It is meant for both short and distance running. You can also use this versatile running shoe on road, concrete and treadmills.
It is simpler and lesser in cushioning than Bondi, but you probably will not feel the difference as it has ample amount of cushioning.
The upper is made of a breathable mesh and this keeps the in-shoe environment dry and healthy.
In short, you will not end up with stinky feet and will have a fresh and clean experience throughout your running/workout session.
Below the breathable upper, there is a seamless soft-lycra bootie. This gives your feet the feel of that silky smooth softness.
The out-sole is a rubberized foam out-sole. It s lightweight and gives you a very responsive cushioning.
This running shoe is made on the REVLite platform of New Balance.
It is lightweight, well-cushioned and supportive. You will get a very cushy and comfortable running experience.
The upper has non-sew mesh. This is both breathable and irritation-free.
You are not only spared from hot, sweaty and stinky feet, you will also not have to deal with blisters.
This running shoe comes with removable insoles. This makes it orthotic friendly.
You will be able to use your favorite orthotics with these running shoes.
The out-sole is made from blown rubber and provides you a good grip on any kind of surfaces (excluding trails).
With this running shoe, you will always have a stable and pleasant ride with every step.
This is a speed or cross-training running shoe. They have a springy cushion which gives you an extra bounce under feet.
This also makes these running shoes very responsive.
Mid-sole material is made from Books proprietary BioMoGo DNA which gives you 30% more cushioning than traditional gel or EVA foam cushioning.
Also, it provides you with way higher energy return and you get that extra bounce under your feet.
It is built for easy heel to toe transition and the mid-foot has a transition zone specially designed for this.
Upper is made from non-sew mesh and the internal bootie is very light and soft.
This makes your feet feel more breathable and keeps you cool and dry.
Also, if you want to use a different set of insoles like orthotics, then you can easily do that by removing the shoe’s insole.
Saucony Kinvara 10 now comes with an enhanced cushioning and energy return, thanks to the improved top-sole called EVERUN.
The mid-sole also has improved cushioning and comes with EVA + which gives you a smooth and energetic ride.
In the upper, you have engineered mesh and provides you with a lot of breathabilities.
This keeps your feet cool and dry for a longer period of time.
It is a neutral running shoe and the cushioning is very responsive.
This helps you to get a very comfortable and bouncy ride.
Also, the forefoot comes with added flex and this enhances the natural running feel for the shoe.
This running shoe is seamless and you get an irritation-free running experience.
Buyer’s Guide for Selecting the Best Running Shoes for treadmill
Why you are using a treadmill?
When you are selecting a running shoe or a workout shoe for treadmill, you must know the purpose of it.
If you will mostly be walking on a treadmill, then your shoe requirement will be different.
However, if you will be mostly running, you may as well select a running shoe.
Are running and walking shoes different? You bet…
Here is an entire article dedicated to why you shouldn’t use running shoes for walking, the risks involved and the injuries that you may suffer.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that cushioning of your running shoe must be proper.
Well, we will cover that in the next point…
Why cushioning is important when running on a treadmill?
When you are running on a treadmill, the motion of running is very different than that when you are running on the ground.
Here most runners will use their heels more than their toes.
So, the majority of the impact will be dealt with the heels.
Hence, the heel area should have more cushioning.
This extra padding will not only let the impact travel up your feet, but it will also keep your joints injury-free.
Also, another thing is, many runners want to run barefoot on a treadmill.
While on roads or on the trails it is OK, it is not OK on a treadmill.
Treadmill belts has a motion and they create more friction against your feet’s skin.
This create more heat which can turn into painful blisters.
Also, as mentioned above, the impact of running on treadmill is more on your joints.
So, if you run barefoot, your chances of injuries are more.
If you want to run for a longer duration of time, you must be comfortable in your shoes.
If there is even a minor discomfort when you are starting a workout, it may turn into a full-blown blister or an injury by the end of the run.
So, always pick comfort over everything else.
This will help you to go longer and faster.
If the main purpose for you is to run on a treadmill, you should have a running shoe which is flexible at the forefoot.
This will help you in easier heel to toe transition.
However, these running shoes should not bend at the arch.
Otherwise, you will end up with more injuries like plantar fasciitis or tremendous pain.
Also, if you try to twist these shoes, you should be able to twist them without much difficulty.
If any of these features are not there in your running shoe, then they are not optimally flexible for running.
Choose a different pair, if you don’t want to get injured.
Running produces a lot of heat in your feet.
For avoiding excessive sweating and any discomfort your feet need to breathe.
However, if the upper of your running shoe is not porous, then you there is no ventilation.
This will make you feel like drowning in sweat and your running experience will be less than pleasurable.
Also, this gives way for some nasty things to grow inside your shoe and you will end up getting stinky feet.
Checking the type of arch support is essential when selecting a running shoe for your feet.
It can range from low to high arch support.
Based on what you have, you should select your running shoe.
Now the obvious question is, how will you know what kind of an arch you have?
It’s very easy.
You just need to do the water test.
First, soak your feet in the water…
Then stand on a colored paper.
Next match the impression with the below image.
You will have a fair idea of which type of arch you have…
After that, selecting a running shoe for that is easy-peasy…
This is another important aspect of your feet.
You need to know what type of foot rolling you have when you land on the ground.
If your feet roll inward, then you have an overpronation
If it roll outward, you have underpronation.
If it is perpendicular to your legs when landing, it is neutral.
To avoid injuries as much as possible, you should wear running shoes made for your type of pronation.
Here is how your feet will look upon landing on the ground.
Your running shoes should last for at least 300 to 500 miles.
However, there are some that tend to disintegrate even faster.
This is a problem with low priced shoes and unknown brands.
So, stick to the bigger brands and they will last you for a longer duration of time.
Here is a shoe lasting guideline:
This can be the most deciding factor for anyone.
Most of us don’t want to go overboard and blow up a small fortune on a shoe.
So, decide on your budget.
There are a lot of options available, however, what I’ve found is, using running shoes cheaper than $40 doesn’t last.
Also, they may disintegrate even with the first use. (speaking from experience).
However, if you don’t want to pay full price for a good running shoe, here are some trick you can use so that you never have to pay full price for any shoe.
Q) Can I wear running shoes for the gym?
A: You can wear running shoes for your gym.
But there will be some problems. The shoe will wear out quicker.
Also, since they are not meant for heavy lifting, you cannot do squats or deadlifts.
If you try, you will end up injured. However, if you just use the machines, you can use your running shoe.
Q) Should I run barefoot on the treadmill?
A: Barefoot running has become a trend these days.
It has a lot of benefits like better running form, strengthening your foot, etc.
However, I would advise against it when you are running on a treadmill.
The belt when moving cause a lot of friction. This generates some heat.
If you run barefoot, then this heat will be passed on to your feet.
This may cause blisters which is a common complaint among the treadmill runners.
However, if you want to get that barefoot running experience, get a zero drop shoe with a thin sole.
This will protect your feet while you will be able to enjoy the experience of barefoot running on a treadmill.
So if you find yourself asking “Should I wear shoes on a treadmill?“, my advice is to go for Merrell Vapor Glove 3 running shoes.
They have a thin sole and is perfect for this.
Q) Is it OK to wear running shoes for cross-training?
A: It is your preference. Running shoes have more forefoot flexibility.
They are also more comfortable than cross-training shoes.
If you decide to wear one, select one which has a low heel height.
This will improve your stability and you will not end up have sprains.
Both are perfect choices for cross-training.
Q) How do I prevent blisters when walking on a treadmill?
A: My first question to you is, are you wearing any shoe?
If not, then wear one in the next session.
If you are wearing an athletic shoe, is it tight anywhere?
If so, replace it with a bigger one like.
With these, you should be able to avoid blisters.
Q) Is running on a treadmill bad for your feet?
A: It may or may not.
It depends on how you use the treadmill.
Let’s say you have a flat foot and run every day on the treadmill.
If you are not careful, you will end up injured.
But before blaming the treadmill for this, check a couple of things.
Are you running shoe providing you with proper arch support?
Is there any life left for your running shoe? Means, do you change it after every 300 to 500 miles of running?
Is your running posture correct?
Did you choose a shock-absorbing treadmill?
I can bet that some or all of the answers will be negative.
If you fix those your treadmill running will be better and mostly devoid of pain.
Q) Are treadmills better than running outside?
A: This really depends on a variety of factors.
First, when you are running on a treadmill you are running indoor unless you keep your treadmill on the road and run on it.
So, you will not get the fresh air and natural feel of the environment.
On the flip side, if it is snowing outside, you need not skip your running routine.
Your treadmill takes care of your running needs.
Secondly, if you are running on a cheap treadmill, it will not have any shock absorption on its belt.
In such cases, you will be bouncing up and down. This will put more stress on your joints and will increase your chance of getting injured.
However, if you run on a shock-absorbing treadmill then your running experience will be like that on the grass.
Also, have proper running form when running on a treadmill. Otherwise , your chances of injury is more.
Q) How many times a week should I go on the treadmill?
A: As per CDC’s recommendation you should run at least 150 min per week.
So, if you divide that up in 30 min sessions, then you should run 5 days a week.
I personally feel running for 3-5 days a week is sufficient for any person.
Q) Should I run on a treadmill every day?
A: That depends. There is no straight answer to that.
If you are in your 20’s and have a healthy weight. Feel free to run on a treadmill every day.
However, you must take this advice with a grain of salt.
You must be running for at least 3 months and you must not run for more than 30 min a day.
If you are in your late 30’s or 40’s, you should avoid doing this.
Your joints will not be as supple as they used to be and won’t be able to absorb so much shock.
You should run on a treadmill every other day.
Also, if you are in this age group and still want to run on a treadmill every day, then include some yoga in your routine.
Especially those which are focused on flexibility.
This will improve the flexibility of your joints and will make them more shock absorbent.
That way, your joints will be able more prepared for this everyday intensity.
Q) Are treadmills bad for your knees?
A: There are two very drastic opinions about this. One of them says that treadmills are bad for your knees. Whereas the other opinion is that it is not.
I tend to agree with both as in certain situations both are correct.
Let me explain,
The belts of
This dissipates the impact when your foot lands on the treadmill belt. Also, this gives you an experience of running on the grass.
However, this shock absorption feature is not available in lower end models and you tend to bounce up and down.
This puts additional pressure on your knees and your risk of injury increases.
Also, the risk further increases if
The more is the body weight the more is the shock. In such cases, you must go for a
If you have wide feet, you can try out these cushioned running shoe for wide feet.
So, all in all, go for a treadmill which has shock absorption. Stay away from those which doesn’t have.
If you keep these tips in mind, then running on a treadmill can give you a very good and effective workout.
Q) What are the best running shoes for treadmills?
A: Everyone is different and their feet requirement is also different.
So, to provide you with only one shoe name as the best running shoe will not only be fair but also dangerous.
Because wearing the wrong kind of shoe will make you more prone to injuries.
So, when selecting a running shoe for treadmills, check the below things:
Weight of the shoe – Some like a more heavier shoe for a more intense workout.
Arch Support provided – Can be from low to high arches.
Pronation Control – Should support your type of pronation. Pronation can be overpronation, neutral and underpronation.
Cushioning – Can be from minimal as in Merrell Trail Glove to Maximal like Hoka One One Cavu.
Flexibility – Flexibility should be optimal. Meaning not too flexible nor too rigid. This will help you to prevent injuries. Try on the shoes if you are not sure.
Responsiveness – You are looking for a shoe which will give you immediate feedback when running.
Durability – Running shoes should last long.
Price – It should fit your budget. In general, don’t go for a running shoe which is lesser than $40. Here is a detailed article on why you should not go for cheap running shoes.
Q) Can I wear trail running shoes on a treadmill?
A: Yes, you can wear trail running shoes on a treadmill.
However, the durability of your running shoe may reduce.
Trail running shoes have aggressive lugs which are meant to dig into the soft trail to keep you stable.
But when you run on a smooth surface like treadmill, the sole gets rubbed off more easily.
So, the overall durability of your running shoe is compromised and you have to replace it earlier than expected.
Also, if you use these running shoe for a prolonged period of time, then due to the reason mentioned above, you will not be able to use it for your trail runs.
So, in conclusion, although you can use a trail running shoe on a treadmill you probably shoe use it minimally or not at all.
Q) When should I replace my running shoes on a treadmill?
A: You should replace your running shoes on a treadmill after every 300-500 miles.
I know…I know…
This is the rule of thumb of replacing your normal running shoes. However, treadmill running shoes are also no different.
You should keep in mind that, if you use your running shoes after this stipulated distance, you are opening yourself up for injuries.
Now the obvious question is, how will you know when to replace your running shoe for treadmills?
The easiest way I found is to track the total distance that I’ve run.
For that, you can either use a regular notebook or an app.
Most of the times your fitness app will also have this feature.
What you need to do is, record the purchase date of your shoe.
Then after every run, write down your miles.
Calculate, the total miles ran till today.
If it is in the 300-500 miles range, then you should replace your shoes.
Now, what if, your running shoe is not brand new?
Then it’s better to check the wear pattern of your shoe.
Check if the outsole looks smoother than it should be.
Also, observe if you are getting more injured…
If so, then replace your shoes immediately…
And for the new one, start following the above process.
Choosing a running shoe for treadmills can be tricky.
You should take into consideration weight, support, breathability, cushioning, flexibility, responsiveness, durability.
Or, you can select Brooks Ghost 13 Running Shoes
There are some others in the above list to choose from which caters to various feet types.
As I always say, do your research first before making any buying commitment.
If you are confused about the choices, consult your podiatrist.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.