Home use of the treadmill manufacturers have a very high order to fill. They are trying to pack the performance and power of a gym tape into a relatively small, lightweight and portable model that can fit through their doors and safely from their ladders. Although most treadmill companies produce a range of models, they tend to occupy and excel in one of three price and quality: heavy-duty niches, mid-range and low-end.
The Landice and Precor brands both make frequent appearances in the fitness and rehabilitation settings. They are built to withstand frequent, repeated use and large consumers, with weight limits up to 500 lbs. Both brands offer relatively few bells and whistles, so do not expect dozens of training from the tablet interfaces. Instead, Landice and Precor deliver high-end construction and functional features such as negative incline, large capacity performance covers and powerful engines. True Fitness also produces high strength, high strength tapes, high strength components and reliable, quiet operation. The downside to all three brands, however, is of significant value – several thousand dollars – to match huge heavy machines that usually do not fold for movement or storage.
Soft gym and fitness outsole both produce treadmills that arise reliably on the “Best Buy” expert lists. They offer all the features experts recommend – including quality components, plenty of power, reliable performance and plenty of space for walking or running – all at a relatively decent price. These tapes are generally a bit smaller and lighter than the heavy duty models. Some even top up, which makes them much easier to move.
Low-end standard category Treadmills
NordicTrack and ProForm are operated under the umbrella of the massive fitness equipment company ICON Health & Fitness, so there really is not much of a difference between the two brands. ICON used to be notorious for packing its ribbons filled with deluxe features like dozens of workouts, an amateur function and interactive cooling iFit capability, but the manufacturing quality was just regular. Nowadays, the many attractive features remain but the construction has improved, with numerous NordicTrack and Pro Form models receiving “Best Buy” and TreadmillDoctor.com “Runner Up” recommendations.
Same low-end models
Unfortunately, the very low-end running machines that you see sold for only a couple of hundred dollars are not going to make any of the lists better. Manufacturers are able to keep prices very low by sparing in parts, quality and manufacturing precision. Their warranties are usually woefully short, too. You would be much better off buying a higher quality treadmill used.