A Cushioned Treadmill Buyers Guide
A look into cushioned treadmills, why you’d want to buy one, as well as the different cushion technologies available in most treadmills today.
A cushioned treadmill has one very distinctive advantage over conventional treadmills. As the name indicates, a cushioned treadmill has a softened area of its deck that mitigates the impact of running and walking on the legs, knees, hip joints, and ankles.
LifeSpan TR4000i Folding Treadmill
Our favorite for 2016
Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill
A great value option
Sole Fitness S77 Non-Folding Treadmill
A club quality treadmill for your own home
You’d want to get a cushioned treadmill at home if you’ve been dealing with nagging injuries like joint pain and back aches. With a cushioned treadmill, you can avoid injuries and protect your joints from further damage.
Cushioning of treadmills may vary.There are treadmills with full deck cushioning, meaning the padding is consistent throughout the deck. Those with multi-zone cushioning may have a deck which is soft at the front, and firmer at the rear. Still, there are treadmills that have adjustable cushioning, meaning users can change which parts of the deck are firm or soft depending on their preference.
In buying a cushioned treadmill, you’d want to get a feel of the deck. Ideally, the deck should not be too ‘soft’ as this kind of cushioning not only results to the treadmill wearing out quickly but can also put you at risk of knee injuries. At the same time, the deck should not be too hard to the point that you’ll feel like you’re running on asphalt.
With that in mind, here are some of the top cushioned treadmills that you might want to consider buying:
Here are reviews of our five favorite cushioned treadmills for 2017.
Reebok ZigTech 910 Treadmill As a cushioned treadmill, the most striking feature of this machine is its ZigTech cushioning that reduces the impact on the joints. This is also the same technology that Reebok applies for its running shoes. The ZigTech cushioning particularly provides flexibility and softness to the deck, so you won’t feel sore after a workout.
Aside from this feature, the ZigTech 910 treadmill has an integrated, dual-grip heart rate monitor that can help you maximize your workouts. It also a 20 inch by 60 inch treadbelt. Its length allows you to walk, run, or jog depending on your preference.
This treadmill also comes with 30 integrated workout apps that you can turn to. You can also change the pace of the treadmill with its quickstep speed control, adjustable from 0 to 12 MPH.
LifeSpan TR4000i Folding Treadmill A more expensive, albeit more advanced option would be the LifeSpan TR4000i Folding treadmill. This treadmill is pricey but packs a lot of features. It has a textured belt that provides a more comfy running surface and consequently limits the stress on the joints.
The treadmill can reach maximum speed of 12 MPH , and also features 15 incline levels. There are 17 workout programs integrated in this machine all designed by exercise experts, on top of five weight management programs, five healthy living programs and an additional seven sports training programs.
Sole Fitness S77 Non-Folding Treadmill The claim to fame of this treadmill is having the largest motor in a machine that is priced under premium level. But since you’re looking for a cushioned treadmill, the feature that you would be interested in is its propietary stealth technology named Cushion Flex Whisper Deck that reduces the stress on the joints by as much as 40 percent. The said technology also enables the machine to provide a quiet workout to its user.
There are two-ply belts on this treadmill, with two rubbers placed over the middle PVC layer. There’s also a nylon backing which turns over the rollers and deck. The two rubbers provide durability to the belt, while the nylon fabric gives more cushion to your knees and feet.
The deck measures 30 inches in width and 80 inches and depth. The running surface has a measure of 22 inches in width and 60 inches in depth. This is a sturdy machine, capable of accommodating users who weigh as much as 400 pounds.
ProGear LX225 Cushion Deck Manual Treadmill with Additional Weight Capacity and Heart Rate System This is a manual treadmill that stands out with its four rubber cushions situated underneath the deck. It’s hard to find a manual treadmill with that many rubber cushions which significantly lessen the impact of running on various parts of the body such as the ankles, knees, and shins.
You can use this treadmill as long as you weigh less than 270 pounds. Aside from these features, you’ll love that this treadmill has other functions such as heart rate monitor that helps you get the most out of your workouts. There are heart pulse sensors placed on the handlbars for this purpose. Plus, it has wheels that enable you to easily move and store this machine.
Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill This treadmill makes use of Weslo’s Comfort Cell Cushioning system that is designed to lessen the impact of running on the joints, decrease the risks of injury and facilitate faster recovery after workouts. It also features a two-position adjustable recline to maximize results and again, reduce stress on the joints.
This treadmill also has a space saving design, as you’d only need to fold up the treadmill for quick storage. And it does have the large LCD monitor for tracking speed, time, and calories burned.
How to Choose the Best Cushioned Treadmill for You
There are three things to consider when buying a cushioned treadmill.
Obviously, one of the first things that you’ll have to keep in mind is your budget. As you can see, the good cushioned treadmills would start at a mid to high price level. For that price, you’ll get enough support for your knees and feet as well as other advanced features such as heart rate monitoring, programmable workouts, and safety functions.
The ProGear LX225 Cushion Deck Manual Treadmill with Additional Weight Capacity and Heart Rate System, for instance, is priced at the lower end of the scale but expectedly has very limited functionalities compared to the other models discussed above.
Another important factor that you’d have to look in is the size of the machine. Treadmills are large pieces of equipment, so you’d really have to allot a big space at home for this machine. If you don’t have the luxury of a spacious room, then find a model that easily folds when not in use. This type of treadmill can be folded against the wall, freeing up space in your room.
You would also want to get a treadmill with a deck size of at least 17 inches wide and 48 inches long. Remember that a large running surface not only reduces the risks of injury and prevents you from slipping off the track.