TrueForm Runner Treadmill Review 2020

Last Updated: May 12, 2020
TrueForm Runner manual treadmill review
The TrueForm Runner is a manual treadmill with a slightly gentler curve than comparable curved treads so it is easy to run on and provides a comfortable feel underfoot which helps support proper running form. The TrueForm Runner comes with several unique customization options that make it a great manual treadmill for home gyms and commercial spaces as well.

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Who It’s For: Athletes looking for a curved manual treadmill that supports proper form and built like a tank

Pros
  • Sturdy build ensures quality and durability
  • Full lifetime frame warranty
  • Slats and bearings are smooth
  • Supports proper running form
  • Lasts forever
  • Excellent for conditioned athletes
  • Lots of customization options
  • Extremely well priced for what you get
Cons
  • Heavy! Machine weighs 350lbs. Is recommended primarily for first floors or on higher floors placed along walls by support beams
  • Not recommended on shag carpet; treadmill mat highly recommended for carpeted floors
  • Console has limited functionality for a treadmill in this price range

FeaturesSpecifications
  • Sturdy tread belt is designed to reduce impact injury
    • The rubberized surface of the slat belts is designed to offset some of the impact force from running. This makes it a great trainer for those who want to condition as if on outdoor surfaces while mitigating joint impact.
  • TrueForm Runner burns 44% more calories
    • Compared to motorized treadmills, the TrueForm Runner helps you burn more calories per workout. This is because the design requires more muscle engagement while running.
  • Gentler curve angle makes it easier to run on
    • Compared to the Woodway Curve and other curved treads, the TrueForm Runner has a gentler curve, so it is slightly easier to run on while you still enjoy the benefits of a curved design.
  • The Runner is 100% full metal constructed in USA
    • This is not a sloppy treadmill that is going to break down in two years. The TrueForm Runner is high-quality and fully built in the USA
  • Hand-welded covers, solid aluminum axles, rubberized treads
    • Each individual component is designed to contribute to the overall functionality of the treadmill. The Runner is built with quality in mind.
  • Customizable tread options
    • Tread options in black or red. Turf is available in green, blue, purple, and gray. A red running track supports spiked sprinting cleats or you can upgrade to the proprioceptive surface Naboso.
  • Customizable paint options
    • The Runner comes in any color on the full chart of RAL paint options or you can add your custom color code when ordering.
  • Your logo can also be added for full customization
    • Get your logo added as an upgrade!
  • Supports up to 700lbs walking, 400lbs running
    • The TrueForm Runner supports runners of all sizes

Construction:

  • Footprint: 64” long x 36” wide x 63” high
  • Running surface: 17” wide
  • Unit weight: 350lb
  • Max user weight: 400lb running, 700lb walking
  • Bearing frame: Hand welded 7-gauge steel
  • Cover: Welded .160” aluminum
  • Handrails: 2” formed steel tubing
  • Paint: Textured powder coat
  • 106 sealed steel ball bearings
  • 14 Belt Guide Rollers
  • Custom Paint: Over 300 RAL colors available
  • Belts: Polyurethane with steel radial
  • Tread Surface: Bonded Kraiburg Thermolast
  • Tread Lower: Fiberglass reinforced nylon
  • Tread options: Artificial Turf or rubberized running track
  • Bearings: 106 sealed steel ball bearings
  • Pulleys: Tooled solid aluminum

Console:

  • LCD Displays pace, speed, distance, MPH/KPH, time
    Console is battery powered

Functionality:

  • Manual curved slat belt
  • Does not require electricity; no need to plug in
  • Belt is 17” wide and 63” long
  • There is no max speed, the belt will go as fast as you do
  • Upright handles for balance while running
  • Curved belt enables proper running form

Warranty:

  • Lifetime warranty on frame
  • 5-year warranty on parts and components
  • 2-year warranty on display
  • 1-year warranty on labor

In-depth Review of the TrueForm Runner Manual Treadmill


Construction

TrueForm Runner leveling feet

Frame

As mentioned above, the TrueForm Runner is hand-built in the USA with quality materials and parts. This treadmill has a full lifetime warranty which is a reflection of its exceptional build. The Runner features hand-welded covers, you can actually see the evenly-spaced welding beads along the surface of the track, which is an example of the quality and design. The Runner also features solid aluminum axles, rubberized treads, and has 106 steel ball bearings and 14 belt guides to create a smooth motion in the tread belt. Powder coated steel uprights and steel handrail make it easy to get on and off the Runner. There are leveling feet under the rear of the deck which can be adjusted to make sure the Runner sits firmly without rocking.

Deck

    • Construction: The TrueForm Runner is constructed of durable, quality products to ensure the machine functions well and holds up well to heavy training. Most curved treadmills are used by already conditioned athletes (although they are not exclusive to those who are trained), as a result, TrueForm has built the Runner to withstand intervals, sprints, endurance training, and advanced conditioning. This is not grandma’s walking treadmill that folds up in the closet. The Runner is a favorite of CrossFit gyms, boutique training facilities and is often used as a means to assess running form by exercise physiologists.
    • Cushioning/Feel: The rubberized slats provide a bit of cushioning which mitigates joint impact when running. While this isn’t as extensive as the cushion you may find in high-end incline trainers, the surface is designed to mimic outdoor surfaces while also providing needed support. The Runner surface enables users to gain needed biofeedback from the curved track and enhances proprioception since you have to pay close attention to where you are on the track at all times.
    • Length/Width: The running surface is 17” wide and extends nearly the full 63” in length. This is pretty standard for a curved slat belt treadmill. Because the belt is manually controlled, you have to pay attention while running. This is part of what makes the Runner (and other curved treadmills) more challenging, but also more effective.
    • Belt and Rollers: There are 106 ball bearings under the slat belt to help it move smoothly along the deck. The 14 guide rollers keep the track in line so there’s no lateral shifting, they also hold the belt securely so it does not slap the deck surface.
    • TrueForm Runner belt bearings

    • Surface:
      TrueForm Runner turf

    • One area where the TrueForm Runner excels is the surface options on the slat belt. You can select a standard rubberized black slat belt that is excellent for all-around training and will support any running shoe. This is the same type of belt found on most other curved manual treadmills.
    • A turf belt is another option where the surface of the slats is covered with artificial turf (available in several colors). This allows athletes who want to train using cleats for soccer, football or any other sport that plays on a grass or turf surface. This is an excellent option for coaches and gym facilities for college or professional athletes since they can train in the same type of shoes they use for game play.
    • There is also a track surface option that simulates running on an outdoor track so users can again train in the cleats or shoes they would use on an outdoor track.
    • TrueForm Runner track surface

    • A high-end Nubroso rubberized belt is the final option. This is an upgrade from the standard rubberized belt and provides greater support and proprioception to the runner.
    • We are impressed with the different surface options you can order with your TrueForm Runner. One thing to note is the surface materials are permanent once applied to your manual treadmill. The belt is permanently attached to the treadmill and cannot be interchanged.

    Motor

    • There is no motor on the TrueForm Runner. It is a fully non-motorized machine.

    Console/Controls

    TrueForm Runner console

    • One area the Runner could use a bit of an upgrade is the console. It is pretty simple with just readouts for Pace, Speed, Distance and Time.
    • According to TrueForm, a new console is being released in May of 2020. The new one is compatible with existing Runners and can be easily swapped out. The new console syncs with Zwift so you can do virtual workouts or even compete against other runners.

    Functionality

    Runner track belt

    Performance

    The TrueForm Runner has a gentler curver than other non-motorized treadmills, which makes it easier to run on while still maintaining the benefits of the curved manual design. The TrueForm Runner has been proven to reduce impact stress, reduce asymmetry in running gait, increase stride efficiency and reduce risk of injury. TrueForm also claims runners burn 44% more calories on the Runner than on a motorized treadmill. Due to its shallower curve, using the TrueForm Runner is easier than comparable treadmills which makes it a great option for gyms or home users who may not have trained on a curved treadmill before. The Runner is designed to facilitate explosive high-speed acceleration and athletic training. The tethering system allows athletes to add resistance for higher intensity workouts.

    Unlike standard electric treadmills, the TrueForm Runner is controlled by the movements and force of the athlete using it. There is no power button or complicated console. One thing to note, however, is due to the more challenging nature of manual treadmills, it may take some time to develop proper form and feel comfortable on the Runner. Users must pay attention to body position. If you look down, with your head dropped forward, you may fall forward toward the front of the deck. If you move too far back you may lose posterior support and risk falling backward. The natural curve helps reposition the body to the right form, but you have to pay attention to achieve it. Once running feels natural, your training options are exponential. You can do a HIIT workout, a slow walk with a medicine ball overhead, tethered resistance pull, or any other treadmill conditioning program. The TrueForm Runner will support advanced and intense training regimens by creating the nearest simulation of genuine road running.
    TrueForm Runner belt

    In many ways, running on the TrueForm Runner is more challenging. However, there are definite benefits to the manual slat belt design. The most obvious is the belt doesn’t have to “adjust” between speed settings. If you want to do sprint intervals, just run faster! You don’t need to increase the speed of the belt by pressing a button — your body controls all the functionality. This makes it much more like running overground, when you want to increase speed, just do so; to decrease speed, reduce your tempo. This places all the treadmill controls at the feet of the runner rather than at the mercy of a motor (which may or may not break later). One of the most common reasons athletes love manual treadmills is the way in which they respond to the runner’s body position, cadence and speed. Because the TrueForm Runner does not have a flywheel under the deck to keep the belt in motion, it creates a bit more resistance than comparable manual treadmills — this makes it harder to run on at slow speeds but much more stable at fast speeds.

    Incline / Decline range

    There is no incline or decline on the TrueForm Runner. The curved belt and heavy frame keep it securely on the floor. Due to the design of the Runner, you will naturally engage more posterior and core strength when using this manual treadmill as compared to standard motorized treadmills that do half the work for you, thus an incline is not necessary.

    Pre-programmed workouts

    There are no preprogrammed workouts on the Runner. The limited nature of the console is a bit of a concern, but TrueForm has announced the release of a new console that will sync with Zwift to provide subscription routes and competition elements with other runners. As far as we know, this new console has been announced but not released yet — we will follow up when it is available.

    Noise Level

    The Runner is comparable with other manual treadmills. There is a bit of belt noise as the slats move over the bearings and along the surface of the deck. Also impact noise from running is also present. This isn’t the quietest machine, but it isn’t designed to be used while watching Netflix. This is a serious trainer that should be properly used by an attentive athlete. It is best placed in an open area with plenty of ventilation for runner comfort and a sturdy floor. Garages, gyms or other dedicated workout space is the best option for the TrueForm Runner.

    Storage / Folding

    The TrueForm Runner does not fold. There are wheels under the rear of the deck so you can lift and roll the Runner when needed. But ideally, it is recommended to place the Runner on a solid surface with open space underneath (no high-nap rugs or carpet) that won’t get caught in the slats. A first floor or garage is ideal. The Runner weighs over 300lbs and may be too heavy for higher floors.


    Bottom Line:

    The TrueForm Runner is an excellent manual curved treadmill that is a good option for both experienced athletes and new users. The gentler curve on the frame makes it slightly easier to learn on (there is a learning “curve” however, so be prepared to feel off balance at first!) but you still retain the benefits of the curved design. The TrueForm Runner does not have a flywheel under the deck which helps to move the belt along, so running at slower speeds is more challenging, however, running at faster speeds feels stable and controlled on the Runner. It doesn’t feel like the belt is “slippery” or moving faster than your feet. This enables runners to get the best indoor training on a manual curved treadmill that simulates overground running, enhances form, and requires more mental and physical focus while in use. You will burn more calories on the Runner because you are working harder! Both your brain and body must be engaged and focused to use this machine. We love the multiple belt surface options so various athletes can train on the surface that is most appropriate for them. The color customization options from TrueForm are another feature that adds benefit to gym owners and coaches who want to match equipment or add branding. TrueForm has thought through not only the engineering and design of the Runner, they have also added a few extra features that really make it stand out. If you are in the market for a curved manual treadmill, the TrueForm Runner is an excellent choice!

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