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Our Running Guru
Amanda Brooks
Amanda Brooks
Running Guru

NordicTrack T 8.5 S Review

Amy Tokic | Last Updated - Nov 26, 2021
Editor's Rating: 9.1 /10
Best Buy Award(s):Under $1500

Of the four models in the current NordicTrack T Series treadmills, the T 8.5 S is an easy favorite. Though only $300 more than the smaller T 7.5 S, it uses a higher spec motor, and has a 3-inch larger HD touchscreen.

Alongside these benefits, the T 8.5 S is loaded with the same features we see across the model range, including its adjustable FlexSelect deck that allows runners to alternate between a more cushioned running surface that reduces joint impact, and a firmer one that more closely replicates real-world running conditions. It also comes with a year’s subscription to iFit, opening up access to thousands of streaming on-demand workouts (with new live classes added daily).

If you’re looking to save space in your home gym, the T 8.5 S (as well as the test of the T Series) is a foldable treadmill. When packed away, it occupies a modest 35.5″ x 39.6″, cutting its overall operating length in half.

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What We Like:

  • Great motor system. This treadmill comes with a 3.5 continuous-duty horsepower Commercial motor so it should be able to keep up to anything you dish out.
  • Offers a 12% incline rating, which can help users take their workout up a notch and burn more calories, boost cardiovascular fitness, increase strength, and help you save your joints from impact
  • Offers 50 different on board programs that you can use at any point in time. These come built into the treadmill, so there is no worries about having to pay for a monthly membership to use them like you have to with the iFit application
  • Has a FlexSelectTM cushioning system, which is an ideal option for those who are hoping to maximize their performance when running outdoors. This system lets you choose just how cushioned your run is, so if you want the run to feel more like it would if you were outdoors, just choose no cushioning and that’s what you’ll get.
  • Is foldable so is great for those who need to save space.
  • Offers one touch controls so you can quickly adjust the speed and incline of your workout without having to shift your balance and interrupt your rhythm for your workout sessions

NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill - Key Specs:

Star Rating:4.55-stars
Motor:3.5 HP
Incline:0-12%
Running Area:20” x 60”
Folding:Yes
Top Speed:12 MPH
Weight Capacity:300 LBS
Dimensions:78.9" L x 35.5" W x 59.4" H
Built-In Programs:50
What We Don’t Like:

  • This treadmill only offers a 300 lb. maximum weight rating. This may mean that if you are a heavier individual trying to walk on max incline or run at top speeds, you may not find the treadmill as sturdy as it could be.
  • With recent changes at NordicTrack, warranties across the board have been shortened to 10 years on frames, 2 years on parts and electronics, and 1 year on labor. Unfortunately this just doesn’t keep up with their competitors, and is a bit of a disappointment.
  • The deck size isn’t as large as some of the top end models on the market. Taller individuals may feel more cramped in on the 20 by 60” in deck. Two inches can make a big difference in how you feel as you are on the treadmill.
  • The iFit app, while very beneficial, will come with added costs over the long term so you need to be prepared to pay that if you want to maintain those features.


Our Verdict:

If you want a treadmill that will stand up to most people’s workouts just fine and offers you plenty of variety in programming, this is a great choice. With the 50 on board programs, you really will have everything you need right at your fingertips, reducing the need to hire any outside help with personal training.

The iFit app, should you choose to keep it beyond the first year also makes this even more possible as you’ll get nutrition and lifestyle support with that as well.

This model offers a very powerful motor that should work great for most people, and it should have no problem standing up to multiple workouts per day. Since the treadmill offers four different user profiles, this is a great machine to purchase so your whole family can begin their training and improve their fitness level.

Recent Updates

  • July 13, 2021: Added some FAQs to the page.

NordicTrack T 8.5 S FAQs

Can the NordicTrack T 8.5 S be used without an iFit subscription?

Yes, you can use the NordicTrack T 8.5 S without an iFit subscription. This treadmill comes with 50 different built-in workout programs that you can use at any time without iFit.

Does the NordicTrack T 8.5 S have built in workout programs?

Yes, the NordicTrack T 8.5 S comes with 50 built-in workout programs.

Is the NordicTrack T 8.5 S quiet enough to have in an apartment?

This treadmill should be quiet enough to have in an apartment with it’s smooth but powerful 3.5 continuous-duty horsepower motor. If you are worried about noise travelling to your neighbors, you can get a shock absorption mat to place under your treadmill to help lessen any noise from impact when the treadmill is in use.

Best Alternative

NordicTrack T 9.5S

NordicTrack T 9.5S

If you are a walker, jogger, or runner who wants to step it up from your typical entry level home gym treadmill and get in... read more

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This model has been discontinued.