Best Treadmill for Tall Runners 2020

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Best Treadmill for Tall PeopleTall people have some great advantages but there are some facets of life that are not so great, one of them being the difficulty of buying home fitness equipment. Many types of cardio machines are made for average height people, say 5’2″ to 6″, so the range of equipment catering to people outside these specs is limited. Factor in the cost and you’ll see that inexpensive treadmills are just too puny in size. For this article, we focus on finding the best treadmill for tall runners that are not the extremely expensive commercial models that you see in a neighborhood gym.

Why can’t you just buy an average home treadmill that’s affordable? Because those have tread belt lengths that are made for average stride lengths, which is what moderately tall people can run on comfortably. If you’re over 6 feet tall, you probably have long legs, which means your running or jogging stride length is longer than average. When you match the treadmill length for height, you need a longer deck, which means the overall size is bigger and therefore the cost will be a lot higher. After all, these machines need a LOT of steel and other expensive raw materials to make!

These longer and more expensive treadmills also tend to come with more than just basic features. For example, almost all of them will come power incline for a more intensive workout, and you’ll probably get advanced cushioning as well.

 

Quick Comparison for Best Treadmill for Tall People

ProductRating (out of 5)Decline & Incline settingsSpeed Low-HighProgramsContinuous horse powerTread belt sizeMax. User CapacityPrice
Horizon Fitness 7.0 Studio Series AT Treadmill4.710 levels up to 15%0-12 mph73.0 chp20" x 60"325 lbs$
XTERRA Fitness TRX4500 Treadmill4.315 levels up to 15%0-12 mph303.25 chp20" x 60"350 lbs$
Nautilus T618 Treadmill4.415 levels up to 15%0-12 mph263.5 chp20" x 60"350 lbs$$
NordicTrack T Series 9.5 S Treadmill4.40-12%0-12 mph203.6 chp20" x 60"300 lbs$$$
ProForm SMART Pro 5000 Treadmill4.5up to 15% incline, -3% decline0-12 mph503.75 chp22" x 60"300 lbs$$$
LifeSpan TR5500i Folding Treadmill4.713 levels up to 15%, 2 levels of decline0-12 mph50+4 chp22" x 60"350 lbs$$$$

 

What to Look for in a Treadmill for a Tall Person

Belt Length: So now that you know that the most important feature here is the deck or belt length, how long is long enough? For most tall runners that should be a treadmill with at least a 60-inch long belt. If you’re taller than 6’5″ and need something longer than that you’ll have no option but to look at commercial treadmills.

To be sure of the length you need, you can do a little test before you buy. Go out and mark two spots on a flat and even path and run from one spot to the other while having someone count your strides for you. Do this at or close to full tilt because you never know how fast you may run in the future. Now divide the distance between the two points by the number of steps to get your stride length. If this is anywhere near 50-55″, a standard length tread belt is not enough.

When running or even walking moderately fast, you have to account for your longest possible stride and the drift you’ll experience when slowing down. A too-short belt can cause a pretty nasty accident. Another reason is that a short belt will force people with long legs to unnaturally shorten their stride, which makes the workout less effective and potentially harmful in the long run.

Belt Width: In addition to the length, tall runners will also need a wide enough surface area. It may not be obvious if you’re not overweight, but a tall person also takes up more room breadth-wise. Yes, even tall and extremely fit athletes. You don’t want your elbows hitting the handrails Also because long strides tend to cause more sideways drift even if it’s just by an inch or two. For this reason, a treadmill with a deck measuring at least 20″ in width is recommended.

User weight capacity: It stands to reason that a tall guy is going to weigh a lot more than a petite woman. Even if the tall guy is not overweight. Now, if you are overweight, then you have to make sure that the treadmill you buy is built to withstand your weight. Not only to ensure your safety but also to ensure that the machine won’t break don’t after just a few months. Many standard treadmills come with a capacity of just around 250 lbs, which is not enough. You should aim for 300 lbs or more but it should be at least a little more than what you weigh.

Room ceiling height: If you’re installing the treadmill in an attic, basement or garage, chances are the ceiling is lower than the standard 9 feet. Make sure that when you add your height to the height of the treadmill belt at its highest point on the maximum incline, you still have a few inches to spare before you hit your head.

Motor: A longer belt that has to move fast enough for runners will need a strong motor or you risk it failing pretty quickly. Aim for at least a 3 CHP (continuous horse power) rating. The higher the better, especially if you weigh over 250 lbs.

Beyond these points, you should also look at the usual treadmill features before choosing a good treadmill.

 


 

Long Stride Treadmill Reviews

Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT Treadmill

Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT TreadmillThe Horizon Fitness 7.0 Studio Series AT Treadmill is a pocket-friendly machine and part of Horizon’s high-quality Studio Series treadmills, this one being its lowest end model. They are built to facilitate you to participate in streaming fitness classes like Peleton Digital, and on-demand training sessions like Zwift.

How, you might ask? The Horizon Fitness 7.0 Studio Series AT Treadmill features handy applications that connect to your media devices to the in-built speakers via Bluetooth. There’s a device holder and rapid charging USB port to facilitate this. The included Bluetooth app monitors your workout sessions and feeds data like heart rate and speed to your favorite fitness apps. It allows you to connect to the free Zwift app so that you can join multiplayer runners in over 200 virtual races or just keep motivated in the growing runners’ community.

This treadmill has an impressive silicone running belt for the price, measuring 20 by 60 inches, which is just about right for most tall people. It can also handle a maximum user weight of 325 lbs. In addition, the step-up height of the deck is 8 5/8”.

The 3 zone variable response cushioning with shock absorbers gives you just the right amount of support and flex for all kinds of strides, whether walking or jogging. It is supported by a rugged frame that’s built for performance and durability.

The 7″ LCD console has an impressive selection of controls featuring a total of 7 programs that cater to both beginners and experienced runners. While it doesn’t have as many presets as the rest of the machines on this list, it will display Calories, Distance, Heart Rate, Incline, Speed, and Time during your workout. Users can run at up to 12 mph at a maximum incline of 15%. The Hill Climb Program has 10 levels where level 1 is mild and level 10 is extremely difficult. Not too shabby for a treadmill at this price.

For measuring heart rate, the 7.0 AT features contact hand grips that are connected to the Bluetooth receiver. It is compatible with a Bluetooth chest strap and heart rate monitors, but these are not included with this version but with the 7.4 AT and 7.8 AT.

To keep up with your interval training and online community of runners, there are QuickDial controls to control speed and incline to smoothly transition between intensity levels without breaking your stride.

So how does all that happen? It’s the continuous duty 3 HP 500 lbs thrust incline motor that creates a truly fast and responsive drive system. It ensures that there are no lags between speed or incline changes, which is what’s needed for proper interval training. You also get to use custom interval keys.

Other nice features include an Energy Saver Mode, Fan, and a water bottle holder.

Putting together the 7.0 AT is a pretty straightforward procedure as there are only 5 steps to get it up and running. When fully assembled, its dimensions are 76.5″ x 36″ x 59″. However, if you want to save space when it’s not in use, it folds up to 70″ x 36″ x 41″. It weighs 253 lbs.

The warranty on this includes 1 year for labor, 3 years for parts, and lifetime for the frame and motor.

 

XTERRA Fitness TRX4500 Treadmill

Xterra Fitness TRX4500 TreadmillYou can get a few more extras with the XTERRA Fitness TRX4500 Treadmill but at the same price. It is a top-of-the-line treadmill that is ideal for a home gym.

Fitted with Bluetooth capabilities for data sharing, audio jack and speakers for listening to music, and a very nice 7.5″ LCD screen, this treadmill is another good pocket-friendly option for those working with a budget.

It is an excellent option for runners and walkers alike, and considering its price range, the XTERRA TRX4500 Treadmill looks more appealing than other low-budget machines. Its aluminum rails give it an attractive look and extra durability.

Its fairly quiet 3.25 HP motor and XTRASoft shock absorption cushioning are impressive for long and intense workout sessions. All runners would love this treadmill thanks to its incline training modules that offer levels up to 15 percent and a maximum speed of 12 mph. The incline feature is automated and both the speed and incline can be controlled by push buttons on the treadmill’s console and handlebars.

The XTERRA TRX4500 has an exceptionally sturdy running deck that supports a user weight of up to 350 pounds. Its 20″ x 60″ running surface is adequate for all users.

The XTERRA TRX4500 includes a wireless chest strap and handlebar grip sensors for heart rate monitoring. There is also a cooling fan.

It features 30 preset training programs and it is compatible with the Zwift training app along with Xterra’s own fitness app, which you can run on your Android or Apple device and connect via Bluetooth. There is also a heart rate program and the user can create 2 custom programs.

When not in use, the treadmill can be Folded up using the Lift Assist feature, and when it’s time to workout, its soft drop feature ensures a gentle lowering of the deck. It is one of the sturdiest fold up treadmills on the market.

The assembly of this treadmill is pretty easy, as the motor and the belt come assembled and connected to the base frame. Therefore, you only have to attach the console mast and the console, an activity that should take you less than half an hour.

 

Nautilus T618 Treadmill

Nautilus T618 Treadmill SeriesThe moderately priced Nautilus T618 Treadmill is a top to bottom quality treadmill with a durable 3 ply belt 20″ x 60″ running area. The steel beams support a 350 lb load capacity. The quiet but powerful 3.5 CHP motor and ensures that you transition smoothly between sprint sessions and low intensity extended training sessions at all incline levels for an extended period of time without the risk of it dying. It does take a little bit of time to ramp up so that you can start your workout, but once it hits your required speed, it performs beautifully.

The Rebound Cushioning System is engineered so that you softly land at the front of the deck and it propels you to kick-off at the end of your stride. This not only minimizes impact but also helps you feel light and energetic. The deck can incline automatically between a flat surface to a 15 percent slope to offer a more challenging workout session.

The full-featured console with blue backlit dual™ screens is interactive and offers 26 Nautilus Performance Training programs including interval, heart rate and weight management. You have to input your minimum and maximum speeds and you can set up a maximum of 4 user profiles. Using Bluetooth, your workout data is transmitted to your smart device where you can track metrics on the free Explore the World™ App or any other fitness app. The Explore the World™ App is fun and motivating, as you can run through 19 locations and 27 routes along with other global users of the app in real time.

This treadmill comes with in-built contact pulse sensors positioned at the handrails to check your heart rate during workouts. It is also compatible with a wireless chest strap, which is included.

There’s a media holder beneath the console that’s designed in such a way that the dual screens are visible to view workout metrics even when there’s a tablet in the holder. The inbuilt USB charger will keep your device powered throughout. There is also a good cooling fan.

Putting together this treadmill should not be challenging and should not take more than 1 hour for 2 people. While it does have wheels to move it for storage, it is quite heavy.

 

NordicTrack T Series 9.5 S Treadmill – 14 inches

NordicTrack T Series 9.5 S TreadmillIf a 7-8″ display doesn’t cut it, how about a 14″ display? The NordicTrack T Series 9.5 S Treadmill comes fitted with a 14″ touch screen console and an iFit Coach app. You also get a 1 Year iFit membership.

You can take full advantage of countless fitness programs online, including live studio and global scenic interactive exercise sessions built with Google Maps and customized fitness stats. The on-demand iFit workouts are streamed directly on your treadmill. This is the main reason for the higher cost of this machine.

There are digital quick controls for incline and speed that you can adjust from 0-12% and 0-12 MPH. Not only that, your iFit trainer can auto-adjust your smart treadmill’s incline and speed to help you meet your goals via an optimized workout. There are 20 preset programs that you can use with or without iFit, and you can even just use your own settings.

This is all possible because of the 3.6 CHP motor that runs the smooth drive system that quickly responds to you or your personal trainer in real-time.

The balanced precision rollers move the 20” x 60” tread belt that has FlexSelect cushioning to reduce joint impact. It has a 300 lb user capacity.

The treadmill comes with a workout fan and an integrated media tray.

It is designed to save space when stored, as the EasyLift Assist folds up the treadmill into an inclined vertical package.

Unfortunately, the NordicTrack Treadmill does not come with a heart rate monitoring chest strap, nor does it have incline and speed controls on the handrails. You do, however, get an EKG grip pulse reader on the handrails.

 

ProForm SMART Pro 5000 Treadmill

ProForm SMART Pro 5000 TreadmillAll the basics and more for this price range in treadmills are there in the ProForm SMART Pro 5000 Treadmill. At the time of writing, this is the newest home treadmill model for tall runners by Proform, so there are no customer reviews as yet, but this just may be the best treadmill for tall guys given the great track record by the brand for home treadmills.

It has a self-cooling 3.75 Mach Z motor, a 60″ x 22″ running deck on an all-steel frame, and an extra thick belt with Proshox cushioning to reduce vibration and noise. It can withstand 300 lbs in weight. It comes with a 1 year family membership to the iFit coaching app.

It comes with a 10” HD interactive touchscreen that can stream live and in-demand iFit training programs from the best coaches all over the world, whether out in the open or in-studio. They can control your treadmill’s speed and incline which are 0 – 12 MPH, -3% decline, and 15% incline through the iFit programs.

When you want to control your workout, there are digital QuickSpeed® controls. You get to create up to 5 individual exercise profiles and select from over 50 programs, including those that you personalize. All you have to do is set the program on the console and start working out.

There are two hand-grip heart rate sensors built into the handlebars.

If you want to listen to music or watch a movie on your phone or tablet, the integrated dual 2″ Bluetooth speakers will help, or you can instead use the audio auxiliary port to plug your device in. The other nice features are an integrated tablet holder and 3-speed cooling fan.

When you’re done with your workout, the SpaceSaver design, lets you conveniently fold the deck up and out of the way. The EasyLift Assist helps you lift and lower the deck with just an easy push.

 

LifeSpan TR5500i Folding Treadmill

LifeSpan TR5500i Folding TreadmillIf you’re a very serious runner or need a higher user capacity, then you may want to consider the more advanced LifeSpan TR5500i Folding Treadmill.

The LifeSpan TR5500i Folding Treadmill is a compact folding machine that is ideal for tall runners at home. The treadmill features a generous 22″ x 60″ running surface and a quiet but robust 4.0 HP motor. This is great for runners who tend to drift sideways a bit more than normal while running. With a user capacity of 350 lbs, this is our pick for the best treadmill for big and tall people.

While most other runner’s treadmills for the home gym top out at a maximum speed of 12 mph, this one gives you up to 13.5 mph. You get 13 levels of incline and 2 levels of decline. Other upgrades include the 10″ display screen instead of 7″ and a 3 speed cooling fan.

To make changing speeds and incline levels in mid-stride easier, there are 5 Quickset speed and 5 Quickset incline buttons on the handles, which means you’ll need fewer button presses. There’s also a built-in automatic step counter that works like a pedometer

The range of presets on this treadmill is the same as on the TR4000i and it also has Bluetooth connectivity and the heart rate contact sensor is accurate.

This 22 inch wide treadmill is surprisingly compact and even folds up for storage.

 
Featured image: “Running on a treadmill” by eccampbell is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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