Tech Specs


Build Quality


Treadmill Review

Updated: January 3, 2024

This Sole F85 treadmill review describes my favorite features and a few areas I think they could improve upon. The F85 is a fantastic treadmill for home use. It has an astounding array of training options, from free to freemium to premium. Unlike other treadmills in its category, it retains all its functionality and value without an additional subscription. With the Sole F85, you are paying for a high-end treadmill that performs as it should–the rest is a bonus, just as it should be.

Sole F85 Treadmill Review 2024
The Sole F85 is durable and entertaining.

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Who The Sole F85 Is Best For:

  • Cardio users of all speeds: From walking to running, the Sole F85 can do it all. The 4.0 HP motor is powerful and has a lifetime warranty, so it's ready to go the distance at your pace.
  • Hikers: The 6 decline levels and 15 incline levels stand out among other folding treadmills. If you want to replicate a mountainous ascent indoors, the F85 does its best to get you to the summit and back down.
  • Users Looking for Portability: The Sole F85 is a large and heavy machine, but who said you have to sacrifice features and durability for portability? The four transport wheels make pushing the F85 around much easier.
  • Multi-Taskers: Watch Netflix or YouTube, put your Kindle in the tablet rack, or listen to your favorite Spotify playlist. Don’t just get your cardio in; get entertained on the Sole F85!
  • Larger Users: The F85 has a large deck at 22” x 60”. The weight capacity of 375 lbs is decent for larger users.

Pros And Cons Of The Sole F85


  • The screen mirroring, built-in apps, onboard programs, and custom workout options provide extensive training options.
  • The frame and motor have lifetime warranties.
  • The 4.0 HP motor is suited for all cardio speeds, from walking to heavy, intense running.
  • The 15.6” touchscreen is a large interface convenient for using all the F85’s features.
  • A low step-up height (8 inches) and a high weight capacity (375 lbs) makes the F85 accessible to more users.
  • A sturdy build keeps you focused on your workout and confident in keeping your phone or tablet on hand during workouts.


  • The skipped tactile speed and incline buttons make interval training difficult, with ten button pushes required to reach common speeds like 8 mph.

Treadmill Review Of The Sole F85

Build Quality

Sole F85 Treadmill profile
The brand new Z-frame modernizes the Sole F85.


The Sole F85 Treadmill has an aluminum frame and foot rails. Most of Sole’s competitors have steel frames, but this diversion from the norm does not negatively impact the F85’s construction. The F85 has an unbeatable warranty on the frame, an industry-leading lifetime, true wear and tear policy. Anyone questioning their treadmill’s longevity can rest assured that Sole stands by their products with these promises. Sole’s treadmills have been updated to have a Z-shape design for a more modern and appealing look.

The foot rails are aluminum and grooved but could use more texture. They feel a little slippery underfoot, though I felt secure when stepping on or off the treadmill. If your shoes have adequate traction, the foot rails should be fine. The handrails are less substantial and shorter than most users might be accustomed to.

The back feet of the treadmill are hinged. This allows the deck to adjust to the incline or decline of the deck on both sides. It feels stable while walking or running. There is never any bouncing or jolting of the deck as the incline changes.

Sole F85 running decline
The pivoting back feet are support the deck while declined.


The 4.0 HP motor is on the higher end of motors typically found in non-commercial grade treadmills. This power is sufficient for marathon training and multi-user households. The Sole F85 is a great pick for a household of serious runners, but it also works well for walkers or less intense use. Despite its strength, the motor is also very quiet for a treadmill.

Running Surface

The deck has an 8” step-up height, one of the shortest platforms of a full-sized treadmill. The running surface is a spacious 22” x 60” textured belt. Most stride lengths and widths should be comfortable on this treadmill belt size.

The deck is cushioned, meaning there is some give in the deck when landing. It does not feel quite as soft as NordicTrack or ProForm treadmills. Instead, the F85 offers a firmer, more road-like feel. Walkers and runners prioritizing reduced shock will be better off with one of those two brands. Yet, there are benefits to a firmer surface. Foremost is the replication of outdoor activity. Road runners who wish to keep their training surface consistent will benefit from a firm deck like that in the Sole F85.

Sole F85 deck
The Sole F85 deck is firm and roomy.


The Sole F85 is a folding treadmill. It can be released with a tug on the yellow lever located at the top end of the deck. The deck lowers softly on its own. When folded, the treadmill can also be maneuvered on its four transport wheels. This makes it much easier to move than other treadmills of its size.

Sole F85 Treadmill folded
The deck folds between the uprights.


The incline and decline range is impressive at 6 decline levels and 15 incline levels. This is great for hikers, trail runners, or low-intensity exercisers. Downhill activities are more likely to result in muscle soreness, but training downhill more frequently can reduce subsequent soreness. Hikers and trail runners can improve their performance in future hilly events. Incline training is great for low-intensity exercise, as you can increase your heart rate to higher zones without running.

Features & Accessories

The Sole F85 is the big sister machine to the Sole F80. As such, it has many of the same features but presented on a much larger screen. Sole integrates low-tech and high-tech features for a personalized experience on the F85. If you want to train like you are in a premium class, you can, but it is also easy to do a basic or manual program. The F85’s onboard content is not locked behind a secondary paywall, so you don’t have to subscribe to anything you don’t absolutely love. In addition to the native content, the Sole F85 is perfectly designed to incorporate content from your personal devices.

Console Overview

The biggest detractor from this treadmill is its tactical button options. NordicTrack treadmills like the Commercial 1250 use similar console layouts and manage to number their full speed and incline ranges in single increments. It is frustrating to find see the Sole F85 struggle with this. The incline range is particularly disappointing, with neither the maximum, neutral, or minimal grade represented.

There are speed and incline switches located on the stability bar, which spans from treadmill arm to arm. These switches increase the speed by a tenth of a mile per hour or the incline by 1. When the switches are held down, they increase the speed faster. This is not ideal for short intervals, though it could be alleviated by creating a custom workout, so your speed changes are preset.

The rest of the console is sturdy and well-built. The onscreen buttons or tactile buttons are a little hard to reach for shorter users, such as myself. While running, I had to move up very close to the console, which caused me to hit the motor hood. The F85 has provided many methods for keeping your workouts hands-free, so this does not happen. They require some forethought and planning, such as setting up a custom workout, deciding which apps to open, and setting the volume before starting. The programs prompt you to set a maximum speed before starting, so you can avoid speed adjustments during your workout.

Sole F85 - console
The Sole F85 console has so many features that the screen is hard to reach while running.


The 15.6” touchscreen is large with clear graphics. The touchscreen was easier to navigate than the smaller screen of the Sole F80. Adjusting settings on the screen while in an activity was smoother. It is not quite as high definition as a nice television, but it is adequate for a treadmill screen. Keep in mind, some of the content from YouTube or Kinomap may be a lower resolution because of the content creator and not because of the screen’s capabilities.

Sole F85 display
The screen is large, making it easy to select the right options while exercising.

Cup Holders

The F85 has two cup holders on either side of the console. A shallower compartment is attached to the inner edge of the cup holders, a great spot for smaller items like keys or a phone. The cup holders are substantial enough for a large water bottle.


There are two fans placed on either side of the console. Strangely, they are angled away from the center of the deck and can only be slightly adjusted vertically. They are not very strong. I recommend using a floor fan instead.

Device Rack

The device rack is above the touchscreen, providing a second viewing option. At high speeds the device rack shakes a lot. The cup holder and wireless charging pad are more secure storage options for fast running. At more relaxed speeds, the device rack works fine, and there is a top clip to help improve your device’s stability.


The speakers are powerful. Without maximizing the volume, you can hear the onscreen content over the motor and footstep sound.

Sole F85 top handle
The fans are the only feature on this expansive console that could be improved.


Bluetooth connects your phone to the treadmill. The Sole+ app, available for iPhone and Android devices, allows you to save your treadmill workouts for future reference and record tracking. You can also connect a Garmin watch to view a few extra metrics.

Heart Rate

Heart rate can be detected with two different methods. The first uses built-in EKG pulse sensors. This is a rather ineffective method of heart rate monitoring, as it is known to be inaccurate. Additionally, the positioning of the sensors decreases the likelihood of their use, as few treadmill users grip the handles for the entire workout duration. This may be a decent function for unbalanced users, but these users should be mindful of the error in this heart rate measurement.

The second option for heart rate monitoring is Bluetooth compatibility with Garmin watches. To connect your watch to the F85, disconnect it from your phone (or turn your phone’s Bluetooth off) and put the watch in phone pairing mode. From the setting screen, search for a Garmin device and select yours when it appears. You may be prompted to input the pairing code displayed on your watch face. With the watch successfully paired, your activities can be recorded on the treadmill and other compatible apps with heart rate data included. During the activity, you can view Garmin-specific metrics like current heart rate, respiration rate, and body battery.

Screen Mirroring

The screen mirroring function uses the native screen mirroring feature in iPhones but requires Android users to download a separate app. As of the time of writing this review, the Android app is not functional. It requires updating to be compatible with the current iteration of the Android operating system. Hopefully, this is something Sole can fix for its non-Apple users.

Wireless Charging Pad

The wireless charging pad is centered beneath the screen and its speakers for a nice resting place for your phone. If your device possesses wireless charging capabilities, the F85 charges effectively and quickly. You won’t have to worry about your phone’s battery while using the screen mirroring function, which is great thinking on Sole’s part. Unfortunately, not all devices or phone cases are designed for wireless charging. I recommend looking into your device’s capabilities to learn more.

Sole F85 wireless charger
The wireless charging pad lets you screen mirror without worrying about your device’s power.


The Sole F85 welcomes users with a login screen that can be bypassed by selecting the guest profile. If you decide to set up a personalized account, it is quick and easy. It is absolutely free. From here, you can sync your account to the Sole+ app if you have an existing account or create a new one. This is entirely optional, depending on how involved you want your training to be.

Sole F85 display
There are a few different onboard training programs and customizable workouts.

After choosing a profile, you are taken to the basic program screen. You can select a basic program or one of the other content options. If you plan to train within one of the integrated apps, I recommend starting an activity and using the warm-up to navigate to your preferred program. The Kinomap app requires an activity to be running to take control of your incline settings effectively.

I really like the spacious deck of the Sole F85. I prefer the F85’s firm deck to other more cushioned decks. It keeps my running form closer to my natural outdoor running patterns. Softer treadmills make me feel like I can be a little sloppier with my running form, but the F85 encourages me to run strong.

Sole F85 running front
I could get a long run of over 10 miles in on the Sole F85 without an issue.

The speed and incline transitions are slow. This makes it a good walking treadmill, because you have a smooth adjustment period. It’s easier to recognize if the belt or incline is getting to be too much for you, so you never feel out of control. I timed the transition from 4.0 mph to 8.0 mph to take just over 10 seconds. If you are doing short intervals, this transition period will be too long. The F85 prioritizes safe, quiet, and smooth transitions.

Sole F85 walking incline
Don’t wait too long to lower the incline, as the adjustments are slow. You will be breathing hard.

Subscription & Content Options or Training Options

The Sole F85 has basic onboard training programs like hill, fat burn, cardio, strength, HIIT, 5k run, 10k run, and heart rate (when used with a compatible monitor). There is also the option to train in a manual activity. Your manual activity settings can be saved for future workout replication after you finish the activity. The treadmill screen allows you to save and name it as a template. You can also use the custom workout option from the program screen to design a workout before you start it. This will allow you to set speed levels (based on a specified maximum) and incline grade.

There are also fitness tests for users interested in meeting military or law enforcement standards. These tests are mainly geared toward doing a set distance within a time limit. A more complex test is the Gerkin test, which brings you up to 85% of your maximum heart rate–a heart rate monitor is required to complete this program.


Kinomap is an integrated app on the Sole F85. When you sign up, you start a 14-day free trial (no credit card information is required). This is a freemium app (free with limited abilities and paid to unlock the full content). There are five different training modes within the Kinomap: outdoor videos, coaching videos, multiplayer mode, free training mode, and structured training mode. These modes are similar to the types of training found on iFIT and Peloton apps but with less refinement. Kinomap is a competitor to Zwift. There is both a training and social angle to the Kinomap app, making it fun for various users

Sole F85 display
Sole’s third-party integration makes the F85 more versatile than its competitors.

Screen Mirroring

The screen mirroring function of the F85 allows users to broadcast their favorite training apps onto the 15.6” touchscreen in the console for better viewing. While not all apps can automatically adjust the speed or incline of the F85, the speed and incline switches help you do so from the stability bar. The screen mirroring function can cast other types of entertainment if you do not want to use it with a fitness class. There is more lag from mirrored content than from the integrated content on the F85.

Entertainment Streaming Apps

The Sole F85 has many different third-party streaming apps. These are YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, Hulu, Spotify, ESPN, and CNN. But wait! There’s also Audible for all my fellow bookworms! Most of these apps require you to have a subscription through their service. Fortunately, Sole has not added their own paywall on top of that cost, so you don’t have to pay again for a service you already subscribe to. The Sole F85 is one of my favorite treadmills for third-party content.

Sole F85 display
Binge a Netflix show and get some cardio in all at the same time!

Bottom Line Review of the Sole F85 Treadmill

The Sole F85 has an overwhelming number of features. This treadmill finds itself in every category, from subscription to non-subscription content and portable, folding treadmill to full-sized, incline/decline treadmill. It’s got it all, which makes it a little sluggish in some areas, but even those areas are a plus. The slow incline and speed transitions make it one of the quietest home treadmills. It is suitable for walkers and runners. With its stylish new Z-frame, the Sole F85 is built to impress and endure.

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