There are plenty of reasons you might be in the market for a treadmill. Runners know it's hard to log a good workout in the rain, snow, extreme temperatures, air pollution, and other unsafe conditions. Even if you don't run, it's nice to have the option to walk on a treadmill in the comfort of your own home, whether it's for a workout, as a component of your stand-up office, or to combat the ills of sitting as you stream your favorite series.
While some people can get by with a budget treadmill, runners and more serious fitness enthusiasts need a treadmill that's well built and equipped with features that can handle a variety of different workouts. If you're in the market for a workhorse treadmill that's loaded with features yet moderately priced, the Sole F80 treadmill might be just what you're looking for.
In this article, we take a closer look at the Sole F80 treadmill and lay out the pros and cons so you can decide if it's the right addition to your home gym.
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The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring years of knowledge and experience to each review. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.
A Quick Look at the Sole F80 Treadmill
Whether you want to run like the wind or simulate steep climbs, the Sole F80 treadmill has the horsepower and incline capability to help you push your limits—all with up to 40 percent less impact, thanks to the F80's Cushion Flex Whisper Deck.
Sole knows that treadmill workouts can be boring at times, so they've included both a 9-inch LCD screen for tracking your workout data and a tablet holder so you can stream your favorite shows or videos while you break a sweat.
Sole Fitness has been building quality exercise machines for fitness centers and home gyms for more than 20 years, and the Sole F80 treadmill is no exception. Priced in the mid-range, the Sole F80 wraps a number of high-end features in a well-built, durable machine backed by an outstanding warranty.
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Sole F80 Treadmill
- Footprint: 66"H x 82"L x 37"W
- Motor: 3.5 HP, 0.5-12 mph
- Incline: 15 levels (Max incline 9%)
- Bluetooth Capability: Yes
- Monitor: 9" LCD
- Weight: 278 lbs.
- Weight Capacity: 375 lbs.
- Standard Programs: 6, plus 2 heart rate programs
- Customizable Programs: 2
- Warranty: Lifetime frame, motor, and deck; 5-year electronics and parts; 2-year labor
The Sole F80 is a full-sized treadmill with a running deck measuring 22 inches by 60 inches. As such, it has a full-sized footprint. Luckily, it folds to an upright position, making the footprint much more manageable when it comes to storage. Also, thanks to Sole's patented Easy Assist Folding Deck, setting it up for your next workout is as easy as pressing a button.
One of the best features of the Sole F80 treadmill is its motor. Built with an all-steel, zinc-coated flywheel rated at 3.5 horsepower (HP), it allows for speeds up to 12 miles per hour—that's a 5-minute mile! Even better, the motor is covered by a lifetime warranty, so you never need to worry about pushing it too hard.
One feature that's missing on the Sole F80 treadmill is a decline function for downhill running or walking. However, with up to 15 incline levels, it's ideally suited for rolling hill workouts or even to simulate steep hikes.
The Sole F80 treadmill is Bluetooth-connected and can play music from your paired smartphone through the treadmill's speakers. You can also directly transfer workout data to the Sole Fitness app or a few third-party apps (Apple Health, MapMyRun, Fitbit, Record) via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, at the time of this publication, Strava was not among those apps.
The Sole F80 comes with a large 9-inch LCD screen that simply shows all of your workout data in big, easy-to-read numbers. The monitor does not have the capability to display entertainment directly, however, there is a built-in tablet holder that sits above the monitor, so you can keep an eye on both your workout stats and watch your favorite shows or movies on your smart device. There's even a USB port for charging your device while you work out.
As you'd expect with a full-sized treadmill, the Sole F80 is a solid, heavy machine at 278 pounds. Fortunately, the hydraulic arm on the Easy Assist Folding Deck makes lifting it to the storage position a breeze, and when it's time to work out again, the deck lowers automatically with the push of a button.
Another great feature of the Sole F80 is its weight capacity of 375 pounds, meaning it can accommodate heavier users than many other treadmills, as well as holding up to intense usage better.
Treadmill workouts can get boring, so if you like to mix it up, the Sole F80 has you covered. With six preset programs—Manual, Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Strength, and HIIT—you can get going with the touch of a button. If the intensity isn't quite right, you can easily jump to the desired speed or incline using quick-select buttons.
If you have a specific workout you love, or you're following a coach's training plan, the Sole F80 treadmill allows you to create and store two custom workouts. For those who prefer to exercise within a specific heart rate zone, the F80 has you covered, as well, allowing you to set up workouts in two different ranges.
Many fitness products boast an "industry-leading" warranty, but with the Sole F80, that's actually what you get. With lifetime warranties on the frame, motor, and deck, you'll never have to worry about the big-ticket items. Additionally, electronics and parts are covered for five years, and labor for two years.
- Large easy-to-read LCD screen
- Quick-select buttons for speed and incline
- Cushion Flex Whisper Deck reduces impact
- Easy Assist Folding Deck makes folding and unfolding easy
- 30-day money-back trial period
- Well-built treadmill with an industry-leading warranty
- Monitor is really basic; no built-in entertainment capabilities
- Many reviewers complained that assembly was not easy
Sole F80 Customer Reviews
We think the Sole F80 treadmill is a great value for the money, but don't just take our word for it. Check out these customer reviews courtesy of Sole:
Final Thoughts on the Sole F80 Treadmill
If you're looking for a solid treadmill capable of high-intensity workouts at a good price, the Sole F80 fits the bill. While the display monitor is basic and it lacks some of the bells and whistles of other treadmills, the quality of the product, ease of use, and fantastic warranty make the Sole F80 a great choice for runners and serious fitness enthusiasts. Also, the rugged durability and high-torque motor make the Sole F80 better suited to heavier users than other brands' treadmills.
Sole F80 Treadmill FAQs
How long do Sole treadmills last?
One of the most important things to consider when buying a treadmill is how well-built and durable it is. With one of the best warranties in the industry, it's apparent that Sole treadmills last a very long time. While nothing lasts forever, based on Sole's warranty, you can expect parts and electronics to last at least five years, and the motor, deck, and frame to last as long as you own the treadmill.
Are Sole treadmills any good?
While some reviewers dinged the Sole F80 for its low-quality speakers, weak fan, and unreliable chest strap heart rate monitor (included at no extra charge), the treadmill gets top marks for what really matters—functionality during workouts and durability. Our takeaway is that Sole treadmills are a good value for the money.
Are Sole treadmills better than NordicTrack?
You might be wondering how Sole treadmills compare to that other big name in cardio machines —NordicTrack. One big difference is that NordicTrack treadmills cover a wider range of uses and prices, from budget home models to high-tech commercial models.
The primary difference, though, is that NordicTrack has invested in their iFit subscription service and built their treadmills to be compatible with it. The iFit service allows users to do on-demand or live workouts via a high-end color display monitor—quite different from Sole's basic display. For two machines at the same price point, though, that means you'll be sacrificing a bit in other areas. For example, the NordicTrack Elite 1000, comparable to the Sole F80, has only a 3 HP motor, a narrower running deck, a maximum user weight of 300 pounds, and a less generous warranty than Sole offers.
The bottom line: if you're looking for guided workouts and a whiz-bang entertainment system, a NordicTrack model might be what you want. But if you're okay streaming entertainment on your own device and prefer a more powerful treadmill with a better warranty, Sole has the edge.