I’d wanted a new treadmill for some time, and after researching my options, I settled on the Sole F80. It cost a bit more than I’d originally intended to pay, but I love it so far, and I’m confident the money was well spent.
I’ve only had the treadmill for a couple of weeks, so I can’t comment on its durability, but with so many positive reviews from long-time users of the machine I’m anticipating many years of trouble-free use.
In this Sole F80 review, we will look at an overview of the treadmill and its specs. We will also discuss its specs, pros, cons, and customer opinions, including mine. I will also include a product comparison chart, showing the specs and key features of Sole’s three most popular folding treadmills.
NB I am updating this review to include details of the upgraded SoleF80, which was released in 2016. I’ve been using the older version for over a year now, and I’m very happy with it.
Sole F80 Treadmill Overview
The Sole F80 Treadmill is a high-quality treadmill designed for home-use. It comes with a host of useful features and ample programs and resistance levels to suit the entire family.
The motor on the Sole Fitness F80 Treadmill is very powerful. It provides a smooth and consistent motion across all of the workout programs and resistance levels. Quiet during operation, it will not disturb other people in your household.
The technology incorporated throughout the Sole F80 offers everything to enhance the user-experience. Making each workout as comfortable and as safe as possible, it provides the tools and features to diversify workouts and take them to the highest level.
After taking delivery of its parts, you will need to assemble the treadmill. Fortunately, this is quite a straight forward task and, considering how large the machine is, it comes together quickly. The assembly instructions are clear and there is a detailed video online that shows the exact process to follow.
Comprehensive Overview of the Sole F80 Treadmill
Sole F80 Treadmill Specs
Overall dimensions – The Sole F80 treadmill measures 35″ (W) x 58″ (L) x 80″ (H).
Deck dimensions – The deck measures 35″ x 80″.
Running surface – The running surface of the Sole F80 is a very roomy 22″ x 60″.
Weight – This model weighs 265lbs.
User weight – The treadmill has an upper user-weight limit of 375 pounds.
Sole F80 Treadmill Key Features
- Powerful 3.5 CHP motor
The power and efficiency behind the Sole F80 Folding Treadmill come from its 3.5 CHP DC type motor. This is a high torque motor, so no matter how hard you want to push yourself and the treadmill, it will handle it without missing a step. Its motion is incredibly smooth and consistent, making for easy workouts.
- Cushion Flex Whisper Deck
If we run on a surface that is too hard, the jarring impact can have a detrimental effect on our knees and other leg joints. To overcome this, Sole Fitness created the Cushion Flex Whisper Deck. This advanced technology incorporates a cushioning system that absorbs the impact of each step by up to 40%, reducing user fatigue for better performance and safer and more comfortable workouts.
- Custom workout programs
The programs include 6 Profile Courses, 2 Custom Programs that allow you to design your own workout, and 2 Heart Rate Programs.
The Profile Courses are Manual, Hill, Fat Burning, Cardio, Strength, and Interval. The Custom Programs are User 1 and User 2. The two additional programs are Heart Rate 1 and Heart Rate 2. Heart Rate 1 works on 60% of the users’ maximum heart rate, and Heart Rate 2, 80%. These can be manually overridden if desired.
- Incline & Speed options
With a speed range of between 0.5 MPH and 12 MPH and incline options of between zero and 15%, the Sole F80 suits everyone from the casual exerciser through to the serious runner. The controls for these functions are set into the armrest, enabling convenient access.
The user console of the F80 treadmill has a 9 inch blue backlit LCD screen. This shows performance stats as you are working out and it displays overall results at the end of your session.
The console is very well-designed, with the setting and program buttons being easy to reach and adjust during workouts.
- Message board
An integrated message board acts as your personal trainer, scrolling messages to guide you through your workout. When you finish your session, the treadmill’s computer will send a review to the message board.
The message board also relays information on how to operate the machine and navigate its functions. This feature enables you to start working out without having to spend a long time reading the user manual first.
- 2 Heart rate monitors
Hand grip pulse monitors are set into the handlebars. For a more accurate reading, there is a chest strap. The latter has an added advantage in that it relays your pulse rate to the monitor’s screen.
The console of the Sole F80 Treadmill has a built-in sound system, which allows you to plug in your iPod or MP3 player and listen to music.
Bluetooth connectivity has been included in the latest model, so you can sync with mobile apps to track your workouts or share data. Sole provides a free app for this that is compatible with Fitbit, Record, Mapmyrun and Apple Health.
- Fold-away feature
Being designed for home use, the Sole F80 Treadmill comes with a feature that many purchasers will find extremely handy, that being a deck that can be folded when the treadmill is not in use, to free up space. Raised and lowered on hydraulics, implementing this is a very easy and safe process.
Sole F80 Treadmill Pros
One advantage of a folding treadmill model is that it can be moved away to store. A disadvantage with this type of treadmill is that some can lack stability. This is not an issue with the Sole Fitness F80, which is extremely stable due to its unique horseshoe design.
- Range of programs
To get the best results from your exercise sessions, it is important that you vary your training. Doing the same routine over and over again will result in your body and muscles getting used to it and, over time, your workouts will cease to be as effective.
Coming with 10 workout programs, this won’t be an issue with the Sole F80. Along with keeping yourself challenged, alternating programs will enable you to add variety to your workouts and potentially reach your target goals faster.
- Heart rate control
The “Heart Rate Control” feature automatically adjusts the intensity of your workout to keep you in your optimum target zone throughout.
The Sole Fitness F80 has a cooling fan built into the top of the console. While not powerful enough to totally cool you down, it does a better job than the fans on a lot of other treadmills.
There’s also a cup/water bottle holder and numerous pockets that are handy for storing items you may want to access during workouts. There’s also a ledge that can accommodate a magazine, iPod or similar.
- Easy, quick Assembly
Assembling the Sole F80 treadmill isn’t difficult, and most people find it takes between 60 and 90 minutes. The treadmill is heavy, so having a second person help will make the job a lot easier.
This model comes with a lifetime warranty against material and workmanship defects on its frame, motor, and deck, and 5-years on electronic components.
Sole F80 Treadmill Cons
With the treadmill being heavy, it is a bit cumbersome to move.
- Short side rails
The side rails of the Sole F80 could be a little longer.
What Customers are Saying about the Sole F80
The Sole F80 has consistently positive feedback from purchasers.
The treadmill’s strength and stability has been praised by many, as has its ample deck which allows even the tallest exerciser to run at full-stride. Long-time users of the Sole F80 have commented on its durability.
The vast majority of purchasers consider it to be great value for money, with a number saying its quality is on par with that of far more expensive treadmills.
Favorable comments have been left regarding the ease of folding the treadmill, and most people who commented on the assembly process said it is straightforward.
My Thoughts on the Sole F80
The first thing I noticed about the Sole F80 was how solid it looks. Having used it nine times now, I am very happy with its performance. It remains stable, no matter how hard or fast I run. Workouts are smooth and comfortable, and the motor is quieter than that of my old treadmill. The fan is stronger, too.
Two female friends helped me with the setup, which took a little over two hours. This is longer than seems to be typical, but none of us had any prior experience assembling machinery. The most difficult part of the process was handling the parts, as they are heavy.
I would have appreciated a few extra programs, but it has all I need and enough speed and incline levels for me to continue to grow my fitness.
*I’ve now used the treadmill a few hundred times and it’s still going strong.
Is the Sole F80 treadmill right for you?
One of the premium home treadmill models on the market right now, if you choose to buy the Sole Fitness F80, you will be getting an extremely well-made machine. It has a lot of desirable features and, being built on a very strong framework; you can expect it to provide trouble-free workouts for many years.
The running deck is a very generous size, so there’s a lot of room to work with. This is great for taller users, who will be able to feel very confident about stretching out, even when running at top speed.
Ideal for the casual and dedicated exerciser alike, its generously sized running deck is comfortable to work out on and, with the variety of workout options the machine offers, you should never become bored or outgrow this model.
One of the top three treadmills offered by respected manufacturer Sole Fitness, the Sole Treadmill F80 would be an excellent option if you want to be able to experience the benefits of treadmill exercise on a solid, powerful and extremely reliable treadmill that isn’t exorbitantly priced.