Walking Right Into It

They say you get what you pay for. I tend to believe this, but with some consumer products, it is a little hard to believe. E and I have determined that we should get a treadmill. We each walk 30 to 40 minutes a day, three or more days a week. With winter weather on its way, we think it would be best to be able to walk inside. We began by looking to see what’s available at Walmart and at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Walmart’s highest priced treadmill is $500. The cheapest model at Dick’s is $800. What? I phoned a store in Rochester that specializes in fitness equipment, and their starting model is $1600. At that point I told the sales associate that he needed to educate me. How, I asked, could the prices range so widely? I told him that I know that “you get what you pay for,” so I needed to know what it was that I would be getting for $1600 that the $800 or $500 models would not provide. As a part of his answer, he claimed that commercial models sell for $6000 or more. I was stunned. If we put car prices on the same scale, we’d be talking about a range from $13K for a new sub-compact to $130K for some sort of luxury ride. I don’t know if there is a new car with a $130K price tag, but if there is, it is beyond my imagination.


We went to the library and checked to see what Consumer Reports had to say. The price range of the treadmills they reviewed was $4000 to $800. There were a couple of “budget” models that they recommended in the $800 category and a couple in the $1000 range.


Here is some of what I’ve learned:

  • If you are going to use the treadmill for running, it needs to be well-built.
  • If you are going to buy cheap, you are going to be replacing it when it wears out, because they are not built to be repaired.
  • Warrantees matter. The cheapest models have 90-day or 1-year warrantees; starting at about $1000 there are 25-year or 30-year, or lifetime warrantees.
  • Sears and Best Buy sell treadmills. (Who knew?)


Right now we’re leaning toward a NordicTrack model that retails for about $1000.


Do any of my readers have any advice for us?


4 thoughts on “Walking Right Into It

  1. I don’t know anything about different models of treadmill…but I’ll keep my eye out for a deal on one. Black Friday might be a good time for a sale!

  2. Consider plain old walking vs. “whistles & bells” programs that change speed & altitude for more cardiac workout. I find the extra programs more engaging mentally as well as physically.

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