5 Best VR Treadmills of 2023
5 Best VR Treadmills and VR Running Pads
VR gaming has shaken up the world of video games due to its ability to allow the gamer to feel totally immersed in the game-play. With the continued improvement of VR gaming tech, video games are not just mere button presses and joystick toggles anymore.
But what if things could get even more immersive? What if you could run and jump with your VR headset without the fear of running out of space or hurting yourself?
Enter VR treadmills.
VR treadmills and VR running pads are must-have VR accessories for gamers who want to run and walk in place while playing VR games. These gears are omnidirectional, with trackers and sensors that can detect your movements and steps.
But before you hop, skip, run, and jump towards VR running pads, let’s learn more about them and the reality of owning them first.
What Is a VR Treadmill?
A VR Treadmill or a VR running pad is a VR gadget or accessory that lets you walk or run in place while playing VR games. It detects the physical movements of your legs and sends that data to your game, all while you’re moving but staying put in one area.
Why Buy a VR Treadmill?
Sometimes, a VR game is so good and immersive that you end up getting too carried away. When running in the game, you might end up going full speed in real life! Bumping into furniture, walls, or your flatscreen TV doesn’t sound like a fun way to end your VR gaming sesh.
With VR running pads or VR treadmills, you get to do all those leg movements in just one spot. A lot of these gadgets will even safely and securely restrict you from going forward or falling backwards. No more running into the coffee table!
Video games get a bad rap due to how unmoving it is as an activity. However, with VR running pads, you can now get some exercise while enjoying your favorite games.
Take a leisurely stroll while talking with your friends on VRChat. Run from vicious aliens in Half-Life: Alyx. You decide how you exercise with your VR games and VR treadmill.
While VR tech in games is already pretty immersive, the addition of VR running pads really cranks up the immersion up to eleven. Moving your arms and head? Pretty cool. Moving your legs and running in place? Way cooler!
So if you want to make your VR gaming sessions a bit more fun and immersive, you might want to consider playing with VR running pads.
Experiencing New Tech
If you’re someone who likes to experience new and innovative gadgets, especially on the VR side of things, VR treadmills are a must-try.
Technology also continues to evolve fast, so being there as the tech is in its infancy or in a growing phase is a memorable experience. Plus, supporting it will only lead to an improved product down the line.
What To Expect When Buying a VR Treadmill?
Already convinced on buying VR running pads? Before you add it to your shopping list, be prepared for the realities of this VR accessory.
VR tech can be pricey – there’s no shortcut to this at the moment. If you want the best VR running pads in the market, prepare to shell out some hefty dough.
Since it’s a whole gadget that can support walking, running, and even swimming in mid-air, VR treadmills can take up some space. Know if you have a dedicated area for it in your gaming room, bedroom, or living room.
Room For Improvement
As mentioned above, VR treadmill technology is still evolving. It might not seem like the perfect gadget akin to Ready Player One’s tech, but tempering your expectations will definitely help.
It’s a good idea to do proper research on your chosen VR treadmill or VR running pads. This way, you will know what to expect and be aware of its capabilities, limitations, and pros and cons.
5 Amazing VR Treadmills To Consider for your VR Space
Aperium Reality K-01 Pod
Where to get: https://aperiumreality.com/index.php/en/K01/
Let's start off with a VR treadmill that makes you feel like you’ve entered a sci-fi movie, take a look at Aperium Reality’s K-01 Pod.
It’s currently the largest VR treadmill in existence, with multiple integrated parts in its unit. Aside from its base station, it has an embedded PC, a touch screen monitor, and an operator interface that helps control the VR running pad. In total, the dimension for this is 126 inches (L) by 96 inches (W).
Using its patented V-Orient tech, the K-01 Pod can easily accelerate and decelerate the treadmill while balancing the user and maintaining coherence with their perception in the virtual world. This means that the K-01 Pod can quickly reorient the virtual world for the player however they are facing, even though the track pad is technically a uni-dimensional one. Through this tech, it becomes omnidirectional in its own way.
Right now, you have to contact Aperium Reality for pricing and demo requests. This big beast of a VR treadmill will definitely need a proper booking.
Cyberith Virtualizer ELITE 2
Where to get: https://www.cyberith.com/
A huge part of immersing yourself in a VR games is the ability to walk and run smoothly and accurately. If you’re a professional or if virtual reality is your business, this is essential. This is why Cyberith’s Virtualizer ELITE 2 is our top choice for businesses and professionals.
Now in their second gen, Cyberith boasts of its improved Motion Platform technology that makes walking easy, comfortable, and accurate.
With its 2020 harness system and six optical motion sensors, the gadget supports you to make you exert less effort when walking while accurately detecting each step. It can also accommodate varying gaits and heights.
Other than walking, it also supports crouching and ducking down, this allows you to incorporate all of your best in-game tactics in real life. Comfortable walks, sneaking around, and a treadmill built with professionals and business applications in mind? That’s a big yes with Cyberith’s Virtualizer ELITE 2.
Check it out here: https://www.cyberith.com/
Virtuix Omni One
Where to get: https://omni.virtuix.com/
Some VR games can get you so immersed that you end up moving a lot. And by a lot, we mean 360-degree a lot. Thank goodness the Virtuix Omni One supports 360-degree movement!
Walk, run, jump, crouch, kneel, back up, and even strafe in any direction with the Omni One. Enemy at 3 o’clock? Reload and turn with ease. Zombies approaching? About turn, nope out, and make a mad dash to the exit!
Thanks to its sturdy vest harness, it has no problem supporting such movements and will make sure to hold you in place while you move.
And if space is a problem for you, the Omni One is only four feet in diameter, making it quite compact when you set it up. Have it placed or tucked in a corner of your room when not in use. Or if you have to put it away in a closet, it can be easily folded.
It’s definitely shaping up to be one of the best VR treadmills on the market today. They are currently working on opening up pre-orders at the moment. It’s best to join their mailing list to know when you can order it.
KAT Walk C2+
Where to get: https://www.kat-vr.com/products/kat-walk-c2
Oh, where to start with the KAT Walk C2+! Basically, take everything that we’ve said in the previous entries, put it all in this masterful VR treadmill creation, sprinkle some more cool features, and you’ve got the KAT Walk C2+.
According to its official website, this second generation personal VR treadmill boasts of 360-degree movement with great ergonomics for your body. Its mechanical structure and the harness support around your waist are said to feel almost weightless, giving you the unrestricted freedom to do a lot of supported physical actions.
Natural and effortless walking with its comfy VR shoes? That’s a yes. Running and sprinting? Yep, can do. Back up, strafe, crouch, sneak, kneel down, lean forward, and jump? A big yes to those!
Oh, and did we mention you can sit, too? If you need to drive a car, ride a horse, or give your legs a rest, the C2+ has a smart sitting posture module that you can whip out whenever.
Add in its instant and precise locomotion control and movement detection, integrated haptic feedback for footsteps, driving, and controller vibrations, multi-platform compatibility, and constant seasonal sales – it becomes difficult not to pick the KAT Walk C2+ as the best VR treadmill available right now.
Get your KAT WALK C2+ here.
Where to get: https://spacewalkervr.com/
For those eyeing VR running pads that look similar to a treadmill, the SpaceWalker VR might be what you’re looking for.
It’s a mono-directional VR treadmill that lets you walk forwards and backwards with ease, thanks to its adjustable track pad, circular platform, and supportive waist belt ring. It might not be as omni-directional as other VR treadmills on this list, but it still lets you make 360-degree turns.
The pressure sensor on its track detects your steps and strides, which sends this input to your VR program and adjusts your actions in the program accordingly. For a leisurely walk, fast-paced jog, or full-on sprint, you can adjust the treadmill belt’s speed with an easy button press. The unit has its own integrated joystick and buttons, so this can be done pretty easily.
The SpaceWalker VR team is an international company with teams in North Macedonia, Turkey and the USA, they aim to have this be used in VR classrooms and such. You can also find their SpaceRider and SkyDiver units on their website, you may need to turn your google translate on the page unless you happen to be fluent in Turkish.
Conclusion: Ready for a VR Treadmill?
So, are you finally ready to level up your VR gaming experience with VR treadmills?
We hope that these five featured VR treadmills can help you narrow down your pick. Each of these VR running pads have their own unique features regarding size and tech, so consider them heavily before jumping the gun to VR treadmill wonderland.