Best Running Shoes For Treadmills Compared

Last updated: September 9, 2021

Running Shoes / Best Running Shoes For Treadmills Compared

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Running on a treadmill is a good option for times when you can’t run outside. It will help you lose weight, achieve your goals for training on sport-specific exercises, improves your cardiovascular health, among other benefits.

With all these benefits, you need to consider the kind of shoes you are running with highly. Running shoes are a mandatory component of running on a treadmill. The right running shoe will help you reap these benefits and reduce the risk of injuries and muscles pain.

Let’s have a detailed review of the best running shoes for the treadmill and a view of the things you need to consider as we answer your most frequently asked questions.

Best Running Shoes For Treadmills Compared and Reviewed

Best Overall
Brooks Ghost 14
Brooks Ghost 14
Lightweight
Reebok Floatride Energy 3
Reebok Floatride Energy 3
Neutral Shoes
Saucony Kinvara 12
Saucony Kinvara 12
Best Cushioning
Brooks Glycerin 19
Brooks Glycerin 19
Trail Suitable
ASICS Gel Nimbus 23
ASICS Gel Nimbus 23

1. Brooks Ghost 14

Key Features

  • True to Size Fit
  • Ample of padding
  • 12 mm Drop
  • Features DNA Loft and BioMoGo DNA cushioning
  • Sizing: True to size
  • It has PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe certification

Reasons to buy

  • Quite comfortable
  • Durable
  • Ideal for a beginner
  • It is affordable

Reasons to avoid

  • The heel tends to slip

Our number one pick is the Brooks Ghost 14. It delivers premium comfort, thanks to the generous padding all over. If you are a frequent treadmill runner who needs consistency besides superior comfort, the Brooks Ghost 14 will not disappoint. 

Ghost 14 comes in a true-to-size fit. It also has a wide array of widths such as B, D, 2E, and 4E. Irrespective of the shape of your feet, you will get a pair that fits you. Its sturdy collar is well padded and feels soft against the ankle and Achilles. 

A generous 8.1 mm tongue is quite impressive given that the average tongue thickness is 5.5 mm. This model comes in flat laces, which is an upgrade from the round ones used in the other models.

Ghost 14 comes in a wide platform, making it quite stable for treadmill running. With a 94.2 mm heel and 113.8 mm forefoot, it gives you a robust feel without your feet wobbling. The unit’s drop is 12 mm.

Durability is paramount with this shoe. It comes with a ton of heavy-duty fabrics and materials. The 5 mm outsole is quite sturdy, and the midsole is softer than those of the other Brook Ghost models. 

When it comes to grip, the shoe doesn’t disappoint. It has plenty of rubber on the lower side, and the rubber incorporates different sipping and textures. 

In terms of weight, Ghost 14 is a little heavier than most of the other treadmill shoes in this review due to the extra padding. Men’s shoes weigh 281 g, while those of women weigh 255 g.

Brooks Ghost 14 might not be the most aesthetically pleasing shoe, but it delivers ultimate comfort and durability. It is also the first carbon-neutral shoe for running. This means that the shoe’s carbon impact is covered for its entire lifespan.

2. Reebok Floatride Energy 3

Key Features

  • 9 mm Drop
  • Features Floatride Energy midsole
  • 100% Synthetic Fabric
  • It comes in a full rubber outsole
  • It has a square knit breathable upper mesh

Reasons to buy

  • It has a sturdy, more breathable upper
  • Provides extra traction
  • Water-resistant
  • Affordable
  • It accommodates wide feet

Reasons to avoid

  • The collar is not well padded

Reebok’s Floatride Energy 3 will be a great companion in helping you train your best not only on the treadmill but outdoors as well. The shoe provides a good balance between responsiveness and comfort. If you are a neutral gait runner, this is a shoe worth considering.

Its upper mesh has been redesigned from that of the previous version. The new one wraps the feet better for an improved fit. It is also more durable and breathes better. 

This pair by Reebok comes in a full rubber outsole made of a mixture of durable, firm, and a part of softer, tackier rubber. The outsole has ample grip and gives you a top-notch feel for such an affordable shoe. In addition, you get ideal traction on soft wet surfaces.

Floatride Energy 3 comes in a Floatride Energy Foam that provides a well-cushioned ride. It delivers comfort, especially during high-effort running sessions, and is quite responsive. 

The running shoe comes in a 9 mm drop that makes it bulky but gives great cushioning, especially for heel-first strike runners. The drop height makes it ideal for slow to moderate runs. Due to the springy features of its midsole, it is versatile as it can also be used for faster runs.

When it comes to aesthetics, Reebok Floatride Energy 3 is not the most attractive shoe. However, it looks better than its predecessor, thanks to the redesigned upper mesh. 

With such a good blend of features, Reebok’s Floatride Energy 3 makes a great choice for beginner treadmill runners. It’s also a great budget choice that doesn’t compromise on quality. 

3. Saucony Kinvara 12

Key Features

  • 4 mm Drop
  • True to size fit
  • PWRRUN foam midsole
  • Synthetic and mesh upper

Reasons to buy

  • High breathability
  • It is very lightweight
  • It has a wide toebox
  • It is very flexible

Reasons to avoid

  • Not as durable as other models

Saucony is a top brand when it comes to running shoes. Their Kinvara 12 is pretty much what you would expect from this brand. If you are into the looks of running shoes, this will not disappoint because it comes in a blend of bold colors.

The PWRRUN midsole is quite flexible yet firmer than the PEBA and TPU foam options. It is also durable, provides decent cushioning and responsiveness. A roomy toebox makes it ideal for those with wide feet. The shoe comes in a true-to-size fit.

Kinvara 12 is one of the lightest running shoes available, weighing 219 g for men and 183 g for women. This is one of its highly praised features. 

 Its 4 mm drop sets it apart from the others in this category and contributes to the lightweight shoe. Because of its low drop, it is a great choice for midfoot strikers.

An engineered upper mesh makes it even more lightweight and breathable. The breathability goes a long way in keeping your feet comfortable on a hot day on the treadmill. Its woven, well-padded heel adds to Kinvara 12’s comfort and stability.

The lower part of the midsole flares a lot at the heel and forefoot, which is probably the reason behind its stability.

 For any treadmill runner looking for a super-light, flexible, and aesthetically pleasing shoe, Saucony Kinvara 12 is worth considering. You will even like it more if you are a midfoot first striker.

4. Brooks Glycerin 19

Key Features

  • 10 mm Drop
  • DNA Loft midsole
  • Guiderails Technology
  • Rubber outsole
  • Re-engineered upper mesh
  • Category: Neutral

Reasons to buy

  • It accommodates wide feet
  • Long-lasting
  • It has a good grip
  • The tongue stays in place

Reasons to avoid

  • Not as breathable as other running shoes

Brooks makes it yet again in our best running shoes for treadmill review with their Glycerin 19. If you are looking for a premium feel, ride and fit, this is the shoe for you. 

This updated version of the previous Glycerin 18 comes with softer top-quality DNA Loft midsole. It makes the shoe more comfortable and responsive with each stride. Glycerin 19 has a 10mm drop.

The newly designed upper mesh is breathable. Besides, it is soft and stretchable to accommodate a variety of feet having the same shoe size. This running shoe for treadmills has a true-to-size fit with a little wiggle room at its forefoot.

A plush 8.4 mm thick tongue helps hold the foot in place. The tongue has a full gusset made of polyester and stretchy nylon. The mesh covers from the heel front to the toe. This feature aids with a lockdown on the midfoot area.

Brooks Glycerin 19 comes with tubular laces. They are stretchy but still facilitate lockdown. The shoe has a full rubber outsole that makes it durable while giving it ideal traction. On the downside, Glycerin 19 shoes are a bit heavy and medium stiff. It does not provide an impressive response and can take time to break in. 

5. ASICS Gel Nimbus 23

Key Features

  • Drop: 10 mm in men, 13 mm in women
  • Gel cushioning
  • It is equipped with TRUSSTIC technology
  • Features Flytefoam Propel and Lyte Technologies
  • Carbon rubber outsole
  • Engineered upper mesh

Reasons to buy

  • Lightweight
  • It has ample cushioning
  • Very comfortable
  • It has a wide toebox

Reasons to avoid

  • The outsole rubber is not very durable

A great pair of treadmill running shoes should not compromise on comfort. One of the best running shoes for the treadmill that delivers optimal comfort is the Gel Nimbus 23 by ASICS.

It comes with ASICS’ signature gel cushioning in the heel and an updated Gel placement in its forefoot. Thanks to the great shock absorption, more stability, and flexibility, your feet will enjoy a stress-free run.

The upper mesh has been redesigned and is now composed of 20% recycled materials. It stretches better than its predecessor, Nimbus 22. Besides, the mesh is breathable to keep your feet cool and dry. You run for longer periods without experiencing discomfort or pain.

Gel-Nimbus 23 features an extra 2 mm in its FlyteFoam Propel technology midsole cushioning. The extra foam delivers more energy return and protection. This midsole technology is also lighter than that of other midsoles.

The unit’s carbon rubber outsole is made using TRUSSTIC technology. This means that the shoe has a thermoplastic material beneath the shoe’s arch. TRUSSTIC technology makes Nimbus 23 durable and stable while adding support to the shoe’s interior area.

It comes in a 10 mm drop for men and a 13 mm drop for women. The 3 mm drop difference is meant to cater to the difference in the gender’s foot strike.

Another difference in the men’s and women’s shoes is the stiffness and weight. Men’s shoes are stiffer and weigh 310 g, while those of women weigh 255 g. This running shoe comes in widths of D-regular and 2E, making it accommodate those with wide feet.

A plush tongue prevents the foot from moving too much as you run. However, it might feel uncomfortable to the foot. ASICS Gel Nimbus 23 is one of the best high-performance shoes for treadmills, trail walking, and general purposes you can spend your money on. 

6. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Key Features

  • It comes with an Air Zoom unit at its forefoot
  • It has a rubber outsole
  • 10 mm Drop
  • It comes in 2 versions

Reasons to buy

  • Impressive construction
  • High-level cushioning
  • Great value for money
  • It has a wide toebox

Reasons to avoid

  • It is heavier than the previous version

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 comes in two models. One is a traditional shoe, while the other version is known as Flyease. Flyease differs from the standard version by lacking a lacing system.

This shoe model has fixed the upper part having a narrow fit that was giving runners blisters in the previous version. It comes in a wide toebox and stretchy upper fabric.

Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 38 uses air pockets for cushioning. The pressure in women’s shoes is lower, i.e., 15 PSI, to give a softer ride. That of men’s shoes is 20 PSI.

It features the Zoom Air unit at its forefront. This unit is designed specifically as per gender and shoe size. The forefoot comes in a sock-like design, and unlike most similarly designed shoes, Pegasus 38 is easy to put on.

The midsole is equipped with Nike Air React tech, so you get a snappy, responsive ride. It also makes the shoe a great choice for long runs. The outsole has great grooves and a rectangular tread pattern that gives it a better grip.

When it comes to the tongue, it has extra foam, which minimizes pressure on your feet from the laces. Besides having a 10 mm drop, this Nike running shoe has ample cushioning at the midfoot and forefoot. As such, this is a good choice for all kinds of strikers.

With such versatility, it is no wonder that this shoe made it in our Best Running Shoes for Treadmills list. You would first need to run with it on the treadmill for a short period to break in. After this, you will be set to enjoy its premium features.

Things To Consider When Looking For The Best Running Shoes For Treadmills

Comfort

Irrespective of the physical fitness activity you engage in, comfort is paramount. Running or walking in uncomfortable shoes increases the risk of injuries. It is also harder to exercise for long with an uncomfortable pair.

You might need to try on the shoes to gauge the fit before you buy. It is best to shop in the afternoon when your feet are slightly swollen. Do not buy an uncomfortable shoe no matter how much you like it.

Lightweight

When running on the treadmill, your surface is controlled and remains the same. With a soft surface, you will not need some tough terrain adaptation shoe features that make a shoe heavy.

If you are keen on speed when running on a treadmill, the shoe’s overall weight is paramount. A light shoe will help you keep going for longer. On the other hand, if you are an endurance runner, you need to pay more attention to cushioning, meaning that the shoe might be a little heavier due to the extra cushioning materials.

Cushioning

At times how you run on the treadmill might affect how your foot lands. Therefore, you might have to put more pressure on the heel than on the foot’s ball. Extra cushioning on the heel part would be necessary to reduce the impact.

Since treadmill surfaces are softer, soft cushioning is also acceptable if you can maintain proper running.

Flexibility

Running shoes need to be flexible, and you need a pair that moves with you. A stiff pair might cause pain on the Achilles tendons or calf or even interfere with your running style. A good pair for running on the treadmill should be flexible at the forefoot.

The most vital feature of flexibility is the ability of a shoe to twist and bend at the forefoot. This means that the shoe moves with you when running.

Durability

Running indoors does not expose you to harsh outdoor elements and weather conditions. Due to this, the durability of a treadmill running shoe doesn’t have to be perfect like that of trail shoes. However, it is still an aspect to consider.

Foot Type

There are 3 main types of feet; flat, normal, and high-arched feet. Certain features in a shoe make it ideal for one type and not ideal for the other. 

Knowing your foot type will help you pay attention to features that complement your running needs. If you are a beginner, it is ideal for you to visit a physical store and get guidance and assistance from professionals.

Other things to consider when choosing the best running shoes for treadmills include your budget, breathability, and exercise routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need to Use Running Shoes On a Treadmill?

Running on a treadmill can be an intense physical fitness activity. Your muscles and joints would require cushioning to reduce the risk of pain and stress in the muscles.  Running shoes are necessary to not only offer you ideal cushioning but also support forward stepping movement.

Are Trail Running Shoes Ideal for Treadmills?

Trail running shoes are significantly different from road running ones. They, trail running shoes, are designed to withstand rough terrains. They have thicker soles, are sturdier, and are often heavier due to the additional features.

The surface on a treadmill is significantly smoother. You can use trail running shoes on the treadmill, but you don’t need them. Road running shoes would suffice, and a bonus feature is that they are lighter.

Do I Need Specific Socks for Running On a Treadmill?

Your choice of socks has minimal to no effect on your experience running on a treadmill. However, if the socks are too thick, they can make the fit too tight and cause chafing.

When Do I Replace Treadmill Running Shoes?

Even the most durable shoes wear out eventually. Are you consistently experiencing soreness or pain in muscles and joints after a run, and this didn’t use to happen before? Then it might be time for you to change your running shoes for the treadmill. Another indicator would be that the shoes no longer provide ideal cushioning and stability.

Conclusion

Running on a treadmill facilitates the convenience of achieving your daily runs target at the comfort of your home or gym. One of the key factors that determine how well you enjoy and how much exercise you achieve is the choice of running shoes.

The best running shoes for treadmills will reduce the risk of injuries and help you exercise for longer. In addition, they will provide you with superior comfort and ideal shock absorption.

With this review and buyer’s guide, we trust that you will make an informed decision. Bear in mind that irrespective of your foot type, there is a running shoe for the treadmill just right for you. Therefore, don’t compromise – with some research, you’ll find a shoe that fits you.

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