Are you tired of the gym? That’s understandable. As great as a gym can be, it does have its drawbacks. You can be stuck in a contract having to pay more monthly than you had planned; there is all the commute time; parking, and fighting the crowds of people. You might also not feel safe going into a gym right now with the potential for the spread of germs and disease. Many fitness clubs are not cleaned and maintained as well as you would hope.
The point is, training at home is becoming a more appealing option. It’s great to get outdoors if you love running, walking or hiking, but with the prospect of bad weather coming, it can throw a wrench into your fitness plans. If you are an avid runner, a treadmill is going to be the best option to be able to continue to run and exercise in your own home.
But many treadmills are very expensive and are often some of the most costly pieces of cardio equipment. It turns out this is not the case, and you can get some exceptional treadmills for under $500. This is less than the cost of most yearly gym memberships for the ability to workout in peace, whenever you want. If space and storage is your concern why not also check out our review for the best folding treadmill for small spaces.
Best Budget Treadmill Under $500
Here is a look at the 6 best treadmills under $500.
Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill SF-T440
If you have any knee or joint issues, this is the treadmill for you. Not only is it foldable and convenient to store, it features a shock absorption system to help protect your knees. You may think that a treadmill is similar to the high impact of running outside on cement–but they aren’t, especially the SF-T440.
The shock absorption system helps to cushion each stride you take preventing less knee and joint impact. This is a great option if you are a serious runner as not only does it go up to 9 mph, it also has three different incline levels. This is great if you want a steeper, more demanding workout. You can use it in the regular flat mode, or get a higher intensity, more calorie-burning workout.
There’s no surprise this folding treadmill is an Amazon top choice as it comes with 9 built-in workout programs which is perfect if you like having a set workout to follow. One other great feature is the built-in device holder so you can still watch or listen to anything on your phone or tablet.
- Side hand rails for extra support while running
- Also features handrail controls to adjust speed, start, and stop
- Small dimensions so it should fit into any room you have
- Can only handle a max weight of 220 pounds
ProForm Performance 300i Treadmill
The 300i is a straight forward treadmill, but meant for the serious runner. If you need a strong and supportive build quality, the ProForm Performance 300i can handle anything you throw at it.
This treadmill contains a ton of features including a great LCD display that features a quick speed control so you can increase your pace without any disruption. This treadmill also can go up to 10mph which is pretty impressive for this price point.
The 300i features some very beneficial technology including a built-in EKG pulse monitor that is in the grips of the handles. This allows you to take your heart rate while you are running to determine if you are in the right training zone or not.
As mentioned before, this is the chice if you are a serious runner as it has a longer than average treadmill belt which allows for longer strides, which you don’t often get in a home treadmill.
- ProShox cushioning system to help protect your joints and knees
- Can hold up to 300 pounds
- Foldable and easy to move
- Can adjust to a 10 % incline
- Does Not have any pre-programmed workouts
Weslo Cadence G 5.9i
The G 5.91 is a great option if you are looking for a treadmill to use for more than just running. This is possible as it comes integrated with the iFit membership. This app syncs with bluetooth to allow a wide variety of different training program options–over 16,000. If you like to have a lot of variation in your workout–and get bored doing the same thing–this treadmill will be a great choice for you.
Not only can you follow iFit, but the G 5.9i also has a built-in tablet holder so you can watch videos or follow other workouts online or on YouTube. Besides all the variety of workouts, this treadmill is a real space-saver so it will fit in the smallest spaces.
You can use it in your bedroom or any small space you have. Since it is foldable, it easily moves out of the way to give you more space. This is still a great option if you are a serious runner as the belt is 16 inches wide, and 50 inches long, which will accommodate you easily if you have a wider running stride.
- Comfort cell cushioning system to protect your joints
- The iFit app which doesn’t just have thousands of workouts, but personal training options and studio classes
- Only weighs 118 pounds
- No incline option
- Doesn’t have a pulse measuring option
XTERRA Fitness TR150
XTERRA makes some of the best fitness equipment on the market and the TR150 is an Amazon Top Choice. This is a great choice if you have a wider running stride, or longer legs, as it features a 16 inch wide by 50 inch long treadmill belt.
The TR150 will be able to keep up with you if you have a long and powerful stride as it can handle speeds up to 10mph. The TR150 would be at home in a commercial gym as not only is it for intense running, it also has three different incline options to increase the intensity of your workouts.
The TR150 will also cover you if you’re looking for more than just a simple run as it has 12 different pre-programmed workouts in it. This variation is important for results as it keeps your body guessing and creates a changing stimulus.
The best workout is the one you haven’t done yet. It has a large 5 inch display screen that also looks like it comes from a higher-end treadmill. It will track your speed, time, distance, and calories.
- Hand grip Pulse monitor
- XTRAsoft deck cushioning to support your knees, joints, and tendons
- Powerful 2.25hp motor
- Folds and stores away very easily
- Max weight of 250 pounds
- Requires some more assmembly than other treadmills
Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
This treadmill will blow your mind with its fashionable look and unique functionality. It looks like it belongs in a boutique fitness club with its unique design and color, and can make a great addition in your home. Not only is this a folding treadmill, it can work as just a walking platform.
This allows it to be used in an office to create your own walking desk. There are so many options with the Goplus that you’ll always be able to use it in a different way. If you are feeling like a simple walk–and can’t go outside–you can do that–but it also works for a serious run.
It has a powerful 2.25hp motor that can handle an intense workout and the riser can be lifted to provide handles and more support to make you feel safer. It also features some great technology including a remote that can change the speed. This is great if you are using it in walking mode.
It also has a Bluetooth speaker which you don’t often see in a treadmill at this price point. This treadmill will be your choice if you live with other people and need a quiet way to exercise as it has a quiet motor and shock reducing noise reduction system.
- Looks and functionality combined together
- Great amount of technology
- Convenient, multi-purpose, and quiet
- Walking speed of up to 4 mph, and running speed of 12 mph
- Doesn’t have a large LCD console but can hold a phone or tablet
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515
You use a smartphone, and this is a smart treadmill. The SF-T7515 is another Amazon Top Choice that is small, compact, and stylish. What makes this treadmill standout is that it’s one of the only ones you will find under $500 that has an automatic incline function.
You are able to adjust the incline and intensity while you run. This allows you to keep your workout consistent without having to get off and adjust the treadmill, and has 12 different levels of incline going up to 12% which is pretty impressive for a home treadmill.
The SF-T7515 incorporates your phone into your workout with bluetooth connectivity and a built in speaker system and microphone. This allows you to listen to your own music, but also take phone calls inthe middle of your workout.
It has a large backlit LCD monitor that tracks speed, distance, time, calories, heart rate, and body mass index calculator, which I’ve never seen on a home treadmill before.
- Handrails with built-in pulse sensors
- 12 different workout programs to give you variety
- Soft drop hydraulic system for easy folding and portability
- Top speed of 8 mph
Important Things to Consider When Buying a Treadmill
Budget will be the first thing you need to determine when purchasing a treadmill as there are thousands of different options out there. You can find treadmills for a few hundred dollars up to thousands and thousands of dollars. You want to be able to limit the options so you are not overwhelmed with choice. The first thing is to determine your max budget as this will help to narrow down your choices.
The next thing to consider is the amount of space you have. You can buy larger treadmills, but you need to make sure you have adequate space for them. If you live in a smaller home or apartment, you need to decide where you will be able to use it.
Once you have determined that, you will need to measure the area to see what the largest size treadmill is that you can put there. The larger the treadmill, the more running space you will have on it–but many smaller treadmills still have a sufficient running area. With the dimensions in mind, you can now look at the options that will fit your space.
If you have any sort of injuries including knees, joints, and hips, you will want to make sure you choose a treadmill that has the best comfort, shock absorbing belt system. There will be some impact from the running, but modern treadmills have been able to make the running stride much more comfortable.
Another important thing to consider is what type of workouts you like to do. If you are happy running at your own pace, and like to consistently do this, you don’t need a treadmill with a ton of options, or pre-programmed workouts.
If you are the type of person that likes variety, you will want to look for an option that has multiple programmed workouts so you can always switch things up. If you prefer more variation and instruction, you will want to look for one that has a fitness app connectivity so you can follow workouts led by trainers and instructors.
Personal Trainer Recommendation & Conclusion
It’s always important to double check with your doctor if you are ok to exercise if you are starting up a new fitness regime. It’s always important to know where you are at health wise just to make sure everything is safe.
With running, it’s important to always warm up before going straight into your workout. A treadmill is great because you can start at a low intensity and walk for 5-10 minutes to get the heart rate up and increase blood flow to working muscles. You can also gradually increase the speed and intensity to get fully warmed up before going into your main workout.
Don’t forget to finish with a cool down too, as this is just as important as the warm-up. You never want to be running at full pace and then just stop. You want to gradually slow the speed down until you are at a brisk walking pace, and get it to a more manageable speed for around 5-10 minutes. This helps the body to cool down and avoids blood pooling in the muscles which can lead to cramps and discomfort.
Stretching at the end of a run is always important too. Make sure to hold stretches for at least 15-20 seconds, and avoid bouncing through the stretch. A treadmill makes a great part of a home workout as you can incorporate other exercises such as bodyweight circuits to get a well-rounded workout that finishes–or begins–with running on the treadmill.