Feb 10, 2021 4 min read

Can You Run On A Treadmill With Trail Shoes?

Can You Run On A Treadmill With Trail Shoes

Whether you are pursuing an easy warm-up or utilizing the incline feature to cram in hill training, it is normal for you to use the treadmill. Usually, you would prefer outdoors over running on a treadmill. However, finding time to run in outdoor conditions is a luxury for many people out there.

Well, there exist many reasons when you might find yourself wearing your trail running shoes when you hop on your favourite treadmill. Whether you practice running on a treadmill often or only occasionally, you might be wondering what impact the treadmill will have on your running shoes.

So with these things in mind, let’s delve into whether it’s okay to put on your trail shoes while running on a treadmill.

The Difference between Trail Shoes and other Running Shoes

Well, you should be aware of the fact that there exist a few key differences between trail shoes and other running shoes on the market. The other running shoes are not efficient when the context is about running on a treadmill or trail running.

Specifications of Trail Running Shoes

To be precise, trail running shoes have a robust design and are quite ideal for supporting your feet and ankles on a wide variety of outdoor ground conditions. This is the reason that the soles and fabric of the trail running shoes tend to be dense and durable to protect your feet from the external elements.

What’s more, they are durable and last for a long time. In trail running shoes, you usually have access to various features. From protective toe boxes to ankle support, it is always fun to run outdoors with trail running shoes.

Which is the Right Shoe for your Running Activities?

Well, as you can see, a trail running shoe comes equipped with various features. So you can expect it to be a little heavier than your average footwear. On the other hand, nowadays, you would find a plethora of lightweight trail running shoes dominating the market. These light trail running shoes can be an ideal addition to your outdoor running routine.

These lightweight shoes are also great to run on a treadmill as they have a flexible sole. Note that if you spend a majority of time in the gym or running on a treadmill, you should opt for trail running shoes comprising a flexible sole.

It would be best if you didn’t hesitate to Use Trail Running Shoes on Treadmill

Well, for many people out there, using trail running shoes on a treadmill is to save money. Shoes can be costly, and buying a dedicated pair just for running on a treadmill is unnecessary. And if you still have doubts related to treadmill running, you should know about its mechanism. Well, a treadmill facilitates a form of running that doesn’t provide you with much resistance.

It also provides minimal friction, which is one of its key highlights. And because there is less friction and minimal resistance, the treadmill wouldn’t damage the threads on the bottom of your trail runners. It is important to note that trails can be rough, while treadmills are smooth surfaces that bounce with each stride.

So as you can see, treadmill running would actually damage your trail shoes less than running trails. So if you are wondering whether or not the treadmill would hurt your trail runners, you can relax. A treadmill cannot damage your trail running shoes.

Treadmills cannot destroy your Shoes

As a general rule, most trail running shoes are robust and would last even with running on treadmills. The operating mechanism of the treadmills usually ensures that there are no severe damages inflicted on your trail runners. For a majority of treadmills, you press a button, and the long belt moves around the platform at a selected speed.

In simple words, you don’t have to use your muscles to put the belt into motion. And because you are not using your muscles to move the belt, there would be less amount of friction. So what this implies is you can run on the treadmill in pretty much any shoe you are comfortable with, which also includes trail running shoes.

Running with Minimal Friction

Nowadays, you can adjust the speed of the treadmill belt rotating around the platform. When you commence running on a treadmill, you will notice that the sensation is entirely different than running outdoors.

In simple words, with a treadmill, you are running in constant motion. Moreover, the belt handles the majority of the propulsion, which ensures lesser pressure on your trail running shoes.

Few Things to Consider while Selecting Shoes to Run on Treadmill

If you want to practice running dedicatedly, you can consider buying a nice pair of lightweight trail running shoes. So here are some aspects to look out for a while purchasing a lighter pair of trail running shoes.


Always opt for those trail running shoes that are lighter. Buy something lightweight so that you can stay easily in position as the treadmill belt loops around.


If you are going to use a pair of shoes primarily for treadmill running, you don’t need them to have treads. As you would be running on a pretty leveled surface, you should buy shoes with a flexible sole.


Well, it is quite natural if you use the treadmill running shoes for other purposes. So it is essential that you buy a lightweight pair of shoes that can facilitate the utmost comfort.

The Bottom Line

So, we now know that just about any trail shoe is capable of running on a treadmill. To be precise, there are no issues whatsoever to run on the treadmill with trail running shoes. Moreover, you can save money if you don’t want to invest in a separate pair of shoes for treadmill running.

However, if you run outdoors in muddy ground conditions, you should consider buying a separate pair of shoes for the treadmill. At the end of the day, the best shoe for you depends on your running objectives, budget, mileage, and more.

I am a middle-aged runner with aspirations of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2022.

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