Recommend a treadmill for me

I’m redoing my basement, and when I’m done it will be air conditioned and ventilated and better lit. And have room for a treadmill. I know nothing about treadmills.

My goal isn’t to run. I want to walk. Probably with a screen in front of me so i don’t get bored out of my mind. Possibly barefoot, although that’s not a requirement.

I played around with a few in the gym in the before times, and i really preferred the one that you power yourself. It felt more natural and it was easier to change my pace. But those seem to be very expensive, and I’m pretty sure the don’t come in a folding version. Something i can mostly tuck out of the way, sou can use the same space for square dancing, is my preference.

I’m not super cost-conscious right now. I’d much rather pay more for a nicer machine that i might use than buy something cheap that’s annoying.

What should i be looking for?

All the Christmas present treadmills that don’t get used and go on desperate sale starting in about March. New Year’s resolutions factor in there too.

Just wait a few months and watch CraigsList and FB Marketplace.

Here’s what Consumer Reports had to say about treadmills, for a start.

Well, that timing is about right for me, but I’m not on either CraigsList or FB Marketplace, and I’m not certain I want to deal with a stranger to buy one.

Well, you’ll need one big enough for a plane to take off, obviously.

I researched this in depth at the peak of the pandemic when all of the gyms closed. My choice ended up being the Sole F80.

I ran hundreds of miles on that treadmill until they finally reopened the YMCA. I’m quite happy with it.

Keep your animals safely elsewhere in the house when in use so they don’t get on the belt and either get stepped on, trip you, or get sucked under the belt. Learned this when I almost squashed one of my cats–he came out of it startled but well.

Thanks! That looks nice. What do you like about it?

I needed a treadmill that was between the flimsy cheap ones people sell at yard sales and the super expensive ones that they have at the gym.
I run 30 miles per week, so could not have something that wouldn’t stand up to a 215lb guy pounding away at it many hours per week. This treadmill was on the shortlist.

After a year and a half I did manage to burn out the motor controller, and my sweat managed to corrode the contacts of the safety key, but the company handled both issues as free warranty service, sending a guy out to replace the parts. This was more because I was using the thing as much as a gym treadmill when it was really only meant to be used as a home unit.

Their warranty support and service get an A+ from me.

I am 6’3", so there was a vertical height concern in my basement: some treadmills have a “step up height” of ten inches or more, and I knew I would hit my head on the beams if I tried one of those.

I don’t want foofy extras: no flashing lights, no subscriptions to custom workout services, nothing. This one was about as barebones as I could find.

I was hoping to find a solid treadmill, not a folding one, but it turned out that those are larger and heavier, so I had to strike a balance. I still had to have a group of burly guys from the lawn maintenance guy bring it down to the basement.
The “folding” bit actually turned out to be very helpful: it flips up when I want to move it somewhere else.

I put a large yoga-style mat meant for treadmills under it to smooth out the basement floor and to absorb some of the thumping. Without the “flip up” feature, the mat installation would have been a two-person effort.

I mounted a 48" Roku TV on the wall in front of it and hung two of the Roku remote speakers from the ceiling joists. During the pandemic I would watch a full episode of CSI every run, working my way through my collection.

One weird side effect of running three feet from a TV screen: when warmer weather came around and I could do outdoors running again, I was surprised to see the world bouncing, as if my eyeball-leveling-mechanism was going out of whack. This turned out to be the result of running for months in front of a TV. This effect disappeared after the first mile or so.

These days I do all of my running on the indoor track at the YMCA, but if some bozo schedules a meeting at work late in the afternoon, I’ll happily put Teams or Zoom on, don some headphones, and run to my heart’s content on the treadmill.

One more key feature I added: a heavy duty fan. The ones on treadmills produce wimpy puffs of air. I went for the " Air King 9312 Powder-Coated Steel Multi-Mount Wall Fan, Black" from Amazon. It’s a 12-inch fan with a more industrial build. I mounted it to a ceiling joist with a big fat lag bolt.
When I’m really hot in the summer, I put it on “high” and point it at me, and my run is made enjoyable.