Walking is a great way to burn calories, lose body fat and gain physical fitness. While we all love a stroll along a quiet road or a country lane, getting a regular workout in can be a hassle. In today’s modern world people are busy and the demands on our time are greater than ever. Just because you have a busy schedule does not mean that you cannot achieve your health and fitness goals.
Using the best treadmill for walking allows you to get your exercise from the comfort of your own home. Walking treadmills are light and have a small footprint. This compact size means that you can set them up in any room of your house, even in front of the TV! With a walking treadmill, it’s now possible to get your workout in when you want at the time of your choosing.
This review looks at the top five walking treadmills available. Our review and buyers guide focuses on walking treadmills at different price points, and you are sure to find a machine that suits your budget and your fitness goals.
How to Choose a Treadmill for Walking
Before we look at the models on offer, it’s essential to outline the criteria we need to look at when creating our review. Here are the significant features that you should look for when deciding on your final purchase.
The motor of your treadmill is the heart of the machine. Motor power output for treadmills is measured in CHP (Continuous Horse Power). This reading measures the power of the motor while it is running, as opposed to the peak operating power of the motor.
Most home treadmills will come with a 3.0 CHP motor. Advanced machines will have a CHP reading of 4.0 or more and cheap, hobbyist machines will have motor outputs of 2.5 CHP or less. If you weigh more than 200 pounds, or you intend to use the treadmill frequently, you will need a motor with a power output greater than 4.0.
The next important feature of a walking treadmill is the price. Walking treadmills have an entry level of around $500 for cheap, underpowered, recreational machines. A good walking treadmill that has a decent motor and an electronic console with incline and decline elevations will cost between $1,000 to $5,000.
An incline function will enhance the difficulty of your workout. Some machines feature electronic incline elevation, while the cheaper machine may have a manual adjustment. Using incline in your work0out will help you burn more calories by making the workout a lot more challenging than a traditional flatbed treadmill workout.
Walking treadmills come with preprogrammed workouts that automatically adjust the speed and incline of the track during your workout. These programs vary in difficulty level, and some machines come pre-programmed with up to 40 different workouts. For those machines that have an iFit connection and Wi-Fi capability, you can upload your personalized workouts and put them into practice.
There are many different added extras on a walking treadmill. From cooling fans to water bottle holders and even holders for smart devices.
The Top 5 Treadmills of 2018 for Walking
The 5 Best Treadmills for Walking #1: FreeMotion i7.9 Incline Trainer
The FreeMotion i7.9 Incline Trainer is the ultimate walking treadmill. This model from Freemotion comes with a full electronic suite featuring a web browser, iFit coach, and a large color screen. This advanced walking treadmill has a maximum incline of 40% and a decline of 6% making it ideal for the most challenging workouts. iFit Coach Plus enables tailored workouts that meet your training goals and delivered through a scenic, inspiring path as you walk toward success with your training.
- Outstanding electronic suite with color touchscreen.
- Rapid calorie burning.
- Steep incline and decline (40% -6%).
- Reduced impact on joints.
- Extra wide track with good length (22” x 60”).
- WhisperQuiet™ deck.
- 4.0 CHP motor with a lifetime guarantee.
- Built-in speakers.
- 3-Year labor warranty.
- 6-Year warranty on parts and electronics.
- Easy assembly.
- iFit Coach does not come as a standard feature (membership required).
- Customer service is slow.
The Final Verdict
If you are looking for a high-end walking treadmill that has all of the bells and whistles, the FreeMotion i7.9 Incline Traineris the ideal treadmill for you.
However, the electronic suite and quality build components are state of the art and make this machine a powerhouse of calorie burning potential. The iFit coach allows you to trek through a multitude of locations worldwide and the CHP of the powerful motor will handle the steepest incline setting without any track slippage. This walking treadmill is the most advanced treadmill solution ever designed by NordicTrack. If you have an unlimited budget, then this machine is well worth the money.
The 5 Best Treadmills for Walking #2: NordicTrack X9i Incline Trainer
This NordicTrack walking treadmill is a scaled-down version of the X22i, without the electronic suite and the colossal motor output. The NordicTrack X9i is designed for home use and features all the best design components that we have come to expect from the NordicTrack brand. While this machine may not have the technological advancements of the X22i, it still has some electronic function and will provide you with a challenging workout every day.
- 3.0 CHP motor with commercial grading.
- Extra wide track (22”x60”)
- Low impact on joints.
- High decline and incline. (40% – 6%).
- 44 built-in workout programs.
- 7″ HD touchscreen with an enabled Android browser.
- iFit coach enabled.
- WhisperQuiet™ noise reduction.
- Five-year electronics and parts warranty.
- Easy assembly.
- Less suitable for high-speed training programs.
- Poor customer service.
The Final Verdict
This walking treadmill is suited to those that don’t have the budget for the X22i. It still offers a very comprehensive electronics suite and an HD touchscreen. If you are looking for a quality walking treadmill with a strong motor and a fair price tag, then the X9i is your preferred machine.
The 5 Best Treadmills for Walking #3: Horizon Fitness Elite T7
The Elite T7 is the most affordable model available from Horizon. This walking treadmill is compact and folds away. If you are looking for a quality machine that’s priced well, the Horizon Fitness Elite T7 is good value for your money.
- Maintenance-free track
- Five-year warranty on parts.
- Light and easy to fold and store.
- Wide track (22” x 60”)
- 15% maximum incline.
- iPod compatible with built-in speakers.
- 42 preprogrammed workouts.
- Variable three-zone cushioning.
- 8.5” display with backlight.
- Heart rate sensors.
- Tablet rack.
- Folding footprint 44″ x 36″.
- No touchscreen.
- Low powered motor.
- Large footprint when unfolded (71″ x 34″).
The Final Verdict
The Horizon Elite T7 is priced well, and some retailers offer the machine for $1,499. Even though it has a low powered motor, the warrantee, and quality material; ls used in construction are sure to give you a long working life.
The 5 Best Treadmills for Walking #4: The Sole F63
This walking treadmill is robust, and even though it’s an entry-level trainer, it still has some impressive features. Above all, the most remarkable feature of this machine is the price tag. At under $1,000 the Sole F63 s an excellent choice for active people that like to train regularly.
- 3.0 CHP motor.
- Incline of up to 15%.
- 20″ x 60″ track.
- Foldable frame.
- Cooling fans.
- Contact pulse sensors.
- Bluetooth connection for wireless devices.
- Heart rate monitor.
- Tablet holder.
- Short side rails.
- Wireless chest receiver not included with purchase.
- Slow acceleration.
The Final Verdict
The Sole F63 is a club-quality machine that you can set up in your home and then conveniently fold away. This machine is everything you need if you want to complete a few workouts a week. At its discounted price of $999, it’s great value.
The 5 Best Treadmills for Walking #5: Merit Fitness 725T Plus
If you are a recreational runner that doesn’t pound away at the treadmill every day, the Merit Fitness is a machine that will help you get healthy on a budget. The $495 price tag is affordable and allows an easy entry level for beginners. While the motor may be underpowered, it will still work well for those people that are short and light.
- Compact, folding design.
- Ideal for smaller people under 5’10.
- LED windows for workout information.
- Quick controls for easy adjustment.
- AeroSoft cushioning system.
- Thumb pulse heart rate reader.
- Low powered motor 1.25 CHP motor.
- Deck may be suitable for people over six foot tall.
- Poor warranty.
- Not enough preprogrammed workouts.
The Final Verdict
This machine is the bottom of the review list. While it may not have the electronic components of the more expensive models or a very long track, the Merit Fitness is still great for a workout on a budget.
Buying a walking treadmill is a great way to keep fit in the comfort of your own home. Avoid the pitfalls and dangers of training outdoors. Avoid the traffic, the pollution, and the weather by completing your training at home in a controlled environment.
Select the walking treadmill in this review that suits your budget and your fitness goals. This article aims to help you make an informed purchase decision and avoid buyer’s remorse. Buy once and buy right, and ensure that you select the walking treadmill that suits your training and your home.