The Best Treadmills for Running

man running on a treadmill


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You love to run, but running outdoors isn’t always possible. We get it. If you’re looking to enhance your home workout options with a brand-new treadmill, it can be an overwhelming search. But the right machine can help you maintain your exercise regimen, train for an upcoming race or reach your overall fitness goals from the comfort of your own home.

There are hundreds of treadmills out there at every price point, all offering great options. No worries, friends, our ACTIVE Reviews Team did the research for you. In this round up we provide you with a list of the best treadmills for running based on an array of training purposes, budgetary constraints and overall fitness goals. So lace up your running shoes, and let’s dive in!

The Best Treadmills for Running, According to Experts:

Best Overall Treadmill - NordicTrack Commercial 1750

NordicTrack Commercial 1750

The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 continues to find itself on lists of best treadmills on the market, and it’s our top pick for serious runners. Whether you’re looking to maintain your fitness level during the offseason or for a fitness community that will motivate and coach you, this treadmill fits the bill. Perhaps the most impressive features (and there are a LOT to choose from) are the Google Maps custom route capabilities, cushion control, the shock-absorbing deck and expansive incline/decline ranges. With iFIT programming, you can virtually run up Heartbreak Hill of the Boston Marathon or hike the Swiss Alps all from home! The treadmill actually adjusts to the real-life terrain, and the bright, 10-inch touchscreen displays the street view of your route. The plethora of workout programs that come with a free 30-day trial of iFIT is sure to keep you in check and on track to meet any fitness goal.

There are a few things to note before making your purchase, though. While this NordicTrack treadmill is foldable, buyers report that the weight of the machine makes it difficult to move. And note that after your 30-day free trial of iFIT expires, you’ll have to pay a small monthly fee if you want to keep it. Athletes should also know that traditional training applications like Zwift or Training Peaks are not compatible with the iFIT platform.

  • Key Features: Cushioned deck, 15% Incline and -3% decline options, 3.75 horsepower motor, 0-12 mph
  • Training Apps: iFIT Family membership (first 30 days free)
  • Audio: Bluetooth audio capabilities, 3" digitally amplified speakers
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, two-year parts, one-year labor warranty

BUY: NordicTrack 1750, $1,899

Best Folding Treadmill for Runners - Sole F63

Sole F63

The Sole F63 treadmill is a great fit for those looking for a high quality, durable and budget-friendly treadmill that easily folds. With just one step, the deck lifts and locks into place before rolling it away for storage. The Sole F63 has great specs, too: It’s equipped with a 6.5-inch LCD screen integrated with the Sole Fitness mobile app, a heart rate monitor, 10 preset training programs, a fan, Bluetooth audio speakers and a USB port.

Notably, Sole Fitness communicates with numerous other training apps, so you can choose your training platform and view it on your phone in real time. Zwift, Fitbit and MyFitnessPal are just a few of the more commonly used training programs with which Sole Fitness communicates. If watching workout metrics isn’t your thing, don't worry. The new tablet holder with USB port opens the door for many entertainment options while keeping devices charged for your whole workout. Plus, the sturdy frame of the Sole F63 has an impressive weight capacity of 325 pounds.

  • Key Features: 60-inch running deck, 3.0 horsepower motor, USB port, 15% Incline, 0-12 mph
  • Training Apps: Sole Fitness mobile app connects to third-party training programs such as Fitbit and MyFitnessPal
  • Audio: Bluetooth audio speakers
  • Warranty: Lifetime coverage frame and motor, three-year parts, one-year labor warranty

BUY: Sole F63, $1,099.99

Best Under $1,000 - Horizon 7.0 AT

Horizon 7.0 AT

Avid runners, joggers and cardio fanatics pay attention to this one. The Horizon 7.0 AT is one of the best budget treadmills on the market. With impressive attributes, such as three-zone variable cushioning, built-in speakers, Bluetooth capabilities, a roomy running deck, speed ranges up to 12 miles per hour and an incline range up to 15%, the Horizon 7.0 is a fantastic option for any runner.

When it comes to making treadmill running exciting and convenient, the AT syncs with popular third-party apps, such as Zwift, Peloton, iFIT and Fitbit, in addition to hosting its own preloaded programs. So while the 7-inch screen is on the small side and is not touchscreen, you can connect your choice of training app and view live metrics on the screen while you work out. Additionally, the latest Horizon 7.0 updated its console by including new QuickDial controls on the upright handles. The folding system also makes it very easy to store the 7.0 AT when not in use.

  • Key Features: Cushioned 60-inch deck, 15% incline, 3.0 horsepower motor, rapid-charging USB port
  • Training Apps: Connects to third-party apps, such as FitBit, Zwift and Peloton
  • Audio: Bluetooth audio capabilities, built-in speakers
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, three-year parts, one-year labor

BUY: Horizon 7.0 AT, $999

Best Treadmill with Interactive Programming - ProForm PRO 2000

ProForm PRO 2000

ProForm PRO 2000 is a formidable value purchase if you're looking to expand your home gym with a high-tech, durable and competitive treadmill. This treadmill features the iFIT training platform, which houses more than 16,000 workout options suitable for all fitness levels. In purchasing the ProForm PRO 2000, you get a free 30-day trial of an iFIT Family Membership. Owners can also opt to utilize only the 50 onboard workout programs. However, the on-demand trainer-led workouts via iFIT are hard to pass up because they take out the stress of having to plan an effective workout every day. Plus, the ProForm automatically shifts speed and inclines or declines to match the iFIT workouts, so all the thinking is done for you.

The ProForm features a 10-inch touchscreen, built-in fans, Bluetooth speakers, custom Google Maps routes, oh and it’s a folding treadmill! The integration of Google Maps means you can literally train anywhere in the world (virtually of course), and the ProForm matches the topography of your chosen route.

  • Key Features: Cushioned 60-inch belt, -3% decline to 12% incline, 0-12mph, quick-adjust buttons
  • Training Apps: iFIT
  • Audio: Bluetooth connectivity with dual speakers
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, two-year parts, one-year labor

BUY: ProForm 2000, $1,499

Best Space-Saving Treadmill - Echelon Stride

Echelon Stride

Living in a small space no longer prevents you from getting in substantial workouts at home with the Echelon Stride treadmill. This compact treadmill easily folds up to a mere 69.3 inches by 31 inches by 10.5 inches, which makes for very easy storage. Also, at just 156 pounds, it’s easy to move around your home. While the ease of folding and its compact frame make this an attractive treadmill for most urban dwellers, it should be noted that you might make sacrifices in other areas. Let’s explore that, shall we?

The Stride has an incline up to 10% and is fueled by a 1.7 horsepower motor, which does not support heavy training for sustained periods. With a running surface of 20 inches by 55 inches, the Stride is a bit smaller than competitors and not ideally suited for really tall runners. That being said, we can’t ignore the value that a space-saver brings to many people. Plus, the Stride does offer a myriad of other quality attributes, such as access to interactive and engaging programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the purchase of the Echelon United app, an 18.5-inch screen displaying digital metrics and a frame-balanced elastomer for impact absorption.

  • Key Features: Auto-fold capability, integrated handlebar heart rate sensors, 10% incline, 0-12 mph, 1.7 horsepower motor, vertical and horizontal transport wheels
  • Training Apps: Echelon United app
  • Audio: None
  • Warranty: 12-month limited parts and labor

BUY: Echelon Stride, From $1,299.99

Best Manual Treadmill - TrueForm Trainer

TrueForm Trainer

The TrueForm Trainer is one of the best manual treadmills on the market. The U-shaped running platform relies on the runner for power, not a motor, so it moves as fast as you do. Plus, it reinforces proper running form by compelling you to strike mid-foot. The Trainer is built with thick, hard plastic rather than heavy duty metal like its big sister, the TrueForm Runner (and is part of the reason it retails for $2K less).

Most curved trainers boast a solid 67 to 71 inches in length, but the Trainer measures 64 inches. For runners that are taller or that have longer strides, this could be a factor. However, the space you save with the shorter running platform is a bonus. Also, the polyurethane-reinforced responsive belt technology (RBT) and molded thermoplastic elastomer tread reportedly creates a more natural surface, so it might actually feel like you’re running outside. So the shorter running deck isn't really that prohibitive to most individuals.

The TrueForm Trainer display shows pace, speed, distance and time, and while you can set your time or distance goals, metric junkies won’t get much from the TrueForm Trainer display. There’s no pace, no split times or lap options.

  • Key Features: Curved shape prompts better running technique, no motor, polyurethane-reinforced responsive belt technology (RBT) and molded thermoplastic elastomer tread
  • Training Apps: None
  • Audio: None
  • Warranty: One-year for labor and five-year for frame, parts and components

BUY: TrueForm Trainer, $3,995

Things to Consider When Buying a Treadmill for Runners

You've decided you want to expand your home gym with a treadmill, or perhaps this is the first purchase you're making for a home workout space. Before you sign on the dotted line and pick a treadmill, let us walk you through some key factors to consider.

Price Range

There are many budget treadmills on the market, but buyer beware: Go too cheap and you’ll be looking at a treadmill you can’t even use because it’s broken. On the other end of the spectrum, high-end treadmills might have things you don’t really need for your running experience. A powerful motor is great, but it quickly ups the price, which might be unnecessary for someone who just wants to walk.

Fitness Goals

Before you commit to a home treadmill, you first need to identify your health and fitness goals. If you're an avid runner looking to compete, you need the functionality of a high-performing treadmill, which would include a motor of 3.0 horsepower or more and a max speed of at least 12 miles per hour.

If you simply enjoy running recreationally, you can save a little money by opting for a budget-friendly treadmill with a lower CHP motor or one with a top speed of 10 miles per hour or lower. Beginners especially may not want the decline and incline settings that come on more expensive treadmills (though it could be something to consider as you grow as a runner).

Training Apps

Are you looking for a home-use treadmill that provides captivating workouts beyond just running or walking? If so, you want to look at high-end treadmills that have immersive technology, such as iFIT or Passport Virtual Active Technology. These programs offer a plethora of exercise options for any fitness junkie, like interval training, HIIT workouts and more.

If you're a loyal user of iFIT, Zwift or Fitbit (for example), you'll want to pick a treadmill that communicates and supports these platforms. You can always continue to use your mobile device to sync other fitness apps, but it's really nice to have one platform logging all your workouts and storing them in one place.

Storage and Portability

Sometimes, size really does matter. But all kidding aside, the space for your treadmill is a huge factor in picking the right one. Small spaces dictate the need for compact machines with a smaller running platform and easy folding capabilities. Many of today’s treadmills do have a folding option, but few are easy to actually fold. Be sure to look at the weight of the treadmill, the dimensions both when folded and not, and to see if it comes with transport wheels. The last thing you want in an apartment is a giant treadmill that becomes a drying rack for your laundry rather than a workout tool.

Extra Features

Extra features on treadmills range from console fans and Bluetooth speakers to tablet holders, USB ports and TVs that can stream Netflix. These features could be worth the extra money if you need some external motivation to exercise regularly. But if the bells and whistles don't excite you, narrow your search by focusing on motors, running platforms and warranty information.

Warranty

Finally, knowing the warranty of the machine is another important factor. Even the best treadmills out there can have parts break or get damaged, so while many buyers may glaze over the warranty, we believe it's an important factor to consider. Most treadmills have lifetime warranties on frames and motors. The biggest difference in warranties usually falls in the parts and electronics department, as well as labor. Most reliable treadmills come with at least a one-year warranty on parts while lower price point models may only offer 90 days. Labor is usually included for up to a year on most mid-range or higher-cost treadmills, so make sure you read the fine print before buying.

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