The Best Treadmill For Runners – Which One Ranks #1?

As runners, we require a treadmill that can stand up to the continued use/abuse it will receive on a daily basis. Therefore, finding the right machine that is both ‘in-budget', yet can be compared to the high-end commercial models is somewhat of a challenge.

I made it my goal to seek out the top 3 treadmills for runners and I think you will be delighted at what my research has uncovered!

Quick Answer:

  1. ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill
  2. Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill
  3. LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill

In Search of the Best Treadmill for Runners

1. ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill


This product is designed with the runner in mind, and as such, it has been featured in Runner’s World Magazine, where it was labeled a best buy. It is foldable via easy hydraulic springs and has a sound system compatible with smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players, as well as a CoolAire workout fan for users.

This treadmill’s running belt measures 22” by 60” and is cushioned with a ProShox Lite Cushioning Deck in order to absorb shock and impact.

It runs smoothly thanks to a 2.5” precision machined and balanced non-flex rear roller, and the machine is powered by a 3.5HP motor that promises power and strength for a great workout.

Equipped with Quick Speed, Incline, and Decline Controls, this machine has speeds that go up to 12M MPH, an incline that reaches 15%, and a decline that goes to -3%.

Due to the quick functioning controls, users can navigate between varying intensities with ease and have the changes they input implemented almost instantly.

The treadmill comes with a 7” console with a backlit display that demonstrates time, distance, and speed. Pulse rates are also monitored through an EKG grip that is located on the handlebars, doubled up with a wireless chest strap.

The console is also compatible with iFit Live Technology, so users who pay for the iFit service will have access to its entire library of exercises. The iFit sync also allows users to pick a scenic route on Google Maps for the treadmill to imitate the terrain of. If the user does not have access to iFit’s services, then the console itself already has 32 workout programs and 18 pre-set applications to pick from.

A lifetime warranty on frame and motor, a five-year warranty on parts, and a two-year warranty on labor come with the treadmill, making it a guaranteed purchase.

However, in terms of customer service, there have been complaints of difficulties in getting through to ProForm as a company in order to avail of the warranty. But this is a solid choice for anyone looking for a professional-quality piece of workout equipment for serious training.

2. Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill


This treadmill is the highest priced of the options on this list, but this is due to its professional-like quality that could mimic what you may find at the gym.

It has a 375lbs weight limit and comes with an MP3-compatible sound system and cooling fans to prevent users from overheating during runs.

The running belt on this machine measures 22” by 60”, making it perfect for running, and its deck is fitted with Cushion Flex Whisper, which is a proprietary feature that has been scientifically proven to reduce the stress and impact places on the body during runs.

It’s been said that it reduces shock by 40% in comparison to asphalt roads. The tread belt is also two-ply, so it is thick and durable too.

With that being said, the machine is built to have components placed just slightly lower than some other treadmills, so if a user is tall and used to other machines, the adjustment may be uncomfortable. Fitted with a 3.5 HP direct circuit

It is fitted with 2.75” rollers to allows for quiet and smooth exercise times. The trainer allows for speeds of 0.5 MPH up to 12 MPH, and it can incline upward to 15% with a rack-and-pinion gear design for added versatility.

The treadmill, however, needs a few moments to switch between speeds and inclines. A 7.5” LCS console displays all the necessary basic information for users, and it comes with a pulse grip and chest strap in order to track heart rates.

The computer is also built with six standard programs, two custom programs, and two heart programs, so users can pick and choose what works best for them.

This product comes with a lifetime warranty for its frame, motor, and deck, a five-year warranty on electronics and a two-year warranty on labor. If you are interested in purchasing a treadmill that makes you feel like you are bringing a gym into your home, then this may just be the right pick for you.

3. LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill


This treadmill is good for those who want all the functionality of a runner’s treadmill but at a lower price. It won the Treadmill Doctor “Best Buy” Award for Best New Treadmill and the Fitness Professor “Head of the Class” Best Treadmill under $1000 in 2011. It can hold up to 300lbs and is foldable with EZfold technology that requires little to no effort to use.

The running belt of this treadmill is 20” by 56”, making is slightly smaller than the usually recommended size for running. With that being said, as a compromise for a less expensive product, this can be said to make the slightly shorter tread belt worth it. It is fitted with six compression shock absorbers and has a biochemically accurate deck suspension, which makes it safe and comfortable to use.

The continuous-duty motor fitted into this machine is of a high quality, and it has a 2.5 HP rating. Once again, this is lower than the typical standard for a running treadmill, but it does its job regardless. The all-steel frame was assembled via robotic welding for durability, and it is meant to simulate outdoor exercise.

Like many others, this treadmill comes with a multicolored LCD console that has guided usage, and it displays a user’s time, distance, speed, and burned calories, as well as step count.

The latter is traced via Intelli-Step, which is a highly accurate, patented step-counting function. The console also has 21 exercise applications built into it, which cover many different focus areas – sports training, heart rate, fat burning, cardio, and weight loss are all included. Users can then upload all their progress and data through a USB port on the console directly onto a device of their choice.

The machine even has a safety feature that stops movement completely if users stop walking on it for longer than 20 seconds. This is known as the Intelli-Guard. In addition, the product comes with a lifetime warranty on frame and motor. However, LifeSpan’s customer service is not known for its excellence and users may face difficulties reaching them or working with them.

But for a runner’s treadmill with many functions at a reasonable price, this is one to consider.

Wrapping it up

Depending on your running frequency, you may be able to get away with one of these top treadmills. However, if you have a daily running habit like I do, then you will want to steer clear of the ‘budget' options and opt for a treadmill suitable for commercial use.

That way you are guaranteed a longer warranty period, superior build quality, a quieter machine and most importantly one that will stand up to years and years of use.

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