The 12 Best Shoes for Treadmill Running, Ran In and Tested by Our Experts

For running enthusiasts, the best treadmills can be great pieces of fitness equipment for training at your leisure in the comfort of your home or training space. Like other running disciplines, however, there are some recommended pieces of gear that can help you get the most out of your on-belt mileage. The best shoes for treadmill running compliment the constant underfoot experience of a running deck with a premium blend of comfort, support, breathability, and traction.

While you may think that any running shoe is suitable for indoor treadmill runs, there are a few characteristics to be mindful of. After all, you’re running in a singular direction over a never-changing terrain, so you’ll want to ensure you aren’t overworking your muscles or clunking up your running gait with sneakers not meant for the job. To lend a hand in your search, we’ve sprinted in dozens of shoe profiles and consulted with our in-house team of experts to compile this guide to our favorite shoes for treadmill running.

The 12 Best Shoes for Treadmill Running

Best Treadmill Running Shoes Overall: Asics Gel-Cumulus 26

Best Treadmill Running Shoes for Daily Training: Nike Pegasus 40

Best Budget Treadmill Running Shoes: Reebok Floatride Energy 5

Most Versatile Treadmill Running Shoes: Under Armour UA HOVR Phantom 3 SE

Best Stability Treadmill Running Shoes: Nike InfinityRN 4

Best Cushioned Treadmill Running Shoes: Hoka Clifton 9

Best Neutral Treadmill Running Shoes: Brooks Ghost Max

Best Treadmill Running Shoe for Tempo Runs: Saucony Endorphin Speed 4

Best Treadmill Running Shoes for Long Distances: Asics Gel-Nimbus 26

Best Walking Shoes for Treadmills: On Cloudsurfer

Best Treadmill Running Shoes for Wide Feet: Altra Torin 7

Most Breathable Treadmill Running Shoes: TYR Techknit RNR-1 Runner

About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level 1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite and the treadmill running shoes we listed to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations.

How We Tested and Chose the Best Shoes for Treadmill Running

The BarBend team is made up of competitive athletes, certified personal trainers, and lifelong fitness enthusiasts. To make our list of the best shoes for treadmill running, we got hands-on with 70 different shoe profiles from top brands, using a multi-point methodology to rate each profile on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) to determine our top picks. Below are some of the categories and components we looked at to make our list.


Treadmills offer a consistent terrain for running enthusiasts, so achieving a repetitive foot strike is more achievable on the best cardio machines. However, those that know they suffer from pronation issues — the extended inward or outward rolling of the ankle — can still benefit from having such components designed to alleviate these issues within their footwear. We’ve included a handful of picks in this guide that showcase such technologies to better appeal to a wider range of athletes.

The midsole foam of the Hoka Clifton 9

In addition, given the consistency within each stride, you likely won’t need extra motion control components like aggressive guide rails or rigid arch support. As such, the stability running shoes in this round-up only feature mid-level stabilizing features that can be more approachable or accommodating to those needing the extra support.

Midsole Cushioning

While treadmills already feature a sense of cushioning within the deck design, you should still opt for shoes featuring some underfoot comfort in order to make your miles as enjoyable as possible. 

However, the amount of cushioning needed for a worthwhile running experience will be different from what you’d likely need or desire in your typical road running shoes. We examined each pick’s midsole cushioning thoroughly in order to outline just how much plush you can expect from the silhouettes.

Additionally, you can find multiple shoes in this guide labeled as “max-cushioned.” To be honest, there is no true definition of this marketing term outside of the generic idea that there is a heightened presence of midsole foam in these profiles.

[Related: 8 Best High-End Treadmills]

However, having a massive stack of midsole cushioning can be a detriment to treadmill runners, as you can begin to feel unstable as you fight for ground contact and feel between your actual sole and the moving belt. We made sure that the “max-cushioned” sneakers in this guide offered a nice middle-ground in terms of clearance, comfort, and feel for the terrain.


As is the case in all training footwear, you should look for treadmill running shoes with a breathable, well-ventilated upper. Locked-in sweat and perspiration can exacerbate the chances of developing blisters and hot spots, which can completely sideline your progress. All of the shoes featured in this guide feature breathable uppers to some degree, with some standing out more than others, as showcased in our reporting.


A revolving treadmill belt will present the same underfoot terrain with each step, so there’s no need to worry about uneven surfaces or obstacles like you’d experience in trail running or even on-road running. However, your shoes should still provide a good sense of grip and traction in each stride, which can do wonders for your balance and confidence during workouts.

The waffle-patterned outsole across the Nike InfinityRN 4 running shoes

All of the shoes in this guide feature well-rounded outsoles of varying makeups that leave little question in regards to your footing. We’ve run in a majority of these kicks before, too, so we know which conditions are less suitable for the tread patterns at hand. 

Thankfully, though, it’s very unlikely that you’ll encounter a puddle or mud during your treadmill run (if you do, it might be time to move your machine indoors) so there’s less emphasis on the category in comparison to other factors.

Best Treadmill Running Shoes Overall: Asics Gel-Cumulus 26

Asics Gel-Cumulus 26

Asics Gel-Cumulus 26

With a comfortable midsole that transitions easily between heel strikes and toe-offs, the Gel-Cumulus 26 sits as yet another great installment in this foundational Asics lineup. Additionally, the engineered mesh upper provides a solid lockdown and fit, although it can have a tendency to run hot in certain conditions.

Shop Asics


Price: $140

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm

Weight: 9oz

Colors Available: 10

Sizes Available: 6-16


This shoe offers a flexible FF BLAST PLUS midsole that rolls easily through transitions with the right amount of cushioning for treadmill runs.

The engineered mesh upper provides a good sense of support overfoot without sacrificing breathability.

Asics offers the Gel-Cumulus in Wide and Extra Wide sizings, giving more athletes the opportunity to find the perfect fit.


The midsole cushioning can begin to dwindle at longer distances, flattening out rather than rebounding for continued comfort.

A higher heel tab can lead to some unwanted rubbing.

The Gel-Cumulus 26s from Asics are a great example of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Serving as the 26th version in the profile’s long history, this well-performing shoe can be great for treadmill runs thanks to its more conservative stack height and flexible yet supportive FF BLAST PLUS midsole cushioning. Plus, a breathable engineered mesh upper can be excellent for tallying indoor miles by keeping your feet free of unwanted perspiration while still getting that locked-in sensation.

I’ve long been a fan of the Gel-Cumulus lineup and appreciate the consistency showcased in these latest renditions. I found the sneaker to run true to size, and the comfortable upper practically disappears across the top of your foot. 

[Related: Best Running Shoes for High Arches, Flat Feet, Cross Training, and More]

However, I rated the Gel-Cumulus 26 at 5 out of 5 for sizing given the fact that Asics also offers this profile in Wide and Extra Wide dimensions. This can be a blessing for wider-footed athletes that need the extra room, yet don’t want to fuss with ordering larger sneakers than they truly need.

From a comfort perspective, the Gel-Cumulus 26s earned a 4.5 out of 5 in testing. I found the midsole to be plenty cushioned for my treadmill needs, and the PureGEL heel support provided a good sense of shock absorption during heel strikes.

Like previous models, the Gel-Cumulus 26 showcases PureGEL technology in the heel for added shock absorption

I also appreciated that Asics was able to deliver this underfoot feel without maximizing the stack height. Some max-cushioned sneakers can feel like you’re running in platform shoes, which can lead to imbalances in your steps. I recommend saving these sky-high kicks for on-road conditions — it can be easier (and safer) to correct steps when the terrain isn’t moving beneath you.

As comfortable as the Gel-Cumulus 26s were in trials, I don’t think I’d wear them as daily trainers. The FF BLAST PLUS midsole foam took a little longer to rebound to its original softness, which I noticed most during extended runs in these sneakers, resulting in my 4 out of 5 rating for responsiveness. If your treadmill sessions are parceled out across your week, though, that should be enough time for the shoes to recover.

[Related: The Best Treadmills for Running]

Best Treadmill Running Shoes for Daily Training: Nike Pegasus 40

Nike Pegasus 40

Nike Pegasus 40

The 40th iteration of this trusted Nike running shoe boasts a React foam midsole for a premium blend of cushioning and responsiveness. Plus, the Pegasus 40 also comes in 19 different colorways, which can be ideal for those looking to showcase their personality through their training footwear.

Shop Nike


Price: $130

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10mm

Weight: 10.2oz

Colors Available: 19

Sizes Available: 6-18


The React foam midsole provides good energy return and comfort for daily training.

A bootie-style fit pairs well to an integrated tongue for less play in terms of lockdown.

There are 19 colorways to choose from, along with customizable designs, giving you ample range to show off your personality with your training footwear.


At 10.2 ounces, this shoe can begin to feel heavy at longer running distances.

The single layer mesh upper and padded tongue can begin to overheat more so than previous Pegasus iterations.

If your daily regimen includes a treadmill workout, these Pegasus 40s from Nike can be the right fit for your training needs. We like this stalwart of the running shoe category for its no-frills ride, providing that goldilocks level of cushioning and support. Plus, this Nike silhouette comes in 19 available colorways, perfect for athletes looking to give the monotonous activity of treadmill running a little bit of flair.

I’ve logged tons of miles with my Peg 40s and really enjoy the trustworthy composition across the midsole. React foam gives each of my strides a comfortable shelf through transitions, and there’s enough stability across the design to help keep my gait as crisp and efficient as possible. 

Additionally, I like how much energy return there is across the midsole, which can be great for maintaining a lively sensation during training, even at (somewhat) longer distances. Overall, I rated the Peg 40s at 4.5 out of 5 for responsiveness.

[Related: Should You Be Running Every Day? A Certified Personal Trainer Gives You the Scoop]

This Nike profile is very similar to previous Pegasus iterations, but the main “upgrade” lies in the upper design. Forgoing the brand’s Flywire technology, the Peg 40s utilize a single-layer mesh upper, along with a more padded tongue, collar, and heel counter. 

While, in my opinion, this greatly enhances the style, it does drop the ventilation capabilities. I’ve experienced excessive perspiration in these kicks when training in hotter conditions, so I scored the breathability at 3.5 out of 5.

Nike Pegasus 40 running shoes

Despite this hotter textile, I was still pleased with the fitment and lockdown across the upper. The padded tongue hugged the top of my foot, and the bootie-style midfoot cradled my feet nicely. Plus, the tongue is integrated, meaning there’s little room for the component to move around and jostle during movement.

The main callout for these Peg 40s, though, lies in the weight. A 10.2-ounce frame can begin to weigh down your strides at extended mileage, so I’d recommend being conservative with your daily training distance in these Nike kicks. However, I still think they’re an excellent option for those looking to hit their daily step count. 

[Related: The Best Running Warm-Up for Your Next Cardio Session]

Best Budget Treadmill Running Shoes: Reebok Floatride Energy 5

Reebok Floatride Energy 5

Reebok Floatride Energy 5

While Reebok may be better known for in-gym footwear, these Floatride Energy 5s are a great option for budget-minded runners that want a responsive midsole design and durable outsole traction. Combine these notes with a lightweight 9.4-ounce profile, and you have a sneaker that can carry its weight and then some across months of cardio-focused training.

Shop Reebok


Price: $110

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm

Weight: 9.4oz

Colors Available: 4

Sizes Available: 7-14


At $110, this is one of the most affordable running shoes we’ve tried — roughly $35 less than the average cost of high-quality treadmill running shoes.

Despite a listed 9.4-ounce weight, these Floatride Energy 5s feel lightweight on foot.

A midfoot X-plate can provide extra support across the medial and lateral sides of the foot, which can help the repetitive stride nature of treadmill running.


The Speed Shift upper material isn’t as soft as other textiles, despite breathing easily during movement.

These running shoes feature a more narrow fit, which may be a detriment to wider-footed athletes.

A pair of shoes for treadmill running will often cost the same as on-road sneakers — roughly $145. However, there are some budget-minded silhouettes that can still give your steps the springiness, comfort, and support needed for worthwhile training. The Reebok Floatride Energy 5s are our top recommendation for this moniker thanks to the approachable $110 price tag and the lively yet plush Floatride Energy foam across the midsole design.

I also recommend these wallet-friendly running shoes — which I rated at 4.5 out of 5 for value — given their lightweight profile. During training, I could easily move through my heel strikes and toe-offs without any sense of heft across my feet. Honestly, I was surprised to find that these Reebok kicks weighed in at 9.4 ounces — they feel much lighter when on the foot.

[Related: Reebok Launches Floatride Energy 5 Running Shoes]

Apart from the weight and price, I also found the midfoot X-plate to provide a good sense of stability in training, rating the FE5s at 4 out of 5 for the category. 

This sneaker fit more as a neutral shoe, which doesn’t lend itself to heightened arch support, but the side-to-side movement was greatly enhanced through this integrated tech designed for more torsion control. I specifically enjoyed this for treadmill runs, as my form and gait has been known to drop off once my mileage begins to climb.

The Floatride Energy 5s also feature a Speed Shift knit upper. While the textile showcased a good sense of durability across multiple workouts, I do wish the material itself was a bit softer. Other engineered uppers can provide a better cloth-like experience, resulting in a 3.75 out of 5 rating for this Reebok offering. 

Thankfully, though, I didn’t experience any breathability issues with the design, so at least you won’t be sweaty and uncomfortable in these running shoes.

Lastly, I had no real qualms about the sizing, but I will admit that these Floatride Energy 5s feature a narrower profile than other sneakers. There’s also less stretch across the upper, and wide sizing options are not available for the silhouette. If you’re a wider-footed athlete, it may be best to pay the extra coin for a treadmill running shoe that matches your footprint better.

[Related: Reebok Nano X4 Review: Continuing a Legacy of Style and Performance]

Most Versatile Treadmill Running Shoes: Under Armour UA HOVR Phantom 3 SE

Under Armour UA HOVR Phantom 3 SE

Under Armour UA HOVR Phantom 3 SE

For athletes looking for a more cardio-minded cross-training sneaker, these Under Armour UA HOVR Phantom 3 SEs can do the trick. These stylish kicks feature an 8-millimeter heel-to-toe drop that can be more suitable for running on a treadmill, and the bootie-style construction helps keep your entire foot locked onto the midsole without any slop or extra room internally.

Shop Under Armour


Price: $140

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm

Weight: 11oz

Colors Available: 11

Sizes Available: 7-15


The HOVR foam midsole provides a sound base, making it a good pick for those mixing treadmill running with strength training.

A layered mesh and foam midfoot panel gives these bootie-style shoes ample lockdown support across your foot.

These UA HOVR Phantom 3 SEs feature Bluetooth connectivity that can track running stats via MapMyRun.


The more narrow forefoot can lead to blisters and hot spots during extended wear.

Our tester noted that getting these sneakers on and off can be troublesome given the more rigid bootie-style sock liner upper.

Look, we all can’t have the right shoes for each and every one of our favorite activities, so having sneakers that can perform well in multiple disciplines can be a true benefit to your fitness wardrobe (and budget). The UA HOVR Phantom 3 SEs can be an excellent option for multifaceted workouts thanks to a UA HOVR midsole foam that’s comfortable enough for logging miles yet stable enough for more weight-based workouts.

Having trained in these Under Armour sneakers before, I do feel like they’re a great solution for avid cross-training enthusiasts. I do appreciate the structure underfoot for general strength-training needs, but I’ve always felt that the heel-to-toe drop, level of underfoot cushioning, and outsole traction lent itself more to treadmill running. Still, I’ve been able to get by when intermixing my training. So, in looking at these shoes as a run-first, training-second silhouette, I rated the versatility at 4.5 out of 5.

[Related: What Are Cross-Training Shoes?]

These UA HOVR Phantom 3 SEs are also part of Under Armour’s connected lineup of footwear, meaning they’re Bluetooth compatible for more refined data tracking. This can be an excellent perk for treadmill runners that log their workouts via MapMyRun, and eliminates the need to pair your training with an additional heart rate monitor. 

Under Armour UA HOVR Phantom 3 SE sneakers

Another key perk to these UA HOVR Phantom 3 SEs is the style and aesthetics. I scored the shoes at 4 out of 5 for the category because it’s a clean profile that doesn’t scream “running shoe.” Plus, the 11 available colorways can allow more athletes to find their ideal hue to match their personality.

As versatile as this profile is, though, I do recommend paying close attention to sizing. I rated the fit at 3.75 out of 5 since the UA IntelliKnit upper is somewhat rigid, which can make getting into and out of these kicks a true challenge at times. 

Additionally, the tapered toe box can create some friction across your toes, leading to potential hot spots and blisters. Yes, the lockdown is great, but is that worth the potential pain and friction as you wait for the shoes to break in?

[Related: 14 Best Cross-Training Shoes of (Personally Tested)]

Best Stability Treadmill Running Shoes: Nike InfinityRN 4

Nike InfinityRN 4

Nike InfinityRN 4

The Nike InfinityRN 4s feature ReactX foam across the midsole, which can be ideal for athletes wanting some extra pop to go along with their arch-supporting underfoot sensations. The waffle-patterned outsole can also provide ample traction, perfect for carving through your routes and training sessions with ease.

Shop Nike


Price: $160

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm

Weight: 12.5oz

Colors Available: 17

Sizes Available: 6-15


The present arch support and wider footprint can help keep strides comfortable and balanced — a definite perk on treadmills.

This shoe’s ReactX foam midsole provided solid cushioning and responsiveness, regardless of how long our tester trained.

A waffle-pattern rubber outsole helps improve durability.


Our tester noted that the Flyknit upper was too snug for their liking — we recommend going up one half size.

The 12.5-ounce profile can begin to weigh down progress, especially when looking to tackle treadmill runs exceeding 10 miles.

The repetitive foot plane that accompanies treadmill running can lead to overworked leg muscles given the lack of directional changes, so having some underfoot support is a near must-have for your footwear. With a stabilizing ReactX foam midsole and snug Flywire knit upper, we feel the Nike InfinityRN 4s are prime for those needing some stability in their shoe game.

I’ve run in multiple iterations of this Nike footwear lineup, and feel the InfinityRN 4s are the most approachable stability shoes of the bunch. I rated the stability at 4.5 out of 5 given that there is a present arch support to help defend against overpronation, but it isn’t as aggressive or rigid as pasty Infinity Run silhouettes. 

Additionally, I like how wide the base of this sneaker is, which can go a long way in maintaining your balance over a revolving treadmill belt.

[Related: The Best Treadmills for Beginners]

The Flyknit upper also helps ensure a locked-in aesthetic with a snug, secure fit that hugs your foot and limits any side-to-side movement. However, this snugness can easily stray into constriction if you aren’t careful. We (and Nike) recommend sizing up one half size in order to give your feet an optimal sense of comfort.

In addition to the midsole and upper technologies, the InfinityRN 4s come equipped with a waffle-patterned outsole that can provide excellent traction whether pacing along atop a treadmill or taking these sneakers into a road running scenario. Plus, I’ve yet to see any sense of wear across the design, indicating a well-made profile. As such, I rated the durability at 4.5 out of 5.

Nike InfinityRN 4 running shoes

However, while the InfinityRN 4s are our top pick for stability treadmill running shoes, I would hesitate to call them anything but springy. The dense ReactX foam, thicker Flyknit upper, and water-resistant membrane do add some heft to this sneaker to the tune of 12.5 ounces.

While they don’t showcase all of this weight when worn, they can definitely be clunkier than lighter shoes in the category, resulting in a compromised form at extended mileage. For daily needs and short jogs, I think you can overlook the weight, but I would recommend a lighter pair of kicks for those more interested in long-distance running or sprints.

[Related: The Best Quiet Treadmills]

Best Cushioned Treadmill Running Shoes: Hoka Clifton 9

Hoka Clifton 9

Hoka Clifton 9

HOKA, as a brand, is known for well-cushioned running shoes. The Clifton 9 serves as a great training silhouette thanks to its compression-molded EVA foam midsole, as well as the early-stage meta-rocker geometry that seamlessly rolls your foot forward for easier transitions.



Price: $145

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 5mm

Weight: 8.7oz

Colors Available: 25

Sizes Available: 7-16


The compression-molded EVA foam midsole provides a comfortable underfoot experience that isn’t overly plush or problematic atop a treadmill.

These Clifton 9s feature a gusseted tongue that maintains its positioning during training, leading to less readjustments.

HOKA adds extra cushioning around the collar and heel for a comfortable entry and less abrasion during movement.


The toe box is somewhat roomy and can provide more space than necessary for average or narrow-footed athletes.

The heel counter is not as stable, although a heel-lock lacing setup can help alleviate this issue.

Naturally, a treadmill will likely be more cushioned than the hard pavement or packed trails you’d experience in outdoor running workouts. However, you should have some underfoot comfort that compliments the technology, if anything, to help alleviate the strain of repetitively landing in the same spot with your foot strikes. Thanks to their compression-molded EVA foam midsole and early-stage meta-rocker geometry, the HOKA (formerly known as HOKA ONE ONE) Clifton 9s are our go-to for cushioned treadmill running shoes.

Having logged multiple miles in my pair of Clifton 9s, I can attest to the cushioning experience provided in this footwear option. The EVA foam has some give for less-aggressive landings, but it doesn’t pancake out toward the sidewalls with each step. I rated the cushioning at 4.5 out of 5, dropping it slightly as I feel there are other, more supple silhouettes in the category. 

[Related: The Best Treadmills with Fans]

Additionally, I like how HOKA included the brand’s trusty early-stage meta-rocker geometry to the build, which can create a smooth transition between heel strikes and toe-offs. Plus, the Durabrasion rubber outsole has shown to provide a good sense of traction and grip across treadmill belts with little wear and tear. As such, I scored the Clifton 9s at a 4 out of 5 for durability.

HOKA Clifton 9 running shoes

In terms of fit, I appreciated the length at which HOKA went to make this Clifton 9 as comfortable as possible. The padded heel counter and collar can make slipping into these kicks before a workout a truly enjoyable experience. 

However, I feel that the profile could have saved some engineering by creating a more narrow silhouette. I’ve experienced some heel slip in these shoes, and the toe box almost has too much room for my average foot. Wide-footed athletes will likely enjoy this profile, but smaller-footed individuals may need to adjust.

As a final note, I do recommend employing a lace lock system to alleviate any heel fitment issues. This process involves using the extra eyelet at the top of your shoe, creating a loop, and cinching down for better lockdown. For more information on this lacing method, there are plenty of resources online or at your local running store.

[Related: The Best Cushioned Treadmills]

Best Neutral Treadmill Running Shoes: Brooks Ghost Max

Brooks Ghost Max

Brooks Ghost Max

This Brooks offering takes the tried-and-trusted Ghost lineup and gives it a new sense of cushioning. The DNA Loft v2 midsole foam creates a plush yet supportive ride, while a wider base can be excellent for maintaining a balanced gait throughout your workouts.

Shop Brooks


Price: $150

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm

Weight: 10oz

Colors Available: 9

Sizes Available: 7-15


This Ghost Max’s DNA Loft v2 midsole foam creates a cozy step that’s soft enough for ample cushioning yet structured enough to support neutral arches.

The plush upper is cozy and breathable.

While being a neutral running shoe, this Brooks offering is also fairly stable thanks to a wider base for better balance across your foot strike.


The sponge-like laces can be prone to coming undone during movement.

Athletes wanting a bouncy, responsive midsole foam should opt for a more energetic profile.

Given that your treadmill running stride will see you making near-identical foot strikes over and over, a high-stability shoe may elevate your chances of overworking or straining your stabilizer muscles. As such, a neutral shoe can be beneficial for those with minimal pronation issues, or those that boast regular arch heights. The Ghost Max from Brooks can be a trusted companion for these needs, with a little more cushioning underfoot than previous Ghost offerings for a refined sense of comfort.

The Ghost lineup has long been a favorite of mine for neutral strides, so when the brand dropped this rendition that takes the family into a max-cushioned territory, I was excited. The DNA Loft v2 midsole foam provided a nice underfoot experience that was soft yet not so plush that the foam pancaked outward during landings. I felt supported yet snuggled — a nice combo when pounding away at a treadmill belt for stride after stride.

[Related: 10 Benefits of Cardio]

However, I rated the midsole construction at 3.75 out of 5, as there’s not a ton of bounce to the foam design. It felt forgiving enough for added comfort and supportive enough for balanced strides, but there was little pop and energy return, making this more of a cruiser than a shoe you’ll push for max speeds in.

While the neutral makeup of the Ghost Max means you won’t find any motion control components, I still felt rather stable in this sneaker thanks to its broader base. The full rubber outsole also provided enough traction for maintaining run efficiency, leading to my 4 out of 5 rating for stability.

Brooks Ghost Max running shoes

Like many Brooks shoes I’ve had in the past, one of the main selling points of this Ghost Max is the on-foot comfort, which I scored at 4.5 out of 5. Apart from the midsole, Brooks creates this luxe sense of coziness through the engineered mesh upper, which feels like your favorite t-shirt — soft and breathable. I trained at multiple paces and distances and noticed little sweat build-up across my toes.

While the spongier laces are less favorable in my opinion — they can have a tendency to come undone if your knots aren’t cinched tightly — I feel this is a step in the right direction for Brooks. A neutral trainer with some added flair that can be a welcomed companion for indoor jaunts.

[Related: The Best Running Apps]

Best Treadmill Running Shoe for Tempo Runs: Saucony Endorphin Speed 4

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4

The Saucony Endorphin Speed 4s have their eyes set on quick training sessions thanks to an energetic combination of PWRRUN PB midsole foam and an integrated nylon plate. Plus, the SPEEDROLL geometry of the shoe lends itself to quick, seamless transitions that can make all the difference when a new best time is just milliseconds away.

Shop Amazon


Price: $170

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm

Weight: 8.2oz

Colors Available: 5

Sizes Available: 7-15


The PWRRUN PB midsole foam pairs nicely to the integrated nylon plate for plenty of responsiveness and energy return.

SPEEDROLL geometry helps keep your quicker transitions as smooth as possible with little effort needed to roll from heel strike to toe-off.

This Endorphin Speed 4 has a redesigned mesh upper featuring more lasered perforations for added breathability and less weight overall.


The lateral side of the toe box tapers in aggressively, which may cause some rubbing issues and hot spots for athletes with wider feet.

The laces are excessively long, so prepare to tie in a lace lock across the extra eyelet or double knot.

As enjoyable as a light jog can be, running fast just has an aura that’s undeniable. While you may be more inclined to take your tempo runs outdoors versus on a treadmill, you can still push the RPMs up to breakneck speeds indoors (minus the wind blowing through your hair). For these quick bursts of high-octane training, we recommend the Endorphin Speed 4s from Saucony.

Speed shoes make up most of my rotation, and I’ve been pleased with the Endorphin Speed 4s with each logged session. The PWRRUN PB midsole foam provides a great sense of rebound and energy return, which I’ve come to enjoy through various Saucony offerings. Plus, I feel that the nylon plate is a great accessory, giving your toe-offs that extra snap and spring forward.

[Related: What the Heck Is a Tempo Run? How to Run Faster, Longer]

Plus, a nylon plate is less aggressive than carbon — a commonly-used plate design in shoes for tempo runs and races — making it a good fit for those turning to a treadmill for their runs. Overall, I rated the responsiveness at 4.5 out of 5.

Despite this energetic design, I don’t feel that the Endorphin Speed 4s compromise comfort for extra quickness. The redesigned mesh upper featured more perforations for increased breathability, and the textile felt accommodating enough without being overly stretchy. 

Additionally, I like how the SPEEDROLL geometry works with the responsive midsole and plate for a smooth transition between your heel strike and toe-off.

However, I scored the comfort at 4 out of 5 for one key area. The lateral, or outer, sidewall of the toe box tapers in somewhat aggressively, giving your pinky toe less room within the shoe. While I had little issues with the fitment, I could see where this tapering could be too much for wider-footed athletes and could potentially lead to blisters or hot spots after extended wear.

Lastly, I will caution athletes to be prepared for long laces. The Endorphin Speed 4s feature lengthy, somewhat waxy laces across the top that could hang excessively over the side or front when tied normally. I highly recommend employing a lace lock setup with the extra eyelet, or brush up on your double-knotting skills.

[Related: Jogging Vs. Running — What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?]

Best Treadmill Running Shoes for Long Distances: Asics Gel-Nimbus 26

Asics Gel-Nimbus 26

Asics Gel-Nimbus 26

As an upgraded silhouette to the Gel-Cumulus lineup, the Gel-Nimbus 26 from Asics delivers a hefty helping of FF BLAST PLUS ECO midsole foam that can feel great underfoot for long-distance workouts. Additionally, the PureGEL technology that’s become synonymous with the brand is still retained in the heel, adding a beneficial sense of shock absorption to make foot strikes all the more welcoming.

Shop Asics


Price: $160

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm

Weight: 10.8oz

Colors Available: 12

Sizes Available: 6-16


This shoe’s upgraded FF BLAST PLUS ECO midsole foam provides plush underfoot comfort for long mileage.

Like other Asics, the Gel-Nimbus 26 features gel cushioning in the heel for better shock absorption on heel strikes.

A new HYBRID ASICSGRIP rubber outsole helps bolster this shoe’s durability while also promoting better traction and grip along treadmill belts.


An engineered knit upper, while soft and accommodating, can begin to run hot in certain conditions.

The updated rubber outsole does add some weight to this profile over previous iterations.

If your goal is double-digit mileage during your treadmill session, it can help to have a running shoe with mounds of cushioning to keep your feet comfortable through the paces. Boasting a plush yet responsive FF BLAST PLUS ECO midsole design and a soft knit upper, the Gel-Nimbus 26s from Asics can be a great fit for those longer runs.

In actuality, I’ve yet to log miles with this specific Asics kick, but its predecessor — the Gel-Nimbus 25 — has been a mainstay in my running shoe rotation, especially when my program calls for extended mileage. I’m a big fan of the midsole foam, as it provides a soft underfoot with enough structure to avoid pancaking out, meaning the energy you put down in each stride is returned for better pick-up.

Like its predecessor shown here, the Gel-Nimbus 26s feature a comfortable FF BLAST PLUS ECO midsole foam

I also enjoy the brand’s signature PureGEL technology, which acts as a shock-absorbing agent in the heel. As a heel striker, this can be great for keeping things comfortable as the distance begins to stack up. In total, I rated the cushioning at 5 out of 5.

[Related: Can You Train for a Marathon On a Treadmill?]

The biggest upgrade these Gel-Nimbus 26s have over previous models lies in the outsole design. Asics employed its branded HYBRID ASICSGRIP rubber for this component, which helps add some improved grip and durability across the profile — two factors that were somewhat limited with the Nimbus 25s. 

I’d score this new tech at 4 out of 5, though, as the improved rubber does add some weight to the silhouette, meaning some athletes may feel that the shoes begin to clunk up and weigh down their progress during extended training sessions.

Finally, the knit upper employed across the Gel-Nimbus 26 is the same as my 25s, and I can confidently say that it’s one of the sleekest, most comfortable uppers I have in my rotation. While the thicker textile can lead to some overheating — be sure to set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature before hopping on the treadmill — the on-foot feel is very soft and accommodating.

[Related: Best Running Socks]

Best Walking Shoes for Treadmills: On Cloudsurfer

On Cloudsurfer

On Cloudsurfer

Thanks to an upgraded geometry and Cloudtec Phase midsole design, the On Cloudsurfers roll seamlessly through transitions to make every step feel effortless. A lightweight 8.64-ounce profile also helps limit energy expenditure during pick-ups, which can help you maintain your battery for longer training sessions ahead.

Shop Amazon


Price: $159.99

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10mm

Weight: 8.64oz

Colors Available: 6

Sizes Available: 7-14


This sneaker’s Cloudtec Phase midsole geometry helps promote smooth rolling transitions, which support the slower paces of treadmill walking.

The 8.64-ounce weight helps keep pick-ups light and effortless.

The upper provides a good mix of lockdown and comfort for better security through your walking motion.


The softer Helion foam can compress too easily, making this less optimal for treadmill running at higher intensities.

A squishier midsole foam can be a detriment to overpronators who need a bit of underfoot structure to achieve a neutral foot plane.

Treadmill workouts don’t always need to be a jogging or running paces — walking can still be a worthwhile fitness discipline linked to lessened risks of heart disease, weight loss, and reduced anxiety. (1) For treadmill walks, we recommend the On Cloudsurfers due to their Cloudtec Phase midsole geometry that rolls seamlessly through transitions, as well as their lightweight 8.64-ounce frame that makes pick-ups from one step to the next a breeze.

I’ve owned these Cloudsurfers for a while (along with other On running shoe silhouettes) and appreciate the level of comfort provided through the Helion foam. 

Additionally, this was the first shoe from the brand that ditched the Speedboard plate technology, which was intended to provide improved rebound and energy return but ultimately made every stride rigid and uncomfortable. In these On sneakers, you definitely feel as if you’re walking on clouds (kudos to the On marketing team).

[Related: The Best Treadmills for Walking]

However, I recommend these Cloudsurfers for walking paces over jogging or running, as I feel the Helion foam is almost too soft for more intense activity. With the extra force you place across your sole during runs, you can easily compress the foam, leading to less response and performance. I rated the cushioning at 3.75 out of 5.

Despite this finicky cushioning setup, I still rated the Cloudsurfers highly in terms of comfort. I gave these On kicks a 4.5 out of 5 in the category, as the underfoot tech is still a treat to walk in. Also, the midsole geometry helps eliminate any excessive stress or energy required for optimal transitions. The upper is also plenty cozy, and the shoes themselves are lightweight for easier pick-ups.

On Cloudsurfer running shoes

Speaking of weight, the On Cloudurfers earned a 4 out of 5 in the category. They’re one of the lightest treadmill shoes we tested and come in roughly an ounce lighter than the 9.7-ounce average. This can make for easy pick-ups that require less energy expenditure, giving you more juice left in the tank to tackle longer distances.

[Related: 10 Science-Backed Benefits of Walking for Strength Athletes]

Best Treadmill Running Shoes for Wide Feet: Altra Torin 7

Altra Torin 7

Altra Torin 7

The Altra Torin 7s boast the brand’s signature FootShape profile, which creates a more ergonomic footbed that can be ideal for wider-footed athletes. Plus, despite the added stack height, this shoe still features a zero-drop design that can appeal to minimalists or those embedded in the barefoot movement.

Shop Altra


Price: $150

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm

Weight: 9.7oz

Colors Available: 6

Sizes Available: 7-15


Altra employs a roomier, more ergonomic design across the toe box for a natural fitment that can appease wider-footed athletes.

A molded collar helps create a secure lockdown around the ankle without any excessive pressure across the Achilles.

The Torin 7 is also available in Wide sizing to accommodate different foot types, although the color variety is more limited.


Athletes more accustomed to a pitched heel-to-toe drop may find this sneaker’s zero-drop, minimalist makeup difficult or uncomfortable.

The lacing system is somewhat finicky, meaning you’ll need to tie and retie these kicks in order to fine tune for that optimal lockdown.

If you need a running shoe with a little more interior room to accommodate your wider feet, the Altra Torin 7s can be the perfect fit for your next treadmill workout. Alongside the roomier toe box, the Torin 7s are also available in wide sizes, which can be more comfortable for those that struggle to find a comfortable fitment in standard dimensions.

I also enjoyed how Altra upgraded the collar of this sneaker with a molded design that hugs your ankle for added lockdown. Despite this snug-fitting component, I didn’t feel any pressure across my Achilles during movement, which I attributed to the flaring present across the top of the collar itself near the heel. Combining this tech with the natural foot shape, I rated the fit at 4.5 out of 5.

[Related: Treadmill Safety Tips: 9 Ways to Avoid Common Treadmill Injuries]

Traction is also a beacon of positivity with these Altra sneakers, which I scored at 4 out of 5. The full rubber outsole provided a good sense of grip across my treadmill belt, and the EGO MAX foam midsole seemed to flex naturally through my transitions.

As far as stability is concerned, this may be a tougher sell for some athletes. For one, the zero-drop design can leave you feeling sore or overworked during your initial wears, especially if you’re used to a running shoe with some forward lean. 

Additionally, the EGO MAX midsole foam is supportive but lacks a certain sense of added stability — cushioned enough for a session or two, but by no means a standout when compared to other foam technologies on the market.

If you are in need of a more stable treadmill running shoe and want to take advantage of Altra’s wider FootShape fit, I’d recommend the Paradigm 7s. They’re virtually the same silhouette, although the Paradigms also include some medial guide rails to help resolve any pronation issues during strides.

Lastly, I also rated the stability at 3.75 out of 5 given how finicky the lacing system is. Achieving a proper lockdown can take a few tries as you cinch and loosen the laces across the eyelets. I’d recommend spending a few minutes before your workout and getting your Torin 7s just right before hopping on and logging your daily miles.

[Related: The Best Treadmills for Heavy People]

Most Breathable Treadmill Running Shoes: TYR Techknit RNR-1 Runner

TYR Techknit RNR-1 Runner

TYR Techknit RNR-1 Runner

Looking for a breath of fresh air in your running footwear? The RNR-1s from TYR utilize a Techknit 3D upper with plenty of perforations to help create a ventilated experience every time you hit the road or treadmill.

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Price: $135

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm

Weight: 9.2oz

Colors Available: 13

Sizes Available: 4.5-14


This sneaker’s Techknit 3D upper cloaks your foot with ample structure and breathes easily to eliminate perspiration and improve comfort.

SurgeNRG+ foam across the midsole gives the RNR-1s a good sense of response and energy return, making them ideal for quicker training paces.

There are both neutral and more vibrant colorways across the roster, which can be appealing to a wider range of athletes and personalities.


The higher heel counter can lead to some Achilles irritation for some.

Extra padding across the midfoot and a less-flexible upper means these may be less optimal for wider-footed athletes.

Breathable shoes for treadmill running can help improve your overall comfort during training. Yes, you may have more control over your climate, but that doesn’t mean unwanted sweat and perspiration is out of the equation, leading to blisters and unwanted friction. Utilizing a branded Techknit 3D mesh upper, the RNR-1s from TYR are our pick for the best ventilated sneakers for cardio enthusiasts.

[Related: Why Don’t I Sweat When I Work Out?]

TYR is sort of new when it comes to footwear, but through the CXT-1 cross-trainer and L-1 Lifter (one of our favorite weightlifting shoes) it’s clear the brand is taking the shoe game seriously. On initial wears, I found the Techknit upper to be well-ventilated yet still structured enough for a supportive fit. I’d compare the softness, too, to a nice Henley — thicker than your typical cotton t-shirt, but enjoyable nonetheless.

I also enjoyed the collar and heel counter, experiencing little interference or irritation during training. However, some of my colleagues that routinely wear their RNR-1s have noted some strain across the Achilles. 

Additionally, there is a pronounced level of padding around the midfoot, which can make for a more narrow interior that may not align with wider-footed athletes. As such, I rated the fit at 4 out of 5.

TYR Techknit RNR-1 Runners

Naturally, though, the most breathable shoe for treadmill running should be, well, breathable. That’s never been an issue with my RNR-1s. The Techknit 3D upper features plenty of perforations for air flow, and I’ve yet to find conditions where sweat begins to pool in my sock. I rated the breathability at 4.5 out of 5.

Another perk to this newer running shoe is the Surge NRG+ foam embedded across the midsole. The foam is well-cushioned for a stable and comfortable ride, yet also has a surprising sense of pop across the design for added energy return. I scored the responsiveness at 4 out of 5, and think these can be well-suited sneakers for a variety of training needs, including both long-distance sessions and higher-tempo sprints.

[Related: How to Run a Faster Mile, According to a Running Coach]

Benefits of Shoes for Treadmill Running

Having a dedicated pair of running shoes for your treadmill workouts may seem like being overequipped for cardio day, but there are some definite benefits that come with the practice. From having a fine-tuned underfoot setup for your training to preserving the longevity of your other sneakers, below are some of the positives.

Activity-Specific Performance

As we’ve shared before, treadmills can be more forgiving than on-road running given that the belt is cushioned better than hard concrete or your local track. Additionally, you’re not going to change directions while running on a treadmill — it’s a repetitive straight-forward stride. Having shoes that match or compliment these conditions can help you increase efficiency in your step and get a better sense of enjoyment out of the activity.

On’s Cloudtec Phase geomtery as seen on the On Cloudsurfers

For example, since there’s already some underfoot cushioning, you can forgo those “max-cushioned” road running shoes with nearly 2 inches of midsole foam and instead opt for a cushioning design with less stack height. Stability components are always recommended if you need them, but be mindful that the repetitive stride pattern of treadmill running can lead to overworked stabilizer muscles if you’re placing unnecessary support across your arches.

Preserves Other Footwear

Having a pair of treadmill running shoes can also be great for your road running shoes, too. The more you wear your running shoes, naturally, the more wear and tear you’re placing across the outsole and midsole foam.

[Related: Running on a Treadmill Vs. Running Outside — Which Is Best for Your Goals?]

Additionally, switching between terrains, as well as the need to change direction when road running, can lead to less effective traction over time as your tread pattern wears down. Keeping a pair of shoes dedicated to the road and one dedicated for the treadmill can help ensure you’re set up for success regardless of your training conditions.

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Treadmill Running

Like any footwear for training and fitness, there are some key components to consider when choosing a pair of treadmill running shoes. Below are some of the factors we recommend thinking through when deciding between kicks.

Midsole Cushioning

According to Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, “Running treadmills have cushioned decks, which can alleviate some of the joint pain associated with running outside. With the right running shoes and a cushioned running deck, you’re armed with the tools you need to keep up your consistent running routine sans joint pain.” As such, you don’t need to go overboard when looking at your shoe’s midsole cushioning.

Still, though, having some midsole comfort is recommended in treadmill running shoes, so be sure to look for a silhouette with an amount of foam best suited for your needs. You should also think about your training style. For example, those interested in tempo runs can benefit from a more rigid midsole with heightened energy return, as this design can help propel you forward better for quick transitions and faster pacing.


It can be easier to achieve a repetitive, consistent foot strike on a treadmill given that there’s no change of direction. However, if you’re an athlete that deals with pronation issues, an excessive inward or outward roll of the ankle during landings, you could require some assistance from your footwear. Overpronation (excessive inward roll) has been linked to overloading injuries across the knees and stabilizer muscles. (2)

When considering shoes with stabilizing features like guide rails or more structured sidewalls, the easiest way to determine whether these components are necessary is by looking at your daily pair of sneakers. 

If the tread pattern is more worn down across the interior side of the shoe, you likely overpronate naturally. If the outsole has consistent wear all around, you exhibit more of a neutral gait. Outer tread wear hints at underpronation, or supination.

[Related: How to Achieve Proper Running Form, Explained By Running Coaches]

Stability shoes can be more helpful for overpronators, so it can be wise for these athletes to seek out treadmill running shoes with some form of motion control. Neutral and supinating individuals may be better suited with a neutral running shoe, as unnecessary support can potentially lead to excessive strain or overworked stabilizer muscles given the consistent foot strike.

Upper Materials

Your treadmill running shoe’s upper should be breathable to help alleviate excessive perspiration. Trapped sweat or hot interior conditions can potentially lead to unwanted friction or hot spots, resulting in blisters and some time on the mend. 

Look for uppers constructed from a breathable knit or mesh textile with some sense of structure. Flexible materials can be great for achieving a comfortable fit, but too much stretch can lead to foot movement during strides and inconsistencies across your running efficiency.

The breathable Techknit 3D upper featured across the TYR Techknit RNR-1 Runners

Also, given that treadmill running is predominantly conducted indoors, you won’t need to think through weatherproofing components like water-resistant liners or rip-resistant overlays like you’d need in trail running shoes. In actuality, these add-ons can lessen the breathability of the sneaker, so a lighter mesh or knit design is favorable for treadmill enthusiasts.


It’s simple — your running shoes should fit your foot. You don’t want to have too much room where your feet move around during each stride, while a too constrictive fit can potentially lead to blisters. Read through the brand’s proprietary size guide and look for a running shoe that matches your dimensions best.

For wider-footed athletes, it can also be helpful to opt for a treadmill running shoe available in Wide or Extra Wide sizings. These specialized cuts extend the shoe profile in key areas for a more fine-tuned fit than you’d achieve by sizing up on the standard scale. We’ve made note of which shoes in this round-up offer such sizings for easier identification during your purchasing process.


Prices can vary from brand to brand, but on average, you can expect to pay roughly $145 for high-quality treadmill running shoes. Naturally, there are silhouettes at cheaper and more expensive costs than this, so in the end, think about your finances and how much you’re willing to spend on a pair.

[Related: Best Budget Treadmills]

If your primary running environment is the treadmill, then you can potentially benefit from investing more in these kicks. If you’re only using the machine every now and again (or when weather forecasts aren’t aligning with your training schedule) it may be best to purchase a budget-friendly sneaker and invest more in your road running shoes.

Final Word

Treadmill running shoes can be a great addition to your indoor running setup, complimenting the flat running surface and existing cushioning you can experience atop your machine. Plus, having a dedicated pair of running shoes for the treadmill can be great for preserving the performance baked into your on-road sneakers, limiting the wear and tear you place across the midsole foam and outsole tread patterns.

When looking for a worthwhile pair of treadmill running shoes, you should think about how much cushioning you desire underfoot, as well as how much support you want for your personal gait. You should also, naturally, think about how the shoes fit and how expensive they are, i.e., is it worth the investment to own multiple pairs of running shoes (yes, it is)? Using this guide as a helpful blueprint, your new pair of treadmill running shoes can be a great way to up the enjoyment when it comes to this monotonous training activity.


Can I use training shoes for treadmill running?

Cross-training shoes, while versatile in a gym setting, can be less of a benefit when it comes to treadmill workouts. Their more rigid midsoles and flat outsoles are designed to help in strength training endeavors rather than running. As such, it’s in your best interest to swap out your footwear for a proper pair of running shoes before dialing in your treadmill settings and taking off for a session.

What is the best shoe for treadmill running?

The best treadmill running shoe will be subjective from one athlete to another. For our money, though, the Asics Gel-Cumulus 26 is the best of the bunch thanks to its comfortable yet structured FF BLAST PLUS ECO midsole foam, as well as a comfortable engineered mesh upper that provides a good sense of lockdown without feeling overly constrictive.

How much do shoes for treadmill running cost?

On average, you can find treadmill running shoes for roughly $145, with outliers on both sides of this median price tag. In the end, though, the best treadmill running shoes for you are the ones that fit your budget best.


Rippe, J. M. (1988). Walking for health and fitness. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 259(18), 2720.

Hintermann, B., & Nigg, B. M. (1998). Pronation in runners. Sports Medicine, 26(3), 169–176. 

The post The 12 Best Shoes for Treadmill Running, Ran In and Tested by Our Experts appeared first on BarBend.


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