10 Best Running Machines Reviewed

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Now that fall is approaching it means that winter is coming—and so are those cold snowy (for those of you who live farther north. This means many of you will need to find an alternative indoor, without always having to make the drive to your favorite gym!

However, just because it’s still summer doesn’t mean we are in the clear!

We still run the risk of unexpected rainy weather that will inevitably put a damper on our carefully planned running schedule. Since we can’t predict the weather and have no way of knowing what it will throw our way, it’s important we have a backup plan to fall on—which is where treadmills (the BEST running machines) come into play.

Whether it’s the heat, weather, or your schedule we are sure our list of the top 10 best running machines will help you find the right option for you! So, let’s take a look!

Last Updated: August 24, 2018
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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!

Life Fitness T3
  • Life Fitness T3
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Flex Dock track
  • Price: See Here
Adidas T-16
  • Adidas T-16
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Cushioned Deck
  • Price: See Here
Wesley Cadence 5.9
  • Wesley Cadence 5.9
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Most affordable
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Running Machines

Life Fitness T3

Life Fitness T3
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.
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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.
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


Adidas T-16

Adidas T-16
This motorized treadmill is a bit pricey and 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 feature we are sure you will love.
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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.
Pros

• 15 incline options

• Cushioned deck

• Several speed options

• Built in speakers

• Mp3 compatibility

• Integrated fan

Cons

• Bulky


Weslo Cadence G 5.9

Weslo Cadence G 5.9
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.
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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. They 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.
Pros
  • Low price
  • Easy to move and store
Cons
  • Lacks extensive programming
  • Manual incline adjustment

Sole F85

Sole F85
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.
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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.
Pros

• Lots of speed settings

• Hear rate monitor

• Cushion Flex Whisper Deck

• 6 pre-programmed workouts

• Customizable workouts

• Incline settings

Cons

• Expensive


3. 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill

3. 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill
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.
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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.
Pros
  • Wider Ortho Flex Shock belt
  • iPhone/MP3 connectivity
Cons
  • High price
  • Limited programming

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill
This model hits No 4 because it is basic, easy to use, nothing complicated, just set up & start.

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

LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill

LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
This product earns the 5th selection because:

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 gets a placing at 5th because 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.
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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.
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

Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill

Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill
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.
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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.

1. Nordic Track C990

1. Nordic Track C990
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.
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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.
Pros
  • Unlimited program variety
  • Web-enabled
Cons
  • iFit requires subscription
  • Fan is not adjustable

2. 3G Cardio Pro Runner Treadmill

2. 3G Cardio Pro Runner Treadmill
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.
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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.
Pros
  • One touch features
  • Programming variety
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • Cannot save data

The Criteria That We Used While Choosing Best Running Machines

Finding the right treadmill for you can be a difficult endeavor–especially for the most avid runners. This is why we strive to provide you with the best available products; here you will find the factors we considered while compiling our list of the top 10 best running machines, we encourage you to read these carefully so you can make an informed decision.

Weight and Size

Many people believe that “bigger is always better,” but that is not always the case. While those big treadmills you use at your local come with tons of features, they may not be the best option for home use.

Before making your purchase make sure to consider your height–if you are over 6 feet you will need a longer treadmill since you have a larger stride. You will also need to consider your home and space. While the bigger treadmills provide more room, you may not want a treadmill that takes up most of the space in a room. Make sure to measure your space and consider the size, storage capacity, and foldability of your future treadmill.

Lastly, weight is another important factor to consider because it goes along with safety. This is especially important to consider if you live in an apartment because a heavy treadmill could end up causing damage you will later need to pay for.

Adjustability

Adjustability in treadmills allows you to customize your workouts and control each of your runs or walks. The best treadmills come with easy to use controls (or monitor) and offer a wide range of speeds to choose from.  Make sure to also look at the weight capacity of the treadmill to ensure you are not too heavy for it.

Special 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.

                                                                               Motorized or Manual

Here comes the big question- motorized or manual or motorized. Below we provide you with a Pros & Cons comparison between the too, 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 they 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 avid runners.

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 System

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.

Treadbelt 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.

Other Important Factors To Think about When Making A Purchase

Incline

Running machines with inclines 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.

Easy 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.

Price

Price is important to many people, especially those of you with a budget. 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.

Foldability

Foldability is an excellent option for those of you looking for a compact and easily storable option. They are a popular option for those with a smaller space to work with as well as for those who want to be able to store it when necessary. It is important to mention that foldable treadmills are less stable.

Warranty

Warranties are a great thing to consider when looking for your treadmill because you just never know. Those with warranties are bound to work better than those that don’t offer it and in the case that something happens you know you are covered for the specified time period. Since different products offer different warranty options, it’s important you consider what’s out there–at the end of the day, treadmills are a pricey investment that we want us to last us as long as possible.

FAQ

Q. How do I take care of my treadmill?

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?

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–where you can work, read, and get work done while boosting your walking and running performance.

Q. What are the different types of running machines?

There are 4:

Manual treadmills– activated with 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 advantages/disadvantages of treadmills?

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?

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.


 

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