Treadmill Before-You-Buy Checklist

Now that you have done your research, read all the reviews, selected your price range, checked out the different brands, reviewed the warranties and selected the perfect treadmill for your own personal needs and goals and you are ready to make your purchase, what's next? Treadmill Checklist

Before you take that final step and either add the treadmill to your cart online or run out to your B&M store to make your purchase, take a moment to be sure that you have made the right decision, selected the perfect treadmill for your own personal needs, did not miss an important consideration and have found the merchant with the best price and service.


Treadmill Selection Checklist

Note: You can actually click in the check boxes below to check off each item in the checklist and/or to keep track of where you are as you review the list. The checklist will NOT be saved online but you can print the blank or filled in checked list to reference or to complete at a later time.

The Motor is powerful enough for the primary use of the machine and the weight of the person(s) that will be using it. The minimum Continuous Horsepower (CHP) is 2.0 for walking, 2.5 for jogging or 3.0 for running. Add .5 CHP to each category for those who weigh over 200lbs.

The Treadmill Belt is the correct size for the primary use of the machine and the size of the person(s) that will be using it. The Treadmill Belt is a minimum of 2 ply for durability, lower noise and for better overall performance. The minimum length and width is within the ranges in the table below:

Primary Use Length Width
Walking 50"-54" 18"-20"
Jogging or Running 54" or more 20" or more

Tall Runner with Long Strides

58" or more 20" or more

The Treadmill Inclines and Declines to meet my needs. Most treadmills will incline up to 10-15%. Some treadmills incline much more than this (often up to 40%). Not all treadmills have the feature to decline the surface to work additional muscle groups.

The Treadmill Console is easy to read ~ even in low light ~ is easy to operate and tracks all of the workout statistics that are the most important to me.

The Treadmill Console has the entertainment and motivational features and/or options that are important to me.

Most modern treadmills have features like a music player jack, sound system and volume controls, built in workout programs and heart-rate monitors. Keep in mind that there are also many additional features available today that are not found on all brands and models.

Do you want the additional features such as user defined (customizable) workout programs or iFit Live (found on NordicTrack and Proform treadmill as well as a few less popular brands) to connect to the internet for additional workouts and routes and to watch your progress graphically through Google Maps?

Customer Reviews have been read. The popular customer review websites on the internet like and are a great resource for customer reviews.

Note: Although customer reviews are a great resource, you need to keep in mind that they can be biased (actually written by someone from the manufacturer of the product or from a competitor), they can be inaccurate (such as when the customer does not assemble the product properly or when they just have buyer's remorse because they did not research the product properly (or use this checklist :-) ), or they can be overly positive since many reviews are made when the product is brand new and has not been used much.

Professional Reviews have been researched. Reviews by Fitness Industry Experts and Consumer magazines can provide valuable information not usually found in customer reviews alone. Our reviews include a composite of Professional Review research and multiple Customer Review research from multiple sources.

Delivery for Online Purchase is Free. Most (but not all) Fitness Equipment makers offer Free Shipping.

I have Checked the Most Reputable Merchants Online and have Found the Best Price and best overall deal. See our Treadmill eStores for an easy to use list of links to the best online Treadmill Stores with the brands that they sell to help you to find or verify that you have found the best price online.


We hope that this Before You Buy Checklist has been helpful to you in providing additional information that you might have missed or simply by confirming that you have already covered all the bases and to give you the peace of mind that you have made the best choice.

If you have found that the treadmill that you have originally selected does not meet the criteria above that is the most important to you or if you are a little unsure about your original selection please feel free to browse our website for our treadmill reviews and helpful resources.

In this case, you may find the following topics particularly helpful:

Our "Best Buy" Treadmills - for our Best Buy picks by price range.

Treadmill Ratings - for our ratings of the most popular treadmills by price range.