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10 Best Running Machines Reviewed

last updated Mar 06, 2019
Now that fall is here it means that winter is coming—and so are those cold and snowy days, especially for those of you who live farther north. This means many of you will need to find an alternative way to run indoors, without always having to make the drive to your favorite gym!

Having a running machine, aka treadmill is the perfect way to keep up with your running and training schedule, even when the weather turns nasty. No shoveling out the car and driveway, no driving to the busy gym, and definitely no going outside when it's nice and cozy inside. Just fire up your treadmill, put on some music or your favorite show, and keep moving!

Treadmills can be complicated and expensive machines, and we want you to get a great machine at a great price, so we made this list of the 10 best running machines to help you find the best one for you.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research

icon
Life Fitness T3
92/100 our score
Advanced Features
97
Durability
95
Portability
85
Stability
98
Value
85
Life Fitness T3
Why is it better?

Syncs to Life Fitness app and your phone or tablet

Heart rate sensors

Cup holders

Accessory tray

• Reading rack

• Energy saving mode

• Flex Dock for increased comfort

and shock absorption

• Speed and incline options

• Pre-programmed and customizable

workout options

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Life Fitness T3
Test Winner: Life Fitness T3
Researched Sources
7
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1300
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
13
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Avatar
By Giselle Killebrew:

In addition to previous selections, we have also added the Life Fitness T3, ADIDAS T-16 , and the Sole F85 treadmills. All three of these are excellent options for those of you looking for an up to date treadmill that has technical features that will make your run more enjoyable. We also encourage you to take a look at the rest of our page to learn more about our decision making process!

Sorting Options
Advanced Features Durability Portability Stability Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Advanced Features
97%
Durability
95%
Portability
85%
Stability
98%
Value
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$1,999.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.2
Advanced Features
90%
Durability
90%
Portability
95%
Stability
91%
Value
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$931.07
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Advanced Features
85%
Durability
86%
Portability
95%
Stability
85%
Value
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$297.63
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Advanced Features
95%
Durability
85%
Portability
75%
Stability
90%
Value
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$1,999.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Advanced Features
93%
Durability
90%
Portability
70%
Stability
91%
Value
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$3,399.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.4
Advanced Features
84%
Durability
70%
Portability
75%
Stability
80%
Value
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$654.00
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
Advanced Features
75%
Durability
75%
Portability
90%
Stability
60%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$899.00
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
Advanced Features
80%
Durability
60%
Portability
90%
Stability
60%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Advanced Features
90%
Durability
75%
Portability
50%
Stability
70%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$999.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73
Advanced Features
80%
Durability
60%
Portability
90%
Stability
60%
Value
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$1,899.00
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Life Fitness T3
  • Adidas T-16
  • Weslo Cadence G 5.9
  • Sole F85
  • Cardio Elite Runner
  • NordicTrack T 6.5 S
  • LifeSpan TR1200i
  • Weslo Cadence R 5.2
  • Nordic Track C990
  • Cardio Pro Runner
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Life Fitness T3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Life Fitness T3
Advanced Features
97
Durability
95
Portability
85
Stability
98
Value
85
best offer for today
$1,999.00
Pros:

Syncs to Life Fitness app and your phone or tablet

Heart rate sensors

Cup holders

Accessory tray

• Reading rack

• Energy saving mode

• Flex Dock for increased comfort

and shock absorption

• Speed and incline options

• Pre-programmed and customizable

workout options

Cons:

Heavy and bulky

Expensive

Life Fitness is known for their high-quality treadmills that never disappoint. They offer excellent features and it's safe to say this treadmill is well worth its price.

Read more

Features
This treadmill has tons of up to date features we know you will find useful. It has heart rate hand sensors to track your heart rate during each of your runs, 2 cup holders, accessory tray, and reading rack. It also has an energy saving mode, so it doesn't eat up your electricity when not in use. It has a fully patented Flex Dock that will reduce up to 30% of the pressure placed on your joints. It easily connects and syncs with your phone and tablet its track console is easy to use and sync to your Life Fitness app.

Programming and Incline
This one comes with lots of pre-programmed workouts as well as customizable options. It keeps track of your progress and allows you to adjust the incline to your preference. It's extremely easy to use and all of its features will be beneficial to your training.

Value
This one is expensive--but seeing as it would be good enough for your gym, it's definitely justifiable.

2. Adidas T-16

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.2
Adidas T-16
Advanced Features
90
Durability
90
Portability
95
Stability
91
Value
85
best offer for today
$931.07
Pros:

15 incline options

Cushioned deck

Several speed options

Built in speakers

Mp3 compatibility

Integrated fan

Cons:

Expensive

Bulky

This motorized treadmill is a bit pricey, but it's an excellent option to keep in your home for your daily or occasional runs. It has several speed and options to choose from and offer many beneficial features we are sure you will love.

Read more

Features
This one offers several speed options and comes with built-in speakers and has Mp3 compatibility. It also comes with an integrated fan and easy to use display.

Programming and Incline
This treadmill has 24 preset workouts and 15 different inclines to choose from.

Value
This one is above average and pricey but not the priciest option.

3. Weslo Cadence G 5.9

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Weslo Cadence G 5.9
Advanced Features
85
Durability
86
Portability
95
Stability
85
Value
93
best offer for today
$297.63
Pros:

Low price

Easy to move and store

Cons:

Lacks extensive programming

Manual incline adjustment

This model is extremely similar to the Cadence R 5.2 but will save you a few dollars because it has fewer built-in programs.

Read more

Features
Like the R 5.2, this running machine has an LCD display that tracks basic workout data and has a Comfort Cell padded belt. It can also accommodate a runner up to 275 pounds and folds up for easy storage or relocation.

Programming and Incline
The biggest difference between the G5.9 and the R5.2 is that this machine only has 6 built-in programs that have been created by a personal trainer. The incline is only 2 levels and must be manually adjusted.

Value
This is the lowest priced treadmill on our list.

4. Sole F85

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Sole F85
Advanced Features
95
Durability
85
Portability
75
Stability
90
Value
85
best offer for today
$1,999.99
Pros:

Lots of speed settings

Heart rate monitor

Cushion Flex Whisper Deck

6 pre-programmed workouts

Customizable workouts

Incline settings

Cons:

Expensive

The Sole F85 is one of the top options available on the market this year. It's pricey but the features it offers makes it well worth the cost.

Read more

Features
As far as features, this one is jam-packed. It comes with a 0.5-12mph, a chest heart monitor, and a patented Cushion Flex Whisper Deck to provide you with 40% more shock absorption than other treadmills offer.

Programming and Incline
This treadmill has 6 pre-programmed workouts, 2 customizable workouts, and 0-15 incline settings.

Value
This one is also pricey but well worth the cost. It also comes with a lifetime warranty on its frame, motor, and deck; a five-year warranty on its electronic components; and a 2-year warranty on labor.

5. Cardio Elite Runner

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
 Cardio Elite Runner
Advanced Features
93
Durability
90
Portability
70
Stability
91
Value
75
best offer for today
$3,399.00
Pros:

Wider Ortho Flex Shock belt

iPhone/MP3 connectivity

High-quality parts and workmanship

Durable

Cons:

High price

Limited programming

Like its sibling the Pro Runner, the 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill has lots to offer a runner. However, what it offers comes at quite a hefty price.

Read more

Features
Although this running machine has features similar to the Pro Runner, it has some upgraded features that make it stand out. The belt is 1.5 inches wider and is made of a thicker, more cushioned Ortho Flex Shock orthopedic material. It also offers built in speakers, and an iPhone/MP3 connection. Users reported some initial trouble with the sound system and system display, but that 3G’s customer service responded quickly to fix the problem and/or send replacement parts. The max user weight of this running machine is 400 pounds. It folds up for easy storage.

Programming and Incline
This machine can be adjusted to a 15% incline and goes as fast as 12 mph. Both of these features can be controlled with one touch functions. Where this machine falls short is its programming. It only offers 8 built in programs, which doesn’t really match the price of this running machine.

Value
This is a very expensive running machine.

6. NordicTrack T 6.5 S

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.4
NordicTrack T 6.5 S
Advanced Features
84
Durability
70
Portability
75
Stability
80
Value
93
best offer for today
$654.00
Pros:

Affordable

Good company

Cons:

Some reviewers reported durability issues

This model is on our list because it is basic, easy to use, nothing complicated, just set up & start.

Although this running machine does not have an integrated web-connected touchscreen, it still offers many attractive features to help you build or upgrade your home gym.

Read more

Features
This running machine has a 5 inch backlit display that allows you to monitor your speed, heart rate, time, distance, and calories burned during each workout. The 20 inch belt has adjustable Flex Select cushioning and can accommodate a user up to 300 pounds. With an iPod compatible sound system and iFit capabilities, this less tech-advanced running machine has everything you need to have great indoor runs.

Programming and Incline
The T 6.5S can be adjusted to have up to a 10% incline and go as fast as 10 mph with one touch features. It has 20 built in programs, but is also iFit compatible. The iFit subscription service, if purchased by the user, offers limitless workout possibilities plus real-life running courses through Google Maps. Users report that this running machine offers everything they need to have a satisfying workout.

Value
This is a very low priced running machine.

7. LifeSpan TR1200i

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
 LifeSpan TR1200i
Advanced Features
75
Durability
75
Portability
90
Stability
60
Value
90
best offer for today
$899.00
Pros:

Low price

Easy to use console and programming

Data saves to USB

Cons:

Does not offer high-tech options like some other running machines

This fold-away running machine offers easy to use programming that runners of any level can utilize as part of their home fitness routine.

We looked closely at this product and we found that it gives convenience for us, it is very easy to fold-up and stow away in any available storage area, even an open corner in a room. Using the system is nicely user-friendly, straightforward programming system, it is not packed with hi-tech features but it gives enough to be classed as useful technically and for straight to the point fitness activities.

Read more

Features
A LCD monitor tracks and displays user time, distance, steps, heart rate, speed, and incline. Users report that the monitor is very simple to operate. A USB port allows the user to save workout data to a USB drive (sold separately), and while working out, data is automatically saved every 20 seconds. Heart rate is measured through handles or an optional chest strap. Six compression shocks and a 20 inch belt support users up to 300 pounds. The EZ Fold systems allows this running machine to be stored conveniently in your home.

Programming and Incline
This running machines offers users 15 levels of incline and can go as fast as 11 mph. It has 21 built in programs that fall under the categories of heart rate control, healthy living, sports training, and weight loss.

Value
This is a lower priced running machine.

8. Weslo Cadence R 5.2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
Weslo Cadence R 5.2
Advanced Features
80
Durability
60
Portability
90
Stability
60
Value
90
best offer for today
Pros:

Affordable

Heart rate monitor

Incline options

Foldable

Cons:

Not the highest quality

Searching for a simple to use running machine to add to your workout repertoire? The Cadence R 5.2 just might be the introductory running machine you need.

Read more

Features
A blue LCD display tracks your speed, time, distance, and calories during every workout. A Comfort Cell padded belt maximizes impact absorption, easing strain on your joints. The Easy Pulse sensor, located on the console, reads your heart rate and pulse through your thumb. The weight limit for this running machine is 275 pounds.

Programming and Incline
The R 5.2 has 6 built-in Personal Trainer Workouts. It has two levels of incline which must be manually adjusted. Users that workout casually will do fine with this running machine, but those that follow more advanced routines will need to upgrade to a higher level machine.

Value
This is a low priced running machine.

9. Nordic Track C990

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Nordic Track C990
Advanced Features
90
Durability
75
Portability
50
Stability
70
Value
90
best offer for today
$999.00
Pros:

Unlimited program variety

Web-enabled

Cons:

iFit app requires subscription

Fan is not adjustable

The Nordic Track C990 is a running machine that offers quite a bang for your buck. Not only is it affordable, it offers a plethora of features and also saves space by folding up.

Read more

Features
This running machine is equipped with a 7-inch web-enabled touchscreen, is iPod compatible, and has one-touch controls for speed and incline. It is also equipped with a built-in tablet holder, accessory tray, and a workout fan. Users were slightly displeased with the fact that the fan does not have adjustable positions. The deck has adjustable cushioning so you can choose a bouncy or firm feel as you run. This running machine can accommodate a user up to 300 pounds and has quick read heart rate monitors built into the handlebars. A lifetime warranty covers the frame and motor.

Programming and Incline
It is hard to beat the programming offered by the C990. It has 32 pre-programmed workouts designed by personal trainers. This running machine is iFit enabled, giving users access to unlimited workouts, data collection, and the ability to compete against friends. The Google Maps features allows users to replicate real-life running paths anywhere in the world. One downside of the iFit is that it does require a subscription. If you like to adjust your workouts as your run, this running machine can go up to a 12% incline and as fast as 12 mph.

Value
This running machine is priced around the average of others in its class.

10. Cardio Pro Runner

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73
 Cardio Pro Runner
Advanced Features
80
Durability
60
Portability
90
Stability
60
Value
75
best offer for today
$1,899.00
Pros:

One touch features

Programming variety

Sturdy

Cons:

Cannot save data

The 3G Cardio Pro Runner Treadmill is engineered to be your favorite training tool while also being space saving. If you live in an apartment or only have limited space in your home, the Pro Runner folds up easily for storage, easing any worries about not having the space for fitness equipment.

Read more

Features
The console of the 3G Cardio Pro Runner features an LED/LCD display with one touch features for both speed and incline. This running machine has a built in hi/lo fan to keep you cool while you run. The belt is 20.5 inches wide, and the running platform is suitable for users up to 350 pounds. The Pro Runner folds up, giving it storage capability, and comes with warranties on the motor, frame, parts, and labor. Users report that this machine is very sturdy and easy to use.

Programming and Incline
This running machine has 8 built in programs and can hold 2 custom programs. It also has the ability to administer Cooper, Gerkin, and BMI fitness tests. However, it cannot save basic data like height, weight, or age. The console is heart rate interactive through built in handles, and an optional chest belt can be purchased. The incline, which has a one touch feature, goes up to 15%, and speeds up to 12 mph can be run on this running machine.

Value
The 3G Cardio Pro Runner Treadmill is priced slightly above average for a running machine.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Advanced Features

Here we took a look at additional features offered by treadmills–such as calorie counters, heart rate monitors, distance tracking, and additional tech, sharing, and syncing capabilities.

While these factors may be important to some people, they might not be for others. While you're shopping for your perfect treadmill be sure to think about how important it is for you to be able to track the calories you've burned and whether you really need that heart rate monitor, or if those are things that might sound cool but in real life you'll never end up using them. If you're a big-time fitness enthusiast then you're probably going to want these things and more, like the ability to sync with an app to download workouts or upload your progress and training. Or you might not be a hardcore runner, in which case you probably just want something simple that can keep you track with your fitness goals when the weather or your schedule has other plans.

Durability

In order to ensure the treadbelt is durable, you will need to look at the belt’s thickness (the thicker the better), the number roller’s diameter, and the treadbelt lubrication. These three things will increase the belts durability and extend its life. Additionally, the better and higher quality the motor is in your treadmill the longer it will last and less maintenance it will need over its lifetime.

We looked at these factors for you and assigned each product with a durability score to help you save time and ensure that you get a treadmill that will last you a long time and that will bring you only the pleasure of staying fit without a lot of hassles from breaking down.

Portability

Poltability is an excellent criteria to consider for those of you looking for a compact and easily storable option. Many treadmills produced today have a foldable design and wheels that allow you to easily move and store the machine. So especially if you live in an apartment or small house, or maybe you like to have friends over and entertain often and don't want a big treadmill in people's way, treadmills with features that make them easy to move and store are a great option to look at. Be sure to note however, that foldable treadmills are typically less stable than standard options.

Stability

The stability of your running machine is very important. The last thing you want is to have the treadmill wobble, bounce, or otherwise move around and feel unstable while you're walking or running on it. We've all seen those funny videos where someone on a treadmill falls and hilarious hijinks ensue. Well we don't want you to be in one of those so we gave each treadmill on our list stability score to help you figure out which ones are going to the most stable.

Be sure to note that foldable treadmills are inherently less stable than ones that don't fold. It's just part of the design limitation. Having said that, foldable treadmills can still be very safe, effective, and fun to use while also being easier to move and store.

Value

Price is important to many people, especially those of you with a budget. But price doesn't necessarily take into account your unique needs and circumstances, and what's most valuable for you. Take into consideration the features you are looking for, any sales you may find, and make sure you aren’t paying for any add-ons you don’t need. As I mentioned earlier, manual treadmills are more affordable than motorized options–so also consider which of the two you need. As far as comfort, the most comfortable options are a bit pricier but well worth the cost.

Other Factors to Consider

Power Source

Here comes the big question - should you buy a motorized or a manual treadmill. Below we provide you with a Pros & Cons comparison between the two, so make sure to take a look.

Pros & Cons of Manual Treadmills
Pros: These are muscle-powered, meaning you move it and stop it at will. They don’t need electricity and come at a much more affordable price.

Cons: They cause more stress on your joints, so if you already have joint problems then this is not a good option for you. They also don’t offer additional features like built-in programs or phone connectivity. The biggest drawback is that they are best for walking, so this is not a great option for runners, especially ones.

Pros & Cons of Motorized Treadmills
Pros: These come with so many more features! They offer built-in training programs, customizable program options, heart rate monitors, calorie tracking, updated display screen, speed controls, incline options, and much more. The price increases the more features they have–but they have endless options for you to choose from! Motorized treadmills are also much quieter than their manual counterparts.

Cons: These are expensive, and their parts are equally as pricey if your treadmill decides to break down.

Shock Absorption

Shock absorption is important because it protects your joints and muscles from unnecessary stress and prevents injury and stress from occurring. Make sure to look for a treadmill with a hard deck and that is stable–if it is soft it will hurt your knees and possibly cause future problems.

Drop

Running machines with an incline or drop provide you more options and allow you to increase the difficulty of your workout. It allows you to burn more calories–even walking uphill is highly effective. Inclines also relieve some pressure off your joints during your run or walks.

Ease of Use

There are lots of complicated options that are loaded with features to choose from. It’s important you find an option that is ready to use for you as well as that has the features you are looking for. So, if you are looking for a minimalistic option then you will want a treadmill with minimal options, buttons, and easy to use programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How do I take care of my treadmill?
a:

Your running machine should remain on a level floor and should be wiped with a paper towel and cleaning solution after each use. Make sure to sweep it every 2 weeks and check the belt for wear and tear.

q: Can I read while walking or running on the running machine?
a:

While some people do this, we don’t recommend it since it disrupts your body’s balance. However, if you have a book holder you can place it up high, so your balance isn’t thrown off. Another great option is a treadmill desk, which lets you work, read, and get things done while boosting your walking and running performance.

q: What are the different types of running machines?
a:

There are 4:

Manual treadmills – activated by your movement and highly affordable

Folding treadmills – great for those of you working with smaller spaces and are much easier to store when not in use

Motorized treadmills – These are powered and automatically adjusted. However, they are more expensive.

Non-folding – you cannot hide it, it doesn’t fold

q: What are the pros and cons of having a treadmill?
a:

Pros: Treadmills can be used any time of day and no matter the weather–meaning you never need to worry about having to cancel your run! They are easy to use and can be used by all, young or old. Many allow you to track your calories, control your speed and incline level, monitor your heart rate, track your progress, and even allow you to track your progress over time.

Cons: Treadmills can be bulky and take up a good bit of space, especially in smaller houses or apartments. They also tend to be expensive (especially if you go with motorized ones and more features) and will also raise your electricity bills. Manual ones are louder than motorized ones–which may annoy people in the same room your in.

Overall they are an excellent way to ensure you don’t miss any of your training days and a great addition to your home gym.

q: Are these treadmills just for home use?
a:

While these are most often found in the home there are many other options you can use in other places. There are dest treadmills that can be used in the office, foldable options for other places, and options that would also function at a fitness center.