on December 18, 2010
I am a lifelong fitness enthusiast, but one who has had his ups and downs keeping consistent over the last decade. Still height and weight proportional, I have been walking and jogging the last few months with good results. Due to repeated bad weather preventing me from getting out for a jog, and limited indoor space, I decided to try this machine.
PROS: -It is quite solidly built, it won't come apart on you.
-Small and not unattractive if you need to leave it in view when not in use
-QUIET! Hardly any sound at all except if you allow a step to "bottom out" (easy to do)
CONS: -For my size (5'6", #160) the biomechanics are problematic. The limited range of motion is one problem.
-A problem with all steppers that pivot is that the footpads will not remain parallel to the floor as they move up and down.
-The positioning of the footpads and the rotational angle causes poor alignment for stepping. Basically my knees end up
being too far out in front, causing noticable stress. The only solution I found for this is to put my feet well forward
of the front lip on the footpads, so the ball of my foot is actually on top of the lip. Awkward, but it's the only way I can
Having said all of the above, I can get a fairly decent 20 min. aerobic workout on it. It just requires a lot of concentration to avoid slipping off, stressing my knees, or "bottoming out" on a step, and I do have to stop and reposition my feet fairly often.
Although it is sturdy and well manufactured, I have a hard time recommending this unit. Both the intrinsic limitations of this type of stepper (limited range of motion, etc.), and the inability to adjust the footpads or adjust the resistance, lead me to believe few people would actually use this regularly- it has too many issues that "add up". Also keep in mind this device requires the user to have pretty good balance while on the machine.
I think they should have put more $$ into it to make the footpads and resistance adjustable, and a longer range of motion for the step. Of course that would increase the cost, but there is a minimum level of usefullness for exercise equipment, and this item is very close to minimum...
on December 27, 2010
Pros: The New Balance Mini Stepper is well built and sturdy
Value for price
Cons: The resistance cords included have the tendency to give rope burn
The pedals smack the back base at each down step which makes it highly annoying
After 5 minutes my knees started to bother me and I don't have knee problems
This product has potential to be really good, but it just hasn't made the cut for me.
on January 11, 2011
The electronic counter, which measures your time, calories burned, etc., has an automatic stop feature, which would be helpful for when you step off the machine. Not so helpful was that the automatic stop feature would kick in while I was still pumping the pedals! I would give it about 4 or 5 pumps, and then the counter would stop countingmy time, calories, etc. The pedal motion of this stepper seemed fine, so I guess I could have used this without the counter -- but if that were the case, I felt I shouldn't have had to pay as much as I did. I returned it to the store where I bought it, and chose cash back instead of an exchange with another stepper, since I didn't have any confidence the others on the shelf would perform any better.
on January 15, 2012
I bought one of these and it seemed fine at first. I didn't do any full workouts but tested it for a few minutes at a time and thought it provided a good workout. The steps did land with a thud, but it wasn't a big deal. I planned on taking it with me when I moved. But after only owning it a week, I stepped on it and the screws holding one of the pedals together just popped off and the peddle fell off. All I did was step on it and I only weigh 150 pounds. Why would New Balance put their name on such a piece of crap? I searched online and it looks like this exact stepper, from the peddles to the little distance counter, is produced generically and sold under a few different names. And also, much cheaper without the New Balance name written across the bottom. This thing is a piece of junk. If it had been built to last longer than a few days, I would've rated it 3 to 4 stars for being a portable, effective-enough workout. Too bad.
on April 13, 2011
I've been through three of these since Jan 19, 2011 and finally have given up. On the first one, the peg holding the footpads bent within two weeks. On the second one, the monitor never worked despite changing batteries, checking connections, etc. The third one, which last the longest, (six weeks), the hydraulic tubes gave out. I was using it 4-5 times a week, 30 min a pop, and am average-ish (5'9", 155 pounds). It may be good for someone who doens't rely on it but i work long hours at a desk job and if you need someting that you can fit in whenever, it may not be reliable.
on September 24, 2014
I really enjoyed my New Balance Mini Stepper in the beginning. I used it off and on for over a year. But as solidly built as it may seem, the tube that connects one of the foot pads to the center post just broke, inside the center tube. I am baffled at how that happened as I am neither largely overweight, nor particularly hard on the thing. And it would appear that New Balance no longer makes these steppers, as they don't appear to be available anywhere on the internet anymore. It's a shame... it was a great device while it lasted. Now I have to find some other way to get my Fitbit steps. :-(