The 5 Best Treadmills

By William Tran on 5 December 2013 (Updated 9 July 2014) 1 comment

Exercise is hard. Making time to exercise is even harder. However, having a treadmill around can make exercising much easier and more convenient. A good treadmill will enable you to fit in a good cardio workout at any time of day without leaving your home. But what makes a good treadmill? Wise Bread is here to help answer that with our top five list of the best treadmills on the market.

What Is a Treadmill?

A treadmill is a low-impact workout machine that utilizes a wide conveyor belt which moves across a raised deck in order to allow a person to walk, run, or jog in place. The main benefit of owning a treadmill is that you can exercise at any time in the comfort of your own home, without having to worry about external conditions such as weather or traffic.

There are two main types of treadmills: manual and motorized. Manual treadmills utilize the weight of your feet moving across the belt to provide the friction to move it. Since it has no mechanical parts, this type of treadmill is extremely portable and can be folded up and put away.

Motorized treadmills have an internal motor that regulates the movement of the belt, which can be controlled and adjusted by an electronic console. While they are heavier and less portable than manual versions, motorized treadmills are much more popular, since they can provide a much more intensive exercise experience. Most treadmills come with an electronic console that allows you to adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill over the course of your workout, or it can automatically do so for you.

Top 5 Treadmills

Landice L7 Pro Sports Trainer

For the serious athlete or exercise enthusiast who wants the best treadmill money can buy, there's the Landice L7 Pro Sports Trainer motorized treadmill, which has been named the top recommended choice for treadmills by both Consumer Reports and Consumer Search.

The Landice L7 is a powerful workhorse of a treadmill, thanks to its 4 horsepower continuous-duty motor that can withstand the most demanding workouts while delivering an incredibly quiet performance. It has a top speed of 12 mph and can hold up to 400 pounds on its deck, although users over 6 feet tall may find the belt to be a little too short. Many users have praised the Landice L7 for its solid build quality and stability. The Landice L7 comes with an incredibly thorough electronic console that allows you to really customize your workout, but the controls are quite complex and it may be a little difficult to navigate from the start.

While this treadmill will make a pretty big dent in your pocket, both running enthusiasts and professionals agree that the Landice L7 delivers one of the best overall treadmill experiences available on the market.

Currently $3,685.00 at The Fitness Outlet.

Precor 9.23

The Precor 9.23 motorized treadmill is a Consumer Search best-reviewed pick that offers a more straightforward, yet highly satisfying, exercise experience. While its rail-less design may be a safety concern for some people, many users have actually found the open aesthetic to be more desirable and comfortable, especially for runners with longer legs.

The Precor 9.23's 3 horsepower continuous-duty motor and built-in Ground Effects impact control technology ensures that the treadmill powers through even the most strenuous workouts. The Precor 9.23 also comes with an electronic console that features 6 pre-programmed workouts and even provides a handgrip heart-rate monitor. It doesn't have many of the fancy bells and whistles that can be found on more feature-rich treadmills, but many users credit the Precor 9.23 for providing a much easier user experience.

At under half the price of the Landice L7, the sturdy Precor 9.23 treadmill is a much more budget-friendly option that fortunately doesn't sacrifice quality for a smaller price tag.

Currently $1,799.99 at Amazon.

NordicTrack Commercial 1750

The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 motorized treadmill has earned a lot of praise and acclaim from the exercise community, even so far as being named both a Consumer Reports' Best Buy as well as the Best Incline/Decline Treadmill by Consumer Search. This is all due to how the mid-level Commercial 1750 offers the most features and the best specifications for a treadmill in its price range.

This treadmill's most-praised feature is its ability to adjust to a 3 percent decline as well as up to a 15 percent incline, allowing it to realistically simulate real-world terrain. It has a mighty 4.5 horsepower continuous-duty motor that can reach up to 12 mph, and it provides praise-worthy shock absorption with its Runners Flex cushioning.

In addition, the Commercial 1750 has an impressively long list of special features, including a 7-inch color touch tablet console with internet capabilities and iFit Live software, a heart rate monitor, an integrated workout fan, and built-in speakers to play your workout music through. The whole machine can also be folded up for optimal portability and storage.

Its motor may be a little noisy and its incline performance a little glitchy, but the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 delivers an incredible, value-packed package that more than makes up for its tiny flaws overall.

Currently $1,499.99 at NordicTrack.com.

Horizon T101

The Horizon T101, which is Consumer Search's pick for Best Cheap Treadmill, is the lowest-priced motorized treadmill on our list and yet still provides a quality package that's rich in features.

The Horizon T101 is equipped with a quiet, 2.5 horsepower continuous-duty motor that can reach a top speed of 10 mph. The Horizon T101 has a nice sturdy construction overall for a low-end treadmill. The Horizon T101 has many more features overall than expected for a treadmill in its price range, including a workout fan, speakers, automated incline control, and 9 pre-programmed workouts.

It's ideal for casual exercises such as walking or jogging, but it doesn't withstand intensive workouts very well. Users have reported that certain parts of the treadmill may require maintenance under heavy use and that assembly of the machine isn't the easiest experience.

The Horizon T101 may not be the strongest treadmill, but it can definitely still give you a great workout without exhausting your wallet.

Currently $690.00 at Amazon.

Stamina InMotion II

A recommended pick from Consumer Search, the Stamina InMotion II is one of the best manual treadmills for your money.

Manual treadmills are often heavily criticized for their noise, their delicate construction, and their need for constant maintenance. While this remains true for this treadmill, many users have reported that the InMotion II has less durability concerns that most other manual treadmills and can still serve up a satisfying workout. Users have also praised Stamina Products for their great customer service that helps address their problems with the InMotion II quickly and effectively.

Like the Horizon T101, this treadmill is better for walking and light jogging than it is for running. The InMotion II has a tight and lightweight design that takes up very little room and makes storing it away easy. It's also very easy to put together, and assembly of the machine requires very little time.

Overall, the Stamina InMotion II is a very affordable manual treadmill that will satisfy the casual, budget-conscious exerciser.

Currently $143.98 at Amazon.

And those are our recommendations for the best treadmills. As always, be sure to check out the Wise Bread Shopping Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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Thank you for this article. Was interested in getting an incline treadmill for walking, but did not know there were manual ones. I used to walk up 6 floors of ramp in my office parking garage each day at lunch, but now no longer in that office. Looks like that last treadmill may be a good substitute. Thanks again!