Manual treadmills are quickly becoming some of the most sought-after and popular training tools for elite athletes and for personal trainers trying to improve the health of their clients. The right treadmill is going to be different for everyone, though, and it can be difficult to decide which model is the best manual treadmill for you. Your fitness level, workout plans, and budget will determine what you should purchase for your home gym. Below is a breakdown of the five best manual treadmills. Use these reviews to select the right treadmill for your needs and become fitter than ever.
The Best Manual Treadmills of 2021
Here are the Top Five Manual Treadmills Based on Quality and Performance
- TrueForm Runner
- OVICX Folding Portable Treadmill with LED Display
- TrueForm Trainer
- SpeedFit Speedboard ProXL
- Sunny Health and Fitness 7700 Asuna High-Performance Portable Treadmill
Understanding Manual Treadmills
Manual treadmills are different from the motorized treadmills most people are familiar with. These specialized treadmills are powered by the user that's on them rather than a motor at all. The faster the user walks or runs, the faster the treadmill will move. They're more work than motorized treadmills, and they offer some real fitness benefits as well.
Why Use a Manual Treadmill?
A manual treadmill allows you to work harder at slower speeds and to burn more calories in less time. If you're looking for a way to get the most intense workout indoors, a quality manual treadmill will allow you to do just that. Manual treadmills are also ideal for HIIT (high-intensity interval training) because you can speed up and slow down rapidly. Adjusting your speed quickly on a motorized treadmill is nearly impossible to do.
The Two Types of Manual Treadmills
There are two different manual treadmills: flat slat manual treadmills and curved models. Flat models are more affordable but also less enjoyable to use for most runners. Normally the flat manual treadmills are used for walking primarily and aren't as rugged or large enough for comfortable sprinting. Curved models are durable enough to be used in a commercial gym, and they are optimal for HIIT training and workouts that vary more.
The Benefits of Curved Treadmills
Curved treadmills are an advanced form of manual treadmill that's designed for improving the health of already healthy individuals. These units are favored by peak-level athletes, and they're more challenging than traditional treadmills. Curved models require more balance and strength to use, but they offer improved performance gains when training on them regularly, and they can help improve your running form over long-term use.
Choosing the best manual treadmill for your own personal use isn't easy to do. We outline some of the best manual treadmills available for purchase today down below. Read through our brief reviews to learn more about these top products and which is best for you.
Toughest curved treadmill we tested and helps improve running form
Standout Features: Best manual treadmill for running, Full metal construction, very little maintenance, and improves running form
The TrueForm Runner is a tough piece of training equipment from Rogue that's designed to teach you how to run with proper form while getting a killer workout in at the same time. This tool is designed with a more aggressive curve than many treadmills, and that's to help train users to run farther forward on the balls of their feet rather than heel striking.
The TrueForm Runner is an oversized treadmill that's 36 inches wide and 64 inches long. It's overbuilt to withstand the forces of world-leading athletes that are sprinting and training hard. The unit utilizes tube steel construction with durable welds and a powder coat finish to prevent rust and wear over time.
The TrueForm Runner is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment we've reviewed, and it's also one of the most well-built units. The body is nearly entirely metal, and the tread belt rolls over hundreds of bearings for a truly smooth running experience. This treadmill is designed to be low maintenance and doesn't require lubrication like many other manual treadmills. Instead, it runs smoothly for hundreds of hours without much maintenance at all.
This treadmill remains smooth and dependable in the heat of an intense sprint, but it also operates well while walking calmly. You control the pace of your workouts with this treadmill, and the LCD display gives you basic information about your workouts, such as your time, your distance, and your speed. Pair it with a Polar heart monitor, and you'll have most of the data you need to get a good workout. If you want the most durable and effective manual treadmill, this is it, in our opinion. It's not cheap, but you get good value for what you pay.
- Rugged steel construction
- Trains a healthy running form
- Comfortable with plenty of space to run with a long stride
- Highly customizable
- The most costly unit we reviewed
- Can be difficult to learn to use if you're a heel striker
- Weighs 325 lbs.
- 65-inch length
- 36-inch width
- Tread surface is 54-inches by 17-inches
This treadmill is built like a tank, will train you to be a better runner, and gives one of the best workouts you can get running indoors, making it the best manual treadmill for running in our opinion.
SB Fitness CT400 Self-Generated Curved Treadmill
Best walking treadmill
Standout Features: Excellent walking treadmills with a long-term warranty
The SB Fitness CT400 is a curved treadmill with highly flexible slats. It's one of the softest treadmills that we tested and was a real pleasure to walk and run on. We noticed that this treadmill felt a bit less stable than heavier options such as the TrueForm Runner when sprinting at full speed, but this was a minor difference, and the CT400 feels safe and reliable even when you're pushing yourself.
The CT400 from SB Fitness holds users up to 450 lbs. in weight, and it offers a large running area that should be comfortable for even the tallest runners. This treadmill is excellent for walking and for full sprinting, but it can be tiring to jog on and isn't designed for long-distance workouts. If you're interested to start walking or doing HIIT training indoors, this unit is a solid piece of equipment that will help you work your body. It isn't as tough or durable as the TrueForm Runner, but it's also more affordable and slightly softer, and more comfortable for walking. It's a commercial-level piece of equipment, and it's protected by a 10-year warranty, so you can count on it to continue performing for as long as you want to workout.
- Comes with a 10-year warranty
- More affordable
- No regular maintenance
- Smooth and quiet performance
- Feels less stable than heavier products
- 450 lbs. weight limit
- 18-inch by 60-inch running area
- Slats are rated for 150,000 miles
- Includes transport wheels
- Adjustable magnetic resistance
- Three levels of magnetic resistance
The CT400 is a highly cushioned and comfortable manual treadmill that works the best for walking or intense sprinting. It's a more affordable option than other curved treadmills but still offers quality performance. It isn't the best manual treadmill for running, but works well for most workouts anyway.
Best rugged curved treadmill
Standout Features: Enjoy a tough build quality and smooth performance at different speeds.
The Rogue TrueForm Trainer is a highly-functional manual treadmill that's designed for walking and running. It comes with a comfort-focused tread belt that's 17 inches wide and 64 inches long, giving you ample room to run at full stride. This treadmill comes with a battery-powered LCD display and shows off stats such as distance, pace, time, speed, and more. The computer in this unit is compatible with a Polar heart monitor as well, so you can monitor your heart rate as you workout.
Rogue is well-known for making durable equipment, and the TrueForm Trainer is an excellent example of excellent build-quality. The treadmill is built from rugged steel tube construction, and the frame is protected with a black powder coat finish. The treadmill feels solid and reliable while you run on it. It's equipped with a thermoplastic elastomer tread that offers cushion as you run and rolls on top of 112 sealed steel ball bearings for smooth function at all times.
This treadmill handles high speeds and slow speeds best, but it's smooth at most speeds you could want to maintain. It's one of our favorite manual treadmills and offers a good value to buyers looking for a more affordable solution than the TrueForm Runner from Rogue.
- Comfortable tread belt
- Smooth performance
- Compatible with Polar heart monitors
- Rugged steel tubing construction
- Generous 17-inch wide running surface
- Slightly curved deck
- Rolls on 112 sealed steel ball bearings
- Comes with an LED display
- Compatible with Polar heart monitors
- Molded thermoplastic elastomer tread
- Steel tubing construction
- Protected by a black powder coat finish
- 17 inch wide running surface
This smooth treadmill is comfortable at a wide range of speeds, and it's built to last. We love that it syncs with a Polar heart rate monitor, and it's a tough piece of gear that should last for many training sessions.
SpeedFit Speedboard ProXL
Best quiet and smooth curved treadmill.
Standout Features: This manual treadmill glides smoothly and makes it easy to switch between going slow and fast rapidly.
The SpeedFit Speedboard ProXL is a commercial-grade manual treadmill with tread slats for a comfortable padded running experience. This treadmill features a curved design that makes it easy for users to go from walking to running and finally sprinting by stepping forward onto the steeper curve.
We were impressed by how smoothly the Speeboard ProXL glides along. It comes with a lightweight tread belt that's highly lubricated for easy turning. This treadmill is designed for optimal comfort, and it's a well-built solution for hard workouts. When you want to push yourself hard, you can do so on this treadmill.
The SpeedFit Speedboard ProXL supports up to 400 lbs. and is designed for runners of different sizes. Buyers that choose this treadmill will get access to a personal workout system and up to 5000 personal workouts that will give them new ways to work and to get fit.
- Quiet and smooth performance
- Comfortable shock-absorbing tread belt
- Belt moves easily
- Shipping can be slow
- Has a 400 lbs. Maximum weight capacity
- Shock absorbing tread belt
- Lightweight belt design
- Quiet operation
The SpeedFit Speedboard ProXL treadmill is a smooth and quiet manual treadmill that makes it easy to switch from walking and running during your workout.
Sunny Health and Fitness 7700 Asuna High-Performance Portable Treadmill
Best flat platform manual treadmill
Standout Features: Features a flat platform for versatile workouts and dual steel flywheels for smooth performance at low and high speeds.
The Sunny Health and Fitness 7700 high-performance manual treadmill is a rock-solid piece of training equipment that's ideal for HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or for relaxed walking sessions. Unlike most of the other products, we reviewed this treadmill looks more like a standard powered model. It's set to a 10-degree incline at the lowest level, and it slides smoothly as you walk or run on it.
This Sunny Health treadmill relies on a pair of steel flywheels that work together to maintain momentum when you pick up your feet and create a pleasant running experience. The treadmill feels quick and responsive during use, but it also feels like an intense workout. Owners remark that the treadmill works well at a relaxed walking pace or for intense sprints, and it can be difficult to maintain a moderate pace in between those extremes. This was our experience with the treadmill as well, which is why we wholeheartedly recommend this product for HIIT training and intense workouts or more relaxed workouts.
Because this treadmill has a nice flat platform is can be used for a variety of other exercises as well as for walking and running. Complete side squats, walk with your hands, perform mountain climbers and do more on this treadmill. It's designed well for versatile workouts, and with eight different resistance levels and a range of inclines, you can create the ideal workout that will really push you to your limits.
- Solid build quality
- Smooth performance
- Difficult to maintain a moderate pace
- Dual steel flywheel design
- Supports up to 440 lbs.
- Includes a large tablet holder
- 10-degree incline to 14-degree incline
- Eight resistance levels
- Designed with shock absorption
- Soft-drop unfolding system
As one of the only flat manual treadmills we recommend, the Sunny Health and Fitness 7700 is versatile enough for a large range of movements, and it's a rock-solid piece of equipment. If you're serious about pushing yourself, you can do that with this treadmill.
Choosing the perfect treadmill for your needs isn't as straightforward as it might seem. Hopefully, this guide helps you decide what the best manual treadmill is for you or if you should have a manual treadmill at all. Manual treadmills offer impressive benefits, but only when you select the right product. Choose your treadmill with care and enjoy years of health-boosting workouts.