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Best Treadmills Under $500 for Walking and Jogging

Getting in shape in the comfort of your own home doesn't have to cost a fortune. If you are looking for a cardio machine to use regularly for light exercise, here are some that won't break the bank.

We all know that working out every day is very essential for both our physical and mental well-being. However, if you want to banish those over-burdening monthly gym membership costs and save yourself some time, then working out in the comfort of your home is an attractive option. Thinking about the long term, paying the gym for using those cardio equipment on a year-to-year basis can turn out to be costlier than owning a treadmill itself at your home!

 A good treadmill for your home can be an expensive investment; however, if you’re planning to use it regularly, it can help you to meet your futuristic weight loss goals and fitness maintenance plans, and be a smart, hassle-free and once-in-a-lifetime asset. 

What features can you expect for $500 or less?

You can indeed get a treadmill for less than $500 - you just won't get some of the fancier features and gimmicks of $1000+ treadmills. Luckily, the features that make treadmills good for walking and light jogging also tend to keep the price tag pretty low. So features do you have sacrifice for price? 

  • Automatic vs manual incline: Incline refers to the treadmill ramp going up at an angle, rather than on a flat pane. Most mid-to-high end home treadmills have a 5-10% incline which lets you burn more calories and really work those muscles at a jogger's pace. 
    • A manual incline refers to having to lift up the ramp by hand and place it in a notch on the frame at the desired incline height, whereas an automatic incline means that you can push a button and the ramp will lift on it's own. One major disadvantage to cheaper treadmills is that they tend to have manual incline, if any at all, which means that you will have to stop your workout and lift the ramp by hand if you want to do any incline training.
  • Basic software / tracking features only: Most treadmills in this range have a simple battery powered display that shows details such as time, calories burned, distance, speed and pulse sensor. You won't generally find built-in apps, music players, TV screens, or other entertainment features (which may actually save you from distraction during the workout). However, some treadmills, such as those from Proform, may offer built-in workout apps and bluetooth connectivity for an additional subscription fee. 
You can indeed get a treadmill for less than $500 - you just won't get some of the fancier features and gimmicks of $1000+ treadmills.
  • Smaller belt size: If you prefer walking more than running on a treadmill, then smaller belt sizes found on cheaper machines will be sufficient. The belt size impacts the overall footprint of the treadmill, so keep this in mind if you have a small workout space. Generally a 16" to 20" (width) by 48" (length) belt size is sufficient for walking and light jogging. 
  • Less weight capacity: Treadmills typically have a+ weight capacity varying between 250 to 400 pounds. The higher the weight capacity is, the more likely the construction quality will be better. It's wise to choose a treadmill that can at least handle 50 pounds more than your current body weight to avoid any wobbling or stress on the machine's parts. Unfortunately, a lot of treadmills under $500 do not have a weight capacity more than 300 lbs, so it's very important to check this feature before purchasing.
  • Less powerful motor (slower top speed): Treadmill motor powers the track and is described in horse power (HP) or continuous horse power (CHP). For people weighing up to 200lbs, choose 2.0 CP or higher for walking, or 2.5 HP or more for jogging. Most treadmills in this price range have 1.5 to 4.5 CHP, however, keep an eye on the warranty labels as well. 

1) Proform 6.0 RT available for $349 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 2.0 chp Mach motor
  • Incline - 0-10% Quick Incline Control
  • Speed - 0-10 MPH quick speed Control
  • Cushioning - TreadSoft
  • Maximum Weight - 300lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 16 x 50 inches

Proform 6.0RT is a reliable, lightweight and compact machine that comes with a folding frame design at a bargain price. It is equipped with a dual grip sensor into the handlebars which aids in monitoring the heart rate. The LCD monitor gives a basic workout read-out stats. With 8 in-built workout apps designed by certified personal fitness trainers, you lose weight faster by personalizing time or calorie-based goals.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Proform is a reputable brand that manufactures some of the top quality treadmills in the market. This one is among the most inexpensive models from a brand like Proform. The folding steel frame, along with space saving design, brings about greater maneuverability and is easy to handle. The Quick Incline/Quick Speed Controls gives additional ease of use. The good cushioning system in this treadmill supports and protects your joints while running.

What's not so good about it?

We don't expect a full color LCD model at this price range, but the extreme compact size of the display doesn't do any justice. 

Unlike Proform 6.0RT, even the cheapest treadmills offer cooling fans, which is essential if it is meant to be used for prolonged hours.

Pros:
  • Space saving/Folding Design
  • Lightweight with Steel Frame
  • Recommended for Walkers
  • Additional 8 built in Workout programs, 2 cup holders & speakers
Cons:
  • Very Compact Display Screen
  • No Cooling Fan
  • Only 90 days Coverage on Parts & Labor
  • Narrower than Average Running Belts

2) Proform Performance 300i available for $391 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 2.0 chp Mach Z motor
  • Incline - 0-10% Quick Incline Control
  • Speed - 0-10 MPH quick speed Control
  • Cushioning - ProShox
  • Maximum Weight - 300lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 16 x 50 inches

The Proform Performance 300i is all that you want for a comfortable exercise experience at an affordable price range. With 16 preset programmed workouts that are especially designed for burning fat and improving cardiovascular fitness, the treadmill pretty much does everything for a perfect every day cardio routine.

The ProShox cushioning system absorbs any sudden impact and helps in relieving stress from hips, knees and ankles.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

You can connect to your iPod and iPhone and listen to your favorite songs while you set-up your favorite routine among the 15 programmed workouts. Unlike others with contact sensors, this machine has a chest strap heart rate monitor that gives you better accuracy and boosts your cardiovascular fitness. Innovative engineering of the frame and parts helps you to lift and move the deck easily for cleaning and storage.

What's not so good about it?

The Proform Performance 300i isn't good for tall people because of its compact belt size. 

It is ideal for walkers and light joggers, however it is not intended for intense running.

Pros:
  • Connect to iFit with Bluetooth
  • Chest strap Heart rate monitors for greater accuracy
  • Great Console a
  • Lightweight and Easy to Move
  • Easy set-up
Cons:
  • Compact surface size
  • Only 90 days Coverage on Parts & Labor
  • No Backlit LCD

3) Weslo Cadence G 5.9 available for $249 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 2.25 chp 
  • Incline - Two Position Manual Incline
  • Speed - 0-10 MPH 
  • Cushioning - Comfort Cell
  • Maximum Weight - 250lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 16 x 50 inches

If you are on a tight budget and don't want to visit the gym, then the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 can be an affordable option for you. The entry level folding treadmill is one of the cheapest treadmills that walkers would love to own. With six personal training programs and a two position manual incline setting, what else can you you expect at this price!

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 is a compact machine that can fit anywhere. The ramp can be manually adjusted to two positions, which can be ideal for steady walkers who want a bit more of a challenge. The simple design and preset workouts gives you a low cost casual workout experience for everyday use.

What's not so good about it?

Constricted track size and manual incline can actually be frustrating sometimes, especially if you want to run and actually work up a sweat. The machine is also quite noisy. The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 also doesn't come with additional amenities or extras - it's a very basic treadmill.

Pros:
  • Saves Space
  • Good for casual workout
  • 6 present training programs
  • Simple design and display
Cons:
  • Very small track size
  • Noisy
  • Manual incline
  • Not suitable for people over 200 lbs

4) Weslo Cadence R 5.2 available for $346 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 2.50 chp Impulse Max
  • Incline - 2 position manual adjustable incline
  • Speed - 0-10 MPH 
  • Cushioning - Comfort Cell
  • Maximum Weight - 250lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 16 x 50 inches

Another low cost product by Weslo, this one is slightly better. It has a 2.5 chp drive motor system (compared to the 2.25 chp in Weslo Cadence G 5.9). With a compact and foldable design, this entry-level treadmill is good if you're looking for a cheap option for light walking.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

If you have space constraints and looking for an ultra-light walking equipment, then the Weslo Cadence R 5.2 is definitely the best low-priced option currently available in the market. Manual tilt adjustment can be done to a maximum 15% range (which is quite good considering the cost - most machines incline to 10% or not at all). The machine can be assembled in less than 30 minutes. 

What's not so good about it?

The R 5.2 only suits the needs of walkers and is not meant for running. It is made out of low quality plastic parts and it comes with a short warranty period, which can make this an expensive purchase in the long run. Poor build quality also makes it vulnerable to damage when it is moved by hand (including by regularly moving the incline up and down).

Pros:
  • Very cheap
  • 6 present workout programs
  • Easy assembly
  • Compact and light design
Cons:
  • Poor build quality
  • Noisy
  • Short warranty period

5) Sunny SF-T7603 available for $289 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 2.25 hp 
  • Incline -3 Adjustable Manual Incline
  • Speed - 0.5-9 MPH 
  • Cushioning - N/A
  • Maximum Weight - 220lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 16 x 49 inches

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF T7603 is ideal for low weight walkers (such as active older persons who are below 175-225 lbs). The compact machine is easy to set up at home and the soft drop hydraulic system assures safe handling. Consider buying this low cost equipment for low intensity routines.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The ability to move this machine easily and stash it away (wheels and a soft-drop folding system) make the SF-T7603 stand out. This, and the easy assembly are two of the best features of this product. A large LCD display, pulse sensors and handrail controls slays help you to keep your biometrics in mind to maximize your workout experience.

What's not so good about it?

The major downside of this product is its mere 220 maximum weight bearing capacity. The short tread belt is also problematic for taller persons, and though it can reach a max speed of 9 mph, the belt is realistically too short for most people to run.

Pros:
  • Built in handrail controls along with pulse monitoring
  • 9 built in user programs
  • Easy assembly
  • Ergonomic/ easy to handle
  • Descent for everyday walkers
Cons:
  • Unsuitable for those above 220 pounds 
  • No extra accessories/ amenities

6) Sunny P8700 available for $287 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 2.20 hp 
  • Incline - 3 Adjustable Manual Incline (0%, 2%, 4.37%)
  • Speed - 0.5-9 MPH 
  • Cushioning - N/A
  • Maximum Weight - 220lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 15.75 x 48.80 inches

Quite similar to Sunny SF T7603, the Sunny P8700 is also designed for light weight walkers (below 170 to 220 lbs.). It can be ideally used by home fitness enthusiasts who are looking for a low to mid range cardio workout. Quick speed and incline adjustments can make exercise routine at home easy, fun and challenging with Sunny P8700.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

With a highly compact and foldable frame and 9 programmed workout guidance, it well suits the need of entry level fitness enthusiasts. Unlike other machines of the same segment, this model can also calculate BMI and has an easy feedback system. A ledge for supporting media equipment is also included, so you can watch videos on a tablet or read from an e-reader.

What's not so good about it?

With the steepest setting of only 5%, it's hard to add much of a challenge to your workout with this machine. Besides extremely low maximum weight capacity, the Sunny P8700 also has a low track size which limits the range of users who can use it.

Pros:
  • Good data presentation and programs
  • Compact and foldable frame, ergonomic design
  • Handrail controls
  • Pause function
Cons:
  • Unsuitable for those above 220 pounds 
  • Low maximum speed limit
  • No extra amenities except smartphone/tablet holder

7) Sunny SF-T7515 available for $325 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 2.20 hp 
  • Incline - 12 levels of auto-incline (0-12%)
  • Speed - 0-8 MPH 
  • Cushioning - N/A
  • Maximum Weight - 250lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 16 x 50 inches

With loads of features and automatic inclination at 12 different levels, we find that this model is one of the best choices for both walkers and joggers at this affordable price range. Sunny SF-T7515 helps you maintain and monitor your heart rate, all in a compact, stylish and ergonomic built. It also has app connectivity via bluetooth.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Quite obviously, you won't find any other product currently in the market with 12 automatic incline modes at this price range. We also love high-end features of this compact size treadmill such as bluetooth connectivity and stereo speakers which keeps you entertained throughout your weight loss journey. The machine also has ergonomic handling and corrosion resistant frame and finish.  

What's not so good about it?

Though the product is great on the tech end, the model completely misses the basics of having at least a 2 chp motor power. A little higher speed range and maximum supported weight could have been an added advantage.

Pros:
  • High end features such as bluetooth connectivity
  • Compact size
  • 12 levels of automatic incline
  • Great hand rail controls and media ledge
  • Variety of programs
Cons:
  • Limited speed range
  • Fairly heavy - difficult to move

8) Exerpeutic 100XL available for $301 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 1.5 hp 
  • Incline - 3 levels of manual incline (8, 10 & 15 degrees)
  • Speed - 0.4-4mph 
  • Cushioning - N/A
  • Maximum Weight - 325lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 16 x 45 inches

The cheapest model on our list, the Exerpeutic 100XL is the most basic treadmill for your home. The product supports good maximum weight capacity and has the industry's best standards of safety features at this price range. It has good build quality and the simple design means that it will have a long lifespan, as long as it is used for low intensity cardio workouts.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

We absolutely love the fact that the product offers a 325lbs. maximum weight support. An additional 3-level of manual incline setting will also give you the opportunity to add a challenge to your walk or light jog. The long safety handles and 6 inch diameter flywheels gives you room for consistent and steady pace every day cardio workout. There's a added space for mobile/tablet holder as well. 

What's not so good about it?

The product lacks in many features and automatic settings. Though the extended handle bars are intended to give additional support, it actually makes the machine a bit bulky when folded.

Pros:
  • Simple and compact design
  • Good maximum support weight capacity
  • Long safety handles
  • Supports hands-free walking
Cons:
  • No additional tech features
  • Low motor power
  • Low maximum speed capacity
  • Narrow belt size

9) Merit Fitness 715T Plus available for $326 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 1.5 chp 
  • Incline - 0-5% Manual Incline
  • Speed - 0-10 MPH 
  • Cushioning - AeroSoft 
  • Maximum Weight - 250lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 18 x 47 inches

With an ultra compact design, the Merit Fitness 715T Plus is a popular treadmill for beginners. Considering the cost, this cardio machine is best designed for walking and light exercises. With a basic pre-set programs and an aero-soft cushioning system it suits the needs people below 200 lbs. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The 12 preset workout programs lets you switch between different modes, such as rolling hills, weight loss, interval training and more. The compact frame and ergonomic design makes this treadmill easy to handle and transport. Extremely customer friendly service from Merit Fitness is also an added advantage.

What's not so good about it?

A very basic, light is only suitable for light cardio - no running. Also, the extremely lightweight design makes it a little less steadier than other models in the same price range. People who are near the recommended weight limit of 200 lbs (50 lbs less than the max weight capacity) are likely to experience some shaking, wobbling, and a lot of noise. The track material is also very thin.

Pros:
  • Lifetime warranty on the machine, 90 days on parts
  • Compact design
  • Portable and easy assemblage
  • Low price
  • Great customer service
Cons:
  • Shorter than average belt size
  • Poor material used for the tread which makes it noisy
  • Not very stable
  • No extra console features

10) SereneLife SLFTRD25 available for $359 on Amazon

Key features
  • Motor - 1.5hp
  • Incline - 3 Manual Incline setting
  • Speed - 0.6 to 7.5 MPH 
  • Cushioning - Present on both sides
  • Maximum Weight - 265lbs.
  • Tread Belt - 15.7 x 43.30 inches

If you are looking for most advanced and high-tech features in a treadmill in this price range, the SereneLife SLFTRD25 can be a great choice for you. With bluetooth, built in stereo speakers, app connectivity, social sharing and 16 awesome preset training modes, it's ideal for light joggers looking to add some variation to their workout routines. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Quite obviously anybody who loves to upload his or her fitness status on social media, enjoy music while walking or jogging and be entertained throughout the workout routine, would love to be on the SereneLife SLFTRD25. Other tech features include SD card reader, USB flash, hand grip sensors and pulse monitoring, book/tablet holder tray, wireless connectivity and more.

What's not so good about it?

Despite all the flashy tech features, the SLFTRD25 has a below industry standard motor and a very short treadmill belt (7" less than most models on this list). The software features also may glitch out from time to time. 

Pros:
  • Great media ledge with bluetooth, wireless, app and social media connectivity
  • Various amenities available
  • LCD display with touch button controls
  • Soft drop system and good handling
Cons:
  • Low motor power
  • Very short belt size
  • No automatic incline setting
  • Low top speed

In conclusion...

If you have budget constraints, it is easily possible to get a treadmill for walking or light jogging. It's important to look at the pros and cons of these models and weigh your preference between 'better features' or 'better performance'. It's especially important to consider features in your home such as space and noise issues, and make sure that you match it up with the stability, motor and warranties of the treadmill that you have in mind. If you're a beginner and want to lose weight in the convenience of your home, there's nothing better to get started with your very own personal treadmill!