Sole TT8 Treadmill Review – 2020

Kristen (Kacey) NelsonKristen (Kacey) Nelson

Last Updated: June 12, 2020
The Sole TT8 treadmill is one of the best treadmills for running. It has a solid, commercial-grade non-folding frame. This is a high-end treadmill designed for serious runners and those who want to maximize their training on a quality machine. The Sole TT8 has a full 60” long by 22” wide running belt that provides plenty of running space. The powerful 4.0 HP motor will support extended running and high intensity training. This hearty treadmill is rated to support up to 400lbs, which is 100lbs more than comparable treadmills. The Sole TT8 is an excellent training tool for larger users or those who plan to do extended training. Sole covers the TT8 treadmill with a full lifetime warranty on the frame, motor and deck, which is a reflection of build quality and durability. The TT8 requires a dedicated space since it doesn’t fold up, so this commercial-grade treadmill is best suited for those who have a home gym or workout area.

Sole TT8 Treadmill review

Check Best Price

Who It’s For: Runners with a dedicated workout space looking for a commercial-grade non-folding treadmill with a powerful motor

The SoleTT8 is for users looking for:

  • Quality construction
  • Lifetime warranty on motor, frame and deck
  • Users who don’t need the extra tech and online subscription classes
  • A decline of -6% and incline of 15%
  • Max speed of 12mph
  • TT8 syncs with Sole app for enhanced functionality that is navigable from your smartphone
  • Non-folding commercial-grade treadmill that is easy to move with more wheels than on comparable models
  • A 10.1” TFT backlit screen with 10 workout options
Pros
  • Solid non-folding frame is rated for users up to 400lbs and sits firmly on your floor for maximum support.
  • Steel beams, side rails and uprights make the TT8 a hearty, durable training tool.
  • Advanced heart rate training with included chest strap displays your heart rate right on the screen
  • -6% decline adds downhill training to your regimen for rolling hill training, downhill conditioning and gentle training for knees and quads.
  • 15% incline challenges posterior muscles for greater calorie burn and advanced hill work.
  • Extended lifetime warranty on frame, motor and deck for residential users.
  • Good for all types of training; walk, jog, run or do high-intensity intervals in the comfort of your own home
Cons
  • Motor hood is large and can get in the way of a long forward stride
  • Preset speed and incline buttons skip two-by-two; there is not a separate button for each speed or incline level


FeaturesSpecifications
  • -6% Decline to 15% Incline Range
    • The Sole TT8 treadmill offers an impressive incline range that drops to a -6% decline and inclines to 15% grade. This allows runners to train for hills, uphill, downhill, and gently condition both posterior (uphill) and anterior (downhill) muscle groups.
  • Footprint: 58” high x 36” wide x 82” long
    • The TT8 does not fold, so you will need a dedicated space to set your treadmill. However, the full frame gives you extra support and cushion underfoot for heavy training.
  • Cushion Flex Whisper Deck
    • This unique design reduces foot impact by 40%. The reversible deck is wax lubricated, which reduces maintenance over time and is the same type of deck found on commercial grade treadmills.
  • Item Weight: 322lbs, Max User Weight: 400lbs.
    • The treadmill itself weighs 322lbs which is a heavy machine, but you can feel that extra support in the reinforced deck. The TT8 has a max user weight of 400lbs, which makes it a great training tool for runners of any size.
  • 22” x 60” Running Surface
    • Enjoy a full running surface of 22” wide by 60” long with plenty of lateral space and good fore/aft room for an elongated stride.
  • 3” Rollers and 2-Ply Belt
    • Roller size matters on a treadmill! The rollers move the belt over the deck frame and increased size reduces tension on the belt due to increased surface area. This allows for a smoother feel underfoot and lengthens the life of the belt and treadmill.
  • Step Up Height: 8″
    • Even though the TT8 offers an impressive incline range, it still has a low step-up height of just 8”. This allows users with knee or mobility issues to easily get on and off the deck.
  • 4.0 HP, DC Type Motor
    • Designed for heavy use, this commercial-grade motor is powerful and quiet. The 4.0HP motor won’t overheat and is calibrated to support heavy users (up to 400lbs), heavy training, and/or multiple users in a light commercial environment.
  • Bluetooth Speaker Compatible
    • Sync your phone with the TT8 via Bluetooth to play your favorite music through the speakers.
  • Tablet/Phone Holder
    • A large tablet holder with adjustable clip sits at the top of the console so you can place your phone, tablet, or personal device here while you use the treadmill.
  • Chest Strap Included
    • The TT8 is great for heart rate training so Sole has included a chest strap with the treadmill. This way users can get the most accurate heart rate numbers right on the screen for specified training in your target zone.
  • 10.1” TFT LCD screen
    • Sole has upgraded the console on the TT8 so the layout is streamlined and functional. The 10” LCD screen is white with large black digital numbers that are easy to see.
  • Lifetime warranty on Frame, Motor and Deck (residential use)
    • Sole backs up their treadmills with impressive lifetime warranties on the frame, deck and motor for residential use. For light commercial use (apartment buildings, college dorms, hotels, etc) Sole offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, and 5 years on motor and deck.

Construction:

  • Footprint: 58” high x 36” wide x 82” long
  • Item Weight: 322 pounds
  • 22” x 60” Running Surface
  • 3” Rollers
  • Step Up Height: 8″
  • 4.0 HP, DC Type Motor
  • 2-Ply Belt

Console:

  • Bluetooth Speaker Compatible
  • Tablet/Phone Holder
  • USB Device Charging
  • Pulse Grips & Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitoring
  • Chest Strap Included
  • Cooling Fans
  • 10.1” TFT LCD screen

Functionality:

  • Speed : .5 – 12 mph
  • Incline range: -6% decline to 15% incline
  • Whisper Deck Cushioning
  • 6 Standard Programs
  • 1 Custom Program
  • 2 Heart Programs

Warranty:

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Motor: Lifetime
  • Deck : Lifetime
  • Electronics: 5 Years
  • Labor: 2 Years

In-depth Review of Sole TT8 Treadmill


Construction

Frame

Sole TT8 frame rear view
Sole machines are among the most durable on the market and the TT8 is no exception. This non-folding treadmill is rated for light commercial use so it works well for high-volume training or multi-user households. The steel frame is reinforced with steel side and cross beams, powder coated uprights, steel handrails with a spongy overlay, and extra support under the deck. The TT8 features Sole’s Flex Whisper deck, which allows for extra travel underfoot as you run. This reduces impact shock by 40% so you can run harder for longer without impact injury or fatigue. The TT8 works well for walking or running and will support larger users up to 400lbs. The precision welded frame enhances durability and the TT8 chassis and motor are both commercial grade. The industrial quality frame uses an all-steel zinc coated flywheel for a vibration-free running surface. The flywheel aids the motor so it does not overheat and requires less amp draw from your wall outlet. This also extends the life of the motor.

Deck

  • Cushioning/Feel
    • Sole’s proprietary Cushion Flex Whisper Deck system allows for extra travel under the deck to absorb impact. Sole claims this reduces foot impact by 40% when compared to outdoor surfaces. While the TT8 does provide some shock absorption, it isn’t as much as we were expecting. This machine more closely resembles overground running with reduced shock impact, but still has a bit of stiffness underfoot. For some users, this added stiffness enhances the training value of the TT8, but for those looking for extensive cushioning, it may not be as soft as expected. Sole machines are built to be durable, high-quality training tools and the reinforced steel deck may limit some of the flex found on comparable treadmills. We didn’t find running on the Cushion Flex Whisper deck to be uncomfortable, but it is not as cushioned as expected.
  • Length/Width
    • The 60” long by 22” wide running belt provides plenty of space. However, one consistent complaint we have with the Sole machines is the larger motor hood at the front end of the deck. The motor hood protects the motor, but the high-profile plastic cover on the TT8 sits high up off the belt. If you run too close to the console, you can hit your foot on the motor housing which is irritating. Standing back away from the console helps, but a slightly lower profile cover would help reduce foot impact while running.
  • Belt and Rollers
    • The 2-ply belt has a gently textured surface and feels supportive underfoot. There is no slapping sound underfoot and the belt nestles against the side rails as it moves along. The belt is wax-lubricated for reduced maintenance.
    • 3” Rollers are larger than industry standard. The increased surface area reduces friction on the belt and lengthens the life of both the belt and motor since there is less heat and lower torque. The rollers have a sealed bearing design and copper ground wires reduce static which makes for smooth, static free motion that will stand the test of time.

Motor

The hearty 4.0 horsepower motor is among the strongest on the market and will support heavy training, interval work, and intense conditioning. The 4.0hp motor is industrial grade with a large, heavy flywheel that helps reduce torque on the motor. The TT8 is designed for use up to 5 hours per day, and is rated light-commercial. If you are a marathon runner, triathlete or weekend warrior training for your next big event, the TT8 is an excellent home-use treadmill. It also works well in homes where you have multiple users at different conditioning levels. The gentle decline and low step up height makes it ideal for anyone with limited mobility or joint issues and the hearty motor will provide training for your college track star. The motor drives the overall performance of the treadmill by facilitating incline and decline as well as maintaining and adjusting speed. You can incline and change pace at the same time without any lag from the motor. It is also surprisingly quiet — the most noise generated on the TT8 is from foot impact, not the belt or motor. It is so quiet and smooth that we had to step off the machine at some point to determine whether it was actually inclining! You feel very stable and don’t have to grab the handrails for support during speed or incline changes thanks to the smooth operation of the motor.


Console

Sole TT8 Console Layout

Layout

Sole consistently builds solid treadmills, but their console layout can be a bit confusing. The TT8 console was upgraded recently which helped a bit, but there are still a few issues with functionality.

  • What we like:
    • The tactile buttons along the top of the console for each program are actual buttons that press down, so you know when you’ve selected your program. For users who like a tactile button as opposed to a touchscreen button, this is a nice feature. There are also Incline Up and Down buttons (with an arrow) and Speed Up and Down buttons, so you can modify your pace or incline quickly on the console.
    • The programs are very simple and there is one button for each program. As you press the buttons, the screen will display the info about that program, so you know what to expect.
    • There are buttons on the handrails for speed (right) and incline (left). Sole is the only company to include buttons on the handrails. These are very handy when you want to change your pace or incline without lifting your hands off the handrails — so it is safer as well. Sometimes you can accidentally hit these when getting on or off the machine, so be careful when you step on the side rails to not accidentally touch the buttons.

SoleTT8 handrail controls

  • What we don’t like:
    • The TT8 does not have a different button for each speed or incline — instead there is a range for incline that begins at -4, then -2, but does not have a button for a 0% flat grade, instead it jumps to 2%, 4%, 6%, 9% and 12%. We would like to see a button for a flat grade at 0% incline as well as one for the max 15% incline. Some users may hit the 12% incline button not knowing they have three more levels above that.
    • Similarly, the speed buttons are 2mph, 3mph, 4mph, 5mph, 7mph, 9mph and 12mph. Rather than skip by twos or even threes, the speed buttons are rather random. These are probably the most common speeds used, but you have to look to make sure you hit the one you want since they jump a bit. Thankfully, there are easy to reach tactile buttons on the handrails that allow users to increase their speed and incline by smaller measurements.
    • The TT8 does not have a different button for each speed or incline — instead there is a range for incline that begins at -4, then -2, but does not have a button for a 0% flat grade, instead it jumps to 2%, 4%, 6%, 9% and 12%. We would like to see a button for a flat grade at 0% incline as well as one for the max 15% incline. Some users may hit the 12% incline button not knowing they have three more levels above that.

Screen

Sole TT8 Console side view
The 10.1” screen is bright and easy to see, but it doesn’t compare with the full color touch screens available on similarly priced machines. The Sole TT8 is simple and designed for those who like to just hop on and go. One reason Sole continues to be able to keep up with more tech-heavy machines is not every user wants all the bells and whistles. The console design and user interface is not the most intuitive on the Sole machine — but once you figure out the layout and programs, it is easy to use. Raised tactile buttons are good for those who prefer to feel the button under their fingers. And you don’t need WiFi or an internet connection to use the Sole TT8. All programs are preloaded. Just plug in your treadmill and it is ready to go.

Sole also features a message board on the TT8 screen which is an alphanumeric text readout that sends scrolling messages to the user in an effort to guide them through the details of every workout. The message board will also recap your entire workout after you are finished, so you can see your progress.

Fans/Other Accessories

  • Two Fans sit just above the screen, but they don’t provide much air flow. While it’s nice to at least have some option here, the fans are relatively underpowered and don’t provide much of a breeze.
  • There is a headphone jack in the console
  • Bluetooth connection allows you to sync your phone with the TT8 and play your music through the speakers.
  • A tablet holder is included on the TT8 just above the console. This is a great addition since the console doesn’t offer WiFi or subscription options. The tablet holder makes it easy to run a cardio program on the treadmill while watching something on your tablet or phone. The adjustable clip should hold most devices securely.

Sole TT8 tablet holder

Storage

There is good storage on the TT8. In addition to two large pockets on either side of the console, an additional storage tray spans the width of the deck under the console. This has another three large pockets for additional storage.


Functionality

Performance

The Sole TT8 treadmill is excellent for heavy training, intense conditioning and will support use up to 5 hours per day. It is exceptionally quiet when in use — aside from foot noise, the motor itself is nearly silent. The belt and rollers create a smooth feel underfoot and you can feel how the reinforced frame keeps the whole machine steady. The deck cushioning is certainly softer than running outdoors, but not as cushioned as comparative treadmills in the same price range. The added -6% decline is also a useful feature on the TT8. Downhill training adds important variables and is helpful for those who need active recovery or gentle anterior conditioning. The 15% incline offers lots of uphill work. This sturdy, quiet treadmill is fun to run on.

Incline / Decline range

Sole TT8 treadmill incline
The Sole TT8 adds a -6% decline to the 15% incline. Incline training helps strengthen glutes and hamstrings to offset quad dominance and facilitate muscular balance in the lower body. Decline training is good for active recovery, strengthening the knees and quads, gentle conditioning of the anterior muscle chain, and adds variables to your up and downhill training. You can do lots of rolling hills on the TT8! Also, adding incline variability to a training regimen helps prevent overuse injuries and ensure muscular balance. At a 0% grade, the TT8 has an 8” deck height, which makes it easy to step on and off.

Pre-programmed workouts

The Sole TT8 has six workout programs for: Manual, Hill, Fatburn, Cardio, Strength, and HIIT. One custom program and two heart rate training programs are also available with buttons for each just below the screen. Each button loads the same program each time, so you always know what you are getting.

Subscription Options: Sole app on phone

The Sole App can be downloaded to your phone to keep track of your workout stats, including calorie burn, heart rates and duration — but this does not correspond to an online subscription database of programs you can run via WiFi on the treadmill. It is handy to be able to control the TT8 from your phone when desired. The Sole app is free and does not require a monthly subscription. The TT8 is perfect for those who don’t want to worry about ongoing subscription costs or downloaded content.

Noise Level

The Sole TT8 excels with noise control. Featuring a smooth motor, soft belt, and sleek engineering, the TT8 runs as smooth as any treadmill we’ve used. Additionally, the fact that it sits closer to the ground seems to help with noise absorption.

Storage / Folding

The Sole TT8 does not fold. This is a light commercial, heavy residential treadmill that sits firmly on the ground and is not designed to fold or move regularly. There are wheels under the frame so you can roll it if needed, but ideally this machine should be placed where you plan to use it. The TT8 is a hearty, well-built treadmill with excellent frame support and caters to those with a committed space for the treadmill.

Bottom Line:

Sole is focused on quality design with an emphasis on durable made treadmills. The TT8 has a precision welded frame; it is not just bolted together. The welded frame is capable of handling multiple users of various weights and sizes so it is a good option for households (or light commercial centers) that have users at different conditioning levels. The TT8 uses a heavy duty chassis and 4.0 horsepower motor. This industrial quality motor has a large diameter, all-steel zinc coated balanced flywheel for a vibration-free running/walking surface. Flywheels support motor power so the motor requires less amp draw when running and stays cool throughout the day. Sole also uses much heavier flywheels than comparable models, which provide a fluid motion underfoot. Large 3” rollers enable the 2-ply belt to slide smoothly over the deck. These rollers have a sealed bearing design and copper ground wires to reduce static. The double woven belt has four layers; two rubber layers over a middle PVC layer with a nylon backing that rolls over the deck and rollers. The rubber provides durability, the PVC limits the belt from overstretching, and the nylon provides a smooth static free surface to glide over the deck and rollers. The combination of the welded steel frame, powder coated uprights, large rollers, heavy flywheel and 2-ply belt make the TT8 nearly indestructible. This is why Sole can offer a full lifetime warranty on the frame, motor and deck (residential use). The added -6% decline and 15% incline are valuable training variables and the 12mph max speed is smooth and consistent throughout the pace range. The TT8 is quiet and feels supportive underfoot. This isn’t the most cushioned treadmill, but it certainly mitigates outdoor impact and is a safe and convenient way to run at home. The console functions well, we could use a few more speed and incline preset buttons, but the tactile nature is unique and helpful. Handrail buttons are another added feature users may find helpful. In general, the Sole TT8 treadmill is sturdy, quiet, powerful, and a great way to stay fit and active in the safety and comfort of your own home. Sole has set the bar high with the TT8 treadmill.

POST REPLY