Best Walking Treadmills of 2017
If walking is your choice for home fitness, you can save money compared with people who want treadmills for running. Treadmills for walking can be built from cheaper components and still support great workouts. For one thing, they can have smaller motors of about 2.5 CHP. For another, they can have smaller workout belts; room for long running strides isn’t needed.
In all price classes the best walking treadmills have workout areas 20” or 22” wide and at least 55” long. Machines with smaller workout dimensions can make exercise uncomfortable and unsafe -- so if you need to conserve space, choose a folding unit. Folding treadmills can supply enough room to walk safely and comfortably, but they can be rolled away after workouts.
Two other features to keep in mind: cushioning and incline. Cushioning isn’t as important for walkers as for runners, but shock absorption still matters for joint/tendon protection. Power incline can further reduce impact… but this feature is popular especially because it increases potential calorie burn, helps sculpt lean muscle, and makes indoor walking more exciting! Check out the incline and other special features on our five best walking treadmills shown below.
Top 5 Best Rated Walking Treadmills
|Motor||4.25 CHP||2.75 CHP||3.25 CHP||3.0 CHP||3.0 CHP|
|Speed||0 - 12 mph||0.5 - 12 mph||0.5 - 12.5 mph||0.5 - 12.5 mph||0 - 12 mph|
|Incline||-6 - 40%||0 - 15%||0 - 15%||0 - 15%||-6 - 40%|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
Walking Treadmills Buying Guide
The importance of walking should not be overlooked. Yes, jogging and running are excellent cardiovascular exercises but in a world that is increasingly making us less dependent on our feet and more dependent on other means to transport us around — walking is just as valued as ever.
Some people will say that you should only invest in a treadmill for jogging/running purposes, but we think that is just ludicrous. Walking is just as effective of a cardio workout with the proper focus and goals and if you really think that you’ll spend more time walking than jogging on your new treadmills, why not save a few hundred dollars by purchasing a treadmill designed more for walking?
While the 3.5 CHP motor of some of our highest rated treadmills are excellent for all ages and abilities it is not exactly necessary for primary walkers. You definitely want to invest in something that has some power, but in reality a lot of 3.0 CHP motors (and even a few 2.5 CHP models) can and will support walking.
So if you plan to be the only user of the treadmill and think that you’ll spend the majority of the time walking why not invest in a walking treadmill?
When you shop in this niche make sure you note the capacity of the motor first, but also consider other specs like speed and incline. Do you feel like a max speed of 10 mph will support your abilities? 12 mph? What about incline? Are you really looking to challenge yourself with intense simulations of hills or is a steady, flat surface ideal?
While a lot of great walking treadmills exist you should definitely be careful of budget treadmills trying to front as a walking treadmill. What we mean by this is some very low-end models may come across as outstanding candidates for walkers (lower powered motor, speed and incline not great), but are actually just poorly made treadmills with no hope for a long lifespan.
You should definitely note the max user weight, size and weight of the trainer, and the brand. Even though you may only intend to walk on the treadmill some models, even at that slower pace, ride a little shaky and feel like they’re about to break. Always invest in something that is stable!
The most important factors to consider when searching for appropriate walking treadmills are:
- Size of the treadmill
- Max user weight
- Power of motor
- Reputation of company
- Warranty and guarantee
Of course, added luxuries like iPod dock, built-in speakers, iFit Live and cooling fans never hurt either. In the end, walking treadmills do not require a ton of specs yet you definitely want something that is durable, sturdy and backed by a solid warranty and guarantee.
More Walking Treadmills
The following did not make the Top 5 Walking Treadmills, but are still worth a look: