Out of all the possible workout routines, walking or running on a treadmill is arguably one of the favorites among people of all ages and body types. There are a couple of main reasons why people prefer to use the treadmill as an important part of their workout sessions. Firstly, you use it indoors. You can use it any time of the day, regardless of whether it’s light or dark. You can also use it without any worry about the weather disrupting your workout schedule.
Secondly, the treadmill is relatively easier on the joints. Your legs can use the ease that treadmills provide since most of the best treadmills out there offer impact absorption features, unlike hard surfaces like pavements, tracks, and roads. Despite the shock-absorbing features of this exercise machine, you still need to find shoes suitable for walking on it, if you want to make the most of the advantages it offers.
Longer workout sessions will see your feet and legs take on a lot of stress, and you need the right kind of footwear to provide them with the support they need so you are not left feeling sore after the workout. A lot of people use treadmills for many high impact exercise routines, which can take a toll on their feet, arches, and ankles.
Additionally, there is a slight difference in the shoes made for treadmill use and those made for running in general. Treadmill shoes support cushioning less than running shoes. Running shoes also focus more on the aspects of flexibility, durability and added comfort to protect the feet from the force of impact they face.
If you are out and about looking for the right shoes to wear when using the treadmill, you will find yourself overwhelmed with the number of options available. Finding the right shoes takes a bit of knowledge so you do not end up with a pair meant for something else entirely.
We have prepared a guide that will equip you on how to find the perfect shoes for treadmill walking. We are going to take a look at everything you need to know from what makes a treadmill an ideal choice for exercise, how your shoes make an impact on your use of the treadmill and provide you with answers to frequently asked questions regarding treadmill shoes. Additionally, we have also prepared a list of the best treadmill walking shoes to help you narrow down your choices.
Buying Guide for Treadmill Walking Shoes
After a lot of careful research and consideration, we have prepared this guide to make it easier for you to find the best treadmill walking shoes for yourself. Before we get into it, let us take a look at the pros of using the treadmill for exercise.
What makes the treadmill a beneficial choice for exercise?
There is no arguing the merits of exercising in the great outdoors. That being said, restraining ourselves to a limited space is more out of necessity than by choice. Not everybody wants to forego the advantages of fresh air and the beauty of nature by working out indoors on a treadmill. But, there is a valid reason to have to do that. As good as working out outdoors can be, there are certain cons about it that makes it necessary to exercise indoors.
If you are running or walking on a flat area, exercising outdoors should be a breeze. If you happen to live in a hilly area, or the terrain is generally not friendly for the feet, the obstacles you can face might be very harmful to you. A treadmill is also able to emulate the incline of a hill due to settings in modern treadmills, but it does not come with the caveats of obstacles and unpredictable terrain.
Then there is the fact that weather conditions play a major role in affecting your workout. On a sunny and windy day, you will find yourself being able to work out to your optimal capacity. Now consider the seasons have changed, and you are in the middle of winter. The sun is lost somewhere behind the gray skies and your favorite running track is covered knee-deep in snow. How will you be able to run, warm up your body and face the bitter elements?
A lot of treadmill users dislike working out outdoors because of the issue of safety. Some neighborhoods are not as safe as others due to criminals, stray dogs and all other kinds of dangers. For someone living in an unsafe area, it is always better to exercise indoors within the safety of the four walls of their home.
Using a treadmill allows you to maintain consistency with your workouts and eliminate any scenarios that can affect the effectiveness of your workouts.
How does using a treadmill affect your shoes?
Using a treadmill for running or walking is different from running or walking on a hard surface outdoors. There is a certain element of cushioning involved with the machine itself. It protects your feet from a lot of discomfort you can face while exercising outside.
The hardness of treadmill surfaces varies, but generally, they are designed to be easier on the person using it than outside. The same shoes you are using indoors on a treadmill will last a lot longer than if you are using them on the harsh surfaces outside. A lot of shoes made for use outdoors have a design that compromises on comfort to ensure a better grip for the wearer.
When you are using a treadmill, you can get shoes that focus more on comfort and safety for the wearer rather than compromising on those for better grip and durability outside.
Why do you need shoes when using a treadmill?
Like a lot of other physical activities, you should wear suitable footwear to protect your body against potential injuries when using the treadmill. If your feet do not have the right protection when using the treadmill for long periods of time, they can become injured and bruised, creating a lot of discomfort for you in the long run.
Things to consider when choosing the right shoes for treadmill use
Now that you understand the importance of wearing footwear on the treadmill, let us take a look at the things you need to consider when choosing shoes for treadmill use.
We are going to make it very easy for you to pick out the right shoes, even if it is your first time. Just read the following guide to get an idea of what you need to check for when looking for these shoes, and what you can expect from the best shoes for treadmill walking.
Sometimes, finding the perfect shoes is like looking for a needle in a haystack. All of them look so similar, it can seem impossible to tell the difference. Fortunately for you, we have narrowed down the list that you see below, after trying out and researching all the best products out there in the market right now.
Now, considering the fit, you need to find shoes that feel just right on your feet. At the same time, the shoes should not be so tight around your feet that they restrict your blood flow. The right fit will make the shoes snug around your feet while keeping them securely locked, even if you are running at high speeds on the treadmill.
Buying shoes online can make it very difficult to be able to decide the right fit since you are not trying one pair after the other. This is the reason why it is a good idea to check out whether the sizes are marked true by reviewers. We have made an effort, where necessary, to point out if any of the pairs we have reviewed are different in terms of their sizing so you have a better idea of what size you should order.
People know that when they are training for a marathon or just getting their daily distance in check, it can be greatly affected by the weight of the shoes. Keeping your feet light with lightweight shoes can allow you to get more mileage before you start to feel tired. Finding the right pair of shoes requires you to take a good look at the weight of the shoes. You do not want to see an increasing distance of your runs or walks affecting your productivity because of heavy shoes dragging your feet down.
Ultra-lightweight shoes pose problems of their own. They tend to compromise the cushioning to achieve that weight. When you are choosing the shoes you need for use on a treadmill, you need to be very careful about this. Think about your own feet, any problems you have encountered in the past, and your own preferences. If you have ever had shin splints, you know what too little cushioning can do to your feet and legs.
In the list of products we have reviewed, we have included a large variety of treadmill shoes keeping the needs of every kind of wearer. Some of these shoes are lightweight, while others are a little on the heavier side.
While treadmills themselves offer a fair amount of cushioning, treadmill shoes still need cushioning to protect your feet. The more the cushioning in your shoes, the more their weight will be. The more the weight, the more the drag on your feet. You need to consider the weight and find the right balance so that you can get the most out of the workout using the treadmill.
Flexibility is a key factor when it comes to choosing treadmill walking shoes. You should know your feet and the routine you plan to take on well when you are using the treadmill. Running and walking on the treadmill can have different needs. While you should consider getting shoes that make it easier for you to walk, keeping the aspect of running in mind is vital when you are selecting the shoes in case you feel the need to run on the treadmill from time to time.
A flexible pair of shoes offers an adequate amount of room for the toe and heel to move while keeping the arch stiff. The shoe should be able to twist a little bit. Having a flexible shoe allows your foot to maneuver with greater freedom, especially when running. You need to find the right balance between flexibility and rigidity, based on your preference for using the treadmill.
Knowing your feet is also important. Whether you need the shoes for running on a treadmill or need them purely for walking, your arches need to have the right support. The right amount of support for your arches can keep you from experiencing injuries, which you can get if your feet do not have the proper support.
Cushioning and Comfort
We discussed cushioning and comfort a little bit in the section regarding the weight of your shoes. If you are using shoes for any kind of exercise, even on a treadmill, they will still need an adequate amount of cushioning. The right amount of cushioning can make a world of difference in meeting your daily goals without compromising your health and safety.
There are several kinds of cushioning for athletic shoes. Some of the materials used are great for particular applications. Let us take a better look at the cushioning you need to look for and the cushioning you might do better without.
- EVA foam
- Lunalar Foam
- Blown Rubber
- Fresh Foam
Cushioning to be wary of:
- Dual Density EVA foam
- Carbon Rubber
- Use of Posts
If you already know a little about cushioning materials used in athletic shoes, you might find it odd to see Polyurethane and Dual Density EVA foam as cushioning to preferably avoid. There is no doubt that all of the materials mentioned provide excellent cushioning from the force of impact for your feet. The issue is that they add unnecessary weight to the shoe. Longer exercise routines require lighter shoes to help you go the extra mile.
Most people prefer thick foam outer soles when it comes to treadmill shoes. They offer little in terms of adding weight and offer a lot in terms of comfort. The shoes we have reviewed contain a lot of variety in terms of cushioning as well. Some people prefer more minimal style shoes, which provide a bare minimum amount of cushioning. Others prefer shoes that have thick soles, which can make your feet feel like they are on clouds.
The kind of cushioning you choose is based on your personal preference, keeping what we have talked about in mind. You will find plenty of shoes that cater to different requirements so you do not need to worry about finding the right shoe, based on your preference.
Budget is always a concern for most buyers out there. We understand that it can get very difficult to find a shoe that does not just satisfy your preferences, but comes at a price point more suitable for your budget at the same time. Luckily, there is plenty of footwear out there that provides excellent features for every budget.
There needs to be a balance between the budget and features. The list of products we have reviewed is diverse. Pay close attention to these suggestions because we are confident that you will find something that can meet your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have never used treadmill workout shoes before, we are sure you may have plenty of questions for us.
In this section of the guide, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions by people about treadmill shoes to answer any of your concerns not addressed above.
Q. Do I absolutely have to wear shoes while using the treadmill?
Yes, it is crucial to wear shoes when using the treadmill. Shoes add a layer of much-needed protection. Besides, if you are using treadmills at higher speeds, they are not very gentle on your feet.
Q. Do treadmill shoes offer the right amount of arch support I need?
There are some shoes that offer substantial arch support while others do not. Most of the shoes you will find on this list offer an adequate amount of arch support, but we have also discussed neutral shoes for people with normal arches. If you ever need customized arch support, there are a lot of shoes that offer the use of orthotics and customized inner soles.
Q. What kind of comfort should the elderly expect from treadmill shoes?
Elderly people using the treadmill need the maximum amount of comfort that they can get. As people grow older, their body tissues become thinner and they can experience more pain in their feet. Therefore, the best shoes for the elderly should have an ample amount of cushioning while ensuring they are lightweight.
Q. Is ventilation an important factor even if I am working out indoors?
Whether you are working out indoors or outdoors, the right amount of ventilation in your shoes will go a long way in keeping your feet comfortable. When you have the right airflow through your shoes, your feet are less likely to build up perspiration. Adequate circulation of air also keeps the temperature within the shoe more reasonable, especially when engaged in higher intensity workouts.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall Treadmill Walking Shoes: Adidas Adizero Adios 4
Best Premium Quality Treadmill Walking Shoes: Saucony Kinvara 9
Best Value Treadmill Walking Shoes: ASICS Gel Venture 6
Best Shoes for Treadmill Walking
Now that you have all the information you need regarding the selection of shoes to use on a treadmill, we are going to discuss the top shoes you can find in this category. We conducted hours of research, reading reviews of people who own and use these shoes, as well as using the shoes ourselves to create this list.
We have covered all the important things you need to know about these shoes so you can make the best possible purchasing decision after reading the guide mentioned above.
We are starting off the list with a very famous brand: Adidas. Adidas is a top manufacturer of sporting equipment. They enjoy a longstanding reputation as one of the best out there and they have produced footwear for every athletic application. The Adidas Adizero Adios 4 is a shoe that the company designed for ideal use with treadmills.
Designed by the master shoemaker Omori hailing from Japan, the Adizero Adios 4 is a shoe used by some of the best marathon runners in the world. These shoes have a locked-down fit for someone looking to run at high speeds. The responsive cushioning and lightweight construction make these shoes excellent for long workouts indoors as well.
The upper of the Adizero Adios 4 is made using a combination of textile, synthetic and mesh materials to provide the perfect balance between support, snug-fitting, and breathability for the wearer. These shoes feature Adidas’ Boost technology. This technology enables the shoes to deliver a cloud-like feel while providing users with pushback to make their exercise routines more efficient.
The outer sole is made using continental rubber for better traction on all kinds of surfaces. If you are ever in the mood for an outdoor walk and the weather conditions are favorable, you will always have the option of taking these out for a spin. These shoes are not just lightweight and comfortable, they also support your feet in all the right places. The Adizero Adios 4 is a well-rounded option to consider for wearing both indoors and outdoors, making it the top choice for a lot of people.
- Sleek and modern design
- Breathable upper made using mesh, synthetic material and textile materials
- Locked-down for a more secure fit inside the shoe
- Continental rubber outer sole, which makes these shoes versatile
- Boost technology for optimal comfort and responsiveness
- The collar of the shoe is tight
While Saucony might not be the oldest brands out there when it comes to making sporting equipment, it definitely has established itself as one of the best. The Saucony Kinvara 9 is a shoe that won awards for how good it is and it makes sense that we feature these shoes on the list. These shoes won awards for being some of the best running shoes for runners, but they also fare particularly well indoors.
The lightweight construction of these shoes makes them look, and feel better than the rest when it comes to using with treadmills or any other kind of indoor exercise. They have a minimal upper that fits your feet like a sock. The woven heel gives wearers superior support. The heel to toe drop is minimal at 4mm, which gives you a more natural stride while walking or running.
The EVERUN technology is used for cushioning in the Kinvara 9. This system is responsive and lively. It comes in particularly handy especially while running because it dampens the impact of the force of landings and launches your feet off from the toe for the next stride.
This is an easy shoe to wear, it is comfortable and remarkably efficient. The FLEXFILM upper makes sure you have no mobility issues while getting the right amount of support. The comfortable and lightweight shoes will definitely allow you to go a little bit more distance while walking or running on the treadmill without feeling more fatigue.
- Woven heel for greater stability at higher speeds
- Flexfilm upper is lightweight and offers your feet more mobility without disrupting support
- Minimal heel to toe drop for a more natural stride
- Neutral design
- Some users found these shoes a little too responsive for walking
- Not the ideal shoes for people with wide feet
ASICS is one of the top manufacturers, especially when it comes to shoes made for treadmills. There are several models made by this company that gives you the perfect balance between comfort, traction, stability, breathability, and support. The ASICS Gel Venture 6 is the pair we decided deserves top mention from their products. This pair is a perfect representation of all the best things about ASICS shoes.
These shoes are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. They feature a unique gel technology developed by ASICS which makes the footwear extremely comfortable and supportive. You get a very smooth experience of working out with these shoes on because every step makes you feel like you are on a cloud. If you are running at high speeds, the gel absorbs the force of impact and returns it to launch you into the next step with ease.
The efficiency you can enjoy with these shoes makes them a favorite among runners and people who prefer only walking alike. The removable liner within the shoe protects your feet, and you can easily take it out to replace it with a custom orthotic for a tailor-fitted experience.
ASICS keeps on making new models and as the new ones come out, the older versions become more affordable. This is the reason why you will find the ASICS Gel Venture 6 come at a remarkable discount considering all the premium features that these shoes have to offer.
- Versatile shoes you can wear both indoors and outdoors
- You can use these shoes to run or walk all the same
- Removable liner that is supportive and comfortable
- Multiple color options to choose from
- Extremely durable shoes
- Unique gel cushioning, which makes running and walking smoother and comfortable
- Shoes are quite wide
- The size runs larger than standard
The New Balance 890v6 is a shoe with an exterior that resembles older models but an interior that was completely redesigned. This shoe is a particular favorite of this respectable brand. The sleek design and bootie construction give wearers an incredibly comfortable and snug fit as well as much needed support. The lightweight design of the shoes also comes with responsive cushioning, which makes the experience of using them stand out.
The upper of these New Balance shoes are made using breathable mesh which offers an ample amount of air circulation within the shoe. The 6m heel to toe drop is comfortable. Coupled with the REVlite midsole foam, you get a very good cushion for every step you take with these shoes on. The forefoot areas of the shoes use TPU that gives your feet a good feel while protecting them from the force of the impact even if you use them to run at higher speeds.
This is a design made for daily use. A secure upper, a flexible outer sole, and lightweight cushioning make these shoe ideal for use indoors on a treadmill.
- Mesh upper is flexible and breathable
- Bootie construction for a snug and secure fit
- Lightweight cushioning that offers the right amount of support
- Ultra-lightweight construction
- Narrow on the front
- Not ideal for people who have high arches on their feet
The Brooks Launch 5 is going to give wearers a good amount of responsiveness and agility. The heel of these shoes aligns with the U-Groove design to give you a more natural fit. Your feet will feel both comfortable and securely locked in the shoes while you use them. These shoes use rubber for the outer sole to make transitions between steps easier.
The blown rubber in the Launch 5 gives you a boost if you ever feel like ramping up the speed on the treadmill and going at a faster pace. There is one particularity we like about Brooks and it is worth mentioning here. The company understands that some people might like their shoes the first day but they might find that they are not what they want later on. You have the option of returning these shoes for a full refund if you do not like them within 90 days.
This is actually a ploy since these shoes are so good, few people ever actually feel the need to get their money back. The support, design, and structure of these shoes are all top of the line for indoor use. It also helps that they fetch a lower price when you buy them so they are more accessible.
- Takes very little time to break in to the shoes
- Durable outer sole makes them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
- Great shoes for higher arches
- Breathable knit design in upper
- Shoes run a little narrow
- Not ideal for people prone to ankle rolling
Most of the shoes we have discussed so far have a design making them suitable for both walking and running while using the treadmill. Since this is a guide for shoes that are ideal for treadmill walking, there is no harm in featuring a product specifically made for the purpose of walking on the treadmill and not running. The Skechers Go Walk 4 are shoes made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do.
The performance with the Go Walk 4 is incredible. They have a mesh sneaker design that is lightweight and you can easily slip in and out of these shoes. While there is no memory foam used in the inner sole, the sneaker does have a memory foam heel cup.
These shoes are made to help your workouts become more productive and comfortable at the same time. Skechers entail the use of the latest technologies to give you an enhanced model. The outer sole features GoPillars, which work with the GoImpulse technology to make them responsive and flexible at the same time. You will get a more natural feel with every step you walk, and you can walk for hours without feeling any discomfort.
The shoes give you all the support and cushion you should ideally get from treadmill walking shoes. The Resalyte midsole improves shock absorption and cushioning without hindering support. These shoes are not durable, but that does not matter since you will not be using them outdoors for runs. These are purely for people who want to walk on the treadmill and nothing more.
- Flexible shoes
- Slip on style sneaker design
- Memory foam heel cup for greater support in the rear foot
- Superior impact absorption
- Width is a little narrow for the liking of some customers
- These shoes are not good for running
You must have been wondering where Nike is on this list of shoes. After all, if there is one brand that has kept Adidas on its toes, it is Nike, especially when it comes to footwear. Nike is a well- renowned brand for all things sports, and it is no surprise that one of their products makes its way on the list of the best treadmill walking shoes. The Nike Tanjun is exactly what you can expect from a top manufacturer to cater to your needs for a good indoor workout.
The shoes are almost completely made from foam. Where there are ultra-lightweight shoes on the list, the Tanjun seems like it has no weight at all once you put them on. The breathable upper and simplistic design is where the name comes from. Tanjun literally translates to ‘simplicity’.
The foam inner sole, midsole and outer sole of this pair help keep things light. The upper is made from lightweight fabric while making the shoes so breathable, it almost feels like you are not wearing any shoes at all. A lot of people do not like to exercise outside the comfort of their home or the gym, but with these, you might feel inclined to change your routine every once in a while.
The lightweight construction of these shoes is also durable enough for a light jog down the street. Nike has proven itself to be a top sportswear brand over the years and they seem to have a product for every sporting application – even if it is indoor treadmill use. The Tanjun is versatile, lightweight, and efficient.
- Superior performance
- Versatile shoes
- Breathable upper gives you almost barefoot feel
- Durable pair of shoes
- Size runs a little smaller than standard
- Narrow fit
People who want to experience the most cushioning imaginable in their shoes will love the Brooks Ghost 11. These shoes give you a very smooth experience, whether you are running or walking. Made with lightweight materials, the Ghost 11 shoes exemplify plushness in footwear like we have never seen before and it is the winning factor for them to find a place on this list.
There is an added thing about these shoes that make them a favorite for a lot of people: they are made using Brooks’ innovative BioMoGo midsole. This is a biodegradable midsole, which does not last for more than 25 years. To give you a better idea, most of the midsole material used for shoes can last for at least a1000 years in landfills, polluting the environment for centuries.
The Ghost series is one of the top product lines made by Brooks. The Ghost 11 is the latest in this series and it stands out from its predecessors with the fresh and new design. The 3D printed overlays on these shoes help provide support to the foot in all the right areas without adding unnecessary bulk to these shoes.
The Ghost 11 is a little bit on the pricier end of the spectrum, but if you are someone who wants to walk or run on a treadmill with serious intent, these shoes might be worth the investment.
- Environmentally-friendly construction
- Great shoes for wide feet
- Arch support
- Takes very little time to break in
- Great for walking or running long distances on treadmill
- Not suitable for people with narrower feet
Nike was definitely going to feature more than once on the list. The Free RN Flyknit from Nike is a shoe taking over the world of athletic footwear. These shoes are very popular right now among runners because of their ingenious design. Nike designers developed these shoes while working with some of the top athletes and taking their input to create what is being regarded as one of the greatest running shoes around. What does that have to do with use on treadmills?
The fact that these shoes are so great for running actually translates to indoor workouts as a very good pair for the treadmill. The design is light, supportive, breathable, flexible, and very comfortable. These shoes fit on to your foot like a sock to give you a snug and comfy fit. Wearing these shoes will make anyone feel like they were made for their feet. The fabric and material used create a flexible shoe that provides support in just the right spots to make them more efficient for the wearer.
The minimalist running design is suitable for walking because no matter what your gait style is, the shoes will adapt to it and allow you the room for natural movement without a hitch. When it comes to the world of running, these shoes put most (if not all) of the competition to shame. They also make very respectable shoes to use on the treadmill.
- Feels like you are just wearing a sock
- Adaptable shoes that bend and expand based on your foot
- Lightweight design
- Versatile shoes
- Width is a little on the narrow side
- They do not provide arch support without custom orthotics
And now for the final entry on the list that is the most affordable pair that you can get for use on the treadmill. ALEADER is a respectable footwear manufacturer that makes inexpensive products, especially when you compare them to the top brands out there today. There is no aspect of luxury involved with you get shoes made by ALEADER, but a big brand name is not the important thing.
These sneakers are comfortable and supportive. They will help you get the mileage you need on the treadmill at the end of the day, and that is what matters. The mesh upper and lace closure gives you good breathability and a secure fit. The fully cushioned inner sole makes these shoes very lightweight so that your feet do not feel burdened.
There is more than enough airflow to keep your feet dry and cool even during longer workouts. There is a double layering on the mesh to ensure better durability while providing your feet comfort and support for a longer time. The double mesh acts as an additional liner to prevent any chafing or blistering from happening while you work out for extended periods.
The ALEADER Mesh Sport also features an excellent outer sole that makes them suitable for use outdoors. If you ever feel the need to go for a jog outside in the pleasant weather, you can feel confident wearing these. Of course, they will last you longer if you stick to using them indoors on the treadmill.
- Inexpensive shoes
- Double mesh layer
- Breathable and lightweight shoes
- Secure lacing system
- Moisture-wicking liner
- Shock absorbing midsole
- Lacks arch support
- Size runs a little smaller
The Best of the Best
And with that, we come to the end of the guide. Between the buying guide and the list of reviews, we are confident that you know everything you need to know to make the best buying decision.
Of course, ten different options can still be too much to choose from for some people. If you are having trouble narrowing down your options, we will tell you about our top three picks to help you even more.
Best Overall Treadmill Walking Shoes
The Adidas Adizero Adios 4 is an obvious pick for an overall treadmill walking shoe. Designed by Adidas with the help of a master shoemaker, these really are top-of-the-line in a lot of ways. Proven to be very good for marathon runners, we are confident that these shoes will fare well when it comes to using on treadmills.
Best Premium Quality Treadmill Walking Shoes
Our top pick for premium features is the Saucony Kinvara 9. If you are someone willing to pay top dollar for the best experience while using the treadmill, you will find the Saucony shoes very attractive. They feature a lot of high-quality features, which reflect in the higher price tag.
Best Value Treadmill Walking Shoes
When it comes to offering you the best value for your money, ASICS Gel Venture 6 definitely wins. While you might have expected to see the ALEADER Mesh Sport here, we would argue that the ASICS Gel Venture is a better budget option. You get the most premium features from these shoes at such a low price point only because the price goes down due to new pairs coming out of the production line.