Octane Fitness “Zero Runner” Review

Brand Rating: 10/10

Octane Fitness is a high-end brand with a special focus on zero-impact cardio trainers. Unlike traditional treadmills and ellipticals, Octane Fitness cardio trainers support walking, running, and climbing with zero joint compression or strain! These award-winning machines are built for home gyms and commercial fitness centres. They are built for rehabilitative exercise, professional sports training, and everything in between.

Octane Fitness dates back to 2001 and was founded in Minnesota. Entrepreneurs and fitness industry veterans Dennis Lee and Tim Porth first produced a zero-impact standing elliptical trainer that was met with great reviews. They went on to develop the world’s first recumbent elliptical trainer and other revolutionary zero-impact cardio machines. Today the Octane Fitness lineup includes three categories of elliptical trainers as well as Zero Runner elliptical/treadmill alternatives.

Electronics on Octane machines have kept pace with industry trends. The latest models use Bluetooth to connect with the SmartLink digital fitness platform. SmartLink gives access to preset and customized workout routines and tutorials, plus it can track and graph fitness data.

Octane cardio trainers carry competitive warranties. Prices normally start at $2,199 and exceed $6K. Octane Zero Runners in particular have MSRPs of $3,299 and $4,299.

Below are details about Octane’s best treadmill alternatives, Octane Zero Runners. Two models are available: the ZR7 and ZR8. Each model can suspend the whole body for zero-impact running and elliptical training. Only the ZR8 has movable arm bars.

What We Like:

  • Zero Impact: Before Octane Fitness existed, running with zero impact was little more than a pipe dream. Now it’s possible with a dozen Octane machines. Training with zero joint compression is incredibly comfortable, plus it minimizes the chance of injury and helps improve a runner’s performance.
  • Multifunctional: Octane Zero Runners appear on our treadmill review site because they replicate the functions of a treadmill (walking, jogging, and running). On top of that, they work as stair climbers and ellipticals. The maximum stride of 58″ automatically adjusts to the user’s motion to allow everything from long glides to short steps.
  • Upper Body Toning: Both the ZR7 and ZR8 have attachment points for resistance bands and arrive with two bands included. SmartLink cross-training programs prompt trainees to perform different exercises, some including the resistance bands.
  • Narrow Pedal Spacing: For added hip comfort the pedals on the ZR8 and ZR7 are placed just 1.4″ and 2″ apart, respectively.
  • Lightweight Pedals: Run like the wind! The ZR8 Zero Runner has especially lightweight pedals made from aircraft-grade aluminum.
  • Bluetooth© for Workouts: Bluetooth connects Octane Fitness equipment to the SmartLink fitness platform for preset workouts, customized fitness plans, and data tracking.
  • Tablet Holders: Tablet computer holders are integrated with Octane Fitness frames.
  • Cardio Feedback: These treadmill alternatives have contact grips for heart rate monitoring. They also have wireless telemetry. A wireless chest strap is included with the Zero Runner ZR8, but not the Zero Runner ZR7.
  • Gait Analyzer: Zero Runners have a feature called Gait Analysis that lets the runner know when their form is losing quality. Gait Analysis can help people stay on track to meet fitness goals.
  • Bottle Holder: A beverage holder is built into each console for convenient hydration during exercise.
  • Reasonable Size: Both models of Octane Zero Runners have footprints of 38″ x 63″. They can be used in low-ceilinged rooms and don’t require external power. Each weighs about 200 pounds. Caster wheels are attached to ease transport.
  • Good Warranties: Octane’s Zero Runner warranty for both the ZR7 and ZR8 provides lifetime protection for the frame, five years for parts and one year for labor. US-based customer service is readily available by phone Monday through Friday.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not Foldable: Unlike some home treadmills, Zero Runners can’t be folded for storage.
  • Price: With base prices of $3,299 and $4,299, Zero Runners are pricier than most home treadmills.

Our Verdict:

Octane Fitness has earned dozens of awards for their innovative and durable zero-impact cross-trainers. With excellent ergonomics and useful programming, products from this brand are top recommendations for shoppers with moderate to high budgets for residential or commercial workout rooms. Of special interest for treadmill shoppers are Octane Zero Runners, which serve as zero-impact elliptical trainers as well as treadmill alternatives. These aren’t machines made for any budget. They are luxury exercise options. However, they are so versatile that they do the work of three exercise machines and are a reasonable substitute for an entire home gym.