10 Best Running Machines Reviewed
With fall almost here, that means winter is coming—so, pretty soon a lot of us are not going to want to step outside to get our daily run in. The best running machines (AKA treadmill) is an excellent way to stick to our training schedules even when we can’t leave the house.
Not all running machines are the same and many of them offer tons of features for runners to enjoy, however, at the end of the day you need to make sure you get the treadmill that is most compatible with your needs.
Check out our list of top 10 running machines below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Syncs to Life Fitness app and your phone or tablet
Heart rate sensors
Flex Dock for increased comfort and shock absorption
Speed and incline options
Pre-programmed and customizable workout options
The Best Running Machines
1. Life Fitness T3
Syncs to Life Fitness app and your phone or tablet
Heart rate sensors
Flex Dock for increased comfort and shock absorption
Speed and incline options
Pre-programmed and customizable workout options
Heavy and bulky
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
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.
As far as durability goes, this is definitely one of the more durable and built to last treadmills you will have to choose from. it is constructed of high-quality materials and can handle its fair share of workouts for upcoming years--as long as you take care of the treadmill properly.
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--however, it is not super portable, so pick a spot to keep it at.
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.
This one is expensive--but seeing as it would be good enough for your gym, it's definitely justifiable.
2. Adidas T-16
15 incline options
Several speed options
Built in speakers
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
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.
As far as durability goes, we are happy to report that this treadmill has quite a bit of positive reviews when it comes to how long the treadmill is designed to last its users.
This is a foldable treadmill, so you can make it take up minimal space when the treadmill is not in use. This is a convenient feature for those of you who don't have a ton of space to work with or who don't want the treadmill to be the main event in your room.
This treadmill has 24 preset workouts and 15 different inclines to choose from.
This one is above average and pricey but not the priciest option.
3. Weslo Cadence G 5.9
Easy to move and store
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
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.
Not only is this treadmill a more cost-effective option or you to choose from, but it is also really durable. If you are on a budget but also want to invest in a treadmill that you can use for the long haul, then this is an excellent option to consider.
It can also accommodate a runner up to 275 pounds and folds up for easy storage or relocation.
Like the R 5.2, this running machine has an LCD display that tracks basic workout data and has a Comfort Cell padded belt.
This is the lowest priced treadmill on our list.
4. Sole F85
Lots of speed settings
Heart rate monitor
Cushion Flex Whisper Deck
6 pre-programmed workouts
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
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.
Not only is treadmill durable, but the brand backs it up with a 2-year warranty that covers future labor the treadmill may need.
This is a folding treadmill, so you can fold it up to ensure it takes up less space. This also makes it easier to move to a different room if you decide you want to place it elsewhere.
This treadmill has 6 pre-programmed workouts, 2 customizable workouts, and 0-15 incline settings--and the best part, this treadmill offers a good of stability so you don't have to worry about wobbling all over the place when you go all out.
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
Wider Ortho Flex Shock belt
High-quality parts and workmanship
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
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.
If you are looking for a durable treadmill to train with, you will love this one. Not only is this a gym grade treadmill, but it offers a ton of features--and if you treat this running machine right, it will take care of you for the long haul as well.
The max user weight of this running machine is 400 pounds. It folds up for easy storage.
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.
This is a very expensive running machine.
6. NordicTrack T 6.5 S
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
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. With an iPod compatible sound system and iFit capabilities, this less tech-advanced running machine has everything you need to have great indoor runs.
Durable and built to last, you can expect this treadmill to last you through the years until you are ready to get a new one.
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.
The 20-inch belt has adjustable Flex Select cushioning and can accommodate a user up to 300 pounds.
This is a very low priced running machine.
7. LifeSpan TR1200i
Easy to use console and programming
Data saves to USB
Does not offer high-tech options like some other running machines
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. ReadRead more
An 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 allow this running machine to be stored conveniently in your home.
This fold-away running machine offers easy to use the 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.
This running machines offer 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.
8. Weslo Cadence R 5.2
Heart rate monitor
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
A blue LCD tracks your speed, time, distance, and calories during every workout. 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. 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 one takes up less space and is easier to move from room to room if you ever need to.
A Comfort Cell padded belt maximizes impact absorption, easing the strain on your joints.
This is a low priced running machine. R 5.2 has 6 built-in Personal Trainer Workouts. It has two levels of incline which must be manually adjusted.
9. Nordic Track C990
Unlimited program variety
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. 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.Read more
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 Google Maps features allow users to replicate real-life running paths anywhere in the world. One downside of the iFit is that it does require a subscription.
This running machine can accommodate a user up to 300 pounds and has quick read heart rate monitors built into the handlebars.
While this treadmill offers a ton of great features, unfortunately, it is not vert portable--make sure you have the space to put it in before you invest in it.
The deck has adjustable cushioning so you can choose a bouncy or firm feel as you run. 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. A lifetime warranty covers the frame and motor.
10. Cardio Pro Runner
One touch features
Cannot save data
The 3G Cardio Pro Runner Treadmill is engineered to be your favorite training tool while also being space-saving. This running machine has a built-in hi/lo fan to keep you cool while you run. It also can administer Cooper, Gerkin, and BMI fitness tests.Read more
The console of the 3G Cardio Pro Runner features an LED/LCD display with one-touch features for both speed and incline. 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 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.
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.
The belt is 20.5 inches wide, and the running platform is suitable for users up to 350 pounds. This running machine has 8 built-in programs and can hold 2 custom programs. 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.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Nowadays, running machines offer a lot fo different features to choose from. Take note of any advanced features that are a must-have for you and make sure to purchase the treadmill that offers what you are looking for.
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 take note of the features that are a "must-have" for you.
Think about how important it is for you to be able to track the calories you've burned and whether you need that heart rate monitor, or if those are things that 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. Whatever your needs and preferences are, just make sure you prioritize them on your search for the best running machine for you.
We all want equipment that is built to last and that we can rely on for as long as we need to--which is why we prioritized the overall durability of each of the running machines we decide to feature on our list of reviews.
In order to ensure the tread belt is durable, you will need to look at the belt’s thickness (the thicker the better), the number roller’s diameter, and the tread belt 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. This way, you can quickly assess whether or not the level of durability will work for you.
We also took a look at countless user reviews here. Sometimes, the only way to know just how durable something will be is to put it to the test. We made sure to consider what long-term users of the treadmill had to say and included their assessments in each of the product reviews that we featured above.
Some running machines take up less space and are lighter in weight, so they are easy to move. Others fold up for easy storage and to free up space.
Portability is an excellent criterion 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. On our list we feature several foldable and non-foldable treadmills, so you will definitely have options in both departments.
Keep in mind that some of the running machines on our list are large and bulky. This means they take up quite a bit of space and we highly recommend you measure your space and compare it to the dimensions of the treadmill before you decide to go ahead and order one of the larger models on our list.
The last thing you want to deal with is a fall off of your running machine. To avoid this, make sure you get a treadmill that offers great stability and that prevents wobbling from occurring when you are running on it.
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. The foldable treadmills we chose to feature on our list offer a great deal of stability-we made sure to check extensively before we decided to feature them on our list of reviews an recommend them to our readers.
Not only does the price have to be right for your budget, but the treadmill should offer everything you need for it to bring value to your life and training routine.
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. Which one you get will really depend on your budget and what you are looking for in a running machine.
Overall, the right running machine for you should be worth every penny. No matter how much or how little you end up spending on it, you should feel like it was the right investment for you. In order to achieve this, you will need to make sure you put your needs and preferences at the forefront when researching running machines.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Although many running machines will display your heart rate, mileage, calories burned, etc., not all of them will track and store this. If you want to look back at your progress look for running machines that will also store your information.
Just because you can't take your run outdoors doesn't mean you can't challenge yourself with an indoor running machine. Take advantage of the different features they have to offer and push yourself to the limit whenever you can!
Other Factors to Consider
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: 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: 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.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that you need to invest in a running machine that truly fits your needs and preferences, Bottom line: if you don't like it, then the treadmill was a waste of money. Aside from everything we mentioned, also consider the following while you search for the best running machine for you.
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.
Incline Settings to choose from
Running machines with an incline or drop provides 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. You must 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?
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, 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?
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?
If you are wondering what the Pros and Cons are to having a treadmill, here they are!
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.
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 desk treadmills that can be used in the office, foldable options for other places, and options that would also function at a fitness center. Overall, however, these are the best running machines out there.
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