NordicTrack T 8.5 Series Treadmill Review

Over the past year, we’ve all become accustomed to spending much more time indoors.

Ask yourself this…

Do you have enough equipment at home to ensure you get sufficient cardiovascular exercise even if you can’t get outside?

One all-purpose solution comes in the form of the NordicTrack T 8.5 Series treadmill giving you the opportunity to train interactively without leaving home or failing to hit your fitness goals, and without jarring your joints with the impact of running on sidewalks or tracks.

Now, the T Series isn’t cheap, but compare the one-off cost to the recurring cost of monthly gym membership and it starts seeming like much better value.

In today’s NordicTrack T 85 review, we’ll highlight how this treadmill fares in a crowded field so you can more readily choose the best equipment for your home gym or apartment the easy way.

Related: Nordictrack T 6.5 S Treadmill Review


SpecsNordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill
Model Number:T 8.5 S Series
Dimensions (Assembled)80 x 35 x 60 inches
Dimensions (Folded)42 x 35 x 71 inches
Motor3.5 CHP
Speed0 to 12 mph
Incline0% to 12% (digital)
Product Weight213 pounds
Maximum User Weight300 pounds
Tread Belt20 x 60 inches
Touchscreen10-inch HD
Warranty (Frame)Lifetime
Warranty (Motor)10 years
Warranty (Parts and Labor)2 years

Related: NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill Review



The powerplant here is rated at 3.5 CHP (continuous horsepower). This is the treadmill industry standard measurement that allows you to compare these machines like-for-like. The motor is more than capable of sustained and heavy use without too much noise disturbing you or the neighbors.

Overall build quality is robust as you would fully expect from industry titans like NordicTrack. Precision engineering married to solid componentry gives you a winning package even if you need to dig deep.

NordicTrack sprung to life in Minnesota where temperatures routinely dip below 55F and training indoors is an attractive alternative to braving the elements. By the 1980s, the company added treadmills and ellipticals to its machines designed for indoor cross-country training.

Where the classic C Series is being slowly phased out, the enduringly popular T Series gives you all you need to train comfortably and efficiently at home whatever the weather conditions.

Related: NordicTrack Exp 7i Treadmill Review


If you need to ramp up the intensity of your workout, ratchet up the incline function on the T Series to 12% and you’ll get your heart pumping even harder.

Whether you take control of this manually, or participate in trainer-led program where the incline is automatically adjusted – more on that below – but either way, you’ll end up with a much more intensive session just like running up and down hills outside.


Maximum speed of this treadmill is a standard 12 mph. This should give you more than enough latitude for most reasonable training purposes. Again, the trainer can tweak this Digital QuickSpeed if you’re performing a virtual program, or you can take the helm yourself using the ergonomic controls.

So how do you operate the NordicTrack T Series, then?


The centerpiece of this tech-driven treadmill is the oversized 10-inch touchscreen. This displays all the metrics you need front and center so you can chart your fitness goals without breaking your stride.

Ergonomic buttons are also within easy reach directly ahead of you under the screen.

While manual control is straightforward, that’s not the key selling point of this interactive treadmill. The best part is yet to come…

Related: NordicTrack S25i Treadmill Review

Interactive Workouts

Bundled with this treadmill is a free annual family membership to iFit so what does this yield?

Essentially, you get the advantages of a personal trainer without the expense and hassle of tracking down the right trainer for you.

iFit comes with a comprehensive library of 16,000 on-demand training programs so you can benefit from the expertise of a deep bench of elite personal trainers ready to help you smash your fitness goals, whatever they might be.

New workouts are added daily so this is a superb seam of resources that gives you a taste of the gym without the membership fee.

You’ll also have a year-long test to establish whether or not iFit is a service you would consider paying for after your trial expires.

With this family membership, you call all take full advantage iFit even if you have wildly differing needs and wants when it comes to fitness.

Track your stats with ease and let the trainer do all the tweaking so you can just pound that belt and burn more calories than ever, all from the comfort of home.

And thinking of comfort, how does this treadmill stack up when it comes to your overall experience?


FlexSelect cushioning helps to further soften any minor impact on your joints. The low-impact nature of exercising on a treadmill is ideal whether you have arthritis or any other bone condition, or you run regularly and want to minimize any damage that would otherwise be caused by running on hard surfaces.

Despite this cushioned feel, you’ll still end up with a close facsimile of running on real roads. When you take advantage of those virtual workouts we outlined above, you’ll get the next best thing to running outside minus the drawbacks.

Controls are all within your grasp on the center of the console just below the large screen that gives you a great view from all angles.

Maximum user weight is reasonable at 300 pounds. This makes the NordicTrack T Series a smart investment if you’re especially large and looking to use a treadmill to torch some calories and start getting in better shape for the coming year.

The foldable nature of this treadmill makes it a neat choice if you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated home gym and you need a machine you can more easily pack away after use.


As you would expect from a highly established outfit like NordicTrack, you’ll get a lengthy and reliable guarantee backed up by responsive customer care when it counts.

The frame is covered for 10 years. It’s highly unlikely any problems will develop even after that point due to the impeccable build quality. Again, this is one area where paying a little more yields a whole lot more.

All parts are guaranteed for 2 years showing the confidence the manufacturer places in this product.

Labor costs are also covered for any problems that manifest during the first year after purchase.

Related: NordicTrack X11I Treadmill Review

Performance and Workouts

Now, make sure you have some decent running shoes first and foremost. You don’t need to rush out and buy new sneakers if you already have some supportive and suitable options at home.

Throw in some thick crew socks so you won’t end up with your feet feeling sore and blistered and you’re almost there…

Grab a bottle of water and make sure you keep that close at hand. Visit the bathroom before you climb on the belt, too. The last thing you need is to break up your workout when nature calls.

Ensure you’re completely familiar with all the controls on your treadmill before you get started. Time spent here could save you from taking a tumble.

Warm up for at least 5 minutes by walking gently and then breaking into a slow job. Your objective is to raise your heart rate which will, in turn, get the oxygen pumping more vigorously through your body.

Here are some simple tips for getting the most out of your treadmill:

  • Look directly ahead: When you’re running on your new NordicTrack, pay close attention to the way you’re looking. Although it’s tempting to focus at all times on the console, do this and you might notice that your form plummets. Instead, look straight ahead just like you would if you were running on a track or a sidewalk
  • Don’t gran the handrails: These handrails are only in place to streamline getting on and off your treadmill. Resist the temptation to grab hold of them as you’re walking or running
  • Try some HIIT workouts: High intensity interval training intersperses periods of activity with periods of rest. The overall effect can be even greater than if you just hit some cardio routine to failure with no rest along the way. HIIT workouts on a treadmill could include sprinting, jogging, walking, and complete rest. You’ll need a timer. Go for intervals of activity and rest that mesh with your fitness levels. There’s no right or wrong answer here
  • Cooling down is crucial: Warming down when you’ve finished up your treadmill session is just as important as taking the time to warm up. If you’ve been sprinting on your NordicTrack, slow down to a gentle jog. If you’ve been jogging walk, and if you were walking, walk even slower. Stretching and taking the time to slowly bring your heart rate back down when you’ve finished your cardio session is something you should never leave out of your treadmill session.

Tips for Usage and Maintenance

Luckily, usage and maintenance are both pretty straightforward with a good treadmill. If you invest in the right equipment, and you make sure it’s heavy-duty enough for your requirements, you should have no problems with operation.

In terms of maintenance, you should frequently wipe down the exterior of the treadmill with a cloth.

Periodically vacuum under and all around the treadmill. Make sure no debris is collecting as this could easily work its way into the innards of the machine. This could cause problems in the short-term and a breakdown over time.

Start slowly when you’re first using a treadmill. You should also never forget the importance of warming up. Whether you’re a serious athlete training for an event, or you’re looking to lose some weight for the party season, don’t skip at least 5 minutes of warming up. This will minimize any chance of injury and also prepare you for the cardio workout you bought this treadmill for – see our mini-workout guide above for some inspiration.

Now, to round out today, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about treadmills.

Related: NordicTrack X32I Treadmill Review


What’s the point of using a treadmill?

Treadmills have many benefits. Firstly, you can train year-round regardless of the weather conditions. This alone is enough reason for many people. Beyond this, you can also get a great cardio workout without any of the jarring associated with running on the road. Do your bones a favor and run on rubber instead. Throw into the equation the way you can save on monthly gym membership and you could easily argue that the best treadmill is an investment rather than an expense.

Why do I need an incline on a treadmill?

You don’t need one but they come in very handy. You can replicate running outside with its natural ups and downs – the NordicTrack T Series has a decline, too – and enjoy an even more challenging workout.

Is NordicTrack a reputable brand?

It’s one of the best in the business. Designed by a team based in cold-weather Minnesota, NordicTrack makes a wide range of highly effective home gym equipment. The fact you so often see their gear in commercial gyms should tell you all you need to know about brand heritage.


NordicTrack T 8.5 Series Treadmill Review

We understand that choosing exercise equipment for your home is beset with problems, and we’re here to help you solve them.

Once you’ve established you have enough space to accommodate a full-sized treadmill, navigating the hundreds of models all promising to be the best can be confusing.

Here we make this easy for you by breaking down how all the best equipment performs so you can see at a glance which makes the right fit. We’re not here to push you toward any given brand or machine. On the contrary, we’ll highlight the flaws of these products, too, so you can buy with your eyes wide open.

So, if you need advice you can trust and products you can rely on, bookmark our blog and be sure to come back soon.