Sole F63 Treadmill Review

The Sole Fitness F63 treadmill has continued to be a dominant force among similarly priced machines. Since the first version of the F63 was released over 5 years ago its popularity has grown to make it a best seller in the US for consecutive years and winning multiple awards along the way. Always striving to improve, Sole have endeavoured to make improvements on the F63 every couple of years when they unveil their latest ranges. We have been eager to see if one of their best, could get any better? The wait is over!…Here is the new AND improved Sole F63 Treadmill!…

Yep it’s ‘improved’, yet despite undergoing a significant overhaul, we are pleased to see that it’s still got the looks of it’s predecessor. The appeal isn’t merely cosmetic either. The quality of this machine goes beyond the surface….Under the motor cover is a lump packing 3 Continuous Horse Power! That’s another half an HP on the 2011 model and this up rated power output figure tops every other similarly priced machine too!

It’s worth pointing out that comparing spec figures can sometimes be little more than a numbers game if the motor’s power isn’t working in conjunction with high quality components. There’s certainly no danger of that here -The words ‘high quality’ have become synonymous with Sole treadmills. Over-engineered chunkiness of parts such as 60mm front and rear rollers, all combine to reduce vibration and noise levels as well as extend the life expectancy of the machine. In fact, the F63 can literally last a lifetime and that’s how long the warranty is on the frame, motor, parts and 3 years on-site labour (parts guarantee includes all electronics, running deck and belt). Warranties get no better than that and can be taken as a mark of Sole’s confidence in the quality and durability of the product – and complete peace of mind for the consumer.

In terms of performance, the F63 is more than capable of pushing the limits of even the most advanced runners. There’s a top speed of 20 kph (just over 12 miles per hour) and a massive 15% powered incline gradient.

Shock absorption is another key area that benefits from Sole’s super construction methods; the ‘cushion flex’ system is mounted on 40mm wide box section supports spanning the width of the under frame. This bracing gives a reassuring sturdiness to every step whilst still offering a firm yet giving surface to run on.

Speaking of ‘surface area’ brings us to another wonderful improvement bestowed upon this model! Sole have added another 5” in length to the running area and the result is massively significant to the overall workout experience. Whether, you’re a tall user with long legs, a heavier user (Maximum = just over 23 stone) or you just want to be able to stride out with confidence – the 60” long x 20” wide running area the F63 is a God send!

The large club-style console is also impressively proportioned and wonderfully user friendly. The Screen is positioned between the two vertical rows of one-touch key keys. These handy buttons give instant adjustment to Incline (on the left) or speed on the right. This is an especially great idea for interval training although in practise, the machine did prove to be a little slow to respond at times.

The screen itself is a 6.5″ blue backlit LCD display with dot matrix profile, a 1/4 mile lap track and within that is a Peak and Valley graph to show the profiles of different programs. The layout of the screen is hard to fault – all the important data has it’s own dedicated area and it really couldn’t be simpler or clearer to monitor your progress.

This ‘simple but effective’ approach works very well for the programs on offer too. There are dedicated, clearly labeled buttons for all 10 of the programs which makes navigation and setting up the F63 absolute child’s play! Sure, there are only a handful of pre-set programs on offer but the user can modify them so there are certainly no noticeable restrictions on variety. Plus, the instructions to adjust the time, maximum speed and also enter your personal data (for more accurate calorie consumption feedback) scrolls across the bottom of the screen to assist with the setting up process.

In addition to the Manual (Track), Hill, Fat burn, Cardio, Strength and Interval Programs, there are also User defined programs to customize workouts and save them with your user name. This means even more variety and long term challenges.

Plus there are 2 Heart Rate Controlled programs too. They have the default settings of 60% Target Heart Rate and the other at 80% which are great for fat burning or Cardio fitness respectively, however, as with all the programs it’s easy to modify them to suite your needs and goals.

The mention of Heart Rate training brings us to another great bonus with this model, which is the inclusion of a free chest strap transmitter (previously an optional extra). This means that everyone can enjoy the HRC programs as well as much more accurate readings than you can get by simply holding the pulse grips on the handlebars. For users who wish to hold on while exercising, we’d still recommend you slip on the chest strap anyway – if not for the superior accuracy, then for some other good reasons we noticed in use…

For one thing, there are thumb controls for speed and incline on either side handrail that allows users to keep balance and control of the intensity at all times. Also, the side rails seem a better option for maintaining good posture too. The reason for this is due to the forward positioning of the front handlebars. On a positive note, the console and handles are set forward to expose all of the running area (which we like!) but being in line with the edge of the motor cover forced our 6’2” tall reviewer (Charlie Rawes) to lean slightly forward to remain far enough back on the belt to avoid kicking the motor hood, which we (and Charlie’s lower back) were less keen on! The moral of the story – Wear the chest strap – Sorted!

As well as an abundance of on board storage for phone, keys, bottle etc (5 Compartments in total) the F63 can house your Mp3 or iPod player too. When plugged into the audio jack, the inbuilt speaker system did a surprisingly good job. The sound quality may not bring smiles to audiophiles, but this isn’t meant to rival HiFi systems and we applaud Sole for the clarity they’ve milked from such tiny speakers!

The Sole Fitness designers also deserve a pat on the back for the folding mechanism. It’s good to see a hand operated lever present on this model (and throughout their ‘F Range’ of treadmills). While most brands have a foot lever to disengage the locking mechanism of the deck and allow it to lower, the F63 has a more conveniently placed yellow handle up in the top right of the underside. By applying slight forward pressure to the deck with one hand and simply pulling the lever down with the other, the deck smoothly and slowly lowers to the ground.

As well as being easy to fold and unfold, it’s also easy to wheel along when in the folded position. There are 4 transport wheels mounted to the frame so that the machine smoothly rolls along when without having to lift and pivot the whole machine as is customary with other 2 wheeled designs.

Best Price

The Sole F63 is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

Sole F63 Specifications

  • 3.00chp motor
  • 1-20km/h (0.5-12 mph) speed range
  • 0-15% power incline
  • Assembled dimensions (LxWxH): 210.5cm /82.9”  x 88.5cm /34.8” x  144.2cm /56.8”
  • Folded dimensions (LxWxH): 119.8cm /47.1” x  88.5cm/34.8” x 185.1cm/72.9”
  • 51cm x 152cm (20” x 60”) running deck
  • Unique design cushion flex
  • Product Weight: 115kg /253.5lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 147kg /325lbs
  • 6.5” vibrant blue backlit LCD display
  • 10 programmes in total
  • Manual: 1
  • Pre-set: 5
  • User defined: 2
  • Heart rate: 2
  • Pulse measurement via grip sensors or  wireless receiver with an included Sole Fitness chest strap
  • Conveniences:  integrated sound system with dual speakers, MP3/ iPod/smartphone compatibility, dual water bottle holders and accessory tray, dual turbo cooling fans
  • Guarantee: lifetime frame, motor & parts + 3 years labour

Sole F63 Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

Sole F63 Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Improved 3 CHP Motor
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Extra Long 60” Running Area
  • Free Chest Strap Included
  • Great Warranty

The Cons

  • Few entertainment features
Sole F63 Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 8
Appearance - 8
Running Area - 8.5
Comfort - 8
Reliability - 8
Noise - 7.5
Ease Of Use - 8
Controls - 7.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 7.5
Best Price

The Sole F63 is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Also see our Treadmill Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

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