The best home treadmills are amazing machines. You can get them with high top speeds and inclines, and even declines, as well as huge screens on the console to show guided workouts, scenic runs, or Netflix.
However, as a keen runner who has tested many great treadmills, I’ve yet to find one that captures the feeling of running outdoors. The new Wahoo Kickr Run is designed to change that. Wahoo’s first treadmill looks set to be one of the most innovative and its aim is to create a realistic outdoor running experience for indoor runners.
Central to this is the RunFree Mode, which allows you to change speed without touching a button or dial. The treadmill reacts to where you land on the belt, so striding out and landing further forward on the belt will see it speed up in a way that feels more natural. There are also “nudgeable” panels you can use to adjust speed quickly, if you prefer.
Another innovative feature on the Kickr Run treadmill is its ability to tilt laterally to create a more road-like feel. Presumably it won’t tilt so much that you’re thrown off to the side, but anything that can recreate the camber that seems to be on every sidewalk near me is going to feel more realistic, and it will change the angle of contact on your run so it’s slightly less repetitive when using the treadmill.
Wahoo also says the belt on the machine has a surface that mimics the energy return of outdoor running and it has a top speed of 4min 0sec/mile or 15mph. Most treadmills I’ve come across only go up to around 12mph, even expensive ones, so this extra capacity will be a plus for fast runners.
The treadmill has an integrated shelf to hold a laptop or tablet and connects directly to third-party apps like Zwift, and Wahoo’s SYSTM training platform. Apps can control the treadmill's speed and incline automatically to make running in virtual worlds or following workouts easier to do without having to fiddle with dials.
Wahoo’s indoor cycling products like the Kickr V6 smart trainer and Kickr V2 Bike are among the best available and the Kickr turbo is particularly popular, so it will be interesting to see if the Kickr Run can pull off the same trick with runners.
The Wahoo Kickr Run treadmill will launch in the US in summer 2024, with the price yet to be confirmed. It will be available globally in 2025.
An earlier version of this article included a typo, which gave the top speed as 25mph. The top speed is 15mph.
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.