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Most people absolutely detest working out: you get sweaty, you run out of breath, your body hurts, you don’t look good doing it, etc., etc. Fortunately, the right type of equipment can make your workout more effective and more enjoyable. Choosing the right treadmill for walking or running is a challenge, but we’ve put together a guide on how to choose a treadmill, as well as compiled a list of the best treadmills in Canada for your review. You may never love working out, but you can love using your treadmill.
Why trust us?
We looked at more than 22 products to find the highest-quality options on the market. We spent 17 hours evaluating and researching these treadmills to determine their quality so that we could provide an honest, accurate guide to buying a treadmill. Our time was well spent as we’ve found the best treadmills in Canada for you to consider with confidence and unbiased reviews.
Best treadmills in Canada
- Best Overall: Nordictrack T Series Treadmill
- Best Value: Xterra Fitness Treadmill
- Best for Beginners: Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill
Best overall: Nordictrack T Series treadmill
The Nordictrack T Series treadmill is our top recommendation since it includes every feature you could ask for and it’s priced affordably. The T Series treadmill is an interactive model with customized personal training through iFit – a 1-month subscription is included when you buy this treadmill, so you can test out the membership experience for free. The treadmill supports up to 300 lbs. and weighs 203 lbs., so you’ll need some help when setting up the treadmill for the first time. However, it does fold with an EasyLift Assist for more compact storage without hurting your back. The incline adjusts through digital controls as well so you can adjust during training and won’t have to manually change the incline like most other treadmills. This treadmill is equipped with a 5-inch display that tracks your heart rate, speed, distance, time, and calories burned for better insights into your workout.
The incline can range anywhere from 1% to 10% depending on the desired intensity, and the treadmill is powered by a Smart-Response motor for effective interval, endurance, and speed training. The belt is lengthy at 55” for those with longer strides and it has added width for a little more elbow room when working up a sweat. This Nordictrack treadmill has 20 programs built-in for you to keep your exercise interesting, or you can let iFit automatically control your speed and incline as you work out to a Google Maps route. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to play your music through two speakers and connect to iFit as well. This is the ideal treadmill for runners in particular since it has FlexDeck cushioning technology to better protect your joints from the hard impacts – though you can choose to make the treadmill feel like a natural road if you want. In every aspect, this treadmill is a great performer and will make every user very happy.
What sets the Nordictrack T Series treadmill apart?
The Nordictrack T Series treadmill is unique from other treadmills in a number of ways. Overall, it is one of the best for ease of use and customizability during training. Nearly every feature of this treadmill is automatic, from an EasyLift Assist when folding to automatic adjustments of incline while you walk or run. You can even adjust the feel of the belt under your feet, which is a very unique feature. The included sound system also sets this treadmill apart since you can connect your phone via Bluetooth to listen to your personal workout playlist.
What could be improved on?
We have no suggestions for improvement on the T Series treadmill beyond including some advanced stat tracking like average time per mile or total distance travelled. However, these are purely for interest’s sake and we have no requests for improvement when it comes to quality, performance, or user-friendliness.
Performance of the Nordictrack T Series treadmill
The Nordictrack treadmill helps you track your progress by showing your speed, distance, heart rate, calories burned, and speed. These are all fairly standard on a treadmill of this calibre, but we would have liked to see more advanced information such as your time per kilometre, average speed, and others beyond the basic.
The Nordictrack T Series treadmill offers an excellent choice when it comes to your workout intensity since it can tailor custom workouts based on your stats so that you’re always being challenged. With an incline of up to 10% and a max speed of 16km/h, you’ll always have new goals to reach when working out on this treadmill.
With 20 workout apps preloaded on your Nordictrack treadmill, you have unlimited options when it comes to how you train. Plus, the ability to create custom workout plans makes it easier to reach your goals and tailor your workouts for your fitness level, as well as stay engaged in your exercise.
Best value: Xterra Fitness treadmill
The Xterra fitness treadmill is a great choice for people who are looking to walk or run without extra features or costly upgrades. This treadmill has a 50” deck, so taller people may struggle to run naturally due to their longer stride, but the weight limit of 250 lbs. is fairly inclusive and should work for most users. The treadmill itself only weighs 108 lbs., so it is easy for individuals to move the treadmill around on their own since it is easy to lift to fold and rolls smoothly without trouble. This treadmill offers a slightly lower maximum speed at 16 kilometres per hour, though this should still be plenty of speed for the average runner.
This treadmill has a large LCD display with one-touch buttons to control your speed, along with tracking of your speed, distance, pulse, time, calories burned, and incline. The incline settings on this treadmill need to be adjusted manually, but there are 3 pre-set incline levels to choose from to offer variety to users with a higher-intensity workout. There are also 12 preset workout programs to try out to add more variety to your daily workouts. The deck of this treadmill is healthier for your joints thanks to the XtraSoft Cushioned Deck technology for maximum impact absorption.
What sets the Xterra Fitness Treadmill apart?
Even with the 50” deck and 250-lb. weight capacity, this treadmill only weighs about 100 lbs., which is generally unheard of since some treadmills can weigh 300 lbs. or more. Overall, this treadmill is one of the most user-friendly since it is portable and foldable, offers excellent variety to users to customize their workout, and offers one-touch buttons for simplified control during walks and runs. Though it is more basic in terms of technology use, it is a high-quality, customizable choice for a great price.
What could be improved on?
Our only suggestion for improvement would be to increase the motor size to offer a higher maximum speed that appeals to a broader range of athletes. Other than that, this treadmill offers great performance and is very easy to use.
Performance of the Xterra Fitness treadmill
The Xterra fitness treadmill tracks your speed, time, distance, calories and pulse. Pulse tracking is less common than the other standard stats so we’re very pleased to see heart monitoring technology on this budget-friendly treadmill.
With a maximum speed of 16km/h, the Xterra treadmill truly allows you to push yourself. Though trained athletes usually need more, the average person tops out around 12km/h, making the Xterra more than enough for most people. Three levels of incline provide an even more challenging workout.
The Xterra treadmill is one of the best for workout programs since it has 12 built-in presets for working out in a variety of ways. Not only do these programs keep you from getting bored, but they also ensure you’re getting the most out of every minute of your workout.
Best for beginners: Sunny Health & Fitness Folding treadmill
The Sunny Health & Fitness folding treadmill is one of the best for beginners since it is packed with user-friendly features without too many complicated settings. Since it can be difficult to adjust your settings while you run, we’re really appreciative of the handrail controls so you can control your speed and start or stop the treadmill with the touch of a finger. This lightweight treadmill is easily portable with built-in, sturdy wheels for rolling the treadmill over bare floors or carpet. This treadmill is one of the most lightweight at 103 lbs., but it can support up to 220 lbs. Since this is a smaller treadmill, it isn’t going to be suitable for taller, heavier individuals unless they plan on walking only.
One of the best features of this Sunny Health & Fitness treadmill is the pause function. By tapping the stop button once, the belt will stop but it will retain all of your statistics for your workout so that you can pause to get a drink or go to the bathroom without losing your information. There are three manual incline levels to choose from if you wish to intensify your run, and 9 pre-set workout programs will help you with speed, endurance, and interval training to build your cardio health. If you enjoy watching workout videos while you exercise or want to keep yourself entertained through your workout, the built-in device holder will come in handy. There is also a water bottle holder so you can stay hydrated without stopping your workout. All of these user-friendly features make this Sunny Health & Fitness treadmill the perfect choice for beginners.
What sets the Sunny Health & Fitness Folding treadmill apart?
This treadmill has one major feature that is incredibly unique when we compared it to other treadmills. On the handrail, there are click-button controls for your speed as well as start and stop. Of all the treadmills we looked at, we did not find this incredibly useful feature on any other model. This is a great feature for people who struggle with balance on a treadmill and don’t want to move their hands away from the rail to adjust their settings or stop the treadmill altogether.
What could be improved on?
There are a couple of performance-related characteristics that could be improved on the Sunny Health & Fitness folding treadmill. First, 9 programs are a little on the shorter side compared to many treadmills that have 12+, so a few extra workout programs would be excellent. Second, the motor is a bit weaker than many other models we looked at, so the top speed isn’t great for athletes in training. Finally, the weight capacity of 220 lbs. is a bit on the lower end, especially for taller people, so we would like to see an improvement in this area as well since many people looking to lose weight on a treadmill will exceed this weight limit.
Performance of the Sunny Health & Fitness Folding treadmill
With the Sunny Health & Fitness treadmill, you can monitor your speed, distance, time, pulse, and calories burned while you walk or run. These are pretty standard stats on most treadmills, so there’s nothing to get too excited about, but the pulse monitoring is a bit more advanced compared to the lowest-end treadmills out there.
With a maximum speed of 14.5km/h and 3 incline levels, you can easily customize the intensity of your workouts depending on your fitness level. Plus, 9 workout programs will challenge your stamina and better train your body for a higher-intensity workout as you level up.
The Sunny Health & Fitness folding treadmill offers 9 different workout programs for users to try and use regularly to improve their fitness faster. These programs are designed by experts to work your body harder for faster results and more effective workouts. If you’re new to treadmill exercise, these programs are very helpful.
Selecting the best treadmill in Canada
Treadmills are one of the more expensive pieces of exercise equipment, but they last years when used properly. There are many budget-friendly options out there, but you’ll pay more for a longer belt, advanced connectivity to apps and devices, a stronger motor, and the overall quality and ease of use of the machine. A pro tip for setting a budget when treadmill shopping is to determine what features are must-haves and which are only nice-to-haves, then narrow down your selection by price range with these features included or excluded.
Though treadmills usually look identical to each other from an untrained eye, there are numerous small details that can make a treadmill more or less effective for certain people. The belt size is an essential characteristic to consider since it controls how much room you have to walk and run at various speeds. Though you may not think much of it on the ground, a belt that is too short will severely limit your exercise. Tall people or those who plan on running at higher speeds require a longer belt for their stride, so you should measure your stride at different paces to ensure the belt length works for you.
Even the most basic treadmills in Canada usually have at least a few workout programs built-in. These programs control the speed of the treadmill and provide a variety of exercises to reach certain goals, such as speed training or interval training. The major benefit of having these programs built-in is that you can make your workout more effective than walking or running at a static speed, but you won’t have to manually adjust the settings during the process. Some more connected treadmills will even create custom workout programs based on your stats or goals, so that’s something to look for too.
Depending on your fitness level, you’ll require a different level of intensity from the next person. A treadmill that can grow with your fitness level but also works for beginners and fitness gurus is hard to find, but it is possible. One of the key features that allow you to intensify your workout at will is an optional incline. Beginners can start at zero but fitness pros can start at 5% if they choose. Another great feature to look for is a high max speed (accompanied by a stronger motor) since this allows you to start slow and slowly improve your speed as you build muscle and a better running technique. If you’re only planning to walk on your treadmill, a steeper incline option can help you intensify your workout as well.
Whether you’re working out to lose weight or are invested in improving your fitness levels, a treadmill that can keep track of your progress is incredibly useful since it can be discouraging if only looking at the scale. Most treadmills will track your distance, speed, time, and calories burned during each session, but many people find value in the heart rate monitor as well. Some of the more advanced treadmills may offer additional tracking of your average speed over the course of your workout, your speed per mile or kilometre, your total distance travelled over all of your workouts, and more interesting stats that can make walking/running in place more fun.
Even the smallest treadmills are heavy machines, so you need to look for additional features that make them easier to use, move, and store. The number one feature for storage is the ability to fold up the belt when not in use. Some high-end treadmills even have automatic folding and unfolding to save your back the trouble of manual labour. For moving to and from storage, you’ll want to look for durable wheels on the bottom end of the treadmill that roll easily on the carpet and bare floors despite the treadmill’s weight and size. Although a treadmill will never be necessarily “easy” to move, these features make it much more manageable for one person.
Maximum weight capacity
The maximum weight capacity of a treadmill is important to consider since you can damage the machine or reduce its life expectancy by running on a treadmill that was designed by someone smaller. Though you can usually get away with walking on a treadmill with a slightly lower weight capacity, it isn’t recommended since the treadmill is not designed to operate with that much weight. A stronger motor goes hand in hand with a higher weight capacity, so you may need to look at more expensive options if you’re not seeing a weight limit that works for you.
Though treadmills used to be solid, basic machines, there has been a huge increase in the amount of technology they use in recent years. If you enjoy listening to your playlists during your workout, look for a treadmill that can connect to your device via Bluetooth so you can enjoy your music through dedicated speakers while you walk or run. Many treadmills also come with app interfaces and large screens so that you can watch a show or follow along with a workout program right at your treadmill.