You’re not alone. These are two of the most well-known fitness equipment brands in the world.
This post will dissect a few of their differences – although I will make the disclaimer that ultimately it comes down to the models you’re comparing.
But overall which brand makes a better crosstrainer? Here are few things you need to know.
First of all the main thing to cover here is that these two brands are owned and manufactured by the same company: ICON Health and Fitness.
ICON is one of the largest manufacturers in the fitness equipment industry – they have the money, engineering facilities and talent to make a better elliptical for less.
And they excel at adding features you find in the commercial market into their home ellpticals (for less).
Nordictrack Vs Proform Elliptical – The Perception
While this may change in the future, for now Nordictrack is really seen as ICON’s higher end brand.
They have more luxury and specialty ellipticals like their Commercial elliptical series or the Freestride Trainer ellipticals which give you a completely changeable, adaptable stride.
Proform is their more “affordable” brand with many trainers coming in under $1000.
That’s my opinion from years of reviewing different fitness equipment brands. And it’s also the impression that many buyers have – and will continue to have – for years. So I can’t seen ICON changing this branding perception anytime soon.
What does this mean for you?
This means that ICON tends to put more of their higher-end features on their Nordictrack models first – like full-color HD consoles, adjustable foot pedals and incline/decline.
So if you want the most up-to-date, tech-heavy ellipticals with premium comfort features you may want to consider a Nordictrack elliptical first.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a simpler, more affordable elliptical without tons of bells and whistles, you may want to consider a Proform.
Nordictrack vs Proform Ellipticals – Design And Construction
Nordictrack gives you a wider range of design options than Proform. Both brands give you several front-drive ellipticals – where the flywheel is in front of the pedals – and rear-drive ellipticals – where the flywheel is behind the pedals.
However, Nordictrack also has the center-drive ellipticals like the Nordictrack Freestriders that Proform does not have (see pic above).
With center drive trainers, instead of one large flywheel in front or behind the pedals, you get two smaller flywheels on either side of the pedals.
Some people prefer the center drive design because it feels more natural when running and the footpedals are closer together giving less strain on the hips.
Another benefit of the Freestrider: a completely adapatable stride.
So instead of being locked into one set stride length (like you are with a standard elliptical) you can vary your stride length and choose the stride that feels most comfortable for you.
So overall, you get a few more design options with Nordictrack.
On the other hand, because Proform is seen as more of a starter brand, they may have more affordable elliptical options for you (under $1000) at any one time than Nordictrack.
For example, as of this writing, Nordictrack has 2 ellipticals under $1000.
The Proform manufacturer has about 6 ellipticals under $1000. So if you’re on a budget and want more options you may want to check them out.
While Proform is starting to release a few higher-end models, they are still skewing a bit more towards the starter elliptical market
Nordictrack Vs Proform Elliptical – Proform’s Advantage
While Proform doesn’t have the unique elliptical design options like the Nordictrack Freestrider, they do have a few interesting models that are worth noting. One of these is the very popular Hybrid Trainer series.
This is a super-affordable elliptical that also converts into a recumbent bike. There are 2 models, both under $600 which makes them great for buyers on a budget. After all, who doesn’t want 2 machines for the price of one?
Proform has also recently introduced the Cardio HIIT Trainer – which is a very cool new vertical elliptical trainer incorporating more lower body muscles into your workout.
Because of this you can, in theory, burn more calories on the HIIT Trainer elliptical than on a standard elliptical trainer.
Another plus? The Cardio HIIT trainer is more compact than a traditional elliptical making it a great choice for apartment or condos.
So it looks as if Proform is starting to bring in some new elliptical-type machines that are unique to the Proform brand. If you’re looking for something a bit different, these may be worth checking out.
So what’s the bottom line when comparing Nordictrack vs Proform elliptical trainers? Well, there are pros and cons to each brand.
Nordictrack offers a few more mid-to-higher-end ellipticals that are built for heavier or longer workouts. They also have unique elliptical series like the center-drive Freestrider adapatable-stride trainers.
You can also get larger, full-color consoles on these trainers – which make the iFit streaming workouts a lot more fun to watch.
Proform tends to shine in the starter elliptical market (however they are slowly branching out into the higher end market). If you’re looking for a large range of affordable, starter ellipticals, they would probably be the better bet.
They also have the very popular HIIT trainer – which is the first vertical elliptical that ICON has produced. It’s an extremely popular trainer right now – and a great way to burn more calories in less time.
The good news is that these two brands do have some similar features – like several models that fold up, models with HD, full-color consoles, iPod docks with speakers and iFit Coach – which lets you run trails all over the world for some virtual reality fun.
Overall it does come down to which models you’re comparing – but those are some of the general differences between Nordictrack vs Proform elliptical trainers.
Want to Learn More?
Related: Front Drive vs Rear Drive Elliptical