As a company that originally manufactured exercise equipment for premier hotel chains, Sole Fitness knows how to make treadmills that people love. In fact, it was the positive feedback from guests that inspired Sole to develop a range for home use.
The Sole F63 treadmill is the company’s entry-level model and the most affordable in their lineup.
But the low price doesn’t reflect any sacrifice in quality. Indeed, this beautifully constructed machine has some impressive features that consistently see it chosen as the best in its class.
As you’d expect from a treadmill at this price point, it doesn’t have some of the advanced features of higher-end models. The tech is somewhat basic and some bonus features like the fan and speakers are not as powerful as they could be.
But if you’re looking for a sturdy, reliable piece of equipment for an effective cardio workout, the Sole F63 excels.
In this review, we are going to take a closer look at its features and just what you can expect from this model in terms of performance.
|Spacious running belt||Tech features are very basic|
|Inclines up to 15 levels||Fan is fairly weak and poorly positioned|
|Ultra-quiet operation||Speed adjustment not ideal for interval training|
|Heart rate chest strap included||No volume adjustment on speakers|
|Cushioned deck to minimize impact|
|Lifetime warranty on motor and frame|
The Sole F63 Treadmill: Features and First Impressions
This model takes around an hour to set up and the instructions are pretty clear. Fortunately, the base comes pre-assembled in the box, so all you need to do is attach the uprights, arms, and console. One person could manage it alone, but it’s definitely easier with two!
Let’s take a look at its features.
#1: Size and Portability
At 82 x 35 x 57 inches, this treadmill has quite a sizeable footprint. But this also translates to a belt size of 60” x 20” – significantly longer and wider than most models. This makes it ideal for users with a taller or heavier build.
It weighs 254 pounds – pretty standard for a home treadmill – and has a weight capacity of 325 pounds. Again, this is a little more than we would expect at this price point but typical of the offerings from Sole which are supported by heavy-duty chassis.
A Folding Frame
The frame is a breeze to fold between workouts using EasyLift assist. The deck locks securely into place when in the upright position then lowers slowly to the ground when you are ready to use it again.
It doesn’t fold flat by any means and the deck locks at a significant angle. Nevertheless, this still frees up some space if you are using the treadmill in a small room.
Wheels for Portability
There are four wheels on this model – 2 at the front and 2 mid-way under the deck. These roll smoothly, making it easy to move the machine short distances. However, the weight of the treadmill can make it challenging to move from room to room.
The 6.5″ LCD white back-lit display is easy to read and clearly shows your running metrics, including speed, incline, distance, calorie burn, and heart rate. In place of a touch screen, Sole uses old-fashioned tactile push buttons to adjust programs, speed, and incline. Additional control buttons are provided on the front set of arms.
There is a convenient device holder so you can stream the content of your choice as you train. The clip is adjustable, so it’s compatible with pretty much any device.
Meanwhile, the integrated Bluetooth Smart technology allows you to pair your phone with the treadmill. This means you can listen to your cardio playlist or favorite podcast through the onboard speakers. There is also a handy USB port to keep your devices charged throughout your workout.
The Sole F63 comes with 10 programs built in. These include 6 standard programs – manual, fat burn, hill, cardio, HIIT, and strength – plus 2 custom programs.
There are also 2 heart rate programs – one targeting 60% max heart rate and one targeting 80% max – and you can set up two different user profiles.
Heart Rate Monitoring
It’s pretty rare to find a lower-budget treadmill offering effective heart rate monitoring. So we were pleased to find that’s just what you get with the Sole F63. It comes with a chest strap that syncs with the machine, displaying your heart rate on the console.
There are also EKG pulse grips on the handles, although – as with most treadmills – these are less likely to give an accurate reading.
You get plenty of storage with this model for your phone, drinks, and more. Two large pockets with dividers sit on either side of the screen and there is an additional tray located beneath the console.
There is also a fan positioned at the very top. It’s not particularly strong and you can’t adjust the vents downwards, but if you’re tall enough you’ll still experience a welcome little breeze as you run!
#3: Speed and Incline
The Sole F63 treadmill has a speed rating of up to 12 MPH (equivalent to a 5-minute mile), adjustable in increments of 0.1 MPH. This is ideal for recreational running and nice to see in a model at this level, where the speed usually tends to max out at 10 MPH.
The 15% incline is probably its most outstanding feature and one usually only seen in pricier treadmills. It allows for challenge and variety in your workouts, increasing your calorie burn and strengthening muscles.
#4: Motor and Rollers
This treadmill features an ultra-quiet 3.0 CHP, DC motor, making it ideal for the average user to walk, jog, or run recreationally. For heavier users or marathon runners, we recommend looking for a treadmill with at least a 4.0 CHP motor.
The 2.5” rollers are large enough to decrease tension on the belt, extending the life of both the roller and the belt whilst ensuring a smooth run.
The Sore F63 treadmill features the company’s patented Cushion Flex Whisper Deck.
By absorbing the shock of the impact force into the deck, this cushioning reduces stress on your joints.
The Sole F63 treadmill is $1,420, making it one of the most competitively priced models for a treadmill of this quality.
Sole offers an unusually extensive warranty on the F63. This includes 1 year for labor; 3 years for parts, electronics, and the deck; and a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor.
The Sole F63 Treadmill: The Road Test
Knowing Sole’s reputation for near gym-like quality and reliable performance, I was looking forward to putting the F63 treadmill through its paces.
Here’s what I discovered.
#1. It’s Easy to Fold – But You Still Need Plenty of Room
It’s not easy to find a treadmill of this caliber that folds for storage, so this sets the Sole F63 apart from other models.
It’s easy to do – just lift the steel bar at the deck’s base and it will rise smoothly. Use the release lever to unlatch it and it will lower slowly to the floor. You can then wheel it to the side of the room to free up space between workouts.
But make no mistake – this is not a compact treadmill. Even knowing its dimensions I was quite surprised by how big it was once set up, and it really dominated my small room.
Its folded dimensions are 35″ at the base and 72″ high, but the angle of the deck section means it measures 48″ front to back. Make sure that you have enough space to accommodate it if storing the treadmill between workouts.
#2. The Motor Is Exceptionally Quiet and Smooth
This is one of the quietest treadmills I’ve ever tried, making it ideal if you like to train when everyone is asleep or live in shared accommodation.
To test it, I tried moving it between a range of speeds and inclines, but there was no change in the noise level. The adjustments were as smooth as those you’d expect at the gym, with no noticeable lag between settings.
#3. The Controls Are (Mostly) Easy to Use
Depending on what you want, the lack of hi-tech frills in the F63 is either a drawback or an advantage. I love simplicity and treadmill controls don’t come much more basic than this, making this machine ideal for beginners or anyone wanting a fuss-free workout!
There are 3 sets of buttons to adjust the speed and incline. These are located near the screen, on a panel towards the bottom of the console, and on the handrails.
The problem is that the speed and incline buttons on the panel are for preset speeds, and some numbers are skipped (for example, the preset speed buttons are 2-3-4-5-7-9-12).
If you like interval training, this can be a pain. To reach a speed of 7.5 MPH, for example, you’d need to press the preset 7, then hit either the handrail or control button a further 5 times.
But for basic running, it’s a minor inconvenience. I found physical buttons a lot easier to use mid-workout than a touchscreen and I particularly liked the ones on the handrails. Once I learned to stop hitting them accidentally, I found the positioning made them easy to use whilst running.
#4. It’s Easy to Stream Workouts as You Train
The Sole F63 treadmill may not have sophisticated built-in workouts, but the device holder and Bluetooth connectivity make it easy to add variety to your workouts using fitness apps.
Unlike many media racks that are positioned too low for comfort, the holder on the F63 is located right at the top of the console. I found that I could look straight ahead instead of down, which felt far more natural. The console’s LCD screen is very bright, so that can be a bit of a distraction, but you could always cover it with a light dimming sheet if it became an issue.
Incidentally, Sole has recently developed its own app. Known as ‘Studio’, it contains more than 3,000 workouts for all types of home-exercise equipment. I didn’t use it but you can check it out here and try it for free for 30 days.
#5. The Running Belt is Comfortable to Use
The 60-inch by 20-inch running surface of the Sole F63 treadmill makes it so much more versatile than other budget treadmills, which tend to offer a tread length of around 55 inches. Those extra 5 inches make all the difference if you are a taller user, or if you want to run rather than jog.
The double-woven 2-ply belt feels good underfoot, with a slightly textured surface. A 2-ply belt is a real bonus compared to a 1-ply, as it enhances the belt’s durability and ensures it glides easily over the deck and rollers. Not only does this give you a smoother run, but it minimizes noise from the belt, too.
The Sole F63 Treadmill Review: Key Takeaways
When making the Sole F63 treadmill, the brand clearly decided to dispense with the advanced tech and concentrate on what really matters – superior build quality and excellent performance.
Its ease of use is refreshing and will appeal to everyone from complete beginners to those who simply don’t require a ton of technology from their home exercise equipment.
But that’s not to say this is a basic treadmill. With the 12 MPH max speed and 15 incline levels you can create challenging workouts with lots of variety. Meanwhile, the chest strap makes it easy to accurately monitor your heart rate, which is great for motivation and tracking your progress.
Combining high performance and durability at a competitive price, the Sole F63 makes an unbeatable buy if you’re looking for an effective way to enjoy regular cardio workouts at home.
Are you new to At-Home Training?
Then check out our article all about how to run on a treadmill. You’ll learn the basics and discover the benefits of exercising at home. We also share our tips for making your runs more fun and engaging!