Are you an avid trail runner looking to switch up your workout routine and try the treadmill? Or a gym-goer looking to invest in a pair of trail running shoes but wondering if they’re suitable for indoor use?

Look no further!

According to a survey conducted by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, treadmill usage has increased by 30% since 2005.

Meanwhile, trail running has also grown in popularity, with participation increasing by 20% over the past five years.

But the question remains!

Can a trail running shoe be used on a treadmill?

This article will explore the answer and uncover some surprising benefits and drawbacks of using trail running shoes on a treadmill. So, strap in, and let’s dive in!

Can You Use a Trail Shoes On a Treadmill?

Can You Use a Trail Shoes On a Treadmill?

Are you a trail runner who wants to switch things up and hit the treadmill? 

Or you’re wondering if your trusty trail shoes suit indoor running? The good news is you can use trail shoes on a treadmill, but there are a few things you need to consider.

Firstly, trail shoes are designed with rugged terrain in mind, meaning they typically have a more aggressive tread pattern than road running shoes. While this may offer excellent grip on uneven surfaces, it can work against you on a treadmill. 

The grooves can catch on the belt, causing you to stumble and lose your balance.

However, if your trail shoes have a flatter or less pronounced tread, they can work just as well on a treadmill as road running shoes. 

Another factor to consider is cushioning. Some trail shoes have more cushioning than road shoes, which can benefit shock absorption on hard surfaces like concrete.

Ultimately, the best shoe for running on a treadmill is comfortable and provides adequate support. 

Whether that’s a trail shoe or a road shoe is up to personal preference. Ensure your shoes are appropriate for your foot type and running style to avoid injuries.

According to a survey by Statista, 52.97 million.of runners use a treadmill for some of their training. So if you’re considering giving it a go, grab your trail shoes (if they have a flatter tread) and hit the indoor track!

Benefits of Using Trail Shoes On a Treadmill

Are you tired of slipping and sliding on your treadmill during your workouts? It’s time to invest in a pair of trail shoes! 

Not only do they provide better traction and stability, but they also offer a range of other benefits.

According to a study, running on a treadmill burns an average of 705-865 calories per hour, depending on your weight and speed.

However, if you wear the right shoes, you could take advantage of some of those calorie-burning benefits.

Grip & Traction

Trail shoes, however, are designed explicitly for outdoor terrain, offering superior grip and traction. This translates to better performance and a reduced risk of injury, whether running on a rocky trail or a treadmill.


Research has shown that wearing proper running shoes can help reduce the risk of running-related injuries. 

And when it comes to trail shoes specifically, they offer even more protection for your feet and ankles thanks to their sturdy construction and added support.

But the benefits of trail shoes on the treadmill don’t stop there!


They also tend to have more cushioning and shock absorption than regular running shoes, which can help reduce the impact on your joints.

 This is especially important if you’re prone to knee or ankle pain, as the extra cushioning can help alleviate some discomfort.


Another advantage of trail shoes is their durability. Since they’re designed for outdoor use, they are typically made with high-quality materials that can withstand the wear and tear of regular use. 

This means you won’t have to replace them as often as you would with a standard pair of running shoes, which can save you money in the long run.

Drawbacks of Using Trail Shoes On a Treadmill

  • Trail shoes are designed for outdoor use and may not be suitable for indoor surfaces like a treadmill.
  • The rough tread of trail shoes can cause excessive friction on the treadmill’s belt, leading to faster wear and tear.
  • Using trail shoes on a treadmill can increase the risk of slippage or instability, which can be dangerous when running at high speeds.
  • Trail shoes may not have enough cushioning to absorb the impact of running on a hard, flat surface like a treadmill, increasing the risk of injury and discomfort.
  • Opting for running shoes designed for indoor use is a safer and more comfortable option for treadmill workouts.

Why Treadmills Won’t Destroy Your Shoes 

Are you worried that your treadmill will destroy your favorite pair of shoes? Fear not, as throwing away your best shoes for elliptical training is unnecessary.

Firstly, treadmills are designed to have a smooth surface, so they won’t scratch or scuff up your shoes. Many gyms use treadmills for years without needing to replace them due to shoe damage.

Additionally, most modern treadmill belts are made with gentle materials on your shoes, such as rubber or synthetic. 

So, you can use your best shoes for elliptical training without worrying about them getting damaged.

If you’re still concerned about your shoes, you can always wear running or workout shoes that you are okay with getting scuffed up.

Best Trail Shoes For Treadmills 

  1. Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 – Lightweight and breathable with excellent grip, these shoes are a great option for those who enjoy a natural running feel.
  2. Salomon Speedcross 5 – Built for tough terrain, the Salomon Speedcross 5 offers superior traction and durability for high-intensity treadmill workouts.
  3. Brooks Cascadia 16 – With a sturdy design and comfortable fit, the Brooks Cascadia 16 is a versatile shoe that can handle both trail runs and treadmill workouts.
  4. Hoka One One Challenger ATR 6 – Known for its cushioned soles and excellent support, the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 6 is a great option for those with high arches or plantar fasciitis.

Whatever shoe you choose, ensure it fits well and provides the support and traction you need for a safe and comfortable treadmill workout. 

Happy running!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can trail running shoes be used on a treadmill? 

Yes, trail running shoes can be used on a treadmill. However, they are designed for rough terrains and may provide a different level of traction on the treadmill’s smooth surface.

Do trail running shoes offer enough cushioning for a treadmill workout? 

Most trail running shoes provide ample cushioning for treadmill workouts. However, consider a shoe designed specifically for indoor running if you have specific cushioning needs.

Are trail running shoes suitable for high-intensity interval training on a treadmill? 

Trail running shoes can be used for high-intensity interval training on a treadmill. However, remember that they may provide different stability and support than shoes designed specifically for indoor training.

Can trail running shoes cause damage to a treadmill’s surface? 

Trail running shoes are not likely to cause damage to a treadmill’s surface. However, if the boots have metal studs or spikes, they could scratch the belt or deck.

Are trail running shoes breathable enough for indoor use on a treadmill? 

Most trail running shoes are designed with breathable materials to keep your feet cool and dry. However, you may consider a shoe with additional ventilation if you sweat excessively during workouts.

Do trail running shoes have enough grip for a treadmill workout? 

While trail running shoes are designed for traction on rough terrains, they may provide a different level of grip on a treadmill’s smooth surface. However, this is typically a minor issue for most runners.

Can wearing trail running shoes on a treadmill impact your overall performance? 

Wearing trail running shoes on a treadmill is unlikely to impact your overall performance significantly. However, if you prefer a specific type of shoe for indoor training, it may be worth investing in a pair designed specifically for that purpose.

Wrapping Up!

While trail running shoes can be used on a treadmill, there are better options than trail running shoes.

The rugged and sturdy features that make them perfect for outdoor terrains can make them less comfortable and less efficient on a smooth, flat surface. 

It’s always better to use shoes designed explicitly for treadmill running to avoid potential injuries and optimize your performance.

But don’t take our word for it!

Try both options and see what works best for you! Have you ever used trail running shoes on a treadmill? How did it feel? 

Share your experience in the comments below.