Amid COVID-19, everyone’s stuck in their homes to practice social distancing. For some, it’s bad news as they can’t go back to gyms and continue their workout.
Whether it’s bad weather outside or your busy schedules makes it difficult to go to the gym – For whatever reason, you’re stuck at home, why not invest in the best treadmill for runners on a budget? This would make your quarantine time useful and productive.
Buying a treadmill is indeed a luxury for which you don’t want to spend too much money on, only to later end up with disappointment. You’ll find home treadmills to be budget-friendly and suitable for rooms having little space in contrast to the commercial treadmill.
Below, we’ve rounded up the best treadmills for runners on the budget that are built to last for long. But before, consider the factors before buying the perfect treadmill.
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Top 11 Budget-Friendly Treadmills for Runners
Factors to Look For Before Buying the Best Treadmill for Runners
1. Manual vs Electric Treadmill
When you go to purchase a treadmill, you need to know the difference between a manual treadmill and a motorized treadmill.
With a manual treadmill, you move the belt by moving your feet against the deck whereas, an electric treadmill uses a motor to set the belt in motion.
Both of the machines have their perks. The runners would have to put on extra effort while running on a manual treadmill, which in turn, would increase your heartbeat and burn calories. You have the control of either increasing or decreasing the speed by simply moving your feet since no electricity is required. You can stop the treadmill whenever you want to – this ensures safety.
Speaking of motorized treadmills, the motor speed plays a crucial role. Higher the speed, the better the performance. You can set the speed, and incline/decline while you’re running on the deck via controls. Such treadmills are integrated with pre-installed workout programs, fitness apps connectivity, and many more.
Both of the treadmills are targeted at runners, however, electric treadmill supports longer endurance sessions. It’s up to you to decide which treadmill best fits your requirements.
When you decide to purchase the treadmill, look out for motor specifications. A powerful motor will determine the life-span of the machine and the experience a runner would have. Look for a maximum speed of 2.5 HP as it’s an ideal motor speed for both light-weight and heavy-weight runners. An excellent warranty that supports the motor would be preferable.
You need to consider your requirements of the treadmill such as what features do you want, how frequently you’re going to use the machine, etc. Based on that, you can plan your budget accordingly. If you’re looking for an affordable treadmill that has strong built and works like a charm, you will have to spend between $500-$800.
Space matters when it comes to setting up a treadmill at your place. If you have a spacious room that you want to turn it into a gym, you don’t need a foldable treadmill. However, if you’ve limited space, you should consider buying a compact/folding treadmill that occupies less space. Before buying the machine, measure the length and width of the treadmill so you can make sure that you can easily accommodate the treadmill.
5. Track Size
Treadmills that are exclusively designed for runners are meant to have longer tracks with adequate space to run on the belt. 58″-60″ tracks are suitable for runners so that they don’t feel confined and have the freedom to move with ease.
The treadmill should have a speed higher than you normally run at but it shouldn’t be excessive. The budget-friendly machines have a speed of 10 km/h whereas powerful treadmills can reach up to 16 km/h. A speed of 10 km/h is more than enough for runners to have an extensive workout session.
7. Weight capacity
It’s important to consider how much weight can a treadmill hold. It’s a matter of concern for heavy runners because if a machine’s capacity is lower than the person’s weight, the treadmill won’t be stable to run on and the parts would be prone to wear and tear. Therefore, look out for machines having a weight capacity of 300-350 lbs. for a smooth and comfortable running experience.
8. Additional Features
Budget-friendly treadmills may include HD screens and touch-displays but you want to make sure that it covers the essentials like built-in workout sessions to level up your strength training. Moreover, a heartbeat monitor that would keep a close eye on your heart rate during your workout session. Other features include a tablet/cell-phone holder and USB port to keep you motivated during a workout.
Best Treadmills for Runners on a Budget
1. Weslo Cadence G 5.9 – Designed For Beginners
The Weslo Cadence is one of the best cheap electric treadmills for running that won’t cost you a fortune. Although the machine doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, it has essential features to meet your fitness needs. For beginners who have just stepped into the world of running, this treadmill won’t be a disappointment.
The treadmill consists of a 2.25 HP motor that promotes long workout durations. It’s specially designed for jogging and running purposes to break a sweat and burn calories.
You can adjust the speed in increments of 0.2 MPH to 10 MPH. In this way, you can set up your workout speed to a certain speed that you’re suitable with.
- Blue LCD screen
Check your workout progress via the crystal-clear blue-tinted LCD screen that displays statistics such as speed, distance, time, heart rate and no of calories burned.
The deck has a comfortable cell cushioning, which increases the level of comfort and aims to minimize the impact on your joints during a prolonged session of your workout.
You’ve to manually adjust the incline instead of electronically. The machine offers two incline positions with a maximum slope of 6.7%, which is suitable for a beginner-level trainer.
The G 5.9 has a compact size of 64″ height, and 29′ width, allowing you to set up the treadmill in a restricted space. Once you’re done with the workout, you can simply fold it by moving the deck vertically until you hear a click sound.
- Additional Features
The treadmill doesn’t have a huge list of fitness programs, but it has over six unique personal trainer programs and three intensity training sessions, all of which are designed by professionals that are proven to be effective.
Moreover, you can check your heart rate using the heartbeat monitoring system embedded in the machine so you can check your progress.
The G 5.9 has space for placing your tablet and water bottles so you can keep your essentials close to you. You can tune into your favorite music or watch your favorite TV show to entertain yourself during a workout.
The console display consists of few buttons to navigate around the user-friendly screen.
The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 is worth the price as compared to other treadmills available in the affordable range. It comes with a 90-day warranty on labor and parts along with a year warranty on the motor. All in all, it’s a great entry-level treadmill for beginners.
- Easy to assemble
- Occupies less space
- User-friendly screen
- Doesn’t include a life-time warranty
- Has the weight-capacity of 250 lbs.
2. Goplus Folding Treadmill – Best For Endurance Athletes
Goplus 2.25HP Folding Electric Treadmill is rightly one of the best cheap treadmills for running that has a robust built and outshines amongst other cheap treadmills in terms of endurance and longevity. You’ll be impressed just by its professional look, but there is more to it than just the design. At an affordable price, you can enjoy the benefits of the treadmill.
The Goplus treadmill includes a 2.25 HP motor that needs 110 Volts power to operate – Perfect for speed, endurance, and interval training.
The treadmill offers speed in the range of 0.5 to 7.5 MPH, which may not be suitable for intense training sessions but sufficient for the trainers who want to practice endurance training. You can adjust the speed according to your exercise.
- LCD Display
The 5″ Blu-ray LCD screen displays the progress of your workout such as no of calories burned, speed, distance, time, heartbeat, pulse rate, etc. It comes with 12 built-in workout programs that help you in burning calories, improving your health, and keeping you in shape.
With 3-level manual incline positions, you can burn your calories quickly and tone up your muscles. Not only that, but the cushioning design of the treadmill ensures noise-free and vibration-free operation to provide the most comfortable workout experience without putting stress on your muscles.
The Goplus treadmill has the dimension: 62×26.5×49.5, which means that it’s compact and can easily be tucked away. There are wheels attached to the base of the treadmill, so you can relocate the treadmill wherever you want to.
- Additional Features:
The safety features included in the machine are impressive. With the safety key, you can stop the treadmill in case of any emergency, or you could press the emergency stop button to stop the operations momentarily. This treadmill has a simple start, stop, and control keys to adjust the speed.
The GoPlus treadmill has a holder so you can fix your smart devices and use them while you’re working on the treadmill.
Although the GoPlus electric treadmill doesn’t include fancy features, it manages to capture the eyes of runners by its strong and attractive design, safety features, 3-level incline options, and economical price. It’s a well-rounded treadmill that excels in delivering the purpose.
- Includes safety features
- 12 built-in workout programs
- 5-inch LCD display
- Supports less weight capacity i.e 220 lbs.
3. SereneLife SLFTRD18 – Designed for passionate runners
SereneLife SLFTRD118 is a foldable compact electric treadmill that lets you train smarter using the iFitShow app, which gives you access to a long list of training programs, Google maps, and much more. It’s an entry-level treadmill that is bound to impress you with its specifications that will help you reach the fitness goals.
SereneLife SLFTRD18 - Smart Folding Compact Treadmill
The treadmill is fitted with a powerful 1HP motor that is noise-free and lets you run smoothly at speeds up to 6 miles per hour.
The treadmill has a backlit LCD that shows statistics like no of calories burned, pulse rate, speed, distance, and time during the workout.
SereneLife SLFTRD118 is one of the best compact treadmills for running that you can fold and set aside when you don’t want to use it. The dimensions of the machine are 49.6x24x51.2 inches that doesn’t occupy too much space.
- Running Deck
The size of the treadmill belt is 39.3″x13.4″ inches, which provides enough space for you to run comfortably.
- Additional features:
Runners can use the iFitShow app that connects any smart device via Bluetooth and record your workout statistics. You can place your devices and water bottles in holders so you can utilize them effectively during exercise.
The handles are embedded with grip sensors that link the LCD with the training statistics. Moreover, the safety key is provided so you can stop the machine during any emergency.
SereneLift SLFTRD18 is suitable for beginner-level runners who wish to have a compact treadmill that can easily be set up at a confined place. It's a good value for money and lets you do jogging, running, and walking seamlessly.
- Easy to assemble
- Automatic incline option
- Different training modes.
- Less weight capacity
- Limited warranty
4. NordicTrack T 6.5 S – Designed For Simplicity
An entry-level treadmill in NordicTrack’s T series range that incorporates basic-level features. It’s suited for those who’re looking for best treadmills for running under $500 and want a treadmill that has a cushioning system and built-in workout programs to restore your motivation to achieve fitness goals.
NordicTrack T Series 6.5S Treadmill
The 2.6 CHP motor doesn’t overheat during operation. It cools down itself. However, if you’re planning to do heavy training covering long distances and requires consecutive runs, you may want to check out some other treadmill having a more powerful motor.
It comes with a 5″ backlit display that shows the progress of your workout and results obtained when choosing a particular workout program.
The T 6.5 S has an impressive performance. The belt speed can reach to 10 MPH and when you’re performing at higher speed, you’ll find the treadmill frame has a solid built and doesn’t vibrate.
- FlexSelect Cushioning design
To prevent impact on your muscles and joints, the two cushion isolators provide support to minimize the impact on your joints so that you aren’t left with sore muscles by the end of the workout. There is an on/off system – you can activate or disconnect the cushioning system.
- Built-in Workouts
Without the use of iFit, the treadmill includes 20 preloaded workouts designed by professional trainers to burn calories and perform endurance training. Each workout program has control over the treadmill’s incline motion and speed.
- Incline/decline control
The T 6.5 S offer incline up to 10% that is suitable for boosting up your metabolism rate and tones your muscles from running and jogging. You can control the incline and speed through one-touch buttons.
Thanks to the space-saver design, you can easily fold your treadmill once you’re done with the workout. All you need to do is lift the deck to a vertical position.
The NordicTrack T 6.5 S comes at a bargain cost without having bells and whistles. It is intended for those who aren't looking for a treadmill equipped with advanced technology and are only focused on performance.
- Supports a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
- It comes with a lifetime frame warranty with 25 years motor and a year warranty on parts and labor.
- High performance
- Compact design
- Dual speakers
- It doesn't have high-end features.
- Can’t directly connect it to iFit.
Read: Best Treadmill Under 600
5. MaxKare Treadmill 2.5HP – Designed For Smooth Workout Experience.
The MaxKare treadmill is a perfect buy for beginners, including the elderly who are conscious about keeping their fitness and health in check. With its ergonomic design and promising features, you wouldn’t regret investing in a budget-friendly home running treadmill.
MaxKare Folding Electric Treadmill
MaxKare treadmill is equipped with a powerful 2.5 HP motor made up of pure copper and produces no noise even if you increase the speed to 8.5 MPH, which is the maximum speed the motor supports.
- Anti-shock absorption system
The 17-inch multi-layer running belt has a weight capacity of 220 pounds and provides a stable running experience without affecting your joints and muscles. Each layer of the belt has its purpose. The noise reduction layer makes sure that no noise is being generated when the machine is working. The EVA shock absorption layer reduces the impact to minimize any injuries that may occur.
The MaxKare treadmill has a foldable design so you can store it. It also has wheels, which makes it easier to relocate the treadmill wherever you want to.
- Workout programs
The machine comes with a large LCD screen along with 15 pre-installed workout programs that will amp up your exercise. You can track real-time statistics on your screen during a particular workout program.
Three incline levels are manually adjusted. Degree 3 is the highest incline level suited for jogging, walking, running, or burning calories whereas Degree 1 is the lowest level, which is perfect for slow walking.
The Maxkare compact treadmill is deemed suitable for performing running exercises and is a good choice for beginners who're buying a treadmill for the first time.
- Compact design
- Strong built
- Quiet in operation
- Great customer service
- Anti-shock system
- Treadmill belt isn't ideal for taller users.
6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M – Best Budget Folding Treadmill for All
Kickstart your fitness journey with SF-T1407 treadmill!
Presenting you one of the best budget-friendly foldable treadmills that don’t compromise on performance. Sunny Health and Fitness treadmill make sure that runners receive the maximum cardio benefits. From strengthening your muscles to improving the overall shape of your body, your fitness dreams will come true.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill, Gray
The treadmill has the dimension: 49x23x50, making it a compact treadmill that can easily be folded so you can store it anywhere you wish. You can move it from one place to another.
- Ergonomic design
The treadmill has non-slippery handles for a better grip. The soft foam allows you to maintain the perfect balance as you walk on the treadmill belt. SF-T1407M has a sturdy built that is made to last long and withstand the pressure of extensive training.
- Manual treadmill
The treadmill doesn’t require the use of electricity. It is an energy-efficient machine that delivers high-performance functionalities without any need for a power outlet.
- Multifunctional digital monitor
You can create your goal-specific workout using the monitor to monitor your progress like no of calories burned, time, distance, speed, etc.
- Incline control
Since it’s a manual treadmill, you can set the incline level through your feet and gently moving it against the deck to perform challenging exercises.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M is a manual treadmill that doesn’t have extra features but it’s solid for the price due to its durable design, smooth running surface with no noise at all. One can easily keep up a steady pace while running on the treadmill.
- Ergonomic design
- Easy to assemble
- Maximum weight capacity of 220 lbs.
7. Confidence Power Plus 600W – Best Fat Burning Treadmill
The Confidence Power Plus electric treadmill is an inexpensive electric treadmill for runners on a budget. It offers basic features suitable for beginners. The treadmill is the ultimate fat-burning machine that would help you burn the stubborn fat in no time. If you want to do running or jogging in the comfort of your home, this treadmill will help you in achieving fitness goals.
Confidence Power Plus 600W Motorized Electric Folding Treadmill Running Machine (Pink)
The treadmill comes with a 1.5 MP – 600 W motor, which is robust and can keep the treadmill in motion for the runner who weighs 250 lbs. It offers speeds in the range of 1-10km/h, and the motor has a noise-free operation.
- LCD Display
The minimalistic console display shows the progress of your workout by displaying no of calories burned, distance traveled, speed, and time. It also features a safety key that can automatically shut down the treadmill in case of emergencies.
The full product size is 49”x24”x11”, making it a compact-size treadmill. The space-saver design of the Confidence Power Plus makes it easier to fold your treadmill and store it in a closet or a small room. You can fold the deck vertically as well as horizontally – it can fit under your bed easily.
The treadmill doesn’t require much maintenance. You only have to clean it with a damp cloth and remove any dirt from time to time. The machine comes with a silicone lubricant used for lubricating the treadmill belt that can be after every few months.
- Running surface
The belt size is 14″x 38.5″ which means that it doesn’t have a really wide surface and that could be a problem for tall runners. However, running on the treadmill gives you a smooth and steady experience.
If you're low on budget and you aren't looking for a high-tech machine, you can go for Confidence Power Plus which would help you in shedding some weight and achieve a healthy body.
- Easy to Assemble
- Easy to Maintain
- Low power consumption
- Weight capacity of 250 lbs.
- Doesn't feature cushioning
- No incline feature
8. Merax Electric Folding Treadmill – Designed for Efficiency and comfort
The Merax Electric Folding Treadmill is undoubtedly an impressive electric treadmill for runners on a budget. It isn’t any less than a premium quality treadmill since it’s designed with high efficiency, accessibility, and perfection. It includes all the features you need to perform running with ease. With several programmed workout options and practical design, this is your go-to treadmill.
Merax Electric Folding Treadmill
A 1.5 HP motor delivers optimal performance and support speed up to 12 KM/H to assist you in a variety of workouts. The motor works quietly throughout the operation.
Compact and easy to assemble. The Merax Folding treadmill has a space-saver design with easy transportation. You can store the treadmill anywhere you want to without any hassle.
The screen isn’t just your ordinary display. Not only you can track your performance in real-time, but you can connect your smart devices and tune into your playlist that will make your workout thrilling.
- 12 programmed workouts
Merax offers 12 built-in workout programs that vary from high to low-intensity exercises. These programs are designed to help you in burning calories and boost your cardio fitness. Choose the plan that best suits you!
- Shortcut button
Whether you want to start or stop the treadmill or change the speed settings, the quick one-touch buttons let you do the job instantly. Moreover, the treadmill supports the anti-shock absorption system so that you don’t feel any resistance during your workout.
If you're searching for a compact treadmill with remarkable pre-set workout programs that can help you achieve weight-loss, The Merax should be your first choice.
- Strong built
- Space saver design
- Comfortable running space
- Has a weight capacity of 250 pounds
- Not easy to assemble
- Non-adjustable handlebars.
- Limited running area.
- Manual Incline levels
9. ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill – Manual Treadmill for Runners on A Budget
The ProGear 190 is an efficient fitness treadmill suited for burning calories and achieving maximum health benefits. It can help you tone up your muscles, lose stubborn fat, and put you in shape. It comes at an incredible cost that isn’t heavy on pockets.
ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill with 2 Level Incline and Twin Flywheels
- Steel frame
The treadmill consists of a steel frame with a powder-coated finish, which increases the longevity of ProGear 190. The full rail design ensures user’s safety during a workout. The long handles equipped with foam make sure you have a better grip.
The ProGear 190 treadmill comes with a simple LCD screen that shows no of calories burned, distance travelled, and total speed. However, not all readings are shown on the screen. You’ve to click on the button to view the readings one by one.
- Belt rollers
Since it’s a manual treadmill, the machine offers oversized belt rollers that are designed to provide a comfortable walking experience.
The ProGear 190 supports two incline positions in the range from 6 degrees to 10 degrees. It has a purely manual belt, so you’ve to adjust the slope yourself.
The product dimensions are 47x23x51, and when it’s folded, the dimension becomes 21x23x51 that makes it easier to store in a closet or anywhere with limited space. You can move your treadmill from one place to another easily.
The treadmill is suitable for those who are looking for a simple manual treadmill having minimalistic features. However, it doesn’t offer outstanding performance. You may find the treadmill too steep, but you can solve the problem by placing cardboard pieces underneath the machine to reduce steepness as well as vibration.
- Easy to assemble
- Doesn’t have enough weight capacity
- Doesn’t come with additional features
10. Goplus Electric Treadmill – Top Diverse Treadmill for Runners
The Goplus Electric treadmill is an entry-level electric treadmill for runners on a budget. Unlike its predecessors, the machine features durable construction, powerful motor, and space-saver design. It’s an all-round machine that enables users to fulfill their fitness goals in the comfort of their homes.
Goplus Compact Folding Treadmill for Home, Electric Walking Running Machine, Low Noise, Built-in 2 Workout Modes and 12 Programs, with Display
The Goplus Folding treadmill is equipped with a noise-free and robust 2.0 HP motor that regulates the momentum of the machine. It operates the belt at 800 Watts. The running belt provides a smooth and sturdy workout experience like never before.
The space-saver design of the treadmill allows you to set up the treadmill anywhere you want to without worrying about space. Once you finish your workout, you can tuck it away and move it without any hassle.
The treadmill features a multi-functional LED display that shows the progress of your workouts, such as no of calories burned, distance, and time. There are over 12 built-in workout programs to help you burn calories and boost your health.
- Strong built
The machine has a heavy-duty steel construction that is unlike other low-quality treadmills. It has a belt size of 38.2×14, ensuring a smooth running experience.
- Safety Key
In case you’re unable to turn off the treadmill, or you start to stumble, you can use the safety key to stop the machine.
The GoPlus Electric Treadmill is an overall decent machine that also comes in a vibrant pink variant. Considering its reasonable price, it lacks high-tech features but the model has a low incline option which means you can increase the slope level up to 5-6 inches and thus increase the intensity of the exercise.
- Easy to assemble
- Has a weight capacity of 260 pounds that is higher than other treadmills in this range
- Holder for smart devices
- Speed can be increased up to 12 mph
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Limited running surface
11. Exerpeutic TF900 Treadmill – Designed for Reliable Performance
One of the best budget folding treadmills. The company is known for its budget-friendly treadmills that are built to last long. TF900 isn’t any different as it’s a light-weight machine offering necessary functions to perform various body workouts. It’s perfect for beginners as well as professional athletes who wish to maintain an exercise regimen.
Exerpeutic TF900 High Capacity Fitness Walking Electric Treadmill, 350 lbs
The treadmill is fitted with a 1.5 HP motor that supports walking exercises. It doesn’t produce any noise during a workout, and it comes with a 5-year warranty.
The walking surface has the dimension: 36″x16,” which is a wide space for walking, and jogging without feeling confined. However, it isn’t sufficient for running as most running tracks are 55″-60″ long
- Safety handles
The safety handles provide a better grip to maintain optimal balance while using the treadmill. It also includes a speed button, making it convenient for the trainers to adjust the speed. The 18” long arm rails makes trainees feel secure during exercise.
The machine weighs only 110 lbs., making it a portable treadmill that can easily be folded and transported.
- Control Panel
The Exerpeutic treadmill is equipped with a touch screen electronic display that shows your workout statistics like calories burned, speed, time, distance, and pulse. It comes with a heart rate monitoring feature that checks your heartbeat during a workout to check your heart health.
Although the Exerpeutic TF900 comes with minimal features in terms of specifications and technological features, it's suitable for trainees who are concerned with the purpose of the treadmill for which it's intended for i.e. to perform low-intensity exercises.
- It has a maximum weight capacity of 350 lbs.
- Very easy to assemble
- 1-year frame warranty, 5-year motor warranty and 90 days parts and labor warranty.
- Comes with safety key
- No incline positions
- Inadequate motor speed
- No built-in workout programs
The NordicTrack T 6.5 S is hands-down the real-deal as compared to other entry-level treadmills. It’s unlike any mediocre treadmill having limited features and poor warranty. The contemporary design, robust built, cushioned deck, and 20 onboard workout programs are what sets the machine apart. For such a compact machine, it’s a surprise that it supports 300 lbs. weight capacity that too with lifetime frame warranty. All-in-all, the NordicTrack T 6.5S is going to be your true companion till the end.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is running on a treadmill as effective as running outdoors?
Ans. While you run outside, you may encounter different obstacles that may become a hurdle to your fitness goals such as potholes, bad weather conditions, uneven ground, etc. By investing in a treadmill, you’ll become free from such obstacles and your running experience won’t be interrupted since you’ll have full control over the speed and incline position.
Q2. Should you wear separate shoes while you’re on the treadmill?
Ans. Most trainers wear the same shoes regardless of whether they are running indoors or outdoors. Even though any type of sports shoes is suitable, you can opt for lighter weight shoes to ensure a better grip since the running surface of the treadmill is smoother than the outdoor grounds.