Best Treadmills For Walking 2024 - Forbes Vetted

If you made a New Year’s resolution to revitalize your fitness routine, look no further than the walking treadmill. Whether you're dedicated to clocking in daily steps or simply aiming to amplify your overall physical activity, the best treadmills for walking will propel you further in your pursuit of health and well-being.

Our standout recommendation, the Sole Fitness F80 treadmill, seamlessly marries performance with user-centric features, making it an ideal option for novices and seasoned fitness enthusiasts alike. And yet, we recognize that the landscape of walking treadmill is diverse, which is why we've meticulously evaluated various models to present a curated list of five additional picks, each uniquely tailored to meet your personal requirements. Mini Foldable Treadmill

Best Treadmills For Walking 2024 - Forbes Vetted

Take it slow with one of the best treadmills for walking

Beyond performance-oriented features, practical considerations also play a pivotal role in choosing a walking treadmill. For those with limited living space, a walking treadmill that folds provides a space-saving solution without compromising on functionality. Noise levels during operation, ease of assembly and connectivity features with fitness apps further enhance the overall experience, making it essential for you to weigh these factors in your decision-making process.

At Forbes Vetted, we work with treadmills of all types, having rigorously tested folding treadmills, under-desk treadmills and even treadmills for runners. In the same way, we’ve put these walking treadmills to the test to ensure they meet the highest standards of performance. At the end of this guide, you'll discover more insights into our criteria for selecting the best walking treadmills, along with additional tips on optimizing your walking routine for various conditions and activities.

Deck Size: 22 x 60 inches | Maximum user capacity: 375 pounds | Maximum speed: 12 mph | Maximum incline: 15% | Maximum decline: N/A 

When it comes to bang for your fitness buck, the Sole Fitness F80 has always been one of the best treadmills for walking. Featuring a broad 22 x 60-inch belt that’s cushioned with one inch of flex, it maximizes comfort for walks of any distance. Speed and incline adjustment controls positioned on the armrests are some of the easiest we’ve used to change settings on the fly. And with a maximum incline of 15%, even walking slowly with a higher incline makes it easy to work up a sweat.

Interacting with the F80 comes courtesy of a 9-inch LCD display that offers guidance through 10 pre-programmed workouts. Alternatively, the integrated tablet holder allows you to indulge in a Netflix binge or catch up on your favorite podcast while walking. Boasting a top speed of 12 miles per hour and a robust 3.5-CHP motor, we find the F80 to be just as capable should you wish to pick up the tempo and turn a walk into a light jog.

Deck size: 16 x 49 inches | Maximum user capacity: 220 pounds | Maximum speed: 9 mph | Maximum incline: 3 settings | Maximum decline: N/A

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Treadmill is a compact and affordable walking model that offers a variety of features for home workouts. Its 2.2-HP motor can reach speeds of up to 9 miles per hour, and three manual incline levels adjust the intensity of your exercise. While we prefer the ability to adjust incline by degrees of intensity, the treadmill’s three preset levels are still effective at this price point.

Beyond the powertrain and incline, a large LCD display shows your speed, time, distance, calories and heart rate via pulse grips, as well as 9 built-in programs for different activities. The treadmill has a shock absorption system that reduces the impact on your joints, and a soft drop system that makes it easy to fold and unfold the treadmill in seconds.

Deck size: 20 x 59 inches | Maximum user capacity: 290 pounds | Maximum speed: 12.5 mph | Maximum incline: 12.5% | Maximum decline: N/A

If you’re looking for a treadmill that offers interactive and engaging workout classes, you might consider the Peloton Tread. It’s designed to provide a smooth and comfortable walking experience, while also granting you access to thousands of live and on-demand classes led by professional instructors—choose from different types of workouts such as hiking, bootcamp, yoga, strength training and more.

Track your progress and metrics (in-workout metrics like speed, mileage, pace splits, heart rate zones and elevation) on the 23.8-inch HD touchscreen, which tilts up to 59 degrees for optimal viewing. It’s one of the nicest displays we’ve seen on any fitness equipment, from treadmills to ellipticals to rowing machines.

A speed knob lets you adjust your pace from up to 12.5 miles per hour with a simple twist while an incline knob lets you alter the deck’s angle from 0 to 12.5%, again with a simple twist. And if you’re not sure how you’d like the treadmill’s incline to change, an auto-incline option sets the incline to follow the instructor cues.

A powerful 3-HP motor delivers consistent and quiet performance as you walk while front-facing stereo speakers and rear-facing woofers deliver clear sound, and a front-facing camera and microphone let you interact with other members and instructors.

Realistically, this might be a bit overkill if you’re only interested in walking and don’t mind going solo. But if you’d like to join classes, work your way up to running or share the Peloton with others, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Deck size: 18 x 47 inches | Maximum user capacity: 250 pounds | Maximum speed: 8 mph | Maximum incline: N/A | Maximum decline: N/A

The ProForm City L6 skips the flashy screen and massive motor, focusing instead on the features that matter most for a daily walking routine. Boasting characteristics reminiscent of ProForm's dedicated running treadmills, it offers interactive training options and convenient tablet connectivity. With a maximum speed of eight miles per hour and a lack of incline, it caters perfectly to those who prefer a more leisurely pace, but we think the simplicity is rather reasonable at this price point. And because it folds flat to the height of the deck, you should be able to store it under a bed or in a closet without worry.

Deck size: 20 x 50 inches |Maximum user capacity: 350 pounds | Maximum speed: 4.0 mph | Maximum incline: N/A | Maximum Decline: N/A

The LifeSpan TR1200 under-desk treadmill is our favorite model for walking while you work because, as one might assume, it does its job without disrupting your productivity. Unlike other traditional treadmills with a dedicated display, you can easily monitor and adjust your speed, distance, calories, steps and time via a console that sits on your desk. The treadmill’s spacious and low-speed belt fits under most desks and the motor is quiet as a mouse, which means you won’t disturb colleagues as you walk or drum up too much background noise during calls. 

The TR1200 also has a safety feature that stops the belt when you step off, and a visual indicator warns others when the belt is moving. When you're done walking, you can move the treadmill with the front-mounted wheels to stow it out of site, but it’s worth noting that the treadmill weighs 115 pounds, making it lighter than most models but still a bit heavy if you’re unaccustomed to lifting and maneuvering objects.

Deck size: 17 x 64 inches | Maximum user capacity: 400 pounds | Maximum speed: N/A | Maximum incline: N/A | Maximum decline: N/A

If you’re looking for a manual treadmill that can improve your walking form, challenge your endurance and fit in with your other home gym equipment, consider the Trueform Trainer Curved Treadmill.

As a manual treadmill that lacks a motor, it has a slightly curved deck (it features a mild 2.5-inch curve from the highest point at the front and back of the treadmill to the low point in the center) that allows you to control the speed and intensity of your sessions by walking faster or slower. It’s built with a durable steel frame, a smooth and quiet belt and a basic monitor that shows your time, distance, speed and calories. And it features wheels for easy portability and storage.

The curved deck and manual nature of the treadmill improves posture, engages more muscles, burns more calories and reduces the impact on your joints compared to a motorized treadmill. 

Backed by a team of dedicated editors and writers, we’ve published dozens of health and wellness articles, including a series of fitness-focused stories that cover at-home equipment, like rowing machines and ellipticals. We’ve spent time testing and evaluating everything from folding treadmills to under-desk treadmills, all in an effort to help you make informed decisions in your pursuit of wellness.

When it comes to evaluating walking treadmills, we leave no stone unturned, considering crucial factors such as deck size, top speed, incline and an array of additional features. Our commitment to providing trustworthy recommendations is rooted in a thorough understanding of what makes a treadmill unique. So, rest assured that when you follow our guidance, you're not just choosing a walking treadmill; you're investing in your health with the confidence that comes from the expertise of our well-informed reviewers.

We regularly update this article to ensure it contains the most relevant information and up-to-date pricing. It was last updated in January 2024.

We chose the best walking treadmills by performing extensive research, which included pouring over firsthand reviews from professional testers and consumers. We’ve also tested many of these treadmills ourselves in the comfort of our own homes or at the gym; you’ll find many of the picks on our list come personally recommended.

And because we know every shopper has different needs in terms of budget, intended purpose and storage space, our list contains a variety of options. The LifeSpan TR1200 Treadmill wide belt makes it easy to work and walk simultaneously, plus its compact size is ideal for apartment dwellers. Those who prefer following a guided workout should enjoy the Peloton Tread, which provides access to on-screen trainers and tons of different workouts. All in all, our list includes treadmills that can suit every kind of indoor walking enthusiast.

Choosing the best walking treadmill for your needs can be a challenging task. For that reason, I spoke to Ben Johnson, a gym manager at Snap Fitness who also serves as a health, fitness and wellbeing coach at Foundation Health Coaching. With over 15 years of experience, Ben offered some advice for those looking to purchase a walking treadmill.

Do you want to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health or simply stay active? Different treadmills offer different features and programs that can help you achieve your specific goals. "If you can, choose a treadmill that adapts with you,” says Johnson. “Whether you're starting slow or aiming for more intense workouts, look for versatility in speed, incline and varied programs. A treadmill that grows with your fitness journey ensures you stay engaged and motivated for the long run."

"The most important point to consider when choosing a treadmill is to opt for one that fosters consistent use,” explains Johnson. “Choose a model that not only supports physical fitness but also incorporates features like interactive classes, entertainment options or possibly integrated with your working environment. This not only enhances the enjoyment of your daily walks but, more importantly, contributes to the sustained commitment crucial for lasting health benefits."

How much are you willing to spend on a treadmill? Treadmills vary widely in price, from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Generally, the more expensive ones have more features, better quality and longer warranties, but you may not need all of the bells and whistles.

How much room do you have for a treadmill in your home? Treadmills come in different sizes and shapes, and some models fold up when not in use. You should measure your available space and compare it to the dimensions of any treadmill you’re interested in.

"Beyond the technical specifications, my suggestion is to assess how seamlessly the treadmill fits into your lifestyle,” explains Johnson. “Consider factors like ease of storage, assembly and compatibility with your existing tech setup. A treadmill that effortlessly integrates into your routine becomes more than equipment—it becomes a practical and sustainable health investment and not an expensive clothes rack."

What do you like or dislike about using a treadmill? Some people prefer a wider or longer belt, a higher or lower incline, a quieter or louder motor, a simpler or more advanced console and so on. Consider testing different treadmills before buying one to see which one suits you and your needs best.

Optimizing your indoor walking routine involves tailoring it to various conditions and activities to maximize its benefits. Here are some tips for optimizing your walking routine in different scenarios:

Experiment with incline settings and speed variations to simulate outdoor conditions and challenge yourself. Make indoor walking enjoyable by listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks to stay motivated and engaged during your routine. Incorporate short bursts of faster walking or brisk intervals to increase calorie burn and improve cardiovascular fitness.

Use fitness apps to track your steps, set goals and monitor progress over time. Participate in virtual walking challenges or use apps that provide virtual landscapes to make your walking routine more engaging.

Consider using an under-desk treadmill to stay active during work hours without disrupting your tasks. Take short breaks every hour to stand, stretch or take a quick walk around your workspace to combat sedentary behavior.

Prioritize a proper warm-up and cool down to prevent injuries and improve flexibility. Maintain good posture while walking to prevent strain on your joints and muscles.

Pay attention to your walking form, keeping your head up, shoulders relaxed and arms swinging naturally. Practice rhythmic breathing to enhance relaxation and endurance during longer walks.

Remember to listen to your body and gradually progress your routine to avoid overexertion or injury. Whether you're walking for fitness, weight loss or overall well-being, adapting your routine to different conditions and activities can keep it engaging and effective.

Treadmills for walking and running are designed with distinct features that cater to the specific needs and preferences of users engaged in different types of workouts. Here are some key differences between the two:

I’m an investigative features writer at Forbes covering technology and society. I previously spent three years covering tech for Politico and three years as a staff columnist at The New York Times.

I’m an investigative features writer at Forbes covering technology and society. I previously spent three years covering tech for Politico and three years as a staff columnist at The New York Times.

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I am an assistant editor for Forbes Vetted currently residing in Austin, Texas. I primarily cover deals and consumer shopping, and previously worked as a deals staff writer for Wirecutter. My byline has also appeared in the New York Times. I have over four years of experience writing in the e-commerce sphere, and spend most of my time scouring the web for the latest consumer news and best discounts. 

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Leah Koenig's writing and recipes have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Epicurious, Food52, and Tablet, among other publications.

Leah is the author of six cookbooks including The Jewish Cookbook (Phaidon, 2019) and Modern Jewish Cooking. (Chronicle Books). In addition to writing, Leah also leads cooking demonstrations and workshops around the country and world. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two children.

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Jenni is a writer, editor and business coach for freelancers. She typically writes about parenting, purchasing and psychology. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, skiing, running and camping in the Central Oregon mountains with her two kids and her husband.

Best Treadmills For Walking 2024 - Forbes Vetted

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