Best Treadmill Under $500

By: Steve Murano
Last updated: July 2017

Once you start researching the home treadmills market, you quickly realize that you should budget around a $1000 to get a worthy model. But what if your budget is only $500 or even less? Are there any treadmills that you won’t regret buying at this price or are you better off saving several hundred dollars more to buy a more expensive model?

While the sub-$500 market is much smaller than the sub-$1000 one, there are a few models worth your attention. Just keep in mind there will be certain compromises, when compared to the more expensive price range. But overall, the three models we’ve picked below are suitable for walking and even moderate jogging and running at home.

Our Top Picks under $500

1. ProForm 505 CST is our top choice among the $500 treadmills. Even though at the time of writing it was a few dollars more expensive than five hundred, it’s still the best choice you can make with this budget. With a powered 10% incline, a spacious 20×55″ belt and 1-year parts and labor warranty, it’s a great choice for a home treadmill.
Check the current price on Amazon here: ProForm 505 CST Treadmill

2. Weslo Cadence R 5.2 is a cheaper alternative to the other options. While reasonably long, it’s only 16″ wide, which might be too small for some people. It’s got 2-position manual incline and a total of 6 workout programs.
Check the current price on Amazon here: Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill

3. Horizon Merit Fitness 725T Plus is another strong option bordering on the $500 mark. While the belt could be larger, the motor is powerful and there’s an automatic incline of 10%. Pay attention to the max weight though – its lower than on ProForm’s alternative.
Check the current price on Amazon here: Horizon Merit Fitness 725T Plus Treadmill

Comparison of 3 best treadmills under $500:

  •   Treadmill model
  •   Motor
  •   Running belt
  •   Incline
  •   Console
  •   Folding
  •   Workout programs
  •   Max weight
  •   Max speed
  •   Warranty
picture of the best treadmill under $500 - horizon merit fitness
  • Horizon Merit Fitness 725T Plus
  • 2.25 CHP
  • Width: 18"
    Length: 45"
  • 0 to 10%, powered
  • LED display
  • 7 programs
  • 250 lbs
  • 10 MPH
  • Frame: Lifetime;
    Motor: 2 years;
    Parts: 90 days;
    Labor: 90 days
Top Choice
picture of the best treadmill under $500 - ProForm 505CST
  • ProForm 505 CST
  • 2.5 CHP
  • Width: 20"
    Length: 55"
  • 0 to 10%, powered
  • LCD display
  • 18 programs
  • 325 lbs
  • 10 MPH
  • Frame: Lifetime;
    Motor: 25 years;
    Parts: 1 year;
    Labor: 1 year
picture of the best treadmill under $500 - weslo cadence r5.2
  • Weslo Cadence R 5.2
  • 2.5 CHP
  • Width: 16"
    Length: 50"
  • 2 position, manual
  • LCD display
  • 6 programs
  • 250 lbs
  • 10 MPH
  • Frame: n/a;
    Motor: 90 days;
    Parts: 90 days;
    Labor: 90 days

Most treadmills in the under $500 range are primarily suitable for walking and can hardly be used for jogging and running. Some even limit their top speed at 4 MPH or so, while others use a less powerful 1 CHP motor to run the walking belt.

However, the three models we discussed above all use the powerful motors and can speed up to 8 MPH or more. While they are not as sturdy as their more expensive counterparts, they can serve as a great introduction to the world of treadmills.

How to Choose a Treadmill

For more information on how to choose a treadmill and what to look for when buying one, head on to our previous article.

Conclusion

What to expect from a $500 treadmill?
Without doubt, sub-$500 treadmills are somewhat limited compared to their more expensive counterparts. Most often these treadmills have smaller belts, weaker motors and lower incline levels. There are usually less shock points in the suspension system and the maximum speed rarely crosses 10MPH.

The three models we discussed above are almost an exception to this rule and provide exceptional value for the price.

What you probably won’t get at $500 range
Why would you want to save a few hundred dollars more and get a more expensive treadmill? Well, if you intend to do a lot of running, or if you’re above 6′, you would really appreciate the additional space larger treadmills offer. The suspension system will probably be better and you will have a lot more workout programs to choose from. You can expect a larger screen and a steeper power incline, as well as better warranty.