TOP 13 Best Treadmill Running Shoes for Men & Women Reviewed 2020

Did you know that the treadmill is over 200 years old?! It turns out this popular piece of gym equipment has been around for a while.

But the shoes to match haven’t.

This article will explain a bit about the differences that people look for in treadmill shoes versus outdoor running shoes and list the best running shoes for treadmill running available in 2020.

TOP 13 Best Shoes for Treadmill Running 2020

Nike Men's Air Zoom Winflo 6

Review: This is lightweight and sleek stability running shoe ideal for the treadmill with plenty of cushioning.

Extremely comfortable and snug-fitting, with ample space for toe spread, this shoe is a popular choice, and arguably one of the best Nike shoes for treadmill running.

Pros

  • Well cushioned.
  • Breathable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Streamlined.
  • Responsive.
  • Wide toe-box.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Narrow fit.

Takeaway

Great if you prefer the light weight and free feel of minimalist shoes but still need the arch support of a stability shoe.

Saucony Men's Kinvara 11

Review: A highly reliable, neutral Saucony shoe. Lightweight and well-cushioned, it’s a versatile shoe suitable for long-distance as well as interval training.

This latest edition comes with a jacquard mesh upper and PWRRUN midsole for extra springy responsiveness in a durable and lightweight package.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Streamlined.
  • Responsive.
  • Breathable.
  • Wide toe-box.

Cons

  • Low drop (4mm) is not suitable for heel strikers.

Takeaway

Ideal for those with narrow feet and not looking for significant arch support, but wanting a well-constructed shoe that will go the distance.

These are likely to be the best men’s running shoes for treadmill use if you want something a little more durable than the Winflo and you’re a forefoot striker.

Mizuno Men's Wave Sonic

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.

Pros

  • Durable.
  • Breathable.
  • Good traction.
  • Responsive.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Narrower than most other Mizuno models.
  • Feels slower than most other racing flats.

Takeaway

A durable and lightweight shoe with good support and comfortable cushioning.

New Balance Men's 890v7

Review: With slightly less cushioning than the 1080, the 890 provides a lighter, faster more responsive feel, but is still extremely comfortable.

It is a lightweight, neutral shoe with a 6mm drop, a seamless upper and wider toe box than older models.

Pros

  • Removable insert.
  • Cushioned.
  • Well suited for high arches.
  • Responsive.
  • Lightweight.
  • Breathable.

Cons

  • May feel a little stiff if you’re used to a more flexible shoe.

Takeaway

A fail safe option for a lightweight, cushioned treadmill shoe for midfoot strikers.

Reebok Men's Floatride Run

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.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Responsive.
  • Supportive.
  • Breathable.
  • Cushioned.

Cons

  • Less durable than a heavier shoe.
  • Narrow toe box.

Takeaway

An almost perfect treadmill shoe if you’re up for something different.

Adidas Men's Adizero Boston 8

Review: A neutral shoe, well suited to heel strikers with high arches, this is a great shoe for long runs if you really want to put the miles on the treadmill.

A popular choice for training and racing due to its responsiveness and light weight, it uses the Boost midsole for cushioning.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Breathable.
  • Cushioned.
  • Responsive.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Doesn’t cater to wider sizes.

Takeaway

A fail safe, comfortable minimalist shoe that will handle the miles.

Hoka One One Men's Cavu 2

Review: A lightweight, cushioned and responsive, neutral racing shoe that can go the distance.

This is a low drop shoe designed for midfoot strikers looking for an insanely lightweight and fast ride.

The Profly midsole brings the responsiveness, while the upper also has some pretty unique features, with reinforced lace eyelets and a gusseted tongue.

Pros

  • Very, very lightweight.
  • Cushioned.
  • A fast and snappy shoe.

Cons

  • Not suitable for heel strikers.

Takeaway

Try it before you buy it. It’s a unique design and you’ll either love it or hate it.

Brooks Women's Ariel 18

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.

Pros

  • Very well cushioned.
  • Maximum support for overpronation.
  • Good for low arches.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Not lightweight.

Takeaway

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.

Asics Women's Gel-Kayano 26

Review: An extremely reliable Asics shoe, popular with many runners as a solid all-rounder, suitable for the treadmill and the road.

The superb support and cushioning makes it a very comfortable shoe while protecting against injury for those of us who pronate.

It uses Flytefoam Lyte technology for added cushioning on top of the Gel technology and Dynamic Duomax which provides arch support, making this an ideal shoe for long distance running.

Pros

  • Removable insole.
  • Well-cushioned.
  • Arch support.
  • Strong midsole.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Tends to be narrow.
  • Heavier than typical treadmill shoes.

Takeaway

The perfect shoe for a slightly narrower foot wanting arch support and cushioning, these are the best running shoes for treadmill and pavement and the best treadmill running shoes for flat feet.

New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080 v10

Review: This is an extremely comfortable neutral shoe with plenty of cushioning that is well suited to high arches.

Version 10 is completely different from the previous 9 versions, with Fresh Foam X resulting in softer, more responsive cushioning, and a Hypoknit upper that is insanely comfortable.

Note, it only has an 8mm drop so it’s designed more for midfoot strikers now.

Pros

  • Well cushioned.
  • Relatively lightweight.
  • Suited for wider feet.
  • Suitable for high arches.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Feels a little firm for such a highly cushioned shoe.

Takeaway

The cushioning will be a plus for the treadmill if you’re looking for an ultra-comfortable ride. It’s also ideal for those needing a wider fit.

Saucony Women's Liberty ISO

Review: A shoe with the perfect balance of comfort and stability, the Liberty ISO is a stability shoe with a 4mm drop, designed for forefoot strikers with medium arches.

It’s a fast shoe, and only the second produced by Saucony to include their Everrun technology along the whole length of the shoe.

Pros

  • Responsive.
  • Supportive.
  • Well-cushioned.
  • Lightweight.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Runs small.
  • A little pricey.

Takeaway

A superior shoe due to its impressive balance of comfort and stability while being fast and responsive.

Asics Women's Roadhawk FF 2

Review: A new addition to the Asics line, designed to be versatile and lightweight, but an incredibly comfortable shoe.

It is a neutral shoe with ample cushioning making it well suited to the treadmill and ideal for Asics fans who don’t want the arch support of their other models.

It uses Flytefoam Propel throughout the midsole making it firm yet comfortable with the open mesh upper resulting in plenty of ventilation.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Well-cushioned.
  • Flexible.
  • Affordable.
  • Versatile.

Cons

  • Narrow toe box for those with wider feet.

Takeaway

A reliable shoe for those wanting a slightly more minimalist design than the Kayano, but lightweight and well cushioned, these are the best Asics running shoes for treadmill use.

Brooks Women's Ravenna 10

Review: The Ravenna 10 is a really popular, high performing stability shoe designed for overpronators with medium arches.

It has a 10mm drop so it’s best for heel strikers. But it’s also just an excellent all-rounder when it comes to durability, weight, support, cushion and responsiveness.

Highly versatile, they can handle tempo workouts as well as long runs or recovery runs, making them an excellent choice for treadmill running.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Cushioned.
  • Flexible.
  • Supportive.

Cons

  • Not as comfortable as it could be.

Takeaway

Supportive but flexible and light, a good all-rounder.

That wraps up the women’s shoes. If you’re interested in more of the best women’s running shoes, we have a great list right here.

Now that you’ve been introduced to the best treadmill running shoes of 2020…

woman doing exercises on the treadmill

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:

  • Weight
  • Support
  • Breathability
  • Cushioning
  • Flexibility
  • Responsiveness
  • Durability

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?

Fitness girl running on treadmill

The short answer: It’s not.

Well, almost.

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.

Close up shot of woman leg running on a incline treadmill

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.

people running on manual treadmills at the gym

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.

woman walking on treadmill at the gym

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.

woman running in a gym on folding treadmill

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 2020.

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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