Almost one third of all treadmills come with orthopedic belts. However most consumers of the treadmills don't consider this option as necessary while pruchasing their training machines.
Advantages of the orthopedic belts
The orthopedic belts are beneficial for protecting the joints of connective tissues of hip joints, ankles and knees. For example, NordicTrack treadmills contain DuraSoft Cushioning belts which claim to reduce impact on joints by 19-33% as compared to road running. The Nordi Track manufacturers also offer their customers a belt with a 5 position adjustable cushioning.
Such treadmill manufacturers as the Smooth 9.17 and BodyGuard treadmills also have treadmills with orthopedic belts due to the popularity among many with shin splints and heel spurs. In most cases people for whom the treadmill is the main source of exercise can occasionally have these aliments.
Some models of Proform treamills include a Quiet tread belt and a ProShox Impact Reducing Deckwhich is aimed at reducing joint impact by 28% compared to road running.
Drawbacks of the orthopedic belts
Service technicians don't recommend to buy treadmills with orthopedic belts because they wear out the motor faster as compared to regular treamill belts. The main reson to this is that orthopedic belts are thicker than ordinary belts and because of this they cause exessive heat on the belt and wear on the bearings within the rollers.
The heat which is caused by the thickness of the belt leads to that the motor and all other parts are working harder which results in that the motor wears out much quicker than normal.
There is no need to buy treadmills with orthopedic belts unless you have a major physical condition that any extra cushioning will be a benefit. In addition exercise machines with orthopedic belts require more maintenance. Give the preference to treadmills with orthopedic belts which contain rollers that are at least 2.4 inches in diameter to insure that the belt and motor will have as much room as possible.