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Best Treadmill Reviews – 2017 Reviews and Guide

best treadmills

One of the most natural exercises your body can perform is running.  Humans are capable of amazing feats of endurance and can, providing they are fit enough, run for hours on end out running any other animal on the planet.

Not everyone has the vast space required for running miles on end, and its far more convenient to exercise in the home.  Our new guide updates for 2015 will showcase the best treadmills on the market today and help you enjoy one of the most effective workouts there is: Running.

Best Budget Treadmills Under $700

When considering which treadmill to choose price is often the biggest deciding factor.  To start our review of the best treadmills on the market we share our three budget treadmill picks.  These three machines are between $700-$300 and are all good for beginners to start with.  While they are not going to be powerful enough for everyone they are durable and will last:

Just sneaking in at under $700 comes the incredibly popular Horizon T101 treadmill. Whether you aim to walk or jog treadmill has the power to keep up.
Don't just take our word for it, not only do we think its one of the best value budget treadmills, both Good Housekeeping and Treadmill Doctor have rated this among their best buys.
Easy to use, build and train with for an all round treadmill that won't break the bank the Horizon T101 should be on the top of your list.

While this may be a fairly basic treamill, ProForm know what they are doing.  Unnecessary extras are gone, which keeps the price under the $500 mark, while still delivering a great solid treadmill.

We really like the stability and comfort of this machine, you can still hear your TV if you are wanting to pass the time while running!

If you are looking for a simple, low cost treadmill that will let you run a few miles each week in comfort the Proform 505 is the pick of the bunch at around $500.

If you’re looking for a dependable treadmill for low-impact walking and don’t want to invest more than $300, you’ll love the Weslo Cadence R 5.2. It’s super easy to assemble, included a safety key, and has a thoughtful space-saving design that enables you to hide it away when you are done using it. Perhaps what current owners appreciate most about it is that it’s truly comfortable on the feet and the knees because of its comfort cell cushion deck. It has a 2-poistion inlcine, six built-in weight loss apps, and a huge LCD monitor for ease in reading how far you’ve walked and how many calories you’ve burned (in addition to other data).

Best Mid Range Treadmills For around $1000

Stepping up a level in price brings us to our pick of the best mid range treadmills.  Prices here go from $900 to $1200 and offer the best balance of performance and value.  Our top picks all offer a full speed running track, inclines and a range of workout options all without breaking the bank.

  • 3.0 chp mach Z commercial motor, 20 x 60 tread belt, proshox cushioning, SpaceSaver with easylift assist
  • 6 inch backlit display, 12 MPH quick speed, 12 percent quick incline, 22 workout Apps
  • The ProForm Pro 1000 Treadmill is protected with a Lifetime frame and motor Warranty, 3-year parts Warranty and 1-Year Labor Warranty

Faced with tough competition it should be hard to come out on top, and making a choice across the market should not be easy.  But the TR1200i comes out as one of our highest rated treadmills, and trumps the others to lead the $1000 market.   For a reliable and trouble free life, that will give years of great service there is no real need to look beyond the Lifespan TR1200i Treadmill.  The face lift from 2015 means that now it has lost its sightly ugly duckling look, with the modern yet sleek looking console that we really enjoy using.

  • Large 20" x 60" walking/running surface
  • Widescreen 7.5 inch blue backlit display
  • Lift assist Folding deck with Xtra soft cushioning
  • Quick touch speed & incline buttons conveniently located on the handlebars
  • Quiet & powerful 3.0 chp continuous duty motor

Comparison of the Top Treadmills on the Market in 2017:

Best Treadmills: By Function

Best 2017 Treadmills: By Price

Product name Rating Price
3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill
$3,399.00
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
$849.98
Proform 505 CST Treadmill (2014 Model) Proform 505 CST Treadmill (2014 Model)
$639.99
ProForm PFTL13116 Pro 2000 Treadmill ProForm PFTL13116 Pro 2000 Treadmill
$1,199.00
Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill
$1499.99
Sole Fitness S77 Non-Folding Treadmill Sole Fitness S77 Non-Folding Treadmill
Click to see
Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill
$309.99
Yowza Fitness Daytona Professional Grade Non-Folding Treadmill Yowza Fitness Daytona Professional Grade Non-Folding Treadmill
Click to see

 

Treadmill Buying Guides

The sad fact about treadmills is that they are often the most purchased fitness equipment that is never used!  We did some research into why this is, and it was simply because in most cases the person bought the wrong equipment.

A common reason was buying a treadmill for their current needs, over weight and unfit, and finding that it did not push them enough after a few weeks of use.  We would recommend always future proofing your machine by buying one that is capable of growing with your fitness.

Click here to buy this seasons best treadmills on Amazon >>>

Why are Treadmills So Popular?

Visit any gym and its always the treadmill that is there in huge numbers.  They are popular because they work.  Lets look at the reasons in more depth.

Fitness

Think about your daily activities.  Walking to the shops, round the office or playing with the children.  Walking is the most common exercise we do.  This has been the case since humans first evolved.  We are designed to get about through long walks.

While rowing machines, ellipticals, cross trainers, bikes all have a place walking and running is second nature to us.  Its what we are built to do.  By getting better at walking and running you will find that day to day tasks become easy and more efficient.  Long walks become effortless, hill climbing does not result in becoming out of breath and running after the bus is easy.

Technology

Treadmill manufacturers have been quick to integrate modern technology into their treadmill designs.  All mid range and up machines have sophisticated computers built into them that are designed to motivate you and ensure that even a short workout is effective.  Do you only have 20 minutes for a workout?  No problem choose a new machine that connects to a chest strap and it will ensure that you get you to the right speed for an effective workout in a few minutes and squeeze every drop of effort in the 20 minutes. Nearly all treadmills have basic feedback such as Heart Rate, Speed, Distance Travelled, Climb and Calories Burned.  These features have been about for a number of years.

Social Media

Schwinn 830 Treadmill ConsoleWhat is different now is the internet and social medial.  Free Apps like My Fitness Pal allow users to track calories burned and calories consumed.  This makes losing weight extremely easy!  Set your current weight, your target weight and how long you would like to reach your target. Add in what food you have eaten every day and it will tell you how many calories you have eaten, if you have eaten too many you will see the time to reach the target weight increase.  Eat less and the time to target weight will reduce.  Best thing is if you exercise, and its easy to burn 600 calories in an hour running your weight will drop even faster.  With the modern treadmills this can be captured automatically with your smartphone linking up to the treadmill console.

Virtual Reality

Bluetooth connections are now common on new machines at about $800+.  If you want something really fancy, how about watching the streets of London or Boston stream past as you run a marathon in your own home?  This really is a thing.  High end machines feature LCD monitors that follow the route and track the hills of some of the most popular running routes in the world.  If you don’t feel the need to run a marathon route then you can program a route into google maps and follow that instead.

Modern Ergonomics

Ergonomics is a catch all term for Comfort Design, Functional Design and user friendly systems.  Treadmills have come along ways from the early days of canvas belts and wobbly wooden frames.  Now you can expect them to have every last detail thought through, from cushioned belts to absorb the impact of your feet, specially designed shock absorbers to further dampen the impact and keep the noise down.  The new consoles are set to allow the buttons to be easily pushed and even hold tablets in position.

The effect of this is to make the use of treadmills more fun and safer.  By reducing impact on your bones it reduces the stress of impact, and makes your bones and muscles stronger through long term use.

Giving easy access to onboard entertainment ensures that the treadmills are used more often, encouraging to to run more and become fitter, faster and healthier.

The best treadmills will help you achieve this and more.

Main Types of Treadmill:

Traditional Treadmill vs Desk Treadmill

LifeSpan TR1200-DT2 ReviewsSit at your desk all day, no time to get out of the office and stretch you legs?  A popular choice for busy city workers, journalists and bloggers in the last few years has been the desk treadmill.  They eliminate the time excuse for not exercising.

These take all sizes and shapes, some are simple treadmill belts that fit under a raised desk that has a small discrete console for the treadmill controls.  Others come equipped with entire workstations that allow you to fit a monitor, mouse and keyboard.

With desk treadmills you might imagine its hard to run full pelt while preparing your TPS reports, and it is.  Most of the treadmills are little more than walking machines.  The great thing about using a desk treadmill is that if you use them for a couple of hours a day even a slow walk can add up to a fair distance over time.

Folding vs Non Folding

When it comes to deciding what kind of treadmill you need perhaps the most important consideration is how to store it.  If you don’t have a huge amount of space available, or maybe you will be wanting to move the treadmill post workout, then the convenience of a folding treadmill is important.  This will allow you to have a larger, more powerful machine that can be put away if you have someone round to visit.

If space is not such a premium, then the better option is the higher end non folding models.  The advantage of non-folding treadmills is that they are significantly stronger, able to take users up to 400lbs.  As there are fewer moving parts they also tend to be quieter when in use.  Folding treadmills tend to be the best option for home use.  Read more about the best treadmills for home use here.

What do you need to think about before buying a Treadmill?

Its rare to find someone who has never used a treadmill before, they can be found in collages, gyms and even some offices.  But have you ever stopped to think what kind of treadmill you need.  Most of the machines that you find in commercial places will be designed for rugged daily use by lots of people.  They will be far stronger than would be needed by most households.

Choose your Goals not the Features!

You may want to think about the kind of features that you want to see, such as top speed, the amount of incline, fans or speakers.

What is more useful though is to think to the future.

You are buying a treadmill for a reason, so what is that reason.  Do you need to exercise more, lose weight, train for a specific purpose or event?  Once you commit to a goal then you can decide which machine is right for you.  When you know your goal picking the right machine that you will get the most use of becomes simple.

Click here to buy this seasons best treadmills on Amazon >>>

 

Top Treadmill Considerations:

Treadmill Size

This is the top of the list!  You need to fit your new treadmill into your home.  Fortunately it will also help eliminate a huge number of treadmills from your list.

If like most users you are looking for a folding treadmill then you have two sizes to consider the full extended size, and also the size it folds up to.  The folded size is not normally listed, from our experience the width stays the same while the length reduces normally by 2/3rds.

At the same time as considering the size the weight is also important to bare in mind.  If you are looking to move it into a storage space then you need to be able to move the treadmill safely.  Most treadmills come equipped with some small wheels to help move things about.  Just check that you have room to move the treadmill, there are no obstacles or steps.

User Weight

If you are under 275lbs then you can pick any treadmill you like, there are very few treadmills that have a weight lower than 275lbs.  Users over 375lbs will be limited in their choice of machines, these will be typically high end non folding machines designed for busy gyms.

Either way if you are concerned about your weight and are looking to start running to lose weight then we would recommend talking to a doctor to make sure you are not doing damage to your body before starting any exercise regime.

Cost

We have moved cost down from the primary consideration, the reason is you should by the treadmill that suits your needs and we would recommend spending a few hundred dollars more to get a machine that will last you longer.  The old adage is “buy cheap buy twice!”

You need something that is reliable, and is capable of growing with your skills.  It should not cost a fortune to find a good machine that will give you a great workout day in day out.

Of course if price is a challenge our advice is to choose the lower tier product of a better brand.  This will give the benefit of the high build quality at the price of losing a couple of features.  The other option is buying a top of the range model from a lower quality brand.  This will give the extras, but may not be a solid reliable machine.

There are machines on the market that are available, new, for not a huge amount of money.  You can appreciate that corners have to be cut to achieve some of the prices out there.

Treadmill Belts: Quality and Length

The treadmill belt is one of the most important considerations, along with the motor it is the one thing that will ensure a quality and comfortable run.  There are a couple of considerations when it comes to its size and length.

The longer the belt then the faster you can run without feeling like you are out running the belt.  A properly sized belt will enable you to run with a full stride and not worry about landing off the treadmill and possibly stumbling.  If you plan on running at top speed (12mph) then a full length treadmill is a must!

A second consideration is the height of the user.  The taller you are then the longer the stride you will take.  For users over 6′ tall we would recommend a treadmill with a length of 60″

Speed: Max and Continuous

The maximum speed of most mid range treadmills is 12mph.  High end models can push up to 16mph, which is great for high speed interval work and training. Very few people can run at 16mph for anything more than the shortest period of time.

But hold on there, think back to your goals, if you just want to burn a few extra calories and lose weight then 12mph would be at the top end of what you need 9-10 mph would be challenging enough.  To put this into perspective, I run reasonably fast and can do a 5 km race in 22 minutes.  This is a speed of just 8.5mph.  12mph would be a 5 km time of 15 minutes!

So there is no reason to spend money on a faster machine if all you plan on doing is walking or light jogging.

Sound Levels

If you live in a house with plenty of space between you and your neighbour then the sound your treadmill makes may not worry you.  For others though the sound of the treadmill (and they can be noisy) may be a huge deal.  Its worth just thinking about the treadmill location, whether there will be sleeping dogs, children or neighbours around when the treadmill is running.  Of course treadmill mats are also essential in keeping the noise down.

“Bells and Whistles”

Often manufacturers will use additional features to entice a new buyer.  Things like speakers, fans, drink holders all appear to be important considerations.  To me these are secondary to getting a good workout.  My motivation is becoming fitter, doing better than the previous day or week.

At this point buying a treadmill is much like buying a car.  You can go for a cheap model with loads of features, or a higher quality model without the extra features.  For us reliability and a good workout are the most important features, and we would not include things like fans as being part of our list our advice is that if you need a fan or speakers to compliment your workout then standalone equipment works better for a lower price.

A couple of important features to look at are incline and roller size.

Roller Size: Most treadmills will have some kind of roller to guide the treadmill belt.  The higher end the machine then the wider these rollers.  The advantage of wider rollers is that it allows for a thicker, and more comfortable belt to be fitted this means more cushioning for your joints and less noise.  Rollers go from small <2″ up to a maximum of about 3″.  For a good level we would look at a size of about 2.5 – 2.75 as the minimum.

Incline:  Most machines will have some kind of incline, or slope adjustment.  This gives the impression of running up hills, and makes even moderate paced workouts much tougher.  We would always look for an automatic incline, some entry level machines have manual adjustments which means getting off the machine and raising up the legs.  This is not ideal in the middle of a workout.  At high ends you can find treadmills that have declines, simulating running down hill. 

Our Verdict on choosing a Long term and Comfortable Treadmill:

We love to hear peoples success stories when they stick with their treadmill workouts!  There are people that have gone from no exercise to running marathons.  Others have lost 100’s lbs of weight through a combination of exercise and healthy eating, or those that have won events through extra training.

The thing they all have in common is getting the right choice before parting with their money.

In the next section we will consider three treadmills:

  • Best Treadmill for Home and All Round Use
  • Best Treadmill for Weight Loss
  • Best Treadmill for Running

Best Treadmill for Home Use:  Lifespan TR1200i Folding Treadmill

Lifespan TR1200
The Lifespan TR1200i our pick for the best Home Treadmill
Lifespan are a huge company that provides equipment for gyms across the country.  While the TR1200i Folding Treadmill may be their entry level model it feels great quality and is made to a really high standard.  All for under $1000.

Because it folds it is ideal for any size apartment or home, a hydraulic folding system means that it can easily be folded with just one person.

This is a strong machine, runners up to 300lbs will be able to workout up to its top speed of 11mph.  This speed will be a challenge for most new to intermediate runners (if you need to go faster we recommend a faster machine below!).  Even the automatic incline is generous, at 15 degrees.

The TR1200 has been out for some time, and one area where this shows in the console.  It looks good, with blue lcd displays, easy to read and use controls and all the workout details you need.  However it does lack a couple of features such as phone integration.  For us though this is secondary as overall its such a quality machine.

All the built in programs make it easy to achieve your fitness goals, and its great to see performance improve week after week as you become stronger and faster.  The best feature for us is the Zone Constant program, this allows you to keep a constant heart rate up in the training zone.  The machine automatically adjusts the speed and incline to keep you at exactly the right place to become fitter.  The way this works is that as your heart rate climbs to high, the incline drops making the run easier.  If you start to fall below the training zone, then the incline increases again to push your heart rate back up.

See on Amazon

 

 

Best Treadmill for For Weight Loss: Sole F85 Treadmill

  • Treadmill offers an industry-leading warranty and a proprietary Cushion Flex Whisper Deck, shown in a study to reduce impact on your joints by up to 40% compared to running on asphalt
  • 4.0 CHP, DC Type motor with 0.5-to-12 MPH speed range, 0-to-15% rack-and-pinion gear design incline, two-ply belt, pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring
  • Six standard programs, two custom programs, and two heart programs; cooling fans and MP3-compatible sound system; nine-inch LCD workout display
  • Measures 35 by 58 by 80 inches (W x H x D); deck measures 35 by 80 inches (W x D) and running surface measures 22 by 60 inches (W x D); 265-pound weight and 400-pound weight limit; 2.75-inch rollers
  • Includes the following manufacturer's warranties against defects in materials and workmanship: lifetime on frame, motor, and deck; five years on electronics; and two years on labor

Sole F80 Treadmill Review 2

We are big fans of the Sole equipment range, their Spin Bike is one of the best cardio products on the market.  Sole treadmills are of the same quality.  There is a great range of products available from the entry level Sole F63 treadmill, up to the serious S77 Treadmill.

For weight loss the Sole F85 is hard to beat.  At a price of $1500 it is more expensive than our best all round treadmill however it can accommodate runners up to 375lbs while the TR1200 maxes out at 300lbs.

The Sole F85 is a high quality folding treadmill, so its fairly easy to store after a workout. Its not uncommon to find Sole equipment in gyms, and you can feel the quality of this product in its fit and finish.  The buttons feel good, and the run is well cushioned and comfortable.

Most importantly for plus sized runners the deck is massive, at 22″ by 60″.  This means that you will not feel constrained even if you are very tall!  The extra 2″ over the TR1200 may not sound like much, but imagine the difference there would be in an airline seat if they gave that extra space?

To support the extra weight this machine packs some punch, with a powerful motor that is designed to stand up to the rated weight limit.  The belt has also been upgraded from a normal two layer belt, this one is two ply four layers.  This provides much more shock absorption leading to a safe, comfortable and quiet workout.

See on Amazon

 

Best Treadmill for Competitive Runners: Lifespan TR4000i

LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i Folding Treadmill Review

The TR4000i  has all the features that you would expect of a high end machine, speed up to 12mph.  20% incline and -6% decline.

What really sets the tr400oi apart is that there is nothing left out.  It packs a full size, full speed running platform.  Easy to use display capable of showing stats and entertainment.  The motor is powerful enough to keep thistreadmilll running for extended periods without fail

It also connects to all the main apps such as MyFitnessPall, and you can even browse Facebook while you run.

All this means is that you are more motivated to run, and it makes it easier to keep going for hours at a time, perfect for some off season training on a cold winters day, or even running some comfortable miles in the middle of summer!

See on Amazon

Summary and Verdict

Whether you are new to running or a seasoned marathoner there is a treadmill for you.  There is plenty to consider when making a purchase, just remember to keep your goals in mind and choose the machine that will help you achieve them.

For most users there is no need to spend more than $1000 on a quality treadmill.  However if you do want to achieve more or want to lose significant weight then you would benefit from a slightly higher budget.

All of the treadmills on this page are backed with full independent reviews.  With our guide you will get the best treadmill for your needs.

Product name Rating Price
3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill
$3,399.00
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
$849.98
Proform 505 CST Treadmill (2014 Model) Proform 505 CST Treadmill (2014 Model)
$639.99
ProForm PFTL13116 Pro 2000 Treadmill ProForm PFTL13116 Pro 2000 Treadmill
$1,199.00
Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill
$1499.99
Sole Fitness S77 Non-Folding Treadmill Sole Fitness S77 Non-Folding Treadmill
Click to see
Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill
$309.99
Yowza Fitness Daytona Professional Grade Non-Folding Treadmill Yowza Fitness Daytona Professional Grade Non-Folding Treadmill
Click to see

Click Here to See the Best treadmills of 2017 on Amazon >>>