Top 7 Best Treadmills for Running

Running and treadmills are two words that are synonymous for most people. However, you would be surprised how many treadmills exist which are actually not meant for running. 

In order to help you avoid any disappointment and confusion, we have come up with a list of top 7 best treadmills for running. Some of these are easily among the best treadmills your money can buy right now

After we go over our picks, we will discuss what makes good treadmills from a runner’s point of view and more. By the time we’re done, you should have all the necessary info.

Top 7 Best Treadmills for Running:​

Xterra Fitness TR300 folder is one of those treadmills that brings you the complete package, the full experience at a rather reasonable price. They have combined all the right features into a machine that won’t destroy your bank account. 

As far as bang for the buck goes, you can’t really do much better than this. From the ground up, we see a robust yet sleek frame that is well hidden under the running surface. The belt is a 20″ by 55″ unit, which puts just slightly behind the curve in this segment, but nothing too serious. The entire deck sits on their XtraSoft cushioning system which truly does a great job when it comes to alleviating some of that pressure on your joints during use. Truth be told we were pleasantly surprised by this setup. 

At its core, this treadmill runs a rather powerful 2.25HP motor. With it, you are looking at sustainable speeds of up 10mph available in manageable increments. There is also the electronically controlled vertical adjustment which can give you up to 10% incline. Lastly, the console is packed with 24 preset programs, a fairly large LCD display and a built in fan among other things.

If you are looking for a treadmill with a proven track record, Nautilus T614 should definitely be on your short list. This machine has been around for a while and has proven its worth numerous times. The core of its value comes from the fact that it’s just so well rounded. 

You have a 20″ by 55″ belt that is driven by a powerful 2.75 CHP motor. That translates to a rather responsive and smooth experience no matter how hard you start pushing the drive system. The entire deck sits on a StrikeZone cushioning system that just works. We could go into details and nit pick just how well it deals with joint stress, but there is no need to. 

The cushioning on this treadmill simply works. One of the main benefits of this particular model that generally separates it from the competition is the incline control. You’re looking at 12% of incline that is fully motorized. The frame and sub frame are designed in a way that maximizes stability without adding unnecessary weight into the equation. As far as the console goes, this treadmill defeaters 22 programs, a large back lit display, heart rate monitoring and much more.

Next up on our list is the Schwinn 830. Much like the treadmill we’ve reviewed before it, this one also has a long track record of good and reliable performance behind it. It is a decently capable rig that is reasonably priced. Here’s what you get for your money. 

Schwinn has decided to go with a 20″ by 55″ running belt that is driven by a 2.75 CHP motor. The whole thing is pretty smooth and fairly silent when in use. These specs translate to about 12 mph maximum speed at no incline. Speaking of which, you can look forward to about 12% incline that is fully motorized. The cushioning setup on this treadmill comes in form of SoftTrak system that relies on a single point of suspension to break the force of your stride. 

Whether or not approach is optimal is up for discussion, all we can say is that it works. The console a pretty massive unit that houses a large LCD display. On each side of the display are manual incline and speed controls, while there are also navigation buttons for the internal programs. There is also a built in fan, two cup holders and more.

As we move down trough various price points, we start running into formidable solutions which are incorporating a few compromises here and there. With that said, these treadmill definitely do work. One such model is this folding treadmill from Miageek Fitness. It is a proper running treadmill. 

We say this because despite some of the compromises, it still has a rather powerful motor at its core. They have used a 2.25 HP unit which is plenty enough to ensure good speeds even under incline. Speaking of which, the incline control is one of the main compromises we have ran into with this model. Instead of using motorized incline, Miageek Fitness has chosen to go down the manual route. 

This means that you won’t be able to select more than a few incline settings. The console unit however is in line with higher end models. You are getting a set of 12 running programs, great compatibility with G-fit Sports app, easy tracking of your progress and stats thanks to the fairly large built in display. There are also built in speakers as well as heart rate sensors. Overall, this treadmill offers plenty of bang for your buck across the board.

Next on our list is a first truly affordable machine that fits the requirements of a proper running treadmill. The model in question comes from Goplus and offers quite a lot all things considered. Just like the treadmill we have just discussed, there are some compromises in its overall design, but those are definitely not a deal breaker. 

The motor is a 2.25 HP impulse unit that will get you up to speed, keep you there and facilitate HIIT training with no issues. All while staying fairly silent. That is not something you see every day at this price. Much like it was the case with our previous pick, incline control is manual on this treadmill. To select different incline, you have to adjust rear stands. One of the better features on the Goplus folding treadmill is the Pro-Cushion suspension system. 

It is quite simple yet effective at reducing the strain on your joints as you run. Console designs is quite chunky. There is a lot of plastic on this bad boy, but also many cool features. These include a large display, 12 exercise programs, a media shelf and a set of speakers. Finally, this treadmill folds up nicely.

At the very top of our list we have Weslo Cadence R 5.2. Even though this treadmill is on the upper edge of affordable, it is still well within the budget category. What makes it a great choice can be reduced to two things. For starters we have a pretty strong motor that offers some 2.5 horsepower.

Said motor powers a 50″ by 16″ belt, thus giving you plenty of room especially if you make longer strides. With a 2.5 hp motor, you are looking exercises that include anything from walking to sprinting. However, that’s not all. On top of a rock solid drive system, Cadence R5.2 also features two incline positions. From a budget buyer’s point of view, anything that come on top of these two features is a bonus.

Speaking of which, Weslo has included several workout programs you can access through the control module. Overall, this treadmill brings all the essentialsnecessary for a good home running sessions, all while being priced rather competitively. If your budget allows for a device in this range, we strongly recommend that you go with Weslo Cadence R5.2. It is about as good as it gets.

Last but not the least we have a compact powerhouse of a treadmill that is both affordable and incredibly capable. Xterra Fitness TR150 comes with a 2.25CHP motor that is capable of getting you up to 10mph and holding those speeds for prolonged periods of time. The running belt which is driven by this magnificent machine is a somewhat narrow 16″ by 50″ unit that is fairly stable and quite comfortable. 

The frame is robust enough to sustain heavy duty use on a daily basis, plus it folds up neatly when you are done with your routine. It is also worth mentioning that the entire thing is suspended over their XTRASoft cushioning system, which definitely works. Moving onto the console, we see a large 5″ display that shows you your primary stats as well as your heart rate. 

Controls are quite simple and include manual speed control paired with program selection buttons. Speaking of which, there are 12 presets for you to choose from. Last but not least, this treadmill features built in speakers which are a nice touch. Here is the thing. At this price, TR150 looks way too good to be true, yet it most certainly is.

What Makes a Good Treadmill For Running?

Treadmills come in all kinds of shapes, flavors and formats. Most are marketed in a way that shows their strongest features, but it isn’t always easy to figure out which models are designed for what. 

You would think that every treadmill is good to go for running. After all, that is what these devices were invented for, right? Not really. 

In reality there are plenty of treadmills designed specifically for walking. Some models which claim they are good for running actually aren’t and that is where you need to be vigilant. 

The point of this guide is to show you what features to look for and what to stay away from. With that said, if you can invest in a treadmill that cost around $1500, chances are that you don’t have to be too vigilant. However not everyone can. If that is you, here are the main features you should look for.

The Motor

At the core of every treadmill is the motor. No matter what kind of cool bells and whistles are present on the machine, if it doesn’t have a powerful motor under the running deck, it won’t do you much good. 

Good rule of thumb is that anything from 2 to 3 HP is going to be more than sufficient for a decent run. As you can probably tell, there are models on our list which go below that bottom line. 

We feel comfortable adding a few 1.5 HP units to the list, because we’ve done our part to vet them properly. Additionally, such lower power units are often found in the affordable segment. Bottom line is, a good motor is a must.

Incline

Whether you are a casual user or someone looking to get their level of fitness to a highest possible level, incline is always going to be your friend. 

We are generally all for electronic incline control but manual ones work too. As long as you can adjust it, you should be fine.

Suspension

Lastly, suspension systems and cushioning is something worth looking into. Running in general is a high impact activity which can affect your joints in a negative way. 

In order to minimize those effects, we strongly suggest that you look for treadmills that have proper suspension systems in place.

The Ver(ve)dict!

Finding a good treadmill for running isn’t difficult but it requires a bit more effort than most people realize. The models we have chosen for you today are all great machines. 

Our main requirement for this list were powerful and reliable motors which every treadmill on this list comes with. From there on out, it’s up to you to figure out which features best suit your needs and what you can or can’t do without. 

At the end of the day, you should be able to find a great fitness tool that will ensure a challenge on a daily basis.