3 Types of Footwear for Running on Treadmills

We know that once you buy your ProForm fitness machines, such as the treadmill, that this is usually not going to be your only fitness purchase. You will need the fancy attire, and along with that comes the fancy shoes. It may be hard to choose the right running shoe when faced with a million different types and brands, yet are those $100 shoes really worth it in the end?! We have guest author Steve Vanderhoek today to tell you his thoughts on the matter!

3 Types of Footwear for Running On Treadmills

It’s amazing how the shoe industry managed to get us fitness-folks and sports-playing folks into thinking we have to spend $100 to $200 for shoes.

I remember when I was in grade 8 and wanted $100 shoes for basketball. I wasn’t very good at basketball. I would never be very good, no matter how much money I spent on shoes. But, the marketing pros persuaded my young and impressionable mind that $100 shoes would make me a great basketball player.

If you have a treadmill, you have alternatives to spending big bucks on footwear. The following are 3 types of footwear for treadmills.

1. Aqua Shoes

You read that right. Aqua shoes for running on a treadmill. In fact, I run on a treadmill and outdoors with aqua shoes. I bought a pair for $8 at a big box retailer. I have several pairs and use them for my weight lifting, cardio and running workouts.

Aqua shoes are the perfect athletic wear. They are no-frills, yet you get a protective rubber strip to protect against rocks. They meet gym standards (gyms usually don’t permit barefoot attendees). They’re incredibly comfortable. They cost almost nothing.

It’s the comfort factor for me that maintains them as my staple athletic footwear. They feel like slippers. They encourage proper running gait (forefoot strike instead of heel strike). They’re easy to put on and off. They’re light and compact for gym bags. They’re the perfect fitness shoe that doesn’t cost like a fitness shoe.

I think they look cool as well … giving off a minimalist vibe.

2. Barefoot

5 years ago, few people in North America ran barefoot. Now, it’s a common practice. Okay, more people use shoes, but it’s a growing practice.

It’s one thing to run barefoot outdoors (perhaps on grass); however, what about running barefoot on a treadmill? Is this viable?

Actually, yes, it’s viable to run barefoot on a treadmill. In fact, it works well if you want to build up a barefoot capacity. My wife and I run barefoot on our treadmill sometimes and it’s excellent. Yet, we don’t run barefoot outside because it’s tough on the feet.

Most treadmills tread belt is textured, but not nearly as rough as pavement. If you’re interested in building up to running barefoot outdoors, starting on a treadmill is perfect.

3. The Expensive Fitness Shoe

If you can’t help yourself and are persuaded by advertising that the big-name $100 shoe is the only option for you, then by all means buy them. I haven’t purchased expensive fitness shoes in years, yet I work out daily. If it takes $100 shoes to get you into the gym and/or on the treadmill or outdoors, $100 is a small price to pay.

Investing in one’s health is money well-spent, so if that money must go to billion dollar shoe companies so be it. However, if tempted give aqua shoes or barefoot a try. You just might be surprised. In fact, if you find that with the traditional, clunky athletic footwear you heel strike, aqua shoes and barefoot running help tremendously.


In the end I got those $100 basketball shoes. I never made first-string and played basketball for only 1 year. Lesson learned at my parents’ expense.




Author Bio: Steve Vanderhoek is a contributing author and researcher for FitnessBaron.com whose primary workouts (weights, yoga and cardio) are done in a superset fashion.