Best Treadmill for Walking
Last Updated: September 14, 2021
Are you looking to buy a treadmill only for walking? Read on for shopping tips to help you make a smart purchase and find the best treadmill for walking.
Treadmills are expensive pieces of equipment, but you likely won’t need to spend a fortune if you plan to use one for light workouts. After all, even slow treadmill speeds have proven to be therapeutic for various conditions, from spastic Cerebral Palsy to Peripheral Arterial disease and stroke recovery. Seniors and those with joint problems may also find walking the best way to stay active.
With the wide variety of these fitness machines in the market, deciding which one to buy can get quite complicated. Some higher-end options are geared more towards professional runners, while some cheaper ones might not be the best in terms of durability. That’s precisely why we’ve simplified everything for you by reviewing some of our favourite treadmills for walkers this year. You’ll also find a shopping guide at the end that explains everything you should check before buying one.
Best Treadmill for Walking rated by our fitness professionals
Overall Best Treadmill For Walkers: ProForm 505 CST
The ProForm 505 CST is a feature-packed model made primarily for casual home use. With its 2.5 CHP motor, it’s best if you need a foldable, compact treadmill for walking and occasional jogging. Specs-wise, it’s pretty much the same as another popular ProFrom model, the Carbon TL, even retailing at a similar price point.
The 16 km/h speed limit and up to 10% incline allow enough workout variety on the 505 CST. Besides, there are 18 preset workout programs for goal-oriented usage. As always, we’re in awe of iFit, which can sync via Bluetooth to this treadmill and comes with a year’s worth of free access.
The tread belt is of an adequate length even for tall users, equipped with ReBound Pro™ technology to provide an adjustable cushioning option. The 5-inch console LCD, tablet holder, adjustable fan, and pulse sensors in the handgrips all add value to this model. There’s also a Bluetooth receiver for wireless heart rate monitoring if you own a chest strap. Audio features include iPod and mp3 compatibility and dual 2-inch speakers so you can play your favourite tunes out loud. An accessory tray further adds to overall user convenience.
- 1-year free iFit Bluetooth
- Can handle light to moderate workouts
- Foldable with EasyLift technology
- Sizeable deck with cushioning
- Bluetooth heart rate receiver
- Good combination of essentials and extras
- Compact design
- 135 kg weight limit
- No integrated iFit-ready screen
- Can get a bit noisy while in use
ProForm 505 CST
Runner-up 1: NordicTrack C700
It’s safe to say that the NordicTrack C 700 is a somewhat downgraded version of the NordicTrack S 25i, with its lower cost compensating for its slightly lower speed, incline, and weight limits. This foldable piece of equipment features a 2.75 CHP motor made for light to moderate at-home usage.
With the C 700, you get free 1-year access to iFit so that you can use it on your device and sync via Bluetooth to the treadmill. 20 built-in preset programs offer more training options, and a 20 km/h top speed with a 10% max incline help multiply calorie burn.
We like how the running belt is big enough even for longer strides, so users who need to speed up can do so without worrying about falling off. Thanks to the FlexSelect™ technology’s effective shock absorption, none of us experienced any pain after walking on this one.
The C 700 offers a good amount of extra features, too. There’s the workout fan on the console to keep you cool, dual 2-inch speakers, and a Bluetooth heart rate receiver if you happen to have a chest belt and need an alternative to the built-in pulse sensors.
Overall, it’s an excellent option for walking and jogging, and you can expect the 2.75 motor to last long if you’re indeed looking for light to moderate-intensity workouts.
- Supports light to moderate-intensity workouts
- Spacious tread belt with FlexSelect™ cushioning
- Free 1-year iFit Bluetooth access
- Bluetooth wireless heart rate receiver + hand pulse grips
- 125 kg weight limit
- Excellent warranty package
- Good extras (tablet holder, fan, and speakers)
- iFit needs your own device due to no integrated compatible screen
- NordicTrack’s customer support has mixed reviews
Best Walking Treadmill For Heavy Users: NordicTrack S 25i
The NordicTrack S 25i stands out among the best treadmills under £1500, mixing up all the essentials with some extra features. The foldable, compact design helps accommodate the S 25i in restricted spaces, while its 2.75 CHP motor keeps your options open, offering light to moderate intensity usage instead of solely walking. The sturdy frame and slightly higher motor power also enable those on the heavier side of the weight spectrum to walk without fearing motor burnout.
Like most budget treadmills, there’s a basic 7-inch LCD over the console instead of a fancier display. However, it doesn’t let the lack of a screen limit your entertainment options. With iFit Bluetooth compatibility, and of course the free 1-year membership, you’ll find plenty to stay engaged as long as you have your own device to use the app.
This model features a spacious tread belt that can reach speeds up to 22 km/h, although the 2.75 CHP motor suggests otherwise. It’s best for walking and jogging and also offers up to a 12% incline if you’re looking to add an uphill component to your workout. NordicTrack’s cushioning feature feels great on this one – none of us had any complaints about sore joints or achy knees after being on the deck for a while.
The dual speakers, extensive warranty package, and workout fan are also worth mentioning. Overall, if you’re planning on long-duration walking or sharing your treadmill with heavier people who might want to speed up, the S 25i is a great option.
- Keeps your options open – walk, jog, or speed up occasionally
- Free 1-year iFit Bluetooth membership
- Can handle up to135 kg weight
- Great warranty
- Long tread belt with cushioning
- EasyLift folding feature
- Good extras
- You need your own device for iFit use
Best Compact Treadmill For Walkers: ProForm City L6
The ProForm City L6 is made for minimalists and those keen on saving space. The slim, sleek outlook and compact footprint are aided by a foldable, stow-away design, so you can literally just slide it under your bed once you’re done working out.
The 2.0 CHP motor and 14 km/h speed are good enough for a walking treadmill, although the lack of an incline option is certainly disappointing. There’s a simple 5-inch LCD on the console for your workout stats and a device shelf to place your gadget while you use iFit features. The same iFit Bluetooth compatibility of the previously discussed models is integrated into this one, as is the 1-year membership that comes free of cost. We like how they didn’t compromise on cushioning, with the deck having ProShox technology integrated for shock absorption.
Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth receiver, the City L6 also offers a heart rate monitoring option if you have your own chest belt. It doesn’t have any speakers, fans, or bottle holders, but their absence makes the console less bulky and the treadmill more compact.
Overall, it’s a straightforward, no-frills option for anyone who doesn’t like big, heavy machines getting in the way. Don’t expect much sturdiness, though, and if you’re on the higher side of the weight spectrum, it’s best to go for something more solid!
- Compact footprint
- Foldable, stow-away design
- 14 km/h top speed
- ProShox™ Cushioning
- iFit Bluetooth compatibility with free 1-year membership
- No incline option
- Not for heavy users
- limited motor warranty
- No fans, speakers, or side handlebars
ProForm City L6
Best Value Treadmill for Walkers: ProForm Carbon TL
Consider the ProForm Carbon TL as a slight variation of the 505 CST, offering almost similar performance at an identical price. At 2.6 CHP, it has more than enough motor power for walking and can handle a bit of jogging too. Staying well under £1000, the Carbon TL tops our list of the best budget treadmills for 2021.
This one combines the most in-demand features to balance functionality, entertainment, and convenience. 16 km/h top speed and up to 10% incline offer plenty of workout variety for a treadmill meant for light usage. The tread belt allows comfortable leg and elbow room for a smooth workout experience, even for tall users. We also like how the ProShox™ cushioning system works well in shock absorption, minimizing harmful impact forces to the joints.
The console on the Carbon TL is equipped with a 5-inch LCD – nothing fancy, but we aren’t complaining since they provide iFit Bluetooth compatibility which you can avail through your own device. That gives you plenty to stay hooked to your workout without getting bored. Use iFit for its thousands of workout videos, virtual running locations, live coaching, marathons, challenges, and stat tracking. This app is a gamechanger for everyone who thinks treadmills are boring!
You also get 20 preset workouts, an accessory tray, and good audio features like dual 2-inch speakers and iPod/mp3 compatibility. If you’re looking for a workout fan, get the 505 CST – this is one of the few differences between the two models.
- Can handle walking and occasional jogging
- Free year-long access to iFit via Bluetooth
- 135 kg weight allowance
- Good warranty
- Roomy tread belt with cushioning technology
- EasyLift™ folding system
- Customer service is quite slow
- No workout fan
A Guide to Buying the Best Treadmill for Walking
Let’s talk specs! You don’t need a giant, heavy, strong machine when your primary reason for buying a treadmill is walking without speeding up. Making a wise, well-informed choice can help you save hundreds of pounds.
Below are some estimated specs you can consider as a guide. Further on, we have discussed some features in detail to help you choose the best treadmill for your needs.
Minimum Recommendations for Walking Treadmills
2.0 to 2.5 CHP
45 x 125 cm
App compatibility/Device Shelf/LCD
|10-year frame, 5-year motor, 1-year parts, and labour|
Motor Power & Intended Use
While home treadmill motors may have a CHP value as low as 1.5, we recommend getting at least a 2.0 CHP motor or higher to ensure longterm performance. Many factors come into play when deciding the minimum motor power you will need on a treadmill. Firstly, you need to figure out if you’re planning on speeding up in the long term. If yes, go for 2.5 CHP, the minimum we recommend for jogging, or 3.0 CHP or above for running. The same goes for those who plan on sharing their treadmills with people who might want to speed up.
Heavy users can also put additional strain on the motor, so if anyone above 90kg is going to use a treadmill, add 0.5 CHP more to our recommendations. If, however, you’re an individual of average weight and only need light usage, the 2.0 to 2.5 CHP range should be able to suit your requirements.
Many modern, high-end treadmills have powerful motors of 3.5 CHP or above. These are more geared towards professional or commercial usage. Buying a treadmill with an overpowered motor just for walking is frankly a waste of money because you won’t be using it to its full potential and will still pay hundreds – or even thousands – just for this feature.
If you have a medical reason behind purchasing a treadmill for walking or you often suffer from knee pain, it’s best to check out the cushioning technology of whatever model you’re considering. Treadmill use can create harmful impact forces that can cause foot, knee, and back pain over time. That is why most good-quality treadmills today feature some form of shock-absorbing technology to prevent such injuries. Brands like ProForm, NordicTrack, and Sole are reputable for having effective cushioning under their treadmill decks.
Size and Foldability
If you live in a small flat or just don’t like the idea of a huge treadmill getting in your way, it’s best to buy something foldable and compact. EasyLift™ technology is a common feature on treadmills by top brands, having a hydraulic system that lets you fold up the running deck against the console with ease. It’s also a good idea to check out the footprint, especially if you have limited floor space.
We all know how treadmill walking can get too boring too fast. That’s why you should always check if there’s at least a tablet holder or device shelf over the console, if not an integrated screen. Many treadmills are compatible with fitness apps to help you stay hooked to your workout. While iFit, offered by ProForm and NordicTrack, is our favourite, others like Sole offer Kinomap for virtual running locations or other apps that track your workout progress.
Treadmills also have varying audio features, so if you need something besides your own mp3 player and earphones, check those out. Many have speakers and an audio jack to play your music out loud. Some with web-enabled screens may have Bluetooth headphone compatibility if you don’t want to listen to the treadmill’s audio over its speakers.
Extra features like accessory trays, workout fans, bottle holders, and Bluetooth heart rate receivers are nice to have. Their importance depends on your personal preferences and workout habits.
Most treadmills for walking are on the cheaper side due to their lower motor power. Price usually increases with the CHP value and features like console screens, bigger tread belts, and fans, etc. Determining your preferences beforehand can help you save hundreds of pounds that you would otherwise waste on features you would never use.
It’s important to pay attention to a treadmill’s warranty – less warranty might even indicate low quality. The higher level of confidence a manufacturer has about their machine, the higher warranty they generally offer. Not having enough years on the frame, motor, parts, and labour may mean heavy expenses in case you face issues later. From our observation, well-built treadmills should offer at least 10-year frame warranty, 5-year motor warranty, and a year on parts and labour.
With all the info you now have on the best treadmills for walking, you can go ahead and confidently make a purchase. Just take care to check out the specifications closely, and you should be able to bring home a piece of equipment you’ll thoroughly enjoy and benefit from.