​Exploring the Best Treadmills for Heavy Runners – Everything You Need to Know

So, you have decided to do something about that extra weight. Whether you see yourself different in pictures or you keep gaining weight whenever you jump on a scale, all of us have turned to fitness with the same general goal – to look better.

Sure, fitness is also about health and the good news is that no matter how heavy you are, there is always something you can do to reverse this process.

A treadmill is excellent for burning fat and losing that unwanted weight. It takes time, indeed. You are less likely to see results after a week. But jump on a scale once a month and you will be surprised.

Lots of people assume that treadmills are for slightly overweight users. The truth is you can now browse the best treadmills for heavy runners. They have a great weight capacity and can take people of all sizes.

Here is everything you need to know before starting your weight loss adventure.

Can you be too heavy for a treadmill?

Best Treadmills for Heavy Runners

It depends. If you are severely overweight, you might. Pretty much every treadmill out there – including the low budget ones – will come with some specifications regarding the maximum weight capacity.

To help you get an idea, cheap treadmills with no features will most likely take up to 200 or 300 pounds in weight, you can even find recommendations for heavy-duty treadmills capable of withstanding up to 350lbs if you do a bit of digging around. If there are no specifications, simply keep looking – do not take any risks, or you could injure yourself.

Higher end models can easily take up to 500 pounds in weight. In other words, they are suitable for heavily overweight people and obese individuals.

Now, as a general rule of thumb, it pays off getting a treadmill that can support much more than what you weigh – at least 25% more. If you weigh around 200 pounds, get a treadmill that can take people over 250 pounds in weight.

Pushing a treadmill to its limits will cause it to wear and break down faster. Besides, walking is not as intense as jogging or running, so more intense activities will put even more strain on the treadmill.

There is nothing to be concerned about if you are severely overweight or your budget does not allow you to buy a treadmill for heavy runners. It does not mean that you can quit your goals.

Instead, start walking in the neighborhood. Jog if you can. Do it for a few months and weigh yourself every month. Once you reach a desirable weight, you can invest in the most suitable treadmill for your further goals.

How much weight do treadmills hold?

It depends on the price you are willing to pay. Treadmills with Zwift and/or other app-integration capabilities will cost you slightly more, since some of them offer full integration and a whole host of other features.

I recently stumbled upon several cool treadmill options on Fitlifefanatics.com, from entry-level, budget bare bone models to high-end ones with all the bells and whistles you’d ask for in this kind of machines.

Price is also given by different gadgets, such as monitors or entertainment features, but then, the weight is often considered the difference between average and premium treadmills.

Low end and inexpensive treadmills you can get from random stores – not even actual fitness stores, but supermarkets – will hold around 200 to 300 pounds.

On the other hand, specialized gadgets from fitness stores can take up to 500 pounds in weight.

Now, while the advertised weight does serve a purpose, you should still be cautious. If you weigh 250 pounds, opt for a treadmill that can take 300 pounds or more. Keep in mind that the advertised numbers are not governed.

Treadmills are not checked by individual companies before being labeled. From many points of view, this could be a marketing trap as well.

Some manufacturers do not even include such numbers. Indeed, if you have a normal weight for your height and age, you probably do not even care. But if you are too heavy, you should definitely ignore such models.

Then, think about the tests – we will never know how they test their treadmills. They could get a 300 pound individual walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes. It does not break, so it gets the 300-pound label.

But if you run on it on a daily basis, it may overheat and fail after a week or two.

5 things to look into treadmills for heavy runners

things to look into treadmills for heavy runners

The weight capacity is common sense. Browsing the best treadmills for heavy runners automatically implies you have already given yourself a good margin in the weight capacity.

But what else should you pay attention to?

Build quality

The heavier a treadmill is, the better. Low end models are portable and super light – in other words, they are made of cheap materials. A poor quality design will usually weigh less than 50 pounds. A proper one should be around 200 pounds in weight.

Materials are often mentioned by manufacturers too, so they are also worth some attention.


This aspect does not necessarily affect heavy users, but at the end of the day, if your space is limited for a home gym, you want a treadmill that can be stored away.

Fortunately, there are lots of foldable models out there. Just because they fold, it does not mean the quality has been sacrificed.

Running area

If you are heavy and large, you clearly want a big running deck. You need it long enough for your stride, but also wide enough for your size. This is an aspect where many brands try to save costs. Get something that can accommodate your moves and not just your size.


Some treadmills are magnetic or manual, meaning they have no motors whatsoever. Such models are not always suitable for heavy users, so you will have to spend a bit more and find quality.

The motor should have at least 2HP, while speeds should exceed 6MPH for walks or jogs – more if you want to sprint.

Shock absorption

Shock absorption is a must for heavy users in terms of comfort and safety. The treadmill is supposed to absorb almost the whole impact of your steps. This kind of system keeps the treadmill quiet, but it also reduces some of the pressure on your joints.

Bells & Whistles

These aren’t really a must have if all you’re after is a solid treadmill that gets the job done. However, somewhere down the road, you will need advanced features like compatibility, cardio monitoring, incline and speed control among other nitty gritty specs to achieve your long term weight loss and fitness goals.

Top 5 treadmills for heavy runners

Top 5 treadmills for heavy runners

Here are some great options when hunting for the best treadmills for heavy runners.

LifeSpan TR 1200i – Best treadmill for runners on a budget

LifeSpan TR 1200i

This is a basic treadmill that can take 300 pounds in weight and reaches up to 11MPH in speed. It is affordable and mostly suitable for walks and jogs. It has a quality belt and good shock absorbing features.

The treadmill allows saving exercises to USB sticks for connectivity with the official website and workout tracking. It folds for easy storage and transportation.


  • Heavy duty belt
  • Good shock absorption
  • Good value for money


  • Less comfortable for running

ProForm 505 CST

ProForm 505 CST

This treadmill comes with a display and 18 preset programs. It takes up to 325 pounds in weight and allows MP3 player connectivity.

The unit has a built-in heart rate monitor and a quiet 2.5HP motor.


  • Quiet motor
  • Good power saving features
  • Preset programs


  • Belt might feel a bit short for tall people who want to run

Exerpeutic TF1000

Exerpeutic TF1000

Featuring low speeds, this treadmill is aimed at walkers only. It has a quiet motor – just 1.5MPH – and extra long handrails to support heavy people.

Features are quite simplistic, but they give you the standard metrics. It folds, and it can take people up to 400 pounds in weight.


  • Lightweight
  • Wide side rails
  • Comes assembled


  • Not suitable for joggers or runners – only 4MPH speeds

Sole F85

Sole F85

Taking 400 pounds in weight and featuring a folding profile, this treadmill is built like a tank. It is heavy, large, and based on high-quality materials. It features good cushioning – suitable for heavy users.

The unit has a large display and lots of useful features – you can also plug in an MP3 player. It is great for both walkers and runners, yet it takes a while to speed up.


  • Comfortable running surface
  • Superior shock absorbing system
  • Built in speakers


  • Heavy and large

ProForm Pro 2000

This is one of the best treadmills for heavy runners if you want power – 3.5HP motor and speeds up to 12MPH. It folds and can take an inclination angle of 15%.

The treadmill has a wide belt and a few bells and whistles – Google Maps and the iFit technology. It also has 32 preset workouts.


  • Strong motor
  • Lots of workout options
  • Many bells and whistles


  • Might feel confusing for a newbie


Still undecided about the best treadmills for heavy users?

What is a good treadmill for heavy people?

Any of the above-mentioned options will do, yet you need to make this decision with your weight in mind, as well as the walking space.

Are weight limits on treadmills accurate?

No one can tell because no one knows how they are set. This is why you should buy a treadmill that can support much more than your actual weight.

Do treadmills help you lose weight?

Absolutely. This is one of the most popular ways to lose fat and weight – a solid and efficient cardio exercise.


Bottom line, exploring the best treadmills for heavy runners will definitely give you some good options. What works for some people will not work for everyone, so it pays off assessing your needs and long term goals first.

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