Tired of running on hard concrete or being at the mercy of the weather? Or worrying about possible serial killers hiding out in the bushes? Well, you can definitely get rid of all those worries/problems/paranoia with a good treadmill. You can log miles within the safety of your own home, customize your “track,” and even help your running form. All that being said, it’s not so easy to find the right treadmill.
There are quite a lot of options being sold in the market today with a wide variety of features and prices to consider. And considering that the budget treadmills will cost you several hundred bucks, it’s pretty important that you make the right choice the first time around. That’s why we’re here to help! We’ve shopped around and compiled a list of the best treadmills that suit various types of preferences and lifestyles. Check out our top 10 picks below.
Top 10 Treadmills Reviewed in 2017
- Top 10 Treadmills Reviewed in 2017
- 1. NordicTrack Commercial 1750
- 2. Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill
- 3. ProForm 505 CST Treadmill
- 4. LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
- 5. Horizon Fitness T101-04 Treadmill
- 6. ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill
- 7. Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill
- 8. 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill
- 9. Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill
- 10. Schwinn 830 Treadmill
- How to Choose the Best Treadmill
1. NordicTrack Commercial 1750Treadmill For Running
The Nordic Commercial 1750 is our number one pick for several reasons. It’s a foldable treadmill that features a 7-inch, web enabled touch-screen; with a 3.8 HP motor; an incline that ranges from 3 percent to 15 percent; a heart rate monitor, and 38 workout apps. You can adjust the shock absorption level of the machine to simulate a hard-top road or lessen the stress on your joints. You can entertain yourself while you run or, using iFit Coach technology (subscription required), you can run any location that’s been captured by Google Street View.
- iFit technology
- built to last
- easy to use
- iFit features require subscription
- some users found the buttons to be “sticky,” requiring you to press a few times to get the setting you want
- 300 lbs maximum weight (less than industry standard)
2. Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill
The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill is an entry level treadmill for those who are new to running or ones who are limited to walking/light jogging. Many experts believe that good discount treadmills should cost around $800 minimum. However, for those who do not have the cash or the space for higher end machines, the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 serves just as well. It comes with a 2.25 HP motor, a top speed of 10 mph, and a track that’s 50″ long x 16″ wide. The blue-tinted LCD shows calories burned, speed, time, and distance. The machine also has preset workouts designed by a certified personal trainer.
- very affordable
- heart rate monitor
- has a smaller track than most models
- not ideal for runners
- some users have reported creaking or some sort of noise once you reach 6 mph or higher
3. ProForm 505 CST Treadmill
This is a budget-friendly option for those who want an entry-level model from a reputable brand. The ProForm 505 CST has a 2.5 CHP motor, a speed range of 0 to 10 mph, an incline of up to 10%, and a 6-inch backlit screen that shows speed, time, and distance. The machine also has water bottle holders, a reading rack, and 18-built-in workout programs. The KG Heart Rate monitors are located in two hand-grip sensors. The company included its ProShox Cushioning to ensure that your joints are protected while you run or walk. And the SpaceSaver design allows you to fold and store the treadmills easily.
- audio capabilities
- 18 built-in programs
- lifetime warranty on frame, 25 years on the motor, and 1 year warranty on the parts
- track is cramped at 55 inches long and 20 inches wide
- not for runners who want to reach 12mph
- no wireless monitoring option
4. LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
The LifeSpan TR1200i is a little more expensive than our previous pick but it’s loaded with a lot of additional features, giving you plenty of bang for your buck. The treadmill comes with 17 preset programs and two heart rate control programs. You can also add two customized programs of your own. The machine also has 15 incline levels, a 20-inch x 56-inch track, a 2.5 CHP motor, a top speed of 11 mph, and the capability of storing your data in a USB.
- lifetime warranty on motor and frame, three years on the parts, and a 1-year warranty on labor
- data storage
- user-designed programs
- no fan
- USB flash drive not included
- difficult to assemble
5. Horizon Fitness T101-04 Treadmill
The Horizon T101 is another entry-level model, ideal for your average runner. It comes with a ton of features such as a speaker system, MP3 player port, 30 built-in programs (step-goal workouts, distance-based workouts, calorie-goal workouts, and interval workouts), an incline that reaches 10%, a dual grip heart rate monitoring system, and a cooling fan. The treadmill can be easily folded with one hand for storage and its pretty stable compared to other budget-friendly options. The 2.25 CHP motor comes with a lifetime warranty (the frame does as well) while the parts have a 2-year warranty. Labor has a 1-year warranty.
- 30 built-in programs targeting various fitness goals
- Lifetime warranty on motor and frame
- Incline reaches 10%
- 20″ x 55″ treadbelt is too short for some runners
- 2.25 HP motor is not sufficient for hardcore runners
- some users reported shipping issues
6. ProForm Pro 2000 TreadmillTreadmill With Decline
The ProForm PRO 2000 is just a couple of hundred dollars more than some of our budget picks but it is already miles away in terms of features and performance. The machine comes with a 3.5 CHP Mach Z Commercial Pro Motor (lifetime warranty), an electronic incline/decline that ranges from -3 to 15%, a 60″ long and 22″ wide track, a 7″ workout screen, and 32 built-in programs. It’s iFit technology compatible though it does require an iFit subscription. The speed ranges from 0 to 12 mph and can easily be set using the QuickSpeed Control.
- QuickSpeed Control allows for interval training
- quiet motor
- smooth run
- slow customer service
- some users reported that the heart rate monitor was inaccurate
- requires two people to assemble
7. Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill
If you’re more of a hardcore runner, Horizon also offers higher end models to suit your needs. The Elite T9 is it’s number one product with a whole load of features you will never see in any entry-level option. One feature that does stand out is the Passport Virtual Active technology which lets you play forward-motion video that syncs with your workout. The machine comes with 44 built-in standard workouts but more Passport videos cost money. The machine is also compatible with ViaFit, allowing you to track your progress using your favorite fitness app such as Nike+ and FitBit.
- a full 60″ x 20″ track
- 44 built-in workouts
- ViaFit compatible
- some users have reported that the belt needs adjustment from time to time
- some users experienced some software bugs
- Passport videos cost extra
8. 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat TreadmillFolding Treadmills For Runners
While 3G Cardio is a relatively new brand, they certainly have provided runners with a top quality machine with the 80i Fold Flat Treadmill. It has a 3 HP motor, a running track that’s 18.5″ x 58″, a maximum speed of 11 mph, and a maximum incline of 15%. While the treadmill only has 8 built-in programs, some of them are customizable and they serve a variety of needs (i.e. heart rate, fat burning, and interval training). What we really love about this treadmill is the unique folding design. You can fold it completely flat and store it under the bed or vertically in a closet or something similar (9.75 feet tall).
- customizable programs
- unique folding design
- 15% incline
- small running area for its price
- basic console (no wireless heart rate monitoring option)
- small display
9. Sole Fitness F80 Folding TreadmillCushioned Treadmill
The Sole F80 is one of the best treadmills for runners. It has a commercial 3.5 CHP motor, a 22″ x 60″ running track with 2-ply durability, a proprietary Cushion Flex Whisper Deck that reduces stress on your joints by up to 40%, Bluetooth connectivity, ten built-in workouts (two custom programs); a cooling fan, and an MP3-compatible sound system. The treadmill comes with a foldable frame for saving space.
- a wide running surface
- Bluetooth connectivity
- solid & quiet
- only 10 built-in programs
- some users found the hand rails a bit short
- poor customer service
10. Schwinn 830 Treadmill
The Schwinn 830 Treadmill is one of our top picks because it offers some features only found in more expensive treadmills and some features that aren’t found anywhere else. The treadmill has a 2.75 CHP motor, an incline that ranges from 0 to 12%, and a speed ranging from 0 to 12 mph. While the track is smaller than what you’d find in most high end treadmills, the fact that it can reach 12 mph and an incline of 12% at this price point is something to be celebrated.
In addition, the Schwinn 830 Treadmill comes with 22 built-in workouts with the option to download exercise data. You can connect to Schwinn Connect and MyFitnessPal using your machine. You also get a USB charging port and a 3-speed cooling fan.
- USB charging port
- maximum speed of 12 mph
- really quiet
- assembly requires two people
- shock absorption quality is not good enough at this price point
- motor only has a 10-year warranty
How to Choose the Best Treadmill
Walkers, joggers, and runners all would benefit from having a treadmill at home. Not only will you be able to customize your exercise (on some models only), this is a safer alternative to walking/jogging/running outside. However, picking out the right treadmill isn’t a simple matter. Your choice will have to be based on several factors. And we’ve listed them all to help you find the perfect fit to help you reach your fitness goals.
How much space do you have?
Before you can even look at features or motor power, you need to first consider space. Because you won’t even be able to use your treadmill if you can’t fit it inside your exercise room. If you only have a small space available, you might want to limit yourself to compact models such as the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill. You’ll also need to consider storage space. Some models such as the 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill has a wider running surface compared to the Weslo but it also folds flat, enabling you to store it under your bed.
Are you a walker, jogger, or runner?
Walkers and joggers often find that most low-cost treadmills will suffice. These usually have smaller running tracks (less than 20 by 60 inches) and less powerful motors (less than 3 HP). Runners, on the other hand, require stronger motors such as the 3.5 CHP motor used in the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill. They also require larger running surfaces to accommodate their full running stride, especially if you’re a tall person.
Do you want preset or built-in programs and/or compatibility with fitness apps?
Running endlessly on a machine and getting nowhere can be boring for some people. Some newbie runners don’t even know how to fully utilize a treadmill to give them the workout they need. Thankfully, most treadmills nowadays offer built-in programs that are designed by certified personal trainers. Low-cost treadmills usually offer a small number of preset workouts such as the ProForm 505 CST Treadmill which only has 18. Higher end models such as the Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill offer 44 programs, covering calorie burn, heart rate workouts, interval training, etc. There are some expensive models that also feature 10 or fewer programs such as the 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill and the Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill. However, they also offer customizable programs which most low-end models do not.
Will you be assembling the unit on your own?
Setting up your treadmill can be a challenge. Some more than others. In addition, most models weigh at least 200 pounds. Unless the delivery company helps you place the box inside your house, you might end up with an extremely heavy box right on your doorstep with no way to move it on your own.
Other considerations you might want to think about when choosing your treadmill are the display (easy to read), the controls (easy to use), heart rate monitoring (hand grip or wireless), the warranty, the customer service, and incline settings (to add even more versatility to your workout). One thing is clear. Whatever treadmill you decide to buy, use it. Don’t let it gather dust. Even the cheapest treadmill on our list will put you back several hundred dollars. You might as well make the most out of your investment, no matter how little it might be.