The 11 Best Treadmill Running Shoes of 2022

We recommend On’s Cloudflow and Nike’s Air Zoom Pegasus 39 for logging miles

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Running on a treadmill certainly has its benefits—it’s easy to control your pace, and you don’t have to worry about staying safe in low-light conditions or bad weather. But it’s crucial to wear the right shoes for optimal comfort and performance, as well as protection from injuries.

Reviewed & Approved

On’s Cloudflow Running Shoes are our top pick because they’re comfortable, lightweight, and highly responsive. We also recommend Nike’s Air Zoom Pegasus 39 Running Shoes, which provide excellent support and springy cushioning for a bouncy, steady stride.

“On the treadmill, you are trying to simulate, as best you can, running on roads,” Scott Peacockdirector of coaches for San Antonio Road Runners and a Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series ambassador, says. As a result, many road running shoes are suitable for treadmill running, but there are some key features to keep in mind.

When purchasing treadmill running shoes, look for pairs that are supportive and provide good energy return to help propel you forward. The best treadmill running shoes are also lightweight and breathable since you don’t need as much cushioning or protection as you would in road or trail running shoes. You should generally expect to pay between $70-$160 for a high-quality pair.

We chose the best treadmill running shoes by researching dozens of pairs from the most popular, trusted brands. We considered each pair’s fit, design, comfort, value, and more. We also spoke with experts to understand what features every treadmill running shoe should have.  

Based on our research, here are the best treadmill running shoes on the market.

Best Women’s Overall: On Cloudflow Running Shoes

4.9
On Cloudflow Running Shoes

Zappos

Pros
  • Lightweight and flexible

  • Very responsive

  • Sleek, stylish design

Cons
  • Expensive

Lightweight and fully cushioned, On’s Cloudflow Running Shoes are our top women’s pick for their comfort, responsiveness, and flexibility. And don’t let the streamlined, minimalist look fool you. While the design is sleek, these shoes provide reliable support for neutral runners.

The midsole provides the springy bounce that makes running on the treadmill feel effortless. Meanwhile, the outsole features 18 individual pods that provide ultra-responsive cushioning and help propel you forward. The combination of springiness and support also makes it a versatile option for gym workouts like HIIT routines.

The breathable, engineered mesh offers a secure fit and keeps your feet cool. Even better, it’s made with 70% recycled polyester, so you can feel good about wearing an environmentally friendly product. While you’ll pay a bit more for the Cloudflow compared to others on our list, they’re well worth the investment.

Price at time of publication: $140

Weight: 9 ounces | Closure: Lace-up Materials: Recycled polyester, rubber | Cushioning: Medium | Heel to Toe Drop: 9 mm | Arch Support: Neutral

Best Men’s Overall: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39

4.6
nike air zoom pegasus 39 mens road running shoes

Nike

Pros
  • Good stability

  • Padded tongue and collar

  • Wide range of colors and sizes

Cons
  • May run warm for some

  • Expensive

Nike’s Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is our top men's pick, thanks to their superior stability. With lightweight foam cushioning, they have good energy return and allow for a peppy stride on the treadmill. Meanwhile, the mesh upper provides a comfortable, snug fit.  

However, it may make some runners’ feet feel warm compared to other options on our list. It also comes in at a higher price point. But the wide toe box has plenty of room for your feet to spread out, which adds to the shoe’s stability and blister prevention. 

Even with the ample space up front, the shoe still has a locked-in feel, with a tapered heel and deep heel cup for extra support and stability. While the Pegasus 39 is great for the treadmill, it could also double as a gym shoe, so it’s a solid option for those days when both cardio and strength training are on the schedule.

Price at time of publication: $130

Weight: 9.4 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Materials: Mesh upper, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Medium | Heel to Toe Drop: 10 mm | Arch Support: Neutral

Best Budget: Skechers Go Run Consistent Sneaker

Skechers Go Run Consistent Sneaker

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Wide toe box

  • Firm cushioning

Cons
  • Interior seams may cause irritation for some

We recommend Skechers’ Go Run Consistent Sneaker for those who want a high-quality, lightweight shoe that’s also affordable. Despite its budget-friendly price, the Go Run Consistent offers superb comfort and a flexible outsole that’s perfect for the treadmill. 

The cushioning is firm but shock-absorbing, so your feet are supported and protected as you’re running and walking. A breathable, air-cooled insole helps keep your feet cool and dry. And the upper is made from a durable combination of leather and mesh. 

Whether you spend hours on the treadmill or are on your feet all day long, you’ll appreciate the responsive cushioning. There are some internal seams that may be an issue for those with a history of foot blisters. However, the shoe has a wide toe box and comes in wide widths for those who need some extra room.

Price at time of publication: $55

Weight: 6.5 ounces | Closure: Lace-up Materials: Leather and mesh upper, rubber sole | Cushioning: Medium | Heel to Toe Drop: Not listed | Arch Support: Neutral

Best Lightweight: Hoka One One Men's Clifton 8

Hoka One One Men's Clifton 8

REI

Pros
  • Good shock absorption

  • Extended pull tab at the heel

  • Wide toe box

Cons
  • May run wide for some

  • Expensive

If you need a running shoe with excellent cushioning but still want a lightweight feel, we recommend Hoka’s Clifton 8. With a soft, flexible mesh upper that conforms to the shape of the foot, the shoes are well-fitting right out of the box.  

Hoka’s signature foam midsole provides maximum support without feeling too bulky or heavy. A plush collar adds to the overall comfort, while the shoe’s extended Achilles pull tab provides easy on and off.

They also feature a roomy toe box, which may be too wide for some. However, those with wide feet or a history of foot issues like bunions will appreciate the extra space. With a streamlined silhouette and a wide range of colors to choose from, the Clifton 8, while more expensive, also lends itself to casual wear when you’re not working out.

Price at time of publication: $140

Weight: 8 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Materials: Mesh upper, rubber and synthetic outsole | Cushioning: Medium | Heel to Toe Drop: 5 mm | Arch Support: Neutral

Best Cushioned: Brooks Glycerin 20 Running Shoes

Brooks Glycerin 20 Running Shoes

Amazon

Pros
  • Good cushioning

  • Breathable

  • Wide toe box

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not ideal for speedwork

If cloud-like comfort is your priority for treadmill running shoes, then we recommend Brooks’ Glycerin 20. This pair features soft, lightweight cushioning that’s supportive and responsive. Despite the comfortable midsole, the Glycerin also provides good support and a locked-in feel for neutral runners. 

The stretchy mesh upper allows for good flexibility and breathability, which is important for indoor running, where there’s no natural airflow. While there are lighter, faster options available for speedwork, the Glycerin is a very comfortable, supportive pick for those who like to put in regular mileage while running or walking. 

It also boasts a wide toe box, as well as narrow, regular, and wide options, so you can find a width that works for your foot shape and size. Compared to some of our other picks, you’ll pay more for these shoes, but we think the quality, durability, and performance are worth the price.

 Price at time of publication: $160

Weight: 10 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Materials: Mesh upper, rubber outsole | Cushioning: High | Heel to Toe Drop: 10 mm | Arch Support: Neutral

Best Stability: New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 v12 Running Shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 v12 Running Shoes

Amazon

Pros
  • Secure and comfortable fit

  • Comes in four widths

  • Good for overpronators

Cons
  • Laces are short

  • Expensive

New Balance’s 860 v12 is our pick for anyone who needs extra stability while they walk or run on the treadmill. The foam midsole is lightweight but offers firm support to prevent overpronation (or rotation of the foot inward when running). Despite the reliable stability, the shoe doesn’t feel too bulky or heavy. 

Beyond treadmill running, it’s also a solid option for those who need supportive shoes for all-day wear. The 860 v12s have a glove-like fit, thanks to the smooth, double jacquard upper. And the rubber outsole provides outstanding rebound, which is good to have for treadmill running. 

Like most New Balance shoes, they come in a range of widths, including narrow, regular, wide, and extra-wide, so you can find the fit that’s right for you. Note that the shoelaces might be too short for some, but you can easily swap them for a different pair. The price point is also higher than others on our list. 

Price at time of publication: $135

Weight: 9.6 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Materials: Mesh upper, rubber sole | Cushioning: High | Heel to Toe Drop: 10 mm | Arch Support: Stability

Best for Speed: Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

Zappos

Pros
  • Flexible

  • Good support

  • Made with recycled materials

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Only comes in one width

If you like to crank up the pace on the treadmill, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is a lightweight, flexible shoe that wins our top spot for speedwork. It features a winged nylon plate that provides support but also returns energy, helping propel you forward.  

The midsole cushioning is also very responsive and surprisingly light. Even better, the shoe’s upper comfortably molds to the foot shape, which helps prevent any slipping or sliding. It’s also breathable, so your feet won’t overheat.

Note that the Endorphin Speed is designed for faster running, so it’s not a distance or gym shoe and won’t be as versatile as other pairs on our list. Plus, it only comes in one width, and it’s expensive. However, it’s a solid choice if you’re looking to pick up the pace.

Price at time of publication: $170

Weight: 7.2 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Materials: Mesh, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Medium | Heel to Toe Drop: 8 mm | Arch Support: Neutral

Best for Flat Feet: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Sneakers for Men

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Amazon

Pros
  • Good stability

  • Can also be worn for road running

  • Good traction

Cons
  • Toe box may be too narrow for some

  • Expensive

Treadmill runners with flat feet (also known as overpronation) need a shoe that will control excessive movement without sacrificing cushioning. For a pair that checks all the boxes, we recommend Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 22. This pair offers the stability and support that overpronators need to reduce their risk of injury while exercising.

Unlike some other stability shoes, the GTS 22 doesn’t feel stiff or heavy, so you can walk or run comfortably. The shoe’s engineered mesh upper hugs the foot for a close fit and a locked-in feel. Plus, the rubber outsole features excellent traction for a good grip. 

The toe box may be a little narrow for some, but it does come in wide and extra-wide options in some colors. And while it’s more expensive, the shoe’s foam midsole offers a balanced, soft ride with great support. 

Price at time of publication: $140

Weight: 9.1 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Materials: Engineered mesh upper, rubber sole | Cushioning: High | Heel to Toe Drop: 12 mm | Arch Support: Stability

Best for Road and Treadmill Running: Hoka Mach 5 Running Shoes

Hoka One One Mach 5 Running Shoes

Hoka

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Thick, layered cushioning

  • Good traction

Cons
  • Collar may feel stiff at first

  • Expensive

Hoka’s Mach 5 is our pick for a versatile shoe that can go from the treadmill to the pavement. It features soft cushioning that provides good energy return. Beneath it, a layer of firmer, rubberized foam provides stability and durability. The result is an agile sneaker that works for almost any pace, as well as both short and long distance runs.

This pair also has a mesh upper that hugs the foot for a snug, custom-like fit and feel. And if you want to take these shoes outside for some miles, you can rest assured that the rubber outsole will provide plenty of traction. 

The collar may feel stiff during the first few wears, but it’s more comfortable and flexible after a short break-in period. The Mach 5 is a lightweight, springy shoe that offers cloud-like comfort both on and off the treadmill, making it worth the higher price point.

Price at time of publication: $140

Weight: 6.8 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Materials: Mesh upper, synthetic outsole | Cushioning: Medium | Heel to Toe Drop: 5 mm | Arch Support: Neutral

Best for Shock Absorption: Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 25

4.7
Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 25

Mizuno

Pros
  • Good for neutral runners

  • Mesh upper has no seams

  • Padded tongue, collar, and heel tab

Cons
  • May run small for some

  • Expensive

Designed with neutral runners in mind, Mizuno’s Wave Rider 25 is our top pick for a shoe with superior shock absorption. With the right combination of support and responsiveness, the shoe’s foam cushioning is soft and plush but still has a bouncy, energetic feel. 

The shoe also features a plate that disperses energy from each stride, offering more stability. And the upper has a simple design without irritating seams to prevent bunions and blisters. The Wave Rider isn’t as firm and snappy as some speed trainers are, but it’s ideal for relaxed runs and walks on the treadmill. 

The toe box offers plenty of room, but the heel fits snugly and securely, so you don’t have to worry about slipping and sliding. The tongue, heel tab, and collar are padded for additional comfort without feeling bulky or too hot. But it may run small, and it’s more expensive than other sneakers on our list. 

Price at time of publication: $140

Weight: 9 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Materials: Synthetic upper, rubber outsole | Cushioning: High | Heel to Toe Drop: 12 mm | Arch Support: Neutral

Best for Energy Return: Asics Men's NovaBlast 2 Running Shoes

Asics NovaBlast 2 Running Shoes

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Durable outsole

  • Heel stabilizer is ideal for neutral runners

Cons
  • May run small for some

  • Expensive

Treadmill running shoes should have great energy return to help propel you forward—like our top pick, Asics’ NovaBlast 2 running shoes. The thick foam cushioning also provides good shock absorption to protect your joints while you work out.  

The NovaBlast features a heel stabilizer for extra support. It also promotes a balanced stride for neutral runners. A solid choice for treadmill sessions, they can also double as a comfortable sneaker for all-day wear. But this pair is more expensive than others on our list, and the shoes might run small for some.  

Price at time of publication: $130

Weight: 7.8 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Materials: Synthetic upper, rubber outsole | Cushioning: High | Heel to Toe Drop: 8 mm | Arch Support: Neutral

How We Selected the Best Treadmill Running Shoes

To choose the best running shoes for the treadmill, we first asked Scott Peacock, director of coaches for San Antonio Road Runners, and Melissa Prestipino, PT, DPT, a physical therapist, for their expert opinions on which features every pair should have. 

Then, we researched dozens of running shoes from popular, trusted brands. We considered comfort, breathability, support, responsiveness, and cushioning. We also looked at fit, price, design, and more.

What to Look for in Treadmill Running Shoes

Fit

A pair of running shoes should fit comfortably, whether you’re running on a treadmill or pavement. Ensuring a snug, secure fit can improve your running form and reduce your risk of injury. The shape of a shoe’s footbed and your own bone structure can influence how a shoe fits, so make sure to try a new pair on and assess the fit before you wear them for a workout. 

Weight

Since a treadmill belt is a softer surface than asphalt, concrete, or gravel, most runners won't need a shoe with immense cushioning or bulky, grippy soles. Instead, “if you are doing intervals or other speedwork on the treadmill, you can use lighter shoes than you would normally wear on the track,” Peacock says.

Cushioning

No matter your pace or distance on the treadmill, you’ll need some cushioning in your shoes for shock absorption and overall comfort. Most pairs, like Hoka’s One One Clifton 8 Running Shoes, offer foam cushioning, which helps support your joints as you move. Some shoes are more padded than others—the level of cushioning you need depends on your foot shape and whether you have any injuries, like plantar fasciitis. 

Look for responsive cushioning, which means it’s firm, lightweight, and has high energy return. The shoes should feel springy to help push you forward on the machine. If the cushioning is too plush, it won’t have enough bounce.

Breathability

When running indoors, you don’t get the benefit of natural airflow, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a breathable shoe. Not only will a well-ventilated shoe keep your feet cool and comfortable on the treadmill, but you’ll also reduce your risk of foot blisters. Look for shoes with a mesh upper, like Brooks’ Glycerin 20 Running Shoes. 


Motion Control

Some runners need a shoe that offers more stability in the form of motion control. “If you pronate, you more excessively roll your heel inwards when running,” Melissa Prestipino, PT, DPT, a physical therapist in Sparta, New Jersey, who treats runners and triathletes, says. “This type of runner can benefit from a stability or motion control shoe.”

If you’re not sure if you pronate, visit a specialty running store, where experts can analyze your running gait while you’re on a treadmill. You can also consult a running coach or physical therapist.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of shoes are best for running on the treadmill?

    When selecting treadmill running shoes, look for ones that are lightweight but also offer good support and responsiveness. Reputable running shoe brands like Nike, On, Brooks, Hoka One One, and New Balance offer a wide range of high-quality shoes with options for runners with various foot types and gaits that work nicely for the treadmill.

    Keep in mind that a shoe that works for another runner may not be the best choice for you, so seek help from experts at a running shoe store if you’re not sure of your exact needs.

  • Should you run on a treadmill with running shoes?

    Yes, running shoes are the best choice for running on a treadmill because they have the right support and cushioning for running. Walking shoes, which are often not as breathable or responsive as running shoes, may be too heavy for running. And gym shoes may not have the right support and energy return you’ll need when running on a treadmill.

  • Can I wear road running shoes on a treadmill?

    “You can wear your regular running shoes, as you are trying to simulate road running while on the treadmill,” Peacock says. However, there are some instances when road running shoes may not be the best choice for treadmill running.

    For instance, a road running shoe that’s a hybrid shoe, or a shoe that’s intended for both road and trail running, would have very grippy traction that’s unnecessary for treadmill running. And trail shoes with aggressive lugs on the outsole can actually damage the treadmill belt.

    Another exception might be a heavily cushioned shoe, like the Hoka One One Bondi 8. These are ideal for running long distances outside, but they may feel too heavy and not responsive enough for treadmill running.

  • How long do running shoes last on a treadmill?

    The life of running shoes can vary—it depends on factors like the type of shoe, the weight of the runner, and the surface (a track, pavement, etc.). Running primarily on a treadmill should prolong the life of your running shoes since the surface is much smoother and softer and won’t wear them down as quickly.

    However, running in worn-out shoes that have lost their cushioning could lead to injuries, so you should replace them every so often. “You should change out your running shoes when you see excessive wear or average about 450 to 550 miles,” Prestipino says.

  • Can I use gym shoes for running on a treadmill?

    While some gym shoes are versatile enough for treadmill running, many are designed for activities like weightlifting and don’t have the right support you’d want for treadmill running. If you have a low-profile shoe with very grippy traction that’s intended for specific workouts, such as CrossFit or powerlifting, then you’ll want to stick to wearing it for those activities. 

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a running coach, certified personal trainer, marathon runner, and fitness writer, Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, has spent years researching and recommending running and walking shoes. To exercise in comfort and reduce injury risk, she suggests getting properly fitted for running shoes and replacing them regularly.