What To Wear On A Treadmill Desk + Easy Mistakes To Avoid!

It may sound like basic knowledge but knowing what to wear on a treadmill desk can be the deciding factor between a fun and comfortable walk and a sweatathon that leads to pain, blisters and bacterial growth!

In this article, familiarize yourself with what to wear while using an under desk treadmill, and more importantly, what not to wear while exercising!

Thankfully, more people are seeking workout clothing that you can wear to work or the office, so there is less focus on strict business attire.

Whether you’re using your active workstation, walking on a treadmill desk, performing day to day duties, or even running a marathon, these exercise clothing dos and don’ts and tips are guaranteed to optimize comfort and functionality while reducing chafing, blisters and infections!

Physical active inactivity contributes to over 3 million deaths worldwide every year. That’s 6% of all deaths which could have been prevented. Source

What To Wear On A Treadmill Desk - Woman on Asana treadmill

What clothes should you wear on a treadmill desk?

Clothing that should be worn while using an under desk treadmill include fabrics that offer:

  1. Moisture-wicking properties
  2. Breathability
  3. Comfort
  4. Support
  5. Stretchability
  6. Quick drying
  7. Odor control
  8. Chafing prevention

Comfort and practicality are 2 key elements to consider when choosing what to wear on a treadmill desk. In addition, if you work in an office, the outfit may need to conform with the clothing policy.

Furthermore, the clothing should not have any loose parts which could become caught in the treadmill desk and pose a risk of injury, e.g., dangling chains.

If you’re going to be running on a treadmill, then workout clothing is the best choice to aid your performance and comfort.

If you’re using your treadmill at home, then this will be less of a concern, and you’ll have more freedom to wear what you like.

For many people who will be walking at a normal pace, your everyday clothing may suffice.

However, if you’re prone to sweating or the clothing that you currently wear is restrictive or doesn’t offer the adequate support, then the below guidelines should be followed when choosing clothing to wear on a treadmill desk or any activity for that matter.

When walking at a treadmill desk, you’ll want to wear clothing that:

  1. Doesn’t limit your movement
  2. Won’t become tangled in the treadmill belt
  3. Reduces sweating and doesn’t cling to you if you do sweat
  4. Complies with the work clothing policies


The socks that you wear play a large role in comfort levels while you walk. The last thing you’ll want is for your socks to be rolling down every few minutes as you try to walk.

The majority of people wear cotton socks, and this may sound like a good idea. However, cotton holds sweat next to the skin which can leave your feet feeling wet and result in blisters and athlete’s foot developing.

Avoid cotton socks when using a treadmill desk.

Instead, opt for high-tech fibers and socks made from synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester and spandex. You’ll find these types of materials in performance socks which tend to have moisture-wicking properties.


With so many different types of underwear available, it can be difficult to find the shape and style that gives you most comfort and support while you walk.

If you’re already comfortable in the underclothing that you currently wear while walking, there may be no need to change.

However, if you’re feeling discomfort, sweaty or irritating while you walk, then change is needed.

Underwear should provide comfort without riding up or feeling sweaty while you walk. Also, if chafing is a problem, your underwear should be the right shape and material to minimize this.

Shorts can be worn by both men and women to prevent heat rashes and chafing.

In fact, boxers are one of the most popular underwear for people hiking, which means they can certainly withstand you walking on a treadmill desk.

Boxers are one of the best pieces of underwear to prevent chafing as they offer a snug fit while covering your thighs.

While you might get away with wearing cotton underwear during the colder months, it’s advisable to avoid it in warm weather or if you’re someone who is easily prone to sweating. Stick to underwear made from synthetic fibers.

Light briefs may be a better alternative in the warmer months or if you find that boxers are too big or heavy. They also offer less fabric which can help make your legs feel cooler.

Merino wool is another popular material used in clothing which encourages breathability to keep you dry while you exercise or walk.

Sweat-wicking properties are a must for underpants since they are so close to the skin.

Plus, it prevents that wet feeling while you use your under desk treadmill.

Thongs are probably not the most comfortable and they don’t offer much in terms of support either. They are also prone to feeling tight, which you’re probably aware of if you own them already.

Plus, they can also trap sweat which could lead to infections.

Of course, there are some brave people who swear by going commando and wearing no underwear at all, but that decision is entirely up to you!

Tip: Some underwear even features odor control properties.


Wearing a bra when walking, or performing any activity or exercise for that matter, helps to stop them ricocheting around the place which can prevent breast irritation. On top of that, bras also offer support and comfort by holding them in a more secure position.

This might also make you feel less self-conscious as you move.

Your everyday bra may already offer adequate support as you walk at your treadmill desk or active workstation.

However, if you experience the likes of back pain, discomfort from the bra digging into your sides or pain in your breasts or sweat, then it’s probably time to get a new bra.

A sports bra is designed to offer maximum support, even for high intensity exercises. You can get low impact sports bras which are designed for light activities, such as walking, yoga and even lounging around.

Sports bras also offer moisture-wicking properties and tend to be wireless, padded and breathable for greater comfort.

That said, a high impact bra is probably not needed for merely walking at your desk, unless you intend to run on your under desk treadmill too.

Tip: It’s important to wear a properly fitted bra as it can reduce back pain, breast sagging and correct posture while also making you feel more confident.


Work pants are often made from a variety of sweat-wick materials including polyester, wool, and even silk. Suit pants are often lightweight and stretchy material which may make them suitable for use when walking on a treadmill desk. Plus, they’re unlikely to cause chafing.

However, the slim fit could be a bit restrictive, especially if you’re taking long strides.

Slacks are also a comfortable fit while not being too tight on the leg. They often come with an elasticated waistband too which gives some extra stretch as you move.


Jeans can be somewhat restrictive, and they are certainly not the most comfortable, especially if you’re talking about the skin-tight jeans that seem to cling to every part of your body.

Denim is also made from cotton and thus absorbs sweat, which is another reason to ditch them while on the treadmill or active workstation.

Wearing jeans can also exacerbate chafing and in the worst case, lead to blisters or infections.

Fortunately, jeans have evolved over the years to make them more comfortable and less stiff and cardboardy!

If you’re trying to comply with office clothing etiquette or simply just love living in jeans, then opting for loose-fitting stretch jeans may help.

Plus, if you’re used to walking in them and they don’t make you feel clammy or uncomfortable, then there’s probably no problem.

Tip: Adding a fabric softener while washing can make jeans feel less stiff and softer.

What To Wear On A Treadmill Desk - Person on orange couch resting legs


Leggings are undeniably popular and it’s no wonder really. With athleisure clothing offering comfort, flexibility and style, they’re a great addition to your wardrobe.

Plus, the plain, darker colored leggings often tick the office dress policy.

In terms of using them at an under desk treadmill, they’re an excellent option as they are made from breathable synthetic fabrics which tend to be moisture-wicking.

In addition, they are also stretchy and super comfortable to wear for both males and females while not restricting your movement.

However, they may make you feel self-conscious if they cling to you or you don’t wear a long top or dress over them.

Tip: Leggings in light grey and bright shades can show sweat stains and also add weight.

What To Wear On A Treadmill Desk - Leggings


Sweatpants are a heavy, clammy material which absorb moisture and sweat. They may be tolerable in the cold weather and even though they are breathable and fairly comfortable, they can cause you to sweat.

Opt for tracksuits with a high percentage composition of synthetic fibers, such as 85% polyester, elastane or spandex.

Avoiding sweatpants which are normally > 70% cotton will make for a more comfortable and less sweaty experience.

Tip: You may need to have a spare change of clothes in case you become sweaty at work.


T-shirts made from polyester or Merino wool offer comfort to touch while also being breathable and absorbing less moisture (sweat). Plus, they also dry quicker than a cotton t-shirt.

Some technical t-shirts tend to look sporty and for gym environments, which may not conform with the office clothing policy.

Thankfully, you can also get plain t-shirts and even polo t-shirts which can look rather professional.

Golf gear is probably the closest to looking professional as you’ll get while also incorporating fitness clothing properties to keep you fresh at home or in the office.

Tip: The best color for hiding sweat include black and white clothes.

What To Wear On A Treadmill Desk - Man standing at treadmill desk

What shoes should you wear on a treadmill desk?

The key priority with choosing footwear for a walking treadmill is to ensure that the shoes offer you safety, comfort and support.

However, office etiquette may confine your selection as you might need to wear more formal footwear at work. In this case, there are walking shoes which you can buy that look professional, such as walking shoes or tennis shoes.

Tennis shoes and walking or running shoes are often the best type of footwear as they provide the most support, stability and grip while you’re moving.

These along with black tennis or walking shoes tend to be more discrete and formal looking.

Some treadmill users and treadmill companies suggest having a dedicated pair of treadmill shoes for use only on the treadmill.

Tip: If you have a smart watch, you could use this to track how many miles you have walked in your treadmill desk shoes. This way, you’ll know when they are wearing out and should be changed for new ones.


In many cases, most of your current clothing (provided it’s not Victoria Beckham style skyscraper heels) will suffice for using a treadmill desk. But, to level up, increase your comfort and hide or prevent the onset of sweat, moisture-wicking properties and synthetic fabrics will go a long way to helping you.

Now that you know how to dress for comfort and practicality, there is no stopping you!

Remember that taking frequent breaks along with wearing the appropriate footwear, clothing and having adequate hydration are the key elements too success when using a treadmill desk.

It also contributes to minimizing sweat.

If you’re keen to get out of your death chair and introduce movement into your workday, study, gaming or whatever static activity you complete, then treadmill desks are one of a range of ways to get moving.

Before ever using a treadmill desk, you should know what to look for when choosing a treadmill desk.

I’ve previously written an article disclosing the many astounding advantages of walking on a treadmill desk, and if you haven’t already read these, I guarantee that they will motivate you to get up from your seat and out for some steps!

However, treadmill desks are not for everybody, and far be it from me to try and ram the benefits of it down your throat.

Fortunately for you, I have been looking into the many other ways which can be employed to introduce movement into your workstation.

The below items are what I’ve looked into so far in order of preference:

  1. Treadmill desks
  2. Standing desk converters
  3. Ergonomic chairs
  4. Standing desks
  5. Desk bike
  6. Desk elliptical
  7. Kneeling chairs
  8. Standing desk chairs
  9. Anti-fatigue mats
  10. Balance boards

My personal favorite products so far are the:

  1. Sunny Treadpad Slim Under Desk Treadmill 20740
  2. Sunny Portable Stand Up Elliptical
  3. Ergotron WorkFit-LX
  4. Bush Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk
  5. CoolMesh Pro Multi-Function Chair

My aim with this website is to help you on all matters related to your home office and your work area. With that in mind, if you have any questions or comments on the above, please drop them in the box below. I’d love to hear them!


With years of both professional and first-hand experience in office equipment and work settings, I now want to help you avoid making mistakes that countless others do. Whether you're studying or working from home, this site will help you create the ultimate haven for working safely, comfortably and productively in!

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