Product Reviews

What Is the Best Treadmill for Runners?

Written by:

Julien Raby

Last updated:

A man training on of the best treadmill for runners at the gym

One of the best ways to take your fitness game to the next level is to add jogging or running as a consistent part of your daily workout regimen. However, sometimes life creeps in and bad weather conditions or long work days can jeopardize your daily run.

This is where the convenience of having a treadmill at home wins. You don’t have to buy the latest model that comes with all the bells and whistles; instead, go for a treadmill that meets your needs and budget and has just enough features and extras to help keep you motivated and moving.

Looking for the best treadmill for runners? Before you buy a treadmill, consider who will be using it. Will it be just you or multiple family members will want to train on it as well? Whatever the case may be, opting for a higher-quality model is always a great idea. A bigger motor, more quality frames, and advanced tech features can better endure the wear and tear that running causes.

In a Hurry? Here are our best picks:

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill + 30-Day iFit MembershipSunny Health & Fitness Exercise Treadmills, Motorized Running Machine for Home with Folding, Easy Assembly, Sturdy, Portable and Space Saving - SF-T7603, GreyLifeSpan Fitness TR5500iM Home Treadmill, with 10' Full-Color Touchscreen and Phone Mirroring Ability, Black, Large (TR5500i)
Product's nameOur Top Pick
NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill + 30-Day iFit Membership
Great Alternative
NordicTrack EXP 7i
Best Budget Option
Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise Treadmills, Motorized Running Machine for...
Best For Small Spaces
LifeSpan Fitness TR5500iM Home Treadmill, with 10" Full-Color Touchscreen...
Best Road-Like Running Surface

Woodway 4Front
VerdictIf you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, the NordicTrack 1750 is the best treadmill for runners on the market.The NordicTrack EXP 7i provides almost the same running experience as our top pick, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750, however, it comes in a bit smaller package.The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 is a great option for anyone who's looking to buy a treadmill without straining their budget.The LifeSpan TR5500i is the ideal treadmill for users who want a quality treadmill that folds up, and it's easy to store.This premium quality machine has been the gold standard at some of the finest gyms in the USA.
Deck Size22 in. wide x 60 in. long20 in. wide x 60 in. long

16 in. wide x 49 in. long22 in. wide x 60 in. long20 in. wide x 68 in. long
Max Speed12 mph12 mph9 mph13 mph15 mph
Max Incline0.150.123 manually adjustable settings13% incline / -2% decline0.15
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$
More InfoSee at AmazonSee at DSGSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at Woodway

How Am I Qualified to Write About These Products?

Before COVID-19, given the chance, I always got outside to get my steps in and get some fresh air. Unfortunately, once the pandemic hit, circumstances changed, and I couldn’t get outside as often as I used to due to the numerous lockdowns we had.

This is when I decided that finding the best treadmill for runners that also meets my budget and getting it for my home gym is a wise investment that will pay off in the long run. So, I dived deep into the world of treadmills to find the best model for home use that can help me level up my fitness and endurance.

Sunny Health & Fitness Electric Treadmill
Based on our testing, this is the best budget treadmill for beginners. For less than 400$, it has most essential features that you've come to expect, it's small and sturdy, frankly it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 8 years warranty.

So, to understand what’s the best treadmill for runners and which features I should look for, I talked to running coaches, industry insiders, and sports researchers. I scoured the internet for professional reviews and forums for customer experiences. Plus, I talked to my running peers who have already bought treadmills for their homes.

Who Is This Guide For?

Treadmills provide an easy and convenient way to maintain your running or walking routine, regardless of the weather conditions or your fitness level. There are many great reasons to buy a treadmill for home use.

For instance, if you frequently hit the gym to run, having your own machine will save you precious time commuting. Furthermore, if the weather in your area is often fickle and rainy, running on a treadmill at home can help you log in some steps for the day. It’s also a great alternative if you’re recovering from an injury or have certain commitments that require you to stay at home.

If you’re considering buying a treadmill for your home gym so that you can run more often and achieve your fitness goals, we’ve made a list of the best treadmills for runners that won’t strain your budget. I hope you’ll find the ideal pick for your needs, preferences, and budget.

How We Picked the Best Products?

To ensure we find the best treadmill for runners, we consulted reputable sources such as Runner’s World, which provides reliable reviews from experts in the fitness industry. We also read about different customer experiences on major forums such as Reddit and Quora. We looked at the retail prices of the products on Amazon and the brands’ official websites to make sure we show the correct price range for each model.

Not only that, but we looked into the build and design of both commercial and residential treadmills to conclude that treadmills intended for gyms are typically more expensive and come with super sturdy frames to withstand constant use. Treadmills designed for home use are on the cheaper end, and they usually have softer frames.

If you’re still not sure which type to choose, consider how much you will use the machine. If you’re an enthusiastic runner who runs marathons, chances are you will need a different model from what an occasional runner would need.

How We Compared Each Product

Take a look at some of the features we focused on.

Belt Length – To find the best treadmill for runners, we looked at models with a belt length of minimum of 55 inches, as that’s the recommended minimum for people 6 feet tall and under.

Speed – Offering adequate speed is an essential feature of a good treadmill for running. We looked for models that go up to at least 10 mph. That equals a six-minute mile, which is something that even seasoned athletes would have a hard time sustaining for more than a couple of minutes.

Incline and Decline – Premium-quality treadmills incline at levels from almost flat to quite steep and also have downhill grades, anywhere from -2% to -6%. This is an excellent feature that enables you to mimic running up or down a hill as well as do interval work. Cheaper residential treadmills usually feature only 1 or 2 incline settings.

Motor – The power of treadmill motors is measured in continuous horsepower, which is the power a motor can support over time. Consequently, the more horsepower a motor has, the faster you can switch incline and speed on your treadmill. The motors of the treadmills we listed range from 2.2 to 3.75 CHP.

Decks – Not all treadmills for runners are designed with an equal deck size and springiness. We made sure the treadmills we chose are not overly hard nor too bouncy. It’s important to find a treadmill with a sweet spot that’s just right for your style of running.

Connectivity – Nowadays, connectivity is a popular feature for treadmills, but it’s not a crucial one that determines the quality of a piece of equipment. Still, most people would love to have the possibility to connect their machine to their wireless headphones, stream workouts, or export workout stats.

The Products

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 – Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

NordicTrack Commercial 1750

If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, the NordicTrack 1750 is the best treadmill for runners on the market.

If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, the NordicTrack 1750 is the best treadmill for runners on the market. This version of the treadmill was updated for 2022, featuring a tilting 14-inch touchscreen console and an incline motor that has a super quiet operation and automatically adjusts during your treadmill workouts. 

This model also offers all the convenient features you can find on NordicTrack treadmills, such as quick keys to transfer to a different incline or speed with a single tap.

Thanks to its large touch screen and growing library of workouts led by trainers, you might not even need any other kind of entertainment. The screen on the NordicTrack 1750 is twice as big as the one on the previous NordicTrack models. Plus, it comes with a free 30-day trial of iFit.

All in all, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is a solid treadmill for runners, offering a smooth ride and an extensive array of features. It has two water-bottle holders and 5 little bins under the console for easy storage of your running essentials. Although this NordicTrack model is large, it can be folded quite easily if you want to save some space when not in use. It has an excellent warranty that covers the frame for 10 years, parts for 2 years, and labor for 1 year.

Pros

  • 14-inch touchscreen
  • Quiet motor operation and seamless incline and speed changes
  • A host of training options

Cons

  • The display can’t be used for other kinds of entertainment

Key Specifications

Deck Size22 in. wide x 60 in. long
Max Speed12 mph
Max Incline15%
ProgramsiFit Library
Motor3.8 HP

Who It’s Best For

Based on our research, the NordicTrack 1750 is the best treadmill for runners for home use. It is one of the most popular models available on the market, and that’s for some good reasons. This treadmill comes with an adjustable 14” touch screen that’s convenient for users of all sizes. Plus, the screen can be used on and off the treadmill. 

It’s also a great option for people who don’t have much space and need a foldable treadmill they can easily store when not in use.

Sunny Health & Fitness Electric Treadmill
Based on our testing, this is the best budget treadmill for beginners. For less than 400$, it has most essential features that you've come to expect, it's small and sturdy, frankly it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 8 years warranty.

NordicTrack EXP 7i – Great Alternative

Great Alternative

NordicTrack EXP 7i

The NordicTrack EXP 7i provides almost the same running experience as our top pick, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750, however, it comes in a bit smaller package.

The NordicTrack EXP 7i provides almost the same running experience as our top pick, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750, however, it comes in a bit smaller package . It has a 3.0-continuous-horsepower motor, (which is 0.75 less than that of the 1750) which helps the treadmill get to the same maximum speed of 12 mph and incline of 15%.

Unlike the 1750 though, this model does not have a decline option. The belt is also very comfortable, measuring 60 inches long and 20 inches wide, 2 inches narrower than the belt on the NordicTrack Commercial 1950.

The EXP 7i comes with a 7-inch touchscreen featuring Bluetooth connectivity and an optional subscription to the workout-streaming platform iFit. This treadmill is also foldable, which makes it an excellent space saver. As for the warranty, it’s the same as the one for the 1950 model, it covers the frame for 10 years, the parts for 2 years, and labor for 1 year.

Pros

  • 7” touchscreen with easy access to the full iFit library
  • Free iFit subscription for the first month
  • Folds up and locks into place for easy transport and storage
  • Reduced impact on spine and joints thanks to the Flex Select cushioning
  • Has a 3.0HP motor excellent for running, hiking, or walking

Cons

  • The touch screen is located a bit high up on the console, which might make it a bit harder to use for shorter users
  • The touch screen might be a bit harder to use for users with a limited vision
  • The 3.0HP motor is not strong enough to support extensive training sessions

Key Specifications

Deck Size20 in. wide x 60 in. long
Max Speed12 MPH
Max Incline12% 
Programs1-Month iFit® MembershipBluetooth®1 Audio Capabilities
Motor3.0 CHP

Who It’s Best For

The NordicTrack EXP 7i is a compact, folding treadmill ideal for people who want to walk or run in the comfort of their home. Users can enjoy any of iFit’s library training videos on the 7” touchscreen. What’s more, this treadmill also has heart rate sensors in the hand grips, making it easy to track your heart rate. The NordicTrack EXP 7i is an excellent choice for people who need a simple, efficient, and easy-to-use treadmill for running, boasting impressive tech at a decent price.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 – Best Budget Option

Best Budget Option

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 is a great option for anyone who’s looking to buy a treadmill without straining their budget.

There are many reasons why this treadmill is a great deal on Amazon and why many people buy and love using it. Although the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 treadmill has many excellent features, it also comes with a lot of compromises, which make up for its low price.

It has the narrowest belt out of all models on our list, the motor’s maximum is 9 mph, and to change the incline, users have to get off the machine and flip a lever that’s found under the deck. However, it has a smooth operation, and it’s a reliable device for walking speeds. It’s also great for the occasional run when the weather is not in your favor.

Plus, it has a folding mechanism and a soft drop system, which helps users to easily fold and unfold it. It has 9 built-in user programs and an easy-to-read LCD screen that shows time, distance, calories burned, and speed.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Tons of five-star reviews on Amazon
  • Great for walking and light jogging

Cons

  • Maximum speed is only 9 mph
  • Narrow belt

Key Specifications

Deck Size16 in. wide x 49 in. long
Max Speed9 mph
Incline3 manually adjustable settings
Programs9 built-in programs
Motor2.2 HP

Who It’s Best For

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 is a great option for anyone who’s looking to buy a treadmill without straining their budget. It’s a great machine to add more cardio to your workout routine and get moving in the comfort of your home. It’s affordable, small, compact, highly rated, and easy to store. What’s not to love about it?

LifeSpan TR5500i – Best For Small Spaces

Best For Small Spaces

LifeSpan TR5500i

The LifeSpan TR5500i is the ideal treadmill for users who want a quality treadmill that folds up, and it’s easy to store.

Although the TR5500i has a pretty plain look and a small footprint, it has a 10-inch touchscreen console that boasts with a host of features. The upgraded console is a great feature, and it’s very easy to use, but it does not offer live coaching or any advanced programs.

To preprogram a training session, all you need to do is slide the bars on a chart down or up, depending on your preferences. The console on the TR5500i is positioned very low, which means taller users need to look down more while running on this treadmill. But still, this can be seen as a perk if you’re watching TV while using the treadmill and want to have the console out of your way.

When it comes to changing speeds on this LifeSpan model, it responds a bit slower, as it can go as fast as 13.5 mph. However, it’s an excellent speed for such an affordable treadmill. Plus, when using this machine at maximum speed, you can feel a slight bounce in the deck that’s meant to add cushioning to your stride.

Pros

  • Big motor
  • Fast maximum speed
  • Deck cushioning
  • Slim console design

Cons

  • Console may be too low for taller users

Key Specifications

Deck Size22 in. wide x 60 in. long
Max Speed13 mph
Max Incline13%
Max Decline-2%
Programs24
Motor4 HP

Who It’s Best For

The LifeSpan TR5500i is the ideal treadmill for users who want a quality treadmill that folds up, and it’s easy to store. If you don’t need a treadmill that offers a subscription service and want just a touchscreen that offers great tracking features, and it’s easy to use, this model is an excellent option. It’s a great pick for both walking and running.

Woodway 4Front – Best Road-Like Running Surface

Best Road-Like Running

Woodway 4Front

This premium quality machine has been the gold standard at some of the finest gyms in the USA.

This premium quality machine has been the gold standard at some of the finest gyms in the USA. This can be attributed to its rock-solid design – the 4Front is a sturdy treadmill that can withstand a lot of use. It features a heavy-duty belt that offers the most life-like road feel out of all treadmills on the market. You will enjoy running on the boardwalk-like slats for years to come, thanks to the machine’s ball-bearing design.

Don’t let the large and sophisticated entertainment system fool you – at its core, this treadmill is a serious training device. What’s more, it has a whisper-quiet operation and smooth transitions. You can preprogram your workouts before using the machine and enjoy a seamless running experience as the treadmill adjusts incline and speeds very quickly.

You can easily stream videos from Hulu, Netflix, or YouTube on the large 20-inch touchscreen. Or, you can choose to run in real cities or virtual worlds. 

Pros

  • Big motor
  • Quiet operation
  • Spacious, heavy-duty belt

Cons

  • most expensive on our list

Key Specifications

Deck Size20 in. wide x 68 in. long
Max Speed15 mph
Max Incline15%
Max DeclineN/A
Programs50+
Motor2 CHP, 5 HP peak

Who It’s Best For?

The Woodway 4Front is the right pick for people who want to invest in a treadmill that will serve them for years to come. It really may be “the last” machine of this type you will buy. Do you want it? We’re sure you do. Do you need it? Probably not, but if you have $10,000 lying around, why not level up your home gym?

If you’re looking for an extremely low-impact treadmill that has the ability to run forwards, backward, and sideways, offering both incline and decline, the Woodway 4Front is your best pick.

The Buying Guide

Buying a treadmill for your home gym can be an excellent investment, as it provides you with more options for training when you can’t get outside or can’t make it to the gym. However, this piece of equipment can be an expensive purchase, which is why there are a few important factors to consider before making the final buying decision.

Your Budget

To get the most bang for your buck, it’s important to set a budget and look for the highest quality treadmill in that price range. A good treadmill for home use should be comfortable and easy to use, should have a quiet operation, and should last a long time.

If you’re looking to buy a treadmill that will last for years to come, chances are, you will need to spend at least $1,000. Treadmills in the price range between $1,500 and $3,000 provide more stability, have better motors, and provide a lot more training options. If you plan to share this machine with other family members in your household, it might be better to look at treadmills priced at least $1,500.

Motor Horsepower

The horsepower that the motor delivers directly impacts the quality level of your treadmill and how your walking and running experience will feel. Figuring out motor specs and motor horsepower can be challenging. 

So, to make things simpler, look for a motor that has a minimum of 1.5 continuous-duty horsepower (CHP). If you need to use the device more often, your best bet is to choose 2.5 – 3.0 CHP. The power of the treadmill’s motor will also depend on your body weight.

Space and Folding Features

Before buying a treadmill, make sure to measure the available space in your home, as these machines may appear to be smaller in the shop than they actually are. Opting for a folding treadmill is always a good idea, however, keep in mind that it will still take up space even when it’s folded.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some machines are much easier to move, fold and unfold, compared to others. You might need to tilt a heavy treadmill back on its wheels to move it, which can be rather difficult. Test this feature when shopping in-store, so you have an idea of how it works.

Minimum Specifications

Besides your budget, the machine’s horsepower, space-saving features, and other extras, here are a few other details to consider when buying a treadmill.

  • Treadmill belt size – If you’re a runner, look for a belt that’s a minimum of 48 inches long and 18 inches wide. If you are taller, you will need a 52-inch belt for walking and a 54-inch belt for running.
  • Control panel – Look for a model that features a control panel that’s simple and easy to use, and it’s within reaching.
  • Cushioning – Look for a cushioned deck that will absorb shock and will put less strain on your legs. Also, the running deck should not move around with every move.
  • Incline options – Choose a model that has at least 10 percent incline or higher. If the device you’re considering also has decline capability, that’s a valuable feature that will help simulate outdoor running. .
  • Maximum user weight – This is an important consideration for larger users, and it also indicates the overall sturdiness of the machine. To get the realistic number, look for the maximum user weight and subtract around 50 lbs.
  • Speed – For running, choose a model that goes 10 mph or higher.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best speed to run on a treadmill?

Generally, the normal speed for running ranges from 5 mph-8mph. However, it all comes down to the individual’s preferences. It’s best to start with a light jog to warm up, and this one should be done at a slow pace, ranging from 3-5 mph for 5–10 minutes.
If your goal is to lose weight while running on a treadmill, a good speed is 12 kilometers per hour (or 8.3 miles per hour). At this pace, you can burn calories without straining your body too much. As you level up your fitness, you can slowly increase your speed.

Are curved treadmills better?

Research has shown that curved treadmills can help you burn around 30% more calories. Working out on a curved treadmill engages more muscle groups as the machine forces your legs to power it, all while activating everything from your glutes to your hamstrings.
Furthermore, curved treadmills don’t put as much strain on your joints. The rubber surface helps absorb the shock while minimizing the impact on your joints and connective tissue. This helps prevent injuries and will keep you in good shape to continue with your running routine, so you get in better shape and maximize your endurance. 

Is it better to run on incline on treadmill?

Running on an incline on a treadmill provides a plethora of benefits. It makes your workout more intense as it helps to quickly get your heart rate up and burns more calories faster. What’s more, running on an incline helps strengthen different muscle groups as when running uphill, you use particular muscle groups that you don’t when running on a flat surface, such as the hamstrings, glutes, and quads.
Incline running also keeps you more focused and engaged in your workout, as it forces you to follow your varying levels of pace and incline. And last but not least, running on an incline on a treadmill boosts your running strength and speed while also establishing your endurance. This means, with enough practice and proper workouts, you can easily increase your stamina and time running.

About Julien Raby

My name is Julien Raby and I’m one of the owner of BoxLife. Here’s my background on LinkedIn if you want more info. I’ve been active pretty much my whole life and I discovered Crossfit about 7 years ago. I want to help you improve your Crossfit performances by giving tips on specific movements, workouts and equipment. You have a question? Get in touch!