What is an Orthopedic Tread Belt?

Some treadmill manufacturers promote their models with “orthopedic” (or “orthopaedic”) running belts. The idea is the thicker belt will provide further cushioning beyond that provided by the machine’s cushioning system. Treadmills’ cushioning systems are based on springs or shock absorbers. The orthopedic belt provides the same kind of foam-like cushioning that running shoes do. However, the thicker and heavier material of the orthopedic belt puts additional substantial strain on the treadmill’ motor. The same effect of the orthopedic belt can usually be achieved by simply adjusting the treadmill’s cushioning system to a higher level. This is more cost effective than replacing the motor or buying a treadmill with a bigger motor.

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