Running is one of the best all-around exercises for people, regardless of age. It elevates the heart rate making your body burn calories. It works the lower body and core and can help improve your breathing.
But running daily is easier said than done because the consistent pressure on the joints from uneven and rugged terrain can be too much for some people. Nowadays, running at home more comfortably is easy if you have one of the best treadmills for running. The following reviews will showcase which running treadmills might best suit your needs.
- Best Treadmills for Running: Reviews
- NordicTrack T Series Treadmills
- Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise Model SF-T7603
- Echelon Stride Treadmills
- Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill – Runner’s Marathon Treadmill
- NordicTrack Commercial Series + 30-Day iFit Membership
- Cardio 80i Fold Flat Incline Treadmill – Compact Runner’s Treadmill
- Assault Fitness Air Runner
- Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict
Best Treadmills for Running: Reviews
NordicTrack T Series Treadmills
The NordicTrack T Series Treadmills are bestsellers and fan-favorites due to their reliable design and versatility.
This treadmill is a solid choice for someone consistently active or people in recovery. The 10% incline controls allow a wide range of workout setups that imitate real-world conditions.
Its design is a real space-saver and excellent for users who don’t have much floor space. The treadmill is 73.5 inches long, 36 inches wide, and 54 inches tall. However, the SpaceSaver design and the EasyLift Assist feature make folding easy. This is helpful given the treadmill’s 203-pound weight.
The NordicTrack T Series Treadmills is easily one of the best treadmills for running in terms of build quality. The steel alloy construction is sturdy, and the folding mechanism holds up to rigorous daily use. In addition, the structural integrity of the treadmill gives it a 300-pound user capacity, making it ideal for a wide range of users.
Another strong selling point is the 3HP corded electric motor with a 10 miles per hour speed rating. Combined with the 10% incline control, this configuration can put the user through some grueling workouts for excellent results.
But what happens if a beginner jumps on this treadmill? This is where it gets even better. For starters, the treadmill comes with a 30-day iFIT membership. The membership gives users access to an online workout videos and programs library.
The iFIT experience is interactive and lets users stream live studio classes or let trainers control their treadmill to put users through custom workouts. Of course, you can also use the treadmill without an iFIT account if you skip the registration.
One of the best things about the NordicTrack T Series treadmill is its versatility. The 20 x 55-inch tread belt provides sufficient leg and elbow room for various workout programs. In addition, its SMART-Response motor allows users to switch seamlessly between endurance, speed, and interval training routines and get a good workout.
Although the NordicTrack T Series has excellent treadmills, this model isn’t suitable for everyone. For example, taller users might need more than a 20 x 55-inch running area. In addition, the 10% incline isn’t enough for high-intensity running programs, as it’s more of an entry-level to midrange configuration.
- Space saver design
- SMART-response motor
- High weight capacity
- Features 20 built-in programs
- Budget-friendly option
- Not ideal for tall users
- Not enough incline for high-intensity workouts
Keep reading: How to Start Running When Overweight: Tips for Beginners
Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise Model SF-T7603
If you’re low on floor space or simply want a more compact treadmill for running, the Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise model SF-T7603 is excellent. Its size and simple configuration make it one of the best treadmills for running designed for novice to intermediate users.
This gray treadmill made from durable alloy steel can look great in any home gym. It comes with a corded electric motor that enables users to switch speeds between half a mile and 9 miles per hour. This speed range is enough for novice to intermediate users who want a casual running workout that won’t strain their joints.
The SF-T7603 goes above and beyond to protect the user’s joints. The built-in cushioning minimizes the risk of injuries. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a real-world experience. Thanks to the three incline levels, you can simulate outdoor terrain well enough to get a sense of workout variety. Besides, the included workout programs are well thought out by the manufacturer.
In terms of high-tech features, this treadmill comes with a small but readable LCD monitor. You also have access to standard pulse grips. Thus, you can use the monitor to track time, distance, and pulse during the workout.
The 49 x 16-inch tread belt might not seem like a lot. But if you’re shorter or of average height, this can be more than enough to run a few miles in the comfort of your home. Besides, the fold-up design makes the treadmill smaller in seconds if you’re worried about storage space.
Although built to last, this isn’t the sturdiest of the best treadmills for running. The maximum user weight allowed is 220 pounds. The treadmill’s slimmer design indicates that the model is aimed at individuals with a thinner frame.
The SF-T7603 treadmill offers sufficient adjustability and accurate monitoring for at-home running or walking workouts. Its 2.2HP motor is powerful enough for up to 9 miles per hour with 220-pound users on the tread belt. But its most build-defining feature remains the compact design and folding mechanism that makes it a true space saver for small apartments.
Advanced fitness enthusiasts won’t find this treadmill challenging enough. The design isn’t versatile. Instead, it’s aimed specifically at smaller men and women who don’t mind running on a narrower belt and at lower speeds.
- Reliable 2.2HP motor
- Compact and stable design
- Accurate monitoring
- Built-in workout programs
- Good shock absorption
- Falls off for intermediate and above users
- Limited incline capabilities
Echelon Stride Treadmills
Echelon Stride Treadmills can satisfy anyone from beginners to advanced users looking to run in the comfort of their homes. The Stride treadmill is the standard model and one of the top Echelon sellers.
First, every Echelon Stride treadmill comes with a 30-day trial enabling users to test the Echelon Premier Membership. Of course, you don’t need a membership to use the treadmill, but having access to thousands of fitness classes can help you be more proactive and motivated during your workouts.
In terms of quality, the Echelon Stride Treadmills are among the best treadmills for running, hands down. In addition, Echelon pays close attention to safety standards. The treadmill even has a security bar that prevents the belt from pulling objects underneath that can hurt you and damage the machine.
The design is modern, and like most top-of-the-line home treadmills, it folds flat for easy storage. Echelon uses its proprietary auto-fold technology to make the folding process easy for the user.
Both Stride and Stride-S models come with 20 x 55-inch running decks and 3HP motors. The treadmills top out at a 10% incline and offer speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. You should also know that the models have the same 300-pound weight capacity and many pre-programmed workouts.
These treadmills are slightly more interactive than others as they have additional features. They have LED readouts, speakers, bottle holders, a smartphone holder, a tablet holder, and Bluetooth technology.
One of the significant differences is the deck suspension systems, with the Stride-S model being more advanced and durable. The other difference is the 10-inch HD touchscreen integrated into the Stride-S treadmill. But you don’t need that to have amazing workouts on the Echelon Stride treadmills.
The Echelon Stride treadmills are resilient and powerful enough to give even advanced users a decent workout, which is more than enough for an at-home treadmill. In addition, the premium cushioning and suspension systems reduce joint pains and allow users to go through longer workouts.
Despite their foldable designs, the Stride and Stride-S treadmills are heavy at 180 pounds. As a result, they’re not easy to relocate for every user, making them better suited for a permanent installation in a home gym.
- Wide running deck
- Advanced monitoring features
- Robust build
- Safety bar included
- Multiple device and bottle holders
Heavy and inconvenient to move
Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill – Runner’s Marathon Treadmill
This Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill might be your best choice if you’re looking for a commercial-grade home treadmill. Built by 3G Cardio, the Runner’s Marathon Treadmill is a heavy-duty piece of machinery for intense workouts.
Why is this a commercial-grade treadmill? It’s simple. The treadmill features an oversized running platform measuring 22 x 62 inches for starters. This provides more than enough room for speedrunners and taller users.
The treadmill also features Ortho Flex Shock Suspension, which provides users a smoother and quieter experience. This can increase their endurance, minimize joint pains, and enable hour-long intense workouts.
Furthermore, the Runner’s Marathon Treadmill supports users up to 400 pounds. Additionally, its 4HP motor facilitates a fast acceleration of up to 12 miles per hour in 18 seconds. This makes it an excellent choice for HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts and interval programs.
The treadmill has more than enough to please novice to intermediate users. But it really caters to advanced users with its 15% incline control. A higher incline is ideal for tough endurance training, and the powerful motor and quick belt speed make these intense workouts possible.
In terms of monitoring features, the Runner’s Marathon Treadmill goes a step further than most at-home treadmills. It comes with a wireless strap that monitors the user’s heart rate. This accessory is a quality of life feature that will free up your hands and enable you to run naturally while still monitoring essential metrics.
The console displays your heart rate and allows workout customization and one-touch tweaks to the speed and elevation. In addition, it will let you choose pre-programmed workouts and fitness tests and play music from your iPhone using the built-in speakers.
When used in a residential setting, the Runner’s Marathon Treadmill also enjoys limited lifetime coverage for the frame and motor, 10 years on parts, and 2 years for in-home labor.
This treadmill is as sturdy as they come. It has superior stability and a more powerful motor. Providing more incline control and a commercial-grade shock absorption system can be used for serious workouts, giving it a clear advantage over midrange treadmills that can quickly stop presenting a challenge for users.
The Runner’s Marathon Treadmill isn’t foldable, making it slightly inconvenient for some home users. As a result, it’s only suitable for a permanent installation that can be hard to achieve without a proper home gym setup.
- Superior weight capacity and stability
- Powerful 4HP for home use
- Commercial-grade build quality and performance
- Up to 15% incline
- Suitable for HIIT and long workouts
- Heavy with a massive frame
- Not ideal outside a dedicated home gym
NordicTrack Commercial Series + 30-Day iFit Membership
The NordicTrack Commercial Series features some of the best treadmills for running you can buy for home use. The Commercial lineup has three models, 2450, 1750, and 2950. This review will focus on the Commercial 2450 midrange model, which has the best price-to-performance ratio for home use.
As with most NordicTrack treadmills, the 2450 model comes with a free 30-day iFIT membership trial. This is a great selling point for novice users who need help designing their workout programs or want specific guidance. In addition, this is a family membership, meaning up to 5 users can try it out.
The treadmill features a 14-inch HD touchscreen that makes monitoring metrics easy. It also helps create more interactive workout sessions, especially when joining live classes. The immersion goes even deeper as iFIT is known for letting trainers configure the users’ treadmills for specific workout routines. This may be an added bonus for less tech-savvy users.
Furthermore, the 2450 model comes with one-touch incline control that changes the elevation between -3 and 15%. This elevation range is enough to simulate real-world terrain and challenge even advanced users.
Although the 2450 model is part of the NordicTrack Commercial Series, it’s still a foldable treadmill. This means it features the SpaceSaver design and EasyLift Assist system, enabling compact vertical storage. That said, keep in mind that the treadmill weighs over 300 pounds, so it might not be the easiest to lift for smaller users.
The 4HP motor can support speeds of up to 12 miles per hour, including at a 15% incline setting, and much heavier users. Another notable highlight is the 22 x 60-inch tread belt that offers ample leg and elbow room.
If you’re a fan of longer workouts, the Runners Flex cushioning will minimize joint strain and allow you to run longer and get a better cardio workout.
Durability shouldn’t be an issue either. The massive weight, strong frame, and imposing 81.2 x 39.2 x 69.9-inch dimensions make this a robust treadmill.
The higher incline percentage of the 2450 model makes it a more versatile treadmill that can cater to the needs of many users. And the unique vertical storage system seems to solve many of the problems other commercial treadmills have in occupying too much floor space.
Shipping and installing the NordicTrack Commercial Series 2450 Treadmill can sometimes be challenging. However, perhaps the biggest drawback is the iFIT membership. While not mandatory, not having it will limit the functionality of the 14-inch HD touchscreen.
- Smart vertical storage system
- Ample leg and elbow room
- Built-in 14-inch HD touchscreen
- 15% incline and -3% decline
- 4HP motor
iFIT membership required to unlock its full potential
Cardio 80i Fold Flat Incline Treadmill – Compact Runner’s Treadmill
The 80i is one of the top running treadmills from Arizona-based manufacturer 3G Cardio. It has a stylish silver finish and a strong frame and displays an almost commercial-like performance.
The 80i Fold Flat Incline Treadmill is a folding treadmill designed with casual and experienced runners in mind. Its design is a true space-saver that allows multiple storage options. You can store it vertically or horizontally and roll it out of the way until your next workout session.
While it has a sleek appearance, the 80i treadmill is a beast. It can support users up to 325 pounds and comes with a 3HP motor with an 11 miles per hour speed rating. It already has specifications that generally exceed most running treadmills for home use that often max out at 10 miles per hour.
The running belt is also satisfying. It offers an 18.5 x 58-inch running area with ample elbow room, thanks to the good handlebar positioning. Another notable highlight is the one-touch speed control. This makes it easy to adjust the intensity on the go. The same one-touch adjustability applies to the incline, which goes up to 15%, a decent number for residential running treadmills.
If you want to get a feel for the 80i, the built-in programs will help you ease in. But as you grow more comfortable with the 80i, you can create custom training routines to increase your heart rate and burn calories. The treadmill already has 8 predefined programs, but you can add 4 more to its memory.
The console is an excellent addition because it doesn’t gate any features behind memberships. Instead, you can use it to monitor important metrics on the interactive display. In addition, the intuitive interface and built-in speakers can be connected to your phone or tablet. This should help you watch your favorite TV shows, movies, or workout programs to breeze through your sessions.
The 80i also has a convenient residential limited lifetime warranty for the motor and frame. Device parts are covered for 5 years, while the labor is backed by a limited 1-year warranty.
One of the best things about the 80i treadmill is its overall balance of build quality, innovation, performance, and cost. Yet, all things considered, the dual-folding design is perhaps its standout feature. As a result, this is one of the easiest large running treadmills you can use inside a small apartment with limited floor space that can give you a good running workout.
Despite its massive size and motor power, this might not be the best running treadmill for long-term use if you’re an advanced user. The 80i benefits from 3G Cardio’s OrthoFlex Suspension but doesn’t come with an orthopedic belt, which other models have. This means you can’t run as much before feeling some strain on your joints.
- Dual-folding design
- One-touch speed and incline control
- 3HP motor
- Well-sized running area
- 15 incline levels
- No speed acceleration boost
- No orthopedic belt
Assault Fitness Air Runner
Some people get carried away and overspend on fancy features. But if you just want to run in the comfort of your home, the Assault Fitness Air Runner is one of the best treadmills.
Are you looking to burn some calories but don’t want to raise your electricity bill? The Assault Fitness Air Runner is user-powered. This means that it isn’t motorized. Instead, you control the speed on the fly based on how intense you want to work out. Although it may not seem like it for everyone, this is one of the best ways to train.
You’re in control of your session and can do interval, HIIT, and casual runs and switch between them at your leisure. No motorized treadmill offers this freedom and mimicking of natural outdoor running. The only minor downside is that the belt has a maximum recommended speed of 20 miles per hour. However, that’s still plenty for most users.
Another notable feature is the treadmill’s incline percentage. You can run up to a 30% incline, making for some demanding workouts. The incline capabilities also help the Assault Fitness Air Runner double as an entry-level hiking treadmill and appeal to a wide range of users.
This is a great treadmill if you want to be more environmentally friendly. It’s strong and sturdy, weighing 280 pounds, and can support users weighing up to 350 pounds.
Of course, just because the belt is user-powered doesn’t mean you don’t have access to modern features. For example, the treadmill comes with a small LCD console. This will help you track time, distance, pace, speed, and calories burnt. In addition, while it won’t track your heart rate, it has programs designed to put you at specific heart rates.
This treadmill is built for intense workouts, pushing the body’s limits, and long service life. The belt running surface is warranted to last users up to 150,000 miles, which is crazy if you think about it.
But that just goes to show the manufacturer’s confidence in the quality of their product. Furthermore, this low-maintenance treadmill doesn’t require complex configurations, motor checks, belt replacements, and other user interventions.
If you want no limits on your workouts, the range of this treadmill will take you from casual walks to high-intensity sessions that you’ll feel in your lower back. It’s the ideal design for amateur and professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts. While it can be slightly louder and lack digital features, it will help you burn more calories.
Interestingly, the belt is one notable downside of the treadmill’s best feature. Unlike other treadmills, this one doesn’t have the most comfortable cushioning and suspension system. While that’s fine if you’re fit or don’t have joint pains, it’s not ideal for someone who needs extra support to power through their sessions.
- Superior calorie-burning potential
- User-powered with a high top speed
- 30% incline for extra workout intensity
- Running surface rated for 150,000 miles
- Simple and accurate LCD console
Not the most comfortable for some users
There’s no point in trying to run on a treadmill that wobbles. It’s not built for high-speed workouts, or there’s a good chance you’ll fall flat on your face. Nevertheless, stability is a crucial ingredient of running treadmills, and you should be able to assess it when shopping for one.
One of the tell-tale signs of good stability is a high weight capacity. If a treadmill is designed to support users of up to 300 pounds or more, it means it has a solid base. Sometimes, you can add 50 pounds to your weight to determine if a treadmill can support you while running. But adding 75 to 100 pounds more to your body weight can give you peace of mind.
Another thing to look at would be the treadmill’s weight. Heavy treadmills can be tedious to install, relocate, and fold. But a heavy treadmill indicates a sturdy frame and a stable base supporting running activities.
And since you’re looking at stability, it won’t hurt to consider how safe a treadmill is before buying. Belt auto-stop features, safety bars, and ergonomic handles can help you feel more stable on the treadmill.
Treadmills come with a wide range of incline options. For example, non-motorized treadmills can have a 30% or higher incline, while motorized models may max out at a 15% incline. This is because the higher the incline, the more powerful the motor needs to be to spin the belt.
That said, what do different incline options mean for you? After all, tracks don’t have an incline, and runners use them all the time to train.
Incline adjustability enables you to exercise at various intensity levels. For example, running at a 10% incline for a few minutes will raise your heart rate faster than running on a flat surface. This can be useful when trying to increase your endurance, build your muscles more, or when want to shorten the training sessions while still burning a certain number of calories.
A good incline range is crucial for any treadmill, whether you want one for running, walking, or jogging. Entry-level to intermediate treadmills should give you an incline of 10% to 12%.
You might want a 15% incline if your workouts are typically more demanding. However, if you’re interested in pushing yourself hard, anything above a 20% incline can put your body and will to the test.
But remember that a higher incline percentage can require a more powerful motor, which can be more expensive. That said, variety is vital to avoid boredom and experience better and more efficient workouts.
Horsepower matters a lot when it comes to motorized treadmills. If it’s not powerful enough or durable, you might not enjoy your time on the treadmill.
Generally, 2HP and above continuous-duty motors are the bare minimum requirements for a running treadmill. But a 2HP motor is still best reserved for lighter workouts and users.
A 3HP motor already makes a big difference. The extra horsepower will enable a larger motor to run cooler. If you ever notice a treadmill being quieter despite supporting intense activities, it means that the drive system is good enough to avoid wear and tear.
An even larger motor might be recommended in some circumstances. For example, the user’s weight can also indicate the best type of motor for a running treadmill. Heavier users put more strain on the drive motor and belt. Therefore, the heavier the user, the more powerful the motor should be to ensure the treadmill can sustain running activities.
If the motor makes too much noise or heats up, it’s being pushed to its limits. As a result, its durability will suffer, and the user can also miss out on the treadmill’s full potential and speed range.
Alternatively, you can consider a non-motorized treadmill. The user’s weight doesn’t matter with these models because the running surface only spins as fast as the user can make it spin. It won’t be stressed by a heavier runner working out intensely.
Choosing the right belt is essential to have a comfortable running surface and feel safe during workouts.
Most people can get away with a belt between 20 and 22 inches in width. Many residential treadmills offer these belts. However, some come with 18-inch belts only. A narrower belt won’t sit well with everyone, nor will it accommodate some users.
The biggest issue with a narrow belt is giving the user a smaller margin for error. One slip-up if your mind wanders off, and you can seriously injure yourself.
Another problem with an 18-inch or smaller belt is that it’s limiting for taller and heavier users. Treadmills with narrower belts have slimmer designs in general. So, you will have less leg room and potentially insufficient elbow room.
Of course, if you’re an avid runner, you could get by with a narrow belt treadmill because you’ll have superior accuracy and more compact movements than other users.
That said, the belt width isn’t the only factor to consider. The length can make or break a treadmill regarding running activities. Many belts will range from 50 to 60 inches in length. Some can be slightly smaller, but they’re not ideal for running.
So, how do you choose the correct belt length? If you’re taller, you will need a longer belt. There’s no way around that. The same applies if you simply have a long stride or you want to run at higher speeds.
However, you can get by with a shorter belt if you’re not worried about falling or are already used to shorter running surfaces. Unless it will put a dent in your budget, a longer belt generally offers more peace of mind and will be a better choice.
But size isn’t everything. Belts should also be durable. Therefore, it’s essential to look at the rollers’ quality, the belt thickness, and even the lubrication. Furthermore, cushioning can be equally important.
Good suspension systems reduce joint pain and fatigue. In addition, they increase the durability of the treadmill. Almost every treadmill will be easier on your joints than running outside. But more cushioning is preferred if you’re using the treadmill for recovery or suffer from chronic pains.
Users may look for extras when shopping for running treadmills. For example, some of the best treadmills for running will come with touchscreens and device holders to make the workout experience more immersive and entertaining.
Perhaps you lack cardio monitoring equipment, and its inclusion in the treadmill package could be a huge selling point.
If you’re a novice or intermediate user, built-in workout programs can help you get used to working out on a treadmill.
Then there’s the design. Many users express concerns about storage, so they often choose slimmer treadmills for home use.
With that in mind, there are plenty of stable, durable, powerful, and interactive treadmills that can support intense workouts and fold to half their size or less.
Foldable or dual-folding treadmill designs are more common than ever, thanks to various innovations by manufacturers. So if you really want a treadmill but lack storage space, know that you can find treadmills that fold horizontally, vertically, or both ways. And if you want to move it around, wheels are must-have accessories.
Is Treadmill Good for Long-Distance Running?
Treadmills can be good for long-distance running if they meet specific criteria. Superior build quality is imperative for supporting hour-long workouts or running tens of miles. Furthermore, treadmills can be pretty dull, even for professional athletes.
Thus, entertainment is essential to keep the user distracted from the monotony. Otherwise, you can exercise long-distance running to improve your resistance if you’re using a higher-end residential or a commercial treadmill.
How Much Horsepower Should a Treadmill Have for Running?
An entry-level running treadmill needs at least a 2.5HP motor. But remember that a 2.5HP continuous-duty motor wouldn’t be strong enough for high-speed running. Motors over 3HP are generally safer because they support higher belt speeds.
Of course, you should also consider the user’s weight. A heavier runner will stress the motor, so it needs enough horsepower to turn the belt at a higher speed. In general, 3HP and above motors should be powerful enough for treadmill workouts involving running.
Are All Treadmills Made for Running?
Many believe that all treadmills are supposed to cater to three core activities – walking, jogging, and running. However, despite what advertisements indicate, not all treadmills are suitable for running. Many factors determine if a treadmill is suitable for running, like its stability, belt speed, motor power, weight limit, shock absorption, etc. In addition, many treadmills are better for walking or jogging, so searching for a running treadmill requires good research.
Does a Treadmill Affect Knees?
Whether you run outside or on a treadmill, you will still put pressure on your knees. That’s unavoidable. However, many treadmills come with shock absorption systems, which off-road terrain, paved roads, and tracks don’t have.
So, while running on a treadmill will still strain your joints, your knees and ankles won’t experience the same pressure. This is why treadmills are great alternatives to improve your endurance and train more often without risking serious injuries and downtime.
Is There a Difference Between Walking and Running Treadmills?
Contrary to popular belief, there is a big difference between walking and running treadmills. A walking treadmill is generally designed to support belt speeds of up to 4 miles per hour. Some may exceed this limit, but most people walk anywhere from 2 to 4 miles per hour, even during workouts.
Running requires belts that support higher speeds. Therefore, most running treadmills will come with at least 9 or 10 miles per hour ratings and more powerful motors. Unfortunately, if you were to run on a treadmill designed for less intense activities, the belt and motor wouldn’t rotate fast enough to keep up with you.
The NordicTrack Commercial Series 2450 Treadmill is one of the best treadmills for running and home use. It offers enough high-tech monitoring and workout features and a good 15% incline powered by a 4HP motor. Its size, weight, and superior stability make it an excellent choice for high-intensity workouts, and the possibility to pair it with an iFIT membership provides the entertainment factor.
However, the Assault Fitness Air Runner, with its low-carbon footprint and non-motorized design, is a great budget-friendly alternative with hassle-free maintenance and operation.