A compact treadmill for walking |or is a folding model a better choice

by Jack on March 31, 2016

If you have been searching for a compact treadmill for walking then you probably noticed there are a ton of different choices to choose from. For many people this is will be their first time buying a treadmill so they are not exactly familiar with the most important qualities to judge in order to make the best purchasing decision. Which makes it more confusing. On top of that they are also unfamiliar with the “good or bad” reputations some companies may have earned.

Do any of the following points describe you and needs:

  • Limited workout space, need a model for a small room?
  • Lightweight and portable machine?
  • Price conscious?
  • Maybe you need a treadmill that can fold up for storage?

Rather than reading “explanations” maybe you just want a quick recommendation on the smallest, most basic, most affordable model you can use for walking in your home?

Does this look like something you would be interested in?

Below is the Stamina InMotion Manual Treadmill. We cannot guarantee it’s the absolute smallest treadmill available but with dimensions 47 by 22 by 45 inches (L x W x H) this is a space saving model. It’s also very inexpensive. But is this what you want? Notice it doesn’t have a motor, you are required to generate the power to move the belt.

Smallest Compact treadmills for walking

Obviously this is a very bare bones basic treadmill. For what it’s worth, the Stamina InMotion Manual Treadmill does receive good ratings from customers. Notice, in the picture below it also folds up and weighs less than 50 pounds.

space saving treadmill

A little more meat on the bone

If the Stamina manual treadmill wasn’t exactly what you were looking for and you were looking for a good choice like a model “with a motor” we have a few high quality recommendations below.

But there is something important we must say.  First, what exactly is the definition of the word, “compact“, as an adjective it means, closely and neatly packed together; dense.

So with this said, one of the of the main features allowing the compactness is the reduction of the tread belt (running platform) size. This is important. Models with shorter tread belt are not optimal for running.

small treadmills for walking

Tread Belt: 16 X 50 -inches (W x L)

For example the Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill (pictured above) has a tread belt length of 50 – inches, while this model does receive good ratings this is not a model we would recommend to runners.

Sure, some people with shorter strides could people manage to run decently on it. But in our opinion, we need to see a tread belt of 55-inches or longer to consider it a model for runners.

We know most people visiting this page are probably here interested in walking. But we want to make it clear models with shorter tread belts are not recommended for running. Furthermore, a model with shorter belts are usually made less sturdy and have smaller horsepower engines. These are two more qualities that do not exactly make for a good model to run on.

So, if you happen to be here looking for a space saving model that you can both run and walk on what should you do? Towards the bottom of the page we have list a few solutions. Or you can follow this link.

A what is? Problem we came across

We understand the definition of the word “compact“, we already provided the dictionary definition of the word, ” closely and neatly packed together.”. Most people might not be able to recite the definition but most people typing this into Google understand the word relates to “smaller“, they are looking for “smaller” models.

Space saving compact vs folding treadmills

Machine is over 6.5 feet in length

A problem we came across, when Googling the phrase, “compact treadmills for walking“, the top web results didn’t actually address “compactness for walking”, the majority of the web results showed examples of expensive folding treadmills which are built for running.

For example, at the time of writing this review, the top website for this search was treadmillwatch.com if you spend the time to read this page (as well as other top sites) it seems as if they are promoting “folding treadmills”, some big expensive models to boot. Another first page result for the same search recommend big folding models like the Sole F85 pictured above.

Folding does not equal compact

Or does it sometimes? As we have seen, some websites categorize folding to mean the same as compact. This is not entirely true. Yes, when folded up the treadmill dimensions become smaller but when folded down some of these models have huge dimensions.  

This is not to say there is anything wrong with this. In fact, this might be exactly what you want. One advantage would be a longer track allowing the person to run but then could be folded up when no in use to save space.

folding vs compact treadmills

Above is a picture of the Sole F85 the same pictured in the folded position above. This is an excellent model for runners it’s also quit expensive.

Compact treadmill for walkers

It’s hard to know exactly what all people are looking for. If you are absolutely sure walking is the only type of exercise you will be using the machine for and you just want a small space saving basic model then we would recommend looking into a compact.  Especially if you are price conscious as these will be the cheapest option.

If you are not price conscious and believe either you or someone else in your household might like to sometimes do more than walking (running) and you are willing to spend 800 – 1000 dollars or even more then you might want to look into a foldable option.

This type of model can serve as a space saving model when folded up in it’s horizontal position. You will be able to buy a model with a larger track and larger motor and overall will be more sturdy and durable over time.

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