Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

Sole Fitness Review

Sunday, September 19th

2021 Treadmill Reviews

Sole Fitness Review 1.5 Star Rating

Sole Fitness

1.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $999.99 to $2,499.99

When we look at SOLE Fitness, a famous phrase comes to mind: "how the mighty have fallen" . How did this treadmill retailer go from first to last place since our initial evaluation? Keep reading to find out!

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding and non-folding
  • Price Range: $999.99 to $2,499.99
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Livestream Classes Included: No
  • Incline Range: 15 levels, one model includes decline levels
  • Speed Range: From 0.5 to 12 mph
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime on motor, deck, and frame; 5 years on electronics; 2 years on labor (in-home service) - when used in home, not commercially
  • Shipping: Free

6 models to choose from

At first glance, SOLE Fitness' treadmills are easy to love. You'll find several models to choose from, all priced affordably and with features comparable to many of the higher-end models you'll see elsewhere. Whether you want a folding or non-folding style, you're looking for a treadmill that offers decline settings as well as inclines, or just a basic machine for everyday workouts, you'll find something that fits the bill among SOLE's 6 different models.

No built-in tech for live workouts

On the technology side, SOLE Fitness doesn't offer any treadmills with built-in apps for livestreamed workouts. In order to follow a fitness class online, you'll need to use your own phone or tablet (some models have an integrated holder for your devices) and then either listen on your headphones or through the treadmill's Bluetooth speakers if available.

Best Treadmills

Big improvements in return policy

With respect to customer service, SOLE Fitness has really upped the ante since our last evaluation. They've dropped all restocking fees and shipping costs on returns, and now they go so far as to take care of the entire return process. You don't even have to hang on to all of the packaging: they will take care of securing your treadmill at the time of pickup, all at no extra charge. You'll get a full refund of everything you paid, and you won't have to wait until they receive the treadmill back at their facility: just notify SOLE via email as soon as it's picked up, and your refund will be processed within 48 hours. You're just not going to find that anywhere else. So, why did this company earn the absolute lowest ranking among treadmill stores?

Worst rating from the Better Business Bureau

Our hesitation with SOLE began with their "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. The BBB says this is due to the 60+ complaints registered against the company, with 2 that received no response from SOLE and 2 that ultimately went unresolved. And yet, there are several competitor retailers in our review who have complaints in the thousands - and who still manage to get an "A+" rating from the BBB.

Company doesn't deliver on promises

Unfortunately, our concerns grew when we considered the most recent customer reviews on several other third-party sites. Numerous people complained about the awful customer service they received (or didn't!) after purchase, even when their treadmills should have been covered under warranty. When you see multiple comments that describe the machines as "flimsy" and "defective" , and getting zero response after months of trying to reach SOLE Fitness' customer service team (to verify orders, to get warranty service, etc.), you start to see the wisdom behind the BBB's "F" rating.

Too many missing deliveries

Even the ratings posted on SOLE's own site have tanked noticeably over the last few months. We get that during a nationwide period of increased interest in home fitness combined with logistics issues for shippers everywhere, there are going to be some challenges. But, when customers are rating treadmills as low as possible and the only comment is "I never received this" , watch out.

Buy your treadmill somewhere else

And now you see why SOLE Fitness comes in absolutely last in our rankings. Sure, they make big promises about customer service and warranties - but there's every indication that they don't make good on them anymore. A treadmill is no bargain if it never arrives, stops working, or won't be repaired even under warranty. We strongly recommend that you look for your treadmill at a store with a better reputation (which is literally any other company in our review!).

Where Can You Find the Best Treadmills?

With so many people dropping their gym memberships and turning to home fitness, it's no surprise that these popular cardio machines have seen a dramatic rise in popularity. You may have even tried to shop for one, only to find that they're out of stock - indefinitely! Fortunately, there are several online retailers that have managed to keep up with demand on all types of treadmills, from budget models with the most basic features to the high-tech equipment with all the bells and whistles.

If you're buying a treadmill for the first time, you might feel a little lost as to what to look for. Your first consideration might be your budget, so keep in mind that you can get decent, entry-level treadmills for under $750. If money is no object, decide which features matter the most to you. For example, do you want the biggest variety of workouts? In that case, look for treadmills that have a wide range of incline settings: most machines with an incline will give you up to 15%, but some go as high as 40%!

The Best Treadmills Compare Treadmills Compare Treadmill Reviews What are the best Treadmills Best Treadmill Reviews

Treadmill FAQ

As one of the most commonly-used pieces of gym equipment, treadmills are usually the first machine people think of when setting up a workout space at home. Whatever your level of fitness, a treadmill can help you make progress: from low-intensity walking to running intervals on an incline, the possibilities are endless (and they don't depend on the weather!)
It depends on the model you choose. Some machines allow you to fold the tread surface up towards the console, similar to a Murphy bed. But, with the higher-end machines that come with plenty of features like live-coached workouts or sky-high incline capabilities, you're likely to need a reasonable amount of floor space. Check the dimensions of any treadmills you're considering and compare them against the places you're thinking of keeping your machine.
You might be surprised to learn that you can get a basic treadmill for under $600. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll see prices in the $9,000 and up range for models exactly like what you'd use at a fitness center or gym. Fortunately, there are plenty of mid-range options that give you good features, top-notch tech and durability without breaking your budget.
Yes. Coverage varies, and most manufacturers have different timeframes of warranty protection for the frame, electronics, and any labor costs. You may also be able to add an extended warranty and/or maintenance plan, to keep your treadmill in good shape for longer.
How does "free" sound? Many retailers of treadmills give you no-cost delivery. Just be aware that if you return your treadmill, you're likely to be on the hook for the shipment costs to get it back to the store (and your refund may have their original shipping costs deducted from it!).
Check the retailer's policies. Many offer return periods of 30-60 days, but some provide none at all. You may have to pay restocking fees of up to 25% too, in addition to the return shipping costs (which could get expensive on such a heavy piece of equipment).
Yes, though not all retailers offer it as an add-on service with your treadmill purchase. Look for that option during the checkout process. Otherwise, the company might be able to recommend an installer in your area. If all else fails, it might be worth it to call a fitness center or sporting goods store near you to get the name of a professional they trust.
There's no better way to get the world's widest selection of treadmills - at the best prices. Shopping online makes it easy and even fun to check out all of the latest features and see what customers say about the machines once they're in home use. And, there's no need to rent a truck or try to fit your treadmill in the back of your car with so many retailers offering free delivery right to your doorstep.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

One of today's most sought-after features in the home fitness world is the ability to access live workouts. This is a fantastic substitute for expensive boutique gym classes or even your average fitness center workout: take classes with top trainers from around the world, compete with other people on a live leaderboard, or access pre-recorded workouts (not just for the treadmill, but also for strength, yoga, and much more). Not every treadmill has that capability built in: you might have to prop up your tablet or smartphone on the machine's console and use a third-party app to get it done.

As you decide which type of treadmill you want and where to buy it, here are several additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Availability. Does the retailer have treadmills in stock for immediate shipment? If not, how long is the wait time to get your machine delivered?
  • Treadmill Features. If you need a machine with specific capabilities, like decline settings or Bluetooth connectivity, does the store offer something that works? Be sure to consider other features like folding vs. non-folding models, user weight capacity, room space requirements (especially if you're choosing a treadmill with a high incline setting), and so on.
  • Price. Can you get a treadmill that fits your budget? Don't forget to factor in any required delivery fees: some retailers include shipping in the cost, but others may charge up to $400 for shipping and set-up!
  • Reputation. What do customers say about the durability and overall performance of the treadmill? Are there any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau? Does the company get high marks for customer service?
  • Warranty. What kind of coverage does your treadmill have if something breaks down? Most treadmills come with a lifetime warranty on the frame and welds and more limited terms on the motor, belt and electronics - but some only cover those components for a year or less!

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online retailers of treadmills available today. We hope this information helps you find the right fitness equipment for your home - at the best price!

See the Best Treadmill
The Best Reviews of Treadmills