If you love to enjoy higher calorie-burning benefits with a low-impact exercise, incline treadmills are your safest best.
You could walk/run at lower speeds but choosing higher inclination levels guarantees fat-burning abilities and muscle strengthening. This causes lower strain to your joints than jogging/running.
Don’t confuse your regular treadmill with an incline treadmill though both are treadmills. The primary difference is that incline treadmills can accommodate higher incline levels and help you work out at decline levels.
In a hurry? Here are our top 11 picks of the best incline treadmills for walking and running:
- Sole TT8 Light Commercial Incline Treadmill
- Bowflex BTX 116 Incline Treadmill
- ProForm PRO-9000 Incline Treadmill
- 3G Cardio Elite Runner Incline Treadmill
- LifeSpan TR2000e Electric Folding Treadmill
- Nautilus T614 Treadmill
- Life Fitness Platinum Club Series Treadmill—Best High-End Model
- NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill
- LifeSpan TR3000i Touch Folding Treadmill
- Sunny Health & Fitness 7700 Asuna Portable Treadmill
- Schwinn 830 Treadmill
See the overview, pros & cons below.
How to Choose the Best Incline Treadmill for Walking and Running
You mostly settle down with incline treadmills for your home gym if your foremost goals include building calves, quads, and glutes.
While normal treadmills offer 10-15% incline function, incline treadmills often reach up to 30% inclination. It is recommended to set steep incline positions choosing hiking/climbing at minimal speed levels to build muscles.
Before purchasing any incline treadmill, it is recommended to keep a few factors in mind that make or break the equipment’s quality. These include deck size, console features, max user weight, ease of movement, and price.
#1. Deck Size
The appropriate deck size differs from person to person. For instance, if you are tall or your primary goal is to go jogging or running on the treadmill, it is always recommended to choose a machine with a longer deck length.
I suggest that you go for models that have a 60-inch deck length. The treadmills discussed below greatly oblige to this requirement. A deck length of fewer than 55 inches could be used primarily to walk only.
#2. Console Features
Primary features such as deck length, the frame’s stability and ergonomic construction, and maximum speed are integral for optimal exercise benefits. Whereas console features and secondary features help you enjoy your exercise sessions, making you look forward to them every day.
Look for good console features focusing on the quality of speakers included, a fan’s presence, whether a chest strap is included in the model you wish to buy or know if you must rely on the handle’s pulse sensors.
How about keeping your energy levels revved up by listening to some peppy music or watching videos on your smartphone?
If so, it is better to look for models where the console offers provisions for keeping your tablet, phone, water bottle, has different preset workout programs, or whether you can customize your programs to achieve goals.
#3. Max User Weight
User weight is important, especially if you are quite heavy. Generally, high-quality machines support up to 300-400 pounds of weight, while inexpensive models can withstand only up to 200 lbs of body weight.
#4. Ease of Movement
Though we all love to set up a home gym, most of us suffer from severe space crunch, which restricts our choice of available machines.
If you live in a small apartment or your home gym room isn’t quite big, I suggest you choose a lighter weight model that is also foldable.
Lightweight machines also offer the advantage of being easy to move around. Most treadmills discussed here are heavyweight, so you can hardly move them around once assembled.
Contrarily, lightweight machines don’t guarantee stability and could even wobble when running/jogging on it.
The price of the machine is a strong determining factor that talks about its quality and performance. It doesn’t mean that all expensive models are great performers, but most of them guarantee stability and durability.
Cheaper models are generally of lower quality, and you must invest a reasonable amount to get hold of a proper piece of treadmill equipment. There are no shortcuts or alternatives here.
Probably one other alternative to cut down your budget still avoid ending up with a low-performing machine is to go for a manual treadmill instead of an automated treadmill.
Though huge, this compromise goes a long way towards offering dual benefits of a reduced cost but better performance.
Manual treadmills are better machines when it comes to resistance as you use the driving force of your legs to make the belt turn. This way, you benefit from a tough workout while also saving electricity costs.
Another way to cut your budget is to choose a treadmill specifically designed for walking if your goal doesn’t include running or jogging.
With lower top speed, smaller deck size, and lower motor capacity, the treadmill’s cost is also much lower compared to treadmills specifically designed for running or jogging purposes.
Top 11 Best Treadmill for Incline Walking/Running
Below are the best incline treadmills in the market that excel in durability, performance, and versatility.
Sole Fitness, a brand known for its high-quality exercise equipment, has come up with this TT8 light commercial incline treadmill made with serious runners’ whims and fancies in mind.
Hence, don’t expect the price to be extremely affordable. Still, I assure you that the brand has justified the price paid by manufacturing a high-quality treadmill that offers a greater number of options than your regular home gym treadmills.
All these are provided at almost 50% lesser cost than commercial-grade treadmills though their features and working principles comply with commercial treadmills in every way.
The motor power is palpable with a 4.0CHP strength that offers the apt power for your running/jogging purposes.
You can go up to 12mph and select different incline and decline levels to suit your goals. The TT8 model offers you 15 different incline options and six different decline options.
Cushion Flex Whisper Deck by Sole is a great value-addition by Sole as you are guaranteed a low-impact workout with minimal impact on your joints and knees (lesser by almost 40%).
In terms of frame and construction, the machine is made using a premium-quality steel frame that comes with a lifetime guarantee it.
Also, the maximum user weight capacity up to 400 lbs by TT8 shows the strong built and sturdiness guaranteed by the machine.
- 60-inch deck size that’s extremely comfortable
- Smooth transition when inclining up to 15% or declining up to 6%
- High torque motor ensures versatile performance with a quiet ride
- Provisioning of USB port, Bluetooth audio speakers, and tablet holder
- 400 lbs max user weight
- Not foldable
- Quite expensive
You could be tall or short, slim or heavy, a beginner or an advanced trainer—the Bowflex BTX 116 treadmill is suitable for all.
The best feature of this machine is its space-saving nature. Bowflex’s soft drop design delivers utmost safety using a gas shock folding system that guarantees gentle unfolding/folding each time.
The 3.5 CHP motor ensures noiseless yet powerful performance, and the machine is designed to offer tough competition to other brands, especially with its fitness apps and workout data.
Bowflex’s integration would exhilarate you with its JRNY App that comes with a free 2-month trial. The app helps you with custom running workouts that self-adjust as you exercise.
Expect personalized real-time feedbacks that motivate you to reach your goals. Run through vast greeneries, lush landscapes, and more using the long-running surface designed with Comfort Tech.
This mimics the on-road running experience plus the advantages of impact absorption and smooth operation.
There are nine different preset workouts, and the machine helps you achieve a max speed of up to 12 mph for customized workouts. Achieve calorie burning, heart rate control, interval training, and more using these programs.
The heavy treadmill has an inclination of up to 15% possible, that’s great for home gym use.
Once you start your exercise, the 7.5 inches backlit LCD screen provides you with real-time feedback of metrics such as speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate.
The treadmill comes with a chest strap provisioning for wireless measurement of heart rate.
Besides this, you get per-minute calorie burn calculations that motivate you to work out harder.
- The maximum user weight capacity is up to 375 lbs
- Up to 12% incline, up to 12 mph speed, and nine preset workout programs
- A 2-month trial of the JRNY App included
- Wireless heart rate monitoring enabled
- Soft Drop folding system
- Bluetooth doesn’t work for music but only functions with apps
The ProForm-9000 treadmill comes with a whopping 4.25 CHP Mach Z commercial plus a motor that promises unmatched performance.
This treadmill could be the best choice if you plan on running regularly on it as the motor is powerful and durable. The non-stretch tread belt measuring 22” x 60” complements your running needs.
Set your goal and workout toward achieving it without any hurdles as the machine is iFit coach enabled.
Run through different places and monitor your goals constantly by being in touch with professional trainers who guide you through your workouts.
All of this, you can view, monitor, and keep changing, making use of the large built-in 10-inch Smart HD touchscreen console from the comfort of your home.
The console displays all important metrics and heart rate numbers using the EKG heart rate monitor provided with a wireless chest strap.
You could set inclination levels up to 15% and decline levels up to -3% on this treadmill, which guarantees a challenging workout. Besides this, 40 pre-programmed workouts keep you engaged without any feelings of boredom.
The treadmill is durable and stable. Above all, it is easy to fold and store away, helping you save ample space when you are done with the workout.
- The 4.25 CHP motor guarantees top-class performance and noiseless operation
- 40 pre-set workout programs, 15% incline, -3% decline, and 12mph top speed
- Up to 300 lbs of maximum weight capacity
- Compact and space-saving as the unit is foldable
- 10-inch full-color touchscreen
- Onboard console creates problems rarely in some machines
The foremost thing that you notice when you look at this treadmill is its deck length. With a 62 inch long deck, the 3G Cardio Elite folding treadmill is the No.1 choice for tall runners.
The oversized running platform and Ortho Flex shock absorption technology guarantee an unmatched running experience for any time duration without any worries.
The 4.0 CHP motor supports your workout needs at any point, and the 15% maximum inclination possible supports your goals.
With a 400lbs maximum user weight supported and a 10-year warranty on parts, you needn’t doubt the treadmill’s performance and long-lastingness.
There are multiple pre-set workout programs, including fitness tests, provisions to customize your workouts, heart rate monitoring, and one-touch speed options that promise to keep you engaged and motivated to exercise day in and day out.
Combine exercising with entertainment, making use of the built-in speakers that play peppy music. Connect your smartphone/tablet and enjoy videos while running on your treadmill.
- Sturdy and unmatched performance with the help of the 4.0CHP motor and Ortho Flex Shock Absorption System
- 10-year warranty on parts and two years on home labor
- Max user weight up to 400 lbs
- Maximum incline up to 15%
- 62inch deck suitable for tall users
- Heavy and hence, difficult to move it around
- Some feel that the console and custom workouts are not user-friendly
Wouldn’t it be great to get hold of a treadmill that can fold at the press of a button? The LifeSpan TR2000e treadmill does just that for you.
As with any other LifeSpan Fitness treadmill, this machine guarantees high-quality, enriched features and an easy-to-use design.
Choose from 15 incline settings and a speed up to 11 mph while performing any of the 21 built-in programs available on the machine.
The running deck is perfect for running, jogging, or walking featuring eight impact-absorbing compression shocks to ensure a comfortable workout.
The 2.5 CHP motor guarantees superb power that assures the long-lasting performance of the TR2000e treadmill, whatever might be the type of exercise that you—be it sprint intervals or walking.
You can use this treadmill with the Activ Trac and Train and Train apps. However, there are various incline levels available; the heart rate monitoring program self-adjusts inclination levels to maintain your heart rate.
- Enfold Folding Technology helps you fold/unfold the machine with the click of a button, saving space
- Excellent motor quality that’s durable and strong
- Smart stop safety sensor that keeps kids and pets protected
- 15 incline levels
- Lifetime warranty on frame and warranty
- The maximum user weight is only 300 pounds
- No built-in fan
- The running deck is small
Nautilus, a brand well-known for manufacturing exercise equipment, has exceeded our expectations with the T614 treadmill.
The integration of goal tracking functionality with the DualTrack LCD console helps you achieve your fitness goals without fail.
This is an affordable piece of equipment with a maximum incline of up to 12% and max speed up to 12mph.
You get to choose from 22 different pre-programmed workouts, including manual, goal, train, weight control, heart health, interval, and custom workouts to help you achieve your goals.
Running, jogging, or walking, don’t bother to fret about it as the strike zone cushioning system from Nautilus is there to help you sail smoothly through your workout needs.
The 2.75 CHP motor supports the performance with its high responsiveness and reliability while working out.
Though the deck length is not great, as in the models above, the T614 comes with a decent deck length of 55 inches.
Track your performance and monitor your goals using the 5.5-inch blue backlit LCD console to stay motivated.
- Affordable price for an incline treadmill model
- 22 preset workout programs and up to 3 user profiles possible
- SoftDrop folding technology helps to easily fold the treadmill
- Goal Track capability
- StrikeZone cushioning system
- Secondary features, including fan and speakers, are of average quality
As the name suggests, the Life Fitness Platinum Club Series treadmill offers a luxurious treadmill experience in your home gym setup.
The company has taken care to come up with a sleep finish offering four different finishes and three different Bluetooth-compatible consoles.
Even the simplest console is integrated with high-tech features, including access to the Internet, TV, various apps, and workout courses.
You can perform interval training, long-duration runs and perform any of the 42 pre-programmed workouts on the treadmill supported by the 4.0 HP motor, which can go up to 8 HP at peak performance. Still, the machine functions quietly.
This equipment can be inclined up to 15% in 5% increments and 12 mph.
The frame and construction are admirable as you are provided with a heavy-duty frame made from welded steel. The frame is covered under a lifetime warranty, which speaks of its quality and durability.
People looking out for low-impact equipment can go for this Life Fitness treadmill as the Flex-Deck technology comes with eight shock absorbers that reduce joints’ impact.
- Siderails provided for safety
- Heart rate monitoring, wireless monitoring
- Secondary features such as a reading rack, accessory tray, and water bottle holders provided
- Customized frame and three console options provided
- Lifetime warranty on frame
- One of the most expensive incline treadmills
- Big in size but cannot be folded
- 10-inch step-up height is uncomfortable for some
This NordicTrack T 8.5 S treadmill is similar in quality and performance to commercial gym treadmills, with the primary difference being that it is not heavy nor as expensive.
The 3.5 CHP motor promises quiet functioning and smooth performance. The maximum incline levels possible in this treadmill are up to 12%, and the maximum speed possible is also from 0-12 mph, helping you experience challenging workouts.
This machine’s highlight is that it comes with a 1-year iFit membership, which helps you customize your workout programs with unlimited options.
Experience the studio gym set up in your home, getting to learn from professional trainers. The LiveInteractive Tech feature helps your trainers control your speed and incline options to reap fulfilling workout benefits.
The iFit integration helps you burn ample calories performing high-intensity workouts surfing through mountains or greeneries.
Stay cooling using the fan provided and monitor your metrics using the touch screen console that neatly displays data. Do your workout and store away the equipment using the easy lift assist technology that saves space.
- 5 CHP motor supports endurance, interval, and speed training
- One-touch control, up to 12% inclination possibility, and up to 12mph speed
- One year iFit membership provided
- Excellent impact cushioning
- 50 preset workout programs
- Deck size not as large as many other models
- Maximum weight up to 300 lbs only
Here is a lightweight, foldable, and well-designed treadmill with optimal inclination options.
Though lightweight, the treadmill is solidly built and provided with a 2.75 CHP motor that supports high endurance levels and longer durations.
The frame and construction of TR3000i are light yet strong, made from heavy-duty materials that guarantee performance and simplicity.
You can run, walk, or jog as per your wishes on the optimal running surface supported by eight compression shock absorbers that guarantee a low-impact workout protecting your knees and back from strain.
Thirty-eight preset programs are available that could go up to 14% inclination and use the 0-12 mph speed to offer you calorie-burning benefits and muscle strengthening.
Track your progress by using the full-color touchscreen console and stay cool using the three-speed fan provided. You could also listen to music using the built-in Bluetooth speakers.
When you are done with the workout, you can fold and store away the treadmill saving space.
- Optimal workout programs
- Good warranty
- Top speed up to 12 mph and maximum incline up to 14%
- Enfold Technology makes folding and unfolding the treadmill extremely easy
- Low-impact workout guaranteed with the help of 8 compression shock absorbers
- Belt size could be bigger
- Not optimal for very heavy runners
This is the first manual incline treadmill discussed. As mentioned previously, I recommend that you consider this model if you want something budget-friendly yet performance-oriented though you don’t get to enjoy built-in video training programs.
The treadmill can withstand up to a mammoth weight up to 440 lbs pounds, being constructed with high-grade steel and a heavy-duty frame.
You sweat and drip using this manual treadmill that guarantees higher calorie-burning capabilities.
The company has also ensured that you stay safe during your workout by providing a sweat and slip-resistant grip on your handlebars.
The deck can incline up to 14 degrees, and you can change your workout levels using the eight levels of adjustable magnetic tension.
The Sunny 7700 Asuna treadmill improves your cardiovascular and muscular fitness levels by withstanding any durations of exercise with the dual flywheel made of steel.
- The maximum user weight supported is 440 pounds
- Easy to store as the machine is foldable and transportation wheels provided help in easy movement of the machine
- A heavy-duty treadmill that guarantees durability
- Eight levels of resistance
- The minimum incline is 10 degrees
- You cannot adjust inclination levels simultaneously while using it
- No electronic display
Run or jog as much as you want on the Schwinn 830 treadmill as its soft-track cushioning system takes off the shock from each step of your while exercising.
The maximum inclination is up to 12%, and the speed goes as high as 12 mph.
The treadmill supports up to 22 different pre-programmed workouts, which can be neatly performed over the 20” x 55” running belt that operates quietly and smoothly.
You get a good grip while running or jogging as the handles are ergonomically placed to provide comfort while holding.
The 2.75 CHP motor and the 300 pounds of maximum user weight are optimal for a mid-range treadmill like the Schwinn 830 treadmill.
The control panel is simple, and you can monitor your performance using the important stats displayed.
Enjoy reading a book or watching videos placing your book or tablet in the media shelf provided.
- Mid-range treadmills with optimal features and good performance
- Inclination up to 12% and max speed up to 12 mph
- 22 preset programs
- Media shelf provided
- Multi-user functionality
- Handles are optimally positioned
- Control panel instructions could be clearer
- The treadmill is heavy, and it is recommended to assemble it using two people
Deciding to buy an incline treadmill is a good choice as you reap multiple advantages, including burning more calories and using multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
Also, walking on an incline is easier on joints. Look for models keeping key features in mind depending on your goals, and opt for additional features depending on your budget.
Modern treadmills combine fun with exercise without making you bored. So, pick the right treadmill and enjoy doing your exercise routine every day.
Is Incline on Treadmill Bad for Knees?
Exercising at an inclined level is not bad for the knees until you gradually increase inclination levels such that your muscles don’t experience shock suddenly.
Walking on an inclined treadmill is better than running on a plain surface as your body is not forced to absorb the shock of the impact.
What is a Good Incline to Walk on Treadmill?
Common sense tells us that steeper inclination levels guarantee a harder workout leading to higher calorie burn. But there is no single inclination level that’s better or best than others comparatively.
The benefits depend primarily on how fast you walk or how long you walk at a particular inclination level.
If you cannot exercise at higher incline levels, don’t panic, as you can always burn a similar number of calories by extending your duration of workout at a slower speed and a lesser incline position.
Generally, mixing up inclination levels guarantee maximized performance as most muscle groups are involved, and you get to experience varied workouts.
Is It Better to Walk Fast or on an Incline?
Your choice to walk fast or exercise on an incline purely depends on your goals as both provide optimal workouts. It is observed that walking fast is a great workout but walking on an incline makes maximum use of your leg muscles.
Does Incline Walking Build Butt Muscles?
Yes. This is mainly because you use your glutes (butt muscles) while walking, climbing up, or hiking on an incline position, thereby assuring the build-up of butt muscles.