*TreadmillReviewGuru helps consumers find the best home fitness products. When you buy a product we recommend, we may earn a commission.
Last Updated: August 25, 2023
The Sole ST90 Treadmill is here! We have been anxiously awaiting its arrival in our studio, and now after putting it to the test, I’m here to share our team’s thoughts. In this Sole ST90 Treadmill review, I walk you through everything you can expect from this motorized, slat-belt treadmill so you can determine if it’s best for you.
We are highly impressed that Sole has managed to include an AC motor, typically seen in treadmills at the gym, in the ST90, while still keeping it at a fair price. Commercial treadmills can be $10,000+, especially many other flat, slat-belt treadmills, so it’s nice to see the Sole ST90 is a more affordable alternative to treadmills like the Technogym Skillrun and Woodway 4Front. We really love Sole’s treadmills and know them to be extremely solid durable machines. Even though it looks strikingly similar to Peloton’s first treadmill, the Tread+ that was recalled, Sole has implemented some safety features that help to make it a safer machine than the Tread+.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Sole ST90 Slat Belt Treadmill
We spend a lot of time on treadmills. A big chunk of the treadmills we’ve tested is from Sole. We’re very familiar with how they feel, perform, and function overall. We’re excited to see that Sole has branched out in their lineup to include a flat, slat-belt treadmill. In our testing of the ST90, we compared it to other models from Sole like the F80 and F85, as well as other slat-belt treadmills like the TrueForm Trainer and AssaultRunner Elite, as well as our previous experience using the Peloton Tread+.
Our Sole ST90 Slat Belt Treadmill Review Video
- 15.6” Touch Screen
- 12 Preloaded Streaming Apps: Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Max, Disney+, Spotify, Prime Video, Peacock, CNN, ESPN, Audible, and Kinomap
- 10 Preset Workout Programs: Manual, Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Strength, HIIT, 5K, 10K, Heart Rate, and Custom
- 7 Fitness Tests: Gerkin Protocol, Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, PEB, and Marine Corps
- Free Mode: disengages belt to control the pace of the belt yourself
- Connects To Sole+ App to use with Apple Health, Google Fit, Strava, MapMyFitness, Fitbit, and more
- Built-in Pulse Grips
- Bluetooth-Enabled Speakers to listen from your own device
- Pairs With Garmin Watch
- Tablet Holder
- 2 Cupholders
- 2 Cooling Fans
- Front Transportation Wheels
- Non-Folding Frame
- Footprint: 74” L x 33.5” W x 70” H
- Motor: 2 HP AC Motor
- Treadmill Weight: 375 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 330 lbs
- Running Surface: 20” x 60”
- Flat Slat Belt Design
- Step Up Height: 11”
- 12.5 mph max speed
- 15 incline levels
- 8 incline levels (in Free Mode)
- Warranty: 5 years for the frame and motor, 3 years for the deck and electronics, and 1 year for labor and parts
In-depth Review of Sole ST90 Treadmill
Preprogrammed Workouts, Apps and Features
One thing that we love about Sole Fitness is that they don’t require you to purchase a subscription membership to use the screen content on their equipment. The Sole ST90 includes a lot of workouts and content options that are available to use without an additional subscription.
For guided training, the ST90 includes 10 preprogrammed workout programs. These include manual mode where you can just hop on and go, hill, fat burn, cardio, strength, HIIT, 5k run, 10k run, heart rate, and custom mode.
In addition to the workout programs, there are also fitness tests you can take like Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps.
A really nice addition to the content features is the inclusion of 12 preloaded streaming apps. These apps are Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Max, Peacock, Spotify, ESPN, CNN, Audible, and Kinomap. What we really appreciate is that these apps are available to use without an additional fee, like other fitness platforms on fitness equipment.
Another cool feature is the ability to screen-mirror your phone to the treadmill’s touch screen. This is nice if you want to follow along to an instructor-led workout video or stream something that isn’t available on one of the 12 apps. We did notice that this feature doesn’t seem to currently work with Android devices. I was able to screen mirror my iPhone, though.
The ST90 also pairs with the Sole+ App like other Sole equipment. The Sole+ is helpful for getting a profile set up and saved onto the ST90. I recommend doing this and creating your own profile, so you don’t have to log into the streaming apps every time you use the treadmill if you were to use guest mode. Having a profile also saves your previous workout history and saved custom workouts, too.
If you’ve taken a look at the new Sole F80 and F85, you’ll notice that the ST90 has the same console. It also has the same size screen as the F85. The 15.6” touchscreen is centered on the console and is bright, clear, and easy to use.
The screen doesn’t adjust, so you can’t tilt it up or pivot it to either side of the treadmill. The screen is positioned a little closer and easier to reach than the F80 and F85 treadmills so I don’t mind that it isn’t adjustable. It’s at a good angle so all our reviewers ranging from 5’1” to 6’5” can see it, well.
The right side buttons are for speed, and the left is for incline. Like other Sole Treadmills, the increments skip some levels like 6 mph and 4% incline. This makes it a little hard to quickly adjust the treadmill, but the two side buttons allow you to adjust the treadmill by 0.1-speed increments on the right and 1% incline increments on the left. You have to hold these down to adjust between the increments quickly and there is a slight delay when holding it down before the treadmill begins adjusting. You can also just press these buttons.
Below the screen are front-facing speakers that go loud. My only issue with them is that there isn’t an adjustment button on the console to adjust the noise level. Instead, you have to select the small speaker icon at the top right of the screen to adjust the volume. This is hard to do while you’re running. In a future update, we’d like to see a volume button on the console below the screen. The speakers are Bluetooth-enabled to play content from your phone and they pair with Bluetooth headphones.
The only problem is that the fans aren’t very powerful or effective at cooling you off. The air seems to point more to the sides of the treadmill than at you and there is only one setting for the airflow.
This is compatible with phones that have wireless charging available. I just have to take the case off my phone to use it because my case isn’t compatible. The pad also serves as a place to store your phone, too. There is also a tablet holder up top that’s adjustable to hold your phone or larger tablet. It has a bottom and top lip to hold your device in place. Its height is good for most people, too.
There are also 4 pockets on either side of the console. 2 are for your water bottles and the other two are shallower and for smaller items like keys or earbuds.
Overall, the console is pretty streamlined and easy to use. We did notice the screen and console shake a little bit while using the ST90. This is more noticeable while walking than running, but it isn’t distracting while working out.
Construction Quality / Durability
Even though the Sole ST90 is a slat-belt treadmill that varies pretty greatly from Sole’s other treadmills, it is still a sturdy, heavy-duty machine. The Sole ST90 slat belt treadmill has a 330 lb weight limit, so users up to that limit should be able to use it. It also weighs a whopping 375 lbs, so it’s not ideal for an upstairs apartment.
The frame is where we are getting some flashbacks of the now recalled, Peloton Tread+.
The deck, uprights, and handles on the Sole ST90 have a clean, simple look. The frame under the deck is made out of steel with front transportation wheels when you need to move the ST90. We don’t recommend moving it often though because it’s so heavy. It also doesn’t fold up like other slat-belt treadmills. The ST90 requires a designated space to use in your home. Unfortunately, there isn’t a handle built under the back end to make lifting a little more convenient, so this treadmill is not only heavy but hard to move.
Along with the steel frame are steel uprights that extend up to hold the console, screen, and handles. As I mentioned there is a little bit of shake in the console when using the ST90. Its shake is similar to the new Peloton Tread which shakes at higher speeds.
The handles are well within reach. The side handles extend on either side of the deck and the front handle is one bar that is positioned just in front of the console. I really like the front handle because it’s easy to reach and provides a lot of surface to grab when needed. There are also two pulse grips built into the handle that read your heart rate on the screen when holding them. They’re a little thick to wrap my fingers around, but I can place my palms on them. You can also connect a compatible heart rate monitor such as a Garmin Watch to read your heart rate on the screen.
AC motors are known to perform better than DC motors. They are also great for handling a lot of use. Since they’re commonly found on treadmills in public gyms that get used by several people every day, the ST90 should work well for multi-user households as well as long-distance runners. We found the motor to work well for us. It also adjusts the speed and incline faster than other Sole Treadmills with DC motors. This makes the ST90 better for interval training.
One thing to keep in mind with AC motors is that they aren’t as quiet as most DC motors found on home treadmills. We found the ST90’s motor to be pretty loud like the original Peloton Tread+ which had a 2.0 HP AC motor, too. The Sole ST90 sounds more similar to other treadmills with AC motors that we’ve tested than treadmills with DC motors. I would keep this in mind if are looking for a quiet treadmill.
The Sole ST90 Treadmill goes up to 12.5 mph and has 15 levels of incline. I really like this speed and incline range. It makes for intense training options for most people.
Another factor that is unique to Sole is the slat-belt deck. It’s flat and motorized like the Peloton Tread+, high-end Technogym SkillRun, and Woodway 4Front. The latter two are made for commercial use and are found in training facilities.
The deck provides enough space for most running strides with its 60” in length and 20” in width. It isn’t quite as narrow as most curved, manual slat belts, but it helps to keep you in alignment and in a linear pattern while running.
As far as functionality and design it is similar to other flat, motorized slat belts and curved, manual treadmills.
As far as how the Sole ST90 slat belt treadmill feels to use compared to other treadmills, it feels harder to run on than other motorized treadmills like the F80 and F85 for instance. The big reason for this is the deck cushioning. As I mentioned, the rubber slats provide a lot of shock absorption but you don’t get the same amount of give in the deck or bounce (think that slight spring in your step feeling) that most belted treadmills provide. Sole treadmills overall have firmer deck cushioning and less give, but the ST90 has the least amount of give.
It also feels different to run on than curved, manual treadmills like the TrueForms and AssaultRunners. These treadmills are firm underfoot. The ST90 feels firmer. When I’m running on it, it makes me have to work a bit harder than when I’m running on a really forgiving deck. I’ve also noticed that similar to the TrueForm Treadmills which have shallow-curved decks that can be hard to run on, especially for heel strikers, the ST90 is kind of the same for me. I’m a heel striker, like most people, and I’ve noticed that I get less fatigued on the ST90 if I run with more of a forefoot and midfoot strike, which is the same when I run on TrueForms.
I think from a workout and running standpoint if you want to train hard, whether for a good workout or to potentially make your runs outside feel a little easier, the ST90 can help with that. It feels harder than running outside. Some could equate it to running in sand, but I think it feels kind of like running on a track at your local high school or college.
This is accessed on the screen in “Free Mode”. This gives you the option to keep up with the motorized set pace or use the belt without being propelled by the motor. You can also use 8 levels of incline with this feature. This is beneficial for changing up the intensity of your workouts by adding a lot of versatility. You can also face the rear and use this feature to walk backward, as pictured above.
Sole’s other treadmills have pretty low deck heights, like the F63, F80, and F85. Due to its slat belt and very large rollers, the deck height is higher on the Sole ST90. At a 0% grade, it measures to be about 10” high. When considering your home space and ceiling height, it’s important to factor in the deck height, incline range, and height to determine if the space has a high enough ceiling.
Performance & Functionality
After testing the Sole ST90, we are impressed with all of its features and training capabilities. If you’re looking for a treadmill for high-intensity training this one is an excellent choice. It is also a great choice if you want a treadmill that can be used with and without a motor. Having the ability to control the pace of the belt yourself really adds a lot of variety to the ST90 and your workouts.
When the deck is flat with the motor disengaged, the belt is harder to get moving because there isn’t any momentum at the front, like higher curved, manual belts. Once inclined, it is easier to get the belt moving. For me, I have to hold the front handle to kind of sled-push to get the belt to move, however, there isn’t nearly as much resistance that comes with sled-pushing to simulate this feature on the ST90. Instead, I just notice my legs having to work a bit harder to push the belt and keep it going, even at an incline. I can move the belt into a jogging pace when it’s inclined to the higher incline levels of around 6-8. Larger users, like our reviewer Matt who is 6’5” will find that it is easier to move the belt in the free mode than smaller users, like me who is 5’1”. Being heavier in weight helps move the belt more easily.
The motor is positioned underneath the deck in the center. This is a little annoying, but over time we noticed that we became used to it. It didn’t inhibit our walking or running either.
Something that you might be concerned about is the safety features of the Sole ST90 since it draws a lot of similarities to the Peloton Tread+ which was recalled due to safety issues. There is a panel on the ST90 that is mounted below the deck at the rear, as well as a child-lock option that locks the belt when not in use, and a stop feature that turns off the belt and motor if the treadmill is at an incline and higher speeds if it detects no one on the belt after a few seconds. With this feature, the screen gives a 10-second warning and shuts off the belt if you don’t step on it. This even happens if your feet are on the side rails.
Also, the rubber slats do have spaces in between them that get larger as the belt bends around the large roller at the back of the deck. So, small fingers or paws could get caught in them. As with any treadmill and other fitness equipment, I would use the machine with caution and keep the space where you’re using the equipment free of small children and pets.
Finally, the price of the Sole ST90 is a splurge compared to other motorized treadmills, but considering the construction, AC motor, and versatility of the slat-belt design, the ST90 is pretty affordable compared to other motorized slat-belt treadmills. We appreciate that it’s a more affordable alternative to treadmills like the Technogym SkillRun.
Warranty & Customer Service
The warranties that Sole includes with the ST90 are less extensive than what they normally offer. The frame and motor have 5-year warranties, the deck and electronics have 3-year warranties, and there’s a 1-year warranty for parts and labor. We would like to see Sole extend the length of the warranty for the frame and motor.