What’s the best treadmill?

treadmill runner

Treadmills reviews?

O.K. I got you covered. 🙂

This is actually a dedicated website, so if you don’t find a particular model already reviewed here you should just shoot me an email and recommend it.

Who am I?

Misi Rock
well, this is me :)

I’m Misi Rock (find out more on the About page), and you are welcome to my website… I call it “a runner’s paradise” because this is the place where you’ll find a complete range of dedicated resources that include, but are not limited to complete guides, comparison charts, how-to articles, advice on treadmills and other gym equipment, “best of” lists and, as I grow the website, a forum where all can share their personal experiences.

But, back to the point, let me help you find the best treadmill for you.

Just below, there’s a section where I review the best ones on the market today, so if you are in a hurry just skip to that section and choose one. Rest assured, you would have made a smart choice as this list is updated monthly and it consists of the best of the best, no exceptions!

All treadmills featured in that section are put through intensive testing and also run through my rating system that I call RRM (ROCK Review Model). This is a proprietary review and rating system that takes into consideration a wide range of features and otherwise important aspect of each treadmill model.

Currently (and I really am not bragging here) this is the most complex review rating system on the market. I put into it my experience as a fitness instructor (that’s 12 years plus now), customer opinion and ratings, and much more.

Want to know more about the RRM? – read more on the About Page or shoot me an email and I’ll introduce you to the exact parameters I input into the system.

Best treadmills, reviewed!

mythbusters
I love these guys!

I love saying that… it’s just like with the Mythbusters

Remember?

They have that saying: Myth, Busted!

That’s why I say: Treadmill, reviewed!

This works great because some of these products are of questionable quality and I state that in my reviews… What I mean here is that I will not just lift these up, showing only the good sides and strong points. If a treadmill has flaws you will know about those first.

Without any other introduction here are the winners, the treadmill superstars.

Superstars, reviewed! … just joking 🙂

Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill

Misi’s choice for “the best treadmill for the serious runner”

Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill Review
Sole Fitness F80

If you are a true runner, then this is the one for you! Boy, this is a powerhouse.

You know that running puts pressure on the joints. Well, guess what?  This baby features a Cushion Flex Whisper Deck that reduces impact on the joints by 40%. Believe me that’s amazing. It really makes a difference.

Worried about having enough programs so that you’ll find the one that best fits your needs at a given moment in your training? No worries, this model features 10 programs beautifully displayed on a large 7.5 LCD screen. You’ll also love the cooling fans and the mp3 compatible sound system.

For the money you get lifetime warranty on the essential parts like the motor, frame and deck.

This machine features one of the best running surfaces that I’ve tried.

The design is amazing. This is actually a folding type treadmill so you can easily store it when you need the extra space or you are not using it.

I must mention here the quick controls featured on the console. These are great when you want to make some quick adjustments. It makes changing the incline and speed instant.

Sole Fitness F80 - rock review model score
Sole Fitness F80 – RRM score

The Sole Fitness F80 scored 4.9 out of 5 stars in my RRM.

…oh, and did I mention that this is the one that I use for my workouts? Yeah, I love this model.

LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill

Misi’s choice for “the best value for money treadmill”

LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill Review
LifeSpan TR 1200i

I say best value for money because I recommend it over the other, more expensive models: the TR3000i, TR4000i, TR5000i … although they have more features and they’re newer, in my opinion it’s not worth it paying $500 to $1700 more on them.

So, the TR1200i is the one that I recommend, and here’s why:

This treadmill features a heavy duty motor that has lifetime warranty. It’s a 2.5 HP and gets from 0.5 to 11 MPH. The running surface has 15 levels of inclination.

To monitor your heart rate it has hand grips and receiver, though you’ll have to buy a chest strap separately. It’s not included in the more expensive models either, so no differences here.

All workouts and other information you save, you can use to keep a track record and make statistics in your LifeSpan Fitness Club account. There you’ll find recommendations of workouts, advice and other invaluable information for your constant development.

How cool is that? It’s like having you own (virtual) coach.

There’re quite a lot of reasons to buy this model. I cover them all in my full review, but I‘d like to mention here the console, which is amazing… mostly, for the plethora of information you get in real time. It’s a big help and before you know it you’ll get addicted to it.

LifeSpan TR 1200i - rock review model socre
LifeSpan TR 1200i – RRM socre

The LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill scored 4.8 out of 5 stars in my RRM.

ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill

Misi’s choice for “the geeks 🙂 – this is a top notch treadmill”

ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill Review
ProForm Pro 2000

You’ll find 24 built-in workout programs and another 32 workout apps that are beautifully presented on the extra-large, crystal clear, 8 inch display. The backlit screen has great viewing angles so that everybody will get the best image, no matter if short of tall.

The incline goes from -3% to 15% which is great if you are into trying out a wide range of exercises. Even more, this treadmill features ProShox Cushioning that reduces the impact running has on your joints.

If monitoring your heart rate is one of the more important aspects for you, I have great news, this treadmill features 2 handlebar built-in hand-grip sensors and a wireless chest strap that sends data to the machine automatically. This makes the whole process even more enjoyable. Even more so, that this has an iPod music port and CoolAire workout fan.

Now, for the geeks, you’ll be thrilled to find out that the ProForm Pro 2000 treadmill has a built-in virtual personal trainer that you can set up and create unlimited workouts and because this is integrated with Google Maps you can keep track of your routs.

This treadmill also features quick controls for incline, decline and speed, 3 speed settings for the AutoBreeze fan and a built-in sound system.

I recommend this over the other ProForm Pro (the Pro 2500 and the Pro 4500) because they have the same core – motor, belts and platforms – (or minor differences) but they cost a lot more. The important thing here is to focus on the workout itself and on your body. After a point, having all those customization choices, one can get distracted and lose focus. Also compared to the Pro 4500 you spend considerably less money.

ProForm Pro 2000 - rock review model score
ProForm Pro 2000 – RRM score

The ProForm Pro 2500 scored 4.8 out of 5 stars in my RRM.

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill

Misi’s choice for “best cheapest treadmill”

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill Review
Weslo Cadence G 5.9

OK, agreed. Those treadmills cost a lot of money. There are people that aren’t sure if the investment is worth it or care little about the advanced features that make them expensive. To them I recommend the Weslo Cadence G 5.9.

The first thing I usually recommend, if you have never tried a treadmill, is to go to the nearest gym and talk to a trainer there to help you get the basics and the feel of a couple of different models.

If you don’t have the time for that, then it’s not worth buying a treadmill of $1k only to find out a week later you don’t like it.

So, the compromise solution is getting the Weslo G 5.9 treadmill that is currently sold for under $300. You get the full package (that is a fully motorized treadmill that has a workout trainer, the possibility of a manual incline and a cushioning technology that protects your joints while you jog).

Of course it doesn’t even come close to the ProForm or the FifeSpan models, but you do pay only 1/3 of the money.

Again, this is the best choice for beginners, people that are not interested in advanced technologies nor the possibility of incline automation and other quick controls.

I’ve checked out many different forums and online runners communities and more than 90% of the customers are very happy with this treadmill. Their complaints refer to some expectations not being met, but that is, as I figured out, due to a lack of proper research prior to buying.

Long story short, this is a great product, very sturdy and recommend for the casual runner.

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 - rock review model score
Weslo Cadence G 5.9 – RRM score

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 scored 4.6 out of 5 stars in my RRM.

Endurance T10HRC Commercial Treadmill

Misi’s choice for “best commercial treadmill”

Endurance T10HRC Commercial Treadmill Review
Endurance T10HRC

Now this is more on the expensive side. In most stores you’ll get it for $4000+ but guess what, I know a place to get a 50% discount. 🙂

It’s an incredibly durable and well-made treadmill.

The technology put inside this machine is crazy… in a good way I mean, because if you can afford it then you are making an investment in yourself.

You are actually paying the extra cash on the parts (like the suspended running surface – phenolic deck that features a multi-point shock absorption technology) that protect your joints and assures the best possible workout.

Also this is one of the quietest machines I’ve come across. It has an integrated technology called Poly-V Belt Drive.

Further, thinking about your safety and interaction with the device, the Endurance T10HRC commercial treadmill features a safety key stop system. This basically means that if you, for any reason, need to stop, you have a key on the control panel that shuts everything down at a turn.

Other things to be noted here are that the maximum user weight of 350 pounds, the speed goes up to 10 mph, the motor is a beautiful 3 HP that has short circuit protection, telemetric chest strap for your convenience making hart rate monitoring a breeze and lifetime warranty on the whole thing.

All in all, if you can afford this treadmill, buy it! You won’t be sorry. It’s a high performing machine of amazing quality.

Endurance T10HRC - rock review model score
Endurance T10HRC – RRM score

The Endurance T10HRC Commercial Treadmill scored 4.7 out of 5 stars in my RRM.

How do I choose a treadmill?

Choosing the right treadmill for you need not be a complicated process. This website alone offers reviews on tens of models and you’ll definitely make a wise choice if you follow my guidance.

But, before you check out the reviews, you should go through a basic process of better understanding you needs. In other words you need to ask yourself some questions to put things into perspective. Here is a list of the things you need to first take into consideration before buying a treadmill.

  1. treadmill runnerYour weight and treadmill weight capacity.
  2. What type of exercises do you intend to use it for – walking or running? – this is important because it’ll offer insight on what dimensions the belt needs to be. If you are running you need a bigger size surface.
  3. Basic control console information that include time, distance, heart rate, speed and incline. Of course, some more advanced features are welcome, but they come with added cost.
  4. What is your budget? A general rule, as it goes with most gym equipment, is that the more you spend on it the better it is. You can find great treadmills at more affordable prices though. Just follow my reviews and recommendations because I cover treadmills that are very qualitative and affordable as well.

So, there you go – 4 easy starting steps to bring you closer to your dream treadmill. 🙂

How do I use a treadmill effectively?

There are some people that consider treadmill running a waste of time. At the gym you always see people that hate doing the warm up. Let me clearly state right now that in order to get the full benefits of a workout, you absolutely must warm up your body and do proper cardio.

Treadmills are the best and highly efficient at this!

So, how do you have the best cardio? Here are the steps:

treadmill running
treadmill running
  1. Wear the right clothing. Always, but always use running shoes on the treadmill and have a towel close by
  2. Know your control console – In order to fully focus on your exercise you must not be stressed by the fact that you don’t understand how the thing works. Also, while running there are things that you want to manipulate like the running surface inclination and speed – know where the quick controls are!
  3. Know what your goals are – are you looking to lose some weight? Are you more about endurance? Is this session only for cardio or is it an interval training? Set up the machine to match your goals and get busy!
  4. Do NOT just start running from the start, spend a couple of minutes just walking and warming up. It’s important!
  5. Get to know the running surface and watch where you step. You will not believe how many people I saw hurting themselves really bad just because they forgot where they were and what they were doing. Sprained ankles and the like are not that funny and they hurt, a lot!
  6. The incline is important but do some reading first on how to set that properly and get the most out of it.
  7. Always think “growth”. Take things to the next level. Don’t just find a program and stick to that for months. That would be a huge mistake. You need to continuously invest into further physical development. Set goals and achieve them. This is about mind over matter. Train your mind and body and be amazed by the benefits. “Mens sana in corpore sano” is the way to greatness.

What are the most important features of a treadmill?

  1. Manual or motorized – I always recommend getting a motorized one. If you’re thinking about spending less money then just buy the Weslo Cadence G 5.9. It’s less that $300 and you get the best bang for the buck.
  2. Incline control – I’ll write a guide about this. It’s a very important feature. I recommend getting a treadmill with automated incline but there are some that are manipulated manually.
  3. treadmill features
    treadmill features

    Belt and running surface – Take a closer look at these before you think of buying. I can’t stress enough on how important they are. You need to get a machine that has shock absorption technology to reduce pressure on your joints. Also look at the quality of materials used because if the belt breaks frequently it will get frustrating and expensive.

  4. Control console and quick controls – you’ll always want more here. At a minimum, look after quick controls to change speed and incline/decline. A large, clear display is desirable. The software needs to have a wide range of workout programs so that you will find the one that fits your goals and body type. A virtual personal trainer is cool and it helps a lot making things fun and interactive.
  5. Frame – Look for a sturdy frame, you can get a lot of insight only by checking if it has lifetime warranty or not.
  6. Warranty – I, for one, don’t like paying twice for the same stuff. If it breaks, I don’t want that to be my problem. Most treadmills have lifetime warranty for the motor, frame and 5 years warranty for most of the other components.
  7. Body fat measures and heart rate monitor – Self explained – I usually go for a treadmill that features a wireless chest strap.
  8. Noise – The more silent they are the more I love them.
  9. Folding and portability – I’m surely not taking the thing with me on a trip, but I like it to be foldable so that if I’ll need the space I can easily fold and store it. You don’t know how important this is until you are faced with the situation, believe me.
  10. Other features – this is subject to personal taste. I like my treadmill to be iPod compatible and have great fans.

What are the best brands that manufacture treadmills?

my favourite treadmill
my favourite treadmill

Again, this is subject to personal opinion, because as I saw over the years, people get used to some models and they stick to them. The kind of develop a relationship with these devices. And that’s kind of natural, I guess.

I, for one love my Sole Fitness F80. It’s great!

Here is a list of other best brands that did well in my testing and reviewing:

  • Weslo, ProForm, Sole, LifeSpan, Horizon Fitness, Confidence, Exepeutic, Nautilus, NordicTrack, Evo, Endurance, Xterra, LiveStrong.

There are many more out there and I will cover most of them as I build up the site and review more and more treadmills.

Conclusion

treadmill runnerSo, there you have it! This is my recommendation of the best 5 treadmills out there. You have their mini reviews of this page but if you want more you can get the full story just by following the links to their dedicated pages.

I hope you dig the information I shared on this page. I structured it as a general guide to help people that have just begun digging into treadmills and running.

Treadmills comparison charts, advice on running and staying healthy, more “best of” lists and information on the manufacturers are yet to come.

Stay with me as I turn this website into the “runner’s paradise” I promised. Don’t be shy, get involved! I highly appreciate any feedback and advice.

Stay fit and never miss a workout!

Misi Rock signature

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Misi Rock

Running instructor and executive reviewer at Treadmill reviewed
I'm Misi Rock and I work as a treadmill coach. I run my own business and I have a healthy lifestyle. As a fitness instructor I gained a lot of insight into what works best for a particular body type. I blog about my findings and share my reviews of treadmills and gym equipment.

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