7 Best Treadmills for Bad Knees 2024: Get Back on Track!

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Written By Kathy Brewer

I am a certified personal trainer, and I take pride in helping people achieve their fitness goals through strength training, cardio, and nutrition. 





Are you someone who wants to improve your fitness, but struggles with knee pain or discomfort?

If so, you’re not alone. Knee pain can make it difficult to engage in physical activity, which is why finding the right exercise equipment is crucial.

One great option for low-impact cardiovascular exercise is a treadmill, but not all treadmills are created equal when it comes to accommodating bad knees.

In this article, we will explore the best treadmills for bad knees, so you can make an informed decision and get back to your fitness goals without worrying about knee pain.

7 Best Treadmills For Bad Knees – No More Knee Pain! 

Knee pain can be a debilitating condition that affects people of all ages and fitness levels. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your fitness goals altogether.

One of the most effective and low-impact exercises you can do is walking or running on a treadmill. However, not all treadmills are suitable for people with bad knees.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 7 best treadmills for bad knees, taking into account factors such as shock absorption, incline range, and overall durability.

Whether you’re looking to walk, jog, or run, there’s a treadmill on this list that can help you stay active and pain-free. So, let’s dive in and find the perfect treadmill for your needs!

1. ProForm Performance 300i – Best Multimedia Support Treadmill

The ProForm Performance 300i Treadmill is a great addition to any home gym. With a 30-day iFit trial membership, you can access interactive training sessions, on-demand studio & global workouts, and connected fitness tracking in the comfort of your own home.

ProForm Performance 300i - Best Multimedia Support Treadmill

Standalone Features – 

  • LCD display and phone holder
  • 10 MPH Digital Quick Speed Controls
  • 30 days iFit Trial Membership
  • 16” x 50” Belt with ProShox Cushioning
  • Warranty of 5 Years for Frames and 90 Days parts and labor warranty
  • Foldable design which will save space

The large LCD display allows you to track your distance, cadence, and estimated calorie burn, while also being able to stream interactive iFit workouts to your own tablet or smartphone to stay engaged and motivated as you train.

ProForm Performance 300i - LCD Display

The 10 MPH Digital QuickSpeed Controls and 10% Digital Quick Incline Controls make it easy to adjust your speed and incline with the touch of a button or let your iFit Trainers auto-adjust your treadmill as you run.

The 16” x 50” Belt is recommended for runners under 6 feet tall and the ProShox cushioning provides a more comfortable workout experience.

The Folding SpaceSaver design also allows for compact storage and the auxiliary port with dual 2” speakers allows you to listen to your favorite music or podcasts while you work out.

One of the best features of this treadmill is its 300-pound user weight capacity. It’s great to know that this treadmill can accommodate a wide range of users, making it a versatile piece of equipment for any home gym.

ProForm Performance 300i - Cusioning

Additionally, it is protected with a 5-year frame warranty and a 90-day parts and labor warranty, giving you peace of mind that you are making a sound investment.

Overall, the ProForm Performance 300i is the best treadmill for bad knees and is a fantastic option for anyone looking to enhance their home workout routine.

It is packed with features that will keep you motivated and engaged while providing a comfortable and effective workout. Its versatility and durability make it a great long-term investment for anyone serious about their fitness goals

2. LifeSpan Fitness Folding TreadmillBest User Friendly Treadmill

The next one on the list of best treadmills for bad knees is TR3000iT folding treadmill by LifeSpan. It comes with different features like an incline programmed, a fold-up mechanism, and an LCD display for heart rate monitoring.

LifeSpan Fitness Folding Treadmill

Standalone features – 

  • ‎1 year warranty on labor, Lifetime warranty on frame and motor, 5 years warranty on parts
  • Foldable and has a running length of 60’’
  • It comes with three unique dashboards – graph view, gauge view and track view
  • Intelli Step technology with 8 independent compression shock
  • 15 levels of incline and weighs 350 pounds

Today’s modern fitness enthusiasts have more options than ever to help them reach their goals, and the 7” full-color display with an easy-to-use touchscreen is just one of them.

With three unique dashboards to choose from and results that are graphically highlighted, users can customize their experience like never before.

LifeSpan Treadmill - Screen

Even better, this treadmill offers 38 preset programs and 15 levels of incline allowing users of all levels to find their perfect workout. At speeds up to 12 mph, you’ll be able to quickly build up a sweat and maximize the calorie burn.

It has a 2.75HP commercial-grade motor designed to last and power you through rigorous workouts for years. Best of all, it’s whisper-quiet, so you won’t disturb your downstairs neighbor while you exercise!

With 2.5” rollers and a 1” thick deck, this treadmill simulates a true road experience by elevating your workout intensity.

Moreover, 8 independent compression shocks reduce noise and absorb foot strike impact, taking the stress away from your knees, back, and joints—and giving you ultimate comfort throughout each running session.

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3. Real Relax 2 in-1 TreadmillBest Non Slip Treadmill

The Real Relax 2 in-1 Treadmill is an ingenious piece of exercise equipment because it serves as both a treadmill and a massager. Its purpose is to deliver a full-body workout with the benefits of massage therapy to ease muscle tension and fatigue.

Real Relax 2 in 1 Treadmill

Standalone features – 

  • 2 in 1 folding treadmill for bad knees
  • Shock absorbing effects with noise reduction motor
  • Extra wide Non -slip running belt (42.5-inch x 17 inches)
  • Maximum weight capacity of 240 lbs
  • Convenient to start and stop along with remote control function
  • Easy to assemble and value for money

This treadmill is the perfect machine for anyone looking to purchase an efficient and multi-functional home gym tool. Its two modes of use provide versatility, allowing users to enjoy different experiences.

The Walking Pad mode has an adjustable speed range between 0.6-3.8 miles per hour while the Running mode allows adjustments between 0.6-7.6 mph – ideal for challenging workouts and changing up intensity levels.

Real Relax 2 in 1 - Display

It takes advantage of a suspension shock-absorbing running board, as opposed to the rigid running boards used by competitors.

This board works on the principle of elastic deformation to effectively lessen the impact of running on knee joints, protecting knees and ankles from injury.

The diamond-shaped Non-slip pattern on the jogging belt’s surface adds to the product’s durability and longevity while also minimizing the likelihood of slips and falls. The belt is constructed of six layers of flexible material.

So all in all with the Real Relax treadmill, you get a modern treadmill that is suitable for both touring in your home or maintaining a high level of fitness activity with ease – giving you ultimate control over your workout routine!

4. Goplus 2 in-1 Folding TreadmillBest foldable Design

The Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill offers a wealth of features and benefits. This reliable machine is constructed with a durable frame and shock-absorbing material that make it sturdy enough to stand up to your workouts.

Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill

Standalone features – 

  • Space saver has built-in transport wheels and easy to install
  • Comes with an LCD screen that displays time, speed, distance, and calories.
  • Includes a phone holder and a Bluetooth function
  • Powerful and ultra-quiet motor of 2.25 HP
  • Durable build up with extra shock absorption technology
  • 5 layer non-slip textured belt for security

It also features easy-to-store folding capabilities and its compact, space saver design allows you to easily store it in your home or office.

Additionally, the non-slip running belt ensures comfortable workouts while the noise reduction technology makes sure your exercise won’t disturb the peace.

Lastly, the multifunctional LCD display makes it easy to track and monitor your progress, and its user-friendly design allows for easy control over any adjustments you make.

All in all, the Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill has all of these great qualities, as well as its portable size, making it ideal for those who are unable to commit large amounts of time or space to an exercise routine.

5. NordicTrack Commercial 1750Overall Best Treadmill for Bad knees

I’ll be honest and say that among the treadmills I’ve reviewed, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 ranks in the top few. The new, lower deck of this 1750 treadmill makes getting on and off much easier for those with knee issues.

Additionally, this machine has great fall capabilities (as well as inclination possibilities, if you’re feeling crazy), and walking backward downhill has been shown to help alleviate knee pain.

NordicTrack Commerical 1750

Standalone Features – 

  • Cushioning for the deck that is both comfortable and attractive
  • A touchscreen measuring 14 inches was incorporated into the new model.
  • iFit-compatible with the various workout routines
  • Adjustable angles of inclination and decline are both available.
  • There are several different financing alternatives accessible through the NordicTrack website.

If you intend to assemble 1750 yourself, make sure to call a friend or two for assistance. This machine weighs 350 pounds whenever it comes to your door, and unless you’re the Hulk, you’re not going to be able to unbox and assemble it alone.

If you enjoy interactive programming, the new 1750 has a configurable 14-inch touchscreen (increased from the previous year’s 10-inch display) that really is compatible with iFit subscriptions.

You may also set up the treadmill to automatically adapt to the right pace and incline if you’re taking an iFIT class and want to focus just on the treadmill exercise at hand.

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6. Echelon Stride TreadmillBest Walking Treadmill

Another well-cushioned option for knee pain sufferers is the Echelon Stride. The rubber deck absorbs the impact of the user’s steps. The deck was both comfy and supportive for me.

Furthermore, the 55-inch-by-20-inch belt is large enough for a relaxed stroll or a power stroll without requiring planned strides.

Echelon Stride Treadmills

Standalone features – 

  • The deck is “impact-absorbing” and constructed of rubber.
  • The auto-fold feature simplifies storage.
  • Budget friendly and will come Under $1,500
  • Maximum speeds of up to 12 MPH

Although this machine can reach speeds of up to 12 miles per hour, I wouldn’t rely on it to regularly perform at the top of its speed range. This is owing to the motor’s poor performance of 1.75 CHP, which is significantly below the industry requirement of 2.5 horsepower.

But, I adore the auto-fold feature. This machine folds down to a modest 10 inches, making it ideal for storing beneath a bed or in a closet. If you have limited room, the Echelon Stride is a good alternative to consider.

Additionally, unlike other foldable treadmills, I’ve used in the past, you don’t have to worry about the machine collapsing and perhaps harming you.

What else is there which is worth investing in?

The Stride comes virtually completely constructed. Just unfold the railing and put it into an appropriate outlet after unboxing the machine, and you’re done! You’re all set to begin.

7. Sunny Health & Fitness Walking TreadmillBest Treadmill to Store Easily

The shock absorption on this Sunny Health and Fitness Walking Treadmill reduces the force exerted on your knees as you walk.

From a leisurely stroll to a brisk jog, you may cover a wide range of speeds with its 0.6 mph to 5 mph speed range.

Quick speeds and a unique mode button enable you to tailor your workouts to specific needs. The multi-grip handrails facilitate a wide range of upper-body, lower-back, and core exercises.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7857

Standalone features – 

  • Easy to store and comes with handrails
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Shock Absorption mechanism
  • Has a user friendly console

The padded foam handlebars on this treadmill are a nice touch for when you need a little extra help keeping your balance. The speed, calorie, and distance modules are all easily seen on the console’s illuminated LED screen.

The equipment is simple to store and transfer thanks to the low deck height and front-mounted wheels. If you need to stop the treadmill immediately, you can use the emergency safety key by removing the magnetic key from the control panel.

How do I avoid knee pain on a treadmill?

Working out on a treadmill can be a great way to build up strength and endurance, but if done without proper form it can cause knee pain.

To avoid this, make sure you are wearing the right type of footwear for support and cushioning which can minimize wear and tear on your joints.

Additionally, when running or walking on the treadmill, be sure to keep your body upright with your back straight – do not slump forward or lean backward – as this puts pressure on the knees.

Knee pain

If you’re feeling any discomfort in your knees during the workout, slow down and adjust the speed accordingly until you find a comfortable pace.

Make sure to stretch before using the treadmill to warm up your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, as well as afterward to reduce stress and promote flexibility.

Remember to always stay hydrated so that your joints remain lubricated while exercising.

You can also adjust the machine’s settings to its slowest speeds and relatively low inclinations.

When looking for the best treadmill incline for bad knees, running at a slight incline of 3% is your best bet. Properly using an incline can help absorb shock and reduce the impact on your knees as you run.

Running on treadmill

The worst possible scenario would be to stay on a flat treadmill setting, as this can cause unnatural movement patterns that will put a lot of strain on the knee joint.

An optimal setting for running should include a slightly inclined surface that allows for better flexing of the foot and ankle muscles which helps with absorbing impact and protecting your knees.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to complete an effective workout while keeping your knees pain-free.

How To Choose A Treadmill For Bad Knees?

If you have knee discomfort, whether it’s sporadic or chronic, the very last thing that you want is a treadmill that will make it worse because it will put extra stress on your joints.

No worries!

By providing you with pertinent information that is pertinent to your decision-making process, it is my goal to assist you in reaching the best possible conclusion. Let’s get started:

1. Premium Cushioning 

If you have knee pain, the most important feature to look for in a new treadmill is cushioning on the running deck. Pay particular attention to the facts regarding the belt of the machine.

Is the paper 2- or 3-ply? Is the PVC belt at least 0.8 millimeters in thickness? What extra cushioning concerns did the brand take into account while building the deck? Before choosing a treadmill hurriedly, these are all factors to consider.

2. Levels of Incline and Decline 

Choosing a treadmill with incline and decline features can be important for people with bad knees, but it really depends on the individual and their specific condition.

In general, using incline and decline settings can help to reduce the impact on your knees by changing the angle of your foot strike and altering the distribution of weight on your joints.

This can provide a more low-impact workout and reduce the risk of aggravating knee pain or injuries.

However, if you find that incline settings exacerbate your knee pain, it may be better to stick with a flat surface treadmill. It’s important to listen to your body and find a treadmill that works for your unique needs and limitations.

3. Hydraulic Feature 

If you have knee problems, you probably don’t want to risk injuring yourself even more by stumbling through the process of folding and unfolding your new treadmill.

If this is the case, you will want to be sure that the machine you select has some kind of soft drop feature or hydraulics that allow the deck to slowly come down on its own without any assistance from you.

Unfolding a large and heavy treadmill without a gas shock is challenging, and I don’t even have bad knees.

You ultimately find that you have little choice but to squat with the machine as it comes down in order to prevent it from crashing to the ground, which could put a strain on your knees.

4. Size of the Deck 

You will almost certainly want a sizable deck for your new treadmill, regardless of whether you prefer walking or running.

Although the norm for a running deck in the industry is 22 inches by 60 inches, the majority of possibilities for affordable treadmills are quite a bit more compact.

On the other hand, if you have issues with your knees, the more space you have for walking or running, the better off you will be.

For people who have issues with their knees, a deck that is larger is preferable because I don’t think you should have to put too much thought into the number of steps you take or the length of your stride.

5. Control Panel 

Each person who uses the treadmill should have no trouble understanding how to operate the various controls, which is my personal goal every time I use one.

Who wants to waste their time fumbling around trying to figure out how to raise their speed or adjust the workout program that is already set?

Definitely not coming from me. Streamlining your time spent on a treadmill is essential, especially if you have a medical condition that restricts your mobility, such as poor knees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which treadmill is better for knees?

The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is an excellent choice for people who want to exercise their knees in the safest way possible. Its cushioning system makes it easy on the joints, providing a comfortable and impact-free workout for people of all fitness levels. The wide range of incline options and built-in fans allow users to customize their workouts to their exact needs. Plus, a variety of on-board programs gives them access to personalized training sessions from some of the top trainers in the industry.

Can I run on a treadmill with bad knees?

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, it’s important to remember that exercise can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. Walking is a great way to start your fitness journey as it doesn’t put too much stress on your joints. A treadmill is an excellent tool to help with this as you can stay active in any weather and mimic how you would move if outside. Not only this, but strengthening your muscles can actually boost the stability of your joints and reduce the amount of pain you experience, so lacing up those sneakers has many benefits.

Are curved treadmills better for knees?

Studies show that, compared to regular treadmills, curved models may have several benefits for those with knee pain. The curved shape has been said to help reduce strain on the leg muscles and other body parts. In addition, the contour of the treadmill tends to put less impact on the body as compared to walking or running in a straight line. Therefore, many professionals believe that curved treadmills are ideal for those who experience joint discomfort while running or walking on a regular linear model.


Conclusion – Which is the Best Treadmill for Bad Knees?

In conclusion, a treadmill with an incline and shock-absorption technology may be the best option for people with bad knees. The incline will help to reduce the amount of impact on the knees, while the shock-absorption technology will further cushion any remaining impact.

Furthermore, it’s important to take into account your individual preferences and budget when deciding which treadmill to get. With proper setup and use, you should be able to find a treadmill that fits your needs while at the same time providing helpful features that will put less strain on your sensitive joints.

Speaking from my personal experience, the NordicTrack Commercial Series 1750 offers a sturdy and comfortable platform for exercise. It is designed to put less strain on your knees and keep you running in total comfort.

All in all, it’s possible to find the perfect treadmill when taking into account both the features offered and your individual needs.

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