Sole F80 Treadmill Review 2019

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We really like the Sole F80 Treadmill. It’s build is solid, has a great weight capacity, and will perform very well for someone who is not super tech-savvy. Read the rest of the review to see if the Sole F80 is a good fit for your home gym.

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Sole F80 Treadmill Review Image

Features

6.8/10

Tech Specs

4/10

Build Quailty

10/10

Treadmill Review

Updated: 11-11-2019

The Sole F80 Treadmill is one of the most popular models of treadmills sold on the market today. When it comes to competing with the NordicTrack/ProForm (ICON) juggernaut, Sole might just be the most competitive - and the F80 seems to be their flagship/anchor model.

With a solid build, good price tag, and decent features, the F80 Treadmill by Sole is a solid option for those looking to purchase a treadmill in the $1500 range.


Buying The Sole F80

Typically, you will find the Sole F80 priced around $1,500 - $1,600. As such, it generally is compared against the treadmills in the $1500-$2000 category, like the NordicTrack 1750 Treadmill.

Who the Sole F80 Treadmill is For:

The Sole F80 is built for the serious runner who wants a no/low-frills, easy-to-use treadmill that will last for years to come. If you are someone who likes to run, needs a folding treadmill that is solid, and also likes to have physical buttons to push (vs. more electronic, touch-pad options), then you should consider purchasing the F80. It’s a great treadmill that will last a long time but won’t take up a lot of space in your home or apartment.

It’s also good to note that the weight capacity of the F80 is 300 lbs, which is one of the highest for treadmills in this price range. If you are someone who needs that extra weight limit in this price range, then this is a great option.

Sole F80 Treadmill

Why we like the Sole F80

  • Sturdy, durable treadmill, with a higher weight capacity vs. other competitors in this price range (375 lbs).
  • Very simple and easy to use. While we love the technology on the 1750, we also understand that not everyone wants a super high tech treadmill. We love the buttons on the F80 and find them very easy to use. For the minimalist who doesn’t want to worry about having to learn how to use a touch-screen, then the F80 could be a great treadmill.
  • Fold very easily. This is great for people who need a treadmill that doesn’t take up a lot of space.
  • Very easy to put together. When it comes to assembly, the Sole F80 was one of the easiest machines we have put together. Part of this is due to the fact that the console is more simplistic than some others; however, it is very nice that the console comes as one piece vs 2 and makes the assembly much easier for those who are not ‘install-savvy’.

Sole F80 Treadmill Build Quality

MODEL OVERVIEW

Motor Size: 3.5 CHP

Running Area: 22” W x 60” L

Weight Capacity: 375 lbs

Folding: Yes

Footprint In Use: 37” (width) x 82” (length) x 57” (height)

Footprint Folded: 37” (width) x 44” (length) x 71” (height)

Max Speed: 12 MPH

Incline Range: 0% to 15%

Electrical Requirements: 120V

Roller Size - 2.5”

Cushioning - Yes, not substantial.

Warranty - frame/motor/deck - Lifetime

Parts and Electronics - 5 years

Labor - 2 years

Customer Support - Email / Phone - no online chat support offered

Return Policy - 30-day return policy, with an 8% restocking fee (so that comes out to around $120 for the F80)

Motor Size - The motor on the Sole F80 is a 3.5 CHP (continuous horsepower), DC type motor. One of Sole’s strengths is that their motors do tend to last a while. As such, Sole has built up a following of people who like a machine that, while simple, lasts and does its job. We do like how the motor is a CHP motor vs HP, as you will get more power from that in a treadmill. At 3.5 CHP, the Sole F80 comes in just under its main competitor, the NordicTrack 1750, which boasts a 3.8 CHP motor.

Folding - The Sole F80 is a folding treadmill. It folds easily, using a hydraulic arm to carry most of the weight of the deck. Once folded, the deck locks into place. Four wheels at the base of the Sole F80 make it one of the easier treadmills to move around. The deck is released by pulling the yellow lever at the top end of the deck. Lowering it is really easy. You can let go of the deck once it’s been released and it will slowly lower itself to the ground.

Sole F80 Treadmill Hydraulic Folding Deck

Running Surface - We really like the running surface of the F80. At 22” x 60”, the F80 is ¼” larger than the track on the 1750, and around 2” wider than some of the other competitors on the market (i.e. the Horizon T7 that only has a 20” belt).

Again, in comparing vs the 1750, the Sole F80’s belt is 22”, which is ¼” wider than the 1750. Total track width was the same (23”) for both models. While we have never had an issue with either machine in terms of having enough space to run, it is something that we like on the Sole F80.

Sole F80 Treadmill Running Surface

Space / Footprint - While in use the F80 by Sole takes up 100 cubic ft : 37” (width) x 82” (length) x 57” (height)

While stored and folded, the F80 takes up 67 cubic ft : 37” (width) x 44” (length) x 71” (height)

This is slightly more than the NordicTrack 1750 and the Horizon T7.

Noise Level -

Treadmill running at (baseline room noise of 53 db):

  • 12 MPH, w/fans: 78 db
  • 6 MPH, w/fans: 70 db
  • 1 MPH, w/fans: 61 db

As you can see, the numbers show a pretty quiet machine that is right in line with the competition. You can for sure run on this treadmill while your child is sleeping in another room.

Max Speed - The F80 has a minimum speed of .5 mph, and a maximum of 12 mph, which is fast enough for even really fast runners. If you can average better than a 5-minute mile in training mode...well you’re awesome!

Sole F80 Treadmill Max SpeedSole F80 Treadmill Speed Control Buttons

Incline/Decline - With an incline of 15% you will be able to really get a great workout in while running on the F80. No, this doesn’t compare to the 35-45% inclines you find on incline trainers, but this is very comparable to our other topic picks in this price range.

One thing we don’t like about the F80 is that you don’t have the ability to run at a decline - the track won’t decline below 0%. While we don’t know many people who love running downhill, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to be able to train for when you have to run downhill. This is something we hope Sole will improve on in the future.

Sole F80 Treadmill Max Incline and Decline

Sole F80 Treadmill Features & Accessories

Display: 9” White Back-lit LCD Screen

On-Board Workouts: 10

Speakers: Yes,

Fans: Yes

Heart Rate Monitoring: EKG pulse grips and Bluetooth Chest Strap HR monitor

USB port: No

HDMI port: No

Audio Jack: Yes

Water bottle cubbies: Yes

Tablet holder: Yes


Sole F80 Treadmill Features

While the Sole F80 is great, solid machine (see build quality below), where we do feel it falls short is in terms of features. Sole’s treadmills definitely don’t have the same amount of tech and other features found in some competitors’ models (NordicTrack and ProForm specifically). However, we do feel that Sole fits a specific niche in the market - those people looking for a straightforward, solid treadmill where you don’t have to worry about tech and touch-screens.

In other words, if you are someone who likes physical buttons, simple yet straightforward workouts, and don’t like dealing with technology (which, we do feel it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes tech ends up causing problems), then the F80 could be a great treadmill for you and your family. We would also recommend it for older generations who struggle with swiping through multiple touch screens or using devices like iPads and tablets.

Workout Apps -

The Sole F80 treadmill comes with a total of 10 different running apps. There are 6 different programs (manual, hill, cardio, fat burn, strength, interval), 2 different target heart rate programs, and then you also have the ability to customize 2 different user programs.

Overall, they are good programs. Solid, nothing flashy, but they work.

  • Manual Workout
  • Hill Workout
  • Fat Burn Workout
  • Cardio Workout
  • Strength Workout
  • Interval Workout
  • Heart Rate Workout #1 - 60% Target Heart Rate
  • Heart Rate Workout #2 - 80% Target Heart Rate

9” White Back-lit LCD Screen - As you can see from the image above, the Sole F80 comes with a basic, non-color, LCD screen. The size, 9”, is nice - but other than that, the screen is very basic.

Sole F80 Treadmill LCD Monitor

Speakers

There are 2 small speakers that come with the F80. The speakers don’t really put out much volume, so don’t plan on really rocking out while you are running with these. We would say these put out about ½ - ⅔ of the sound volume produced by the 1750.

It is nice that Sole includes an adapter that you can use to connect your phone so you don’t have to buy that.

Workout Fans - 2 small workout fans sit at the top of the console. We do wish that Sole would have done more here, as the fan output is very mild and disappointing. There is also only one speed.

Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor - We like how a wireless Bluetooth monitor comes with the F80. While the heart rate grips worked well, we are still big fans of the Bluetooth monitors because grabbing and holding onto the grips while running is awkward on all machines. However, this issue is a little worse on the F80 given how low the grips are. If you are above 6’0” then this could get annoying very quickly.

Cushioning - Sole has what they call their “Cushion flex whisper deck”. Unfortunately, the run feels much more firm and stiff vs the 1750, and there isn’t a way to adjust the firmness. If you are someone who likes a more firm running surface, however, then you will like this model.

Other Tech Features

  • Auxiliary music port, with cable included, so you can plug in your phone or MP3 player and listen to your own music through the machine’s speakers (again, we would recommend using headphones as the music sound volume is not that high)
  • Heart Pulse Monitor. We like the responsiveness to the heart pulse monitor built into the machine. It is quicker and seems more accurate than 1750 by NordicTrack. However, the monitors are situated very low and are somewhat annoying to have to reach for.
  • Accessory Trays. There are a total of 5 accessory trays - 2 up top and 3 down below. Again, the trays down below are pretty low and hard to get to while running.
Sole F80 Treadmill Accessory Tray

Sole F80 Treadmill Subscription Service

Name: Sole Fitness

Brief Description: Sole created an app that pairs with their treadmills. It shows you exactly what you can see on the treadmill display. You may control the treadmill from your mobile device but we’ve found this to be slow and glitchy. The app does have an outdoor feature that tracks your activity if you were to go run outside.

Cost: Free

Community: none

Subscription Limitations: There is really not a lot of use for this service. We’re happy to see that it's free!


Sole F80 Treadmill Home Screen

Sole Fitness Home Screen - Pair with device or use as an outdoor activity tracker.

Sole F80 Treadmill Home Screen -2

Sole Fitness App paired with yout treadmill allows you to control your treadmill from your mobile device. We’ve found this app to be quite slow and glitchy.

Sole F80 Treadmill App Control

Sole Fitness App as an outdoor activity tracker allows you to choose from running, walking, and cycling. The app uses GPS to track your distance, speed, time, etc. Then stores workout data on the app.

Bottom Line Review of the F80 Treadmill by Sole

Overall, we really like the Sole F80 Treadmill. It’s build is solid, has a great weight capacity, and will perform very well for someone who is not super tech-savvy. We have it rated as a top pick for home treadmills in the $1500-$2000 category.

Best Place to Buy the Sole F80

While the Sole F80 is available in some stores, we highly recommend purchasing directly through Sole. They typically have the best pricing, even on holidays like Black Friday or Memorial Day weekend. In addition, you get better support if you go directly through the manufacturer and there is no difference in terms of delivery options.

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