Table of Contents
- Top 8 Best Treadmills For Under $500
- What Can You Expect From This Price Range?
- Control Module
- Display Design
- Other Features
- The Bright Side Of Things
- The Ver(ve)dict
Top 8 Best Treadmills For Under $500
Merit Fitness has found a way to address several crucial needs just about any user has these days. Their 725T Plus is a treadmill that features a powerful motor, powered incline control and a running surface that’s easily one of the largest in its class. What makes it one of the best is the combination of features it offers in addition to these rock solid basics.
Merit Fitness may have went a bit overboard with the design of the control module, but all is forgiven once you look what it offers. We have a pretty clean interface with a large yet rudimentary display at the top. There are numerous programs to choose from, each of them with its own button. This means that accessing a program is very simple and intuitive.
At the bottom of the control panel, you will see your manual controls which allow you to select speed, incline and more. Overall, Merit Fitness 725T Plus ticks all the right boxes and proves that you can get a very versatile machine for a rather reasonable amount of money. In our book, it is absolutely one of the best machines in its class, which is definitely a strong statement.
The market segment where Marcy JX650W is placed tends to have many treadmills which are trying to fulfill a niche role. Marcy has fortunately decided to take a different route. With their JX650W, they have pretty much focused on delivering rock solid core performance.
This treadmill may not have all the fancy bells and whistles, but it sure doesbring consistency and reliability. JX650W sits in a frame that is fairly standard in terms of design. Marcy used thick metal tubing for both the main frame and the sub frame. In terms of hardware, you have a 2 hp motor pushing a 47″ by 16.5″ belt. That means that you can do anything from jogging to running as the max speed is set at 8 mph. When it’s time to spice things up, JX650W offers 10 degrees of incline.
Control module reveals plenty features of its own. These include a number of factory programs as well as three user defined ones. Manual speed and incline controls are there as well. As you can see, Marcy JX650W isn’t really a flashy treadmill, but it gets the job done day in, day out. It is a great choice for serious runners.
ProForm is known for their treadmills in the affordable and mid range of the market. If we had to summarize what this brand is all about, we would say that it aims to deliver well engineered, sturdy and reliable machines at prices which are highly competitive. ProForm Performance 300i fits this description quite well. For all intents and purposes, it is a rock solid device.
We say that because ProForm has packed a powerful motor into this thing, added motorized incline control and provided a good cushioning solution. These three components make up a very strong core. Then, ProForm took a welldesigned and intuitive control module and added it into the mix. The overall result is a treadmill that features multiple programs, a heart rate monitor, a large LCD display, and enough performance to back it all up.
Additionally, ProForm Performance 300i packs oneof the largest running belts you will see in this price range. It really doesn’t get much better than this unless you are willing to invest a significantly larger amount of money. We can definitely recommend this treadmill to anyone who need a solid all around performer that will deliver consistently on a daily basis.
While we generally don’t focus too much on aesthetics, Efitment T012 is definitely pushing the limits in this department. Naturally, looks are at the bottom of our list of priorities, however the overall design of T012 is a good indicator of what you can expect to see when you put this treadmill through the hoops. It all starts with a 2.2 hp pulse motor that’spushing a 47″ by 15.6″ running belt.
The belt itself sits on their proprietary cushioning solution, which does a good job at reducing stress on your joints. Here’s where things get really interesting. Where most other treadmills have anywhere from 3 to 10 levels of inclination, Efitment T012 offers 15. This doesn’t mean that you can go over the standard 10 degrees of incline, but it does mean that you can reach that point much more smoothly.
Utilizing smaller increments of inclination is going to allow you to adjust better and be more comfortable with taking on the next level. Lastly, we have the control module that is packed with all your standard features. There are numerous running programs to choose from, as well as built in Bluetooth paired with built in speakers.
Compared to other treadmills in this class, Sunny Health Fitness SFT7515 may come across as a bit bland. However, that is just superficial. This treadmill has it all and then some. At its core we see a relatively powerful impulse motor that is capable of offering running speeds of up to 8 mph.
Now, these figures aren’t the leading edge of this category, but they make much more sense when you take into consideration the 12 levels of incline which are also available. Unlike most other treadmills, Sunny Health & Fitness SFT7515 can actually reach 12% of incline. Put into simple terms, this means that you can push yourself harder than most. Decent cushioning that’s sitting under the 39″ by 14″ running belt makes running easy and comfortable.
Moving onto the control module, we see plenty of good features. Aside from the standard metrics such as speed, distance and so on, you can also monitor your heart rate as well as calculate your body mass index. Sunny Health & Fitness SFT7515 also features Bluetooth support, which allows you to connect your smart devices to the treadmill and stream music or answer calls. Overall, this is a very solid package that just works.
If there’s one brand out there which is dominant in the affordable and mid range segment of the market, it is Goplus. Their treadmills often tend to deliver good performance at competitive prices. Goplus Folding Treadmill pushes that policy a bit further with its great design, good core components and well thought out features.
The motor that powers the treadmill is a 2.25 hp impulse unit. In practical terms, it allows you to do just about any kind of exercise including high intensity routines as well as endurance training.Incline is available although it has to be manually set. As it’s the case with most manual incline treadmills, you’re limited to three incline values. Goplus compensated for the lack of motorized incline control by using their proven cushioning technology.
On top of that, you have a rather intuitive control module that is loaded with all kinds of features. Last thing we would like to touch upon is the fact that Goplus Folding Treadmill features one of the best aesthetics we have ever seen. Even though this is about the least important thing to look for, some users may have a preference in terms of what their treadmill looks like.
A basic, low profile, lightweight treadmill may seem out of place in this particular price range, but there are several reasons why Pinty Folding Treadmill deserves yourattention. This treadmill was designed with a simple task in mind, offering solid performance while being easy to store. Sure, the control module is fairly tiny and the whole thing belongs to the compact segment, but this Pinty has a particular trick up its sleeve.
The belt size on this treadmill is anything but small. You are looking at a 43.4″ by15.7″ running surface on a treadmill that folds up tight. On top of that, it packs a relatively powerful motor that allows you to hit some 7.5mph with ease. Incline is available although it has to be manually selected. That is about the only real downside to this model.
Looking at the control module, its small size proves to be quite deceptive. It features an awesome LCD display that shows plenty of data simultaneously. Then there are numerous programs you can access, a set of built in speakers and two upholders. Pinty has managed to create a treadmill that is affordable, capable and lightweight at the same time.
Treadmills are pretty straight forward devices. However, sometimes certain brands like to spice things up. Weslo has decided to do just that with their Crosswalk 5.2T model. It is an awesome treadmill that offers rock solid core components but also a bit extra. To be more specific, Weslo has used their CrossWalk upper body addons which put a new spin on treadmill exercises.
Aside from that obvious feature, Crosswalk 5.2T brings a 2.25 hp impulse motor to the table, as well as one of the largest running surfaces in its class. We are looking at a 50″ by 16″ belt. In terms of incline selection, you are limited to two values. Incline selection is done manually by adjusting the back stands of the treadmill. Weslo has also used their cushioning technology with this treadmill, which is honestly one of the few that actually work.
Control module is very intuitive to use despite its rather small LCD display. All of the controls are laid out in a clear order, allowing you to quickly make adjustments should you need to. Lastly, there is a thump heart rate sensor which is simple to use and offers fairly accurate pulse readings.
What Can You Expect From This Price Range?
Investing more money in a treadmill can only bring you better results. With that said, there is a point where you start paying for features that offer nothing more than additionalconvenience. In our opinion, treadmills found in the $500 are the first to completely cover the three basic things you want to see in a treadmill. To be more specific, we are talking about powerful motors, motorized incline selection and relatively large running surfaces. Naturally, if you were to go for a $1000 treadmill, you get an upgrade but the stuff $500 treadmills offer is perfectly capable of giving you a good workout.
In this portion of the guide, we will focus on various features often seen in this category, some things to look out for and general information that can help you select the best model for your needs. By the time we are done, you should have all the insight you need to make your choice.
One look at our top picks reveals that control modules tend to vary wildly from one model to another. Even so, they generally offer a very similar suite of features. Your job is to figure out which features you need and which you can live without. Believe it or not, some of the secondary features can ramp up the price of a treadmill significantly.
A good way to narrow this down is to look for a treadmill that has a decent amount of factory programs aside from manual speed/incline selection. Truth be told, these are the features you will be using the most. For those of you who have very detailed training regimens, a heart rate monitor may be a necessary function. There are various methods ofheart rate monitoring out there. Some include a sensor on the handles while others have a simple thumb sensor. We believe that both of these solutions work but we also believethat the more robust palm sensor tends to work better.