The gym is filled with people eager (or not so eager?) to get their cardio in away from the sometimes not-so-ideal outdoor environments. You are one of these people.
So you have your headphones with your favorite music ready to play, your headband and sweat-resistant clothing on... but what’s on your feet?
By the end of your treadmill run, do you have blisters on the backs of your heels, sore ankles, and a beaten down floor bed? Can you even feel your toes by the end of your run?
I have news for you, friend: The only thing you should be noticing about your feet during and after your run is how comfy and pain-free they are!
No worries - great treadmill running shoes don’t have to be a hassle to find. I’ve done the work for you! I have compiled a list of the top 3 best training shoes for women and the top 3 best workout shoes for men for the treadmill.
The key feature you’ll want to look out for is how the shoe balances support (through added cushioning) and flexibility for comfort.
Best Training Shoes for Women:
The Women’s Gel Kayano 21 work well as both a treadmill shoe and a regular walking shoe.
The Kayano 21 offers a Fluidfit system that allows the shoe to form-fit around your foot like a glove. The Duo Max feature increases stability and support in the heel while the Gel cushioning provides great shock absorption.
These shoes have great arch support; therefore, these are may be ideal for us flat-footed individuals with foot maladies like plantar fasciitis who are prone to over-pronate. That being said, these shoes are rather narrow so make sure to try them on in store before buying online if you have wider feet.
Specific to women’s needs, ASICS has increased the heel height to 3mm to help alleviate achilles tension. That’s rather considerate of them, isn’t it?
Compared to earlier Kayano versions, this one has a more snug fit and softer cushioning. It also has increased in weight a bit due to its extra cushion support.
- Great stability and cushioning
- Great arch support for flat feet & over-pronators
- Tailored specifically for women
- Wears out fairly quickly (6 months-1 year)
- Runs ½ size small
- Fairly light, but still a bit on the heavier side
Salomon’s XR Mission shoe for women offers comfort, support, breathability, extra cushioning, and even an innovative way to tie your shoes.
This is a trail shoe that is more rigid than others in this list because they are meant for rough terrain, so you may find you need to break them in. But don’t let the tough exterior fool you into thinking that the insides are not lined in foam for your foot's’ loving pleasure.
Some features: Sensiflex wraps the foot in a snug overlay that
These shoes also have protective toe caps to protect your little feetsies from damage. That feature would’ve been perfect for every single time I’ve ever stubbed my toe…(yes, it’s that often).
- Great arch support
- Quicklace and Sensiflex features
- Wide base of shoe keeps knees in line
- Runs big, so order ½ size down
- Quicklace may prove difficult for some to navigate at first
- May be too tough for treadmill running
This could be an excellent option for us bargain shoppers who are looking for that budget training shoe that is both durable and cute.
These shoes are lightweight, offer neutral arch support (great for wide, flat feet), and a mesh, synthetic upper which allows for maximum breathability.
These shoes don’t have as much cushion, so there is some comfort that has been sacrificed. Enough to make me not want to buy them? No.
These shoes are durable, light, and look fairly attractive compared to other models of running shoes. There is also an added layer of texture on the shoelaces that keep them securely tied.
- Good for flat feet needing neutral arch support
- Lightweight and durable
- May sacrifice some comfort for price
- Runs ½ - full size too small
Best Workout Shoes for Men:
ASICS Gel Kayano 20 perfectly pair just the right amount of support with just the right amount of flexibility and comfort to create a harmonious running shoe experience. I think these are the best treadmill running shoes for men for the following reason:
These shoes will give your feet added cushion as you tread on the treadmill as well as memory foam around your ankles for a little extra love. The amount of support these shoes provide is perfect for overpronators.
The Dynamic Duomax Support System reduces weight and increased platform support offers extra stability. The Fluidfit feature is my favorite because the multi-directional stretch mesh molds to the shape of your foot for a snug fit.
Doesn’t that sound delightful?
The extra cushioning does make the shoe a bit heavier, but I think the extra support makes up for the weight. The upper mesh does wear out fairly quickly, so consider rotating these off and on with another pair.
- Soft AND Supportive
- Great for overpronators
- Snug, form-fitting feel
- Not as durable as other shoes
- Extra cushioning adds some weight
- A little bit pricey, but worth it
If you’re looking for something a little bit softer on the feet, the New Balance 990 may be for you. These shoes pack on the cushion in 3 features: (1) Dual Density collar foam embraces the ankles; (2) ABZORB provides cushioning for shock absorption; and (3) the Encap provides cushioning for the heel.
The 990’s may be ideal for men looking for the perfect wide shoe option as New Balance offers many options of widths to choose from. These would be fantastic for my dad who has quite a wide foot.
The snugfit comfort of these shoes pays the price in lack of support. Since it offers more flexibility for comfort, over-pronators perhaps shouldn’t turn to this option.
For this reason as well, they will not last long if you run in them 10 miles every single day! These may be the best shoes for treadmill walking.
Something of a pro and a con of these shoes is that they are made in the USA. Supporting your local country does mean paying a little bit extra.
Word of caution: keep these puppies away from water as they’ve been known to begin to smell something like cat urine due to the polyurethane disintegrating….
- Soft, flexible, and snug
- Appealing look
- Many widths to choose from
- Little pricey (but support your country!)
- Lack of support
- Not the most durable
The GTS 15 is a stability shoe that offers strong support and extended comfort. The midsole delivers cushioning, and the Omega flex grooves allow a more natural forefoot fluidity.
What I like most about this shoe is the segmented crash pad, which allows for greater shock absorption and an extremely well-balanced and seamless heel-to-toe transition.
You may want these shoes if your feet have flat to medium arches as these shoes offer great arch support.
These shoes also offer a tougher, more supportive form altogether, making for a shoe that keeps overpronators from over-pronating (something I could use a little more of).
Because of this level of support, these shoes do tend to be on the heavier side when compared to other lightweight running shoes.
The GTS 15 do require some breaking-in, and are rather narrow, so may not be well-suited for individuals with wide feet.
- Great support (important for overpronators) and comfort
- Caterpillar Pad allows for smooth transitions from heel-to-toe
- Soft cushioning
- Heavier (it is a stability shoe, after all)
- May run ½ size small
- Have to break-in
Running on the treadmill does not have to be a painful experience for your feet. In fact, your feet should be helping you right along, not causing you any turmoil or disturbance.
Finding the best treadmill shoes should be a lot easier now. I’ve given you the breakdown, now choose wisely (your feet can thank me later).
Choose your favorite pair and look forward to how lovely your feet will feel every time you get ready to run on the treadmill.
I encourage you to continue running along on that treadmill with your favorite beats playing in your ears, your hair pulled back and bouncing with every stride, and comfortable, stable shoes supporting your every step.
Here are the videos about ASICS Women’s Gel Kayano 21
and Salomon Women’s XR Mission Running shoes
Product images sourced from Amazon.com