Woodway Curve Treadmill Review

woodway curve headerThe Woodway Curve Treadmill has gained something of a cult following over the last few years so we thought it was about time we checked out this patented treadmill for ourselves. Featuring a curved design and running completely without electricity or a motor, our Woodway Curve Treadmill review is one of our most hotly anticipated reviews (for us as a team rather than our readers most likely) of 2020.

The Woodway Curve has been around since at least 2016 but USA based Woodway have been in operation for almost 50 years. They design, manufacture and supply a wide range of equipment, some of which is designed for home use and most of which is designed for commercial or even medical use. The Curve can be used as a home machine but is more commonly used in commercial settings as well as for elite training in a variety of sports as well as for rehabilitation such as GAIT training.

There is no getting away from the steep price of the Curve but those that have used it say that it is worth every penny. If it is being used in a commercial setting then it is worth considering maintenance and belt replacement costs of your existing equipment as the Curve can outlast pretty much any other treadmill with a huge 150,000 mile lifespan. That can make the upfront cost a little more palatable.

Woodway Curve Specifications

woodway treadmillThe Woodway Curve treadmill is likely very different to any treadmill you have seen or used before. It does not require any electricity to run so there is no need to plug it in – meaning it can be situated literally anywhere you want with no annoying trailing wires. It also does not have a running deck, instead the running track is made up of a slat belt system that has an unlimited top speed that is dictated by your own running speed and position on the belt.

The treadmill measures up at 170cm (l) x 84cm (w) x 169cm (h). The running track is well sized and measures up at 142cm (l) x 43cm (w). There is a larger model if you prefer a longer running track but in all honesty the XL model is not going to be needed for most people and anyone 6’3″ and under will have no issue with the running track length of the Curve.

The belt is made up of 60 individual slats that are driven by 12 roller guides and 112 precision ball bearings complete the track to provide a frictionless belt system. As there is no motor there is no maintenance to be concerned with on it and the only real maintenance you can expect is that the belt would need replacing every 150,000 miles. To put this in to perspective, most treadmills will last for around 7,000-10,000 miles which makes the Curve extremely economical to run – even more so when you consider there are no electrical running costs.

The running belt has a 3/8″ thickness and features a shock absorbing cushion which provides a comfortable but responsive run. The dynamics and ergonomics of the design are such that you should be able to enjoy a run as close to natural outdoor running as possible. We will discuss the running motion in our ‘in use’ section shortly.

The treadmill weighs in at 161kg which is pretty heavy for a treadmill. This is not designed to be constantly moved around and once in place it is incredibly stable and ideally built for a commercial or club setup. The maximum user weight is 362kg for walking (at a maximum of 4MPH) or 181kg for running. This makes it one of the most accessible treadmills and removes weight as a barrier to entry.

The Woodway Curve comes with a 10 year frame warranty, 3 year parts warranty and 1 year labour warranty and it can be used for home or commercial setups.

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Woodway Curve Treadmill In Testing

The whole concept behind the Woodway Curve is that it provides as natural a running experience as possible from an indoor machine. For this reason it is not just found in gyms and in top-end home setups but can even be found trackside for professional running clubs and as part of professional sports teams training facilities.

Using the Curve is pretty simple and it is just a case of jumping on and starting to run or walk. The belt is extremely responsive which is ideal for performing any kind of interval training as you can quickly change from one speed to another in just a few strides – something that is not really possible from a standard treadmill. To increase your speed you can run faster and/or position yourself further up (higher) on the belt. This heightened position causes the belt to to work with your force and gravity to provide a higher speed but your stride speed is still in control of it. To decrease your speed you can come back to the middle of the belt and slow your stride and within 2 or 3 strides you can go from sprinting to walking or even completely stopping.

The Curve feels unlike any other treadmill you will have used. Yes it is expensive but it is the creme de la creme of treadmills. There are some rival models but none of them get close to the feel, balance, speed and comfort afforded by the Woodway curved treadmill.

The grip underfoot is exceptional and the smoothness of the run is unparalleled with anything else we have ever tested. The Curve is very quiet when in use and the running track provides ample shock absorption and thus goes easy on the joints.

curve treadmill displayThere are options to upgrade the software to Curve 1.5 and Curve 3.0, both of which give you more analytical data that would be useful for trainers and medical professionals. However, we tested the standard software with the standard display which provides all the usual data you would expect to find on a normal treadmill. In terms of connectivity, the Woodway Curve is well stacked and provides heart rate support with the use of third party chest straps such as Polar heart rate straps.

The manual that comes supplied with the Curve explains about finding proper form when walking or running and this is the big difference between the Curve and a standard treadmill – the Curve actively encourages best form which involves running upright and with your stride hitting your centre of gravity on each step. It encourages you to run with your weight on the mid section of the foot or front foot and this is the ideal weight distribution for runners.

It is clear to see why the Woodway Curve is designed for use in rehabilitation and professional setups. The ability to have someone running as naturally as possible whilst the trainer stands beside them monitoring every step is a game changer when it comes to coaching and physiotherapy. It also has its place in commercial gym situations and the lack of maintenance and 150,000 mile lifespan will appeal to gym owners. The added benefit of not needing to be plugged in lends extra appeal and makes this treadmill ideal for fitting in small spaces or filling gaps on a gym floor.

For anyone considering buying the Woodway Curve for home use there is absolutely no reason why you couldn’t do this and it would certainly be a lifetime investment. Of course, the price will prevent most people from doing this but if you are looking to create a state of the art home gym then this would certainly take its place in it.

We tested the Curve for a period of 2 weeks and it was without a doubt the best treadmill we have ever used. It has so much versatility thanks to the user controlled speed and the fact you can go from a standing start to a sprint in seconds and vice versa is pretty incredible. The feel of the treadmill underfoot is unbelievable and the natural incline can be controlled by simply moving further up or down the treadmill.

PROS:
  • Lifespan of 150,000 miles
  • No electricity required means it can be installed anywhere
  • Quiet thanks to no motor
  • Heart rate monitor compatible
  • Excellent shock absorption
  • Excellent warranty

CONS:
  • Too expensive for most home setups
  • Not easy to move once set up

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Woodway Curve Verdict

The Woodway Curve Treadmill is beyond a doubt the best treadmill we have ever used. Every aspect of using it is ideally designed for the perfect walk or run and it allows you to push yourself further than a normal treadmill – especially if you are undertaking any sort of interval training.

Yes it is expensive, but this is a one time investment if you are using it personally and for commercial use it is extremely low maintenance and has a lifespan of 10 times more than most commercial treadmills.

It is a shame you don’t get more from the standard display unit on the entry level model but for those that need to you can upgrade the software if needed to get as much analytical data as you could possibly need.

To summarise – we love the Woodway Curve, we just don’t want to give it back!

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