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The Best Treadmills

Where Can You Find the Best Treadmills?

Treadmills are a great way to get an excellent workout at home when it best fits into your schedule. Regular use of a treadmill is also a great way to lose weight and get into good cardiovascular shape. Treadmills range from the most basic model with no frills, to those with high tech workout programs, TV's, and more.

Treadmills are generally easy to set up and are suitable for just about anyone to use. Changes in the designs have allowed treadmills to reduce the amount of space required, thus making them feasible for those with a limited area.

Friday, April 23rd

2021 Treadmill Reviews

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Sole Fitness Review 5 Star Rating

Sole Fitness

5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $999 - $2,499
TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Priced a little higher but still a good value, Sole Treadmills are quality built for an excellent workout for years to come. In fact, if you've ever visited the gyms at a Hilton, Omni, or Hotel Monoco, you've probably seen a Sole Fitness treadmill in action. These treadmills have a streamlined design and constructed with a high level of quality, which provides a smooth and stable experience. The warranty is also top of the line with a lifetime guarantee on the motor, deck, frame, electronics, belt and rollers. That also include coverage for 5 years on labor, with the first two of those years free in-home service.

Sole Fitness offers both folding and nonfolding treadmills to meet your space needs. The deck is large which is ideal for leggy strides and safe running. But, if you aren't satisfied you may return your purchase within 30 days minus a restocking fee.

The Treadmill console provides the basic information most of us want including speed, incline, time, distance, calories, heart rate and more. The treadmills also come with built in speakers for an iPod or other listening devices.

Best Treadmills

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding and non folding
  • Price Range: $999 - $2,499
  • Different Models: 7
  • Financing Available: No
  • Horsepower: 2.5 HP - 3.5 HP
  • Belt Width: 20x55, 20x60
  • Return Policy: 30 days - 8% restocking
  • Guarantee: Lifetime on Motor, Deck, Frame, Electronics / Belt / Rollers and 5 years - Labor, 2 years, In-Home service
  • Shipping: Free

Sole Fitness treadmills are built to last. Customer feedback has reported a quiet ride and a durable machine that is ideal for running or walking. Very few incidents of mechanical problems have been identified. These are heavy duty machines with a strong motor and many different models to choose from. While Sole Fitness treadmills are priced a little higher, you can take comfort in their solid warranty and return policies.

Horizon Review 4 Star Rating

Horizon

4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $799 - $3,999

Horizon Fitness is a home exercise equipment manufacturer with a great selection of exercise bicycles, treadmills, rowing machines and elliptical machines. This review will focus on their line of home treadmills.

On the main page of the Horizon website there is a navigation bar across the top where one can select from the various categories of exercise equipment offered by Horizon. There are clear pictures and brief summaries of all of the equipment with the prices clearly listed. Above this are links to details on the Horizon 30 day money back guarantee policy, as well as toll free numbers for both sales and customer support. Also featured here are links to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest which lends a modern, connected feel to the company.

Additionally there is a section with links to Horizon's exclusive technologies, which we really like. This section details some of the special features of Horizon's equipment; the infinity belt and Johnson drive system which provide the athlete with a smooth yet powerful drive train system. Horizon also offers features called ViaFit and the Horizon Passport. ViaFit is a website that will record and track workouts so the athlete can observe and track his or her fitness progress. Horizon Passport is a virtual active technology that can synch high definition video footage with any workout. This is pretty modern stuff and great for any athlete who wants something a little more modern than just a simple workout machine. Also noted on the main page is Horizon's policy of free shipping for every order.

Best Treadmills

Horizon offers 8 different models in its line of indoor treadmills, ranging in cost from $799 to $3,999. This is a large selection compared with some other treadmill selections we have seen, and the price range is friendly to budget shoppers while still offering very high end products for those who want more bells and whistles. Most of the treadmills feature the ViaFit and Passport connectivity options, and as you go up in price other features are added including variable response cushioning under the running surface, Sprint 8 programmable workouts, and a chest strap heart monitoring system that allows the athlete to get biometric feedback on the treadmill display.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding and non-Folding
  • Price Range: $799 - $3,999
  • Different Models: 8
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Horsepower: 2.5 HP - 3.5 HP
  • Belt Width: 20x55, 20x60
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Guarantee: Only for defective parts
  • Shipping: Free

There were a few reviews posted on the Treadmill page which were positive, but we didn't see any links to any news articles or accolades that the Horizon treadmills had received. We also didn't see any links to the Better Business Bureau or any other online rating system, which would have given us some record of consumer confidence with Horizon equipment. Horizon does have a great selection, a 30 day money back guarantee and some nice advanced features, we can recommend that anyone looking for a home treadmill give Horizon a serious look.

Xterra Review 4 Star Rating

Xterra

4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $799 - $1,299

Xterra is a fitness equipment retailer that focuses on providing sleek, modern exercise equipment that is both attractive and durable. This review will focus on Xterra's line of treadmills.

Xterra has 4 different models in its line of indoor treadmills, ranging in cost from $799 to $1,299. This puts Xterra in the low to mid-range cost when comparing with other indoor treadmills that are being offered today. Still, for the reasonable cost, Xterra treadmills are quality products with a lot of very nice features. Every Xterra treadmill comes with their internally developed deck cushioning technology that reduces impact on the joints while running and provides a soft yet sturdy running surface. All models have speed and incline controls built into the handlebars, in addition to the controls on the console, so that a runner can adjust their work out on the fly. All Xterra treadmills are built with a uni-weld steel frame, and fold up and down with a 'soft-drop' technology for easy storage.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding
  • Price Range: $799 - $1,299
  • Different Models: 4
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Horsepower: 2.5 HP - 3.5 HP
  • Belt Width: 20x55, 20x60
  • Return Policy: 60 days
  • Guarantee: Lifetime Frame and Drive System, 1-5-Year Parts (depending on model) and 1-Year In Home Labor
  • Shipping: Free
Best Treadmills

Reviews of the performance of the Xterra treadmills are positive overall. Users report a very heavy duty feel to the treadmill, and that the running surface is very soft and stable. This is very important as anyone who has ever run on a treadmill that shakes and bounces while running will tell you. Many folks reported that the quality of the running experience was the same as treadmills they have used that come at a much higher price.

We really like the quality for the money here with Xterra, since you are getting high end, sturdy equipment at mid-range prices. We also really like Xterra's 60 day money back guarantee, which is twice as long as the standard 30 day guarantee we see with most other indoor exercise equipment companies. The guarantee structure is a little odd, however, since the length of the parts guarantee depends on which model treadmill is purchased. The most expensive treadmill comes with a 5 year guarantee on the parts, but the cheapest model has only a 1 year parts guarantee. This could be a turn off for anyone considering the lower end Xterra treadmill.

Overall we feel Xterra treadmills are a very good product for the middle of the road price range. Even the most expensive Xterra treadmill comes at a reasonable price, and with a lot of good features. For anyone in the market for a sturdy mid-priced treadmill, we recommend looking closely at Xterra.

Proform Review 4 Star Rating

Proform

4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $599 - $2,999

ProForm is the highest selling brand of fitness equipment in world, with more sales of treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and fitness equipment than any other brand. Proform is made by Icon Health & Fitness, Inc. the world's largest manufacturer of fitness and exercise equipment. Although the company originally sold just to home consumers, it now sells its equipment to commercial users such as health and fitness clubs.

Unique to Proform is their ability to provide a solid treadmill in the lower price range. If you are a heavier person and plan to run fast on your treadmill, you would probably do better to choose a higher rated brand. But for the average user that wants to mainly walk and perhaps do some running, you can anticipate a smooth ride and some decent features. These treadmills come with tough motors and wide belts to make for a smooth and effective workout. Proform is designed best for the beginner to intermediate exerciser.

Best Treadmills

Standard features today include iFit compatibility, a decent display that tracks your heart rate, speed, distance calories, fat burned, etc, a long list of workout options, easy controls, speakers and more.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding and non folding
  • Price Range: $599 - $2,999
  • Different Models: 16
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Horsepower: 2.25 HP - 3.8 HP
  • Belt Width: 20x55, 20x60
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Guarantee: Lifetime Frame, 25 year motor, 5-Year Parts and 2-Year In Home Labor on most models.
  • Shipping: Free

We know that a lot of exercisers out there are concerned with their budget and we were excited to find a brand that fits that need. Even the lower end models come with a decent warranty that brought confidence to us. We couldn't find any serious quality issues or concerns that would be a show stopper. For those people looking to buy a decent quality treadmill at a low price, Proform is a good option.

Bowflex Review 3.5 Star Rating

Bowflex

3.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $2,199 to $9,500

One of the first names that comes to mind when considering home fitness equipment is Bowflex. Originally made famous for their all-in-one strength training system, their product line has expanded over the years to include a variety of cardio equipment as well.

When it comes to treadmills, Bowflex offers just two models: the BXT116 and the upgraded BXT216.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding
  • Price: $1499 and $1799
  • Different Models: 2
  • Different Models: 2
  • Horsepower: 3.75 CHP and 4.0 CHP
  • Belt Width: 20x60, 22x60
  • Return Policy: 6 weeks
  • Guarantee: 15 years on Frame/Drive Motor, 5 years on Mechanical Parts/Electronics, 2 years on Labor
  • Shipping: $99

With the BXT116 retailing for $1499 and the BXT216 for an extra $300 at $1799, what are the main differences between the two treadmills?

First, let's look at what they have in common:

  • Maximum incline of 15%
  • Maximum speed of 12 mph
  • 4 available user profiles
  • Integrated heart rate monitor with contact grips and included chest strap
  • Integrated speaker sound system
  • Real-time custom workout creation
  • Media shelf/tablet holder
  • USB charging port
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Easy SoftDrop stowable design
  • Automatic 3-speed fan
  • Warranty coverage of 15 years on the frame and drive motor, 5 years on mechanical parts and electronics, and 2 years labor
Best Treadmills

The console is essentially the same for both models, and all of the tech might make you feel like you're working out in an airplane cockpit - in a good way. You'll see all of your workout stats at a glance, from the total workout time to your heart rate and much more. We encourage you to check out the images on the Bowflex site for yourself.

So, with all of those great features, why would anyone spend the extra money to get the BX216? It depends on what you need. For example, the maximum user weight on the 116 is 375 pounds, while the 216 allows users up to 400 pounds. The 216 also has a wider run path: 22" compared to the 116's 20".

The 216 also adds controls for incline and speed into the handrails, gives you an extra 1.5" on the full color LCD screen (9" compared with 7.5"), and comes with a more cushioned running surface. You'll also get an extra 0.25 in the horsepower, and a total of 11 pre-programmed workouts (as opposed to the 116's 9). You'll have to decide for yourself if any of those extras are worth the additional $300. At the time of our review, there was a free shipping offer on the upgraded model, compared with $99 for the lower-end version, bringing the price difference down to just $200.

We recommend that you take a look through the customer reviews on the Bowflex website. They're very detailed and represent a wide variety of users, from athletes training to improve performance in races to beginning exercisers starting with walking. We appreciate Bowflex's positive responses, even to negative comments, and their obvious commitment to constantly improving products and taking their customers' concerns seriously. Reading the comments will help you determine if there are any known issues with the way you plan on using the treadmill - like syncing with apps like Strava or using the higher inclines at high speeds.

Bowflex's return policy is 6 weeks from the date of delivery. You'll have to get an RMA from their customer service department, and your refund will not include any shipping fees. That's more generous than a lot of their competitors, who only give you 30 days and charge hefty restocking fees.

Overall, the two treadmill models offered by Bowflex are great: solidly built, good warranty and return periods, ample technology features, and backed by a responsive customer service team. But, when compared with the variety of treadmills offered by other retailers in our review, Bowflex's limited selection comes up short and may not offer the types of features - or the budget range - that some shoppers are looking for.

Life Fitness Review 3.5 Star Rating

Life Fitness

3.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $2,199 to $9,500

Whether you're looking for a treadmill just like what you've seen at your local health club, or a compact model that will fit in your bedroom, LifeFitness has you covered. As one of the top brands found in home gyms, fitness centers, and even military installations, LifeFitness has an excellent reputation for quality.

On the lower end of the price spectrum is the F1 Smart Treadmill, which is foldable and has wheels for easy moving and storage. Or, if you're looking for a health club-quality console with all the latest technology for Bluetooth connectivity and TV/app compatibility in your treadmill, the Platinum Club Series and Club Series models are what you'll find at your local gym and are available for purchase to use in your home gym too. You'll even find that the higher-end models have color choices to fit with your decor, as well as higher speed ranges (12 mph vs. 10 mph) and weight limits (400 lbs. vs. 300-350) than on lower-end models.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding and Non-Folding
  • Price Range: $2,199 - $9,498
  • Different Models: 9
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Horsepower: 2.5 HP - 8.0 HP
  • Belt Width: 22x55, 20x60, 22x60 (varies by model)
  • Return Policy: 30 days, 25% restocking fee (up to $500 maximum)
  • Guarantee: Lifetime Frame, Shock Absorbers, Drive Motor (some models only cover 10 years on Drive Motor); 5-10 Year Parts (depending on model) and 1-Year Labor
  • Shipping: Free
Best Treadmills

LifeFitness was also the first retailer we reviewed that offers a model designed for work: the LifeFitness Treadmill Desk. If you've got a home office or own your own business, this could be a great way to get in a workout while still getting work done. An adjustable desktop can accommodate users with heights ranging from 5'0" to 6'4", and a connectivity panel includes AC power hookups, an Ethernet connection, and USB docks for maximum productivity.

You'll probably find that LifeFitness treadmills are more expensive than most of the other brands on the market - mostly because the technology options, even on the lowest models, are much more advanced than their competitors. For example, the entry-level Track+ Console is compatible with both Android and Apple devices, includes 14 pre-programmed and 12 custom workouts, and allows users to establish up to four different user profiles on the machine. LifeFitness' most advanced console, the Discover SE3, has up to 50 different workouts, including 8 custom ones, limitless user profiles, all packaged in a familiar tablet-style screen. Warranty coverage is decent as well, particularly the three-year coverage for the console itself.

Unfortunately, the high prices of LifeFitness treadmills may be out of range for customers looking for a basic entry-level model - once you factor in sales taxes, you'll be spending over $2,500 for the lowest-end machine. In addition, if you decide you don't like your LifeFitness treadmill and want to return it within the first 30 days after purchase, expect a 25% restocking fee.

On the other hand, LifeFitness is one of the few retailers we found that offers certified used home exercise equipment, which can make it more affordable to add an treadmill to your home gym. You can also get a payment plan through their financing partner, Affirm: look for the "as low as" pricing information below the treadmill's price in order to see more details. At the time of our review, Affirm was offering interest rates from 10-30% APR with repayment plans of 3, 6, and 12 months, depending on your credit history.

Overall, users of LifeFitness treadmills give the machines high marks for the quiet operation of the motor, well-cushioned surface, and durability even when used frequently for high-impact running or jogging.

Although many customers may find that LifeFitness machines are out of their price range, we give them a solid rating for their quality and advanced technology available with their consoles.

Precor Review 3 Star Rating

Precor

3 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $1,999 to $8,755

With more than 30 years in the business, Precor manufactures fitness equipment for personal and commercial uses - from home gyms to health clubs and more. Their focus on constant innovation and attention to high-quality engineering can be seen in their treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and strength equipment.

Precor offers 7 models of treadmills for use in home gyms. Starting on the lowest end, the TRM 211 Energy series has short handlebars and six preset workouts, with a maximum speed of 12 mph and an incline of up to 15%. On the other end of Precor's spectrum, the TRM 835 Experience series features longer handlebars for greater stability and support; the Ground Effects Impact Control System, to absorb high-impact movements and to give the user more support; 25 preset workouts; a maximum speed of 16 mph, incline up to 15%, and decline options to -3% that mimic walking or running downhill.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Non-folding
  • Price Range: $1,999 to $8,755
  • Different Models: 7
  • Financing Available: No
  • Horsepower: 3.0 HP - 4.0 HP
  • Belt Width: 20x57, 22x56, 22x60 (varies by model)
  • Return Policy: None
  • Guarantee: Lifetime Frame and Weldments, 5 years Parts and Wear items, 3 years Console, and 1-Year Labor
  • Shipping: $199 flat fee for delivery and installation
Best Treadmills

The Precor website doesn't make it easy to compare differences between models. You can click "compare" to add any model to a list, and then click on the next "compare" button on the right-hand side of the page. But, the results page doesn't lay out the models in a way that helps you compare side-by-side. For instance, when we compared the TRM 211 with the TRM 835, the sections describing the preset workouts weren't in the same place in the table. You'll have to scroll back and forth on the page to try and determine if the differences between the two are important to your fitness needs.

Compared with other treadmill retailers, Precor has a few drawbacks. First, even on the highest-end models, Precor's consoles provide just the basics of time, heart rate, and exercise tracking - competitor models typically include compatibility with smartphones, even TV screens and other up-to-date technology with more expensive treadmills. Also, Precor does not offer free shipping: treadmills have a flat-rate delivery and installation fee of $199.

However, the biggest potential issue with buying any fitness equipment from Precor is the absence of a return policy: once you buy a Precor machine, it's yours. Even if you get it home and realize it doesn't fit in your home gym like you expected, you're stuck with it. Other stores usually allow for returns - with restocking fees - exactly because they understand that not every shopper will have the chance to try out a Precor treadmill in advance.

Precor does have a good track record for equipment durability and overall workout quality. But, their lack of a return policy, low-tech consoles, and higher price tag on most of their treadmills may mean that you might find better options with another retailer.

Nordictrack Review 2.5 Star Rating

Nordictrack

2.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $799 - $1,999

NordicTrack was founded as PSI NordicTrack, Inc. in 1975 by Edward Pauls who had studied mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, was a designer of ski boots and bindings for the Minnesota based Rosemount, Inc. NordicTrack is best known for its cross-country ski simulator which ruled the home fitness equipment market in the late 80's. Since that time the company has manufactured several different pieces of fitness equipment including treadmills, strength trainers, exercise bikes, elliptical machines and more.

NordicTrack treadmills have some pros but unfortunately a lot of cons. Some of the bells and whistles of the NordicTrack treadmills include nice technology in the console, geared toward losing weight and creating a challenging workout. Models also include iFit Live compatibility, a music port with speakers, heart rate sensors, a workout fan, and more. But don't let the price of these treadmills and the nice extras get in the way of good judgment. We found numerous reports of manufacturing defects and wear issues that made owning a NordicTrack a big hassle.

Best Treadmills

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding and non folding
  • Price Range: $799 - $1,999
  • Different Models: 11
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Horsepower: 2.5 HP - 3.5 HP
  • Belt Width: 20x55, 20x60
  • Return Policy: None stated
  • Guarantee: Lifetime guarantee on the motor and frame, with 1 year parts and in-home service
  • Shipping: Free

There are a lot of models to choose from in the NordicTrack line. The differences are usually found in the features, with not much of an upgrade in durability or performance. While all of the models have a large running surface, they reportedly tend to lack stability and have a bouncier deck than a serious athlete would prefer.

Despite the lower cost on some models, and the nice features, NordicTrack has a history that doesn't bring much confidence. If you still have desire to buy a NordicTrack you should definitely consider the extended warranty.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

If you can't set aside a dedicated space for your treadmill, there are excellent foldable models available. Collapsing your treadmill and wheeling it out of the way is a piece of cake.

Several different brands of treadmills exist today and range greatly in cost and quality. Before you make the move to purchase a treadmill, consider the following:

  • Cost. What is the price range for the treadmills offered, and how does this compare with similar models from other brands?
  • Belt Width. What is width of the treadmill? A small treadmill will be difficult for many people to walk or run in comfort.
  • Motor Size. Motor size impacts the strength and smoothness of a treadmill. A good treadmill needs a decent motor size.
  • Return Policy. Does the company enable you to return your product for a full refund?
  • Guarantee. Should a piece or part of the treadmill break, does the company offer any warranty for replacement?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best treadmills available today. We hope this information helps you find the right treadmill to meet your needs!

Shopping for a Treadmill Online

Considering buying a treadmill? Then you should leave your keys at the door and pull up a chair to the computer. Shopping for a treadmill online has numerous advantages over driving to and from local sporting goods stores and discount warehouses. The end result is a confident purchase that saves you time and money.

Benefits to Shopping Online:

  • Selection. The Internet provides the largest selection of just about anything. This holds true with treadmills as well. Search from a wide variety of brands and models without leaving your home.
  • Comparison. Quickly compare the dimensions, features and prices across several websites at once. No need to rely on a salesclerk to assist as most information is located conveniently next to each product.
  • Prices. The Internet generally offers the lowest prices on treadmills as they have less overhead than stores and they are attempting to win your business over competitors.
  • No Salesmen. Often with fitness equipment you get a fast-talking salesman that is there to sell you a treadmill. Basing your decision on data you gather on the Internet is going to allow you to make a low stress, smart decision without being rushed.
  • Product Reviews. Independent product review websites are a great place to expedite your search effort. These sites have already done much of the legwork to help you find a quality treadmill that is priced right.

Once you're ready to begin shopping online you should take several factors into account before making your decision. There are many aspects of a treadmill that vary among brands. Finding the right combination of treadmill features will result in the most satisfying purchase.

Treadmill Features and Specifications:

  • Belt Size. Most experts recommend at least a 17-inch belt for anyone using a treadmill, but the wider belts are better as they allow more room to move around. Belt length is also important for a comfortable workout. Generally, a 48-inch belt will meet most people's needs. However, if you're a runner or have very long legs you may prefer at least a 60-inch belt to stretch your legs.
  • Motor Size. You'll want to look at continuous duty motor size in the treadmills you review. Motor size impacts the smoothness of the ride. Look for at least a 2.0 HP continuous duty motor but consider a 2.5 HP if you run a lot. DC motors provide the quietest treadmill if you're also trying to watch TV or listen to music.
  • Console. Look at the console and determine if it has everything you're looking for. The consoles on today's treadmills range from basic to very high-tech. Most have features to track your speed, distance, calories burned, and time. Others may offer safety switches, pre-programmed workouts, heart rate monitors, MP3 players and TV's.
  • Weight Capacity. If you're over 200 pounds it's important to check the maximum body weight allowed on any treadmill. A treadmill designed for lighter individuals is going to feel sluggish and wobbly for those exceeding the recommended weight capacity. Parts are also more likely to wear down and break in a shorter period of time.
  • Cost. The price of a good treadmill can start at a few hundred dollars and go up to thousands. Quality treadmills will have the highest grade of parts and components available for lasting comfort and duration. You'll need to balance the quality of the treadmill with the price when choosing a treadmill within your budget. Several companies offer financing.
  • Return Policy. In the event your treadmill shows up and you've changed your mind, you'll want to be able to return it. Choosing a treadmill that comes with a return policy is a smart idea. Several companies offer a 14 to 45 day trial period on their treadmills.
  • Warranty. Any big-ticket item you purchase should come with a warranty to protect your investment. Some quality treadmills come with a lifetime warranty on the motor, five years on parts, and two years for labor. Others offer coverage that is significantly shorter and seems to run out right before the first repair is needed. Make sure you understand the specific warranty that comes with the treadmill you choose.

In summary, purchasing a treadmill online provides several benefits over shopping at your local sporting goods stores. With a larger selection, simple comparison, competitive pricing, and convenience it's easier to find exactly what you're looking without leaving your home.

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The Best Reviews of Treadmills