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There are few things in this world that bring us as much joy as trying out a new piece of cardio equipment for a home gym. Our ACTIVE Review Team recently tested the Sole F63 treadmill and were immediately impressed with the quality and simplicity it offers at a reasonable price.
The F63 is a folding treadmill that offers a significant number of benefits: preprogrammed workouts, strong motor and a great warranty. However, there are some drawbacks to this machine, as we will point out in this review, so you can decide for yourself if it's a great choice for your home.
- Fairly easy assembly with options for professional assembly available
- Easy to use with 10 preset programs
- Folds to save space
- Lots of extras: Bluetooth speakers, cooling fans, device holder, USB charging port
- Lifetime warranty on the frame and motor
- Access to Studio, a paid subscription that features on-demand classes
- A little slow to accelerate
- Shakes a little at higher speeds
- Basic LCD display instead of an interactive touchscreen
Running on the Sole F63
The F63 is user-friendly and basic but will still give you the sweat-dripping workout you may be looking for. To get moving, first make sure the safety key is in place then hit “Start.” It’s that easy. The incline and speed controls allow you to easily make adjustments to customize your workout. Or, you can choose from the 10 preset workout options that include fat burn, calorie burn and cardio endurance.
Not interested in a preprogrammed workout? You can manually control your training with the conveniently located buttons on the handlebars to quickly change your incline or speed.
The F63 features up to a 15% incline to mimic hill runs, stimulate different muscle groups and get in some excellent conditioning. The cushion flex deck feels great and with speeds ranging from 0.5–12 miles per hour—we were able to get in a solid workout whether doing a HIIT workout or longer, slower-paced runs.
Let’s be real. Typically at this price you won’t see the frills that come with more expensive treadmills. But Sole still did a great job adding in some attractive conveniences to the F63. It features a new console with an integrated tablet holder and USB port, so you can attach smart devices to the machine while in use.
The Bluetooth audio speakers can support your choice of entertainment and allows users the freedom to transfer workout data. You can download and track your metrics on the Sole app for free or transfer to Fitbit, Record, Mapmyrun or Apple Health. Bluetooth capabilities also mean you can do heart rate monitoring with the included wireless chest strap. If you don’t want to mess with that, there are pulse grips that give you a heart rate reading on the LCD screen.
The larger console has dual water bottle holders and two fans to keep you cool when working out. However, the cooling fans’ vents slant downward, and they are located on the top of the console, which depending on your height means you might not have a refreshing breeze in your face—but you still get the benefit of a fan.
Technology and Programs
The F63 may not have a ton of bells and whistles in terms of technology, but it does come with 10 preset workout programs. These include intervals, longer ones to target cardio endurance and workouts called “muscle toning.”
Also, Sole recently launched a new digital platform, Studio. The platform holds more than 3,000 instructor-led, on-demand classes and has a real-time community leaderboard. However, at the time of publishing, Studio is only compatible with iOS devices. There is a 30-day trial membership with purchase, but after that, Studio is a paid feature.
Footprint and Durability
The F63 has a hefty footprint measuring 66 inches in height by 82 inches in length and 35 inches in width. However, as big as it is, it’s still portable thanks to its front transport wheels. Given the slightly larger footprint than comparable folding treadmills, double check if you have the space for it. Also, with a weight of 254 pounds, you may need some assistance in moving it, even with the wheels.
Sole claims to have “the best folding treadmill design on the market,” with its patented easy assist and safety-locking method. And we found in testing that folding the F63 is indeed easy. You lift the deck until it locks in place, and unfolding is just as simple. Then, once the deck is a few feet off the floor, the rest of the treadmill will lower.
The 60-inch by 20-inch running surface on the F63 is standard for most home- and commercial-use treadmills. But in comparison to other budget treadmills, the larger running deck is remarkable. Most folding treadmills in this price range offer a 55-inch length, so the extra five inches makes a difference, especially if you’re taller!
When it comes to durability, the heavy-duty Sole F63 impresses with a 325-pound user weight capacity and 3.0 continuous horsepower (chp) motor. The running belt consists of two rubber layers surrounding a durable PVC layer, which prevents the belt from stretching out over time. Sole claims that this cushioned running surface reduces impact on joints by 40%. While we can’t speak to that level of numerical accuracy, the cushioning is an awesome feature and felt really nice on our joints. The flywheel technology on the running deck makes for a smooth run and helps reduce the noise level by keeping the motor cool.
Sole F63 vs. NordicTrack EXP 7i
How does the Sole stack up against other treadmills? Let’s look at the NordicTrack EXP 7i. The F63 and the NordicTrack EXP 7i are similarly priced treadmills at around $1,000 but yield a different workout experience.
Both are folding treadmills with a cushioned 60-inch by 20-inch running surface powered by a 3.0 horsepower motor with front transport wheels. They both support top speeds of 12 miles per hour. Also, both treadmills are equipped with dual fans, Bluetooth capabilities and their own digital platforms that hold live and on-demand workouts. The EXP 7i connects with iFIT, similar to the Sole with Studio.
But the similarities end there.
The EXP 7i carries a smaller footprint and is about 30 pounds lighter, which makes folding and moving it a bit easier. This also means the EXP 7i has a slightly lower weight capacity at 300 pounds. While both treadmills have cooling fans, users report those on the EXP 7i to be much stronger and effective when running at higher speeds.
If technology and programming is your jam, EXP 7i has more to offer. The EXP 7i features a 7-inch smart touch screen with vivid images and an interactive display. And while the F63 hosts only 10 pre-programmed workouts, the EXP 7i comes with more than 30 workouts, including map-controlled workouts, which are super cool. You can choose a spot on the map from the display and run that topography. Or, you can draw out your own map on the touchscreen and run that route. The EXP 7i can hold up to four user profiles and the F63 only two—something to consider if your whole family will be using the treadmill.
Now, if you are not someone who needs the tech and programming, the F63 has some stellar selling points of its own. Notably, the greater incline control capabilities (EXP 7i has only 12 levels), a USB port and heart rate chest strap included––all the specs you need to get a killer workout.
What’s the bottom line, though? The biggest discrepancy between the EXP 7i and F63 is found in technology and programming. Depending on what you’re looking for in a treadmill, this may be the deciding factor.
Sole F63 vs. Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill
Ever heard people say, “Size doesn’t matter?” When it comes to the world of compact cardio machines, size sure does matter. The Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill is smaller in size than the Sole F63 when looking at weight, running deck and footprint. At 156 pounds, the Stride is considerably lighter and easier to transport than the F63. Also, the Stride folds to a mere 10.25 inches and has both vertical and horizontal transport wheels.
The smaller size comes with some limitations, though, like a 1.75 horsepower motor (drastically less than the F63’s 3.0 horsepower motor). Rigorous runners won’t get as much from this low horsepower and might opt for the F63 instead.
The Stride is also a few hundred dollars more than the F63 but doesn’t offer quite as many conveniences. Its incline only goes to 10% grade, there are no speakers or fans, the weight limit is 300 pounds and it only holds 10 pre-programmed workouts for one user. However, you can connect the Stride to Echelon’s workout app for a subscription, similar to what the Sole offers.
Warranty, Free Trial Period and Return Policy
Sole offers a competitive and impressive warranty. The frame and the motor have a lifetime warranty while the deck, electronics and parts have three years. Labor is one year and the treadmill comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
And for the cherry on top, you don’t have to pay return shipping or restocking fees, which can easily add up to a few hundred bucks. Sole also has financing at 0% the first 12 payments and 29.99% for the remaining 12, with nothing down.
Our Final Thoughts
The Sole F63 is a quality treadmill at a competitive price if you are someone who doesn’t need tons of technology and programming in your home gym equipment. The combination of a low price and durable components makes it a fantastic option for beginners on a budget. Our takeaways:
- Budget friendly
- Foldable with transport wheels
- Cushioned running deck
- Impressive warranty
- Easy assembly but heavy, so you may need assistance
Sole F63 FAQs
Is the Sole F63 a good treadmill?
Yes, in our in-depth Sole F63 treadmill review, we found it to be undoubtedly one of the highest quality, basic folding treadmills for over $1,000 on the market. This is thanks to great features like a 3.0 chp powerful motor, steel frame, cooling fans, Bluetooth connectivity, preset workouts and a wide incline range.
Are Sole treadmills made in the U.S.?
Sole fitness equipment is manufactured in Taiwan. Sole customer service representatives state that there is a large supply available in the United States, and it ships within three to five business days from the date of purchase. You can expect another five to 10 days in transit and then a call to schedule an appointment for delivery.
What kind of workouts can I do on my Sole F63 treadmill?
The Sole comes with six standard programs, two custom programs and two heart rate programs. You can also manually control the speed and incline to create your own workout using the console controls or the quick access on the handlebars. Or, purchase a membership to the Sole fitness app, Studio, which boasts more than 3,000 instructor-led workouts.
Is the Sole F63 treadmill quiet?
Yes. The flywheel technology keeps the motor cool, which makes the treadmill quieter than we expected. Let’s face it, no treadmill is completely silent, but you could certainly go for a run without disrupting someone in the next room on the F63.