UPDATED, June 23, 2022
When it comes to running, the right gear makes all the difference––whether you’re running 3 miles or 26 miles. So, if our running shoes don’t feel right, we don’t feel right. But how do you know what running shoes are best to use on exercise equipment? It simplifies things to know that most of the same great qualities of the best running shoes also make for the best shoes for running on a home treadmill.
There are a few key differences when it comes to choosing the best running shoes based upon your personal preference, routine, and feet. Let’s look at the differences.
Choosing The Best Running Shoes
When looking for good running shoes to use on your home treadmill, here are some helpful buying tips so you can reap the most benefit for your purchase and set yourself up for success.
The first aspect to determine the best type of running shoe for you is your preferred workout routine. Some running shoes offer more longevity, others offer optimum support, while others offer more affordability. What is your workout routine like? Do you prefer interval training, progressive runs, or sprinting? This will inform your priorities for the best running shoe.
It’s important to note that runners should change their running shoes every 250–500 miles. At this distance, most shoes lose up to 40% of their shock-absorbing capabilities and overall support (1).
No matter your routine, here’s a test every running shoe must pass. Your shoes should always bend at the ball and be able to twist slightly. While holding the shoe, try bending it in several directions to see how malleable it will be for your run. Bending naturally with your foot during a run helps avoid constraining your feet and can prevent shin splints or stress fractures (2).
Whether you’re looking for running shoes for women or for men, they should be about 1/2 size larger than standard shoes. This may seem odd, but the extra space will let your foot flex more freely and give your toes room to move forward with each stride.
If your running shoes are too tight, your feet will quickly become sore. If they’re too large, you lose the benefit to stabilize your foot and ankle.
Lighter weight shoes are widely understood to enhance athletic performance. Research has shown that different weights of running shoes affect muscle activity levels during running and stride (3). Choosing a light shoe weight will positively impact your experience on and off the treadmill.
Make sure your running shoes fit well, but also that they have good shock absorption to avoid shin splints. With adequate cushioning in the sole and insole, your run can be much more comfortable due to the reduction of impact on your lower extremities. Added comfort can also be provided by a treadmill with additional shock absorption features (1).
A stable heel counter also provides important stability for your foot and provides more longevity to the shoe’s lifetime as it reinforces the shoe’s shape. However, ensure that the heel counter is comfortable on your individual heel shape as it can cause blisters if it is not. Most heel counters are moldable and can be adjusted with heat.
Shock absorption and the proper heel counter is for more than mere cushioning and comfort, and will depend a lot on your workout routine and individual foot shape. Be sure to find the best shoe to fit your running habits and foot shape.
The shapes of our feet vary from runner to runner. Next time you step out of the shower, take a closer look at your bare footprint to assess your arch type. Running shoes come in a variety of styles to help cater to your specific needs. For instance:
The majority of shoes in the market are created to a standard foot shape that may or may not be right for you. These are easiest to find, but be aware that the standard size is not for everybody.
Flatter feet are those with fallen arches in need of extra support. If you’re flat-footed, you’ll most likely need shoes that aid in stabilizing your feet when you run. Without proper stability, you may be prone to twisting your ankle.
People with high arches tend to roll their feet outwards. Ideal shoe types for these people offer more absorption and flexibility. Find a shoe with the upper, ankle collar, heel counter, and midsole that is most beneficial to your arch type.
If your feet are wider than most people, finding specific shoes that offer a wider base will help avoid friction burn on the sides of your feet.
Finding Running Shoes For Your Strike Pattern
How your foot hits the ground while you run, also known as your “foot strike,” is another important shoe-buying factor. You want to find a shoe that has extra support wherever it’s first making contact with the ground or treadmill.
If your heel hits the ground first, a shoe with extra cushion in the back is an ideal choice. This helps to absorb more of the impact and reduce injury overall.
If you run flat footed with both ball and heel striking the ground at the same time, a shoe with equal cushion from front to back equally distributes the shock, so one part of the foot is impacted more than the other.
Running on the ball of your feet requires light weight shoes with little to no cushion in the back. Since most of the shock is in front of the foot, having a small heel ensures that unnecessary shock isn’t driven to your heel.
Our Best Cushioned Home Treadmill
If you’re looking for a home treadmill on sale, the Commercial 2450 Treadmill can be a great complement to your favorite running shoes. Because of its cushioned, even surface, and incline range, the Commercial 2450 provides an optimal running surface for every home workout you do.
In fact, research shows by avoiding very firm or uneven surfaces and wearing appropriate footwear, you can avoid putting more strain on your lower extremities (1).
The Commercial 2450 goes beyond just comfort and convenience. With an impressive incline range and fast response time, you can experience a comfortable running session that’ll keep you challenged and entertained at the same time. Thanks to its iFIT® compatibility, all iFIT workouts are displayed on a large 22” tilt and pivot HD touchscreen. Become fully immersed in every workout and escape to a destination of your choice within the comfort of your own home.
Also, with your purchase of the Commercial 2450, you will receive an iFIT Family Membership free for 30 days. Then, you’ll have the choice to continue your iFIT membership and experience a plethora of workout options that’ll take you on and off your home treadmill or cancel before the 30-day expiration date.
Better yet, why not dive into iFIT workouts at home right now before you make any purchase at all! Get your free 30-day iFIT Trial here, and see what’s in store for you once you get your NordicTrack treadmill. Explore all kinds of global treadmill workouts, strength-training sessions, yoga, meditation, live events, and more.
The more your shoes support you, the better your runs may become. In combination with a well-cushioned home treadmill, you’re on your way to making your workout sessions stronger, faster, and longer.
iFIT memberships start at $15/mo. + tax, and auto-renew unless canceled in advance. Cancel at any time. Credit Card required for activation. Internet and WiFi required.
This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. NordicTrack assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment. Shipping times are dependent on in-stock inventory and delivery timeframes may vary. Make sure to check the website for any specific delays in delivery and shipping.