The 4 Best Treadmills For Walking

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by Ileana Morales Valentine

Walking is a great form of low-impact exercise for nearly anyone and having a treadmill means you can walk every day no matter the weather. The best treadmill for walking has a belt length of at least 55 inches for a comfortable stride, with multiple speed and incline options. Make sure that you’re looking at the dimensions for the belt itself to find a treadmill that's suitable for your activities.

A speed range up to 10 miles per hour is more than enough for walkers on treadmills, and the best ones usually have a few incline options and preset programs, too. If you’d like to have the option to jog sometimes, look for a treadmill with a longer 60-inch platform. Also keep an eye out for the weight capacity of a machine. As a general rule, the max weight of the treadmill should be at least 15% more than your body weight.

Without the scenery of the outdoors, it’s helpful to choose a treadmill for walking with some convenient features. An easy-to-read display is essential for quickly adjusting your settings, and you’ll ideally want a treadmill with a device holder and water bottle holder. The best treadmills may also have features for entertainment like Bluetooth connectivity and built-in speakers, as well as a fan, heart rate monitor, or even a built-in TV. Don’t forget important safety features, too, including a tethered safety key or button that stops the belt in case of an emergency and hand and foot rails for extra support.

With all this in mind, here are the best treadmills for walking, including some folding options you can fit into small spaces.

1. The Overall Best Treadmill For Walking

The overall best treadmill has a 55-inch tread belt and can go from 0 to 10 miles per hour. It has a 325-pound weight capacity with a 5-inch backlit display that tracks your intervals, speed, and cardio endurance training. It also offers 10 incline options and dual speakers with an auxiliary port so you can listen to music or podcasts while you get your walk or jog in. This highly rated treadmill features cushioning on the belt to protect your joints.

This treadmill gives you the option of signing up for a 30-day iFit trial membership to reap the benefits of connected training sessions — you can even use Google Maps to create a custom-made workout that mimics routes you'd find anywhere in world. There's an integrated tablet holder, places to store your water bottle, and it folds up and can be wheeled out into another room for storage.

A helpful review: "This treadmill is very quiet and the belt runs very smoothly. Walking platform is easier on the joints than the older models. Display is bright and has a lot of info: laps, speed, incline, calories burned, heart rate. Many different programs to choose from in manual mode. Fits in our smaller guest room even with other furniture and folds up, but is pretty heavy to lift up when folding. [...]. Excellent value for the price, quick delivery and setup."

2. The Best On A Budget

This folding treadmill for walking is a highly rated one with over 3,000 reviews on Amazon. Its speed range offers 0.5 to 10 miles per hour and it has a 50-inch belt surface, which is slightly shorter than the ideal 55-inch length but it's a high-quality, wallet-friendly option. Plus, it has an easy-to-use folding design and wheels so it can be stored in a compact shape when not in use.

Three incline settings and 12 preset programs make it easy to change up your daily walk, and this treadmill's 5-inch LCD display is highly visible with stats on speed, incline, distance, calories, and heart rate tracked by pulse grips on handrails. You'll also appreciate this treadmill's built-in reading rack with additional holders for a water bottle and phone. There's also a remote control for quick adjustments, a safety key, and added cushioning in the machine's deck for increased shock absorption. It has a 250-pound weight limit.

A helpful review: “The machine itself is quiet, but of course when you are running on it, it’s going to be a bit louder, but I’m still able to watch the TV at normal volume even when I’m running at my top speed of 9mph (it goes to 10). I love the fact that it has an accessory holder rather than just an open space for you to put things because when I’m running fast, I don’t have to worry about my water bottle falling down or have fear that it’s going to tumble on to the deck and potentially have me stumble over it. My wife really loves the large display [...] as well as the 3 incline settings [...] She’s more of a walker/jogger, so she pays more attention to the display than I do since it has graphic that circles around and makes her aware of when she has finished a complete lap. One detail that I really like is that the heart rate monitor is part of the two handle bar on the side rather than a thumb."

3. Worth The Splurge

For more intense walking and running, you'll want to consider this high-quality treadmill. A longer 60-inch platform, which is the longest on this list, as well as a 325-pound weight limit put this pick in its own class. You can set it between 0.5 and 10 miles per hour on 10 incline levels and, like the first pick, it has a cushioned deck to help relieve pressure on your joints.

This under-$1,000 pick also features a lot of extras that avid walkers will appreciate day after day, like Bluetooth connectivity to multiple devices and the ability to sync to built-in speakers for crisp stereo-quality sound. There's also a built-in, rapid-charge USB port to keep your phone or device charged during a long walk or run. This pick's substantial frame with handrails includes a device holder to fit a tablet or phone, a backlit LCD display with stats on time, speed, calories, and incline, and it comes with a safety key and heart-rate monitor on pulse grips. The shock absorption on this model is designed to withstand even more intense HIIT workouts. Like my first pick, this treadmill folds for compact storage.

A helpful review: “Gym sized treadmill — super high quality. Fan. Simple display. Incline of up to 10%. Love that it connects to bluetooth so I can watch my shows while working out. Has two large cup holders & a spot for a tablet.It's also the quietest treadmill I've ever encountered, which is great when I'm up before my husband in the mornings! If you're thinking about buying this, you won't be disappointed!"

4. The Best Treadmill For Walking While Working From Home

The best treadmill for a standing desk has a speed range of 0.5 to 4 miles per hour, which is lower than some others because it’s intended for walking comfortably while working at a standing desk. This pick has a weight limit of 220 pounds and a slight incline.

The compact size of this pick with no handrails can be used while WFH and then slid under a sofa or bed when not in use. With two wheels on the bottom, moving this treadmill as needed is simple to do. Its touchscreen LED display is remote controlled and shows time, speed, distance, and calories. There are 12 preset programs, an emergency brake button, and rubber padding for more shock absorption and less noise. Though its walking surface is shorter at 41 inches, keep in mind this pick is intended for more casual walking, and you'll appreciate the wider platform with generous footrests on each side. For a longer belt option, consider this electric under-desk treadmill.

A helpful review: “Today, in [Coronavirus] season, it's the most important thing for me to remain active and working from home with zero access to my gyms has made that less than easy. This guy, hanging out under my work desk (my kitchen table) has made all the difference in the world. I know that exercise is my therapy but had stopped for a while there and just felt sorry for myself. This was a game changer. Works well, light as far as treadmills go, fast enough to walk continuously while working. I'm in love.”

Nice To Have: An Inexpensive Maintenance Kit For Your Investment

Adding a treadmill to your home gym is a bit of an investment, so it's worth protecting it with this affordable treadmill maintenance kit. Using this lubricant monthly extends the life of your machine's motor and belt, and it's easy to use. This highly rated kit with over 1,000 reviews comes with a six-month supply.

A helpful review: “I've been using this maintenance kit on my treadmill for over 10 years. Seems to do a good job (knock on wood). I haven't had to replace the tread or treadbed on my treadmill. [...]”