Walking is an underrated exercise, both for cardiovascular fitness and for muscular health.
And using a treadmill is an easy and convenient option for many people. You can walk at any time of day or night and in any weather.
But to maximize safety and comfort, you should invest in a pair of the best shoes for treadmill walking.
We chose the New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 for our top pick. It has generous Fresh Foam midsole cushioning, an external heel counter for better stability, and extra foam in the toe-bed.
Browse through the whole list so you can find the best choice for you and start taking better care of your feet while treadmill walking.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11
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Brooks Revel 5
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Saucony Omni 20
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1. New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11
The New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 has a double-jacquard mesh upper which makes it breathable and flexible but still supportive.
The lacing system—with extra eyelets—lets you secure the foot tightly. For lateral stability, there’s a molded external heel counter which will prevent side-to-side movement of the foot.
Rubber outsoles provide good traction on the treadmill deck. In the forefoot, there’s soft blown rubber for extra grip and better durability.
Excellent cushioning is provided by the Fresh Foam midsole that’s been engineered to provide plush padding while remaining lightweight. The landing is soft and shock-absorbing, but energy return isn’t compromised.
The 10 mm heel-to-toe drop is comfortable for most people and promotes a smooth transition. A molded footbed adds a layer of comfort and softness. The newly-added heel flare prevents the back of the shoe from chafing against your Achilles.
If you are using these shoes on a treadmill in an area that’s not well-ventilated, they may find that the shoes are less breathable than others due to their double-mesh upper.
- Double jacquard mesh upper
- Generous Fresh Foam midsole cushioning
- Molded footbed
- Molded external heel counter
- This shoe is slightly less breathable than others due to the double-layer upper
2. Brooks Revel 5
If you’re looking for a shoe that provides a comfortable and safe treadmill walk but still fits into a budget, then you may like the Brooks Revel 5.
A Fit-Knit mesh upper is stretchy enough to accommodate wide feet without creating pressure points. However, it may be harder to get a secure lockdown on narrow feet. It’s also well-ventilated, thanks to large perforations in the mesh.
To keep you safe on the treadmill deck even at slightly higher speeds, the full rubber outsole is grippy and features an arrow pattern that aids in a smooth transition from heel to toe.
In the midsole, BioMoGo DNA foam offers an ideal mix of soft and comfortable cushioning to spur you on. Along with the rubber outsole, it helps absorb any shock your feet and ankles may experience during your walk.
This is a neutral shoe, but the insole is removable so overpronators can insert one with more specific arch support. It’s also extremely light—8.7 oz—so there’s room for an orthotic without increasing the weight too much.
- Fit-Knit upper
- BioMoGo DNA cushioning
- Full rubber outsole
- Move from heel to toe quickly
- This shoe may be too wide for narrow feet
Best Supportive Sneaker
3. Saucony Omni 20
If you overpronate—your foot rolls inwards when you walk—then the Saucony Omni 20 is a stability shoe that would be ideal for treadmill walking.
An extended medial post in the midsole provides support for the arch to keep it in its natural position and alignment.
Engineered mesh with sections of generously-sized perforations allows for good airflow through the upper. FORMFIT technology works with the lace-up system to secure a customized fit.
Saucony’s well-known PWRRUN cushioning is in the midsole. It absorbs shock effectively and offers a soft feeling without being mushy. A layer of EVERUN foam complements that by providing good energy return. This allows the shoe to have a good mix of comfort and springiness.
A beveled heel and forefoot creates a rocker sole, which helps you walk with less effort from the muscles. This means you can walk further and longer before tiring out.
The TRI-FLEX rubber outsole grips the treadmill surface well to provide you with traction while you walk. Two different types of rubber—XT-900 on the heel and iBR+ in the forefoot—offer both durability on high-wear areas and extra cushioning.
Some may find that this shoe is slightly heavy, as it weighs over 10 ounces.
- FormFit upper
- Extended medial post
- PWRRUN and EVERUN cushioning
- Dual rubber outsole
- This shoe is slightly heavy at more than 10 ounces
Top Walking Shoe
4. Drew Lightning II V (men)
The Drew Lightning II V is a men’s walking shoe that has a leather and mesh upper that provides good external support.
Two Velcro straps across the bridge of the foot provide an adequate lockdown for walking.
These shoes have a softly padded heel collar and tongue for comfort and a heel counter for stability. Another stability feature is the synthetic shank in the midsole, which provides support and prevents the shoe from twisting.
The Drew Lightning II V comes with the Plus Fitting System—two insoles, both of which are removable. This allows you to create extra depth in the shoe, which can help those with a high instep. It also makes room for custom orthotics if you need more support.
A rocker bottom makes the heel-to-toe transition smoother and the rubber outsole is durable and has good traction. An EVA midsole offers good shock absorption and protects the joints, even when walking at a relaxed pace.
These shoes run slightly small and narrow so you may need to order a size larger.
- Leather and mesh upper
- Plus Fitting System
- Foam-padded tongue and collar
- Rocker bottom
- These shoes run slightly narrow and you may need to order a size up
5. Drew Flare (women)
The Drew Flare women’s walking shoe is quite similar to the men’s.A leather and mesh upper supports the foot from the outside while allowing airflow through effectively. The tongue and heel collar are padded and hold the feet in place comfortably.
This shoe also features a tri-support insole with a tempered steel shank and a medial heel stabilizer. All of these features provide extra support and stability for the feet. EVA midsoles and a built-in heel pad absorb shock and reduce vibration on every step.
The Drilex lining uses AEGIS antimicrobial technology to keep the feet cool and dry. One of the most useful features of this shoe is the two removable footbeds which turn this shoe into a double-depth shoe that can accommodate prescribed orthotics.
- Leather and mesh upper
- Extended medial heel stabilizer
- Plus Fitting System
- Tri-Support Insole
- Some may find the toe box to be a bit narrow
Best for Foot Conditions
6. Propét Stability Fly
This shoe is designed for individuals with foot conditions such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, and metatarsalgia. It’s an A5500-coded shoe suitable for diabetic patients.
A knit mesh upper allows good airflow throughout the shoe, keeping your feet cool and dry. The softness of the material also prevents abrasion. A spacious, rounded toe box gives toes plenty of space to splay and prevents further problems as a result of cramped feet.
There is built-in arch support that caters to overpronators. But if you need a custom orthotic for their foot condition, the footbed can be removed to make space for one.
A contoured heel stabilizer prevents lateral movement that could lead to injury. The heel is also extra cushioned, which is helpful for conditions like plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.
The shoes may run slightly large so you may need to order a half-size up.
- Knit mesh exterior
- Contoured heel stabilizer
- Cushioned heel
- Removable PU insole
- The shoes may run large so you may need to order a half-size up
7. Propét Viator Strap (men)
These shoes are also A5500-coded shoes and are excellent for those who need support and breathability.
A mesh upper allows for ventilation throughout the shoe, keeping your feet cool and dry. An adjustable Velcro strap fits snugly but does not create a pressure point as it’s quite wide.
They have a wide, rounded toe box to provide space for a natural foot position. A lightly padded heel collar and tongue provide some extra comfort and don’t sacrifice breathability. There’s also a heel counter and extra heel cushion.
The footbed has a gel-like cushion but it can also be removed for custom orthotics to fit into the shoe.
- Breathable mesh upper
- Open-cell foam insole
- Wide toe box
- Adjustable strap
- Some may find that the shoe runs narrow
8. Vionic Adore (women)
Women who like a well-ventilated shoe will appreciate the Vionic Adore.It has a light mesh upper with large perforations, as well as cutouts on either side for more airflow through the foot chamber. This reduction in material also helps reduce the weight of the shoe.
Vio-Motion️ footbed technology provides Three-Zone Comfort and Ultimate Arch Support to cradle your foot comfortably and safely.
A traditional lacing system allows for a snug fit. Some people may find that the one-piece upper makes it difficult to get their foot into the shoe easily. There are loops on the heel and tongue to assist with this.
- Mesh upper
- Vio-Motion footbed technology
- Lightly cushioned collar and tongue
- Lightweight and flexible
- Some people may find that the shoe doesn’t open wide enough to get their foot in
9. Adidas SL 20.2
The Adidas SL 20.2 weighs around 8 ½ ounces. It’s made from recycled materials—Primegreen—so it’s eco-friendly. The double-layer mesh is light and breathable.
Lightstrike foam in the midsole is a responsive foam that gives a good energy return, whether walking or running. It’s not extremely cushioned and a 9.5mm drop puts you closer to the ground than the last iteration of this shoe.
You’ll have excellent grip on the treadmill surface with a Continental rubber outsole, which features two different types of rubber for the best traction.
Individuals with wide feet may find that this shoe is too snug on their feet.
- Dual-layer mesh upper
- Lightstrike foam cushioning
- Lightweight running shoe
- Continental rubber outsole
- People who have wide feet may find the shoe to have a snug fit
Top Heel Support
10. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23
The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23 is the ideal shoe for individuals who need extra support in the heel area.
The entire foot is well-cushioned with a full-length FLYTEFOAM layer. But the heel is reinforced with GEL pads to offer exceptional shock absorption and support.
3D Space Construction features gender-specific pillars in the midsole of the shoe, which compress to cushion the foot more effectively without compromising stability.
The seamless mesh upper is soft and looks stylish, allows for good breathability, and has synthetic overlays for extra support.
- Soft, engineered mesh upper
- 3D Space construction
- GEL technology
- FLYTEFOAM midsole cushioning
- These shoes are a little on the heavy side
11. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is the brand’s latest version of the beloved Pegasus model.
Although the shoe has a naturally narrow fit, the forefoot is wider to allow for more toe-splay space. The mesh upper is breathable and light, and contours to the foot. When you lace up, midfoot webbing forms a tight but supportive cage around the foot.
In the midfoot, you’ll find Nike React foam, which is light and springy. It’s very comfortable underfoot, providing comfortable cushioning while still being responsive.
A Zoom Air Unit in the forefoot adds extra bounce and cushions your foot all the way through the gait cycle.
The rubber sole is grippy and uses Nike Grind material. Nike shoes are known to run narrow, so those with wide feet may find that these don’t fit them well.
- Wider forefoot
- Midfoot webbing
- React foam midsole cushioning
- Forefoot Zoom Air unit
- This shoe is not suitable for individuals with wide feet
Best For Orthotics
12. Brooks Dyad 11
If you use prescribed orthotics, there’s no need to invest in a shoe with good arch support.
The Brooks Dyad has been created specifically for use with custom orthotics, as it was created with a straight last and has a flat insole.
The toe box is spacious and so is the midfoot. Extra-depth allows for the easy insertion of orthotics and the mesh upper is just stretchy enough to accommodate most inserts and your foot comfortably.
The Brooks Dyad has some helpful stability features, including Dual Arch Pods in the midsole to create a wide and stable platform that isn’t intrusive to the neutral foot. It also doesn’t interfere with any orthotic you add to the shoe.
A BioMoGo DNA midsole offers good cushioning but isn’t very responsive. This may not be a problem for those who want to walk slowly and in a relaxed manner.
- Comfortable, seamless upper
- BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning
- Dual Arch Pods
- Roomy midfoot and toe box
- Some may find that the shoe isn’t stable on wet or slippery surfaces
Do Treadmills Require Special Shoes?
There’s no need to invest in special shoes for running or walking on a treadmill.
As long as the shoes support your feet, you can use any shoes that you would normally run or walk outdoors with.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Shoes for Treadmill Use
When choosing the best shoes for treadmill walking, consider the following factors:
The shoes should fit comfortably and snugly without being tight around the feet and restricting circulation.
The shoes you pick out should also be lightweight and easy to walk in. Flexibility will help you move without restriction. Cushioning is important for absorbing shock upon every step and protecting the joints, as well as comfort.
The shoes should also be within your budget. There’s no need to choose the most expensive shoe or the latest model on the market if it’s not within your means.
There are some excellent shoe options that offer high-end features for a moderate price.
What Kind of Comfort Should the Elderly Expect from Treadmill Shoes?
As we get older, we lose the fatty pads underneath our feet. This can result in pain and discomfort as we walk or jog, as our body’s natural shock absorption is inhibited.
It’s important for seniors to choose shoes with ample cushioning to protect their feet from shock, even when walking slowly on the treadmill. The shoe should also be lightweight and comfortable.