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Belt vs. Slat Treadmill: What’s the Difference?

Belt vs. Slat Treadmill: What’s the Difference?

July 10, 2023


Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise. It offers many health and wellness benefits, from weight management to joint strengthening. Due to running’s popularity and appeal, treadmills are essential gym equipment for any workout facility.

Treadmills give people the opportunity to run indoors and enhance their workout experience with data tracking, inclination options, and speed variations. Equip the best treadmill for your establishment, and improve your clients’ running experience by discovering the differences between belt and slat treadmills.

Deck Design

Belt treadmills are traditional, consisting of a solid piece of rubber that wraps and moves around rollers connected to the machine’s drive motor. Slatted treadmills offer a different type of running surface. Instead of a continuous rubber belt, slatted treadmills use multiple thick rubber slat panels. The different treadmill deck designs operate similarly but provide varying user experiences.

Maintenance Requirements

Because treadmills are so popular, they endure a lot of strain from the constant collision on the running mat and frequent use. With high wear and tear risks, treadmills need to be durable and well-maintained to stay in top shape.

Traditional belt treadmills require regular lubrication as part of their maintenance routine. This is essential to preventing friction between the belt and rollers, minimizing wear and tear, and ensuring the belt rotates easily. Belt treadmills also need periodical dusting because debris and dust can collect underneath the surface of the belt.

Slat treadmills, on the other hand, require minimal maintenance because the slat design is engineered in a way that doesn’t cause friction. The design also simplifies motor repairs and replacements, as you don’t have to remove the entire deck, just single slats.

Impact Intensity

Traditional belts remain flat with high tension. The less tension you apply to a belt, the looser it becomes and the less effective the treadmill. Typically, when you use a traditional treadmill, you apply more pressure on your joints and feet, as every step on the deck is high impact. TRUE’s built-in belt Soft System® consists of a flexible deck, a shock-absorbing material, and a cushioned running surface. Together, these components absorb the impact of each footfall, reducing the stress on the user’s joints and minimizing the risk of injury.

On the other hand, a slatted deck, like TRUE’s Stryker Slat Treadmill, gives room for slight curves and bends due to the gaps between each panel, changing the surface area and force that collides with your feet. The individual shock-absorbing slats on the Stryker Slat Treadmill generate less impact collision and provide a running surface closer to the natural feel of outdoor running.

All of the TRUE fitness commercial treadmills—slatted and belted—include shock-absorption decks, minimizing strain on the joints and reducing the intensity of collision impact. TRUE treadmills also feature durable designs that keep maintenance requests to a minimum, even for traditional belt treadmills. The major difference between belt and slat treadmills is the machine’s structural deck design. All of our treadmills feature shock absorption properties, durable engineering, and user-friendly interfaces. Upgrade your clients’ running experiences with slat and belt treadmills from TRUE.