Science & Technology



CNET: Best treadmills for 2021


Published in Science & Technology News

CNET TAKE: The NordicTrack Commercial 2950 got a redesign for 2021, and the attention to customer feedback shows. This version is equipped with a 4.25 continuous horsepower commercial motor and a 22-inch deck that sits on top of 2.5-inch precision nonflex rollers for frictionless movement, even at higher workout speeds. The RunnersFlex cushioning in the deck allows you to choose between a real road-feel or engaging dampers that soften impact on your joints and reduce the risk of injury.

Like the Bowflex, this treadmill has an ultra-large 22-inch touchscreen, but one thing that gives the NordicTrack an edge over the others is the live control offered through its iFit subscription. During live workouts, the treadmill will automatically adjust from a -3% decline to a 15% incline to simulate whatever you're following along with on the screen. The iFit membership is a (worthwhile) additional monthly cost, but if you purchase this machine directly from the site, you'll get a free monthly membership.

At a retail price of $2,800, the Nordic Track treadmill is one of the most expensive options on this list, so you'll have to figure out what's important to you — a more intense manual workout or interaction with trainers and extra smart features.


Best budget-friendly smart treadmill

ProForm Pro2000


CNET TAKE: Another option from ICON Health & Fitness — the parent company of NordicTrack — this treadmill is a more budget-friendly option that still gives you access to iFit integration, if that's what you're looking for. The Proform Pro has a 10-inch smart touchscreen embedded right into the console so you can follow along with trainers as you run while simultaneously tracking your calories, speed and heart rate.

At -3% decline to 12% incline, it has a narrower incline range than the NordicTrack and a slightly less powerful 3.25 continuous horsepower motor, but it's more than sufficient for most runners (or walkers). The 20-inch tread belt is equipped with ReBound Pro Cushioning, ProForm's patented shock-absorbing system that reduces impact and puts less stress on your feet, ankles, hips and knees.


The following CNET staff contributed to this story: CNET contributor Lindsay Boyers and Copy Editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit

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