An industry standard, good equipped gym class treadmill in the convenience of your home might sound like the latest Tom Cruise science fiction flick, but it isn’t. It’s a reality that you can live day by day. Wether you just want to stay fit or have that inexplainable urge to run, or walk, daily regardless of the situation outside, regardless of the time you have at your disposal. 30 minutes before guests arrive? I wouldn’t recommend it, but 30 minutes after they have left you can have your 2 hour seance with the space shuttle of treadmills, the Sole F80… let’s see what it knows for the money.
Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill Overview
This is the perfect combination of silence, safety and performance that we are looking at here. Still not perfect with only 10 preset programs and no iFit Live connection, but boy is this a good machine. Running ona a 3.5 continuous duty HP motor, exceptionally silent and with great cushioning it will burst you into speed up to 12 miles per hour (seems like a standard max speed here). More durable and better designed than it’s “older brother” the F63 this threadmill will clearly over deliver any beginner runner – and why not start with a good machine as opposed to some low valued thing that breaks in half after an hour of use? It will also completely satisfy any middle class runners and will keep their need for daily running fulfilled.
Here’s a pretty good video that shows you how the whole thing looks like in real life:
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In a nutshell (the stuff you don’t see on the merchant’s page), this is a fantastic machine – clearly a little higher price indicates this fact too – which can help you get in shape or prepare for your running competitions better. Here are some highlighted moments of beauty with this running machine:
- good wide belt, could be a great fit for bigger people too
- easily accessible controls both on the deck and on the handrails too (for speed and elevation), you don’t need to grab around like a mad person if you want to run faster or change the elevation
- manual overriding a lot of pre-set programs, make the treadmill workout on your own terms
- excellent for beginners who want to measure their heart-rate while running
- safety feature in form of a magnetic key that turns the treadmill off in case you stumble or fall (and can save you from serious injuries)
- a lot of storage options for bottles, towels, etc. be fresh and clean while you run (and once you start running 1-1,5 hours you’ll know how them towels look like)
- a sneaky trick to even put your iPad on the treadmill and watch or read while you run while you still see the console
- fan provides flow of air but it could be better
- every program starts with a 3 second delay, which is a great security feature
- all workouts have a warm-up period which is cool (and a cool down period which is cooler) because you don’t get to be surprised once it starts running.
- it is really silent, so you won’t wake up half the neighborhood, and finally
- the flipping up is extremely easy, while when you’re putting it back to the ground, you just flip the lever again and the Sole F80 machine automatically, gradually lowers itself slowly which is a really awesome safety feature.
So, that all being said…
Is Sole Fitness Treadmill Worth Running On?
There are people who generally avoid treadmills because they are boring. But this is, in our opinion a wrong way of approaching it. So many things are easier with this machine, and if you do want to workout in your home, this might just be the solution you were looking for.
The Sole company has been around for couple of years only, but they stand out above their competition right from the beginning by using commercial quality equipment in their machines. Good quality and durability is their model even in the lower price range of running machines, and in this upper middle class it is clear as day they aimed to please.
Combine that with ease of use, and an unbeatable warranty the manufacturer offers, and you clearly have a winner. Here’s what a happy customer said about the warranty used 2 years after the purchase:
He said he got a reply within 12 hours of complain, and that the new part from the warehouse is already on the way, all while the old part will be taken back for diagnostics. This was a really smooth transition and didn’t take 100s of mails or hours of telephone conversations to fix the damage. Awesome.Happy Runner
Sole F80 Features
- 3.5 Continuous Duty HP motor – extremely quiet combined with high power motor. Speed range is between 0.5 and 12 mph. Maximum incline industry standard 15%
- High quality – steel frame, woven two-ply belts with four layers, 2.75″ rollers, heavy duty motor that screams stability at you
- Fold-up running deck – saving space when not using it is important (though it is quite big and heavy so you will need initial space anyway)
- 10 Built In Programs – a little on the “low end” it only has 6 built in workout programs, 2 heart programs and 2 custom programs that you can manage on your own. We still want to say it’s probably more than enough, unless you are a maximalist pro runner.
- Space-ship feeling of a big console – easy to use console with 7.5″ LCD display with all the needed monitors (speed, distance, time, calories, pulse, incline, pace) and controls for those along with the MP3 feature.
- Durable machine with high load – supports up to 375 pounds
- Safety – cushioned flex whisper deck for comfortable and smooth running, reducing impact up to 40%
- Pulse grip and chest strap heart monitoring
- Build in speakers – connects to your favorite MP3 or iPod for ultimate experience with music, audio books, podcasts, etc..
- Total: 35″ wide by 58″ height by 80″ depth (W x H x D)
- Deck: 35″ wide by 80″ depth
- Track (running surface) dimensions: 20″ wide by 60″ long
- Rollers: 2.75″
- Weight: 275 lbs.
- Maximum load weight: 375 pounds
Sole is known for their generous warranty, so you get
- lifetime for the frame, motor and deck,
- 5 years for electronic parts, and
- 2 years for labor.
Special tip: buy an extra warranty for a complete peace of mind.
What We Liked
We have to mention the high quality equipment of this treadmill. It’s just really really good. For being an upper middle class machine, the look and feel is really commercial standard. Small gym at your home.
The built in console fan is a great feature which makes your long workouts really easy. We want to say cooling fans are cool. Uh. Sounds cheesy?
Incline and speed controls are built into the armrest which contributes pretty much to ease of use.
Super silent but powerful motor satisfies both walkers and runners pretty much.
Audio is easy to use and of pretty good quality.
Finally, shipping is Free in the United States (with such a heavy package this might save you a lot of money)
What Could Be Improved
For a good quality mid range treadmill we feel the number of programs is on the lower side. Could have been more custom programs, and more pre-defined ones too. But it will still satisfy your need unless you are really diversifying your daily running routine.
The console looks nice, space-ship like but come on, it’s the age of touch screen and voice commands and remote stuff and Sole really could work a little on that.
Assembling the F80 treadmill seems to be a bit of a pain in the a.. so the best thing to do is to call for professional help (let’s hope it’s available).
Four out of five stars on many review sites like Amazon for example, is something we can live with. It’s a good, quality equipment that serves its purpose and will make the owner happy. Not perfect, and in this price range it could have some more gadgetry improvements over its “little bro” F63, but overall a decent treadmill with good value for the money.
Fit for walking and running, and it will work good if you are not planning to run a marathon on it.
You can check the best prices, often with Free Shipping included (and nothing beats free shipping with a weight-beast like this, right?).
Need a top notch quality? Check out the Sole F85, the "Big Brother" of Sole Treadmills.
Or is this one maybe too pricy for ya?
Well then maybe you will like the price of Horizon T101 treadmill (we loved it).