iWalk Treadmill Review
Step by Step Review
The first, and usually worst part of acquiring new fitness equipment is getting your machine in the house and set up, ready to use. In order to handle the strains of exercise, quality fitness equipment is usually bulky, and heavy. Our heavy duty treadmill line, for example, weighing in at above 90kg per machine keeps our operations crew in shape as they install them around the city!
My back breathes a sigh of relief as I easily lift the machine on my own, there are plenty of places to take a comfortable, strong grip – a design feature which is lacking on most other equipment I have handled. So far this machine gets an A+ for portability, a feature that those with less space in their home may appreciate.
I get the treadmill upstairs on my own, plug in, and we prepare to power on.
Power On and Start Walking
User interface could not be simpler. Attach the safety key to your clothing (or hold it), power on, and start walking. The cost of the small form factor for this machine is a lack of the more complex training programmes found in more robust treadmills, such as set speed and incline intervals, however just speaking for myself I always prefer to just manually alter my settings on the go so this is not a feature i’m personally missing.
The buttons are at a comfortable height, making it easy to adjust your speed. The only buttons you will hit in use will be to take speed up or down, change what is displayed on the menu (you can choose between showing calories burned, distance travelled, time spent working out, or combinations of those options). I have a smart watch that tracks all that stuff, so I just left it on the speed menu.
The other feature is a set of in built speakers with an aux cord, but I didn’t even consider these worth trying as since it is the year 2021, we all probably have better options for our music listening than treadmill speakers!
How fast does the iWalk treadmill go?
It’s the question on everyone’s mind when they see these machines – sure it looks good, but how fast can you go on it?
Starting on a walk is easy. We recommend that on any treadmill model you are using, to always start the belt with your feet off to the side, then step on it once the belt is moving at a slow walk. This puts less stress on the motor so your machine will have a longer life.
The machine feels powerful. There is no trace of the belt slipping as I first step on it, as I was worried about because of the small size of this treadmill. A brisk walk of about 4km/hr felt very good on the iWalk.
I took it up to a reasonable jog of 7km/h before I decided not to push it further. Not because the motor couldn’t handle it, I got the sense that the motor was capable of pushing significantly faster than that, but because the running board is smaller than a full-size treadmill I found that I could not run with proper form without risking losing my balance. Safety always comes first! I felt comfortable at 7km/h sustaining but would not push it further.
As you can see in the picture, I can comfortably take a good walking stride and have my feet fully on the board.
Side note: I am a height of 5’11 so your results may vary
There is one final feature I will talk about that I think makes the iWalk treadmill a very, very clever design. There is a permanent incline of about 5 degrees, it is how the treadmill naturally falls, which is a great solution to having somewhat limited speed capabilities compared to a full size model. There is no hydraulic incline system as that would be far too bulky and compromise the design, so this is a very logical solution. I felt like my legs were working just a little bit harder than usual, in a good way.
If you didn’t want any incline, it looks easy enough to prop up the back of the board, but you’d have to come up with your own solution for that as none appears to be offered on the machine itself.
Who is the iWalk for? If you have limited space or just want something sleek and compact, this treadmill is a serious contender. I wouldn’t train for a marathon on it, however I found I was very comfortable going up to a light jog (around 7km/hr). The permanent incline left me feeling like I had worked just that little bit harder, which is something I liked. It was also a relief not to have the struggle of lifting a 90kg machine into the house!
Treadmill Hire Auckland’s founder, David, also hopped on and gave it his tick of approval. The light frame and gentle speed increments of this treadmill make the iWalk the ideal treadmill for older people looking for something to walk on.
This treadmill is not replacing our full size models any time soon as it is not designed for serious running, but if you something with fantastic form factor that is good for an easy to moderate intensity workout, then the iWalk might be for you.