Sole F80 Treadmill Reviewed and Rated
If you have found your way to this review, chances are you know a thing or two about treadmills. We will be breaking down the Sole F80, a space saver with better than average features for a home unit. While most of the ones we find top our at 10 miles per hour, the Sole F80 packs a 3.5 horsepower motor that will let you run intervals or wind sprints up to 12 miles per hour. We aim to showcase the pros and cons, features, benefits, and points of difference that will help you decide if the Sole F80 Treadmill deserves a slot in your home gym.
We will kick things off with our pros and cons list, specific to this product. We also want to talk a little about treadmills versus outdoor running, just in case you are not sure if any treadmill is right for you. If you are already educated, in the process of comparison shopping, and curious about the Sole F80 Treadmill, feel free to skip the first section and go straight to The Rundown for detailed product data. Our goal is always to inform our readers and guide you towards the best outcome, not to promote any specific product.
3.5 CHP motor is built to last, but also quiet
Running belt has lots of room with a 22 by 60-inch footprint
Though it is as effective as a heavier treadmill, he Sole F80 can be folded and stored out of the way
Comes with pre-programmed workouts, and you can make your own custom ones
9-inch display monitor with the ability to sync to several fitness apps
Running deck is reversible, meaning it can last longer and also help you stay extra quiet when needed
Incline setting goes up to 15%
Bluetooth/Sole Fitness app will let you view programs from your smart device
Shortened side rails make it harder to hold on if you need the extra stability
You can fold the F80, but may not be able to move it by yourself
But Why A Treadmill?
A treadmill gives you all the heart rate training, leg strength, and all over endurance you get from running outside. But at the same time, the belt of even a low-end treadmill will be less impactful than hitting concrete or another hard surface every time. You also don't get irregular terrain, rocks, garbage, or other debris that can trip you up or even damage your shoes. And since the treadmill deck is so springy and forgiving, you typically do not need expensive specialty running shoes. Most treadmills, too, will give you data and immediate feedback about your run. This treadmill has an easy to read display, which makes it easy to track your progress or even transfer it to another device for more convenient access. These formerly advanced features are becoming more and more common on affordable home treadmills, not just the heavy-duty commercial versions.
If you do group runs like 5Ks or charity fun runs, then of course training outdoors will be part of that. But what about those times when work hours won't allow your outdoor time, or there is a run of bad weather, or you are out of town long enough to get out of practice? A treadmill, which you can find in most hotels, will let you program in and simulate a racecourse. For example, if you know you will hit an incline at a mile in, you can program the Sole F80 to simulate that hill so that, by the time you run the actual race, you will be so prepared you won't have to think about the extra effort or modified gait you need to climb hills without running out of steam.
The last thing we will talk about here before we start digging into this treadmill and all of its features is how you can use a treadmill for more than just running. The moving deck, adjustable speed, the ability to track your fitness and convenient access all lend themselves to fun challenges you may not have considered.
First, did you know you can walk on a treadmill? It's true! Just because the Sole F80 can handle 12 MPH doesn't mean you have to use that setting every time. For many of us, a brisk daily walk is just what we need to get us through our days and help keep our immune system up to speed. With a treadmill, you can even do walking intervals, with intense speedwalking that still is not running. Even with the low impact nature of a treadmill, some of us prefer not to run or can't because of medical conditions.
Treadmill planks--this type of exercise can feel strange and awkward the first time you do this, but then you will feel the burn in our trunk, back, and arm muscles, which only proves how well it works. All you have to do is set this treadmill at a slower speed, like maybe one mile per hour. Get behind the running surface with your hands on the belt, safely away from the edge. Then you can walk with your hands, adding a kinetic element to a plank which is typically a hold-in-place exercise. You don't need to do a treadmill plank for more than a few minutes to feel the benefits.
Crab walk--similar to the planks, but place your hands with palms down on the run belt. Your belly should go up off the ground, and your legs will bend at the knees to let you walk like a crab. Starting at a low speed, like a mile per hour or less, is essential and again, it only takes a minute or two to feel how effective the crab walk can be.
This treadmill, with its ease of use, a wide range of speeds and inclines, and advanced features like the reversible deck, lend it perfectly to these and other running alternatives. The low-impact nature of this treadmill makes it suitable for anyone, even those with joint issues. Now we will move on to the rest of the review.
The monitor is actually an upgrade over previous Sole models in the same product family. It has an integrated tablet holder, meaning you can use your tablet to stream media or to display your workout stats as you go. The console also has Bluetooth controls, nearby speakers, fans, and a backlit LCD display with big, readable numbers and letters. There are 6 standard programs, 2 just for heart rate, and 2 empty slots for you to build and save your own workouts. The display gives you vital stats like distance, time, and approximate calorie burn,
The console will also give you heart rate if you grip the sidebar sensors. For greater accuracy, you can attach a chest strap heart monitor. The Sole F80 comes with its own chest pulse monitor, or you can pair it with a Polar or other chest strap. Heart rate is important, on or off a treadmill, and it is well documented that the strap gives greater accuracy and consistency than the grip sensors that are built into so many treadmills.
Another outstanding feature is the warranty Sole offers for this specific treadmill. It goes beyond what we have seen from older, more established fitness equipment makers. According to the product page, the warranty breaks down as frame, motor, and deck lifetime coverage. Parts and electronics offer a 5-year warranty each, and you even get a 2-year warranty on labor. Sole is confident in its product, and you can be, too. It is pricier than comparable units, but the advanced features we have outlined will make it worth the extra if you use the treadmill consistently.
Nobody Is Perfect
We are not accusing Sole of being deceptive. Our point is that, for the number of features, heavyweight, large footprint, and increased cost, the F80 is a regular treadmill that you can fold like a more compact one. It is as if the company wanted it both ways, and most of the reviews we looked at had similar observations about the footprint and difficulty of transporting this treadmill.