Treadmill Review:

All You Need to Know to Choose the Right Treadmill!

Welcome to Cindy's treadmill review. An ISSA certified personal trainer examines treadmills with an eye to quality, value and performance.

As with any large purchase, it's important to take the time to do a treadmill review and find out as much as possible about each machine and vendor before taking the plunge. This is an important and major purchase and there are some large differences in quality and reliability between treadmills and also between online sellers. This treadmill is designed to help narrow your search for a suitable treadmill and help you decide with confidence on a vendor. We hope you find Cindy's experiences and this treadmill review helpful.

You can take a shortcut here to Smoothfitness' new 'Treadmill Selector' that will, given information like your height, weight, exercise preference (walking, jogging, running) and the desired treadmill features (folding, non-folding, HRC), take some of the guesswork out of the process of choosing the right treadmill. Treadmill Selector Click here

Surveys have shown that treadmills are the one piece of exercise equipment that are most used and least discarded by owners.


The beauty of having a treadmill in the home is the time and hassle-savings.

It's nice not to have to worry about the lousy weather outside, the time of day, finding a babysitter for half an hour, wearing the latest running fashions or how silly you might feel or think you look running out in public.

In short, it is darned convenient!

You probably already know this, but I'll tell you again that a balanced fitness and weight loss program includes weight training, aerobic exercise and proper nutrition. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that to lose weight and trim down you need to burn calories on a regular basis.

I know, I've heard this all before...right?

At the very top of the list of fat-burning, aerobic exercises is running and it doesn't have to be fast.

A good quality treadmill is one piece of home exercise equipment that has stood the test of time. Those infomercial products...ab rockers, thigh masters, torso tracks, door gyms, etc., remember them?, are busy accumulating dust in the closet or can be found in your average garage sale.

Why? Because they simply don't work!

These types of infomercial products are made for one purpose - and that's to make as much money on them as possible from a dreamy-eyed public wanting low-effort fitness and weight loss. You can bet that the well-muscled bodies seen on the TV and in the advertising for these things didn't come by all those muscles using the advertised device!

Capitalism at its sleasiest. Beware of promises that sound too good to be true because they usually are. Effortless exercise simply doesn't exist.

The two most popular forms of exercise are running and walking. Whether you are a casual walker or a serious runner, there will be a treadmill designed to accommodate your exercise needs and this treadmill review is designed to help in your search.

Beginner or a pro, if you are looking for fitness equipment that will get the maximum burn, then a treadmill should be at the top of your list. It doesn't hurt either that you can listen to music or watch TV as you use it. You can actually be expanding your mind with audio-books and almost forget you are working out. Have a good run and watch Oprah at the same time!

The treadmill is unsurpassed for a cardiovascular workout. It works the large muscles in your body. According to a study done by the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, calories burned on the treadmill for 60 minutes averaged 865-705. This compares to:

Stair machine 746-637
Rowing machine 739-606
Stationary cycle 604-595
Cross-country ski machine 678-595

Ok, so perhaps you've thought about purchasing one. What things should you consider? What manufacturer? What model? How much will this cost? Our treadmill review will help.

We have had a look at all the other treadmill reviews, treadmill ratings and treadmill comparisons out there and have used and personally examined many of them in order to be as informed as possible. Our treadmill review agrees with some of the other treadmill reviews, but not all simply because of personal experience and preference. Feel free to check out any other treadmill review in addition to this one before deciding.

Do the necessary due diligence...Shop around in fitness equipment stores, do some research on the internet. Some of these stores will help you with your treadmill review.

When shopping for a treadmill and examining each treadmill review including our treadmill review you should bear this in may be starting at the beginning and thinking you don't need a very good or powerful treadmill, but you won't be a beginner for long - as a matter of fact you will probably be amazed at how quickly you notice improvement! A few short weeks will have you stepping up your distance/speed.

Walking will likely lead to jogging and on to running and even if you stay at a walking speed, you want your equipment to run smoothly , without break-downs and you don't want it to wear out too soon. So look for one that has the capability of keeping up with you.

Check out the following for your treadmill review:

  1. Power: Don't look at anything with less than 1.5 continuous horsepower. You won't be able to get up to running speed and it will wear out much too quickly. Peak horsepower is the maximum power for a short burst only and is not really important to you. Of course, the greater the continuous power, the larger the price and as with any purchase it becomes a balancing of budget vs. requirements vs. what you would like to buy if you had a mattress full of money.

    If you are a serious runner, you should be looking at a treadmill with 2.0 hp. (continuous) or greater. Every treadmill review we found agrees with this.

  2. Construction: A sturdy steel frame is best, stand on it and test it to make sure it isn't wobbly.

    Handrail location is a matter of preference. Just be sure they are sturdy and far enough apart to allow free movement of your arms.

    The available belt lengths run from 45 to 60 inches. If you are taller, don't look at the shorter belt length. As to the width, again it is a matter of preference and ease of use. Wider and longer may be more attractive but do you have the space available for what will be a slightly larger treadmill? The answer to this may be in a folding model. You needn't sacrifice quality either in order to be able to conveniently store your treadmill. This treadmill review and many other treadmill reviews agree that there is no sacrifice in quality with the folding models.

    Incline adjustment allows for a more vigorous cardio workout without an increase in speed. You will find this valuable feature available in anything from push-button convenience to manual pin-height adjustment. It can even be built-in to the programming features of your machine - that is, choose a variable-intensity cross-country run program on the console and the treadmill will adjust the incline automatically! Of course, your budget will rule here.

  3. Most treadmills run from 0 to 10 mph. A good treadmill will match the pace you feel comfortable walking or running. A safe starting speed of 0.5 mph or less is also very important for safety reasons.

  4. Features: As with the rest of the electronic, technical world, many cool features are becoming standard in treadmills. Heart-rate monitors, programmable distance, time and intensity courses, calorie-burn counters, speed and length of travel counters are becoming normal features. Next thing you know options will include DVD players and internet capabilities!

    Yes, there are manual treadmills available that run on leg power rather than a motor and for less money. We will be publishing a manual treadmill review shortly.

  5. Warranty: That you get what you pay for is a truism...but high priced or not, check the warranty. A quality brand-name and a 2 to 3 year warranty is smart shopping. Buying privately without a written warranty is like buying a used car - be careful.

    Any online purchase of a treadmill should be backed with a "no questions asked" return policy. If for whatever reason you decide that the treadmill is not right for your needs, you should have at least a 30-day option to return the equipment. This places the risk of the purchase on the vendor.

    Service guarantees are equally important. When you purchase a treadmill they can weigh up to several hundred pounds. You'll want to make sure that you purchase the equipment from a company that provides in-home repairs.

    Remember that aerobic exercise alone may cause you to lose muscle mass as well as fat. Always incorporate a weight or resistance (strength) training component to your routine to maintain that fat-burning muscle mass.

    Ok!... Lets get down to our recommendations:

    After examining many of the options,including construction, power, reliablility, warranty, servicing, and last but not least, pricing, as well as every treadmill review we could find out there, we bring to you the top choices of this treadmill review.

    Smoothfitness is not a mega-department store offering a huge range of exercise equipment (and other stuff) with the commonly found dilution of quality and service. They carry only a line of Treadmills, Elliptical Trainers and Home Gyms that are only sold on the internet and only through their own websites. They have concentrated on high-quality products and factory-direct sales that provide cost savings for them and price savings for buyers. Each top ranking treadmill review includes Smooth Treadmills near the top of the list.

    First, and a Top Pick in this treadmill review is the

    Smooth 9.2 Treadmill which has 3.0 HP. continuous power and a 5-star rating in the epinions treadmill review and a top 10 rating with Treadmill Doctor in their treadmill review. At $2000 including shipping, this is a serious but not high priced machine and given the warranty and servicing guarantees, we would have no hesitation in recommending or purchasing the 9.2.

    Next, but not a step down in quality, just in features is the Smooth 5.0 Treadmill

    This treadmill, obviously by the name, has the space and storage advantage that comes with folding. It has a 2.5 HP motor, handgrip speed and incline controls, a great control panel and of course, a good service warranty. At half the price of the 9.2 at ($999) this is a great deal and is Smooth's best seller.

    In its treadmill review of the Smooth 5.0, 'Treadmill Doctor' called it, "One of your best options for under $1,000.00." They assigned it an excellent rating for "Value" as well as the designation of 'Best Buy'.

    Smoothfitness has just announced a new product release... The Smooth 9.15HR has some really decent features for a mid-price-range treadmill including :

    • Heart Rate Control (wireless!)
    • Power Folding Feature
    • Hand Grip Pulse Monitor and Control
    • 2.75 HP Motor
    • Premium LED Console
    • Large casters for easy movement

    From our examination for this treadmill review, the 9.15HR appears destined to capture the "Best Of Category" title for folding treadmills in this price range.

    Click the link below for more details.

    Smooth 9.15 Power Folding Treadmill
    Heart Rate Control

    On Sale $1,799 (Includes Shipping
    • Premium LED Console
    • Large 20" x 54" surface
    • Powerful 2.75 HP Motor
    • 10 year motor warranty
      Click Here For Detail

    Save Money with Factory Direct Treadmills

    Smoothfitness isn't the only maker of quality treadmills that we looked at for our treadmill review. Another you should give serious consideration to is Sole Fitness

    Sole Fitness is the exclusive provider of in-room fitness equipment for Hilton Hotels, Omni Hotels and more., the top treadmill review site, named the Sole F85 as "one of the best fold-ups on the planet."

    Also rated as a "Best Buy", the F85 treadmill is reviewed by the Treadmilldoctor as "At the top of the treadmill fold up field". The top model in the folding series and SOLE's number one seller. This treadmill includes the longest stride running surface (60 in.), a six-window club-style display with message board and an impressive 3.5 Continuous Duty HP motor . This is the top of the SOLE treadmill line. Just press a button and take your stride to speeds up to 12 mph. The F85 can handle users weighing up to 400 lbs. This model has up to six auto programs and two user-customized workouts. It also has two separate heart rate control programs.

    While at almost $2000 the F85 may be more money than you want to spend, Sole has several less expensive models, including static (non-folding) models at much lower prices but with the same quality, warranty and free shipping included.

    An excellent warranty, good quality components, reasonable pricing and free shipping make Sole Treadmills a good buy.

    Highly recommended.

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