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What is the Best Treadmill to Buy?

Updated on June 20, 2007

I recently went shopping for a treadmill, but with so many on the market I came home empty handed! It can be overwhemling with so many choices. After some reaesrch I came up with a few I thought were at the top of the list, I hope the following reviews will be helpful for you and will help you find a treadmill that fits your needs (please let me know if I can offer any futher advice on buying one)

Sole F80 ($1,550)- Best mid-range folding treadmill.

According to treadmill reviews, the Sole F80 is the best in this price range, with a strong warranty (20 years on the motor, five years on parts and two years labor), as well as options that are comparable to more expensive treadmills. The Sole has a 335-pound weight capacity, and its 55" x 20" running surface is longer than other treadmills in its price class. It has six programs, plus speed and incline controls on the armrests, and both handgrip and chest-strap pulse sensors. The Sole treadmill folds up for storage. The Sole F80 is best for walkers who want to try the occasional run, but it won't take the same pounding as a more expensive treadmill.

Image 19.0R ($600)- Best treadmill for walking.

The Image 19.0R, along with other inexpensive treadmills, has only a 90-day parts and labor warranty -- the shortest in the industry. Even so, reviews say the Image treadmill is fine if your fitness plans only include walking. This treadmill has a wider 19" belt and a stronger motor (2.8 horsepower with a ten-year motor warranty) than some other budget models. Even so, regular walkers and runners will need a more durable treadmill. It folds up for storage and comes with a handgrip heart-rate sensor. The Image treadmill has a user weight limit of 300 pounds.

Life Fitness T3-0 ($2,200)- Best treadmill for running.

The Life Fitness is a favorite of professional runners for its shock-absorbing deck and customizable controls. This treadmill can also save user data and favorite workouts for several family members. Its 58" x 20" running surface is long enough and wide enough for most runners and its 3.0-hp motor is smooth and quiet. An included heart-rate monitor works in conjunction with special programs to keep you in your heart-rate zone. It has a high 400-pound user weight limit, and is backed by a lifetime frame warranty with ten years on the motor, five years on other parts and one year labor.

PaceMaster Platinum Pro VR ($2,400)- Best runner's treadmill with negative incline.

Reviews say the PaceMaster Platimum Pro VR is unique in that it has a negative incline (down to a -3.0 grade) -- helpful for runners who want to strengthen the fronts of their legs by simulating downhill running. Some testers say this treadmill is helpful in preparing for hilly races like the Boston Marathon. The PaceMaster's Constant Effort Compensation mode adjusts speed to keep your exertion level constant. It has a 3.0-hp motor, a long 60" x 20" belt and a 400-pound weight limit. The PaceMaster Platinum Pro VR is one of the few treadmills still made in the U.S.

Landice L7 Pro Sport Trainer ($3,000)- Best treadmill for pros.

Reviews say that this sturdy, well-built Landice treadmill feels like one of the commercial treadmills you'd find in a health club. The Landice can take a real pounding from serious runners. Like the PaceMaster Platinum Pro VR, a 400-pound weight capacity ensures that pretty much anyone can use it. Reviews also give the Landice L7 high marks for ergonomics and build quality, backed by a lifetime warranty on all parts. If you're looking for a quiet treadmill, reviews say the 3.0-hp motor is smooth and discreet. This treadmill has a larger footprint for stability, so you'll need plenty of floor space for the L7.

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