Sole Fitness Ellipticals Review: Which Machine is Right for You?

sole ellipticals


Whether you're a runner or cyclist in the market for a cross-training option or simply looking for a good sweat, an elliptical machine can provide a low-impact, yet full-body workout. Ellipticals use a gliding motion to work both your upper and lower body while keeping your joints from bearing too much pressure. But how can you find the right elliptical for you among the sea of possibilities? If you're a cardio fiend, you've probably heard of the brand known as Sole—a well-known giant in the world of cardio equipment.

In this Sole elliptical review, the ACTIVE Reviews Team compares their seven top elliptical machines, weighing the pros and cons of each so you can decide which one is worth your investment. Keep reading for a complete breakdown of Sole's top-rated ellipticals.

Why Trust Us?

The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring their 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 Sole Ellipticals

Sole Fitness has been producing quality, yet affordable treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and rowers for decades. They're a favorite among both individual consumers and hotel "In Room Fitness" programs. And they have options for every budget from basic (check out the Sole E20) to commercial grade (Sole E98). Sole fitness machines offer consumers a great workout option without breaking the bank, but they also stand up to their quality claims. They offer a full lifetime warranty on frames and multi-year warranties on parts and labor, at no extra cost to the consumer. And unlike some other brands, their warranties also include wear and tear. Given the quality product, affordable price, and nationwide availability, a Sole elliptical makes a great option for a variety of athletes and active individuals.

The Sole Elliptical Product Lineup

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Sole E20 Elliptical

sole e20 elliptical

SPECS

  • Footprint: 64"H x 64"Lx 20"D
  • Motor: Front drive
  • Incline: Manual adjustable
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes, for audio speakers only
  • Monitor: 5.5" LED
  • Weight: 175 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Standard programs: 6
  • Custom programs: 0
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 3-year electronics warranty, 1-year parts and labor warranty

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Priced affordably, the Sole E20 offers a joint-friendly workout that's well within reach when you purchase this elliptical. The Sole E20 doesn't have as many bells and whistles as some of its sister models, but it's still a durable machine that comes with enough basic features to offer a killer sweat. This front-drive model features a 14.4-pound flywheel and a high gear ratio for a smooth and quiet workout. The oversized foot pedals were designed by physical therapists and feature a 2-degree inward slope to maintain the body's natural motion and reduce stress on joints.

The user-friendly LED display allows users to choose from 6 integrated programs or create their own workout by adjusting the incline and increasing the speed. Stay entertained by connecting your favorite music to the Bluetooth speakers or use the integrated smart tablet holder to watch a show or movie. Bottom line: this is a great entry-level elliptical that will get the job done.

PROS

  • Budget-friendly
  • Included USB-charger for electronic devices
  • Integrated smart tablet holder
  • Small footprint, great for home gyms or spare rooms

CONS

  • 300-lb. weight limit may be insufficient for larger users
  • Lacks the ability to create customized programs
  • Assembly can be a bit tricky if you do it yourself

BUY: Sole E20 Elliptical

Sole E35 Elliptical

sole e35 elliptical

SPECS

  • Footprint: 71"H x 82"L x 31"D
  • Motor: Front drive
  • Incline: Power adjustable, levels 1-20
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • Monitor: 7.5" LCD
  • Weight: 231 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 375 lbs.
  • Standard programs: 6
  • Custom programs: 2
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty

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If you're looking for a higher-end elliptical option, the Sole E35 offers a durable machine with some thoughtful extras. With a 25-pound flywheel and a high gear ratio, this elliptical is super quiet and helps users maintain a natural running motion. This model offers four rear wheels on heavy duty rails to reinforce stability and reduce side-to-side wobbling.

The ramp angle adjusts from levels 1-20 and the Power Incline technology offers additional resistance options. Pedal forwards or backward for a full range of motion and grip the handlebars for an upper-body workout. It also comes with two custom programs, giving you the option to create your own workout. Plus, you can pair your elliptical with your choice of fitness app (Sole, FitBit, Apple Health) for personalized data and tracking.

PROS

  • Unique Power Incline technology specifically targets the lower body
  • Articulating and adjustable footpads to reduce "numb toes" sensation
  • Users can transfer workout data via Bluetooth to the Sole app, MapMyRun, FitBit, Record, or Apple Health
  • Built-in cooling fan, water bottle holder, and tablet holder

CONS

  • Quite heavy, so can be difficult to move once assembled
  • More pricey than other options

BUY: Sole E35 Elliptical

Sole E25 Elliptical

sole e25 elliptical

SPECS

  • Footprint: 71"H x 70"L x 24"D
  • Motor: Front drive
  • Incline: Power adjustable, levels 1-20
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • Monitor: 6.5" LCD
  • Weight: 212 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Standard programs: 6
  • Custom programs: 2
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 3-year electronics and parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty

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If your main form of exercise is a high-impact sport like running, an elliptical is a good choice to give your joints a break while still providing a solid cardiovascular workout. The E25 model delivers an impact-free workout with plenty of opportunities for customization. The 20-pound front flywheel ensures quiet operation while the four rear wheels stabilize the machine and limit side-to-side rocking.

What sets the E25 from other Sole ellipticals is the pulse monitors on the handlebars with a chest strap to really tap into heart rate—track your heart rate alongside your workout with either of the E25's two heart programs. Use the Bluetooth function to play your music through the elliptical speakers and follow along with your pick of six standard programs and two custom programs.

PROS

  • Included cooling fan, water bottle holder, USB charger, and tablet holder
  • Connect to Bluetooth to play music through speakers
  • Comes with two heart rate programs and a chest strap to monitor heart rate

CONS

  • Warranty program not as robust as more expensive models
  • Assembly can be tricky

BUY: Sole E25 Elliptical

Sole E95 Elliptical

sole e95 elliptical

SPECS

  • Footprint: 71"H x 82"L x 31"D
  • Motor: Front drive
  • Incline: Power adjustable, levels 1-20
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • Monitor: 10.1" TFT LCD
  • Weight: 236 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Standard programs: 6
  • Custom programs: 2
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty

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Comparable to commercial gym models, the E95 delivers the ultimate elliptical experience. This model features a power incline and ramp angle that adjusts from levels 0-20, allowing the user to really target the lower body. Plus, incline and resistance control buttons are integrated into the handles making it super easy to adjust your workout.

Where the E95 really stands out is in the foot pedals. The machine features a "worm drive" which allows users to adjust the angle of the foot pedal, reducing numb toes and Achilles tendon inflammation. The oversized foot pedals are designed by physical therapists and have cushioning for extra comfort. With a 27-pound elliptical flywheel, this machine provides an exceptionally smooth and quiet experience. And like almost all Sole models, the E95 comes with an integrated tablet holder, water bottle holder, Bluetooth connectivity, and an included chest strap for heart rate monitoring.

PROS

  • Large 10.1" TFT LCD display
  • Lots of included extras (smart tablet holder, USB charging, cooling fan, HR monitoring chest strap)
  • Many opportunities for customization: adjustable incline, adjustable pedals, adjustable console

CONS

  • Heavy and has a bigger footprint than some other Sole models
  • Like many Sole machines, can be difficult to assemble (especially if solo)

BUY: Sole E95 Elliptical

Sole E55 Elliptical

sole e55 elliptical

SPECS

  • Footprint: 71"H x 71"L x 27"D
  • Motor: Front drive
  • Incline: Power adjustable, levels 1-20
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • Monitor: 9" LCD
  • Weight: 214 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 375 lbs.
  • Standard programs: 6
  • Custom programs: 2
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty

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If you want the premium features of the E95 model, but need a smaller footprint, the E55 might be right for you. Like its sister, the E95, this machine offers a smooth and quiet workout with plenty of opportunities for customization. The power incline and adjustable ramp angle will challenge the lower body while the handles will tone the upper body. The integrated resistance and incline controls on the handles make workout adjustments a breeze. And the adjustable footbeds mean you'll always have a comfortable stance. Unlike a stationary bike, you won't need special shoes or equipment. Your running shoes can double as elliptical shoes.

The thick steel frame supports users up to 375 pounds and the generous warranty underscores the durability of the machine. Often only found on pricier models, the four rear wheels ride on heavy-duty rails, keeping the ride stable and reducing rocking motion. If you need a compact elliptical that doesn't skimp on features, consider the E55.

PROS

  • Smaller footprint than the similar E95 model
  • Integrated Bluetooth technology allows users to transfer workout data to the Sole app or several other fitness trackers (e.g., Apple Health)
  • Multiple exercise programs and incline levels for a fully customizable workout

CONS

  • The 20-lb. flywheel doesn't offer quite as much power or smoothness as some of the other Sole models

BUY: Sole E55 Elliptical

Sole E95S Elliptical

sole e95s elliptical

SPECS

  • Footprint: 72"H x 84"L x 32"D
  • Motor: Front drive
  • Incline: Not adjustable
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • Monitor: 10.1" TFT LCD
  • Weight: 265 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Standard programs: 6
  • Custom programs: 2
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty

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If you want an elliptical that offers even more customizability and functionality than the SoleE95, the Sole E95S is the model to look at. Shorten or lengthen your stride length with the push of a button to more closely mimic running. This feature is unique to the E95S model, so if stride length adjustability is important to you, this is something to consider. With a 400-pound user weight limit and 30-pound flywheel, this model is one of the sturdiest and most durable on the market. And the articulating and adjustable foot pedals offer unparalleled customization and comfort while breaking a sweat.

If you're new to elliptical machines, it might be tricky to figure out the appropriate incline and resistance for a solid workout. But if you wear a heart rate monitor (either a chest strap or a wrist option) and connect to the Bluetooth of the machine, you'll be able to see your heart rate zone displayed on the screen.

And of course, your goal might change day-to-day, which is why the integrated programs of the E95S model are a great option. Like almost all of Sole's offerings, the E95S also comes with an integrated tablet holder, USB charger, cooling fan, and an included chest strap.

PROS

  • Ability to customize stride length
  • Large 10" display screen
  • Bluetooth technology allows users to connect workout data to a number of fitness apps

CONS

  • Heavier and longer than some other models
  • Because this model features a power-adjustable stride length, the incline is not adjustable

BUY: Sole E95S Elliptical

Sole E98 Elliptical

sole e98 elliptical

SPECS

  • Footprint: 71"H x 82"L x 31"D
  • Motor: Front drive
  • Incline: Power adjustable
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • Monitor: 10.1" TFT LCD
  • Weight: 249 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Standard programs: 6
  • Custom programs: 2
  • Residential warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty
  • Commercial warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 3-year electronics and parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty

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If you're looking for a machine that can withstand heavy use, the E98 model is a good option to consider. Rated for up to five hours of use per day, this machine is ideal for a family of exercisers or use in a light commercial use setting (e.g., firehouse, apartment building gym, garage gym). The heavy-duty steel construction, 400-pound user weight limit, and 32-pound flywheel make for a durable machine that can withstand hours of operation each day.

With a total of 10 programs ranging from heart rate to fat burn, there's a challenge for every level of user. To track your progress over time, take the "fitness test" program. This is the only Sole machine with this program—it takes into consideration your heart rate and pedal speed and can help you gauge whether you're progressing. And of course, you'll also get the extras that Sole ellipticals are known for: integrated smart tablet holder, USB charger, cooling fan, and a water bottle holder.

PROS

  • Top-rated for commercial use (up to 5 hours per day) at a residential price
  • Integrated “fitness test" program allows users to track their gains
  • With a 32-lb. flywheel the operation is quiet and smooth

CONS

  • Most expensive Sole model, not a budget-friendly choice

BUY: Sole E98 Elliptical

Sole Elliptical Comparison

   Sole E20  Sole E35  Sole E25  Sole E95  Sole E55  Sole E95S  Sole E98
 Footprint  64"H x 64"L x 20"D  71"H x 82"L x 31"D  71"H x 70"L x 24"D  71"H x 82"L x 31"D  71"H x 71"L x 27"D  72"H x 84"L x 32"D  71"H x 82"L x 31"D
 Motor  Front  Front  Front  Front  Front  Front  Front
 Incline  Manual adjustable  Power adjustable  Power adjustable  Power adjustable  Power adjustable  Not adjustable  Power adjustable
 Bluetooth capability  Audio speakers only  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
 Monitor  5.5" LED  7.5" LCD  6.5" LCD  10.1" TFT LCD  9" LCD  10.1" TFT LED  10.1" TFT LED
 Weight  175 lbs.  231 lbs.  212 lbs.  236 lbs.  214 lbs.  265 lbs.  249 lbs.
 Weight capacity  300 lbs.  375 lbs.  350 lbs.  400 lbs.  375 lbs.  400 lbs.  400 lbs.
 Standard programs  6  6  6  6  6  6  6
 Custom programs  0  2  2  2  2  2  2
 Warranty   Lifetime frame warranty, 3-year electronics warranty, 1-year parts and labor warranty  Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty  Lifetime frame warranty, 3-year electronics and parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty  Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty  Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty/td>  Lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty  Residential warranty: lifetime frame warranty, 5-year electronics and parts warranty, 2-year labor warranty
 Price  $649.99  $1,499.99  $999.99  $1,799.99  $1,699.99  $2,199.99  $2,499.99

Final Thoughts on Sole Ellipticals

Sole fitness offers a wide range of elliptical machines, starting with the most basic E20 model and culminating with the commercial-grade E98 machine. So, whether you're a casual user (once or twice a week) or looking for some serious training, there's an option that will work. All Sole elliptical machines are built with durable components and come with a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, so you know you're getting a quality machine no matter what option you choose.

If you're willing to spend a little more money, you'll be met with a wider range of options and extras such as adjustable footrests, more integrated technology, and quieter operation. If you're looking for an occasional cross-training option, a basic model like the E20 will likely give you what you need. But if you're planning on using your Sole elliptical frequently, splurging on the E95S or the E98 might be worth the extra investment.

Sole Elliptical FAQs


Is Sole a good elliptical brand?

Before you invest in a Sole elliptical machine, you probably want to make sure you're buying a good product. As far as usability, any model can give you a solid workout. However, it's important to note that when you upgrade to a more expensive model, you'll be getting more bells and whistles. Regardless of what machine you choose, you can rest assured that Sole products are built to take a pounding (literally). The company uses quality components with an emphasis on durability. Sole also tests each product before it's boxed and shipped, and if anything goes wrong, they offer a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor.

How long do Sole ellipticals last?

A sole elliptical machine, like most ellipticals, will probably last somewhere between 10 and 20 years. A lot of the variation will depend on how well the machine is maintained. For example, is it stored in a damp garage or is it used and lubricated regularly? Because Sole ellipticals come with a lifetime guarantee on the motor and frame (and limited warranties on the other parts), you can rest assured that your machine will last for years to come.

Is Sole better than NordicTrack?

Both Sole and NordicTrack are leading names in the fitness industry and neither one is a bad choice. Sole has a wider range of models with their base model starting at $1,399.99, while NordicTrack's typically runs more expensive, though they have basic models available for $1,299 and $1,399. Both offer options for customizing your workout and increasing amenities as you go up in price. If you're a fan of high-tech digital displays or iFit-branded workout programs, you may find NordicTrack to be a better fit than the more basic design Sole offers.

About the Author

Megan Harrington |

Megan is a runner and writer living in Upstate New York. Megan ran cross-country and track throughout high school and college and now enjoys longer races like the marathon. When she's not reviewing the latest fitness gear or writing copy for brands, Megan enjoys being active with her husband and two small children. For more on what Megan is up to, you can follow her on Instagram.
Megan is a runner and writer living in Upstate New York. Megan ran cross-country and track throughout high school and college and now enjoys longer races like the marathon. When she's not reviewing the latest fitness gear or writing copy for brands, Megan enjoys being active with her husband and two small children. For more on what Megan is up to, you can follow her on Instagram.

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