Top 10 Best Cushioned Treadmill [Review 2022]

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people running on the Best Cushioned Treadmills

One of the biggest benefits of treadmills is that come with a cushioned deck that is relaxing and spongy. You put a lot of tension on your joints, knees, and ankles while running on a street. Not good, as the impact of the ground moves throughout the body and is absorbed by your legs.

That’s why exercising or training with shock absorption on a treadmill will significantly decrease recurring stress on your bad knees resulting from impact. There will be different degrees of cushioning in the running surface area of the best-cushioned treadmills, with the front of the padded treadmills providing the maximum amount of shock absorption.

While there are several budget treadmill options, the more costly the treadmill, the greater the cushioning and usually more sophisticated the technology is on the deck. There are many cheap treadmills out there, but not a lot of soft treadmills which have excellent shock absorption and suspensions. It would be rare to find good cushioning on any treadmill under $300 or $500. That said, a few come with some cushioning that is sufficient enough for those without knee problems.

Presently, modern treadmills are the softest in history and have better cushioning compared to just 10 years ago. Innovation has come a long way to drive the cost down and also raise the standard of treadmills. For example, different cushioned treadmills of the same make could cost the same, but choosing the latest model would be the wisest choice.

Programmable workouts have become the norm on treadmills with a cushioned deck. The high-end units now are even compliant with iFit. Many of the best cushioned deck treadmills come with wheels and folding capability for easy storage.

If price is no issue, we recommended the 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill as the best cushioned treadmill on the market. However, don’t just take our word for it. Read below to find out why this is the best cushioned treadmill for running.

List of 10 Treadmills With Shock Absorption





  • Best Treadmill

  • Ortho Flex Shock suspension

  • Max Capcity: 400 lbs

  • Top Speed: 12 mph

  • HD Interactive Touchscreen

  • FlexSelect cushioning

  • Max Capcity: 300 lbs

  • Top Speed: 12 mph

  • Folding frame

  • Textured deck rails

  • Max Capcity: 220 lbs

  • Top Speed: 8.0 mph

  • Best budget

  • 8 pcs of shock cushions

  • Max Capcity: 220 lbs

  • Top Speed: 8.7 mph

  • Max Capcity: 300 lbs

  • Top Speed: 11 mph

  • Quickdraw technology

  • EasyLift Assist

  • Max Capcity: 350 lbs

  • Top Speed: 12 mph

  • iFit enabled

  • Max Capcity: 350 lbs

  • Top Speed: 12 mph

  • Zwift exercise app

  • Max Speed: 12 mph

  • Max Capacity: 400 lbs

  • Bluetooth & MP3

  • FlexCushioning

  • Max Capcity: 375 lbs

  • Top Speed: 12 mph

  • 0-15 percent incline

  • Max Capcity: 450 lbs

  • Top Speed: 12.5 mph

Best Cushioned Treadmill: Shock Absorbing Treadmill Reviews

The better shock absorption the treadmill has, the better cushioning, and the less strain you can place on the joints of your legs and feet.  Now that you know what makes the best treadmill cushioning system, let’s look at some of the best cushioned deck treadmills.

1. 3G Cardio Elite Runner

With high motor power and the most convenient running belt, the 3G Cardio Elite Runner is the best cushioned home treadmill. It will undoubtedly, though, leave an immense impact on your wallet.

3G Cardio Elite Runner

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electric
  • Maximum Horsepower: 4 Horsepower
  • Frame Material: Alloy steel
  • Speed Rating: 12 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 84 x 35.5 x 58 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 400 pounds
  • Deck Length: 62 inches

3G Cardio Elite Runner is equipped with robust built-in programs and numerous helpful pre-programmed courses. The unit also features fitness tests, 1-touch speed monitoring, smooth election settings up to 15%, a wireless heart rate strap, and the freedom to create several custom workouts. The anti-glare display is perfect for training at any time of the day while allowing people to enjoy their cushioned treadmill with peace. Another feature worth noting is their no-membership plan that discourages any additional fees for a separate app/program. You can enjoy uninterrupted music through its in-built speakers and cool down whenever needed with the unit’s multi-speed fan.

With the Highest cushioning it features the Ortho Flex suspension system which really makes it an elite shock absorbing treadmill. The belt has a 4-ply orthopedic construction that helps it to cope with limited wear and tear in the most demanding workout sessions. Such a high-quality belt also offers relief from upkeep. In addition, it is the largest, measuring 22 by 62 inches. So, for all the running and jogging you need to be doing, you get plenty of space. Waking on a 3G Cardio Elite Runner is characterized by some users as walking on a cloud.

It offers the smoothest and the quietest performance with 4.0 CHP (continuous horsepower) motor. This makes it easy to keep shock absorption treadmill at home and also encourages you to watch your favorite shows, movies, or enjoy other types of entertainment while working out quietly.

Having a super stable design, this treadmill has no vibration problems. It supports even people as heavy as 400 lbs.  The maker has kept it one piece that cannot be folded or put away to give it the durable frame.


  • Customizable and built-in programs;
  • Built-in fans;
  • Heart rate monitor;
  • Motor and frame lifetime warranty;
  • Softest treadmill with best shock absorption;
  • Softest and widest belt;
  • Weight capacity of 400 lbs;
  • Motorized incline with a range of 0 percent -15 percent;
  • Range of 0.5 to 12 MPH with 4.0 CHP motor;
  • 8 workout programs, each of which have several tiers and options;
  • Numerous facilities, including the sound system, media tray and accessory holders;


  • Expensive;
  • Cannot be folded;
  • Really heavy machine;

2. NordicTrack T Series Treadmill

Nordictrack’s entire T series is outstanding and the range deserves appreciation. In this series, there are 4 treadmills and they differ in price. It’s normally the screen that is bigger when you go up in the model. The price goes up too, but for very good reasons, they are well worth exploring and are successful. Once you hit number 7 in the series of best treadmills cushioned the shock absorption becomes better.

NordicTrack T Series Treadmill

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electricity
  • Maximum Horsepower: 2.5 Horsepower
  • Frame Material: Steel Alloy
  • Speed Rating: 12 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 78 x 35 x 59 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 300 pounds
  • Deck Length: 60 inches

This particular NordicTrack T Series Treadmill has an immersive 14-inch interactive HD touchscreen so users can track the workout progress and access workout media with ease.

This sufficiently cushioned treadmill has a 12% one-touch control for quick position changes, while its 12 MPH one-touch speed control is another feature worth mentioning. Moreover, the 20″ x 60″ deck offers plentiful space while running. The unit’s EasyLift Assist enables people to fold the treadmill within seconds for simple and convenient storage. People often search for machines that can hold a decent weight load, and this particular unit is ideal for such needs. The maximum weight recommendation is 300 pounds- suitable for people with a bigger physique.

Nordictrack is well known for its decks that are absorbent and easy to use, which is why we have featured them in this list of treadmills with best cushioning. FlexSelect is Nordictrack’s own technology. 

The features are excellent on Nordictrack treadmills, particularly with the engines. They are really good and the price appears to be fair. They’ve got a lot of treadmills for sale, but we think those we’ve featured are the best of the lot.


  • LCD color display with ifit;
  • Folding treadmill with EasyLift Assist;
  • 2.6 CHP motor;
  • Heart rate monitoring;
  • 20 built-in running programs;
  • Bottle holders;
  • Great warranty;


  • No cooling fans;
  • Max speed of 10 mph;

3. Sunny & Fitness ASUNA SpaceFlex Treadmill

ASUNA SpaceFlex 7750 from Sunny Health & Fitness is a light-capacity machine for walking and jogging. It features a folding frame, a 2.5 HP (1.25 CHP) motor, a 12-level motorized incline, and a sturdy deck that can accommodate up to 220 lbs for users. 8 preset programs and 3 custom programs are provided by the console. It offers great possibilities for portability and storage.

Sunny & Fitness ASUNA SpaceFlex Treadmill

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electricity
  • Maximum Horsepower: 2.5 horsepower
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Speed Rating: 8.0 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 57 x 28 x 48 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 220 pounds
  • Deck Length: 51 inches

Its sturdy construction and build-too-last handrails are perfect for any intense workout session. The additional textured deck rails allow a safer and well-friction surface to avoid injuries. Furthermore, its folding tablet bracket can effectively hold mobile devices so you can stay connected to the entertainment throughout your workout.

As mentioned earlier, the unit has dedicated user-friendly controls with easy-to-use Start/Stop buttons. You can either opt for their eight built-in workout programs or create three user-customizable programs anytime. If you have a space-starved workout area, consider purchasing this cushioned treadmill as it folds flat and moves without any fuss from one place to another.

It’s ideal for workouts of low to medium strength, speed walking, muscle toning, improvement of endurance, and weight loss. Compared to other models in this feature range, it’s not exactly an inexpensive machine, but it offers great quality for the price. This Folding Treadmill is recommended for home use for indoor workout.


  • Folding frame for horizontal or vertical storage;
  • Two sets of wheels for transport;
  • Rubberized flexible stabilizers & three shock absorption cells for cushioning;
  • Fairly limited footprint, excellent for use in apartments;
  • 12 degrees of automatic incline;
  • Range of speeds up to 8.0 MPH;
  • Enclosed pulse sensors;
  • 8 preset programs;
  • 3 customizable programs;
  • LED-based console with goal settings for time, distance, and calories;


  • No online connectivity;
  • No water bottle holder;

4. ADVENOR Motorized Treadmill

ADVENOR Motorized Treadmill is a foldable style walking, jogging and running machine with a 3 horsepower motor, three-level incline, 64 programs preset and more. This is our pick for the best cushioned treadmill on a budget.

ADVENOR Motorized Treadmill

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electricity
  • Maximum Horsepower: 3.0 horsepower
  • Frame Material: Alloy steel
  • Speed Rating: 8.7 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 63.78 x 27.17 x 51.97 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 220 pounds
  • Deck Length: 47.3 inches

Its quick-speed Start/Stop buttons and accurately sensitive pulse sensors are truly worth mentioning. One can conveniently adjust their speed with a single touch while the handrail pulse sensors actively track one’s heart rates during the session.

It appears just recently on and actually has a single 5-star review from a satisfied user. With the 3HP drive mechanism, the light commercial motor is both powerful and quiet and has built-in self-cooling.

The wide 5-inch LED-backlit monitor has HD resolution and outstanding contrast, making it easy to read.  8 different levels of intensity produce 64 choices or pre-set training plans.

To minimize the possible effect on the joints or knees, the running deck is 15 mm along with 8 sets of shock cushions on various areas of the deck. When you’re jogging or biking, the surface has an anti-slip texture for your protection.

With the soft drop device, you can fold and unfold this treadmill quickly and drive it on its transport wheels comfortably. It’s good to be able to fold this treadmill comfortably and quickly until you’re done, because it won’t be left in the center of your bedroom when you’ve got visitors over, etc. With a 12 month warranty for parts and strong customer service via phone and email, the treadmill is solid.


  • Foldable design & transport wheels;
  • Light-commercial motor;
  • Constant and long-lasting speeds of 0.6 – 9 MPH without noise;
  • 3-stage manual incline;
  • The 5-inch big back-lit display records data in real time;
  • 64 Preset programs;
  • Anti-shock system-8 pcs of shock cushions placed in various places under the deck efficiently reduce the damage incurred to the knees;


  • Speed is displayed in kph not mph;

5. LifeSpan TR2000i Fitness Folding Treadmill

With a spacious belt surface for easy walking, jogging, or biking, this value-packed treadmill has 8 compression shock absorbers to shield the knees, back and joints from impact. The groundbreaking Quick Draw technology makes your fitness training a breeze.

LifeSpan TR2000i Fitness Folding Treadmill

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electric
  • Maximum Horsepower: 2.5 horsepower
  • Frame Material: Alloy steel
  • Speed Rating: 11 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 70.7 x 32.9 x 55.7 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 300 pounds
  • Deck Length: 56 inches

Users have the freedom to rotate through various dashboard themes for their workout view. This cushioned treadmill features a vibrant, full-color 7″ display with the addition of Quickdraw technology for customized incline and speed. This TR2000iT folding treadmill comes with a whopping 21 easy-to-use built-in workout programs designed by professionals to expedite the fat-burning process.

This LifeSpan features all-metal parts, a 2.5 HP continuous-duty engine, and a large 20 ” x 56 ” running surface, like any heavy-duty treadmill you’d encounter at the gym.

The LifeSpan uses proprietary EZFold software, fitted with a hydraulic shock mechanism, to assist in folding and unfolding in a simple. If you are suffering from certain mobility impairments, the hydraulic system is highly recommended. With four nylon wheels positioned at the rear and front, you can roll it to the desired position until the treadmill is folded. In an apartment where you are trying to conserve space this is your device.


  • Simple and effortless folding;
  • Loaded with more than 20 pre-set training programs;
  • Intuitive, vivid 7′′ full-color touchscreen monitor;
  • Weight capacity of 300 lbs;
  • Speeds up to 11 mph;
  • IntelliStep feature;
  • QuickSet buttons;
  • Quick assembly with ease;
  • IntelliGuard safety feature;
  • Frame and motor warranty;


  • Too bulky for some;
  • Central console doesn’t fold down completely;

6. NordicTrack Commercial Series Cushioned

If you want to jump straight to the best treadmill not only in terms of cushioning but also in terms of other functionality and efficiency, then we would highly recommend NordicTrack Commercial 1750.

NordicTrack Commercial Series Cushioned

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electricity
  • Maximum Horsepower: 3.75 horsepower
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Speed Rating: 12 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 78.8 x 39 x 63 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 350 pounds
  • Deck Length: 60 inches

In addition to its robust features, the model’s EasyLift Assist will fold the treadmill at your convenience. Its 22″ x 60″ tread belt offers ideal leg and elbow space during intense workouts. A solid maximum weight limit of 350 pounds is perfect for people on a heavier side. The build is unbelievably sturdy, thus enabling people to enjoy their workouts without stress. The Runners Flex cushioning is truly a blessing as it gives comfortable soft shock absorption for all types of running and walking speeds.

Commercial 1750 features FlexSelect, a luxury cushioning produced by the company itself. It decreases the effect by up to 30%. They have built it ideally to suit the specifications the best they can. Commercial 1750 is part of NordicTrack’s T-series, making the cushioning of all other components of the series even superb. However, each new model may decrease their affordability.

For quiet and smooth output, the motor reads 3.75 CHP, indicating ample power. With this engine, the top speed you can enjoy is 12 mph. NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is also among the luxury ones, giving an incline of 15 percent and a decrease of -3 percent. You will experience the best outdoor simulation with this system, whether from flat land, uphill, or downhill.


  • Foldable Design;
  • A big 10″ touch screen;
  • AutoBreeze fans;
  • Bluetooth connectivity;
  • Heart rate monitor;
  • Tablet holder;
  • Frame and motor warranty;
  • Efficient and versatile cushioning;
  • Incline and decline;
  • Free iFit 1-year subscription;


  • Difficult to put together;

7. ProForm 905-CST Treadmill

ProForm 905 CST comes with a large running surface, a powerful motor, and a lot of pre-programmed workouts from which to select. It is also fitted with one of the best treadmill cushioning system in the industry. 

ProForm 905-CST Treadmill

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electric
  • Maximum Horsepower: 3.0 horsepower
  • Frame Material: Carbon steel
  • Speed Rating: 12 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 61 x 36.5 x 78.75 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 350 pounds
  • Deck Length: 60 inches

The treadmill’s 5″ backlit display provides sufficient space to track, record, monitor, and compare your track distance, estimated calorie burn, speed, heart rate, and more. Since the unit is iFit enabled, you can enjoy your workout programs with ultra ease. The 0-12 MPH quick speed controls and 0-12% quick incline settings take up minutes to reach your desired speed and incline settings. Fitness enthusiasts can now run in ultra-comfort with their 60-inch deck for more giant strides, while its 20-inch width gives sufficient upper-body elbowroom.

A heavy-duty, motorized treadmill, the 905 CST features a 3.0 CHP drive motor, 12 automatic incline speeds and 30 console programs. It has Bluetooth Smart and iFit enabled, so you can stream your work out details online directly. It has a folding design as well.  It’s not the most affordable running machine, but the price/quality ratio is excellent.

ProForm 905 is a favored machine for daily practice for many runners or athletes from the list of best cushion treadmill. The size of the treadmill is compact, built of high-quality materials; the finish is good, and the features are very impressive which make this the best proform cushioned treadmill.


  • Robust frame;
  • Weight capacity up to 325 lbs;
  • Space-saving design;
  • Front-base transport wheels;
  • If-it and Bluetooth support;
  • The handlebar-integrated EGK pulse sensors;
  • Proshox cushioning;
  • Motorized incline with a range of 0 to 12 percent;
  • A 3.0 CHP engine with speeds up to 12 MPH;
  • 30 programs to work out;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Warranty on the motor;


  • iFit membership not included;
  • No user profile settings;
  • Locked until you activated the treadmill online;

8.  Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill

For its price, the Bowflex BXT216 treadmill has good specifications, but in its price range it does not quite equal the other machines in this treadmill reviews of best cushioning. If you didn’t realize that the BXT216 is the best cushioned home treadmill, you might believe it’s a light commercial model based on the performance specifications. The 4.0 CHP motor and the suspension of the Comfort Tech deck are high-end. There is a three-ply track and 2.75′′ rollers in the belt system, which is remarkable for a home treadmill.

Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electricity
  • Maximum Horsepower: 4.0 horsepower
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Speed Rating: 12 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 84 x 36 x 55 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 400 pounds
  • Deck Length: 60 inches

Users can genuinely walk, jog or run their way to incredible results with this model. The unit sufficiently withstands the most intense workouts while driving motivation, connectivity, and technology to reach your goals.

With the Zwift exercise app, an interactive 9-inch color screen is your gateway to 11 built-in workouts and particularly immersive cardio training. The order also includes a chest strap for wearable heart rate monitoring and an 8-week free package for video workouts from Dailyburn. All in all, for an under $2000 treadmill, the new BXT216 beats our hopes.

Note: This Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill is now discontinued. However, we would like to suggest the Bowflex T10 Treadmill with more additional features, better design, quality, and cushioning.


  • Power incline;
  • 3-ply treadmill belt that does not need care;
  • 4.0 CHP motor with top speed of 12 mph;
  • 9′′ full-color screen;
  • The console displays the calorie burn per minute;
  • Supports 4 user accounts;
  • Built-in workout apps;
  • Allows you to customize workouts in real time;
  • Wireless heart rate strap;
  • Weight capacity of 400 lbs;


  • Not so space saving;

9. Sole F80 Treadmill

For several years, Sole has been trapped with the same range of treadmills. They periodically updated features as new technology allows. This is non-folding and, for some, a bit expensive. The deck is large and wide, but Sole was the first to be replicated by several treadmill manufacturers. The special cushioning decreases joint strain and impact complications by 40 percent, Sole says.

Sole F80 Treadmill

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electricity
  • Maximum Horsepower: 3.0 horsepower
  • Frame Material: Alloy steel
  • Speed Rating: 12 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 82 x 36 x 16.5 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 375 pounds
  • Deck Length: 82 inches

This Sole F80 Treadmill is manufactured with a vibrant, clear, and huge 7.5-inch LCD with integrated audio cable and speakers. Each unit has six standard workout programs, two custom workout settings, and a unique 2-hour controlled workout program for better results and customization.

As the name implies, this treadmill can be folded in way to keep it off track if it is not in use and this makes it a great option if you have limited space to work with. It has a wide range of speeds to pick from, all the way up to 12 mph, starting at 0.5 mph. The treadmill shock absorber makes the Sole Fitness F80 a total delight to use.


  • Quiet 3.5 CHP commercial motor;
  • EasyLift Assist Technology;
  • 8 integrated running programs;
  • Bluetooth & MP3;
  • Bottle holders;
  • Whisper quiet deck with FlexCushioning;
  • Fans of cooling;
  • Great warranty;


  • Side rails are shorter;
  • Difficult assembly;

10. Woodway Desmo S Treadmill

One of the most revolutionary, convenient and long lasting heavy treadmills on the market is the Woodway Desmo-S treadmill. Thanks to all the features, it is known to be the best designed and most expensive treadmills. Woodway is renowned for its smooth, durable belt design. The manufacturers of Woodway are developing a frictionless conveyor belt style running surface.

Woodway Desmo S Treadmill

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Corded electric
  • Maximum Horsepower: 5.0 horsepower
  • Frame Material: Alloy steel, rubber
  • Speed Rating: 12.5 MPH
  • Item Dimensions: 77 x 38 x 63 inches
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 450 pounds
  • Deck Length: 63 inches

Apart from its unique shape and aesthetic appeal, the unit is unbelievably rich in features. Its patented Slat Belt Transportation System can easily hold up to 450 pounds of maximum weight, while its 22″ X 63″ running surface provides ample space for running and jogging with significant strides.

Its widescreen allows people to readout time, speed, incline, calories, pace, distance traveled at the fingertips. Lastly, the toothed wire-reinforced lateral rollers and belts provide zero slip and stretch for a safe and comfortable workout.

Each Woodway treadmill is committed to offering all fitness levels with the most convenient and long-lasting solutions. Woodway Desmo S is mainly recommended for competitive racers and athletes, because of its strong, muscular and tank-like toughness, in order to constantly training their bodies for contest and stamina.


  • Zero slip side belts and rollers;
  • 116 precision ball bearings;
  • 60 individual slats with a vulcanized rubber surface;
  • The 2 CHP servo drive motor with top speed of 12.5 mph;
  • 0-15 percent incline;
  • 12 programs built-in;
  • LCD display;
  • Optional TV screens of 13″ and 15″.
  • Capability for Fast Launch;
  • 0-5 mph reverse optional;


  • Expensive and heavy;

How Are Cushioned Treadmills Better?

Irrespective of the intensity of the workout, all fitness enthusiasts should pay close attention to their knees while working out on treadmills. Even treadmills with a soft walk track can cause minor injuries during intense workouts. These treadmills might look harmless, but using a treadmill without a cushioning feature can severely harm the joints and knees of your body.

Thus, manufacturers focus on introducing cushioning treadmills with mighty shock absorption power, maximum suspension capabilities, and greater comfort to keep the sensitive joints away from potential injuries. These cushioned surfaces of any treadmill are better than non-cushioned treadmills as they allow the users to run at quicker speed, burn calories, and improve their posture while keeping the joints, lower back, and knees safe.

Such cushioned treadmill models are comparatively more manageable and comfortable to walk/run-on than standard non-cushioned ones. The cushioning ratio highly varies from one manufacturer to another. While a few units have a basic level of cushioning, many newer models are clad with more effective cushioning.

People suffering from knee arthritis should focus on such heavy cushioned treadmills as these models highly reduce the risk of any injuries while working out. The machine cleverly minimizes the pressure sent to the knees and joints, thus helping the users experience a healthy and safe workout experience.

Every model has different cushioned impact zones that work for specific workout needs. For instance, a heavily cushioned impact zone at the front provides unmatched shock absorption when users put their foot down. Similarly, the middle of the deck, which has good cushioning, helps to provide overall comfort and stability as one moves through their stride.

Lastly, the back of the deck with a firm cushioned push-off zone enables the user to gain maximum momentum into their next stride. The more your workout treadmill has these zones, the better support and ease your legs feel while working out. Thus, we highly recommend opting for a cushioned treadmill that allows you to tailor your individual workout needs. These cushioned workout treadmills are equally beneficial for beginners and seasoned workout enthusiasts alike.

Are Cushioned Treadmills Worth The Money?

If you wish to complete your workout sessions without any potential injuries, investing in a cushioned treadmill is undoubtedly the way to go. The belts of such treadmills are extraordinarily forgiving compared to asphalt surfaces. These belts tend to reduce impact stress on the user’s knees, joints, ankles, and even lower back.

You might want to consider using a cushioned treadmill to recover from any past injury as these are more soft and safe. People with injuries have difficulty finding the right balance and support during their walks/runs, but cushioned treadmills make the entire workout regimen effortless.

While we agree that too much cushioning can be detrimental, it is undoubtedly safer and better than running on harsh grounds and surfaces. Even individuals who have weak bones can take full advantage of intense workout sessions without causing any damage to their bodies and alleviating the stress felt during a session.

However, seasoned workout enthusiasts and athletes willing to make the workout more intense must avoid cushioned treadmills and prefer using more rigid surface treadmills for an additional challenge. In contrast, if you fall under the category of a new runner or someone recovering from any past injuries, then cushioned treadmills are worth every penny.

How Does Cushioning Work?

Before jumping into understanding the specifics and technicality of cushioning, we would like to introduce you to 3 types of cushioning zones necessary for any high-quality cushioned treadmill. Each treadmill’s cushioning zones highly depend on the manufactured model and style. However, the most common cushioning type includes:

Front cushioning

This front deck is considered the most powerful impact zone, so manufacturers pay great attention to the build of this part. The unit typically has soft rubber for extreme cushioning and optimal impact absorption. It is safe to assume that meager front cushioning can put one at the risk of unwanted sprains.

Middle cushioning

The middle is the transition area that keeps the user’s feet comfortable and stable for the most part. This transition area is often decked with a moderate level of cushioning for optimal performance and comfort. This cushioning ensures the user doesn’t encounter any walking difficulty irrespective of the speed and intensity of their workout.

Rear cushioning

The rear end is the push-off zone that requires stiff rubber cushioning. Manufacturers always use stiff rubber to create stable padding for maximum momentum for the next stride. This rear cushioning is significant in keeping the speed at maximum while discouraging any fatigue throughout the workout.

Every cushioned treadmill has a track deck with a multi-ply belt that runs over a solid wood deck. This deck is then clad with a steel frame with elastomer rubber grommets. Various cushioning parts in this deck area often make a standard treadmill into a cushioned treadmill.

Each treadmill has a different cushioning system ranging from one cushioning zone to multiple. The variable cushioning models with three sections (mentioned above) are top-rated for optimal comfort. These three sessions work in unison to help the users experience their workouts swaddled with ease.

Additional Ways To Improve Cushioning

While buying a well-cushioned treadmill is the most straightforward way to have a comfortable workout session, users can top-up their comfort and keep their knees and lower back even safer with a few additional methods.

Cushioned running shoes

A good-quality cushioned running shoe adds an extra layer of cushioning between you and your treadmill. These shoes are ideal, especially if you are a beginner or have any prior injury. Such shoes offer a strong shock absorption usually built into the shoe’s sole.

The different high-lows and ridges in such shoes give enough suspension to keep the feet injury-free. While the market is flooded with running shoes, we recommend opting for pure cushions for optimal comfort and stability throughout your workout.


Any highly cushioned treadmill can cause injury if you do not develop the correct walking / running technique and posture. Carefully selecting and practicing a good walking or jogging method with accurate leg work can undoubtedly make your workout more comfortable.

We recommend running or walking as naturally as possible without any pressure on one side. In addition, avoid extending your strides. Moreover, follow this rule of landing on your heel while walking and landing on your midfoot while running.

If your cushioned treadmill has a declining function, stay miles apart from it as walking or running downhill puts enormous stress on your joints. However, we recommend practicing with incline settings as it highly engages the entire body while strengthening your core.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to Know if Your Treadmill Has a Shock-absorbent Cushioning?

So how do you know there’s ample cushioning for your treadmill? Well, to ensure that we have a detailed guide that points to the key areas that characterize your device’s cushioning. 


Few treadmills have elevated ridges, which are designed to distribute the impact of running along a wide surface on the belt so that it does not in any way damage the joints. If the treadmill you’re speaking about is flat on the side of the belt, so it’s not properly cushioned.

Belt Material

Belts are made of different fabrics, ranging from rough to soft. Strong ones provide the best outdoor simulation, but softer ones are much more stable and comfortable for joints. Some fabrics are shock-absorbent in particular, but they wear off faster than others.

A significant attribute to remember is the layer of the belt. Cheap treadmills also have a 1-ply belt, but they are easily thin for the system and easy to carry. As the 3-4 ply belts are more robust and effective, it is therefore advised to go with them. Plus, they need less maintenance.

Adjustable Cushioning

Adjustable cushioning is provided by some well-known and generous suppliers, including NordicTrack. On these treadmills, the settings allow you to turn them on or off as necessary. This feature lets you enjoy a complete outdoor track on your treadmill or make it a super comfortable, stable running surface.

Treadmill Shock Absorption

Treadmills have proper shock absorbers that are present under the deck area where the belt rests. They are super powerful at reducing the impact of workout on the body. Springs are used by some companies, while others use latex absorbers. On some models, you can find air shocks as well. Spring transfers the absorbed pressure back to your body, experts normally use air shock absorbers.

While shock absorption treadmills are substantial and convenient, they require more maintenance than others. After every 150 miles, some manufacturers suggest that the shocks be serviced.

Some systems do not provide absolute absorption of shock. At some points on the belt, they deploy shock absorbers. The take-off and landing spots are normally these positions. Some also have three cushioning spots, covering the front, center and back of the belt. Some models just soften the area where the foot falls.

Which Is The Best Shock Absorption on Treadmill?

The best treadmill brands offer multiple options for treadmill shock absorption. It is important to find a machine with the right cushioning level to suit your running style. Quality shock absorption can help protect the joints and prevent long-term discomfort.

Suspension System

NordicTrack and ProForm have been built by Icon Fitness, the same parent group. Its shock absorption functions like a suspension system with external springs and an inner elastometer in your vehicle. The deck coils every step and then drives you back onto the next step.

Elastomer Shock Absorber

Many models use elastomer shock absorption with rubber grommets mounted below the running surface. These marshmallow-looking grommets can vary in size along the treadmill range.

You might prefer Sole Treadmills if you prefer a stiffer running surface using this technology. Our experiments indicate that these machines are pleasant and quiet. They are suitable for road runners who have a break from the pavement.

Bowflex is still new to the industry of treadmills, but with their Comfort Tech Cushioning, it bursts into the league. These machines are designed to have a low impact and to absorb the footprint on a surface 25% softer on the front.

Shock Absorber to Avoid

Cheaper treadmills are going to have outside angle boards. This makes the foot subtly curl at every footfall. Stop this sort of deck as it can cause injury over time. Many cheaper brands are still skimping on overall cushioning. The machines are so lightweight that the whole frame shakes when you’re running. The intensity of your footfalls is not adequately absorbed. We still urge you to stay away from these cheap machines. You will do more damage than good to the body.

What Are Some Best Brand Treadmills for Home Use?

Some of the best treadmill brands are Nautilus, NordicTrack, Proform Pro, horizon, Sole fitness, Sunny Health & Fitness, Bowflex. All of these all well known in the market.

Do Treadmills Have Shock Absorbers?

Yes, almost all of the treadmills do.

What Are Some Ways to Make Treadmill Shock Absorbing?

There are two different ways to transform a very shock-absorbent treadmill in case it is not. You will use either the treadmill shock absorber pads or the treadmill shock absorpting mat. You can position them on a carpet or floor under your system.

They cannot withstand the shock entirely, but reduce the impact of the otherwise challenging surface. Also you can use some of the best cushioned shoes for treadmill. We recommend Brooks Adrenaline Gts 21 Running Shoes.

Which Treadmill Have the Best Cushioning?

Home treadmills that cost anywhere between $1000 to $2000 have an extremely comfortable and safe cushioning feature. Treadmills that offer excellent differential cushioning are ideal for an impactful and safer running experience. Some treadmills even have adjustable cushioning, enabling the runners to customize the cushioning setting and intensity according to their needs.

Keeping all these cushioning factors in mind, we recommend the 3G Cardio Elite Runner with an impressively soft track with unmatched shock absorption. The brand also uses variable cushioning down the length of the deck, so users have good support near the front where their foot lands on impact while having a nice boost to take off at the back.

Similarly, if you’re alternating between road race training and fitness workouts, then consider opting for NordicTrack, as they have some of the industry’s best treadmill series focusing on joints. The FlexSelect- Nordictrack’s patent technology is the most effective and reliable on the market. Fitness enthusiasts can also go for their 1750 Commercial Series with more robust workout options if money is no object. ADVENOR Motorized Treadmill, on the other hand, is perfect if you wish to purchase a budget-friendly unit.

Lastly, we would like to honestly mention that any cushioned models from Nautilus, Sunny Health & Fitness, Sole Fitness, NordicTrack, Proform Pro, Bowflex, and Horizon are highly reliable and worth considering.

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