A systematic review and meta-analysis published in Sports Medicine found that the best treadmills can offer training that still provides an adequate workout, with heart rate and oxygen use comparable to outside running. Plus, experts point to incline training as a way to get a unique workout that may even push you harder, especially if you usually run or walk on flat terrain.
The challenge? Finding the best treadmills to get that quality walking or running in.
In this review, I’ll compare ProForm vs NordicTrack treadmills to tell you which one you should buy for your next sweat session.
But, before we begin, let’s look at some of their main differences.
- 1 Main Differences Between ProForm vs NordicTrack
- 2 How do I find the best treadmill?
- 3 Treadmill Must-Haves
- 4 Treadmill Nice to Haves
- 5 Does ProForm or NordicTrack have a better treadmill?
- 6 Who has the best budget treadmill?
- 7 Who has the best high-end treadmill?
- 8 Who has the best mid-range/ value treadmill?
- 9 Does ProForm or NordicTrack offer better workouts?
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
- 11 Final Decision: NordicTrack is the best choice.
Main Differences Between ProForm vs NordicTrack
The Main Differences Between ProForm vs NordicTrack are:
- ProForm offers more budget treadmills, whereas NordicTrack offers more high-end features
- ProForm has many space-saving treadmills, whereas NordicTrack focuses on more generous running belts
- ProForm comes with longer, but more vague fitness memberships, whereas NordicTrack offers more personalized workouts
How do I find the best treadmill?
Here are my must-haves for finding the best treadmill, as well as some bonus or nice to have features to enhance a running or walking treadmill workout.
There are a few essential features I look for in every treadmill, and those come down to overall quality and construction. You want a treadmill that lasts and will keep consistent as you log miles.
Never buy a treadmill that doesn’t have clear specifications, and that includes the frame itself. I love treadmills that feel sturdy, so solid steel is my number one choice. It’s a bonus if there’s also a layer of protective coating.
All treadmills need to have at least some level of adjustment to provide the best fit possible. I want to see adjustable handlebars; an adjustable holder for tech if it’s there, and, of course, multiple levels of ways to adjust the machine itself.
Miles Per Hour
This isn’t a deal-breaker for everyone, but it is something that you should pay attention to–the treadmill should state what its mph limit is.
Keep in mind that you should go with a treadmill that is able to run reasonably above how fast you can go, both because you may get faster and also because it’s not ideal to always be running it to its absolute limit. I suggest 8 mph as an absolute minimum.
Incline and Resistance
The best treadmills will allow you to get a great workout in, and a lot of that comes down to incline and resistance. Look for an incline of at least 10 percent, and the ability to adjust resistance levels in some way.
Belt length refers to space you’ll have for running and walking, which is a matter not only of comfort but even safety. I recommend opting for a belt length of no shorter than 47 inches long and 17 inches wide; people that are over 6 feet tall may be more comfortable with a length of closer to 55 inches.
Any treadmill, even budget treadmills, is an investment. Make sure that whatever treadmill you buy comes with some sort of warranty. My preference is for a warranty that lasts 12 months or longer.
Treadmill Nice to Haves
These are the added treadmill features that are not essentials, but make treadmills stand out from others, and can make for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.
Treadmills can offer a lot of ways to serve up entertainment, and even motivate you to work out harder and longer. Great features include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity; USB ports; tablet and phone holders; HD video screens for workout streaming; high-quality audio systems; and related ways to listen and watch workouts or music.
Miles per hour and Incline
Upgrade miles per hour and incline–the higher, the harder the workout possible. Some treadmills offer inclines of 40 percent or more.
Monitoring and Tracking
Want to keep track of your fitness progress and goals? I love treadmills that include metrics for pulse, distance, time, and even allow you to log your workouts, set new workout goals, and more. Not only can this be motivating, but it can also help you understand what goals are realistic and set an overall fitness plan.
Silent Magnetic Resistance
Silent magnetic resistance tends to be not only quieter but smoother. I also prefer automatic belts and resistance systems. I also want to see at least several different levels of resistance.
There are a number of cushion systems, but added cushioning can be especially helpful if you plan to log many miles or already have some joint issues. Look for responsive or flexible cushioning. Responsive or rebound cushioning tends to be the best option for overpronators or those that tend to roll their feet.
Occasionally you can find treadmills that are engineered to include added stability and security–I especially like this for older adults or anyone with balance issues, but it’s even a good idea for those new to treadmills or those prone to injuries.
Let’s face it–most of us have had a less than comfortable treadmill workout before; I know I have. Cooling fan systems; ergonomic handle grip, and multiple levels of adjustment can also add some comfort to a workout.
Live Streaming Workouts
Live streaming workouts are offered by many companies, either with the purchase of a treadmill or as an add on. These can take dull routines to make treadmill workouts more dynamic, motivating, and entertaining.
I like to look for workouts led by fitness experts; programs that offer a wide variety of workouts; and workouts with the option to connect with a larger fitness community, whether that’s virtual or regular meetups.
Does ProForm or NordicTrack have a better treadmill?
Now let’s take a closer look at ProForm and NordicTrack. Both companies are fairly well known and sell a variety of fitness equipment in addition to treadmills.
ProForm and NordicTrack, both, for instance, also carry elliptical machines; hybrids; stationary bikes, rowers, and strength training equipment.
Both also offer supplemental live streaming workouts, but there are some differences in their treadmills. I’ll compare the best treadmills both have to offer, as well as some additional information so you can make your buying decision.
Who has the best budget treadmill?
For a budget treadmill, I look for a price point under $1,000 that still offers the essential must-have features for a safe and comfortable workout. Here’s a comparison of ProForm’s best budget treadmill vs NordicTrack.
ProForm City L6 Treadmill
The ProForm City Series are the most budget-friendly, priced at just $799, or $21/month for 39 months with 0% APR financing.
Designed to leave a smaller carbon footprint and for easy storage in apartments, small homes, or small spaces in general, it comes with 1-year access to live-streamed workouts through iFit; a 30-day money-back guarantee; and a 10-year warranty on the frame (1 year for the parts).
Though compact, there are still some nice features, with Bluetooth connectivity and a tablet holder. A precision balance system and 1st level cushioning helps make your workout more comfortable.
However, there are no incline features, and it only can get up to 8 mph. The tread belt is smaller, at 17.5” by 45”.
NordicTrack T Series T 6.5 Si
Technically, this NordicTrack doesn’t quite make the distinction as a budget treadmill, but it’s their most affordable that they carry, priced at $1,299, with 0% APR financing available. The T series comes with some great perks.
You’ll get up to a 10 percent incline; a treadmill that can go up to 10 mph; and one-touch controls for easy adjustment. I also love the flexible cushioning system for simulating outdoor running; self-cooling system, and the slightly more generous 20” by 55” running belt.
Plus you’ll get an HD touchscreen for live streaming workouts, a full audio system, and even an EKG monitor.
The frame comes with a 10-year warranty, plus a 2-year warranty on parts and a 1-year warranty on labor.
Winner: Draw, but NordicTrack for overall value.
If I was going by overall value, then the NordicTrack T Series would win. With so many extra features and for even a more intense workout, it’s simply superior.
However, it can’t be called budget-friendly. ProForm may not have an impressive budget treadmill, but it offers the essential features and keeps you on a nice budget.
Who has the best high-end treadmill?
Now let’s take a step in the opposite direction–and look at the most high-end and advanced treadmill you can get from ProForm and NordicTrack.
ProForm Pro 9000
From ProForm’s Pro Treadmill Series is their take on a higher-end treadmill. The Pro 9000 costs $1,799 or $47/month with 0% APR financing. As always, this comes with an iFit family membership, plus the same 10-year frame warranty.
This is a clear upgrade from budget ProForm treadmills, from updated tech and general features. This treadmill comes with a 22” smart touchscreen; dual speaker system, and precision control buttons.
Your workouts will also be more comfortable, with rebound cushioning, precision balancing, and an automated fan. The tread is 20” by 60” and will be comfortable for most–it also includes a space-saving option. It can run up to 12 mph and goes up to a 12 percent incline.
NordicTrack Commercial X32i
The NordicTrack Commercial X3si is one of the most high-end treadmills on the market, priced at $3,799 or $103/month at 0% APR financing for 39 months.
The purchase includes a year of iFit membership for the entire family and includes many features for both tech capabilities and more intense workouts.
Tech features to love include:
- Accelerated WiFi connection;
- Bluetooth and app connection;
- A smart 32” HD touchscreen;
- Real-time stats and workout tracking;
- Direct syncing with Google Maps;
- Automated training controls, all with an amplified speaker system.
For improved and more intense workouts, you’ll get a quiet incline drive of up to 40 percent; a speed of up to 12 mph; precision rollers, and automated one-touch controls for seamless adjustment. I also love the very generous 76” by 40” running belt (assuming you have enough space) and low impact, reflex cushioning.
As with all NordicTrack treadmills, it comes with a 10-year frame warranty; a 2-year parts warranty, and a 1-year warranty on labor. Buy Here.
This was a very close one, but ultimately the ProForm seems like the better value for most. To be sure, NordicTrack offers state of the art features for the top athlete, and you’ll also be getting some of the best tech features.
But for the average person, the ProForm packs in great features for a quality workout at a much more affordable price.
Who has the best mid-range/ value treadmill?
Finally, I want to compare what I consider the best overall value treadmill from ProForm vs NordicTrack. I looked for a mid range priced treadmill that came at the most affordable price but with the most essential features. In other words, I wanted to see which would supply the most features at the best price.
ProForm Carbon T-10 Treadmill
The ProForm Carbon T-10 offers a treadmill priced at under $1,500 with many of the features you’d want to see in a professional treadmill, and with the typical warranty policies and perks offered with the purchase of their other treadmills.
The Carbon T-10 offers a 10” smart touchscreen with dual speakers, plus a lift option to store when it’s not in use. The purchase also comes with not a 1 year, but 3-year family membership for live streaming workouts.
Other features include a cooling system; precision balanced design; flexible cushioning; and a reasonable tread belt size of 20” by 55”. It goes up to 10mph and can accomplish inclines of 12 percent. Buy Here.
NordicTrack EXP 10i Treadmill
Coming in at $1599, the most comparable and overall value treadmill from NordicTrack is the EXP 10i. It comes with the normal warranty, as well as a 1-year fitness membership for live-streaming classes.
Tech features include a 10” HD smart touchscreen; amplified speakers, and Bluetooth connectivity. For a more comfortable workout, it comes equipped with a cooling system, flexible cushioning, and a smart response system.
You’ll have a comfortable 20” by 60” tread, with balancing technology and the ability to reach up to a 12 percent incline and run up to 12mph.
Like the treadmill from ProForm, it also has an option for easy storage. Finally, you’ll get an EKG grip and one-touch controls. Buy Here.
While both NordicTrack and ProForm offer great features at a reasonable price, NordicTrack, for just a bit more, offers some great upgrades. From a more generous tread size to extra tech features and ways to track, it’s a better value.
Granted, ProForm does come with a longer workout membership–but there are reasons which I will discuss next why that isn’t as big of a perk as you might think.
Does ProForm or NordicTrack offer better workouts?
This is a bonus section, but both ProForm and NordicTrack treadmills come with 1 to a 3-year individual or family membership for live streaming workouts. I wanted to see which workouts, if you’re interested, were the better bet–which can add to your buying decision.
ProForm claims to offer over 16,000 workouts in their digital library, but you can only preview examples of a few, which include activities like HIT; hiking; bootcamp, and yoga.
Workouts are streamed via an app and can be synced to work with different devices. There isn’t any information about who you’ll be trained by, what workouts are offered for different fitness levels or workout length.
NordicTrack offers workouts through the iFit program. The interactive personal training from home involves personal trainers that help adjust the speed and incline to provide the right intensity for you.
Examples of workouts include HIT, hiking, cross-training, and yoga. You’ll have the option to access indoor and outdoor workouts; a live workout leaderboard to challenge yourself; and the ability to text your trainers personally. You can peruse everyone who will be training you, by expertise.
With automatic adjustments made to your machine, personal guidance, and community, it’s among the best options for a live streaming fitness program.
The winner is, without a doubt, NordicTrack. There isn’t much transparency to go off of ProForm, and NordicTrack excels in the above-expected features, like personal texting and adjustments, as well as ways to challenge yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: You can buy Nordictrack treadmills in many places–a perk of it being one of the most popular gym equipment companies. You can purchase directly from their website, or through sporting goods retailers like Dick’s. Amazon also has a limited supply of NordicTrack treadmills and other machines.
Answer: NordicTrack is owned and operated by Icon Fitness & Health, which also owns ProForm. While from the same parent company, there are clear differences in terms of features, quality, and price point.
Answer: While ProForm is the more budget-friendly option, overall, NordicTrack is known for its higher quality, durability, and better features. This is also reflected in the difference in customer reviews, which tend to rank below average for ProForm and above average for NordicTrack.
Final Decision: NordicTrack is the best choice.
If you’re tight on money, it’s true that you can find more affordable options from ProForm. But overall, NordicTrack will bring you more features, higher quality materials, and overall better performance and value for what you pay.
That’s true both of its workout live streaming and the exercise equipment.
- If you still are interested in ProForm, click here to learn more.
- Sold on NordicTrack? Click here for their main site.
- Still shopping? Check out this guide to the Best Treadmills by Price Range.
- Interested in Alternatives? Check out how NordicTrack compares to Sole.