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Last Updated: July 26, 2023
The Sole F85 is one of our favorite treadmills. It’s consistently among the best treadmills we recommend because it’s stable, foldable, and handles a lot of use and weight. It also has a nice amount of tech. The Sole F85 has been updated to be all of this and more. In addition to the quiet and powerful 4.0 HP motor, the F85 inclines up to 15% and declines to -6%. This is the highest decline we’ve seen on a folding treadmill. The deck is spacious and great for most people and activities, plus when it’s folded the F85 can be pushed around with its 4 transportation wheels. Imagine all of this along with a 15.6” touch screen, preloaded apps and workouts, and a lifetime warranty. That’s right! Keep reading our review of the Sole F85 Treadmill to learn more.
Treadmill Awards: Best Treadmill For Heavy Runners
We’ve awarded the Sole F85 as the best treadmill for heavy runners because of its large motor, solid build, and durable design. We love that you get a powerful treadmill that gives you plenty of training and entertainment options. The Sole F85 is best for most users because it handles up to 375 lbs of weight, has a large folding deck, and is quiet to use. If you’ve been looking for an impressively built treadmill, your search stops here at the Sole F85.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Sole F85 Treadmill
We have been testing and using treadmills for several years. We know all the ins and outs of treadmills and what you should look out for. Whenever we get a new model into our studio, our team spends miles and miles on the belt, and hours on the screen. We use the treadmill like you would at home, and then some. This way we can bring you comprehensive reviews and you can trust that we’ve not only used the treadmill thoroughly, but we know what we’re talking about, too.
Our Sole F85 Treadmill Video Review
- 15.6” Touch Screen
- 12 Preloaded Streaming Apps: Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, HBO Max, Disney+, Prime Video, Peacock, Spotify, ESPN, CNN, Audible, and Kinomap
- 10 Included Workout Modes: Manual, Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Strength, HIIT, 5K, 10K, Heart Rate, and Custom
- 7 Included Fitness Tests: Gerkin Protocol, Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, PEB, and Marine Corps
- Screen Mirroring
- Connectivity to Sole+ App to use with Apple Health, Google Fit, Strava, MapMyFitness, Fitbit, and more
- Pairs with Garmin Device
- Wireless 2 Amp Charging Pad
- Bluetooth Speakers to play music from personal device
- Pulse Grips
- Tablet/Phone Holder
- 2 Cooling Fans
- No Audio Jack
- Easy Assist Folding
- 4 Transportation Wheels
- Footprint: 82.5” L 38” W x 66” H
- Motor: 4.0 HP
- Running Surface: 22” x 60”
- Weight Capacity: 375 lbs
- Treadmill Weight: 319 lbs
- Speed: 0.5-12 mph
- Incline: 15 levels
- Decline: 6 levels
- Rollers: 2.75” (front) 2.36” (rear)
- Cushioning: Cushion Flex Whisper Deck
- Warranty: Lifetime frame & motor, 3 years for deck and other components, 1 year for labor, and 90 days for cosmetic items
In-depth Review of Sole F85 Treadmill
Preprogrammed Workouts, Apps, and Features
The Sole F85 has been updated to include even more tech and features than the previous model. Even with all of these features, I’m about to mention, the F85 still manages to be a treadmill that I can hop on, press start, and begin my workout on. You don’t have to pay a subscription fee to access all of these features, they’re included on the touch screen.
There are 10 onboard workout modes available. These modes include hill, fat burn, cardio, strength, HIIT, 5K, 10K, and heart rate. There is also a manual mode and a custom mode. Each mode comes with preset speed and incline/decline levels, however, you can select a total max speed and time before you hit start. The treadmill will then automatically adjust to the preset settings during your workout. In custom mode, you have the option to create your own workouts and save them as templates. Of course, you can just use manual mode and adjust the treadmill as you go, too.
There are also different fitness tests you can take, such as Air Force, Marine, and Coast Guard tests to see how in shape, or out of shape, you are. The workouts are standard but a nice feature on the F85.
The previous model of the F85 included 7 streaming apps which were nice, but on the new model, you have access to 12! These include Youtube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, Hulu, Spotify, ESPN, CNN, Audible, and Kinomap. This is an insane amount of apps and all you need to do is log into your respective account on the screen for each app to start streaming.
And if these apps aren’t enough, you can mirror content from your phone on the screen. We did notice that this feature doesn’t seem available for Androids yet, unfortunately. I was able to screen mirror my iPhone though. With screen mirroring, the options are practically endless on the new F85. The Sole F85 is also compatible with other apps, including the Sole+ App. This is a free app to keep track of your workouts. It also makes pairing your phone to the screen really easy so you can utilize all of the features. Once you pair, you can create a profile on the F85 with your Sole+ App profile.
It has a 15.6” touch screen that’s large, responsive, and easy to use. As far as a console layout, I really like this design and the features it comes with. I do have a couple of gripes with the console though that I’m going to get into.
The screen isn’t adjustable. So, you can’t tilt it up or pivot it to either side. It is angled back slightly so people of most heights can see it. On either side of the console are quick adjustment buttons for the speed and incline/decline. While I like that these buttons are now here instead of below the screen, I wish they included every increment instead of skipping a few. On the left side, for instance, the available buttons for the incline and decline don’t include the max incline and decline that the F85 offers.
This is a small and probably knit-picky thing, but I feel like Sole is really close to nailing this design. The quick buttons make adjusting the treadmill fast and easy, so including more of these buttons would enhance the experience overall, I think.
The speakers below the screen are clear and go really loud. They connect to Bluetooth headphones and will play content from your device. There isn’t a button to adjust the volume on the console though, only on the touch screen. The icon on the screen to adjust the volume is small so it’s hard to increase and decrease the volume when you’re running. Having a button to adjust the volume on the console would be very helpful.
Another area for improvement is the fans. Well, kind of. There are two vents on either side of the console, but the airflow for some reason points outward to the sides of the treadmill. So, when I’m walking or running on the deck, I can’t feel the air. I can only feel the air when I put my hand in front of them.
The wireless charging pad sits in the middle of the console below the screen. It’s slightly angled so when I put my phone on it to charge, I can still see the screen. It also keeps my phone well within reach when I need it. My phone case isn’t compatible with wireless charging so I have to take it out of the case to use this, but it’s convenient and a really nice feature. Keep in mind that this only works with phones that allow for wireless charging.
You can also put your phone or tablet on the device holder above the screen. It is adjustable for larger iPads. The Sole F85 has a surprising amount of storage considering it is much sleeker than the previous model. While there isn’t a storage tray below the console anymore, we didn’t miss it because the 2 cupholders and smaller pockets hold everything we need. My large 40 oz Stanley Cup also stayed pretty still while running in the cupholders, too.
One thing that I really like about the Sole F85 is that it still feels like a Sole Treadmill. Even though it looks vastly different from the previous model, the integrity of the construction is still intact.
It’s also great for heavy runners because it handles up to 375 lbs of user weight. Compared to other treadmills in its class like the NordicTrack 2450, the F85 is better for larger users.
The “Z-shaped” frame is made of steel. It’s streamlined and sleek. You might notice that the new design looks like NordicTrack’s new models, as well as the Peloton Tread. What Sole has accomplished with this design though is that the console and screen stay very steady and in place. There’s very little if any shaking of the screen, unlike the Peloton Tread which shakes at high speeds.
The Sole F85 might have a slimmer design than the previous model, but it is still a heavy treadmill at 319 lbs. The steel frame supports the base of the treadmill and steel uprights connect to the frame to hold the console. There isn’t a steel crossbar in between the uprights anymore, but the F85 doesn’t need it. It feels incredibly stable and solid.
I like the handles. The side handles are long enough to provide support and the front handle is one continuous piece so it is easy to grab. There are pulse grips built into the handle to read your heart rate when you’re holding them. You can also pair your compatible heart rate tracker like a Garmin watch for more accurate heart rate tracking.
The Sole F85 has a 4.0 horsepower motor.
It is a DC motor that is commonly found in home treadmills. It’s quiet which we love about Sole Treadmills. So, the F85 works in most home spaces because it doesn’t generate a lot of noise. The motor is pretty slow to adjust so it makes interval training a little more difficult, but you don’t have to worry about the treadmill getting up to speed too quickly before you’re ready.
As far as training capabilities, the F85 goes up to 12 mph to offer plenty of range of speed. It also inclines up to 15% and declines to -6%. This is the highest amount of decline we’ve seen on a folding treadmill. The Bowflex Treadmill 22 in comparison declines to -5%. This range of incline and decline allows you to effectively train your posterior and anterior muscles. Plus, if you are training for an event that has some downhill terrain, the F85 is very beneficial in helping with that.
For the deck to decline as much as it does, this motor works to lift up the back end of the deck. When going from an incline to a decline, you can feel the deck shift smoothly. Plus, under the deck are swiveling feet that rotate slightly depending on the grade. This is a smart design and an effective way to include more training capabilities on the F85.
The deck is spacious at 22” wide and 60” long. It’s plenty large to accommodate long-running strides and users who prefer more space to move around on.
What is nice about this deck is that even though it inclines and declines, it still has a slim profile. From the floor to the top of the side rails (at a 0% grade) is only about 8” high. This makes the F85 easier to step on and off of, and it works better for lower-ceiling homes.
The deck overall feels very similar to the previous model. It’s large, heavy, and firm to run on. The cushioning in the deck has shock absorption for your joints, but the surface is hard when running. It feels softer than running on the pavement outside which doesn’t offer any shock absorption, but it isn’t as soft or springy as other models. This is great if you’re a road runner or if you are training for a road race. If you have joint sensitivities and issues when running, however, you might want to look into a treadmill with softer cushioning like the Horizon 7.8 AT or NordicTrack models.
I really love how solid and stable the F85 is to use. It handled our testing with ease and each of our reviewers thought that this new model performed very well while being a little easier to use with this new design.
We love the F85 for heavy runners, but it is also great for people who want a solid folding treadmill with thoughtful features. It’s a great choice if you want training and entertainment choices without having to pay an additional fee. It’s also a good option if you are looking for an easy-to-use treadmill that will last.
Plus, the motor hood has been upgraded to be a little bit slimmer than the previous model. We would often hear people talk about how they hit the motor hood with their feet when running. The motor hood on the new model is slim and sits out of your way. The only time we hit it was when we were trying to navigate the touch screen while running. If you’ve ever tried to use a phone or iPad while running or even walking, you probably know how difficult it is. That is how it feels trying to log into and use all of the streaming apps while running. My recommendation is to have your show and workout set up before you begin your workout.
Also, since the screen isn’t adjustable, it sits a little further back on the console so I feel like I have to walk and run more forward on the deck. I only shift a little further forward on the deck when I’m using the touch screen or using the numbered adjustment buttons. They feel a little too far away for my short arms. I’m only 5’1”, so that’s probably my problem. It’s a little easier for our taller reviewers to reach, but in a future update, we’d like to see the screen positioned a little closer and for it to be adjustable. Other than that though, we love the layout of the console and the included tech features.
The deck offers assistance with the hydraulic system. There is a yellow handle that once pulled will unlock the deck so it slowly lowers to the floor, itself. Folding the deck requires a little bit of effort because you have to bend and lift, but you get assistance with the system. The deck feels a little heavier to lift than other models like the NordicTrack and ProForm, but it is manageable for most people.
The Sole F85 has four transportation wheels so it’s really easy to move. Once folded, you can just push it around where you need it to go. There’s no tilting or tipping of the deck required.
We love Sole’s warranty. The brand includes a lifetime warranty for the frame and motor, 3 years for parts and other components, 1 year for labor, and 90 days for cosmetic items. Assembly is pretty straightforward, but having multiple people help with the setup is a good idea.