Last Updated on March 25, 2022 by Brook Norris, Fitness Guru
Vision Fitness treadmills are built by Johnson Fitness. Johnson Fitness is the third largest manufacturer of fitness equipment in the world. In fact, they are the same company that also brings us the ever-popular Horizon Fitness and Matrix Fitness treadmill brands.
Our review team visited the Johnson Fitness headquarters in Wisconsin in person (see the video below) and found that Johnson Fitness has an impressive operation with a staff devoted to quality control, innovation and customer service. All of these are important elements that contribute to a strong, worthwhile treadmill brand.
Vision Fitness treadmills are a premium brand for the discerning customer who wants the very best in a running machine. Vision Fitness treadmills are not your everyday, run-of-the-(tread)mill machines that can be purchased from large retailers. Instead, Vision Fitness treadmills are part of an elite level of fitness equipment offering commercial grade quality for home use.
Choice of Console – When you purchase a piece of Vision Fitness equipment, you’ll select a base model then add your console of choice from three possible options. This allows you to pay only for the console features you desire.
ViaFit – ViaFit is compatible with the Elegant+ and the Touch+ consoles on the Vision Fitness treadmills. You already know that defining your fitness goals and tracking your progress is one of the best ways to achieve your goals. If you’re keeping up with the latest fitness trends, one of the most popular trends is digitally tracking your health and fitness data.
ViaFit is an app that is available for both desktop and mobile devices. As you work out on your Vision Fitness treadmill that is ViaFit enabled, the data is pushed into the Internet cloud. By going to your personal ViaFit.com account you can track your progress towards your fitness goals.
Part of the reason ViaFit is so popular is because it acts as a clearing house for other popular fitness hardware like Fitbit, and apps like Fitness Pal and Nike+. With ViaFit, you can pull together all your health and fitness stats in one place and monitor your progress towards your goals. Furthermore, you can define fitness goals like calories burned, total exercise time, total distance, and number of workouts, and track your progress.
Finally, one of the best things about ViaFit is that it is free. Competitors offers similar packages at costs of $125 per year and up.
Virtual Active – The boredom factor is one of the biggest drawbacks to working out on any treadmill. When you’re using a treadmill, you’re running in place and indoors.
Virtual Active overcomes the boredom of treadmill running by allowing you exercise—virtually—outdoors! While Virtual Active displays a video on your treadmill’s console screen, the treadmill inclines with the terrain and moves in conjunction with your speed.
Virtual Active comes with two videos that allow you to experience virtually running outdoors in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the American Northeast and includes the sounds of the outdoors. You have the ability to purchase more videos of additional famous landscapes.
Virtual Active is embedded in the Elegant+ and Touch+ Consoles on Vision Fitness treadmills.
Passport Media Player – With the Passport Media Player you have the ability to experience running virtually and watch it on your TV. This feature is basically Virtual Active displayed on a TV. It is available with all three consoles and costs an additional $199 for the media box.
Sprint 8 – Sprint 8 is a scientifically proven workout that is exclusive to Vision Fitness and is available on the Elegant+ and Touch+ consoles. You will find interval training on most treadmills, but in comparison, the Sprint 8 program is like interval training on steroids. It is a 20-minute workout designed to lower your body fat by 20% over an eight weeks period. It starts with a warm-up and then alternates between 1.5-minute recovery and 30 second sprint followed by cool down.
In the process you are activating muscles and releasing human growth hormones. After the workout it continues to stimulate HGH growth in comparison to other moderate exercises. Sprint 8 was invented by a certified personal trainer and is based on clinical research, and is particularly beneficial to users over 30 who are experiencing somatopause, “a medical term for the weight gain, loss of muscle, energy decline and wrinkled skin you experience when you hit middle age.” Interval training is also popular with professional athletes for getting the most benefits in the least amount of time.
Vision Fitness Drive System – What makes the Vision Drive System unique to the industry is that they manufacture their own key components like motors and electronic boards. Consequently, Vision Drives are engineered specifically for the Vision Fitness treadmills, and this integration makes for a sound running machine that is less likely to have service issues. The bulk of treadmill manufacturers utilize third party components when it comes to motors and electronic boards.
Johnson builds some of the best treadmill components in the industry. An example is the 3.0 HP continuous duty motor found on the Vision Fitness T40 treadmill. It is designed for maximum efficiency, which effectively allows the motor to run at low RPM. This results in a very durable motor—so durable, in fact, that it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Furthermore, Johnson motors utilize a digital drive which instantly responds to the push and pull of the belt, thus reducing lags and surges. The motion is more consistent, which in turn minimizes the stress to your joints.
It’s worth noting that when you compare sizes of treadmill motors you will find that many of the lower-end residential treadmills are boast about having high horsepower motors. First, there are no standards for treadmills motors, so there’s no way of knowing whether a particular motor actually has a higher horsepower or not. Second, the horsepower of the motor is not as important as the efficiency of the motor. This is a similar concept to how how auto manufacturers make 4-cylinder car engines more efficient and powerful by adding a turbo; the more efficient turbo engine commands a premium price.
Infinity Deck – Treadmill deck features are extremely important in reducing the impact to your joints and lower back and limiting the physiological stress and strain of working out regularly. With too little shock absorption you’ll get a jolt to your entire body as you impact the deck. With too much shock absorption, you’re likely to get reverse shock as the deck bounces back.
Fortunately, Johnson Fitness engineered one of the best deck and shock absorption systems available on a treadmill. Their commercial grad cushioning system achieves a fine balance of just the right amount of shock absorption. They tested it to 21,000 miles and it kept on running.
Most residential treadmill manufacturers use rubber grommets and will have two or three on each side of the deck for cushioning. The problem with this type of cushioning is that one size does not fit all. It may work perfectly for medium weight individuals but will not provide enough shock absorption for light weight individuals or too much bounce for heavy weight individuals. Or this cushioning may work well for walkers but may cause runners to overcompensate, and lead to pain or injury.
Johnson Fitness cushions its treadmill decks using three hollowed-out elastometers on each side of the deck that absorb shock based on the weight of the individual. These are the same elastometers used in Johnson’s $10,000 Matrix brand commercial treadmills. The Vision Fitness residential treadmills incorporate this commercial grade technology to your advantage.
The Infinity Deck shock absorption is designed like a running shoe in reverse. You have more shock absorption towards the front of the deck where your foot lands and less towards the back where you need a solid push off. Again, this is a premium shock absorption system typically found on commercial grade machines.
It’s important to note this cushioning system comes with a lifetime warranty. We are not aware of another treadmill company that offers this type of warranty coverage on its cushioning system. It’s another testament to the durability of Vision Fitness treadmills.
The final aspect of the Infinity Deck is its superior treadbelt. The belt is designed with a patented waxing system that never requires lubrication. The wax is actually woven into the fibers. In addition, Johnson Fitness uses a thicker coating on the deck to further reduce friction and extend the life of the treadbelt.
268 – 276 lbs. Unit Weight – This is commercial grade heavy and the extra weight insures that the machine will be rock solid for even the heaviest users. In fact, their treadmills are all warranted for users up to 400 lbs.
Extended Warranty – Warranties on fitness equipment reflect the durability of the machines. The Vision Fitness treadmills come with one of the most extensive warranties in the industry. You get lifetime coverage on the motor, which is standard, and you also get a lifetime warranty on the cushioning system, which is exceptional, because typically you get 5 years. The 2-year labor coverage is standard, but Vision Fitness extends the parts warranty to 7-years for certain models, which at the time of this post includes the TF40 and the T40.
Overall, these generous warranty terms suggests their components and machines are going to be very low maintenance, and seldom require service or replacement.
Customer Service – Usually fitness equipment customers do not think about the importance of quality customer service until they need it. However, one of the biggest complaints by fitness equipment buyers is poor customer service. Johnson Fitness has some of the most responsive customer service in the industry. When visiting their corporate offices we found the staff took pride in the quality of their customer service and the feedback we have received from customers reinforces this commitment.
For more information about the parent company of Vision Fitness treadmills, check out this video from our visit to the Johnson Fitness facility:
There are a number of excellent reasons to consider a Vision Fitness treadmill for your home. First, the Infinity Deck significantly reduces the physical stress of working out by minimizing the impact on your joints. That’s great news for anyone with age-related concerns or previous injuries. And it’s an added benefit for anyone who works out regularly.
Second, because the Vision Fitness treadmills have commercial-grade durability, they’re basically maintenance-free. Many of the same components used in Johnson’s commercial grade treadmills are used in the home units. More importantly, the components are built specifically by Johnson fitness and are singularly designed to integrate with their machines. The quality of the components and the engineering are reflected in the warranty.
Finally, your choice of console allows you to select the level of interactivity your machine provides. If you’re a person who just wants to hop on a treadmill and run, you can select the Classic console. If you want the ability to track your results, combine data with other fitness platforms, and experience virtual running in famous landscapes, you can select the Elegant+ or Touch+ console. You pay for the level of interactivity you desire.
The only potential drawbacks we see for Vision Fitness treadmills are a heavy unit weight and higher price. The unit weights for a couple of the folding models approach 300 lbs. While unit weight brings stability while the machine is in use, a heavier treadmill can become unwieldy when its being folded or unfolded.
Prices on Vision Fitness treadmills begin, at the time of this post, in the $4,000 range and go up from there. As we’ve mentioned before on this site, you get what you pay for, so if your budget allows it, a Vision Fitness treadmill is worth the premium price.
We realize that neither of these potential drawbacks may matter at all to shoppers who are seeking a premium product. Vision Fitness treadmills belong to the upper echelon of fitness equipment. They are built to commercial standards and sold for residential use.
If you want the best in quality, durability, and interactive technology, then Vision Fitness treadmills should be a top consideration.
And of course, there’s another option…
We understand that even the most discerning customers may find themselves facing a tighter budget from time to time. If you’re looking for premium quality without a premium price, we highly recommend NordicTrack treadmills.
NordicTrack treadmills offer many of the same premium features you love about high-end brands, but at a value price. In recent years NordicTrack has improved its warranty coverage and customer service standards in ways that place it on par with upper echelon manufacturers.
Discerning customers are sure to be impressed with what they find among NordicTrack’s current treadmill lineup. Either way, we’re confident you’ll find the right brand for you.
This article was written by Lane Therrell and published on Friday, 18 March 2022.
Is Vision Fitness a good brand?
Vision Fitness is made by the parent company Johnson Fitness who also manufactures Horizon and Matrix equipment, they are a very reputable brand in the industry.
How much is a Vision Fitness treadmill?
The treadmill price range from Vision Fitness is anywhere from $2,000 to upwards of $6,000.
Where can I buy a Vision Fitness treadmill?
Vision Fitness treadmills are sold through select boutique fitness equipment dealers which you can locate on their dealer finder tool on the website.