Why Should You Wear Shoes on a Treadmill?

Why Should You Wear Shoes on a Treadmill

Who doesn’t like a good jog in the park? It is both healthy and a mind-soothing activity. But since the winter is right around the corner, who likes to run around in blazing cold weather. I know I don’t! So what is the alternative to that? Yes, you spelled it right! It’s running indoors and the most preferably way to generate indoor-miles is by running on our very own conventional treadmills.

But, now the question is; is it beneficial to run on the treadmill barefoot or with shoes? There are massive discussions all over the internet and in the gyms about what is the best possible answer to this dilemma. After carefully researching on the topic, I have derived my conclusion on the fact that you should always put on shoes before you jump on the treadmill. Read below to know why.

Wearing shoes on the treadmill not only helps your feet stay safe and scorched free, but it also helps protect your legs and other lower-body joints. Not to sound like a complete fitness-expert here, but this is what my research concluded at. Running on a treadmill is somewhat akin to running on a track. Would you want to run around the track barefoot? We all know how that would end up. Unless specifically advice by the doctor for some earthly benefits of running barefoot, it is always recommended to wear shoes for your sprinting, running, walking needs.


While you are out and about on an outdoor track, you tend to move sideways, forward, back etc. But opposite is the case with a treadmill. Where the track runs for you. Given the fact that all the sports that are carried out by us, proper sportswear is required! Similar is the case with running on a treadmill. It is highly advised to go for a decent pair of running shoes for your runs on the treadmill. These shoes have extra padding which ensure that you are kept safe at all times from abrasion and ankle sprains. Added benefit of the padding is that it supports our body weight so that our feet do not receive much shocks during treading.

The same is applicable for jogging, walking and sprinting on the outdoor tracks. The only difference between the two is the mechanism in which the exercise is done.



One thing that we needs to clarify here for the audience is that the purpose of a treadmill is to provide you with an alternative to running out on the tracks. Basically it is there to facilitate you not to leave your premises but still be able to carry out your jog in the best possible way. Every treadmill that is designed has a resilient surface which is made specifically for jogging. Going barefoot on it without shoes can be very taxing on your feet. To second that, a treadmill that is running at the lowest possible speeds has got enough momentum and torque stored in it that could easily nip-off your body parts if got stuck, that you would otherwise want intact.

The question is, is this likely to happen? Most probably not. But what is the most safest way to utilize this machinery is by ensuring you wear shoes, and not any ordinary shoes but proper running shoes on the treadmill, at all times. You would not want to carry out the rest of your life with a limp, thinking that you should not have experimented with the treadmill on a barefoot even for that small walk.

Wearing shoes on a treadmill also prevents callouses building up at friction points. Always ensure to have a well-padded pair of shoes for your running requirements rather it be walking, running on the treadmill or out in the open on tracks. Treadmill decks, even the good quality ones do not yield a lot and over continuous use and time, the repetitive impact will definitely damage your feet. That isn’t something that you would want now is it? Running bare foot on the treadmill does not distribute your weight evenly as opposed to in a shoe, and thus will accelerate the wear it causes on the desk; causing it to shorten its life. Thus resulting in more strain on your pocket to have it maintained and repaired.


The simplest answer to this question is “NO”. You can’t wear flats, flip-flops, sandals or anything that has no traction control and grip on a treadmill. If all you want is a 5 minute brisk walk on the treadmill, then it is recommended to pair up with a normal lightweight shoe designed for walks. But if you are going to do either a cardio or a long stretch run on the treadmill, then the most advisable shoe for this kind of running is the “running shoes”. There are a variety of shoes available in the market that you can easily get your hands on.


Running on treadmill on its own is a great way to include a warm up, warm down and cardio at your own home or at the gym. If you want to make this experience the most enjoyable one, then the most comfortable way of doing it is with putting your shoes on before you hop onto the treadmill. You have to ensure that the right footwear is chosen for optimum benefits. Key things to consider before investing in a shoe that is suitable for running on the treadmill are

  1. Support
  2. Breath ability
  3. Cushioning
  4. Flexibility
  5. Responsiveness
  6. Durability



It is not the most efficient way, but you can definitely give this a try. Wear on those new shoes that require a breaking in, and hop onto the treadmill. Obviously you should not be running on it right off the bat, but a brisk walk for some time should be able to loosen those up and adjust according to your feet. Haven’t tried this personally, but during my research on this topic; I came across it and thought to share it with my readers.


With this we summarize the topic as to why you should always wear shoes on a treadmill. If you liked this article, then please leave a comment below and I would gladly engage with you on discussion further.

Zohaib Shaikh

Hi, I'm Zohaib. I too had been suffering from uncomfortable shoes throughout my life. Hope you like my comfortable mugshot!

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