In the 500 dollar range, the competition really picks up among treadmills and it is quite possible to get an outstanding, reliable machine for under 500$! There are also a lot of junk treadmills in this price range trying to make a quick buck off of you, so you have to be careful when making your selection. Lucky for you, I have done the research for you and I have created this guide to choosing the best treadmill under 500$!
I know times are tough and 500 dollars can be a lot of money. You want to make sure you get a cheap treadmill that isn’t, well… “cheap.” This guide will focus on the best treadmills under $500 dollars for both walking and running. To earn the title “best treadmill under $500″, the treadmill must meet the following criteria and must be a treadmill I have personally used or one of my trusted colleagues or clients must be familiar with it.
- The treadmill must be of excellent quality
- The treadmill must be great for running
- The treadmill must be awesome for walking
- The treadmill must be easy to set up
- It must be a foldable or folding treadmill
- The treadmill must be under 500 dollars
- It must be highly rated and less than 500$ with no exceptions!
The good news is that once you are willing to pay around 500 dollars for a treadmill you will start to be able to get one that is an exceptional value and extremely durable and long lasting. While it certainly won’t be as nice as a 1000$ model, both in terms of quality or functionality, the electronic display on a 500 dollar treadmill is going to be much nicer than models in cheaper ranges. Determining which model is the best treadmill under 500 dollars will definitely be dependent on your own individual situation to a certain extent and also dependent upon things like how much space you have in your house and how often you plan on running on the treadmill.
The second treadmill I ever bought, before I became a personal trainer was a treadmill for less than $500 and I can certainly say that some of the best treadmills available can be purchased within this price range. I also made the mistake of buying my second treadmill from a retail store instead of buying it from amazon.com, a mistake that I will never repeat! I almost killed myself trying to drag it from my car into the house. If my dad wasn’t there to help me it would have been impossible for me to do so now whenever I buy treadmills or treadmill accessories I use amazon because they deliver it right to your house, and into the door for free. Ughh.. enough ranting I am sorry!
Ok, so now for the meat and potatoes of this post and what I am sure you are just hoping I would shut my big mouth and get to, here are the best treadmills under $500!
List of the Best Treadmills Under 500!
1. Merit Fitness 725T Plus – Well under 500 dollars and worth every single penny!
The Merit 725T Plus was the second treadmill I ever purchased and I paid a lot more than amazon sells it for! I have a certain affinity for this treadmill because it is the treadmill that really solidified my love for running indoors. Having small children, I couldn’t make it out and hit the streets to run like I used to and money was tight so I felt that it would be good for me to have a treadmill to run on while the baby was napping. My dear hubby agreed and after extensive research we decided on the Merit 725T Plus and here is why:
- Large workout area: 18 x 45 inches!
- Powered Incline adjustment: 0 to 10 percent! Perfect for taking your work out to the next level, literally
- Good Horsepower: 2.25 THP, this is important because if you are a heavy walker and you don’t have adequate horsepower the belt will skip and gosh darnit is it ever annoying!
- Frame: solid steel, no cheapo metal here, it is the real deal!
- Capacity: 250 pounds which was necessary with all the weight I had gained from pregnancy…
- Folds neatly into 31 by 53 by 34 inches, so storage was a breeze!
- Normal, unfolded dimensions: 31 by 52 by 71 inches, not too massive to fit in our small apartment, but not to small for my very tall hubby to take long running strides on. It is an excellent size
- Warranties: Lifetime on the frame, 2 years on the motor, 90 days on parts and labor so we felt comfortable that we wouldn’t get ripped off!
- Very quiet belt, I didn’t have to turn my tv up super loud and wake up the babies!
- Very low price, especially for the quality.
- Tons and tons of excellent Amazon reviews, always a plus!
So with all of these wonderful qualities, I marched my (then overweight and fat) butt into a local retailer and made the purchase. Both hubby and I were super duper pleased with the purchase and it got me through my first 2 years of serious running before I became a personal trainer. Maybe it is the nostalgia, maybe it is the super cheap price for such a quality treadmill – but whatever it is this treadmill definitely earned its spot on the list of the best treadmills under 500$!
2. Merit Fitness 715T Plus – Way less than 500 and still super quality!
A few had years before I got seriously into running, my sister given birth to my precious little nephew, and that extra pregnancy weight really kicked her into gear to become a serious runner! She purchased the Merit Fitness 715T and her review of it makes me feel confident that it belongs on the best under 500 list!
It is priced well below the Merit 725T, but that is because the Merit 725T has a few small (but critical) improvements over it. At this price however it is simply a steal and anybody who is serious about treadmill running will tell you that it really does offer serious value for the price!
- Workout area: a big 18 x 47 inches!
- No built in fan, but what do you expect for the price!
- Incline: 0 to 5 percent so a bit less than the Merit 725T but still great! Another bad thing is that it is manual so you have to get off it to adjust it but hey it works great!
- Horsepower: 2.25 THP just as strong as the newer model so this is a big plus!
- Frame: steel, again high quality Merit Fitness is a great company!
- Capacity: 250 pounds, but my sister is so naturally skinny this didn’t matter (jealous.)
- Folded this treadmill is 29 by 56 by 26.25 inches
- Unfolded this treadmill is 29 by 52 by 61 inches
- Warranties: Lifetime on the frame, 1 year on the motor, 90 days on parts and labor so again excellent on the part of Merit Fitness.
- While not as quiet as the 725T, it still is very quiet and especially for the price! My sister had no issues with it!
My sister had this treadmill for over 4 years without a single problem with it and after she eventually upgraded to a more expensive treadmill, she sold it to her co-worker who is still using it to this day and has not had a single issue with it! The real reason this treadmill is one of the best under 500 is because it is priced so well that it almost doesn’t make sense! Bang for your buck wise, this treadmill really delivers!
3. Horizon Evolve SG Compact Treadmill – a less bulky, lighter amazing treadmill for less than 500!
When dear hubby and I said goodbye to our Merit 725T, we bought the Horizon Evolve SG Compact treadmill. I am not gonna lie, the sleek look of this treadmill influenced my decision to purchase it, it isn’t a bulky eyesore like a lot of the other models. In fact, it really is a conversation piece because it is such an original looking treadmill amd it has a modern futuristic feel to it.
Now that I admit I was influenced by aesthetics (before I became a personal trainer ) this treadmill really exceeded my wildest expectations. When I bought this treadmill it was a little under 700 dollars, but good news for you the price has come down dramatically, securing it on the list of the best treadmills under 500 dollars! It is built to last, super high quality and takes up very little space. So lets check out why me and my husband purchased it (aside from its beauty of course =P )
- Modern design, that admittedly sucked me in, but this treadmill is compact, sleek and very attractive!
- Running and workout area is 17-inches x 45-inches so it is spacious.
- 2-watt audio speakers with input jack built in, iPod anyone? Hello?!
- Features a pulse rate and heart monitor so you can really tailor your work outs!
- Walking, jogging and even running are a breeze with this treadmill.
- Very quiet belt and motor, great if you do not want to wake up those sleeping little munchkins!
- Considering what I paid for it (close to $700) it is not a steal at less than 500 dollars, it is armed robbery or grand theft!
4. Proform 480 E Treadmill – A Proform treadmill for under 500 bucks!
Anyone who knows anything about treadmill’s knows that Proform is the top dog in the business. Finding a Proform treadmill under 500 dollars is not an easy task, especially if you want one that is a high quality build. For quite some time Proform produced a couple cheap models less than 500 but they received horrible reviews and threatened to damage the Proform name for their more traditional expensive treadmills.
Then Proform created the incredible Proform 480 E and I convinced my boss to get one for our office gym. Wow, the quality for a 500 dollar treadmill is incredible and the display is beautiful and elegant. I knew this would be a super hot product the moment I stepped onto it and when one of my co-workers tried to order it Amazon was sold out!
This treadmill is large compared to the Horizon Evolve SG Compact, so you need some space for this one, but if you have the space it is an awesome choice for a treadmill below 500 dollars! This treadmill features:
- 5 different “time adjust workouts” and 4 weight loss workouts keep things mixed up, electronically!
- 0 to 10 MPH quick speed control, works great when changing speeds while running – something Proform is known for!
- 0 to 10% incline adjust-ability and it is automatically powered! You can keep working out
- SoftFlex cushioning that makes each step much less painful on your joints!
Best treadmill less than 500 dollars… Conclusion
It is really hard to provide a clear cut winner, it is so relevant to what you are trying to get out of a treadmill and what your goals for using a treadmill are. For example if you plan to simply walk on a treadmill you might have a different choice than if you were going to be primarily running. That is why with the options I have recommended here, I think provide the greatest picture of what type of treadmill you can get for under 500 bucks.
These are high quality treadmills that even as a personal trainer I can confidently recommend to my clients who are on a budget. I do a lot of pro bono and charity work for people because I really enjoy getting people fit, even if they can’t afford it and personal trainers are so expensive usually that it limits the ability of people who are not well off from having quality exercise guidance and I have always had a problem with that. I have taken on clients for free, just because I didn’t become a personal trainer to make big bucks obviously, I became a personal trainer to help people who wanted to become healthy and fit do so.
This has been the reason I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of people who couldn’t afford super expensive work out equipment, get in shape and find the right treadmill for their budget. It was one of these clients that I worked for (for free) that inspired me to make this site to help people who didn’t have some huge budget find a treadmill that they can rely on within their budget.
The 500 dollar price point is probably one of the best entry level treadmill ranges because the quality of the treadmill is vastly superior to the treadmills below this range, and the treadmills above this range rapidly become more expensive while offering less (but very valuable and amazing) improvements.
Buying a treadmill for less than 500 dollars is a great way for someone to get into treadmill running without breaking their budget and finding out if it is for them. I hope this post helped you find the best treadmill under 500 dollars, and made you realize that finding a highly rated, quality treadmill on a budget is possible. You shouldn’t be stopped in your quest to lose weight or be healthy by your budget.
If you have any questions about my list of the best treadmills under $500, or have any workout questions in general, please do not hesitate to contact me. Your success is my happiness.
Live. Laugh. Love and RUN!