Best Treadmills for Runners – Prices

by Jack on September 23, 2015

What are the best treadmills for runners? Not all treadmills are made equal! Not all are designed to handle the intense stress a runner’s workout can dish-out. Not all have a powerful motor to provide a serious runner with the level of work-out they need.

There are a few important qualities you will want to look for:

  • Strong 3.0 -4.0+ CHP motor
  • Solid and comprehensive warranty
  • Large running platform
  • Adjustable cushion

The qualities listed above are ABSOLUTE MUST HAVES! Also important, incline/decline options allowing a runner to simulate outdoor terrain.

After finding different models which meet these criteria then it’s about personal preferences and finding a model in your desired price range.

Top treadmills for runners list

Keep in mind, when looking at the list of recommended models, compared to treadmills made for walking and jogging, models specifically made for running are on average more expensive.

Larger more powerful motor, a larger platform and overall, their build requires a higher level of quality and durability to ensure they are able to withstand the increased stresses involved in a runner’s work-out.

NordicTrack Elite 9700 Pro

Great treadmill for serious runners

NordicTrack Elite 9700 Pro

It’s a stud is the best way to describe this NordicTrack treadmill it exceeds all requirements.

  • 4.25 CHP heavy-duty motor
  • Warranty passes all tests
  • Large 22-inch wide and 62-inch length running platform
  • Adjustable cushion system
  • 15% incline

Along with these core capabilities, also included are ton of other high-tech accessories. The only thing you might not like is the price tag ($2299). If you can afford it we highly recommend it.

NordicTrack Commercial 2950

Best treadmill for runners review

NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill

Another top model from NordicTrack which meets all requirements. Plus, if you want to watch TV while running, there’s a 15-inch HDTV on top of this unit.

  • 4.25 CHP heavy-duty motor
  • Warranty passes all tests
  • Large 22-inch wide and 62-inch length running platform
  • Adjustable cushion system
  • 15% incline/3% decline

The power and quality provided by this commercial model, there’s not much to complain about. It is absolutely awesome to take a run on. Plus, you get a 15-inch HDTV.

Well, we did say there’s not “much” to complain about. NordicTrack makes many of the highest quality models on the market but they do come at a cost, the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 has a $2299! Awesome if you can afford it!!!

Finding something more affordable

As we mentioned, the best treadmills to buy for running, since they require larger, more powerful motors and also higher quality builds to withstand the pounding these will not come cheap.

In fact, unless you are getting a great deal on something used, buying cheap could end up costing you more in the long run.

Brand new and more affordable

We will list cheaper models that, maybe not with flying colors pass our test but do meet at least the minimal requirements.

best Sole running treadmill

Sole s77 treadmill

SOLE S77  – (Price $1599)

  • 4.0 CHP heavy-duty motor
  • Warranty – lifetime on motor and frame, 5 years electronics, 2 years labor
  • 22-inch wide by 60-inch length running platform
  • Cushion Deck Whisper Flex System
  • Incline

Sole is definitely a solid company to buy from, from our experience, they have great customer service, we have one of their models in our basement and have zero complaints.

The Sole s77 model listed here has a great engine and high torque. While we don’t rate this model as high as the two NordicTrack models reviewed above, it also costs $700 less. The motor is a little smaller and the cushion system is not as extensive. But still, a high quality choice for runners.

Cheapest treadmills made for running

If you can afford to go big, we have a few options that might be more in your price range:

  • ProForm Pro 2000 ($1168) – provides outstanding value for runners. 3.5 CHP motor, 20 x 60 inch platform
  • NordicTrack C 900 ($999) – 3.0 continuous horsepower plus motor, adjustable cushion system
  • ProForm Power 995i Treadmill ($936) – 3.0 CHP motor, 20 x 60 inch platform

CHP Motor

Before buying any model, you will most definitely want to make sure the treadmill has a Continuous Horse Power (CHP) motor. These are the strongest and most durable, they also provide the smoothest performance. Stay away from buying models with either Treadmill Duty or Peak Duty rated motors. These two types are not as strong or as durable. Another important quality is rotations per minute (RPM), the lower the better. A lower RPM means the motor has more torque, it’s stronger.

The motor is the single most important quality to consider. Without an operable motor you will go no where. For runners, we recommend at least a 3.o CHP. If you can find a 4.0 or 4.25 CHP in your price range, we recommend going larger.

Warranty

The good news, most, if not all, reputable manufacturers will offer different warranties. But before buying any model we suggest you make sure. Usually you will find these mentioned and outlined in the product description. What you will definitely want to see, lifetime warranties on both the frame and motor. Then there are usually separate warranties on accessory parts and labor. These are not as important as lifetime warranties on the motor and frame. The warranties covering, accessory parts and labor are usually between 3-5 years.

Large running area and cushion

Running is definitely a more intense exercise compared to walking and jogging. We don’t have the injury statistics in front of us but we have to assume more serious injuries occur when running. To help prevent injuries while running it’s best to have a long and wide platform and also a treadmill that provides a good shock absorption/cushion system. Models providing adjustable cushion are best, they allow each individual to find the setting which best matches their individual style.

Platform dimensions, width and length? As for width, at least 20 inches, the wider the better. As for length, although we highly recommend 60 inches. A person with a shorter stride may be able to get away with less. We would not go below 55 inches.

Personal Preferences 

After you have found models that meet the core criteria listed above (motor, warranty, running area and cushion) then you can begin to narrow your selection down based on your personal preferences. For many people the next logical step in deciding will be price. At least we would suggest spending within your budget. Once you have decided how much you are willing to spend then you can start looking at the aesthetics, the designs you like the most and the different accessories and extras include with different models.

The Bottom Line

Don’t allow the aesthetics, how much you like how a certain treadmill model looks or the extras included drive your purchasing decision. Of course, price will be a factor but overall, first focus on motor, warranty, running area and cushion. These four areas are definitely the most important to consider.

All the treadmills listed above meet the most important criteria for runners.

 

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