The machine takes some time to assemble.
The Bowflex BXT116 compromises nothing. The machine weighs almost 300 pounds, sure, but it is also able to support up to 375 pounds, so even the biggest people can use this treadmill to lose weight. The apps and adaptive workout programs will facilitate that, while the SoftDrop™ system will enable easy vertical storage.
0.5 - 12 MPH
Electronic (16 positions)
Time, Distance, Speed, Calories, Heart Rate, Sprint, Intervals, Recover, Incline position
Compatible with JRNY™ app and Explore the World™ app (built-in Bluetooth), ComfortTech™ impact-absorption system, SoftDrop™ folding technology, Built-in fan (3 speeds), USB port for charging devices, Heart rate head strap included
20" x 60"
84.6" x 36.3" x 55.2"
15 years (frame and drive motor), 5 years (mechanical parts and electronics)
While the tablet slot holds the gadget, the USB port lets you recharge them. The flywheels minimize vibrations and make sure the platform remains smooth. The easy-assist folding deck enables vertical storage. The buttons on the handrails make the model's settings accessible without reaching.
The handrails are pretty short.
The Sole F63 will be able to challenge experienced runners and newbies looking to lose weight. With Bluetooth speakers, an integrated tablet holder, and cooling fans, you can make the experience as comfortable/uncomfortable as you want. Switch between 15 incline positions and you'll see that even walking can produce big-time results.
0.5 - 12 MPH
Electronic (15 positions)
Speed, Incline, Time, Distance Traveled, Calories, Pulse, Pace
Built-in Bluetooth (compatible with fitness apps), Bluetooth audio speakers, SafetyLock™ deck design, Cushion flex whisper deck, Built-in fan, USB port for charging devices, Heart rate head strap included
20" x 60"
82" x 35" x 87"
Lifetime (frame and drive motor), 3 years (mechanical parts and electronics)
The FlexSelect™ cushioning system lets you engage dampeners, softening the impact on joints. That said, you'll also be able to turn the surface firm and rigid to mimic what you're experiencing when running outdoors on asphalt. You can choose between 20 programs that include workouts for beginners and veterans.
The heart monitor doesn't seem to work very well.
The NordicTrack NTL17915 will provide the motivation you need to start running daily. The iFit app will give you recommendations and guidelines to follow, with voice assistance pushing you to achieve the most ambitious goals. The price is more than modest relative to the model's abundant features.
1 - 10 MPH
Electronic (10 positions)
Speed, Incline, Time, Distance Traveled, Calories, Pulse, The Matrix
Compatible with iFit Coach app (built-in Bluetooth), SpaceSaver™ design with EasyLift™ assist system, FlexSelect™ cushioning
20" x 55"
73.5" x 36" x 54"
10 years (frame), 2 years (parts)
The soft drop mechanism ensures safe and hassle-free unfolding. The machine's adopting transportation wheels that enable easy relocation, so you can move the treadmill between different rooms with ease. The bottle holders are pretty generous and can easily accommodate most cups and even smartphones.
The model's able to support only 220 pounds.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 costs less than even most budget models yet packs enough to tussle with above-average machines. The shock-absorbing deck will minimize the impact on legs that joints, so you can run with less fatigue compared to running outdoors on hard asphalt. You can adjust the speed and pause/stop the machine using the buttons on the handrails.
0.5 - 9 MPH
Manual (3 levels)
Time, Distance, Speed, Calories, Heart Rate
Safety lock function, Power saving function, Soft drop folding system with transport wheels
15.75" x 48.8"
62.2" x 26.8" x 47.3"
3 years (frame), 6 months (parts)
The machine makes a lot of noise.
The XTERRA Fitness TR150 will provide the support system that will allow beginners to build consistent workout habits and experienced athletes to challenge themselves at home. With the deck measuring 16 x 50 inches, you'll have enough running surface to run without feeling constrained. The settings and programs are more than sufficient relative to the price tag.
0.5 - 10 MPH
Manual (3 levels)
Time, Distance, Speed, Calories, Heart Rate
XTRA Soft Cushioned Deck technology, Easy-fold deck design
16" x 50"
63.4" x 28.75" x 51.4"
Lifetime (frame), 1 year (motor), 3 months (parts)
SoftDrop™ Folding and ComfortTech™ Impact-Absorption
The Bowflex BXT116 is huge. The machine weighs 280 pounds, so it will take you some time to assemble this treadmill. But even with the elevated weight and price, this model's easily among the best we've looked at. Plus, the SoftDrop™ design, with its gas shock folding system, offers gentle descent and lets you store the machine vertically, saving space.
You can start with the built-in motivation system featuring an integrated calorie-focused burn rate console that tells you how many calories you've burned to push you to go further and faster in less time. Sure, that's pretty standard treadmill functionality but what's not standard is the 7.5-inch LCD screen with rich and vibrant colors and 9 "push-and-go" workout programs that anyone can follow. Besides that, you've real-time custom programming that lets you create and save your own workouts on the fly. The gel buttons that allow you to access custom programming are soft, responsive, and easy to navigate, keeping the controls within reach.
We can go on and on but all these attributes would not be worth much without the right support system. To put it differently, treadmills are only as good as the deck they're fitted with. On that note, the model's adopting this spacious deck with the ComfortTech™ impact-absorption system that provides cushioning and unparalleled support, so you'll be feeling less you're running on a treadmill and more like you're running on grass.
With these high-end machines, software matters as much as hardware. To wit, cue the JRNY™ app. Using this app, you'll be able to access adaptive workouts that will be automatically adjusting as you improve, real-time coaching that will be guiding you towards the most ambitious running goals, and various immersive environments to explore on the screen as you run. The app will also give you in-depth analytics as well as virtual rewards, making the grind less arduous.
Not unlike most treadmills, the machine will let you choose any speed between 0.5 and 12 mph, so you can switch between walking, jogging, running, and sprinting. There's nothing new about incline adjustments but most models do not give you 16 positions to work with, letting you elevate the deck as high as 15%.
Sometimes, the temperature inside is too high to run but you have to anyway. When that's the case, you can use the fan that the model's housing and choose between 3 different speeds to make the run that much more bearable.
When all is said and done, as long as you're willing to spend big bucks, the Bowflex BXT116 trumps most treadmills from almost all perspectives.
Static-Free Motion with no Vibrations
The Sole F63 is this mean, streamlined machine that will give you the tough workout you demand at the price that you'll love. First, the treadmill will last, which's great since even the most affordable models do not cost 50 bucks, so you do not want to be replacing them every few years. On that note, the heavy-duty frame will last, easily able to support 325 pounds. Meanwhile, the premium rollers will be creating static-free motion, also extending the machine's lifespan.
Sure, even when compared to most treadmills, the model's not that compact, measuring 82 x 35 x 87 inches. But, with an easy-assist folding deck, you can raise the machine and store it vertically with ease and convenience.
Now, as much as these factors contribute too, what's most important is that you're able to run on this 'mill with comfort and confidence. To that end, the machine adopts the so-called Cushion Flex Whisper deck that reduces impact to joints by ~40% so that even people with weak hills and various joint issues can run as much as they want without facing negative long-term consequences. Besides that, you also have flywheels that keep the surface smooth and vibration-free, which means you can run without worrying about stability.
From Speakers to Cooling Fans
What we've laid out above are massive solutions that define this product. That being said, there are also less significant features that separate the machine from most treadmills as much as the above-mentioned solutions. First off, you've Bluetooth audio speakers that will be blasting music from any Bluetooth-enabled device so that you're not forced to use headphones at home. Second, using the integrated tablet holder, you'll be able to watch shows as you're running without worrying about dropping the tablet/smartphone.
You even have this USB port that allows you to recharge these gadgets while running and using them, which's great since you do not want to delay your workout because you've forgotten to recharge your phone. Besides that, the handlebars are adjustable and easy to configure, enabling customized placement. To add more, the model's even equipped with cooling fans, so you can even run when it is 90 degrees Fahrenheit inside and running is the last thing you want to be doing.
Before wrapping this one up, in addition to standard speed settings that let you select any speed from 0.5 to 12 mph, the machine offers 15 incline positions, so you do not even have to run to make the workout more than challenging enough.
In short, the Sole F63 will be the sole difference between you gaining excess weight and leading a sedentary lifestyle and sticking to an effective and efficient workout routine that will transform your body as long as you're willing to put in work.
What customers say about this product
Trading Blows with Premium Models
Budget cardio machines usually have to make sacrifices across the board to compete with their much more expensive but also more versatile and capable competition. But, from where we're standing, the NordicTrack NTL17915 matches high-end treadmills without compromising much. The heart monitor doesn't seem to work very well, which is unfortunate. The machine also does not go above 10 mph, so you'll be able to run fast but won't be able to sprint. Aside from these not necessarily negligible but also not huge flaws, this model's as good as cardio machines that cost twice as much.
First things first, this treadmill is equipped with 1.9-inch precision-machined and balanced non-flex rear rollers that reduce the wear and tear on the tread belt and extends the motor's and the drive system's lifespan. To add more, despite the machine weighing 203 pounds, the EasyLift Assist telescoping system lets you lift and fold the deck alone so that you can move the massive exercise equipment piece to enable space-saving storage.
In some ways, the model's even outperforming high-end cardio machines, like the program variety that includes 20 different programs, whereas models within this price range are normally limited to ~10 and premium models cap at around 15. Better yet, the FlexSelect™ cushioning will give you this soft surface that's easy on the joints, not unlike premium treadmills but the difference here is that you can also make the surface more firm and rigid to emulate the road-running experience.
Run Throughout the World from Home
The 5-inch backlit screen and the console are pretty huge, tracking progress as you perform. The machine's not adopting various settings but it is compatible with the iFit app. With this app, you receive access to the biggest workout library. You'll also be able to run throughout the world with Google Maps, compete with friends, and track the workout data so analyze the progress you've made.
To the sides, you'll find generous storage compartments that you can use as cup holders, phone holders, and anything in-between. Less to the sides, between these slots and the console, the machine hides two sizable speakers that will blast any connect you connect via the Bluetooth module or the AUX port.
To bring it home, despite the modest price tag, the NordicTrack NTL17915 is almost as feature-rich and capable as cardio machines that approach and even exceed the $1,500 territory. It is even able to support up to 300 pounds.
What customers say about this product
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400
Enough to get the Blood Pumping
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 costs nothing compared to most treadmills, even so-called budget models usually come at twice the price. Needless to say, considering that you can buy this machine for ~400 bucks, you cannot be expecting the same tech and feature range that you'd expect from cardio machines that cost way above $1000.
The model's only able to support 220 pounds, so some customers will have to lose some weight without its help before they can hop on the deck. On the upside, its weight caps at 103 pounds, so expecting much more than 220 pounds load capacity would not be reasonable. On the same upside, the machine measures 62.2 x 26.8 x 47.3 inches, much more compact than most cardio machines yet offering enough deck space to let you walk, jog, and run without feeling constrained.
The deck will not let you sprint though because the available speed starts at 0.5 mph but caps at 9 mph, more than enough to get the blood pumping but, again, not quite enough to dash at maximum speed. While that's somewhat disappointing (but understandable since budget and even most mid-range models seldom go above 9-10 mph), there's nothing disappointing about the handrails that come equipped with control keys, letting you start, stop, and adjust the speed without reaching for the console. Plus, when you press the stop button once, you're pausing the run, meaning that the current data and running stats remain intact, letting you get back to the program after taking a short break.
Standard Commodities Too
Despite the machine's space-saving design, you have the same commodities here that people have come to expect from standard treadmills. For one, the model's fitted with two sizable cup/bottle holders that can also accommodate most smartphones, remote controls, various items that you need within hand's reach. You also have this nice little bracket where you can put smartphones and tablets to watch movies, different series, even YouTube as you're running.
Running is no rocket science but the machine's equipped with nine programs too, so you can follow these programs to make sure you're achieving the results you want to achieve. When you're done running, you can start dropping the same via the controls on the handrails. You can also use the emergency stop clip and bring the 'mill to an immediate stop.
Bottom line, provided you weigh less than 220 pounds and do not feel like spending big bucks on a treadmill but want to be able to run at home anyway, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 is the machine for you.
Challenging Program Variation
The XTERRA Fitness TR150 also costs next to nothing, not the biggest compliment you can pay any product but the one we'll start with regardless. You see, cardio machines within this price bracket (~400 bucks) are normally quite basic and not that impressive from most perspectives, starting with logistics and ending with functionality. That's not how we'd describe this 'mill though. First off, the model's compact and lightweight, measuring 63.4 x 28.75 x 51.4 inches, a little more than the treadmill above but, capping at 97 pounds, even more lightweight than that same machine. Besides, the increased size gives you the 16- x 50-inch running surface, so there's enough room to accommodate most runners. To add more, despite the 'mill weighing less than 100 pounds, it is able to support 250 pounds, so even people on the heavy side can use this exercise equipment piece to lose weight.
Sure, you can see that the machine looks different from premium models, looking at the console, for instance. There's nothing necessarily wrong with it but the buttons look pretty cheap and odd, we've no idea why you'd put standard speed adjustment buttons and then above them separate nine buttons to switch between different speed settings (sure, you can use the ones above to go from 1 to 9 mph in an instant but most people should probably avoid doing that).
On the bright side, the machine is able to reach 10 mph, somewhere between sprinting and running, so you'll have ample opportunity to break big-time sweat within minutes. There's also generous program variation, with 12 pre-set programs incorporating incline and speed adjustments to make the workout less monotonous but still challenging.
Maximizing Impact Absorption
Running on treadmills is not always comfortable but, in addition to the large running surface, the deck adopts this XTRASoft deck cushioning tech that gives you multiple cushioning points throughout the deck support system to maximize impact absorption and make the surface easy on the legs.
The five-inch LCD screen does not look particularly fancy but it is able to display time, speed, distance, calories, and heart rate (provided you're holding the hand pulse grip sensors on the handrails), which is every bit of information that you need when running, nothing more and nothing less.
Last but not least, the easy-fold deck design will let you fold an already compact machine within seconds and store it even inside relatively small closets. To sum this up, the XTERRA Fitness TR150 exceeds even the most ambitious expectations, so you can start your fitness journey today with all the support you need but without paying through the nose.
What Is a Treadmill?
One of the most popular pieces of sports equipment widely used between enthusiastic sportsmen as well as professionals is a treadmill, a device designed for walking and running while staying in place. It's not surprising as treadmills offer plenty of health benefits in addition to aiding in building a beautiful body shape. First, it boosts metabolism encouraging a more effective fat burn. Second, it also helps in improving blood circulation and training your respiratory system by increasing the heartbeat rate and pumping your lungs. Third, it's safe virtually for everyone as it doesn't put a lot of load on your joints and back. And finally, jogging elevates our mood and inspires high spirits, thus greatly promoting our well-being. So, if you weren't jogging before, it's time to get started right now. You don't even need to go out for that. With one of the treadmills we've handpicked for you here, you can jog anytime you're up to it in the privacy of your own home.
Another device we'd like to draw your attention is an elliptical machine. Just like a treadmill, it's used for active exercises simulating running. The difference is only in the load that's put on your spinal cord, making it a better choice for overweight enthusiasts worried about muscle strains. Check them out too and choose what suits you better.
What Features to Compare
There are 2 types of fitness treadmills - manual and electric. When it comes to manual ones, all is plain and simple. You control at which pace you run by, well, actually running - the faster you walk/run, the quicker the treadmill belt will move. The downside is, the moment you get tired and decide to make a stop, the speed of the treadmill belt will drop too, thus affecting your workout results. On the positive side, these fitness machines are usually rather inexpensive and can be easily moved from place to place, making them an excellent choice for those who seek portable equipment in a budget-price range.
As for electric units, these are driven by a power motor and can go as high as 10-12 mph for home-use machines and 25 mph for high-end commercial equipment When choosing an electric treadmill, it's recommended to look in the direction of models fitted with a 2.2HP motor or more potent - they will not only be able to hold a greater user weight but also ensure smoother and more stable operation. It's also worth checking out how many inclines and other adjustable settings are included in the machine as they will directly affect the intensity of workouts.
Although treadmills aren't designed in the same way, most of them consist of the same elements, namely, a metal frame, running belt, screen, and handlebars. Speaking of the running belt, pay attention to its size; a belt that measures 15" х 50" is considered optimal. Also worth checking out is the presence of shock absorbers which are used to dampen noises.
When purchasing a treadmill, you should pay attention to the special features. To let you keep track of your results, treadmills are designed with LED screens displaying information on a distance you've passed, speed rate, time, burnt calories, and more. Also, treadmills can include such functions as a heart rate measurement, MP3-player, and various workout programs, adding to the efficiency of exercising. Safety should not be overlooked too - it's important that a treadmill you choose features a stop clip, allowing you to pause the machine if a pace becomes too fast for you and you want to take a break.
If you're buying a treadmill for home use, check its size and make sure it fits in your room. Most treadmills come fitted with wheels allowing you to move them when needed. The working surface of such models can be lifted and attached to the vertical pillar. You can also find foldable models, enabling even more compact storage when the machine is not in use. Finally, we recommend checking out the deck of a treadmill - those that have some kind of cushion put less load on your joints, thus minimizing injuries and strains during workouts.
Treadmills vs Running Outside
What we have here is an age-old question that cardioheads have been debating with almost the same fervor that they display towards running. The issue here is that, debate all you want, there are obvious upsides and downsides to both approaches and there's no reason not to switch between them when the opportunity is there.
Weather conditions? Temperature constraints? Treadmills, unless you put them outside, are not about that elements life. When running outdoors, the temperature is seldom as comfortable as you'd want it to be. When it is too hot, you're risking dehydration and heat exhaustion. When the opposite's the case, sure, the body temperature will rise as you're running but, even with gloves, hands can get cold and uncomfortable fast. Besides, rains and snows can make running downright dangerous. To add more, you do not have to worry about wearing sunscreen and dressing to match the temperature when you're running indoors.
Marathons are no joke, hence why most people, even experienced athletes, prepare before running them. The issue is that you probably do not have access to varying training routes next to you, with hills and whatnot. Using treadmills though, you can simulate certain race conditions, which means that these machines can also be used to prepare for hilly marathons.
Even with smartwatches and activity trackers, controlling the pace is hard. With cardio machines, it is the easiest task in the world. Choose the speed setting you want and you know that you'll be running at, say, 8 miles per hour and not even a smidge faster or slower.
You can listen to music and podcasts when running outside, sure. But, when running on 'mills, you can even watch movies and page through magazines, meaning that these machines provide more multi-tasking opportunities.
Most people's ankles and knees are already fragile because we do not show them to love and care that they deserve. The treadmills' smooth, cushioned surface offers shock absorption that pavements are unable to match, which means that the stress on joints is reduced.
Treadmills are not cheap (though we've reviewed budget models that will only cost you ~400 bucks). Even gym memberships that give you temporary access to treadmills are not that cheap either. Running outdoors is free though. Sure, you'd probably want to purchase marathon shoes but you do not necessarily need them to run.
You cannot go downhill. Even the least inexpensive cardio machines these days allow you to incline the deck and simulate running up the hill. But these machines do not decline, so you cannot run downhill, meaning that you cannot train anterior tibialis muscles using treadmills.
They will not let you make turns. Lateral agility is something that even adults should work on improving and since cardio machines cannot incorporate turns, you cannot use them to do that.
Even with movies and TV series, running indoors is usually less fun than running outside, making the workout more boring when you do not switch things up from time to time.
1. How to Choose Your Running Treadmill? Decathlon.
2. How to Buy a Treadmill, Dummies.
3. HOW TO BUY CARDIO EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR HOME, DICK'S Sporting Goods.
4. Fast Track to Buying a Treadmill, ConsumerReports. January 2016.
5. Gregory J. Florez Choose the Right Treadmill for You, Precor.
6. Treadmill Buying Guide, Treadmill Reviews.
7. Wendy Bumgardner How to Buy the Best Treadmill - 8 Points to Consider, Verywell. February 09, 2016.
8. Paige Waehner Before You Buy a Treadmill, Verywell. June 30, 2016.
9. TREADMILLS, RUNNER'S WORLD.
10. All About Exercise Machines, WebMD.