Read My Treadmill Reviews, Ratings & Recommendations
If you have spent even 5 minutes online trying to buy a treadmill then you have probably been overwhelmed by your options. You have likely asked yourself which treadmill you should buy. That is a difficult question to answer. The right treadmill for me may not be the right treadmill for you. And if you have been browsing various treadmill review websites then you may be even more confused than when you started.
My hope as the Treadmill Review Guru is to clear up the confusion. I’ve compiled the best consumer reviews with my own treadmill reviews to give you the most useful, helpful and easy to understand treadmill ratings, reviews and recommendations.
» Comprehensive Treadmill Reviews
I have reviewed all of the models from all of the major brands and manufacturers. And as new treadmills come out, you had better believe I will be reviewing those too. And not only will I be reviewing them, but I will compile all of the best consumer reviews as well. That way you know it’s not just my opinion.
I also have reviews of over 30 brands. That’s more than almost every other treadmill review website out there. You would be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive collection of treadmill reviews out there.
» Treadmill Buying Tips
Buying a treadmill online may sound crazy, but it really is easier than you think. And it beats dealing with a pushy salesman in a store. The following features are the only ones you really need to pay attention to. For more tips, advice and information, please check out my treadmill and exercise articles.
Motor- Nearly all treadmills have 1-4 horsepower motors. The more horsepower, the better. Think of it like the horsepower in your car. All new cars can get up to 100 mph or more, but having more power is better. Likewise, all treadmills will get to at least 10 mph. But having more horsepower is what will keep the treadbelt from slipping while you run, it will maintain the speed better and it will last longer.
Incline- You can burn calories faster and get your heart rate up quicker by doing nothing more than simply increasing the incline of your treadmill (see video proof here). Some specialty treadmills called incline trainers can get up to 40% incline. Most standard machines will get to at least 10% or so. The higher it can incline, the better the workout you can get out of it.
Walking Surface- Nothing is more annoying than running on a treadmill with a small treadbelt. Most machines come with a walking surface of about 20″ wide by 60″ long or so. Unless you are smaller than the average person, get a walking surface at least that size or you will regret it.
Weight Capacity- If you are trying to save on a treadmill you may be tempted to get something very cheap. If you weigh over 200 pounds like I do, this is a bad idea. Get something that will definitely support your weight. A weight capacity of at least 300 pounds is recommended regardless of your actual weight.
Folding- Many of the heavy duty treadmills out there will not fold. If you don’t want your home treadmill to take up too much space, look for one that folds, which is going to be most of them.
That’s it, nothing else really matters. Every treadmill over $500 will have some kind of cushioning system, some kind of display with various metrics and will be made from decent materials. Sure there are cool extras like built-in web browsers and iFit Live, but they are more just for fun.
» About The Treadmill Brands
There are several brands of treadmills out there. Here is a brief overview of my top brands with a link to the manufacturer’s website and my reviews of their models.
NordicTrack sells more treadmills annually than everyone else. They are the top selling brand of Icon Health & Fitness, the top fitness equipment manufacturer in the world. Currently they have Jillian Michaels as their spokesperson and celebrity endorser. A simple rule is if in doubt, just buy a NordicTrack. Hard to go wrong. As a side note, the treadmill I use in my own home is a NordicTrack. That’s about as good as an endorsement I can give. And if you are serious about buying, check out these NordicTrack coupons I found which could save you some big bucks.
ProForm is another brand from Icon Health & Fitness. They are made in the same place (a manufacturing plant in Logan, Utah) and are designed by the same engineers, so they are pretty much the same thing. However, you’ll see they usually but a little something extra into NordicTrack. That doesn’t mean ProForm treadmills aren’t great. They are. And they tend to have more models in the lower price ranges, so good if you are on a bit of a budget.
Sole is not actually a manufacturer. They pay a manufacturing company called Dyaco to design and build their machines. Coincidentally, this is the same company that manufactures Spirit treadmills as well. Sole is more of a marketing company in that regard. But don’t be fooled; they still make good treadmills and they come with great prices. And they use higher quality parts than Spirit so they aren’t the exact same machines or anything. There’s a reason Sole wins so many Best Buy awards on all the different treadmill review sites.
Smooth is the oldest online treadmill retailer. They also have arguably the best warranty in the business. They don’t have a huge variety to choose from but they do have machines at different price points so there is something for everyone. Industry expert Fred Waters lists Smooth models as three of his top ten picks. Since he used to do marketing for Smooth Fitness and knows their machines better than anyone, it’s safe to say these are good treadmills.
LifeSpan is really more of a health and wellness company than a fitness equipment brand. That’s how they position themselves anyway. They not only have treadmills but they also sell blood pressure monitors, weight scales and and the LifeSpan Fitness Club. But don’t be concerned. While their focus may be on overall health, that doesn’t mean they aren’t committed to making great treadmills. They are one of the only major manufacturers that offers a treadmill desk.
LiveStrong is manufactured by Johnson Health Tech. They are the same makers of other brands such as Horizon, Vision, AFG and Matrix. They have been doing this for over 30 years so they know their stuff. The coolest part of the LiveStrong treadmills, aside from being good machines and being a mainstay on the Treadmill Doctor’s Best Buys, is that they give to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to fight cancer.
Horizon is another brand by Johnson Health Tech. Quality wise they are right on par with LiveStrong. The one thing that stands out when you run on a Horizon treadmill is that it is more quiet than most any other machine. They really do a nice job on keeping the noise down that you normally get on a treadmill. Horizon is also a regular winner of Best Buy awards on various treadmill review sites.
Bowflex, along with Schwinn, is a Nautilus brand of treadmill. They don’t actually refer to their machines as treadmills but instead call them TreadClimbers®. Walking on one is unlike any other due to their very unique design. However, they have hardly any variety so if you are on a budget there’s only one option for you. It’s still a good option and a fun machine to use, but keep in mind these are very different from other treadmills.
Yowza has only been around since 2009 but makes a great, innovative treadmill. I’ve never seen a treadmill fold up and look thinner. I do have a problem with their claim to being “the only online seller of fitness equipment that is not beholden to any retail partners or big box vendors.” Smooth Fitness fits that description as well and they have been doing it a lot longer. But regardless, their treadmills are great and built to last.
Gold’s Gym is yet another Icon Fitness brand. They are best known for being the treadmills you typically see sold in Walmart stores. They generally aren’t actually inside of any Gold’s Gym. But anything sold at Walmart must be affordable so that is the best thing they have going for them. Not a lot of variety here but if you are looking for the cheapest treadmill you can find that won’t fall apart as soon as you step on it, Gold’s Gym is probably the brand for you.
» About My Treadmill Ratings
With each treadmill review you will see an overall rating. These ratings are based on value and so they are relative to the price. For example, a 2 HP motor would be pretty bad on a treadmill that costs $4,000 but it would be amazing and unheard of on a treadmill that costs $400. Thus one treadmill with 2 HP motor can get a low rating while another with the same motor could receive a high rating. All reviews and ratings are compiled and written by Treadmill Review Guru.