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Top treadmills for every budget

Models from PreCor, ProForm, and NordicTrack lead our winners list

Published: August 11, 2014 12:30 PM

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You can spend $400 on a new treadmill or 10 times that amount. Based on our latest treadmill Ratings of more than 40 models, paying top dollar will get you top performance—specifically the Precor 9.31, a $4,000 non-folding treadmill that combines superb ergonomics, solid construction, and a bevy of useful features. But you can get similar quality for a fraction of the cost, especially if you plan to use the treadmill for walking only. Here are the details. 

$1,000 or less

Several models from our winners’ list of budget folding treadmills sell for an even grand, including two picks from NordicTrack, a big name in exercise equipment. The recently introduced NordicTrack C970 Pro performed particularly well in our tests and it’s quite versatile, a good thing if multiple people in your home will be using it. If you only plan to walk on the treadmill, you can go for a less expensive model with a shorter deck length, say 52 inches or less. With its 50-inch deck, the new Gold's Gym Trainer 420 misses our recommended list by a wide margin. But it should do the job for walkers, and at $377 it’s an amazing bargain; try the treadmill out first in the store to make sure it fits your stride.

ProForm Pro 2000

$1,000 to $2,000

This mid-range price category includes many recommended folding and non-folding models. If space isn’t a concern, definitely check out the Sole S77. It’s one of our highest-rated non-folding treadmills, whether you’re walking, jogging, or doing intense interval training. You might even do better than $1,900 we paid, since Sole has since introduced a newer version of this machine. 

If you need a folding treadmill in this price range, we really liked the ProForm Pro 2000, $1,250. This well-built, versatile machine is also iFit compatible, meaning it can generate real-world routes on Google Maps (say if you're training for the Boston Marathon) or let you compete against friends; note, however, that the required module is sold separately.   

$2,000 and up

In addition to the abovementioned Precor 9.31, there are several extremely solid and innovative options among high-end treadmills. Consider the Landice L7 Cardio Trainer, a $3,800 non-folding model with exceptional performance and some high-tech features, including iPhone connectivity. There’s also the True PS300, $3,000, with its wide range of exercise programs that are easy to follow on the console’s crisp LCD display.        

Each of these price categories also contains a number of treadmills that were less impressive in our tests, so be sure to check our treadmill Ratings carefully before making your final decision. Our buying guide offers additional helpful information, including a video from our labs of how we test treadmills.  

—Daniel DiClerico (@dandiclerico on Twitter)

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