Review: The new Mizuno race shoe is durable and more stable than most race shoes. Consequently, its combination of being a lightweight shoe coupled with cushioning and durability is likely to make it a popular treadmill shoe.
It is a neutral shoe so it won’t provide specific arch support but does have good support throughout the midsection.
Narrower than most other Mizuno models.
Feels slower than most other racing flats.
A durable and lightweight shoe with good support and comfortable cushioning.
Review: A comfortable, light and fast shoe, perfect for the indoor treadmill environment. It has some unique design features compared to most running shoes on the market, with 2 materials forming the upper, meeting near the heel, and being encased in an innovative plastic grid.
This may feel too restrictive if you’re not used to it, but the incredible cushioning may have you sold despite this.
Reebok have used Floatride foam as the top layer of cushioning inside the shoe which makes for an extremely soft ride.
Less durable than a heavier shoe.
Narrow toe box.
An almost perfect treadmill shoe if you’re up for something different.
FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners with a flat to medium arch looking for support.
MAXIMUM CUSHION AND SUPPORT: Super soft and protective, these shoes provide the maximum stability with a soft, cushioned feel.
PLUSH CUSHIONING AND FULL-BODY ALIGNMENT: The Super DNA midsole provides 25% more adaptable cushioning than our standard DNA midsole while the Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollerbar guides your body back into its natural motion path with added support.
ENHANCED FIT: The improved fit of the soft, engineered air mesh upper offers a spacious toe box, structured saddle, and an external heel counter for reinforced stability.
GUARANTEE: With Brooks’ True Blue Guarantee, take your gear for a trial run and if you’re not 100% satisfied within 90 days, return it for free.
Review: A motion control running shoe with an extreme amount of cushioning, the Ariel 18 is a great choice for treadmill running if you’re a severe overpronator with foot pain from problems such as plantar fasciitis or bunions.
It uses Brooks Super DNA cushioning which makes it one of the most cushioned shoes out there. This combined with an extreme level of support makes this a very comfortable shoe for treadmill running.
Very well cushioned.
Maximum support for overpronation.
Good for low arches.
The Brooks Ariel 18s are the best women’s running shoes for treadmill running if you’re a severe overpronator with low arches. They’re also a good choice for heavier runners, providing a stable, shock absorbing platform.
Now that you’ve been introduced to the best treadmill running shoes of 2023…
Why Run on a Treadmill?
Running on a treadmill can be a great way to include a warm up, warm down, cardio and intervals in your gym routine, while also allowing you a break from the chills of winter or perils of city air pollution.
But, in order to make the experience enjoyable, comfortable and safe, it pays to choose the right footwear.
Different people are going to have different criteria that they prioritize when choosing their ideal treadmill shoes.
Things to consider are:
Are you looking for workout shoes that will serve you well in all your gym activities, treadmill included?
If so, you need to read our guide to the best workout shoes, after all, if you’re not going to be running the whole time, you need a shoe that will cope with whatever else you’re doing, right?
But, back to treadmill shoes…
Why is Running on a Treadmill Different From Road or Trail Running in Terms of Footwear Requirements?
The short answer: It’s not.
The longer answer is that it’s very individual.
There are conflicting opinions as to whether running shoes need to be any different for treadmill running compared to outside use. A lot of people will simply use the same pair for both, out of convenience.
Others may prefer to keep a pair of shoes specifically for their treadmill running (this could be an advantage if you run in heavy-duty trail shoes outside).
Depending on your running style, anatomy, and how used to running on a treadmill you are, your technique may or may not change.
Studies have shown that when most people are running on a treadmill, they land with a slightly flatter foot than they would do outside. Runners also tend to have a shorter, quicker stride when on a treadmill.
In light of these changes, the most commonly stated requirements of treadmill running shoes relate to cushioning and weight.
Some people are of the view that running on a treadmill increases the breaking load of each foot strike (though there is no scientific evidence to back this up) and consequently recommend more cushioning.
Others believe that treadmills themselves are already more forgiving than hard outdoor surfaces so extra cushioning isn’t necessary.
Meanwhile, there are those who want the lightest shoe possible for treadmill running, but this is also just a preference.
Treadmill shoes don’t necessarily need to be any lighter than normal running shoes, though they can afford to be lighter because they don’t need to be made of the heavier, more durable material of running shoes designed for outdoor use.
So, this brings us to the question of durability.
Inside a cozy gym on a treadmill you won’t be encountering the elements, rolling over undulations or dodging rocks and muddy puddles.
So, arguably, durability and longevity of the shoe is not such an issue.
Your shoes aren’t going to wear out as quickly if you’re only using them on a treadmill and not pushing them to their limits, so you don’t necessarily need the bulletproof material of trail running shoes.
In saying this though, treadmill miles are the same as road miles when it comes to the cushioning becoming compressed, so don’t get fooled into thinking that your shoes aren’t worn out just because they still look good – the cushioning could still be compressed.
Another factor to consider is breathability (did you know that our feet have the most sweat glands out of any other part of the body?).
Without the mountain air to cool you down, we’re all going to benefit from having well-ventilated shoes and avoiding hot, clammy, and later smelly feet.
The Support Factor
Bearing all this in the mind, the deciding factor for which shoe you choose is going to be the type of support you want (or don’t want).
This depends on your anatomy, running style and preference for supportive versus neutral or minimalist designs.
Whether or not your technique changes on the treadmill, the repetitive nature of treadmill running is going to result in more specific repetitive stress on your body without the more varied movements that would occur outside in the natural environment.
This means that if you have alignment issues, or tend to pronate excessively, you are definitely going to want shoes that give you the right kind of support so that you don’t walk away from your workout with sore knees.
We don’t have time to go into the pros and cons of barefoot running versus arch support for pronators here. At the end of the day, it really comes down to personal preference and what your body is used to.
Don’t suddenly change to a minimalist shoe if you know that you pronate and have used supportive shoes up until now.
Finally, treadmills can be dangerous machines that don’t bode well for people who like to stop at a short notice. For this reason, to ensure safety, you are going to want a pair of well-fitting shoes, with enough grip and stability to not make your running become a hazard.
There are some shoes advertised as treadmill shoes that appear to be of a slip-on design without laces.
I wouldn’t personally recommend this style as you’re unlikely to achieve a perfect, snug fit without laces which is important from a safety and a comfort point of view.
To summarise, good treadmill running shoes are ideally going to be lightweight, well-cushioned, with good traction, and providing the right kind of support for your requirements.
But, at the end of the day, the best shoes for running on a treadmill are the pair that you feel most comfortable running in.
Other Tips to Consider
Try before you buy! Sizing varies between shoe brands so unless you’ve bought the exact same model before, you’re going to want to make sure the shoe is a perfect fit.
Wear the same socks to try on the shoes that you will wear when you run, and try the shoes in the afternoon when your feet are slightly larger as a result of the natural swelling that occurs during the day.
Running on a treadmill uses the backs of legs less, and the fronts more than would be used outside, as you’re not needing to push off the ground to propel yourself forwards. So, if you’re new to treadmill running, as with everything ‘running’, make the transition slowly and include lots of stretching!
So there you have it, your guide to buying the best running shoes for treadmill in 2023.
I hope you found this interesting.
If you’re considering getting your own treadmill for your home gym set up, be sure to read our list of treadmill reviews before you make your decision!
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