Sole treadmills now offers a full line of fitness equipment – treadmills, ellipticals and exercise bikes, with updated 2013 models released in late 2012.
They started with treadmills, specifically selling treadmills to prominent hotel chains.
These days Sole is one of the most popular treadmill merchant on the web and for good reason. Many sole treadmill users report that Sole treadmills are solid, sturdy, smooth, durable and overall rate them a good buy.
UPDATE: In late 2012 Sole released updated treadmills and ellipticals (2013 models) – click here to learn more about these new models.
Sole’s most popular treadmill
Sole’s most popular treadmill is the Sole F80. It’s their mid-priced treadmill outfitted with several premium features. Arguably, better feature sets than what the F80 offers provides diminishing returns. By this I mean that the added feature sets (which you can learn in this Sole treadmill comparison chart) don’t add a great deal to overall performance. Therefore, the F80 is the number 1 chosen treadmill by Sole customers.
All of Sole’s Treadmills
|Sole F63||Sole F65||Sole F80||Sole F83|
|Sole F85||Sole S73||Sole S77||Sole TT8|
Reported DISadvantages of Sole Treadmills
In this Sole treadmills review I’ll jump to the cons because that’s probably more important to you than the pros or benefits.
1. Lousy speakers
One of the most mentioned complaints is how lousy the on-board speakers are. Most users resort to headphones or their own stereo.
2. Ineffective Fans
All Sole treadmills are outfitted with two fans. However, many people report that the fans don’t work very well and aren’t even worth using.
3. Lacks graphical display
Some treadmill manufacturers put a great deal of focus in the on-board computer screen, software and graphics. Sole doesn’t and it shows. The screens are fairly small and the graphics are old school. Moreover, not one Sole treadmill has a TV or internet access.
If you want a treadmill that features incredible graphics and other on-board media, Sole is not for you.
UPDATE: Sole improved its graphical display significantly with the 2013 treadmill models. The upgrades include larger screens and LCD display.
4. Slow speed change
This is the biggest complaint that goes toward Sole treadmill performance. Many people don’t like how long it takes for Sole treadmills to arrive to newly selected speeds. For example, it takes longer than many people wish for the speed to adjust from 2 miles per hour to 5 miles per hour and vice versa.
For many people this doesn’t really impact workouts except if you’re doing interval training. Interval training involves frequent speed changes at specified times. The lag in speed adjustment impacts interval training due to delays.
5. They’re heavy
Sole treadmills are heavy … really heavy. They’re built with welded steel that includes an bullet proof coating. Getting your newly arrived Sole treadmill in your home to the room of your choice is not easy. It usually takes at least 2 people.
However, heavy can be a good thing if it partly explains sturdiness and stability. Yes, it’s difficult maneuvering it around your home, but it’s a solid machine once in place.
6. Plug it into a surge protector
Treadmills in general are an electricity hog. Sole treadmills are no exception. It’s a good idea to use a surge protector to avoid other electricity-dependant appliances and electronics from being affected.
7. Plastic casing covering the motor encroaches the running space
On all Sole treadmills, the plastic casing covering the motor at the bottom in the front extends a little too far for some people because it encroaches on the running space. Most people adapt; however, it’s arguably a slight design flaw. The upside is it’s a safety feature to protect the motor from people and people from the motor.
Sole Treadmill Advantages
Despite the several complaints set out above, many people have great things to say about their Sole treadmill. The following aspects are most commonly praised:
Nobody likes working out on weak, squeaky, shaky fitness machines. You know the type I’m talking about … they feel like they’re going to break down or fall apart at any time. There’s so many home fitness equipment machines that don’t feel sturdy.
Sole treadmills are known for being strong and sturdy even during intense workouts. Many people report they perform as well as the treadmills at a gym (and gyms usually spend quite a bit more per treadmill).
Because Sole uses large rollers (2.5 to 3 inches, depending on the model you buy), the tread belt glides smoothly and firmly across the treadmill deck. Of course, the sturdy frame and strong deck contribute to it being a smooth operation.
The motor is encased in thick plastic. The belt is 2-ply. The deck is what Sole calls a “Whisper deck”. All of these elements contribute to Sole treadmills being surprisingly quiet. The quality belt and firm deck reduce noise from each foot strike (usually the foot strike causes the most noise … not the motor).
Sole offers a lifetime warranty on the motor, frame and decks on all models. The lifetime deck warranty is highly unusual in the treadmill industry. This means you don’t have to pay for a new deck … which is a common ongoing expense with other treadmills.
The downside with buying a treadmill from Sole or any other merchant is returning a lemon is a huge hassle. It’s a risk you take when buying fitness equipment. Sole doesn’t make returning a lemon any easier than other treadmill merchants.
Frankly, I believe a treadmill merchant with a stellar reputation as Sole could dramatically improve their already excellent reputation by implementing easy methods for returning a treadmill such as picking it up for customers. I realize this is costly, but it would be a huge benefit for customers already dealing with a treadmill that’s not right for them.
5. Quality Performance Throughout their Fleet
Some treadmill merchants sell treadmills with very poor specifications. Sole doesn’t. The number of treadmills they sell isn’t many (8 at the time this Sole treadmill review was published). Check out excellent deals here.
Distinguishing Sole Treadmill Features
Many other treadmills, even those selling at higher prices, have smaller rollers than Sole treadmills. The rollers are an important component in they contribute to stability and smoothness of the tread belt motion.
Sole developed what they call “Cushion Flex Decks” which have a lifetime warranty. These decks are designed to withstand a great deal of use, absorb sound and reduce impact.
Heavy Maximum User Weight
The maximum user weights range from 325 lbs. to 400 lbs. depending on the model you buy. Many treadmills in the same price range have a maximum user weight of 300 lbs.
Choice of Folding and Non-Folding
Sole offers 3 non-folding treadmills if that’s your preference. Folding are more popular, but not desired by everyone.
The price range of sole treadmills (sale prices) is $854 to $2,299. The most popular Sole F80 on sale costs $1,499.
Check out each individual Sole treadmill sale – click the following links:
Compare many other features of all Sole treadmills in this Sole treadmill comparison chart.
Sole Treadmill Technology Video
The following video highlight the key features of Sole treadmills
Sole Review Conclusion
If you’re budget is $850 to $2,000, and you want a sturdy, well-functioning treadmill for your home, consider Sole treadmills. Read extensively about what other users have to say. Try them in stores if you can. Then go here to get access to outstanding Sole treadmill sales.