Taking the Curve: A Guide to Curved Treadmills

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Running is one of the most popular and effective forms of exercise. But pounding the pavement for mile after mile can really wear down your joints over time. That’s where curved treadmills come in – these innovative machines allow you to run in comfort right from your own home.

Curved treadmills match the natural gait and foot strike patterns of running better than flat beds. This reduces impact on sensitive joints like ankles and knees, helping you run faster and farther without pain. Plus, today’s models come loaded with high-tech features to optimize your training.

In this guide, we’ll highlight the top curved treadmill options and help you choose the right one for your fitness goals, space, and budget. You’ll also learn key factors like tread belt size, cushioning, and motor power to look for. By the end, you’ll be ready to start carving your path to better health and fitness!

Top Curved Treadmills for Quality Home Running

Curved treadmill technology has come a long way in recent years. Leading fitness brands now offer premium models with innovative designs made specifically for runners. Here are four top-rated options:

NordicTrack Commercial Curved Treadmill – A Top Quality Option

For those looking for the ultimate home running experience, the NordicTrack Commercial Curved Treadmill is tough to top. This high-end model from the popular fitness company sets the standard for comfort and performance.

It features NordicTrack’s signature Commercial Cushioning system – a 20″ wide by 60″ long tread belt curved to mimic real road running. The adjustable cushioning absorbs impact, while the powered incline range of -3% to 15% lets you simulate hills or intervals. AutoBreeze workout fans and a sound system entertain you during long runs.

With speeds up to 12 mph, integrated Bluetooth connectivity, and an HD touchscreen display, this treadmill delivers the quality serious runners demand. The price reflects it at over $2,000, but financing options are available.

Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT Treadmill – An Affordable Pick

Looking for curved treadmill benefits on a budget? The Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT model packs in performance and comfort at under $1,000.

The 2.75 CHP motor can reach speeds up to 12 mph, while the 55″ tread belt length gives you plenty of room to stride out. Switch up your runs with a -3% to 15% power incline range, as well as 9 built-in workout programs. When not running, the compact SpaceSaver design folds up vertically to minimize the footprint.

Cushioning and wide tread belt width cater to the needs of runners for reduced joint impact. Yet the Horizon 7.0 AT still comes in hundreds less than premium models. For a curved treadmill with key essentials, it’s a top value choice.

ProForm Carbon T7 – Smart Tracking and Training

Run smarter by tracking your performance in real-time with the ProForm Carbon T7. This curved treadmill pairs a cushioned 20″ by 60″ tread belt with a 7″ HD touchscreen to display your pace, distance, calories, and more as you run.

Sync your workout data via Bluetooth to fitness apps or the ProForm app. The Carbon T7 also sets you up with 40 built-in workout apps featuring everything from calorie burn runs to Google Maps routes. An integrated tablet holder and compatibility with iFit personalized training provides entertainment and motivation.

With incline controls, QuickSpeed buttons, and dual-grip EKG heart rate monitoring, this treadmill makes it easy to take your runs to the next level. The smart training ecosystem matches its smart price tag at around $1,500.

Sole F85 Folding Treadmill – Spacious Cushioned Running

The generous 22″ by 60″ running surface on the Sole F85 Folding Treadmill gives you plenty of personal space to stretch out during runs. The proprietary Cushion Flex Whisper Deck provides a soft but responsive landing at every foot strike.

The 4.0 CHP motor powers speeds up to 12 mph, while power incline adjusts up to 15% to intensify your training. Ten built-in workout programs offer preset speed, incline, and time variations to break up the monotony. When your run is done, the Easy Assist fold-up design wheels smoothly into storage.

While the $1,800 price sits on the higher end, the quality construction and spacious cushioned running of the Sole F85 make it stand out. It’s built to support runners through daily miles for years to come.

Choosing Your Ideal Curved Treadmill

Once you’ve narrowed down the field, there are several key factors to consider when choosing the best curved treadmill for your training needs and fitness goals:

Tread Belt Size

The length and width of the tread belt impacts your running comfort. Standard sizes are around 20” wide by 60” long. But you can find compact models with 55” length belts to save space, or extra-large >22” widths for a roomier running surface. The ideal size comes down to your height and typical running stance.


Proper cushioning makes a big difference in curved treadmill impact absorption. Look for names like SpringFlex or Flex Whisper decks that provide responsive shock absorption. Test models in person at longer run paces to evaluate comfort. Cushioned belts encourage longer runs by reducing joint strain.

Motor Power

Higher motor power allows for quieter operation, faster top speeds, and increased overall durability. The standard for home treadmills is around 2.5 continuous horsepower (CHP). Light runners can often get by with 2.0+ CHP motors. Heavier runners doing high-intensity interval training may want 3.0+ CHP for full speed flexibility.

Incline Range

Being able to simulate hills and adjust intensity is key for effective training. Most curved treadmills offer -3% decline ability to 15% incline. Some have power adjustableinclines while others are manual. More incline range gives you greater options for varied hill workouts.

Weight Capacity

Make sure to get a curved treadmill with an adequate weight capacity specified for your needs. Light-capacity models support around 250 lbs, while standard capacities go up to 300 lbs. Look for heavy-duty models with 350+ pound capacities if needed. Proper support prevents excess strain.

Answers to Key Curved Treadmill Questions

Are curved treadmills better for running?

The curved shape of the deck on these treadmills better matches the natural gait and foot strike of running. This allows your feet to smoothly push off and land evenly at higher paces, reducing impact on sensitive joints like ankles and knees compared to flat decks. The design facilitates faster natural running with less joint pain.

What safety tips should I know?

When getting used to a new curved treadmill, start at lower speeds and gradually increase over multiple sessions to improve balance and coordination. Always wear shoes with proper traction and avoid loose clothes that could get caught. Don’t step on a moving belt or attempt to start the device mid-stride. Keep belongings and pets clear of the treadmill area during use as well.

How difficult is assembly?

Assembly difficulty depends on the brand and model, but folding treadmills are often easiest to put together. On average, plan 1-3 hours for assembly following the instructions closely. If you are new to assembling fitness equipment, don’t hesitate to pay a little extra for expert assembly to ensure everything is properly set up and tightened.

How much space do I need?

Measure the workout area in your home, garage, or gym to ensure adequate space. Most standard curved treadmills need an area roughly 7-9 feet in length by 3-4 feet in width for the machine itself. Be sure to account for the additional clearance required behind the treadmill for safety. Fold-up models can help save space when not in use.

How do I maintain the treadmill?

Keep your curved treadmill running smoothly by wiping the belt clean regularly to prevent dirt buildup, which can interfere with the deck gliding. Inspect the tread belt periodically for signs of excessive wear like cracks. Lubricate the deck and belt per the manufacturer’s schedule and instructions. And be sure to periodically check that all nuts and bolts are tightened.

Bring the Gym Home with a Curved Treadmill

Adding a curved treadmill to your home gym setup brings the joint-saving benefits of this advanced technology right to your fingertips anytime. When choosing a model, take stock of your fitness goals, running needs, space constraints, and budget to guide your decision.

By absorbing impact and facilitating a natural gait, curved treadmills open up new possibilities for improving running performance without pain. Investing in a high-quality machine designed specifically for runners lets you rediscover the joy and freedom of a good run from home.

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