Currently available for £1299.00 from Sole Fitness
Sole Fitness F63 Folding Treadmill Review
Sole Fitness is one of the most respected brands in home fitness with a long track record of bringing to market high-spec, high-quality, cardio machines including treadmills, that represent rock-solid value for money and offer excellent performance. We took a look at the most recent version of the Sole Fitness F63 treadmill, the latest in a line of treadmills that have historically been a dominant force among similarly priced running machines.
Since the first version of the F63 was released over 10 years ago the popularity of this model has grown and grown, making it a best seller in the US, Europe, and the UK, winning multiple awards along the way. We were keen to see how this latest model performs not just against its predecessors but against other treadmills out there in this price bracket in 2023, so we got one in for testing. Here’s what we found…
As always assembly is the first port of call, and we’re happy to report that there’s nothing to see here. The user manual is clear, accurate, and easy to follow, and all the components fit together smoothly and as expected. There’s nothing here that most owners, even the least handy ones, won’t be able to handle. All you need is two people and about an hour, and you’ll be ready to go for a run.
Once built, unsurprisingly, this is a heavy-set machine. Its design doesn’t differ greatly from previous models and it retains the same chunky look which has a very functional look about it that has been tempered with some neat little design changes that make it look modern without losing that gritty ‘I’m here to do a job’ industrial feel. We really like the blend of industrial and domestic look at feel here with the splashes of crimson adding a homely touch. That heavy-duty look isn’t just for show though. With a maximum user weight of 150kg (331lbs), this is a heavy-duty treadmill in more than just appearance.
The footprint of the F63, when unfolded and in the running position, is 210.5cm x 88.5cm (83” x 35″) making it quite compact, especially for a machine that offers this kind of running space. Thanks to its design, the relatively compact footprint doesn’t mean a compromise on the running area which measures in at a very healthy 152.5cmx 51cm (60” x 20”) so you still get an oversized deck but gain a touch of floor space into the bargain compared with similar models. The deck is easily spacious enough for even the tallest of runners and provides lots of room to move around which makes the F63 great for beginners who are just starting out as well as experienced runners that want to perform high-speed sprints. It can take time to get used to a treadmill if you’ve not owned one before, but when the deck is this large it really helps to build confidence quickly. There’s no need to look over your shoulder to make sure you’ve got plenty of deck behind you, and as you start to tire in a run, there’s plenty of width to allow you to move around without getting near the edges. Whether, you’re a tall user with long legs, a heavier user (Maximum = 150kg (331lbs) or you just want to be able to stride out with confidence, that 60” x 20” running area is a joy!
The F63, benefits from excellent shock absorption thanks to a combination of the solid frame design and rubber polymers designed to deliver a cushioned and supportive deck that offers a medium stiffness to take the sting of the shock out of each landing footstep but without making it soft and springy. The ‘cushion flex’ system is mounted on 40mm wide box section supports spanning the width of the underframe. This bracing gives additional sturdiness and means that the F63 features a nice balance of impact absorption and a firm surface to push off from, making for a great run. While the cushioning is not adjustable it has been set up with serious know-how, making this model suitable for people that don’t want to go too far away from real-world running on real-world surfaces while still providing plenty of joint protection. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sole has managed to balance this element so well, but it’s still very good to see and it works an absolute treat for both running and walking applications.
The words ‘high’ and ‘quality’ have become synonymous with Sole treadmills since they first hit the market. And, the over-engineered chunkiness of parts such as the 2.4” precision front and rear rollers and welded under-frame combine to reduce vibration and noise levels as well as extend the life expectancy of the machine. This quality is reflected in the warranty with the F63 being backed up by a lifetime frame, 10-year motor, 5-year parts and 3-year on-site labour warranty (parts guarantee includes all electronics, running deck and belt). Warranties on domestic treadmills simply don’t get better than that and having run on this machine and put it through its paces we’re in no doubt that it’s unlikely you’ll be needing that warranty if you buy one of these.
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 (12mph) and a seriously challenging 15% powered incline gradient which is a combination that’s more than enough to get the lungs of most mortal beings busting for air.
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 club-style console is also impressively proportioned and very user-friendly. With a large display that’s easy to read and large rubber buttons that are clearly marked and logically labelled, the F63 is a machine that most people will be able to step up onto and start to use without needing to read the manual (always read the manual!). The screen itself is a 6.5″ backlit LCD display that features a 1/4 mile lap track. The layout of the screen and the console is hard to fault here. All the important data has its own dedicated area and it really couldn’t be easier 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 (manual, 5 pre-set, 2 user-defined, 2 HRC) and setting up the user-defined programs is nice and easy. Getting your own personal run is a straightforward thing to do which means it’s easy to create and modify your setup making it simple to keep things mixed up. The 2 Heart Rate Controlled programs have default settings of 60% and 80% Target Heart Rate which are great for fat burning and cardio fitness respectively. This setup makes the F63 very simple and easy to use, while at the same time providing a solid range of different workouts.
In addition to the onboard workouts, the F63 is also fitted with a Bluetooth module that enables the connection of a tablet or smartphone. This provides interactive training options via a number of 3rd party apps and services such as KinoMap and Zwift, as well as the SOLE Fitness App which enables you to sync your training data with FitBit, iHealth, Record, and MapMyFitness apps too. This really does open up a lot of training options and ways to track your progress that many other models in this price range simply don’t offer.
The folding mechanism is more robust than many other models and it’s good to see a hand-operated lever present here. Most brands have a foot lever to disengage the locking mechanism of the deck and allow it to lower, but the conveniently placed handle on the underside of the deck makes life a lot easier.
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 rather than the standard two that are to be found on most domestic treadmills, so it’s easy to roll the F63 along when without having to lift and pivot the whole machine in the way that’s necessary on 2 wheeled design models. This may sound like a small thing, but it makes a big difference when you need to move your treadmill around.
Other features include a music port for iPod®/mp3 player, Bluetooth audio speakers, headphone jack, cooling Fan, dual water bottle holder, accessory tray, USB charging port, and integrated tablet holder.
The sole F63 is one of the best treads we've tested recently at this sort of price point. The build quality and sturdiness are second to none, and even more expensive modes struggle to match this level of build. There are plenty of training options, including interactive ones, and the oversized deck and excellent cushioning along with the large motor make for a quiet, almost soothing, run. This is an outstanding bit of kit and one that's easy to recommend.
Sole Fitness F63 Specifications
- 3.0 HP motor
- 1-20kph (0.5-12mph) speed range with Quick-Speed controls on the console and handlebars
- 15 levels of power incline with Quick-Incline controls on the console and handlebars
- 51cm (20’’) x 152.5cm (60’’) running surface
- Rollers: 2.4” precision machined and balanced non-flex rollers
- Cushioning: Cushion Flex
- Console: 6.5” backlit LCD display
- Feedback: Incline, time, calories, distance, speed, pulse, pace, programme, a track representing 400m (1/4 mile); scan mode
- Programmes: 10 (manual, 5 pre-set, 2 user-defined, 2 HRC)
- Compatible Applications: SOLE Fitness App (allows for syncing data with FitBit, iHealth, Record, and MapMyFitness apps), Zwift, Kinomap
- Heart Rate Measurement via Hand pulse sensors + Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional)
- Audio: Music port for iPod®/mp3 player and Bluetooth® Audio Speakers; headphone jack
- Extras: Dual water bottle holder, accessory tray, USB charging port, integrated tablet holder, stability bar, cooling fan
- Folding System: Easy Assist folding deck design
- Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 210.5cm (83″) x 88.5cm (35″) x 167.5cm (66″)
- Folded Dimensions (L x W x H): 117cm (46″) x 88.5cm (35″) x 179.5cm (71″)
- Max. user weight: 150kg (331lbs)
- Product weight: 113kg (249lbs)
- Power supply: mains
- Warranty: Lifetime frame; 10 years motor, 5 years parts and 3 years labour
Sole Fitness F63 Folding Treadmill - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £1299.00 from Sole Fitness
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