Just wondered if somebody could help me with this. I have a cheap old set of runners that I’m using when running 4-8 mile sessions on the treadmill about 5 times a week.
I want to give myself maximum padding so that I give the maximum “suspension” for my joints. Is there anything that you can recommend? I don’t want to do a degree in the subject, I just want to buy something quick for <150 euro.
Apart from shoe choice, consider raising the incline on your treadmill. It is said that on a conventional powered treadmill you should set it to 1% to more accurately represent pace and effort and compared to outdoor running. Maybe even go to 2% if it helps, or more. By raising the treadmill your foot has less far to fall before it makes contact, so less impact as the ground meets the foot instead of the foot meeting the ground.
Further, check your foot strike and make sure you are not over striding and increasing impact with every footfall. Feet should land below you, not ahead. If you land on the heel with the foot ahead of you, you will be braking your own movement and creating jarring forces through the whole leg, hips etc… It’s a problem i used to be guilty of and I’ve fixed it. I used to suffer all sorts of pains in the legs when running. Not any more. Plenty of YouTube videos on the subject.
Back to shoes, the most padded shoes, with big bouncy heels, are the ones more likely to encourage, or allow, poor form when it comes to foot strike. Good running form (mostly regarding foot strike) should reduce or eliminate the need for lots of padding in the shoe.
FWIW I use a curved manual treadmill at home. It has no cushioning built in and is quite “hard” beneath my feet. But the curved design, like an incline, means very little impact is felt, especially with appropriate foot strike. That said, I do use “padded” shoes ordinarily, but I’m confident that I could run with almost no padding and no consequences if I tried. Maybe I will.
As for comfortable padded footwear, I’m currently using Asics Novablast, New Balance 1080 V10 and Saucony Triumph 17 in rotation. All are super comfortable on the treadmill and they were all bought three years ago, so look for old stock for a good price - if they suit your feet.
As others have said, footwear is hyper personal. My faves, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus, fit me like a glove but are terrible for my best friend who prefers the Hoka Bondi. (the latter are super padded - you might give those a test run to see if they’re comfortable)