My 9 Best Treadmills for Heavy People Review (2023)

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Best Treadmills For Heavy People - heydayDo featured image

In this review article I share my product evaluations of several top-quality treadmills designed for a heavy person or for someone who is heavily into running.

Going with a weight limit of 300 lb. on up through 400 lb., I chose these models from a pool of 30+ treadmills that I was able to “test drive”.

The larger running surface driven by a powerful motor makes each one of the top picks the best heavy duty treadmill in its weight class, and I also tried to include a budget-friendly treadmill in each weight capacity too.

green scientific beaker and test tubes green icon

Science resources included

As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.

 

Table of Contents show

Where are these heavy duty treadmills available?

Most of these home treadmills are regularly listed on Amazon as long as they haven’t temporarily sold out.

And later on I’ll show you a couple of Sole Fitness models that are often available on their manufacturer’s website at prices cheaper than they are on Amazon.

They’re high capacity treadmills built with quality materials backed by an outstanding company with excellent warranties that are worth considering as well.

Here’s a look at my favorites from those I product-tested:

 

Treadmills with 300 lb. weight capacity

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill + 30-Day iFit...
  • 30-Day iFIT Family Membership Included; Stream live & on-demand workouts on...
  • Immersive 10-inch interactive HD touchscreen streams on-demand iFIT...
  • -3 to 15 % OneTouch incline control; 12 MPH SMART OneTouch speed control;...
XTERRA Fitness TR300 Folding Treadmill
  • Large 20" x 55" walking or running deck — accommodates users of many...
  • Intuitive 5.5" blue backlit LCD display — easy to read and keeps you...
  • 24 preset programs — heart rate control and manual programs offer a...
Horizon Fitness T101 Foldable Treadmill for Running and...
  • BEST-SELLING & MOST-RELIABLE: Horizon's most-awarded treadmill with simple,...
  • COMPACT, FOLDABLE TREADMILL: Effortlessly store this folding treadmill...
  • BLUETOOTH CONNECTION: Sync your phone or device to integrated speakers to...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Treadmills with 325 lb. weight capacity

New 2023 Treadmill, Sole Treadmill F63, Foldable...
A well-built, award-winning treadmill with an outstanding warranty that includes a lifetime guarantee on its motor & one year of free in-home labor.

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Horizon Fitness 7.0 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
  • CONNECT: Quick and easy app connectivity. Stream fitness classes, movies,...
  • BUILT FOR HOME WORKOUT PERFORMANCE: 60-inch belt and 3-zone Variable...
  • PRECISION CONTROL: Experience fast, smooth transitions between intervals...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Treadmills with 350 lb. weight capacity

Horizon Fitness 7.8 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
  • CONNECT: Quick and easy app connectivity. Stream fitness classes, movies,...
  • BUILT FOR HOME WORKOUT PERFORMANCE: 22 x 60-inch XL belt deck with 3-zone...
  • PRECISION CONTROL: Experience fast, smooth transitions between intervals...
XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Premium Performance Series...
  • Smooth and powerful — XTERRA high torque 3.0 HP motor
  • Reader-friendly 6.5” bright blue backlit LCD display – clearly shows...
  • Variety of motivating programs — 30 pre-set, 2 custom, 1 heart rate...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Treadmills with 400 lb. weight capacity

3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill - Runner’s Marathon...
  • 3G Cardio, an Arizona-based company with a combined 50 years of experience...
  • Full commercial grade, high-end components equal to what is found on most...
  • A heavy-duty, club-rated, high torque 4.0 HP motor powers the 386lb...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
New 2023 Treadmill, Sole TT8 Treadmill, Treadmill with...
  • UNLEASH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL - Elevate your fitness journey with our New...
  • VERSATILE WORKOUTS - This walking and running treadmill offers an array of...
  • INCLINE/DECLINE RANGE: The Sole TT8 offers a wide treadmill incline and...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

High weight capacity treadmill buying tips

There are a few important features to have a good handle on when you’re shopping around comparing heavy duty treadmills to one another.

After the individual treadmill reviews coming up next, I put together an informative guide that discusses what to look for when trying to figure out what is the perfect treadmill for you.

Here is a brief summary of that buying guide to keep in mind as we get into checking out these treadmills next.

 

Your treadmill budget

How much can you afford? The best treadmills for heavy people are built with more durability, have bigger motors and much better warranties than cheapo models, so expect to pay for quality.

 

Choose the right treadmill weight capacity

How much do you weigh? Treadmill experts recommend getting a treadmill that has a max weight capacity fifty pounds higher than your weight, so you may want to consider choosing accordingly.

The reason for their advice is simple: low weight capacity treadmills have small motors that will wear out prematurely under excessive strain.

 

Get adequate treadmill motor strength

Bottom line: The more CHP the motor in your treadmill has, the better.

CHP (continuous horsepower) is the amount of true steady power a treadmill motor has, and a treadmill with a high weight limit has to have enough continuous power to handle a heavy load, hence the term heavy duty.

Here are some general CHP recommendations from treadmill motor experts:

  • For walking by users over 250 lb.: 2.5 CHP minimum
  • Walking by users over 300 lb.: 3.0 CHP minimum
  • Jogging/running by users over 250 lb.: 3.5 CHP minimum
  • Athletic runners under 200 lb.: 3.0 CHP minimum

 

Choosing the right treadmill running surface size

Bottom line: Taller and heavier users as well as avid runners need a larger surface than those offered on budget treadmills.

General guidelines (more details on this after the review):

* Look for a minimum treadmill running surface width of 20″ for most people walking or running, with 22″ wide being a good size for avid runners.

* And go for a minimum running area length of 50″ for slow walkers, 55″ for brisk walkers and shorter runners, & 60″ or more for taller runners & HIIT sprinters.

NordicTrack Commercial Series 1750 workout console

 

Do you need classes, cool distractions, or accurate stats?

Bottom line: Most inexpensive home gym fitness equipment is built with poor electronics, while the best treadmills have accurate workout consoles that save exercise data and often come with amazing interactive features.

Expect to pay more for quality electronics.

Highly motivating apps with great visuals are helping a lot of people work out on their exercise equipment nowadays without getting bored.

Many people swear by them, saying the virtual interaction keeps them more engaged which leads to better quality workouts & results.

Other, more self-motivated people only want good workout stats and don’t need the guided workout programs, and there are both types of those electronics amongst the treadmills in this review.

 

Best heavy duty treadmill reviews

Okie dokie, here are the individual product reviews sorted by weight limit, along with tables comparing some of these treadmills’ key features to one another.

FWIW, my favorite treadmills are the ones that are the most bare-bones feature wise, but will last the longest of all of them under consistent use: the Sole F63 (with 325 lb. capacity) and the two 400 lb. capacity treadmills — the Cardio Elite Runner from the fine folks at 3G Cardio and the Sole TT8.

 

Treadmills with 300 lb. weight capacity

Preview
Top Pick
NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill + 30-Day iFit...
Budget
Horizon Fitness T101 Foldable Treadmill for Running and...
Cheapest
XTERRA Fitness TR300 Folding Treadmill
Title
NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill + 30-Day iFit...
Horizon Fitness T101 Foldable Treadmill for Running and...
XTERRA Fitness TR300 Folding Treadmill
Motor Horsepower
3.75 CHP
2.5 CHP
2.25 CHP
Running Surface Size
22" x 60" running surface
20" x 55" running surface
20" x 55" running surface
Warranty
10Y frame, 2Y parts, 30 days labor
Lifetime frame & motor, 1Y parts, 1Y labor
Lifetime frame & motor, 1Y parts, 1Y labor
Top Pick
Preview
NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill + 30-Day iFit...
Title
NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill + 30-Day iFit...
Motor Horsepower
3.75 CHP
Running Surface Size
22" x 60" running surface
Warranty
10Y frame, 2Y parts, 30 days labor
Budget
Preview
Horizon Fitness T101 Foldable Treadmill for Running and...
Title
Horizon Fitness T101 Foldable Treadmill for Running and...
Motor Horsepower
2.5 CHP
Running Surface Size
20" x 55" running surface
Warranty
Lifetime frame & motor, 1Y parts, 1Y labor
Cheapest
Preview
XTERRA Fitness TR300 Folding Treadmill
Title
XTERRA Fitness TR300 Folding Treadmill
Motor Horsepower
2.25 CHP
Running Surface Size
20" x 55" running surface
Warranty
Lifetime frame & motor, 1Y parts, 1Y labor

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Comparing the 300 lb. treadmills:

The NordicTrack Commercial Series 1750 costs over twice as much as the other two inexpensive models, so why is that?

* Main Reason #1: Much stronger motor; that alone is worth hundreds of dollars easily.

* Main Reason #2: The best virtual reality connectivity electronics of all nine treadmills in this review, by a mile.

* Main Reason #3: Superior running deck size compared to the other two, long enough for athletic sprinters and wide enough for everyone.

 

NordicTrack Commercial Series 1750

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill + 30-Day iFit...
  • 30-Day iFIT Family Membership Included; Stream live & on-demand workouts on...
  • Immersive 10-inch interactive HD touchscreen streams on-demand iFIT...
  • -3 to 15 % OneTouch incline control; 12 MPH SMART OneTouch speed control;...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

My notes: 

This is my top pick for Best Treadmills for Heavy People in the 300 lb. weight limit class, thanks mostly to its iFit connectivity and the motor with the most power of all seven treadmills rated under 400 lb. of capacity.

 

Who this would be great for:

This treadmill’s iFit program and its full immersion into all of its different workouts with the “Travel the World” option is great.

It’s ideal for someone who’s likely to get bored or unmotivated with their weight loss journey working out on a typical treadmill that has only stats on a screen.

NordicTrack 1750 Owner’s Manual

Check Amazon Price button orange

 

 

Xterra Fitness TR300

XTERRA Fitness TR300 Folding Treadmill
  • Large 20" x 55" walking or running deck — accommodates users of many...
  • Intuitive 5.5" blue backlit LCD display — easy to read and keeps you...
  • 24 preset programs — heart rate control and manual programs offer a...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My notes: 

An inexpensive folding treadmill that is much better than many of the models priced just a hundred or two less than it, thanks to a very good warranty, a nice sized deck, and a couple dozen workout programs.

 

Who this would be great for:

Someone on a tight treadmill budget. With the smallest motor of the bunch, this TR300 is probably best used as a walking-only treadmill for someone well under 300 lb.

Xterra TR300 Treadmill Owner’s Manual

Check Amazon Price button orange

 

 

Horizon T101

Horizon Fitness T101 Foldable Treadmill for Running and...
  • BEST-SELLING & MOST-RELIABLE: Horizon's most-awarded treadmill with simple,...
  • COMPACT, FOLDABLE TREADMILL: Effortlessly store this folding treadmill...
  • BLUETOOTH CONNECTION: Sync your phone or device to integrated speakers to...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

My notes:

Another budget folding treadmill that is miles ahead of similarly-priced Amazon knockoffs, I think the Horizon T101 is slightly better than the Xterra.

I’m basing that on its slightly stronger motor (2.5 CHP vs. 2.25), and the fact that it has Bluetooth and workout feedback from the console that’s a bit better.

 

Who this would be great for: 

Someone on a tight treadmill budget. This could work as a jogging treadmill if you’re under 250 lb. or so, and as a walking treadmill if you’re 250 – 275 lb.

Check Amazon Price button orange

 

Treadmills with 325 lb. maximum weight capacity

Preview
Top Pick
New 2023 Treadmill, Sole Treadmill F63, Foldable...
Budget
Horizon Fitness 7.0 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
Title
New 2023 Treadmill, Sole Treadmill F63, Foldable...
Horizon Fitness 7.0 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
Motor Horsepower
3.0 CHP
2.75 CHP
Running Surface Size
20" x 60" running surface
20" x 60" running surface
Rollers Size
2.5"
1.8"
Warranty
Lifetime deck, frame, motor; 3Y parts, 1Y labor
Lifetime frame & motor, 1Y parts, 1Y labor
Price
$1,199
$1,376
Top Pick
Preview
New 2023 Treadmill, Sole Treadmill F63, Foldable...
Title
New 2023 Treadmill, Sole Treadmill F63, Foldable...
Motor Horsepower
3.0 CHP
Running Surface Size
20" x 60" running surface
Rollers Size
2.5"
Warranty
Lifetime deck, frame, motor; 3Y parts, 1Y labor
Price
$1,199
Budget
Preview
Horizon Fitness 7.0 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
Title
Horizon Fitness 7.0 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
Motor Horsepower
2.75 CHP
Running Surface Size
20" x 60" running surface
Rollers Size
1.8"
Warranty
Lifetime frame & motor, 1Y parts, 1Y labor
Price
$1,376

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

(To check out today’s price on this award-winning treadmill over on Sole’s website, click the blue product name or the pic below.)

 

Sole Fitness F63

The Sole F63 has been named best in its price range by a handful of treadmill experts for many years running, and Consumer Reports had it as a “Top Pick” under $1000 for years as well.

 

Sole F63 Treadmill

My notes:

They never really overhauled the electronics as the wave of  “fitness classes via app” technology came on, but the other pick in this weight class (the Horizon 7.0 AT) doesn’t have that stuff either.

The F63 shines because it’s really well-built, has a great warranty, and is backed by a company that totally stands behind their product.

 

Who it would be great for:

With a 3.0 CHP motor and big rollers making life easy (& longer) for the tread belt, I think the Sole F63 is a very good walking treadmill for someone who weighs up to 300 lb., and a very good low-priced, no frills running treadmill for active runners who’re under 200 lb.

Check Today's Price

 

Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT

Horizon Fitness 7.0 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
  • CONNECT: Quick and easy app connectivity. Stream fitness classes, movies,...
  • BUILT FOR HOME WORKOUT PERFORMANCE: 60-inch belt and 3-zone Variable...
  • PRECISION CONTROL: Experience fast, smooth transitions between intervals...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My notes:

The Horizon 7.0 AT is the big brother of the Horizon T101 that’s also in this review, and its main upgrades over that treadmill are:

  • bigger motor (2.75 CHP vs. 2.5);
  • faster maximum speed of 12 mph vs. 10;
  • longer deck (60″ vs. 55″), better for runners;
  • better max incline: 12% vs 10%;
  • higher capacity 325 lb. vs. 300:
  • better electronics.

It too is a folding treadmill, and after folding has basically the same footprint as the T101.

 

Who this could be great for:

I think the 7.0 AT might be considered a decent heavy duty walking treadmill for someone in the 275 – 300 lb. range, and a good running treadmill for someone under 200 lb.

 

My 2¢ worth:

I almost left this one off this article, because in the years since COVID first struck, this Horizon 7.0 AT treadmill & the company itself have racked up a LOT of poor customer complaints.

In times gone by this treadmill was well thought of by its buyers, but now I see it has a very substandard product rating, so I don’t recommend this one at all anymore.

 

Comparing the Sole F63 vs Horizon 7.0 treadmills

Prices change often, but right now I see that these two treadmills cost the same, $999. After product-testing both of them, I believe the Sole F63 is a better choice.

Plus the fact that the Sole F63 is an award-winning treadmill & a Consumer Reports Top Pick, while nearly 20% (1 in 5) of the Horizon treadmill’s owners regretting spending their money on it.

 

What makes Sole a better treadmill than the Horizon 7.0 AT?

In terms of the technical aspects of the machines themselves, the Sole still wins by a mile in my book:

  • The Sole F63 has a stronger motor (3.0 CHP vs. 2.75* CHP);
  • The Sole F63 has much larger rollers, which extends the life of the belt (2.5″ vs. 1.8″);
  • The Sole F63 has a better warranty (parts, deck, & electronics covered for 3 years vs. 1 year on the Horizon).

*2.75 CHP – Horizon lists their maximum horsepower (3.0 for this model), since maximum HP is a higher number & most people won’t know the difference.

But the more important engine specification for power while in heavy commercial use is continuous duty horse power (CHP).

Moral of the story: Know your fitness equipment horsepower, don’t get fooled by someone’s marketing department who’re hoping you’re clueless.

 

Both have bluetooth, Horizon has better external app connectivity

The Horizon has an app that’ll send your workout data to popular workout apps that can store and track your progress, like MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, etc.; the Sole F63 does not.

Sole has bluetooth connectivity and just a simple though very well-made workout console. It has 10 workout programs providing you with typical workout stats…and it comes with a chest strap heart monitor too.

But it’s bare-bones like it always has been, since Sole puts all of the design money into the quality of the treadmill’s frame & moving parts.

 

Treadmills with 350 lb. weight capacity

Preview
Top Pick
Horizon Fitness 7.8 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
Budget
XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Premium Performance Series...
Title
Horizon Fitness 7.8 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Premium Performance Series...
Motor Horsepower
3.5 CHP
3.0 CHP
Running surface size
22" x 60" running surface
20" x 60" running surface
Warranty
Lifetime frame & motor, 5Y parts, 2Y labor
Lifetime frame & motor, 2Y parts, 1Y labor
Top Pick
Preview
Horizon Fitness 7.8 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
Title
Horizon Fitness 7.8 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
Motor Horsepower
3.5 CHP
Running surface size
22" x 60" running surface
Warranty
Lifetime frame & motor, 5Y parts, 2Y labor
Budget
Preview
XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Premium Performance Series...
Title
XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Premium Performance Series...
Motor Horsepower
3.0 CHP
Running surface size
20" x 60" running surface
Warranty
Lifetime frame & motor, 2Y parts, 1Y labor

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Comparing the treadmills:

The Horizon Fitness 7.8 (Advanced Training Studio) is currently running $2000 or so more than the Xterra TRX3500, so why is that?

* Reason #1: 20% stronger motor (3.5 CHP vs. 3.0); as we’ve seen before, that alone is worth a few hundred dollars.

* Reason #2: Better warranty: 1.5 times better on the parts (5 years vs. 2) and twice as good on labor (2 years vs. 1).

* Reason #3: Better running deck width (22″ vs. 20″); 22″ is considered a very good width for big people and dedicated runners alike.

* Reason #4: Much better electronics console & workout programs: the Horizon 7.8 has streaming app connectivity features, Bluetooth, a heart rate strap, etc., while the Xterra TRX3500 does not.

All of those higher quality features easily show why the Horizon 7.8 treadmill costs a lot more. But $2000 more?

 

Horizon Fitness Advanced Studio 7.8

Horizon Fitness 7.8 at Studio Series Smart Treadmill...
  • CONNECT: Quick and easy app connectivity. Stream fitness classes, movies,...
  • BUILT FOR HOME WORKOUT PERFORMANCE: 22 x 60-inch XL belt deck with 3-zone...
  • PRECISION CONTROL: Experience fast, smooth transitions between intervals...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Compared to Horizon’s 7.0, their Advanced Studio 7.8 has:

  • a much stronger motor (3.5 CHP vs. 2.75);
  • streaming classes capability;
  • superior electronics console & better workout programs;
  • double the warranty length for parts & labor;
  • a wider deck (22″ vs. 20″), which is better for runners;
  • better max incline: 15% vs 12%;
  • higher capacity 350 lb. vs. 325.

The 7.8 is also a partially folding treadmill, and after folding has basically the same footprint as the cheaper Horizon treadmills.

 

Who this might be great for: 

The deck and the motor make this a great choice for runners and walkers up to 300 lb., and the warranty is solid enough to possibly take that user capacity up a few pounds as well.

The streaming app capability makes the Horizon 7.8 a very good choice for someone who wants the extra motivation and distractions that classes can offer.

My main concern is the declining quality of Horizon treadmills that I mentioned in the previous section. Like with the other model, more recent buyers aren’t as happy & the 7.8’s buyer rating is sliding.

 

 

Xterra Fitness TRX3500

XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Premium Performance Series...
  • Smooth and powerful — XTERRA high torque 3.0 HP motor
  • Reader-friendly 6.5” bright blue backlit LCD display – clearly shows...
  • Variety of motivating programs — 30 pre-set, 2 custom, 1 heart rate...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

My notes:

Though they both have the same maximum weight capacity of 350 lb., I think it’s pretty easy to see that the Horizon Advanced Studio 7.8 is in a higher class than this Xterra TRX 3500.

However this Xterra model is a good inexpensive heavy duty treadmill in its own right.

And I also think it makes more sense to compare it to the Horizon 7.0 because they’re roughly in the same price range, depending on where you’re looking.

 

Xterra TRX3500 vs. Horizon 7.0

Compared to the 7.0 AT, this Xterra has:

  • same size running area (20″ x 60″);
  • same footprint in use and when folded:
  • a stronger motor (3.0 CHP vs. 2.75);
  • double the warranty length for the deck & parts (2 years vs. 1);
  • a lot more workout programs;
  • doesn’t have the data export the Horizon 7.0 does;
  • doesn’t have Bluetooth like the 7.0 AT does;
  • doesn’t have as many unhappy buyers as the Horizon does.

(Remember, the 7.0 AT doesn’t have any streaming fitness app capability on that Bluetooth, it’s just for stuff like your device’s music or whatever.)

 

Other minor stuff

* Xterra’s TRX3500 is another high weight capacity folding treadmill, though none of these fold all the way down like the budget treadmills do. This Xterra TRX3500 actually has a slightly larger folded footprint than the Horizon 7.8 (51″ length vs. 42″).

* Weighs 80 lb. or so less than the 7.8, and 40 lb. less than the Horizon 7.0 AT.

 

Who this would be great for:

This is a good inexpensive heavy duty walking treadmill choice for a 300 lb. user, and a good budget choice for runners under 200 lb. as well.

 

Treadmills with 400 lb. maximum weight capacity

Preview
Top Pick
3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill - Runner’s Marathon...
Silver Medal
New 2023 Treadmill, Sole TT8 Treadmill, Treadmill with...
Title
3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill - Runner’s Marathon...
New 2023 Treadmill, Sole TT8 Treadmill, Treadmill with...
Motor Horsepower
4.0 CHP
4.0 CHP
Running Surface Size
22" x 62" running surface
22" x 60" running surface
Warranty
Lifetime frame & motor, 10Y parts, 2Y labor
Lifetime frame, deck, & motor; 5Y parts, 2Y labor
Price
$3,999
$2,599
Top Pick
Preview
3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill - Runner’s Marathon...
Title
3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill - Runner’s Marathon...
Motor Horsepower
4.0 CHP
Running Surface Size
22" x 62" running surface
Warranty
Lifetime frame & motor, 10Y parts, 2Y labor
Price
$3,999
Silver Medal
Preview
New 2023 Treadmill, Sole TT8 Treadmill, Treadmill with...
Title
New 2023 Treadmill, Sole TT8 Treadmill, Treadmill with...
Motor Horsepower
4.0 CHP
Running Surface Size
22" x 60" running surface
Warranty
Lifetime frame, deck, & motor; 5Y parts, 2Y labor
Price
$2,599

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Comparing the Sole & 3G Cardio treadmills:

400 lb. is about the highest weight limit you’ll come across when looking at “home gym”, non-commercial treadmills.

The 3g Cardio Elite Runner is the most expensive treadmill out of the nine in this review, by several hundred dollars too.

Currently, the 3g Cardio Elite Runner is going for $3800 on Amazon, while the Sole TT8 is currently selling on the Sole Fitness website for under $2400.

(FYI – Amazon’s price for the Sole TT8 bounces around, if they even have it in stock. Careful buying it there; depending on who’s selling a Sole treadmill, you could get screwed out out of its excellent warranty protection.)

 

So what does the 3g Cardio Elite Runner provide you for that extra $1,400 in cost over the price of Sole’s TT8? Let’s see…

Compared to the Sole TT8, the 3g Cardio Elite Runner has:

  • a longer running area (62″ vs. 60″);
  • the same motor (4.0 CHP);
  • same max weight capacity (400 lb.);
  • same running deck width (22″);
  • same max incline (15%);
  • same lifetime frame & motor warranty;
  • same 2 years of in-home labor warranty;
  • longer parts warranty (10 years vs. 5);
  • shorter deck warranty (1o years vs. TT8’s lifetime);
  • no decline options compared to 6 on the TT8 (-1% to -6%);
  • no Bluetooth fitness app capability like the TT8 has;
  • less workout programs (8 vs. 10);
  • a much smaller console screen vs. the 10″ screen on the TT8;
  • a longer & higher reputation among runners.

Hmm…pretty even, depending on what your personal preferences lean towards.

 

3g Cardio Elite Runner

3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill - Runner’s Marathon...
  • 3G Cardio, an Arizona-based company with a combined 50 years of experience...
  • Full commercial grade, high-end components equal to what is found on most...
  • A heavy-duty, club-rated, high torque 4.0 HP motor powers the 386lb...

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My notes:

The high price tag buys you unmatched durability with 400 lb. of user capacity, backed by a best-in-class warranty and reputable company.

It also gets you touch controls to easily change speeds or incline on the fly, and this treadmill does that very smoothly.

It doesn’t however, buy you the ability to stream classes within its console. If you want to connect to a streaming app you’ll have to use your phone or tablet for that.

Note: This is not a folding treadmill, since this treadmill is as close to “commercial gym quality” as you’re going to get.

Here is the 3g Cardio Elite Runner promo video:

Check Amazon Price button orange

 

 

Sole Fitness TT8

Sole Fitness TT8 heavy duty treadmill

My notes:

I think this is a beast of a treadmill for its price, plus as you’ve seen it goes toe to toe with the industry-leading 3g Cardio Elite Runner.

And the TT8 actually outshines that crowd favorite in a number of areas.

Like the Elite Runner from 3g Cardio, this Sole TT8 costs what it does because:

  • it’s a 400 lb. capacity treadmill built with Grade-A materials & design know-how;
  • it’s backed by a world-class warranty & a proven industry leader in Sole Fitness.

It doesn’t have the streaming classes built into its console because that’s not Sole’s business model like it is for Peloton or NordicTrack’s iFit (there’s a $40 per month subscription for that).

Sole put their money into the durability of the TT8 so that it would perform for the heavy user athletes, and for the heavy person who wants to take their fitness & health to a better spot.

Check Today's Price

 

Purple magic book acting as a buyer's guide for heavy duty treadmills

An essential heavy duty treadmill buyer’s guide

Expanding on the points touched on earlier…here’s a short list of what I think are the most important features for you to consider when comparing high weight capacity treadmills against one another.

 

How much can you afford on a heavy duty treadmill?

The best treadmills are much more expensive than cheap treadmills — probably no surprise there — so you should expect to pay for:

  • durability thanks to above average manufacturing;
  • a powerful motor that can handle years of use from a heavy person, or from someone who uses it heavily;
  • an excellent warranty that covers you for years.

Those are all pretty mandatory, since without them you’ll soon be stuck with a crapped-out treadmill that’s outside its short warranty period.

These next two features may not be as critical, but they’re important to many people too:

  • advanced workout program features like Bluetooth connectivity to classes;
  • accurate exercise data from your treadmill’s console.

So keep in mind that great and/or accurate electronics cost a little more than your run-of-the-mill fitness equipment monitors.

 

Treadmill weight capacity

It’s worth repeating the treadmill experts’ advice regarding a user’s weight and the weight limit of any treadmill they’re thinking of buying:

To avoid the likelihood of your treadmill’s motor burning out, look for a treadmill with a maximum weight capacity that is 50 lb. or more higher than your current weight.

 

Motor strength measured in CHP

The power of a treadmill motor is best measured in continuous horsepower (aka CHP), not peak horsepower as some manufacturers show you.

Peak HP is always a higher number than continuous horsepower so it looks impressive on paper, but it isn’t a true indicator of a treadmill’s motor strength.

The amount of CHP a heavy duty treadmill has matters because that tells you what its constant power output is.

Since it’s usually heavily used for long periods of time &/or used by a heavy person as well, a treadmill qualifying as a true heavy duty treadmill will certainly have a powerful motor with enough CHP to justify its weight capacity.

Here are those CHP recommendations again:

  • For walking by users over 250 lb.: 2.5 CHP minimum
  • Walking by users over 300 lb.: 3.0 CHP minimum
  • Jogging/running by users over 250 lb.: 3.5 CHP minimum
  • Athletic runners under 200 lb.: 3.0 CHP minimum

Calves and sneakers of a man jogging on his home treadmill

Running surface size

(Also listed in manufacturer specs as the running deck or running area.)

Bottom line:

In general for runners (particularly anyone over 5’8″ or so) and for heavy people: the larger the running area is, the more natural your strides will be.

This is obviously a very important factor to insure, since thousands & thousands of unnatural strides per workout add up and can easily lead to one type of repetitive motion injury or another.

 

Broad guidelines on choosing the size of your running surface:

Width

* A minimum width of 20″ is recommended for walking, in particular for a heavy person.

Cheap treadmills almost always have a running/walking area that is much too narrow for a large person to walk normally and should be avoided; track down a solid heavy duty walking treadmill instead.

* 22″ is the ideal running area width for avid competitive runners, but 20″ ought to work for everybody else who’s into running or walking.

 

Length for walkers

* If you are only going to use the treadmill for walking or real slow jogging, 50″ should work as your minimum length.

* If you are tall with a long stride and plan on taking your walking speed up to a brisk level, 55″ is the recommended minimum length for your running surface.

 

Length for runners

Key points to consider:

* Do you plan to run on your treadmill at all, or just use it for walking or slow jogging?

* The running surface length is extremely important for any runner — regardless of their height — if they intend to use a heavy duty treadmill for any sprinting, like in a HIIT/sprint interval training workout or similar.

* If you plan to use your treadmill for running, 55″ ought to be a good length if you are under six feet tall by an inch or two (depending on your top speed stride of course).

* Tall and/or long-striding sprinters need a running surface length of 60″ or more.

 

Benefits of an excellent warranty

You will find that all of the best heavy duty treadmills have warranties that are way better, way more customer-friendly than all of the cheaply-made treadmills you’ll come across at Amazon or Big Box stores like Walmart.

Most of the cheapo models do not offer lifetime protection on the frame, and only provide coverage measured in days (usually ninety to one hundred eighty) for everything else, and forget about getting free in-home repairs like Sole Fitness offers.

In fact, reading a treadmill’s warranty is a great way to instantly know just how much its manufacturer believes in that treadmill’s build quality and chances for longevity.

On the warranty of a high-quality, durable treadmill, you will almost always see the coverage length listed separately for these four areas:

  • frame;
  • motor;
  • parts;
  • and labor.

Sometimes you see where the deck is listed separately; this is sometimes written into the top-quality warranties, where the treadmill company extends your protection of the deck longer than the warranty length for the treadmill’s parts.

And sometimes electronics are listed separately but in reality, they’re just one of the treadmill’s parts too.

 

Roller size: bigger is better

The longevity of the treadmill belt you’ll be walking or running on is based on a few things, and one of them is the size of the rollers used when they built the treadmill.

The rollers under your running surface are what the motor uses to move the belt around and around as you’re using it.

The bigger the rollers are the better, and this is because rollers with a larger diameter don’t spin as much as they would if they were smaller — and this means less wear and tear for your treadmill belt.

 

Tread belt thickness matters too

Like with the rollers, the thicker the tread belt is, the longer it’s likely to last, all else being equal.

 

Heavy duty treadmills FAQ

Here are answers to a few of the more commonly asked questions regarding high weight capacity treadmills.

Is it safe to use a treadmill if I'm heavier than its weight capacity?

When your weight exceeds the treadmill's max limit, it could hurt the treadmill's longevity. This limit is set by considering the motor and frame strength. Excess weight may strain it, risking potential breakage. It's best to respect this limit for the treadmill's health and yours too.

Can treadmill use help me lose belly fat?

Studies suggest that treadmill walking can indeed chip away at belly fat. One study noted that folks walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes, four times a week at a moderate speed saw more belly fat reduction than those doing ab exercises. So, treadmills seem to offer a helpful strategy for trimming the waistline.

How long should I be on the treadmill to lose weight?

Aiming for 30 minutes of treadmill time five days a week - a total of 150 minutes - is a great start. This recommendation comes from the US Dept. of Health and is also supported by the American Heart Association. Pair this with some weight lifting twice a week and less sitting around for better results. Remember, pairing this regimen with a healthy, calorie-conscious diet is key to seeing the weight loss you're aiming for.

 

Do I need a treadmill mat?

A well-made exercise equipment mat can protect your floor from your treadmill workouts in a few important ways.

One is by capturing all of the sweat you create during intense workouts, preventing the sweat from landing onto (& working its way into) your carpet or wood floor.

Besides being able to corrode the surfaces it lands on, sweat has bacteria in it that if left to dry on your floor can start to smell funky over time.

A top quality treadmill mat also protects your floor by reducing the effects of your body weight pressing your treadmill’s feet down into your flooring on every step or stride you take.

And a good mat can protect your treadmill too, by keeping carpet fibers or floor dust from getting up into your equipment’s moving parts and causing potentially expensive problems.

I wrote a buyer’s guide and article — Best Treadmill Mat — on what qualities to look for in an exercise equipment mat for both carpet and hardwood floors. You can read it here on heydayDo if interested.

 

What is the best treadmill for a 300 lb. person?

A good treadmill for a person who weighs three hundred pounds will have a weight capacity of at least 350 lb.

It is important for the longevity of the treadmill’s motor and other moving parts that its capacity is at least 50 lb. higher than the weight of the person using it.

In my slightly informed opinion, one of the best home treadmills on the planet for a 300 lb. person is the Sole F80.

 

What is the weight limit on most treadmills?

The maximum weight capacity on treadmills built for home use varies quite a bit.

A cheap folding treadmill under $500 may have a max weight capacity of as little as 220 lb., while on the upper end a few of those smaller, cheaper treadmills have user weight limits of 300 lb.

The maximum user weight on a well-built heavy duty treadmill can range from 300 lb. up through 400 lb. for models that are designed for someone’s home gym, not for use as a commercial treadmill.

 

How to lose weight on a treadmill?

Losing weight — belly fat and all — is definitely doable with a home treadmill exercise routine, but there a couple of important things to add to it to really kickstart your results.

It has been suggested by many leading health authorities to supplement your treadmill exercise time with a strength training routine like weight lifting a couple of times per week. (3)

Another suggestion from medical experts is to increase the amount of time each day you’re moving around, by simply sitting around less. (4)

 

Is walking on the treadmill 30 minutes a day good enough?

One research trial studying losing weight had two groups of inactive overweight people, each exercising a different amount on workout days.

Researchers found that their group that exercised 30 minutes a day lost more weight than the group that exercised 60 minutes per day. (1)

They felt the 30-minute group lost more because they worked harder, due to the shorter amount of exercise time not seeming intimidating. (2)

 

Is it better to walk or run on a treadmill?

While running burns about two times as many calories as walking, that does not mean it is necessarily a better exercise choice for you.

Moderate exercise like brisk walking several times a week can bring important health benefits your way, even if you don’t lose weight as fast as you would if you were running all that time instead.

 

Are treadmills bad for your knees?

A study by Philip Riches, a bio-mechanical researcher at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, determined that the knee could suffer strains or injury if the person was walking or running on the treadmill with no incline. (4)

The solution for avoiding this situation and its discomfort is to set the treadmill on a 2% incline, which he says better mimics the outdoor terrain during normal walking and running.

However, other orthopedic physicians & distance running experts disagree, saying the treadmill isn’t at fault but the treadmill user usually is.

You can read about their research in my article Are Treadmills Bad? here on heydayDo.

 

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Wrapping up

I hope you found this review on high capacity treadmills useful, and that the buyer’s guide on how to find the best heavy duty treadmill for you is helpful too.

I wish you well on your fitness journey.

– greg

About The Author

heydayDo author Greg Simon

Hi, I’m Greg Simon. Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) Pro Member. MBA, B.Sc.

Author. Surfer. Organic food grower. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far).

heydayDo.com is my wellness blog that’s about encouraging a healthy lifestyle as we age. 

I share my fitness training experience as well as the sports science research I’ve done on the many benefits strength building, exercise, & good eating habits offer us. 

I also write review articles after product testing and evaluating home gym equipment & fitness supplements.

My hope is that you’ll find useful or encouraging information here on my website that will benefit your unique fitness journey.

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