Best Treadmills for a Heavy Person – Top 7 User Picks for 2021

Earnings Disclaimer
Earnings Disclaimer
Equipment for Overweight

Heavy people looking for a treadmill should ideally look for heavy duty treadmills with high weight capacity.

Ideally, the best treadmills for a heavy person should have 350 to 400 lbs or even 450 lbs weight capacity. These treadmills also have better shock absorption and wider belt, making them more suitable for big people.

The American public health association reports that the rates of obesity are finally starting to decline. However, in Europe, the situation is worrying with the UK named the most overweight nation in Western Europe.

Any way you look at it, now is a great time to do something about it, and the best part is that you can walk it (literally).

Whether you are a heavy person or just a little bit overweight, chances are, you want to make the year 2021 count as getting fitter and healthier.

In this guide, we'll cover the top treadmills with 350 to 450 lbs weight capacity that you could get in 2021.

What If I told you that just 30-minutes of walking per day are enough to help you lose weight and feel fantastic, and all that without even leaving your home?

Now, all that may sound too good to be true, especially when reality shows like The Biggest Loser are trying to convince you that to lose weight, you have to perform extremely intense exercises and have the mentality and motivation of an Olympic athlete or else you wouldn't lose weight.

What if I told you that all this is BS and that all you need to do is just WALK?

I am not asking you to run marathons, not yet. Remember that thing you started doing when you were about 12 months old? For starters, JUST WALK

Here's what the Mayo Clinic says about the health benefits of walking. Practicing this natural movement helps you besides the obvious of losing weight:

- Create denser bone structure
- Lower blood pressure
- Ward off heart disease
- Bring type 2 diabetes under control

Who knew that simply walking could do so much?
Best of all, you can get a great workout without ever leaving home when you have a treadmill.

Just a quick note
There are some pretty interesting facts in this article (some may surprise you), so we recommend you give it a read.  However, if you don't have time here are our top picks for 2021:

Treadmill

Capacity

Folding

Running Area

Our Rating

LifeSpan TR 1200i

300 lb

Yes

20"W x 56"L

Budget Pick Heavy Duty Treadmill

ProForm 505 CST

325 lb

Yes

20"W x 55"L

ProForm Pro 2000

350 lb

Yes

22"W x 60"L

Best Heavy Duty Treadmill

LifeSpan TR 4000i

350 lb

Yes

20"W x 60"L

Exerpeutic TF1000

400 lb

Yes

20"W x 40"L

Best Heavy Duty Treadmill for Walking

Sole F85

400 lb

Yes

22"W x 60"L

Best PRO 400 lb Heavy Duty Treadmill

Sole TT9

450 lb

No

22"W x 60"L

 For Users Up to 450 pounds

Are treadmills bad for your knees?


I know there is a tendency to wonder about whether or not treadmills are good for you, especially when you're obese.

This is a valid concern. The first thing that people are worried about, is their joints.

That's why people don't think of the treadmill as an exercise equipment that is suitable for the obese.

Most people are worried that walking would strain their knees and ankles. Some are already in constant pain, largely thanks to the extra weight they carry. Your back or knees may hurt even without doing any exercise at all.

However, light exercise, such as walking, could actually make your joints feel better instead of worse.

A study published in the Journal of Biomechanics found that overweight people did not strain their joints while walking at a comfortable speed any more than lean participants in the study did.

The only caveat to that is that you have to buy a treadmill with high weight capacity. Such treadmills are designed with a heavy person in mind as the user, so they have superior shock absorption systems, which is easier on your knees.

In the past, 400 lb weight capacity treadmills were less common and quite expensive. Today, heavy duty treadmills (350-400 lb capacity) are cheaper and are closer in price to ellipticals and exercise bikes. Still expect to pay a premium price if you need one with 450 lb weight capacity such as the Sole TT9 (which we review later in this guide)

Don't You Have to Run on a Treadmill?


You may assume, like many, that using a treadmill meant running, sweating, and getting out of breath, three things that don't exactly sound fun.

The good news is that running doesn't have to enter the picture, at least initially.

A study conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder found that obese people burn more calories at an easy walking pace than they do at a higher rate of speed. That is scientific evidence that walking is an excellent place to start.

You may eventually decide to add some running into your routine. However, it's never a good idea to overdo this.

If you just don't want to walk or really like running Octane Fitness makes a truly no-impact running machine. Giving you the benefits of running yet without the downsides.

Why Walking is Better


You do not have to run on a treadmill to get a fantastic workout. Walking is an excellent alternative for an obese person because it is low impact. Generally speaking, an exercise is low-impact if you keep at least one foot on the ground at all times, such as in walking.

Low-impact exercise is great because it doesn't involve a lot of pounding on your muscles and joints.

When you do a high-impact exercise like running, your body absorbs a ton of force, and that's tough on just about every part of you from your feet on up. For someone who is carrying a lot of excess weight, this is a particularly bad idea.

What about Elliptical Machines and Stationary Bikes?


If running (or walking) on a treadmill isn't your thing, don't despair, there are other options for an overweight person.

You can get a decent low-impact workout using an elliptical trainer or an exercise bike. There are some great high capacity stationary bikes and ellipticals with a maximum user weight of up to 500 lb.

More Complicated Machines Tend To Be Intimidating


Using a treadmill lets you exercise in a way that you've been familiar with since you were less than a year old. When you climb on an elliptical machine or a stationary bike, you're taking on something that's a bit more complicated and that in itself can demotivate you.

The Problem with Elliptical Machines


The Problem with Elliptical Machines

It looks like an elliptical machine mimics walking, and they do to a certain extent. I love ellipticals and think they are great and have their advantages for heavy people mainly because they are low impact.

But they have a couple of disadvantages. First, it's easier to slack off on them, especially for beginners. Second, you go for the gusto for five minutes, but then it's so easy to slow down to a snail's pace, simply because you can.

In the elliptical trainer, you control the pace using your stride. In a treadmill, you set the pace through the panel, and so you have to intentionally press a button to decrease the speed. It's, therefore, easier to go slower than you'd want with an elliptical workout compared to a treadmill workout.

Elliptical Machines

When you're walking on a treadmill, it's harder to slack off because you set the speed and the belt continues to move at that speed until you or the pre-set program you're using changes it. You are kind of forced to do the walking at a certain pace.

Elliptical machines can be a great workout if you know you're in the exercise groove and more likely to be able to sustain effort over a longer time period.

Why You May Not Want to Choose a Stationary Bike First


Like elliptical machines, it's easy to slack off on a stationary bike. However, I find that I pedal furiously for two or three minutes before I get tired and my mind starts to wander.

Plus, have you ever sat on the seat of a stationary bike? It's painful, and it's not the kind of pain that goes away when you get off the bike. It's the kind of pain that lasts for days, which means you're going to miss several workouts.

Don't get me wrong, getting a fantastic workout with a stationary bike is possible. However, it takes quite a bit of time for your body to get used to the seat so that you can ride most days.

If you're just starting a new exercise routine, and you can only have one machine in your house, then it makes sense to start with something that's more comfortable and familiar. That said, there is still nothing wrong with getting an exercise bike first.

Don't feel embarrassed - Work out at home


Let's be honest. Going to the gym can be intimidating. There are a lot of really fit people there who actually know how to use all of that gym equipment. There is also a lot of body shaming and judging happening in a gym.

It's not like you should be embarrassed, but it's a fact that many overweight people and especially morbidly obese ones, may not feel the most comfortable going to the gym. I can tell you the hell with anyone looking, but still, I cannot blame you for feeling uncomfortable.

The worst part is that it may cause you to hate going to the gym even more. Another issue with gyms is shaming, and it's very real. One stupid and tasteless remark can put an end to your effort to lose weight.

Working at your home, you can work out in your underwear, doing whatever you want, not having to give a damn about anyone. That's one of the most significant advantages of exercising at home. It also eliminated one more hurdle on your way to lose weight and be fitter.

Save Time


Having a treadmill at home will save you travel time and allow you to jump in the shower and get changed quickly if you need to.

A treadmill is also a better option than walking around the neighborhood if you are pressed for time. This is because the last half of your walk can take longer than the first half, so being able to hop off your treadmill at the exact time you need to is a much better idea than being stuck a couple of blocks away.

Do you want to know another benefit to walking on your treadmill instead of outside? No hills!

Get Distracted = Burn More Calories


Distractions on the Treadmill

A study performed by Ghent University, Belgium, shows that exercisers will stay on the treadmill longer when distracted by things like music or podcasts, or magazines.

I have never had trouble reading a book while walking on the treadmill, but reading while walking my neighborhood is difficult (and it's not safe either).

You can even use a strategy known as "temptation bundling," which combines something you should do, like exercise, with something you love to do, like reading a book or watching your favorite television show. Try only watching your current Netflix binge while going for a walk on your treadmill.

You'll be surprised that the distraction helps you walk longer. You may also be surprised that you'll want to walk more just so you can see what happens next!

Comfort, Privacy and Convenience


Having a treadmill at home is so convenient because you can exercise whenever your schedule makes sense., You don't have to worry about driving anywhere or using the locker room.

However, don't ditch the idea of going to the gym. You may find that you may decide to go to the gym and use the other machines once you feel a bit more comfortable. Or better yet, get an all-in-one workout machine and start your own home gym.

OK SO YOU ARE CONVINCED BUT WHAT TREADMILL DO YOU NEED?

Treadmills for Overweight People - What You Need To Look For


The treadmills at the gym are commercial equipment, and they are made to withstand large numbers of people using them all day and every day. So even if you are obese, you do not need to worry about damaging one of these treadmills.

You will want to look for a few features if you want to purchase a high-capacity treadmill.

Must Have Features


You might be tempted to buy equipment with all the fun display extras like exercise programs, tracking for weight loss goals or entertainment options, but to be honest, you need to prioritize the features that will best help you use it.

If you are looking for distractions to help with temptation bundling, then docks for your iPad may be useful, but most of the other features are geared toward more advanced users.

Your biggest challenge will be to consistently use the thing, so don't worry about all the extras right now.

Wide Running Deck


Wide Running Surface

The tread belts on equipment at commercial gyms tend to be fairly wide as they are made for people of all shapes and sizes. This is not always true for budget treadmills, so be aware while shopping for the running deck’s width. A wider running surface is more important for running than walking. Slightly narrower running surfaces may be ok if you intend to walk rather than run.

It needs to be wide enough for your natural gait but not too wide that you can’t straddle it comfortably should you need to stop.

Moreover, big people tend to need a wider treadmill. This means that the treadmill belt must be wide enough to accommodate your natural stride. Any treadmill that leaves you stepping off the belt isn’t worth your money.

If the deck is too narrow, you might step off the belt during exercise, which could make for a good viral video, but it probably won’t feel too great.

Regarding length, for walkers, a short belt is fine, but if you think you may start doing a little jogging as you lose weight, you’ll want a running deck belt length of at least 55 inches, 60 if you’re tall.

A Strong, Heavy-Duty Frame


The most important thing your home treadmill must-have is a sturdy frame. Various treadmill manufacturers build models that are suitable for people who weigh between 300 and 500 pounds.

Even if you don't quite weigh 300 pounds, one of these heavy-duty models may be a good choice because they can withstand your weight with ease.

Pay particular attention to the specs as published by the manufacturer. They must say that the treadmill is rated for people weighing 300 pounds and above.

In order to publish this claim, the manufacturer must perform extensive testing.

Good Warranty


Your treadmill is likely to become a daily part of your life. To make the most of it, you have to look for a model that comes with an excellent warranty.

It's almost always the case, the more expensive the treadmill, the better the warranty offered by the manufacturer.

Optimally choose a warranty that has these features:

• Three to seven-year protection on parts
• One year protection for labor
• Lifetime frame warranty
• Lifetime motor warranty

This is the kind of warranty that guarantees many years of satisfaction with your treadmill. For a heavy person, a home treadmill can be the beginning of a healthier lifestyle.

Treadmills Weight Limit


Like every exercise equipment, treadmills have a weight limit set by the manufacturer. In this article, we are reviewing ones with weight limits between 300 to 450 lb.

We recommended that you buy a treadmill with a rated maximum weight capacity below or at your weight.

It's not that treadmills with a lower weight limit will break, but they will wear faster. The engine may struggle more to keep up at the right speed, which can cause it to overheat. If you are only using the treadmill very occasionally and for brief moments, that probably isn't a big deal, but over time this can cause the engine to malfunction.

Manufacturers do account for a margin of safety, so if the rated capacity of the treadmill is 350 lb and you are a few pounds heavier, then most likely, there shouldn't be any problem.

Undoubtedly, the manufacturer can't tell you that. Still, many big guys have reported using treadmills with a weight capacity that is slightly below theirs, without issues. However, if you do choose to use a treadmill that is rated below your weight class, you have the risk of voiding the warranty.


As a heavier user, the first thing that narrows your choices is whether the treadmill is rated for your weight. All of the following treadmills will fold up to save space.

The treadmills are listed by weight, up to a 300-pound person, up to 350 pounds, up to 400-pound, and even one with a 450 lbs capacity.

These are the highest-rated and most praised treadmills.
You can read chronologically or click on any specific review.

Max Weigh Capacity: 300 lbs.


Belt Size: 20"W x 56"L

Motor: 2.5 CHP

ax Weigh Capacity: 325 lbs.


Belt Size: 20"W x 55"L

Motor: 2.5 CHP

ax Weigh Capacity: 350 lbs.


Belt Size: 22"W x 60"L

Motor: 3.5 CHP

Belt Size: 20"W x 60"L

Motor: 3.25 CHP

Max Weigh Capacity: 400 lbs.


Belt Size: 20"W x 40"L

Motor: 1.5 CHP

Belt Size: 22"W x 60"L

Motor: 4.0 CHP


Max Weigh Capacity: 450 lbs.


Belt Size: 22"W x 60"L

Motor: 4.0 CHP


FOR USERS UP TO 300 POUNDS


LifeSpan TR 1200i

Best Budget Heavy Duty Treadmill





The LifeSpan TR 1200i is a basic model that offers 15 different incline levels and can reach speeds of up to 11 mph. It is rated for users up to 300 pounds. Compared to its cousin, the TR 4000i, this treadmill is more affordable, though it has fewer features. 

Great for walking slightly less comfortable for running

Although its running belt is an industry-standard 20 inches wide, this model only offers 56 inches of belt length, unlike the 60-inch lengths of other running treadmills reviewed here.

If you have runners in your house or if you plan to run on this treadmill once you lose weight, this shorter belt length could be a problem. Some taller users reported that they felt like the treadmill was too short to stride out.

Good shock absorbing surface with long lasting tread belt

The TR 1200i does have a cushioned, 2-ply tread belt and a running deck with six compression shocks to help absorb impact. Belts that are 2-ply will last longer, tend to be quieter and offer you a little more cushion than the standard in-home treadmill 1-ply belts.

If you have bad knees or if walking hurts your hips or back, this running surface can help cushion your movements. Its motor has a 2.5 Continuous Duty Horsepower rating, which is enough to sustain regular use for many years.

Save exercise data to USB and upload to LifeSpan website for accountability and motivation

The console options are pretty standard, with 21 different exercise programs. It also offers you the ability to record training data onto a USB device, plug it into a computer and track your fitness progress.

The USB can record your time spent, calories burned, heart rate data, distance traveled and step count, then upload that information to a free account on the LifeSpan Club website. If you are a beginner, this accountability can help keep you motivated to exercise regularly.

Good warranty

Like other LifeSpan models, the TR 1200i comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, plus three years for parts and one year for labor. It arrives unassembled, so plan for an hour or two of assembly time with a helper.

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Long lasting heavy duty 2-ply tread belt
  • Record to data to USB and upload to LifeSpan for added accountability

CONS

  • 56 inch long belt less comfortable for running
  • Assembly can take an hour or two and need a helper

Specs

Price: Click to check price
Max Weight Capacity: 300 pounds (136 kg)
Belt Size: 20"W x 56”L (51cm W x 142cm L)
Warranty:  Lifetime on Frame & Motor,  3 Year Parts,  1 Year Labor 1
Motor: 2.5 HP Continuous Duty DC
Max Speed: 11 Mph (17.7 Km/h)
Foldable: Yes
Dimensions Unfolded: 70.25" L x 33" W x 55" H  (178cm L x 84cm W x 140cm H)
Dimensions Folded: 39" L x 33" W x 63" H  (99cm L x 84cm W x 160cm H)

Click to check on Amazon

ProForm 505 CST Treadmill





ProForm 505 CST Treadmill – 2016 model

The ProForm 505 CST is amongst the least expensive treadmills reviewed in this guide. We find it cheap, especially when we consider its 6-inch backlit display and 18 pre-set exercise programs. The 325 lb weight should be enough for most, though heavier guys may need to check the other options.

You can also plug any MP3 player or iPod into the treadmill for maximum audio distraction.

Pre-set exercises in user mode can be tricky but manual works fine

Some pre-set exercises in user mode are quite challenging, but it’s working perfectly fine when you set the speed manually.  I personally always use the manual settings, even when I use treadmills costing ten times more.

Heart rate by gripping hand sensors may not work for everyone

I've used so many treadmills over the years. Unfortunately, I have to say that many home treadmills, especially the more affordable ones, don't always show the correct heart rate.

This treadmill is no different. The gripping hand sensors may not always work. However, with most smartwatches nowadays like Apple Watch, FitBit, and others offering heart rate monitoring, you might not even care about the built-in sensors not working perfectly.

If accurate heart rate monitoring is essential for you and the built-in one wouldn't work, I suggest getting a separate chest strap-based HR monitor. These are relatively cheap and are much more accurate than wrist-based heart rate monitors.

Quiet motor

Considering the 505 CST’s low price, its 2.5 CHP motor will give the LifeSpan TR 1200i a run for its money.

If you like quiet or have other family members whom you don't want to disturb, you'll appreciate this treadmill's quiet operation. The motor is very quiet and will not be too loud if you have to use it in an upstairs room or apartment, despite your heavier weight.

There's a power-saving feature that supposedly should lower your electricity bill, but we had no way of validating this claim.

Fine for walking but tall people may find running less comfortable

While the 505 CST is fine for walking and even running, it may be slightly less comfortable for running, particularly if you are tall. It has a 1-ply tread belt that is 20 inches wide by 55 inches long.

Like other treadmills, the running deck is equipped with cushioning to absorb impact as you striding.

Assembly can take awhile

The box arrives unassembled, and you will need help and several hours to put it together. 

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Rated for heavy users up to 325 pounds
  • Quiet motor with power saving
  • Strong 2.5 CHP motor at an affordable price
  • Solid warranty for such a low price

CONS

  • Panel computer not always saving user defined exercises
  • Hand grip heart sensors may not work reliably for everyone
  • Tread belt wide enough for walking but tall people may find its length too short for running
  • May take a while to assemble with a helper

Specs

Price: Click to check price
Max Weight Capacity: 325 pounds  (147kg)
Belt Size: 20"W x 55”L  (50.8cm W x 139.7cm L)
Warranty:  Lifetime on Frame,  25 Year Motor,  1 Year Parts & Labor
Motor: 2.5 HP Continuous Duty DC
Max Speed: 10 Mph (16 Km/h)
Foldable: Yes
Dimensions Unfolded: 73.3"L x 35.74"W x 68.11"H  (186cm L x 91cm W x 173cm H)

Click to check on Amazon


FOR USERS UP TO 350 POUNDS


ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill

Best Heavy Duty Treadmill





The ProForm Pro 2000 has a motor with a 3.5 CHP horsepower, which is slightly stronger than the TR 4000i, the other treadmill in the 350-pound category. Like the TR 4000i, the Pro 2000 offers speeds up to 12 MPH.

Incline up to 15% as well as a unique decline option

The Pro 2000 model supports an incline level of up to 15 percent, which is similar to other treadmills in its class, but it also offers decline. Using a pre-defined workout of both incline can more closely match real outside walking. If you have signed up to walk a 5k or other race and want to train your body for both the uphill and the downhill segments that's a nice feature to have.

Wider 22" tread belt than other models but only 1-ply tread belt

The running deck has a good cushioning system with shock absorbers placed carefully on each side to help minimize impact. Its tread belt is 22 inches wide, longer than the LifeSpan competitor’s, but only has a 1-ply tread belt.

The running surface is more spacious than other treadmills, but the belt may need replacement slightly more frequently than 2-ply tread belts, it should still last plenty of time without maintenance.

More bells & whistles than other treadmills

ProForm 2000 Treadmill

The Pro 2000 console has a lot of options, including technology like Google Maps and iFit technology. To be honest, most overweight users like you will start out with just the basics and don’t need all of these extras, but they can be fun to explore and can serve up some great distractions when you start your walks.

Compared with the LifeSpan TR 4000i, this treadmill offers more programming options and 32 different workouts. But we think some options are too advanced for beginners. Still, you don’t have to use them

Good warranty

The treadmill comes unassembled, but due to its size we suggest that you have some to help you to assemble it. This treadmill’s warranty is excellent, coming with a lifetime guarantee on the frame and motor, 5-year warranty on parts and 1-year warranty on labor.

Finally, this treadmill also earned a Best Buy recommendation from Consumer Reports, which tests products and makes recommendations to help buyers assess a product’s pros and cons.

If you are looking for a reliable treadmill to handle your weight but like the idea of lots of technology and programming options, this is a great choice.

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Very strong 3.5 CHP motor
  • Decline option provides different kind of workout
  • Extra wide tread belt of 22" very comfortable for walking or running
  • 32 different workouts and advanced features
  • Many features including iFit and Google Maps
  • Earned Best Buy from Consumer Magazine

CONS

  • Belt is only 1-ply may require maintenance after some use
  • Advanced features may be confusing for beginners
  • Folds to about 70 degrees so may still take a bit of space

Specs

Price: Click to check price
Max Weight Capacity: 350 pounds  (158 kg)
Belt Size: 22"W x 60”L  (55.88cm W x 152cm L)
Warranty:  Lifetime on Frame & Motor,  5 Year Parts,  2 Year Labor
Motor: 3.5 HP Continous Duty DC
Max Speed: 12 Mph (19 Km/h)
Foldable: Yes
Dimensions Unfolded: 80” L x 39.5” W x 63” H (203.2cm L x 100.33cm W x 160cm H)

Click to check on Amazon

LifeSpan TR 4000i Folding Treadmill

Runner-Up for Most Options





LifeSpan TR4000i Folding Treadmill

The TR 4000i’s running deck is rated for users up to 350 pounds and is suspended by eight compression shocks to cushion the impact on your knees, hips and back.

The 6-inch LCD on the LifeSpan TR 4000i is backlit, displaying all the basics like time, calories, distance and speed, plus step number, elevation change and heart rate. LifeSpan treadmills offer a unique feature called IntelliStep that acts as a pedometer to help you keep track of the number of steps you take.

Strong motor with plenty of exercise programs

This treadmill offers 15 different incline positions with speeds up to 12 mph. The motor has continuous duty horsepower of 3.25.

We think you probably won’t need all the options it gives you to start with, including the 21 different exercise programs, but the motor’s horsepower means it’s strong enough to bear your weight and will last a long time.

Connect to phone via Bluetooth to track progress in real time

One cool thing about this treadmill is that it has a Bluetooth-enabled Active Trac app that you can sync to your phone or tablet. This can be useful to help you stay motivated to work out regularly as you can keep track of your fitness progress in real time.

If you tend to sweat easily, the built-in 3-speed fan can help to cool you down as you walk. It's not an air-conditioner, but hey, every bit helps when you feel hot.

LifeSpan TR4000i Folding Treadmill

Treadbelt of 60 inches long making is great for running

The running belt is 20 inches wide and 60 inches long, so it is plenty long enough for any runners in your house (or for your future running) while being wide enough for you to walk on safely.

LifeSpan TR4000i Folding Treadmill

Like other LifeSpan treadmills the TR 4000i have solid warranty

This treadmill offers a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor along with five years of warranty for parts and two years for labor. We can learn from this excellent warranty that LifeSpan tested and trusts its machine to work well with minimum cases of malfunctions.

The TR4000i is more expensive than some of the others treadmills, we think the price is wel worth it for what you are getting.

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Wide enough belt for comfortable walking.
  • Long belt of 60" very comfortable for any runners in the house
  • Extra cushioning for better shock absorption
  • Connect via Bluetooth with your phone or tablet to track progress in realtime

CONS

  • Manual may not be clear enough
  • Some users complain about static electricity touching the metals

Specs

Price: Click to check price
Max Weight Capacity: 350 pounds (158kg)
Belt Size: 20"W x 60”L  (50.8cm W x 152cm L)
Warranty:  Lifetime on Frame & Motor,  5 Year Parts,  2 Year Labor
Motor: 3.25 HP Continuous Duty DC
Max Speed: 12 Mph (19 Km/h)
Foldable: Yes
Dimensions Unfolded: 74.5" L x 32" W x 56" H  (189.2cm L x 81.3cm W x 142.2cm H)
Dimensions Folded: 42" L x 32" W x 66.5" H  (101.6cm L x 81.3cm W x 169cm H)

Click to check on Amazon


FOR USERS UP TO 400 POUNDS


Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill

Best Heavy Duty Treadmill for Walking




With a shipping weight of around 145 pounds, this 120-pound treadmill is smaller and lighter than the other treadmills reviewed here. While it may not be as small as compact treadmills, it is impressively small.

It's excellent for walking, but if you plan on running later on, perhaps after losing a bit of weight, then this treadmill will limit you.

Only for walking

The Exerpeutic TF1000 is for walking purposes only. The minimum speed is .4 mph, but the treadmill goes up to a brisk walking pace of 4mph (6.5 km/h), so it's not like it a promenade.

You do not want this treadmill if you plan to do more than walk or are considering using it to jog in the future once you lose weight. 

Quiet motor

The motor is only 1.5H, but you don't need more than that for walking purposes. Besides, because the engine is small, it doesn't make much noise. So if you buy this treadmill, the motor should be quiet enough for you to watch TV while walking.

Extra long handrails helpful for heavy people

We feel like Exerpeutic really did an excellent work designing this treadmill with the heavy user in mind, as well as those with mobility issues.
Why? Well, the extra long handrails are very sturdy, and many bigger guys found this as well. This is important because, if you have difficulty walking and need to rely on the handrails a lot.

We were looking for reports from some big users and found people o the heavier side report no issues with this treadmill handling their weight. One downside, though, is that the belt may occasionally slip, and need to be adjusted, which we don't find is such a big deal considering the many merits of this treadmill.

Wide safety rails and surface that is comfortable for walking

The running belt is 20 inches wide and 40 inches long. This should be plenty long enough, and the 20-inch width is comfortable enough for most walkers. An added benefit is that the TF1000 also has side rails that are wider than most treadmills, which will allow you to comfortably straddle the tread belt if you need to take a break.

This treadmills have a basic display and simple features

This treadmill is also a great option for those who are looking for something to turn into a walking desk. It is pretty basic in terms of its options, but that's okay for you. You probably won't need more options than the two manual incline positions or the simple LCD display that shows time, distance, calories, and pace. This treadmill will monitor your heart rate as well.

Warranty not as good as others but decent for its low price

The TF1000 comes practically assembled with a warranty of five years on the frame and motor, with 90 days guarantee for parts and labor. This warranty is not as good as some of the other treadmills on this list, but the reasonable price and 400-pound weight limit still make it a good value.

All things aside, if you are looking for a walking-only treadmill you can't go wrong with the Exerpeutic TF1000, it's the best low-budget walking treadmill you can find

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Very light weight
  • Quiet motor
  • Extra long handrails suitable for people with mobility problems
  • Wide side rails make taking breaks convenient
  • Comes already assembled ready to use

CONS

  • Treadmill only for walking/brisk walking up to 4 mph (6.4 kph)
  • Belt may occasionaly slip and require readjusting
  • Very simple screen with no special features
  • Warranty is limited but typical for the low price

Specs

Price: Click to check price
Max Weight Capacity: 400 pounds  (180 kg)
Belt Size: 20"W x 40”L  (50.8cm W x 101.6cm L)
Warranty:  5 Year Motor,  1 Year Frame,  90 Days Parts & Labor
Motor: 1.5HP
Max Speed: 4 Mph  (6.5 Km/h)
Incline: 2 Levels Manual
Foldable: Yes
Dimensions Unfolded: 51.2" x 32" x 63"  (130cm x 81.3cm  x 160cm)

Click to check on Amazon

Sole F85 Treadmill

Best Pro 400 lb Heavy Duty Treadmill





The Sole F85 is a very expensive treadmill. It's built like a tank and is one of the most robust treadmills for home use.

There isn't a lot of exercise equipment option for people over 300 pounds, much fewer ones that can handle a person up to 400 pounds.

When it comes to treadmills, it is even harder to find a good treadmill that can support big guys.

The SOLE F85 is the only running treadmill reviewed here with a weight capacity of up to 400 pounds, and it's one hell of a good treadmill that's built like a tank.

If you plan to stick with walking even after you lose some weight, then investing in a treadmill like the Sole F85 might be overkill.

If you are more into walking than running opt for a low-cost treadmill like the excellent Exerpeutic TF1000 instead (The Exerpeutic supports 400 pounds users but no running, walking-only)

However, if you want a treadmill that is future-proof that will allow you to run, or have another family member that wants to run, then the Sole F85 is your best bet.

It can bear your weight as you walk, but its powerful motor will make it an excellent treadmill for when you or someone else wants faster speeds.

The Sole F85 is a beast

This treadmill weighs in at 300 pounds, it is 83 inches long by 37 inches wide.

You will probably need help moving it and installing it, but once it is assembled, you can fold it and move it quite easily. It also has a sturdy motor that, despite being big and powerful, is relatively quiet.

Like all other treadmills reviewed here, the Sole F85 can fold to save a lot of space, but even folded this treadmill will consume slightly more space than others.

Wide running surface with long lasting tread belt

The running belt is 2-ply and 22 inches wide. The 2-ply belt means it should last a long time without maintenance, and the 22" wide belt means the surface is exceptionally spacious. At 60", it also has the longest treadbelt, which makes running on the Sole F85 more comfortable than running on the other treadmills we reviewed earlier.

Great cushioning built with the heavy person in mind

Every treadmill designed for heavy users must have good cushioning, and the rest of the treadmill here indeed answers this requirement. However, the Sole F85 shock absorption is even better than the rest, which should come as no surprise given the maximum capacity of 400 lb and the high price tag. Considering your joints may already be under strain due to your weight, this type of running surface is a definite plus.

Big display with many features

We like the impressive 10.1-inch display that will show you your speed, time, distance, pulse rate, and of course, calories burnt. There is a lip so you can put a book, magazine, or tablet near the display. Its built-in speakers let you plug in any MP3 player, like an iPod or iPhone.

It offers 8 different programmable exercise options and a 1/4-mile track feature plus a Peaks and Valleys graph. The useful heart rate program can automatically tell you your target heart rate once you input some basic personal information.

If you plan to use this treadmill just for walking, you may not need to bother with some of these extras.

Engine takes a while to speed up might not be suitable for interval training

We found that the treadmill takes a while to speed up. For all regular cardio workouts, that shouldn’t be an issue.

However, if you plan to do interval training and springs, it’s far from optimal. Interval training means to transition from slow pace to extremely fast pace almost instantly, and this treadmill may not be suitable for such type of training. Though, to be honest, we didn’t find any home motorized treadmill to be good for that. We found the best treadmills for interval training (HIIT) to be curved treadmills and manual treadmills.

If you are on the heavier side, that isn’t a problem. You may need the extra time to adjust to faster speeds since changing the pace on a dime can be difficult.

Great warranty

The Sole F85 frame, running deck and motor all come with a lifetime warranty. Parts and electronics are covered by five-year warranty and labor for two-years.

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Very comfortable running surface thanks to a wide and long tread belt
  • Long lasting 2-ply thick belt
  • Advanced shock absorbing system
  • Large display LCD 10.1 inches
  • Lip for book or tablet and built in speakers for phone/MP3 player

CONS

  • Very heavy and massive treadmill
  • Very expensive

Specs

Price: Click to check price
Max Weight Capacity: 400 pounds  (180 kg)
Belt Size: 22"W x 60”L  (55.88cm W x 152cm L)
Warranty:  Lifetime of Frame & Motor,  5 Year Parts,  2 Year Labor
Motor: 4.0 CHP DC Type
Max Speed: 12 Mph  (19 Km/h)
Foldable: Yes
Dimensions Unfolded: 83" L x 37" W x 57" H  (210.8cm x 94cm  x 145cm)

Click to check on Amazon


FOR USERS UP TO 450 POUNDS

Sole TT9 Treadmill





SOLE TT9 Treadmill with 15 Incline Levels

The Sole TT9 stands out as one of the very few heavy-duty treadmills that can support a person weighing up to 450 lbs.

If you weigh over 400 lbs, you have fewer options for finding exercise equipment, and in particular, finding a high-weight capacity treadmill.

We already reviewed Sole's TT9 little brother, the F85 and praised it as being the best treadmill with 400 pounds capacity.

The Sole TT9 model has everything the F85 has, plus the higher 450 lbs weight capacity, more features, and improved design over the F85.

FOR HOME USE AND LIGHT COMMERCIAL USE
While it's great for home use, this treadmill is very sturdy and is made from commercial-grade components. This makes the Sole The TT9 is suitable not just for home use but also for light commercial use. For example, in residential gyms or where it is to be used daily for hours.

STURDY AS A ROCK
It's common for inexpensive treadmills to wobble a bit during use, especially when heavy people are running on them. Not with the TT9. The TT9 feels like a tank, its beefy weight makes it feel rock solid stable.

DESIGNED WITH THE HEAVY USER IN MIND
Everything in this treadmill was designed to make walking or running comfortable for big people. The running area is 22" wide and 60" long. You shouldn't feel constrained as the surface is spacious enough.

Like the Sole F85, the belt of the TT9 has excellent shock absorption, which makes walking and even running easier on your knees. The large springs underneath the running belt make the surface softer and safer for your knees than if you would run outdoor on sidewalks and pavements.

LARGE DASHBOARD WITH BACKLIT DISPLAY
The Sole TT9 has easy controls, big buttons to select speed, incline level stopping and starting the workout. To control advanced workout features, you can use the large 10-inch touch screen display.

SYNC YOUR WORKOUTS VIA BLUETOOTH
The TT9 Bluetooth connectivity allows you to send your workout stats to your smartphone or tablet. It can connect to both Apple iOS and Android devices. You can transfer your workout data to the Sole app which is free, or sync with other fitness apps like Fitbit, Apple Health and other popular exercise and running apps.

BUILT-IN HELP
If you are an elder or a non-techie, you'll appreciate the built-in help features that guides you through any feature you are not sure how to use. Sole calls it the "message center".

QUIET OPERATION
We expected the Sole TT9 to be a bit noisey due to its massive motor, but were quite surprised to find it so quiet. You'd expect for a treadmill with such a powerful motor and wide running deck to be noisy, but it is quite the opposite, the Sole TT9 is a quiet treadmill.

EXTENDED WARRANTY
At its premium price, the warranty you get here isn't the standard warranty most manufacturers give. The TT9 gives a lifetime warranty on the frame, motor, and deck. You'll get 6 years on the electronics components and free 3 years of labor should anything go wrong.

Other Features:

Pulse grip heart rate monitor - Built in pulse monitor but can also connect to  Polar compatible chest strap heart rate monitors for a more accurate reading.

Stereo speakers - For outputting sound from your phone or MP3 player through the built-in speakers

Cooling fan - These don't make a major difference but anything helps when you are sweating.

But it's not all perfect.
There are three downsides to the Sole T99

It's too expensive for most folks - While it's true that it is less costly compared to commercial gym treadmills, it is still beyond the budget most people are willing to spend on exercise equipment for home.

It's very heavy - The Sole TT9 weighs 397 lbs (180 kg) and is one hefty treadmill. If you don't intend to move it around, it's not a problem. We wouldn't recommend assembling the treadmill yourself. When you purchase the T99 you'll see the option to include expert assembly, it's not expensive and definitely worth it.

Non-Folding - It's the only treadmill here that isn't foldable and that's due to its massive weight.

Specs

Price: Click to check price
Max Weight Capacity: 450 pounds  (204 kg)
Belt Size: 22"W x 60”L  (55.88cm W x 152cm L)
Warranty:  Lifetime of Frame & Motor,  6 Year Parts,  3 Year Labor
Motor: 4.0 Horse Power AC Type
Max Speed: 12 Mph  (19 Km/h)
Foldable: No
Dimensions: 84" L x 36" W x 58" H (213cm x 91.5cm x 147cm)

Click to check on Amazon


Here's a recap of the treadmills reviewed:

Max Person Weight: 300 lbs.


Best Budget Heavy Duty Treadmill

Belt Size: 20"W x 56"L
Motor: 2.5 CHP

Max Person Weight: 325 lbs.


Belt Size: 20"W x 55"L
Motor: 2.5 CHP

Max Person Weight: 350 lbs.


Best Heavy Duty Treadmill

Belt Size: 22"W x 60"L
Motor: 3.5 CHP


Belt Size: 20"W x 60"L
Motor: 3.25 CHP

Max Person Weight: 400 lbs.


Best Heavy Duty Treadmill for Walking

Belt Size: 20"W x 40"L
Motor: 1.5 CHP


Best Pro 400 lb Heavy Duty Treadmill

Belt Size: 22"W x 60"L
Motor: 4.0 CHP

Max Person Weight: 450 lbs.


With 450 lb Weight Capacity

Belt Size: 22"W x 60"L
Motor: 4.0 CHP


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