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Your Guide to the Best Treadmills for Running

Last updated: May 6, 2022

We get it: researching the best treadmills for running can be overwhelming. Whether you’re a casual runner looking for the best budget treadmill under $500 or you treat every week like you’re training for a marathon, navigating the sea of options is no easy task.

There are so many different types of treadmills and even options within those types, which is exactly why we created this guide to the best treadmills for running. This will help you make sense of all the information out there and narrow down your front-runners so you can get — and most importantly stay — in shape.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Best Treadmills for Running Under $1000

One of the very best treadmills for running under $1000 is the NordicTrack T 6.5 Si. This treadmill has a 300-pound capacity and a 55 x 20” running deck, a nice size for a variety of stride lengths at high speed.

With a top speed of 10 mph, a 10% maximum incline, and the ability to turn cushioning on or off, the T 6.5 Si offers plenty of customization and adjustability. There are also 20 integrated workouts you can follow on the 10” touchscreen.

Best Treadmills for Running Under $500

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 is a great option for the best treadmill for running under $500. A folding treadmill, it has a 275-pound capacity and features impact-absorbing Comfort Cell Cushioning to reduce stress on joints.

Taller runners may feel just a bit cramped on the 50” x 16” running deck, but walkers and those with a shorter stride will have plenty of room. The treadmill has a two-position manual incline and a top speed of 10 mph.

Best Treadmills for Running on a Budget

The best treadmill for runners on a budget is the SereneLife SLFTRD25. With a 265-pound capacity, 7.5 mph max speed, and a 43.2” x 15.75” running deck, this slim folding treadmill is an excellent compact option.

16 pre-programmed training modes offer variety and make it simple to create your perfect workout routine. One standout feature, especially at this price point, is the location of the start/stop and speed adjustment buttons. Instead of the main console, they’re on the handles, allowing for more natural adjustments while running.

For those specifically seeking the best budget treadmill under $500, the Xterra Fitness TR150 should be on your shortlist. This folding treadmill is budget-friendly but doesn’t skimp on features. Highlights include several preset workouts, quick-adjustment speed buttons, and an intuitive LCD screen.
The TR150 has a 250-pound capacity, max speed of 10 mph, and three manual incline settings. Its running deck is 50” x 16,” great for walkers and runners with a shorter stride.

Best Manual Treadmills for Running

Our pick for the best manual treadmill is the feature-rich Sunny SF-T7878. With a 47.5” x 17.5” deck, 300-pound capacity, three incline levels, and 16 levels of magnetic resistance, this manual treadmill really gets the blood pumping.

Two 11-pound flywheels ensure you don’t lose momentum and the electronic display tracks speed, distance, time, heart rate, and calories burned. Best of all, there’s no need to place this treadmill near an outlet (one of the many benefits of the best manual treadmills!).

Best Treadmills for Heavy Runners

If you’re in the market for the best treadmill for heavy runners, check out the Sole Fitness F85, with a 400-pound capacity and large 60” x 22” running deck.

The F85 isn’t short on features either: the 10.1” touchscreen displays stats and workout programs, and there’s a convenient tablet holder and USB plug. This folding treadmill also comes with integrated Bluetooth speakers to stream music.

Best Treadmill for Tall Runners

The length of the running deck is extremely important when shopping for the best treadmill for tall runners. Ideally, you’ll want one with a deck at least 60” in length. The LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i is great for taller runners with its large 20” x 60” deck and an angled display that’s easier for tall people to view.

The 4000i also comes with several pre-installed treadmill workouts for runners, including options for weight loss, sports training, and cardio programs. Another nice feature is Bluetooth connectivity for linking a heart rate monitor or other fitness trackers.

Treadmill Workouts for Runners

While most treadmills come with at least a few pre-installed guided workouts, you may want to follow your own routine or switch things up occasionally with different programs.
Fortunately, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Many traditional running workouts transfer directly to the treadmill. Things like interval training and distance, heart rate, and cardio workouts can be done on a treadmill exactly the same way as on the street or trail — no fancy program required. Some treadmills have daily or weekly schedules to gradually build up running strength and endurance, regardless of the workout plan you adhere to.

As always, good nutrition and meal-planning are just as, if not more, important than your workout routine in terms of staying on track and losing weight.

FAQs

Should a treadmill be on a mat?

Regardless of what type of treadmill for running you ultimately end up purchasing, it should be placed on a mat in your home. Not only does this protect both your floor and treadmill (i.e., your new investment), but it also absorbs vibrations and noise, giving you a more enjoyable workout experience.

How do treadmills measure calories burned?

It's important to understand that even the best treadmills slightly overestimate calorie burn. This is because there are so many unique individual factors at play, including body fat composition and muscle mass, fitness level, and even environmental conditions. Having said that, the calorie-counters on treadmills and other cardio machines work by using a formula created by the Compendium of Physical Activities. The count is most accurate when the treadmill has as much data about you as possible, so be sure to enter your real age, weight, and fitness level into the machine.

Are treadmills worth it?

Any home fitness equipment that helps you achieve your personal goals should always be considered "worth it," especially with so many options at every pricepoint. The big question to ask yourself is do you have the space for your new treadmill and will you use it, as opposed to running outdoors on a track or a trail.


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