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Treadmill Buyers Guide: Top Quality and Design Features

Awareness regarding one’s own physical health, and body appearance, has grown these days, especially since the period of the pandemic. Each one of us wants to put on a good, strong impression when we enter a room full of strangers, who will judge us primarily on our outward appearance and composure. So, it is necessary to stay fit and healthy, to be in a body you feel satisfied and happy with.

Moreover, research says that the single easiest way to build fitness is to add walking or jogging as a consistent part of your workout routine. Although this sounds very easy, it is more often than not. Skipping gym days, be it because of bad weather, busy schedules, or any other reason, all get in the way of your fitness journey. Hence, in that case, it is recommended to have your own treadmill at home, which saves you a lot of time, energy, and hassle.

Importance of a treadmill

Whenever we start something, be it new or old, the first thought-cum-question that crosses our mind is, ‘what is the point of this?’. We all want to convince ourselves that whenever we spend our time and effort on anything, we get good results out of it. Therefore, before randomly purchasing the best treadmill available in the market, and letting it sit in the corner while you watch Netflix, you should get an insight into the positive outcomes you are bound to get once you start using the product.

  • Treadmills are a great investment for home workouts, especially if you have limited time, can’t get outside, or are not a fan of running in the dark.
  • If you are someone trying to get more cardio into your workout routine, a treadmill is said to be one of the most diverse cardio machines you can use.
  • Some of the benefits that come with consistent use of treadmills include an increase in the efficiency of your heart and lungs, a decrease in calories, and an improvement in your overall running performance.
  • Whether your goal is a couple of no-frills miles or a full-blown immersive workout, a treadmill can prove to be a very useful and convenient training tool.

Choosing the best treadmill

Buying a treadmill can be an expensive investment, so it is necessary to learn all essential areas you must focus on, before finalizing its purchase. Also, it is advisable to do thorough research and set a budget before selecting the machine to purchase.

  • First of all, you must determine what kind of workout you need the machine for. For instance, if you are training for a marathon, you may want better shock absorption and a longer surface length. Meanwhile, walkers may find longer arms useful.
  • Important features such as belt length, deck feel, stability, speed, incline, and connectivity, are the core of a good treadmill and must be checked beforehand.
  • You must also determine before the purchase how much space you can devote to the machine and if you want a folding model.
  • It is also advisable to remember the amount of time you plan to spend on the machine before purchasing it. If it is going to be your main exercise, it is advisable to go for a treadmill with all the features- screen, inbuilt classes, inclines, speed options, motorized belts, and so on. On the other hand, if the machine is being purchased only for the odd occasion, you should consider buying a foldaway, non-motorized treadmill, that is cheaper and much more compact.
  • Another factor to take into consideration is the noise. The bigger the motor is, the louder the treadmill will be. So, if you are a beginner, you might want something toned down. However, if you are a serious runner, you should opt for a decent-sized motor to power the belt.
  • Also, ensure you consider your own body weight and height before the purchase. Larger-sized individuals will require a machine with a higher maximum weight capacity. Moreover, height helps to determine the belt size of the machine. For instance, if you are 6ft, then you will require at least a 52″ belt for walking, and a 54″ one for running.
  • With advanced technology, another important feature to pay heed to is the content that the treadmill offers, like pre-programmed exercises or live and on-demand studio classes.

Best treadmills available today

The number of fitness devices that have come up recently is crazy. Unsurprisingly, the market is filled with innumerable treadmills as well, making a consumer’s decision of selecting one from the crowd much more difficult and frustrating.

So to make your life a bit easier, we list down some of the top treadmills available in the market today. These machines have been selected after holistic research. Customer reviews have also been paid heed to in the process of selecting the best from the rest.

NordicTrack Commercial 1750

  • This is said to be the best treadmill available in the market today. It is a dependable, versatile treadmill with a smooth ride and a sturdy build, and a straightforward design that is easy to navigate.  It is impossible to find another treadmill with the specs and features for the same low price this model provides.
  • This NordicTrack version has been updated this year, with a fast, tilting 14″ touchscreen console and a quiet incline motor that auto-adjusts during your home workout. It has also upgraded all convenience options that you normally find on NordicTrack machines—like quick keys to jump to a particular speed or incline with a single tap instead of repeatedly pressing a button.
  • However, the importance of these buttons has been reduced with the touchscreen and several trainer-led workout manuals. The screen offers more than twice as much real estate as earlier models, although you cannot use it for entertainment purposes.
  • Underfoot, the 22”/60” deck size is spacious enough for a jog and/or a run. Furthermore, the machine is stable even if you have a heavy footfall. However, the cushioning is slightly bouncy, though it is adjustable such that you can make it a bit firmer.
  • The 1750 is the cheapest model in NordicTrack’s current Commercial Series, but that does not detract from its quality. It can handle any type of training, from gentle walking to long-distance running. This machine can handle any type of training, from gentle walking to long-distance running. If you want a high-quality commercial-grade treadmill, the Commercial 1750 is an excellent choice that will keep you motivated for many years to come.
  • Also, the machine remains quiet during incline changes, which helps to tone your lower body due easily. Due to this, this device version is the preferred option of many.
  • Additional highlights of this model include Bluetooth audio and touchscreen with a free 30-day iFit membership included for interactive training and stats tracking.  Two secure water-bottle holders and five small bins underneath the console offer ample room for storing as well.
  • Model Specs:
    • Dimensions: 81.25″ L x 39.25″ W x 62.75″ H
    • Deck Size: 22” wide x 60” long
    • Speed: 0 – 12 mph
    • Incline: -3% – 15%
    • Running Area: 22″ x 60″
    • Folding: Yes
    • Motor: 3.8 HP
    • Weight Capacity: 300 LBS
    • Screen: 10″ Smart HD Touchscreen
    • Workout Programs: 50
    • Warranty: 10-Year Frame, 2-Year Parts, 1-Year Labor
  • Amazon link for purchase:

Echelon Stride

  • The Echelon Stride Treadmill is a great all-around option. It is considered a treadmill with a modern sensibility, that offers you tons of sweet tech features to help you make the most of your workout.
  • The machine is a space-savvy treadmill, with a compact running belt and a fully foldable design. You can easily have this strong yet lightweight machine flat in seconds, which makes it ideal for storing, saving a lot of space in a snap.
  • This space-saving treadmill is ideal for anyone wanting a quality product that offers hundreds of on-demand classes and folds flat when not in use. This treadmill is neither cheap, nor high-end, yet the preferred choice of many.
  • It offers 12 different speed levels, speeds of up to 12mph, and incline settings as high as 10%. The base of the machine is sturdy and secure, with only slight wobbling at the highest paces and gradients.
  • Furthermore, the belt moves smoothly, with no juddering underfoot, even though it has a motor of only 1.75 hp.
  • It also has a large LED touchscreen display with Bluetooth that you can use on your tablet and allows you to use Echelon’s on-demand fitness program to diversify your workouts.
  • Some extra features present in the machine include Bluetooth connectivity, live and on-demand classes, live workouts, etc. via the Echelon Fit app (subscription needed), and a USB charging port.
  • It is the most convenient machine for home purposes, since it can be folded with the press of a button, and rolled into a corner of the room using the wheels that support the machine.
  • The Echelon Stride puts consumer safety and convenience first. The metal safety bar underneath the running deck protects objects from being pulled under.
  • However, many do not prefer to go for this model due to its small motor, and lack of touchscreen. Moreover, although it boasts of an easy-to-use folding mechanism, it also has fewer bells and whistles than more expensive treadmills; like it does not have an HD video screen.
  • Model Specs:
    • Dimensions: 69.3” x 31” x 49.2”
    • Weight: 156 lbs
    • Tread Belt Size: 20” x 55”
    • Max User Weight: 300lbs
    • Display: No screen, digital touch console
    • Speed: 0-12mph
    • Incline: -3-10%
    • Motor: 1.75 HP
    • Workout Programs: 8
    • On-demand/live workouts: Yes (with Echelon membership)
  • Amazon link:

Proform Smart Pro 2000

  • If you are a consumer on a budget, who is still looking for a treadmill with speed, then the Proform Smart Pro 2000 is what you should go for.
  • The ProForm Smart Pro 2000 is a deceptively large treadmill, heavy-duty all around, and equipped with a generously wide 22″ running deck. But it does not need to take up a lot of floor space 24/7 because when it’s not in use, the Pro 2000 folds up for a much smaller footprint.
  • The machine has solid speed, topping out at 12 MPH, a weight capacity of 300 pounds, and the ability to incline quickly up to a 12% grade.
  • Essentially, it is said to be a slightly cheaper version of what you often see in big commercial gyms.
  • At the top of the machine are two screens for both operating the machine and following along with pre-recorded workouts. Plus, below the screen, it features a large built-in fan that is superior to the fans included on most treadmills.
  • The machine’s shock-absorbing cushioning system and the fact that it has both an incline and a decline gives the machine an edge such that your runs can simulate hills better than most.
  • The console includes an integrated 10″ LCD that works with ProForm’s subscription-based iFit service, which delivers streaming, on-demand guided workout sessions. The app can actively control the settings on your treadmill, adjusting speed and incline to match the workout.
  • There is also an included heart rate sensor, cooling fan, and integrated Bluetooth speakers.
  • Moreover, it has a  3.5 CHP motor and is a great choice for dedicated runners.
  • Model Specs:
    • Dimensions: 77.3” x 35.3” x 59.6”
    • Max user capacity: 300 pounds
    • Speed: 0 to 12 mph
    • Incline: -3% – 12%
    • Motor: 3.5 CHP
    • Deck Sizw: 16”
    • Tread Belt: 20” x 60”
    • Display: 10” LCD
    • Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, and 1-year labor warranty
    • Amazon link:

Horizon T101

  • Horizon has a fantastic range of budget-friendly treadmills. At just 70″ long by 34″ wide (and 55″ high), the Horizon T101 is said to be the most compact treadmill available in the market currently.
  • It is made of a compact, easily foldable design with transport wheels, making it the right fit for most home gym spaces. Furthermore, it folds to 46″ by 34″ by 61″ and is reviewed as the machine with the best intersection of price and features.
  • At just $699, it is reviewed to be an affordable machine that does not sacrifice durability or quality. It has a respectable warranty to match the quality of the product as well, which offers lifetime coverage on the frame and motor of the device, and a year of coverage on parts and labor.
  • The Horizon T101 provides the best results in people doing light to moderate training routines, so it is best for walkers and gentle joggers.
  • However, due to its compact footprint, its running track is on the smaller side (20″ x 55″). So, while working out on the treadmill, you must remember that it will not work for the tallest runners out there.
  • Furthermore, many consumers also dislike it because of its weak motor and average cushioning.
  • Yet, the model has many other additional features like an incline grade of up to 10%; 9 built-in workout programming options.
  • Other entertainment and comfort perks that you get along with include Bluetooth speakers, a small cooling fan, a tablet holder, and a USB charging port. It’s the best compact model on the market, with an easy-to-use command center console and Bluetooth connectivity that lets you play audio from your phone through built-in speakers.
  • Moreover, the model also comes with about 30 pre-set workout programs.
  • Your heart rate can also be measured through the hand grips present on the machine.
  • This device is perfect for cost-conscious shoppers who are new to fitness, or those who prefer light to moderate workouts. You won’t have to sacrifice too much space or cash for this machine. Moreover, the T101 is best suited to light to moderate training routines, so it’s best for walkers and gentle joggers.
  • Model Specs:
    • Dimensions: 70″ x 34″ x 55″
    • Motor: 2.5 CHP
    • Incline: 0 – 10%
    • Deck Size: 20” by 55”
    • Folding: Yes
    • Top speed: 10 MPH
    • Weight Capacity: 300 LBS
    • Screen: 3 LED Windows
    • Warranty: Lifetime Frame & Motor; 1-Year Parts & Labor
  • Amazon link:

Bowflex Treadmill 22

  • This is called a beast of a treadmill in the market, and the price tag reflects that. The Bowflex Treadmill 22 boasts a top-notch design and builds robust performance and many accompanying features. Although this high-end machine is a bit expensive for most average consumers, it has been reviewed as a workhorse that will last you for years.
  • The machine is as big and sturdy as something you would see at your gym. The running surface is roomy and comfortable, while the huge 22” touchscreen makes viewing workouts a pleasure.
  • Moreover, you can also connect your streaming services through the JRNY app and use the large HD touchscreen for entertainment purposes like streaming Netflix and Disney Plus, while working out. The app comes with a 2 month’s free trial as well.
  • Although JRNY does not offer live studio sessions or community features like present in many other machine models, it does have plenty of on-demand and adaptive workouts.
  • Also, it has a 400-pound capacity, so it’s built for maximum durability. It also has a major incline of 20% and a decline of -5%, mimicking real-life uphill and downhill running.
  • It also folds up with the touch of a button, which adds to the convenience of consumers.
  • Furthermore, the device also has a powerful built-in fan.
  • Moreover, this upgraded machine is capable of supporting bigger walkers and runners, because of its top-notch build quality, unlike the previously designed Bowflex treadmills.
  • Model Specs:
    • Dimensions: 85” x 40” x 70”
    • Surface size: 22” x 60”
    • Speed: 0 – 12 mph
    • Incline: -5% – 20%
    • Motor: 4.0 HP
    • Capacity: 400 pound
    • Display: 22” touchscreen HD video
    • On-demand/live workouts: Yes (JRNY membership required)
  • Amazon link:

A treadmill can prove to be a very useful purchase, in the long run of achieving your fitness goal. But, you must use it regularly and consistently.

However, even the cheapest treadmills are a substantial investment, so if running or walking is not your preferred form of exercise, or using a treadmill tends to hurt your joints, you will probably end up wasting your money. In that case, you should look for other exercise machines that offer excellent cardio workouts, like stationary bikes, ellipticals, and rowing machines, which may fit your preferences better.

At the end of the day, it is you who knows your body better than anyone else. So, if working on a treadmill feels too much pressure on your limbs, you should switch to something else. You should not put excessive pressure on your body at any cost. And remember to start small, and work your way up from there. Do your own research and market analysis of treadmill models, listen to the reviews of your friends and family, but put your money on the model you find fit for your own self. It might not be the best available in the market, but it might be the best just for your body!

We wish you all the best for your fitness journey, and hope this article will help you make the right purchase!

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