5 of the Best Treadmills for Running Under $500

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The many health benefits of cardio and aerobic fitness are widely-known. Improved cardiorespiratory fitness can even contribute to longer lives! Treadmills might just be your best cardio option when running outdoors isn't possible. Fortunately, treadmills no longer sport the prohibitive thousand-dollar prices they once had. Nowadays, you can find some of the best treadmills for running under $500.

The problem now, though is, "Which one?''

The market is so replete with treadmill brands and companies that finding the product with the best value for your money can be overwhelming!

Don't worry, we've gone and done the hard part for you. We searched, tested, and reviewed numerous treadmills in the sub-$500 category. Now, we're happy to share with you 5 of the best.

Top Affordable Treadmills for Running - Comparison Table

Reviews of The 5 Best Treadmills For Running Under $500

1. MaxKare Treadmill

Weight Capacity:  220 lbs.
Dimensions: (Open) 53.39” x 26.18” x 45.95” | (Folded) 28.47” x 26.18” x 46.42”

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First on our list is a solid treadmill option from MaxKare. At 91lbs, the folding MaxKare treadmill was surprisingly light and took an easy 20 minutes to assemble.  

Upon further testing, we saw that the MaxKare treadmill would be great for users of average height. However, users at 6-feet or taller may find it somewhat uncomfortable, mainly due to the 17" by 43" tread belt. Also, taller users might find the height of the control module, and its armrests awkwardly placed.

That tread belt, however, is powered by a capable 2.5HP engine that can push the belt to a max speed of 8.5mph

Like most treadmills in this price range (and all on this list), the MaxKare Treadmill incline levels is manually operated. It has three points of adjustment going up to a max incline of 3%. That may sound low but bear in mind those are the typical incline figures for budget treadmills. If you're the mountaineering or hiking enthusiast, you may have to invest in a more premium treadmill.  However, MaxKare's Anti-shock system will make jogging and sustained runs comfortable and easy on your knees.

Another notable feature on the MaxKare treadmill is the hydraulic arm underneath the deck that is visible when the machine is folded up.  When unfolding the treadmill for use, the hydraulic arm will support the deck's weight and let it slowly and safely drop to the floor, sparing you from any scratches or crushed toes.

Warranty on this treadmill is 90 days for the parts, 1 year for the motor, and a lifetime for the frame.

Pros

  • One-touch operation
  • Lightweight
  • Quiet operation
  • Bright display
  • Roller wheels make storage even easier
  • Soft drop folding

Cons

  • Heart rate sensor accuracy is so-so
  • Preset programs are mostly low-intensity workouts
  • Not suitable for tall people

2. Goplus 2.25HP Electric Folding Treadmill

Weight Capacity:  225lbs.
Dimensions: (Open) 61"X 28"X 52" | (Folded) 33"X 28"X 53"

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Next on our list is the 2.25HP motor-powered treadmill from GoPlus. Like the previous treadmill on this list, assembling the GoPlus treadmill was quick and easy, needing only a few screws to put together.

At first glance, the GoPlus and the MaxKare treadmills share many of the same design cues. However, the GoPlus does stand out it in several ways. We found the GoPlus' control module and armrests to be the superior machine of the two. The control module and its cleverly named Blue-ray LCD are also much easier on the eyes. Of the 3 colorways available, we felt the Black Jaguar III style was the sleekest and most modern-looking of the three.

Using the control module was easy and intuitive. However, the real-time data was at times inaccurate, if not simplistic and closer to ballpark averages. Thankfully, you have that little shelf on the module that can hold your phone or tablet for better fitness tracking (or movie-watching. No judgment here.)

The GoPlus treadmill sports a 2.25HP impulse max motor that can push its 17" by 47" tread belt to a max running speed of 7.5mph. Furthermore, the treadmill can be manually adjusted to three incline settings – 0%, 3%, and 6%. Manipulating the incline can be somewhat tricky at first and will take some getting used to.

Meanwhile, the GoPlus' 4 silicone pads do a great job cushioning the running deck from impacts, reduce noise, and decrease machine vibration – which all makes for more comfortable morning runs.

At 97lbs, the GoPlus treadmill can still be easily folded and stored – its transport wheels help too.

Warranty on the GoPlus treadmill is listed at 90 days.

Pros

  • Available in 3 colorways
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Minimal assembly required
  • Quiet motor
  • User-friendly control module
  • Easy folding and storage

Cons

  • Simplistic fitness/distance tracking
  • Lower max speed
  • Adjusting the incline can be challenging
  • Priciest option

3. XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill

Weight Capacity:  250 lbs.
Dimensions: (Open) 63.4” x 28.75” x 51.4” | (Folded) 28.5” x 28.75” x 61”

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Our third treadmill option may just be our second favorite on this list (read on for the favorite). The XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill is powered by a 2.25 HP motor with a max speed of 10mph – perfect for those with more advanced fitness goals. Of course, anyone with a goal to become more cardio-fit can enjoy this treadmill. However, with a tread belt 16" wide and 50" long, the XTERRA Fitness TR150 does lend itself to the more athletic crowd – long of limb and lean of body.

The first thing we noticed was the XTERRA’s minimalist design, especially on the control module. The console features dedicated buttons numbered 1 to 9, which corresponds to the belt's running speed, for quick access and adjustments. The non-backlit display is also straightforward, focusing only on the essential data that you'll be using.

One possible downside though is the TR150's almost non-existent 2-point incline adjustments – only elevating to 1.5% up to 2%. However, the 108-lb TR150 does have 6 cushions supporting its running deck, dramatically minimizing impact and noise. Your knees will be grateful.

Warranty on the TR150 is as follows: Lifetime warranty for the frame; 1 year for the motor; and 90 for parts.

Pros

  • High-speed range
  • Minimalist control module
  • Easy assembly
  • Well-cushioned
  • Great for taller users

Cons

  • Small non-backlit display
  • Relatively heavy
  • Almost non-existent incline
  • Small cup holders

4. SereneLife Electric Folding Treadmill

Weight Capacity:  220 lbs.
Dimensions: (Open) 50.8’’ x 24.0’’ x 49.2’’ | (Folded) 25.2’’ x 24.0’’ x 49.2”

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At a mere 60lbs, the SereneLife Electric Folding Treadmill is the lightest and most compact machine on our list. When folded, it will only take up a 25" by 24" footprint. Also, its 16" by 40" tread belt is perfect homes that do not have a ton of extra space. It also features a hydraulic arm for that soft drop unfolding. Despite its tiny size, the SereneLife Electric Folding Treadmill is packed with the essentials.

Most interestingly, its control module features Bluetooth connectivity, which you can pair with the FitShow app – available in both iOS and Android devices. Using the app, you can review and record data and workout stats. When you link the FitShow app to your social media, you could then challenge friends with your training stats or share your health and fitness progress! The 12 preset programs on this treadmill will keep you out of any plateau.

There are of course some trade-offs to being the most compact treadmill on this list. The SereneLife Treadmill is powered by a relatively small (but quiet) 1HP motor with a max belt speed of 6mph. Cushioning is also minimal. Meanwhile, its incline levels are to standard, going up to 6%.

Pros

  • Quietest motor
  • Very lightweight
  • Bluetooth and App connectivity
  • Most compact & smallest footprint
  • Hydraulic folding

Cons

  • Lowest speed range
  • Short and narrow tread belt uncomfortable for tall/heavy users
  • Low motor power

5. Weslo Cadence G5.9i Treadmill Series with Bluetooth

Weight Capacity: 275 lbs.
Dimensions: (Open) 63.4” x 28.75” x 51.4” | (Folded) 28.5” x 28.75” x 61”

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Last but certainly not the least, we've got the excellent 2.25HP Weslo Cadence G5.9i Treadmill Series with Bluetooth.  Yes, it's a mouthful, but it's also feature-packed and is decidedly our best value treadmill in this price range!

This treadmill from Weslo Cadence basically improves on the features of the XTERRA Fitness TR150 with the Bluetooth and app compatibility of the SereneLife Treadmill series.

Yes, the G5.9i Treadmill has its own preset workout programs aimed at weight loss and high-intensity training. Yes, it also has a 16" by 50" tread belt and manual incline adjustment (up to 2.5%) that maxes out to 10mph. It also has one of the best proprietary cushioning solutions. And yes, it's LCD is pretty basic.

However, the G5.9i's selling points are its robust build that punches above its price range and its iFit.com community subscription. You get a free one-month membership upon purchase. You can then download the iFit app and enjoy the many benefits of its fitness community. Through your mobile device or tablet, you can receive personalized training programs and workouts through a virtual studio.

One possible deal-breaker here, though, is that you have to call the product in for activation before you can even turn it on. Granted, there is a workaround to the necessity iFit.com subscription. But if you want to maximize its features, you should consider subscribing for the reasons above. Otherwise, you're better off with the XTERRA.

Warranty on the Weslo Cadence G5.9i is 1-year for the motor and 90 days for parts and labor.

Pros

  • Most features in its price range
  • Powerful motor
  • Sturdy build
  • Ergonomic tread belt cushioning
  • Highest rated weight capacity
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Call to activate/use
  • Minimal incline adjustment
  • Some noise during use

Final Thoughts

Naturally, there will be trade-offs in the sub-$500 treadmill category like manual and minimal incline adjustment, inaccurate fitness tracking, and less powerful motors. However, there are still reasonable, even excellent, choices in this budget-friendly collection.

Still on the fence? If you want the lightest, most compact (with Bluetooth connectivity to boot) treadmill,  the treadmill from SereneLife will be your best bet. On the other hand, we highly recommend the treadmill from Weslo, especially if you're one to commit and subscribe to the entire fitness experience. Otherwise, you can't go wrong with the XTERRA Fitness TR150.

What do you think of our top 5? Did we miss a great budget-friendly treadmill option? Let us know in the comments below.

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