Treadmills are extremely popular, both at the gym and at-home.
They’re a quick and easy way to get your cardio in for the day without worrying about the weather conditions, the pollution, or the running surface.
If you’re like most people, when you hear the word “treadmill”, you probably think of motorized ones, with a lot of speed and incline options. Manual treadmills are the ones where your feet are what moves the belt.
Many prefer the manual treadmills compared to motorized treadmills because they feel they provide a better leg workout and you can get your heart rate up just as fast if not faster than on a motorized one.
In short, you burn more calories and gain more strength and endurance in just one intense workout.
Sounds interesting? Here are the 5 best manual treadmills, with all their pros, cons, and features.
5 Best Manual Treadmill
Assault Fitness AirRunner aims to redefine manual treadmills. The maximum weight allowed is 350 lbs. In terms of durability, it should last 150,000 miles. It has a curved surface, which makes it stand out among other manual treadmills.
- no maximum speed, you’re free to go as fast as you can;
- it has handles, so the risk of injury is minimized;
- great for HIIT;
- high durability;
- no power consumption;
- high-calorie burn – tests suggest an average person can burn up to 200 calories running just 5 miles.
The AirRunner manual treadmills have a few cons as well:
- at 280 lbs, it is a fairly big and heavy treadmill – it is easy to set up, but it will be difficult to move it around the house all the time, so you need to find a place where it can stay;
- The price is fairly high at around $3699, depending on the retailer and your location.
The NordicTrack x32i takes manual treadmills to a different level. It can go from a 0% incline to a 40% one. It also comes with a one-year iFit membership that you can watch on the 32-inch screen it has.
- 0%-40% incline;
- 0%-6% decline;
- highly durable, built with reinforced steel, a 10-year warranty for the frame and 2-year warranty for the parts;
- the deck is cushioned which means decreased impact and no compromised joints;
- perfect for HIIT and those who want to burn a lot of calories in a short time;
- it comes with a multi-user profile and can thus be used by several people, each having the option to save their data.
- it can only go up 12 mph;
- the maximum weight allowed is 300 lbs, which is fairly low for a manual treadmill of this category;
- the touchscreen is fairly wide, leaving no space for any other media, such as your phone.
The price is $3999 which puts it in the fairly expensive category, but if you take into consideration all its features, the durability, the iFit membership, you understand why it needs to be on the higher end in terms of pricing.
Force Fitmill from Sunny Health Fitness is a simple manual treadmill that comes with a fixed incline of 13.5%.
One of the great things about this treadmill is that it is foldable, which means it is perfect for people with little storage space in their homes.
Other pros include:
- 16 levels of magnetic tension;
- it has transportation wheels, which makes it even easier to store and move around the house;
- multi-grip handles;
- no power consumption;
- The frame is made out of steel which makes it more durable.
- like NordicTrack, the Force Fitmill allows a maximum weight of 300 lbs;
- there is no possibility of changing the incline.
It is a cheap non-motorized treadmill, and costs between $326 and $399, depending on the retailer and your location.
4. EFITMENT T017 Manual Treadmill
Another simple yet effective, self-powered manual treadmill, Efitment T017 stands out due to the handles that allow you to get an arm workout on top of the cardio one.
It also has a pulse monitor – all you need to do to check your pulse is hold the handles.
Other features include:
- it has an adjustable incline with 3 levels – 7, 8 or 9 degrees;
- adjustable magnetic resistance;
- LCD console which shows you the speed, time, distance, calories, and odometer;
- it is foldable and has wheels, making transport and storage easy;
- allows goal setting for things like distance and calories burned;
- no power consumption
- the maximum weight is only 220 lbs;
- only 1-year warranty;
- no backlight on the console.
As for price, this is truly an affordable non-motorized treadmill as it costs only $249.
TrueForm Runner is considered an elite manual treadmill, that combines a bit of everything:
It is curved, stable, highly durable, in short, it aims to help you achieve the best performance possible on this type of machine.
- the maximum weight allowed is 400 lbs for running and 700 lbs for walking;
- no maximum speed – run as fast as you’d like;
- has a 7-gauge steel frame;
- good warranty: 10 years for the tread, 2 years for the console, and 1 year for labor;
- it is very easy to assemble;
- no power consumption;
- burns more calories due to the curve.
- it doesn’t come with a heart rate monitor;
- The running surface is smaller than that of other similar products.
In terms of price, it is the most expensive in our list today at $6759 on the official website.
If you like running on treadmills and are looking for an alternative to the motorized ones, manual treadmills are a great option. They help you build more strength and endurance, while also burning more calories.
Products on the market range from simple and cheap treadmills, designed for those who just want to get a bit of cardio in, without needing anything fancy, to more expensive ones with a lot of settings.
Manual treadmills are also options for those with little space to store such equipment in the form of foldable treadmills.
If you like this article, don’t hesitate to check out our other reviews to find the best equipment for your home gym or learn more about various supplements.
PS! Looking for a motorized version? We’ve got the ProForm ZT4 Treadmill Review here for you!