10 Best Running Machines Reviewed
There are times when running outdoors just isn’t possible. Maybe two feet of snow or intense thunderstorms are keeping you indoors. We all know the weather is a major factor for impacting on our carefully planned running schedules. And time is another factor; there just isn’t enough available time for some of us during a standard day. I myself have put off much need and wanted runs because my daily time schedule has caused the need to forget running and do something else.
We are a very technical people, we like to solve problems and this has brought about the creation and progression of high quality running machines which we can use at home regardless of what the weather chooses to throw at us. If we are on a tight time schedule it is very convenient to have a running machine at home.
Maybe you don’t have immediate access to safe running paths or trails. Maybe it’s 110 degrees outside and you don’t want to risk melting. Here we come with 10 best running machines. It wasn’t easy to choose the best 10 as there are many excellent products on the market. Let’s get it started.
- Nordic Track C990
- 7-Inch Touchscreen
- 3G Cardio Pro Runner
- Ortho Flex Shock
- NordicTrack T 6.5 S
- 2.6 CHP drive System
10 Best Running Machines
1. Nordic Track C990
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.
This running machine is priced around the average of others in its class.
- Unlimited program variety
- iFit requires subscription
- Fan is not adjustable
2. 3G Cardio Pro Runner Treadmill
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.
The 3G Cardio Pro Runner Treadmill is priced slightly above average for a running machine.
- One touch features
- Programming variety
- Cannot save data
NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill
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.
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.
This is a very low priced running machine.
Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill
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.
This is the lowest priced treadmill on our list.
- Low price
- Easy to move and store
- Lacks extensive programming
- Manual incline adjustment
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
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.
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.
This is a lower priced running machine.
- Low price
- Easy to use console and programming
- Data saves to USB
- Does not offer high-tech options like some other running machines
Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill
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.
This is a low priced running machine.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Electric Treadmill
The 16 inch belt of this running machine is suitable for users up to 220 pounds. It folds and unfolds easily for storage and use. The entire system only weighs 103 pounds, so it is easy for most people to maneuver. In addition to a simple interface system, the SF-T7603 has handrail controls to minimize interruptions to your workout when manually changing your settings.
Programming and Incline
This running machine offers users 9 built in programs. It has 3 levels of incline which must be manually adjusted, meaning you have to pause your workout if you need to change this feature.
This is a very low priced running machine.
- Easy to store and move
- Handrail controls
- Low user weight restriction
- Manually adjusted incline
Nordic Track C 1650 Treadmill
A 10 inch touchscreen puts your favorite workout programs, and even the internet, right at your fingertips. A heart rate monitor is built into the handles, but is also compatible with a wireless chest strap. The fold up, space saving design makes this treadmill fit in even small living areas. It is equipped with a built-in tablet holder, accessory tray, and a workout fan. The Flex Select cushioning allows runners to choose between a hard or more bouncy running surface. Users up to 300 pounds can run safely on the 20 inch belt, and a lifetime warranty covers the frame and motor. Many users reported that after only a week (sometimes just a few days) the motor died or some other mechanical failure happened, which may be a deciding factor when considering this running machine.
Programming and Incline
The programming of the C 1650 is pretty much the same as the C990 (see number 1 of this list!). The one difference is that this running machines comes with 34 pre-programmed workouts, which is 2 more than the C990.
This running machine is priced slightly above average. Considering the potential mechanical issues, it may not be worth the money.
- 34 built in programs
- Flex Select cushioning
- Large touchscreen
Frequent mechanical issues reported
XTerra Fitness TR6.6 Treadmill
The TR6.6 has a 7.5 inch blue backlit LCD display that tracks your time, speed, program profile, pace, distance, incline, calories, and pulse. The unit comes with a chest strap heart rate monitor, as well as handlebars capable of making this measurement. The 20 inch belt has a cushioned deck to provide impact support, and can accommodate runners weighing up to 350 pounds. There is a built in cooling fan. Users report that this machine is much larger and heavier than anticipated, causing some issues with set up.
Programming and Incline
Although the XTerra website states that this running machine can reach a 15% incline, users report that it actually only reaches about a 10% incline. It offers 9 preset programs, with space for the user to create 2 additional programs, as well as manual features.
This is an average priced running machine.
- Easy to use
- Folds for storage
- Higher weight limit
- Difficult assembly
- Misreported incline
3. 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill
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.
This is a very expensive running machine.
- Wider Ortho Flex Shock belt
- iPhone/MP3 connectivity
- High price
- Limited programming
The Criteria That We Used While Choosing Best Running Machines
Finding a good treadmill may be difficult, especially for the most demanding runners. We’re working really hard to provide the best products. Here are the factors that you should evaluate before purchasing the product. When you evaluate them carefully, the choice will be much easier.
Size and weight
At first, you may think that buying a big running machine is useless. You should carefully evaluate all the aspects of the purchase. Firstly, it is advisable to check your height. Why? It’s because usually, people that are above 6’ need longer treadmills. Their length of one step is very long and they may have problems as many treadmills would be too small for them.
You should also consider is the space you want to keep your running machine is large enough. It’s not a surprise that big running machine isn’t the best option in a studio or when your flat isn’t very big. When you choose the place for the treadmill, you need to leave some free space around it. This is because there is an airflow needed for better motor work and you must have a place to easily get on the treadmill.
The weight is also a thing that needs to be considered before the purchase. We want to say that this factor is very important for safety. We all know that a lot of flats were built with cheap materials and they’re not very stable. There’s a limit on how much can lift” one floor. If you have a lot of heavy things in your flat and you must be aware that the heaviest treadmills may weight about 250 pounds! Putting such a heavy device in your flat may result in destroying the surface of the floor. There is also a case of the balcony. Remember that there is a limited weight that can be put on the balcony.
What is crucial about treadmills is being able to adjust everything to your needs. When you run on running machine or when you walk, you should be able to reach all the controls. If you’re not able to do it, it means that you have to change the position of the treadmill. Everything on display monitor should be visible. Try to use the running machine and check if you can touch all the buttons and you are able to push them.
Treadmills with a wide range of speeds are also very nice for runners who want to run faster. Here comes the next question that you should ask yourself before the purchase- how fast should your running machine be. Producers offer a different range of speeds-every running machine has different standard of speed and there are products that are much faster than their competitors. Remember also that there is something called weight capacity- this should be crucial for people with big obesity. They must check the information about the treadmill as some treadmills, especially those who are smaller and lighter, may not work well when the weight of the user is too high.
When you think of special features, the first thing that comes to your mind may be calories counter. This is basic information that treadmill can provide you but that’s not all. Measuring a heart rate is a very useful option as because of that you will know if the intensity is good. Checking the distance you’ve run is also a fun as you have also a possibility to upload your records to the Internet and share them on social media.
You can challenge the other friends and boost your performance at the same time. Some running machines are so advanced that they can store the information about your achievements and you can search it in a database. Tablet holders aren’t also anything new and you can also watch the TV while running.
Motorized or manual
Here comes the big question- manual or motorized. We would like to show you what are the advantages and disadvantages in the easiest way. Here you go with the comparison of a manual and motorized treadmill.
Pros of Manual Treadmills
It is muscled power- it means that you use your muscles to move it and when you want to stop, all you need to do is top walking or running. You don’t need any electricity- we are sure that you smile when you read that. Advanced or professional runners know how much does it cost to use the treadmill with the electricity- it is rather expensive
The biggest advantage of a manual treadmill, especially in comparison to motorized one, it is much cheaper- we mean that there may be even thousands of difference between those two types
Disadvantages of Manual running Machines
We must warn that if you have problems with joints, a manual machine may not be good for you. Comparing to motorized one, there’s bigger stress on the joints as the result of the injury is much more probable
If you search for built-in training programs or any other type of applications similar to those, you will be disappointed. The manual treadmill doesn’t offer any extra cool features, you need to use your phone or computer to create your running program.
Manual treadmills aren’t for everyone. People with big obesity may be too heavy as the limits of the weight are very strict here.
And the biggest drawback of the manual treadmill for us is that they are usually better for walking. Yes, it’s sadly true but not many manual running machines are good for running. This is the factor that may really discourage many runners, but remember that there are good manual treadmills which are good for running
Here we go with the motorized treadmills. Let’s consider the advantages and the disadvantages
Advantages of motorized treadmills
You also have much more features. You can create your own training program, you can check the high rate, calories burned and a lot of other things. As you have a motor, you don’t need to strain the treadmill to start. What’s more, you have a wide range of speeds and you can choose the pace that works the best for you. Usually, motorized treadmills are quieter than the manual ones
Disadvantages of Motorized Treadmills
They are really expensive. It’s obvious that for professional runners, spending few thousand dollars on a running machine won’t be anything strange, but for people who start their adventure with running, this may be kind of senseless. It’s also much more expensive in maintenance. Buying parts for your motorized treadmill may cost you enough.
Shock absorption system
This is a very crucial thing that every runner should think of. When you run, your joints and muscles are very prone to injuries. The knee is this part of the body that can be really easy damaged while running. This is why you should search for running machine with hard deck, it must be stable. Under no circumstances, the desk shouldn’t be soft because it can really hurt your knees. However, you should still feel comfortable.
The durability of the tread belt
Treadbelt is very important and we really get to know if it is durable enough. How? You need to consider 3 things that may show you whether the tread belt is a good one or it is not. The first factor is thickness- the thicker the belt is, the better it is. The number of layers is important if we want a durable tread belt. It is said that thicker tread belts are usually less noisy.
A good roller diameter is a key to success. They must provide only a little stress on the motor and it enables tread belt to survive more days.
The third factor that is very important for the maintenance of the tread belt is lubrication. It is usually an owner who needs to do this, but it is simple and it will extend the period of usage o of the tread belt.
Other Important Factors To Think about When Making A Purchase
Do you need an incline?
Running machines with inclines can make your workout more interesting and also more challenging. This is a very good option for runners who want to burn some calories- running or even walking on the treadmill with inclines is far more effective. When you walk or run like this, your joints don’t experience such a big pressure as they do without inclines.
Is it easy enough to use?
Many users complain about treadmills being too complicated. The instruction that needs to be read is so long that you discourage yourself very fast. Too many buttons may be also discouraging. If you want a running machine only to enjoy running and you don’t need any additional applications, buying the simplest treadmill will be best for you and it will also let you save a lot of money. Remember that may be the usage of the treadmill might be easy but before a start, it must be usually programmed.
Here we go with the factor that may be the most important for many of users. Let’s be clear, buying a treadmill isn’t a one-day decision. The very important thing when it comes to buying the treadmill is to really understand your needs. Do you really need these extra applications or any other conveniences? A simple running machine may be a perfect option. It’s always worth to search for sales as even 10 % discount is a few hundred dollars more in your pocket. With your treadmill, you may notice that there are enormous differences in the prizes. This is because there are different types of the treadmills. You can choose manual one. This won’t cost very much as it is less advanced.
Motorized treadmills are relatively much more expensive. But if you want to purchase motorized one, don’t expect that it will be the same price as with manual one. You also need to check what features do treadmill provide. In some very advanced treadmills, there are professional workout programs that you may not need. The bigger the treadmill is, the more sources were used to make it so it’s probable that it will cost more. Motorized ones are very expensive not only because of this all additional features and additional applications but there’s one thing that is very expensive- the motor.
If you want this comfort when you have different speeds, you just push the button and you start to run, no straining, you must pay for it. When it comes to a device like a treadmill, especially those who are expensive, can be bought and you can take a loan in the store an pay in installments. This is a good solution for those who dream about running machine and don’t want to wait.
Folding or not folding the treadmill
This is a factor that a lot of runners would choose as one of those who is the most important. Folding treadmills are the very popular amount the customers. There is a reason for such a big interest. When you buy the folding treadmill, you can save a lot of places in your house or flat. This is an excellent idea for people who don’t have a room which is big enough to store the treadmill. It’s also a very useful option for people who keep their house stylish and they wouldn’t like to store a big running machine in the living room.
It’s also very useful when we want to clean the house- we can easily move the treadmill and clean the whole area. So the folding treadmill is a better option? Well, the choice is yours and this is why we want to also present the advantages of non-folding running machine. One thing is sure- it is most stable than folding one. This is a great advantage as some runners feel come comfortably when they know that there is low chance to fall. It will be also year hard to find folding treadmill among the best and more expensive treadmills- they are rather non-folding.
Guarantee/ money back
A guarantee is a common thing that people tend to forget about. Products who have guarantee are more likely to work better than those who don’t have one. A guarantee is very important as every part of the treadmill may have a different guarantee- we mean different period and if there is something wrong with the treadmill.
A treadmill isn’t a device that you spend 10 dollars but even thousands so they long guarantee is the best option. Remember to check if all the parts of your running machine were delivered and if not, you must contact the service quickly. If your running machine doesn’t work works badly, you may call the service and you can get some help. Remember that if you want someone from the service to come and fix the treadmill, it’s usually not free.
Q. How should I take care of my running machine?
A. Your treadmill should stay on the floor that is level. Always use paper or towel to clean the treadmill after every time you use it. You can sweep the belt once a week. Clean the whole running machine every 2 weeks. Remember to check is the belt hasn’t worn out.
Q. Can I read while walking or running on the running machine?
A. We wouldn’t recommend this as you lose the whole balance of the body. The other thing is if you have book holder which is high and you can still balance your body. We can also encourage you to evaluate treadmill desk- treadmill and desk in one. You can work, read and do any other thing like in office while still boosting your walking or running performance.
Q. I’ve heard about different types of running machines? Can you explain them?
A. We can place them into 4 groups:
Manual treadmills– it is activated when you start to walk on it and they’re very cheap
Folding treadmills– perfect for people who own small spaces and they can hide the treadmill when it’s not used
Motorized treadmills– they are empowered and can be adjusted automatically, they’re more expensive than manual treadmills
Non-folding– you cannot hide it, it doesn’t fold
Q. What are the advantages and the disadvantages of using the treadmills?
A. This is the question that makes a lot of people curious. In the article, we praise the best treadmills, we present them and now here comes the moment when we want to tell you why it is good to have a treadmill or why you shouldn’t purchase it.
We will start with the advantages as there are more of them. Firstly, you can do it no matter what weather conditions are outside. we know that downpour or a very high temperature aren’t runners-friendly. You can run in your home, you don’t need to dress, some women are very happy that they don’t need to put the makeup on as they stay at home. This is also a non-complicated device and it’s easy to learn how it works even for an older person. In many treadmills, you can create your own working out program. You can also check how many calories you’ve burned and that’s really motivating. The one thing that we really appreciate is checking heart rate- because of this, you can choose the best place for you. You don’t need to, prepare” for this kind of training, all you need to do is start to run. It’s a perfect option and much safer instead of running in the night. you can still enjoy your favorite tv show and boost your performance at the same time.
However, the world isn’t always full of colors and we must talk also about the drawbacks of running machines. They can take a lot of space in the room, especially if you have a small house. Treadmills are quite expensive, especially those who are for more advanced runners. If you purchase the motorized one, you must also pay higher electricity bills. The treadmills aren’t very silent what may annoy other members of the family. At least, running in one place may be a torture for people who want to admire breathtaking views. All in all, we think that treadmills are not the best devices in the world because they enable us to do the most beautiful sport in the world.
Running machines were invented as a way to save runners from the despair of missing out on a day of training. Running machines have become extremely advanced since their introduction in Ancient Rome (yes, they really have been around for that long), and have many features to offer runner. If you are in search of a running machine to start or expand your home gym, our list of the top ten running machines will help you choose the best machine to meet your fitness needs. We hope that with our list and our criteria, you won’t have a problem to choose the best product for you.
Q. Are these treadmills just for home use, do we get options?
This is a sound question. It can be accepted that when we think of this type of product we immediately create a picture of it set up in the basement or a spare room at home, or we think of the larger versions with all the functionality features which we see set up in our local fitness club. There are other options, big companies set up health training rooms right there at the HQ or factory, office staff can buy a foldaway model with can be folded against the wall in an office corner and this is why the fold away products have landed high places in our review.
The health industry even offers treadmills that can be placed in front of an office desk, so that you can take a walk or run while still at your workstation. Here is the rule of thumb, where do you want to base your running system, how often will you use, do you want foldable or fixed frame will you be using a wide range of technical innovation to plan training and monitor your performance and lastly what is the cost? With this criteria, you can select the right machine for you and no you are not limited to using it at home even though this option is very convenient.
Here are some sources we looked at while doing our research:
- Treadmill Buying Guide, ,
- Types of treadmills and-elliptical machines, ,
- How to Maintain Your Treadmill, ,
- Treadmill Buying Guide: Choose the Right Treadmill for You, ,
- Treadmills for Exercise and Pain Relief SHARE NEWSLETTERS By Megan Tyner, ACE, Personal Trainer | Peer Reviewed, ,
- Manual vs. Motorized Treadmills, ,
- TREADMILL BUYING GUIDE, ,