ProForm Endurance M8i Treadmill Review

Proform has been one of the most the prevailing brands in home use treadmills for a very long time. Over the decades they have built many different models covering, in the main, the mid-price point home market gaining an enviable reputation for delivering the superb value for money, with hi-spec machines costing significantly less than competitors offering similar specs and features. While of late they’ve taken steps into the higher-end market  with some decent results their Endurance M8i model is a return to their core market. It’s been quite some time since we took a look at a mid-point Proform machine so we picked up the phone and got our hands on an M8i to see what their latest entrant into the mid-point market has to offer.

First, as always, is putting the thing together. Not always the smoothest element of building a Proform machine it has to be said. However the M8i has fewer assembly steps than most of its predecessors and while Proform are still using their own special sized bolts that mean you’re restricted to using the tools supplied in the pack (not always the easiest things to work with) it actually goes together pretty well. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and with 2 people the M8i shouldn’t take you more than about 45 minutes to finish assembling. There’s a lot of packaging with various elements of the treadmill getting additional protection from wooden panels secured to the frame with cable ties and while it’s a little frustrating to remove, it clearly works very well as the unit we opened was in mint condition despite the box having clearly been ‘through the wars’ in transit. All in all, not a bad experience and one that shouldn’t leave you feeling like you’ve had your first workout in putting it together, unlike some other models from Proform we’ve tested in the past.

Standing back looking at it once built, the Endurance M8i doesn’t offer the same contemporary look and feel as some other models out there at the moment. It’s clear Proform have gone for a traditional look here instead. Nice clean, simple lines, traditional black and silver colour scheme and a clear, well laid out console all combine to produce a rather industrial, functional looking treadmill. If there was ever a ‘does what it says on the tin’ look, then this is it. And it works. The M8i will fit nicely into any gym or home setting and while full-sized the basic, clean, uncluttered look means that it won’t dominate an entire room making it particularly suited to being situated in a living room or other shared space.

So, goes together well, looks pretty good but how does this Proform perform?

There are many treadmills at this sort of price point and very few of them have a deck as large as the M8i. At 51cm x 140cm (20”x 55.1”) the running  surface is as large as many models approaching a thousand pounds making it suitable for pretty much everyone. You’re not likely to feel cramped and stuck for space on this machine unless you’re particularly tall and used to running on commercial machines. For the majority, this size running deck is ample and will provide a nice, comfortable and secure experience with plenty of room to ‘roam’ a little during your workout and still feel safe. This is a full on running machine not just good for a gentle jog. With a top speed of up to 11.1mph (18kph) the M8i should provide plenty of pace for all but professional or semi-professional runners. It’s also cushioned very well. Proform have opted for their ProShox cushioning system which is soft without being bouncy. It’s a very good all-round system and while seasoned runners may prefer a slightly stiffer surface it’s likely to appeal most runners and absorbs plenty of impact energy making it really comfortable. This also means it lends itself very well to long distance training.

The 2.5 horse power continuous duty motor is responsive enough to drive the belt from 1kph up to the max 18kph in just under 22 seconds. That may not sound much but, when you then consider that from 10 to 14kph takes just under 4seconds, you realise that for general running and interval training the M8i is really well suited to the task. It’s certainly not the quietest motor we’ve come across but its excellent responsiveness delivers a really nice experience and when running at speed your footfall is still noisier than the motor so it’s certainly no deal-breaker.

The console itself benefits from Proforms considerable experience in building treadmills. It’s very clearly laid out with large, easy to read buttons. It’s all very logical and even without reading the instructions (*always, always read the instructions!) you can get going with the single push of the start button. Get on, press start, go. It doesn’t get easier than that. Though this shouldn’t be confused with a lack of features. Far from it, the M8i has LOTS of features. It’s just that Proform know how to make things easy with a great example being having the ability to change the units of measurements from metric to imperial with 2 button presses. That’s impressive and it’s also mildly amusing to change between ‘metric’ and ‘english’ units as they like to call them 🙂

In addition to the traditional speed and incline ‘quick keys’ that let you select the desired speed and incline levels quickly we loved the introduction of the Weight Loss Workout Centre to the console which we thought was brilliant. Step 1 press the quick key for the duration of the workout (minutes labelled on the buttons). Step 2 press the quick key for your target calorie burn (calories labelled on the buttons). Step 3 press the up/down keys to set your weight. Step 4 press GO. The computer then builds a specific, unique workout for you. This takes a few seconds and then when done you press the big green Start key and you’re off. It’s hard to overstate just how useful a programme this is and how easy it is to get your own unique workout for losing weight. An excellent feature that’s bound to be extremely popular with those who are getting a treadmill primarily to lose weight.

Feedback is provided via a bright backlit LCD screen at the centre of the console which is clearly and cleanly organised, easy to read and easy to see even when running at speed.

In addition to the Weight Loss Centre there’s a selection of 16 pre-set programmes built into the console (8 based on time, 8 based on calories) and a manual mode that gives you full control over speed and incline during your workout. The M8i is also fitted with a BlueTooth heart rate receiver designed for use with the optional iFit Bluetooth chest strap that performed flawlessly during testing.

The Endurance M8i can also be used with an iFit Live module which is sold separately. This provides a way of further increasing your training options. Once the module is inserted you can connect to a home wi-fi network and this enables the features of the iFit.com system to be used and you can download more programmes and track your fitness improvements plus the software is also powered by Google Maps, so you can plot your own running routes anywhere around the world. This is technology is excellent but very much suited to the more patient user out there, rather than those who are looking for a “plug & play” way of training.

Finally, the console has a pair of speakers built-in that produce a fair sound. Not something for audiophiles for sure, but certainly enough to get some quick beats blasting in time to your run.

In terms of warranty you get lifetime cover on the frame, 5 years cover on the motor and 2 years for parts and labour. Do remember though, as with all Proform treadmills, you’ll need to register your machine within 28 days of purchase to get the 2nd year.

Best Price

The ProForm Endurance M8i is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

What did we think of the Proform Endurance M8i? We like it a lot. It's a machine on a mission that's clearly, primarily, targeted at those wishing to get a treadmill to lose weight. The addition of the Weight Loss Workout Centre to the console is bordering on genius in its simplicity, however, it's also much more than that. With iFit Live compatibility, large running deck and superb responsiveness the M8i is also a treadmill that very well suited to long distance and interval training. At the price? Brilliant treadmill. And one that looks very good indeed when compared with anything else at this price point.

ProForm Endurance M8i Specifications

  • 2.5CHP Mach Z (3.0 HP peak) motor
  • Speed Range: 0-18kph (0-11.1mph) with Quick Speed™ controls
  • Incline: 0-10% with Quick Incline™ controls
  • Running Area: 51cm (20”) x 140cm (55.1”)
  • ProShox Cushioning
  • 6” Backlit LCD display
  • Feedback: Time, distance, speed, incline, calories, heart rate
  • 16 workout programmes apps (8 calorie, 8 time)
  • Heart Rate Measurement via hand pulse grips + wireless receiver (iFit Bluetooth chest strap optional)
  • Folding: Space Saver™ folding design, EasyLift Assist
  • Audio: Music Port Compatible with iPod® or mp3 player + Intermix Acoustics 2.0 speakers
  • Max user weight: 125kg (275.5lbs)
  • Size in Use (L x W x H): 186cm (73.2”) x 92cm (36.2”) x 149cm (58.6”)
  • Size folded (L x W x H): 91cm (35.8”) x 92cm (36.2”) x 169cm (66.5”)
  • Product Weight: 79kg (174lbs)
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, 5 years motor, 2 years parts and labour (if registered within 28 days of purchase)
  • Other features: Transport wheels, iFit® Live compatibility (module optional)

ProForm Endurance M8i Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

ProForm Endurance M8i Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Responsive motor
  • Weight Loss Workout Centre
  • Ability to add more workouts and functions via iFit Live module
  • Large running area

The Cons

  • A little noisier than some other models
ProForm Endurance M8i Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 8
Appearance - 7
Running Area - 9
Comfort - 9
Reliability - 9
Noise - 8
Ease Of Use - 9
Controls - 9
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 9.5
Best Price

The ProForm Endurance M8i is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Also see our Treadmill Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

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