You're buying a treadmill--congrats! Some people never make it this far. Now you have to go one step further and choose the best one for you. This guide will help you sort through the massive treadmill inventory.
Choose a motorized model
There are manual treadmills, where you generate the momentum yourself. But you don’t want to do all the work! Plus, the fact that you'll fall off if you slack off is motivating. Have a small space? Choose a foldable model!
Top pick: Sole F65. Foldable and powerful!
Consider the weight limit
Treadmills often support between 250 to 375 pounds. But be aware that running also puts more of a load on the treadmill, compared to walking. Go for a model that’s about 50 pounds heavier than the weight of the heaviest person who'll use it. If you plan to run, choose a model that supports a weight about 75 pounds higher.
Top pick: AFG 7.1AT Sturdy enough to take a beating from the big boys!
Think about the working parts
If your machine is sluggish, has a teeny walking surface, and a hard landing, you probably won’t use it. Choose a motor that sports at least 2.5 hp, which will allow you to go up to 10MPH. Pick a cushioned deck (your knees will thank you!). Also, opt for a belt (that’s the surface you walk on) with a width of 20 inches and a length of at least 55 inches.
Top pick: AFG 5.1AT Boasts a super-sized deck, belt, and a high-performance motor!
Be smart about bells & whistles
IIt'd be a dream to have WIFI connectivity, internet browing, and an iPod music port. But these festive add-ons drive up the price. Do you need them? Only you can answer that question. At the very least, make sure your treadmill has a variety of pre-programmed workouts and a built-in heart rate monitor.
Top pick: NordicTrack C 1750 Web-powered fun at your fingertips!
Don’t forget about incline and decline
Some higher-end models incline up to 30 percent and decline down to 10 percent; these features add a challenging dimension to your workout. The decline isn't a must-have, but the incline is. Make sure the model you take home inclines at least 10 percent.
Top pick: ProForm Crosswalk 395 Affordable and efficient!