First, think about your fitness objectives. If it’s enhanced athletic performance, common health and fitness, or rehabilitation, knowing how you will use your treadmill can help you identify which model to purchase.
Next, consider your budget. Investing in a more costly machine gets you sturdier construction, a longer parts warranty, a larger running surface, higher top speeds, and steeper inclines. But whether your goals aren’t necessarily the latest and greatest, you’ll likely be just as satisfied with a less costly model.
Try It Before You Purchase It
It’s required to try out a treadmill in person. Here’s our try-before-you-buy checklist:
- Does the cushioning and shock absorption of the running deck make it comfortable?
- When you tramp or run, do your feet hit the motor housing?
- Can you easily straddle the deck when permanent on the side rails?
- Is the display monitor easy to read?
- Are the controls easy to reach and operate?
Four Factors to Keep in Mind
Size: Most treadmills have an analogous footprint, on average 77 inches long by 35 inches wide. A flexion treadmill will be half its length when stored. You’ll require adequate empty space on the treadmill for access and safety.
Ergonomics: Whether you’re a runner, you will require a deck length that accommodates your stride. Envisage how comfortable you are on the machine while walking or running. Select a model that appeals to you ergonomically and aesthetically.
High-tech features: Docks for iPods, USB ports, and wireless Internet connectivity are valuable features on many treadmills.
Adjustability: Most treadmills have top speeds between 10 and 12 mph; some will go faster. They typically incline among a 10 and 15 percent grade, but some offer an increased gradient.
Other Buying Considerations
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, here are some other things to consider before making the buying.
Weight and Assembly: Treadmills are heavy, so ask about delivery. Check if assembly, tricky even for experienced DIYers, is included or available at an extra cost.
Warranties: When it comes to the warranty, look for three to seven years of coverage on parts, and at least one year on labor. Most treadmills have a lifetime warranty on the frame, and you should receive that for the motor as well.
Returns: And what about returns? Confirm the store’s return policy. Even whether they will take back the treadmill, you might have to pay for the store to retrieve it, as well as for restocking fees. Whether you buy online, search out how return shipping is handled.