Daily Coaching Tip: What Shoes Work the Best on the Treadmill?

Since we're entering the time of year when treadmills get more and more use, you might be wondering if certain shoes are better than others for your treadmill runs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're getting ready for a treadmill run.

Treadmills are Flat: Unlike the roads and trails (even those that have little to no elevation change), the treadmill is perfectly flat with every stride. If you are going to be logging a significant proportion of your overall mileage on the treadmill, you should rotate different shoes from run to run. This will ensure that you give your legs slightly different impact force profiles from day to day, and in so doing help avoid overuse injuries.

Treadmills are Bouncy: Really good treadmills are pretty solid, but they all have a bunch of springs underneath the deck so that the noise stays to a minimum. For this reason, I like to select shoes with less cushioning for treadmill runs. This makes the run feel a little closer to running outside, and less like running on a trampoline.

Treadmills are Moving: No matter what sort of foot strike you have, you are inevitably going to scuff the treadmill a tiny amount with each stride you take. This is because your foot is moving in an opposite direction as the belt upon impact. Because of this, shoes with knobby or lugged outsoles are less ideal for the treadmill. This is just a question of if you want your equipment to last. Leave the trail shoes on the shelf, and go with some trainers that have a flat outsole.

Wondering if today's run should be inside or outside? Check out this related post on When to Choose the Treadmill.