(This guide has been updated with current models for July 2019)
Most people run on treadmills only if they have to. Maybe you’re a business traveler trying to catch a quick workout. Or you live in one of these cities where the polluted air outside will turn your lungs black. Perhaps it’s a snowy winter, or there’re no sidewalks or parks nearby.
Whatever the reason, you’ve finally decided to embrace treadmill running, and guess what, you need a pair of running shoes. Sounds easy, right?
Before you go shopping, know that there are a couple of differences between road and treadmill running.
We’ll begin by stating the very, very obvious:
On the road, if you stop running, you stop. On the treadmill, if you stop running, you don’t. Also, people tend to run slightly faster on treadmills compared to road running. Which makes sense; considering how boring it is to run on a treadmill, you want to get it over with.
To account for both of these factors, you need a running shoe which is firm, stable and grips well. Unless you’re walking on a treadmill (why on earth, though?), a soft shoe is a big no.
Most treadmills are located inside a gym, and it is likely that you’ll include stretching or light weight training before or after your runs. So again, a firm and stable shoe comes in handy. Needless to say, a shoe meant for treadmill running works very well on open roads too.
Another thing. We’ve made sure that some of the shoes on this curated list have flat laces. Why? Because they stay tied better than round laces, and there is nothing more irritating than to pause the treadmill and do up your laces mid-workout.
Here’s our list of top 11 running shoes for treadmill use. We’ve prefixed the shoe name by its category so that you know what you are buying.
1) Lightweight trainer/racer: Adidas adizero Adios 4
The 8-ounce adidas adizero Adios 4 is a low-profile and cushioned road racer with a tight upper fit. Such running shoes are ideal for treadmill workouts; you get the rock-solid stability you need without compromising on cushioning. The tried-and-test Boost midsole and Continental outsole deliver responsive damping and superior grip.
We do wish the adios 4 had the DSP outsole of the adios 2 though – that would have made it perfect. The upper fits short and very snug so buying a half-size larger is required for most.
2) Lightweight trainer/racer: New Balance 1400V6
The 1400V6 has a more forgiving upper fit than the adidas adios 4. It is reasonably priced too – its $100 MSRP doesn’t break the bank.
The lightweight Revlite foam midsole provides excellent feedback and the rubber lugs grip very well. There’s enough cushioning to see you through treadmill runs of 10K and beyond.
It’s one of the few road-racers which is also available in a wide.
3) Lightweight trainer/racer: Mizuno Wave Shadow V2
Truth be told, we’ve got a soft spot for Mizunos despite their antiquated design. The firm, Wave plate infused midsole is a great fit for this particular running surface.
The Wave Shadow 2 is efficient and stable while the snug upper locks your foot in. And really, that’s all that you need in a treadmill running shoe.
4) Low profile cushioned trainer: adidas Boston 8
The Boston is a running shoe with greater long-distance comfort over the road racers listed above. It’s long been our pick as a lightweight neutral trainer, the kind which also works great on human conveyor belts and gym floors.
The recently released Boston 8 which gets a brand-new upper, midsole, and outsole. Except for minor updates in the upper fit and ride, the Boston 8 retains all the traits which has made the series successful.
The Boost midsole has all the responsive cushioning you need; components like the Torsion shank and Continental outsole provide stability and traction. The upper is snug yet packs creature comforts like a padded tongue and heel.
5) Lightweight cushioned trainer: New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit
The Pursuit carries forward performance traits like the low-profile cushioning and a snug fit; all of which complement treadmill use. Want to know more? Read our full review.
6) Lightweight firm trainer: Asics Dynaflyte 3
Don’t let the specs fool you – this shoe’s full-length Flytefoam isn’t the same as the one used on the Roadhawk FF. The Asics Dynaflyte 3 is a firm, 9-ounce trainer which is stable and cushioned enough for fast-paced treadmill runs.
There’s plenty of rubber outsole coverage for excellent grip. The upper fits narrow so take note.
7) Lightweight firm trainer: New Balance 890V7
The New Balance 890V7 isn’t the 890 you were once familiar with. The 2019 model is a very different shoe by the same name, one which is near-perfect for treadmills.
The firm Revlite midsole is quick and supportive enough for treadmill runs; the knit upper keeps the foot ventilated indoors.
8) Lightweight cushioned trainer: Saucony Kinvara 10
There’s a drought of low drop trainers in this guide, so here’s the venerable Kinvara 10 to the rescue. This 4 mm drop running shoe weighs less than 8 ounces but has plenty of supportive cushioning for treadmill workouts. Even without the context of this buyer’s guide, we rated the Kinvara 10 very highly in our review.
We like Kinvara 10’s cleaner upper design without the gratuitous ‘pro-lock’ strap. In some ways, the S-10’s upper is a homage to the original Kinvara.
9) Daily neutral trainer: Mizuno Wave Rider 22
With this shoe, we’re heading into the regular trainer territory. Which means the Wave Rider 22 and the two other shoes which follow have a lot more midsole than the models featured so far.
If you’ve seen one Mizuno, you’ve seen it all – at least most of them. The plastic Wave plate and the broad forefoot adds much-needed stability for treadmill runs. As far as the cushioning goes, the EVA midsole, the soft insole, and the blown rubber outsole do a good job of providing ride comfort.
The Wave Rider 22 has plenty of room inside to splay your toes too.
10) Daily neutral trainer: Saucony Ride ISO 2
As far as neutral trainers go, the versatile Saucony Ride has held its own for many years. An Everun layer over a firm EVA midsole creates a experience which blends high-mileage cushioning with smooth transitions. Despite its 10-ounce weight, the Ride ISO 2 feels efficient over treadmills.
The Ride ISO has been updated for 2019 with a new, more comfortable upper.
11) Daily neutral trainer: Nike Zoom Pegasus 36
Like the Ride ISO 2, the Nike Pegasus 36 is a do-it-all trainer. You get the treadmill-friendly cushioning and outsole grip you need without the unwanted mushiness. Zoom Air isn’t as cushioned or responsive as the some of the newer foams, but then, the firm-ish ride is what makes the Pegasus good for treadmill runs.
The Pegasus 36’s upper has sufficient room even in the standard ‘D’ width. If you fall short of interior space, there are additional widths. The Pegasus 36 carries forward the same midsole and outsole as the 35, so the medium-soft ride stays the same.
|Do you own any of these shoes? Improve this guide by sharing your insights – submit a review here.|