I bought a $700 horizon treadmill last summer and have been happy with it for incline walking and jogging intervals 4 or 5 times a week. When gyms were open I used the elliptical so I can't directly compare to a gym model, but from what I read the budget treadmills are much better to use than the budget ellipticals. I was nervous the speed wouldn't adjust fast enough compared to more expensive models and it would feel clunky, but I don't even think of it when I'm using it, it feels really natural and responsive.
I would get something with a warranty. I did a little research in January when we were debating getting a new one or repairing our current one. I had settled on the Sole F80 if we were going to go with new. We did end up repairing our current one, which is over 10 years old. The control board needed to be replaced. All in we spent about $500 fixing it.
I have a Sole F80. It's fine, i'm happy with it, don't regret it. But it is NOT the same as a commercial machine. If I had a choice, I'd go to the gym for it. But alas, pandemic.
What is it that you don’t love about the sole? I’m not 100% sold on it but it looks like it has the best warranty
I’m upgrading from a treadmill that is literally over 30 years old, has no working incline, and can’t go past 3.9 without the belt skipping.
So yes I want a treadmill that I love. But I’m also apparently willing to put up with a lot of flaws!
It doesn't adjust speeds very fast; which for me (i'm a slow poke runner) is NBD, but might annoy a more committed runner. That's the "con" i saw in most of the reviews I read on it. The belt isn't as smooth as a commercial machine, but I think that's likely to be the case with any non-commercial machine.
All that to say, I've had my Sole for 5 years and I've never had a problem with it mechanically.