Sole Vs Life Fitness Treadmills – Which One Suits Your Needs?

Foldable treadmills were a source of much excitement when they were first introduced. Now there are so many brands and models of this kind it is hard to choose one. Here is a Sole F80 and Life Fitness F3 comparison to help you make an informed decision.

Hi, my name is Fern, I am a fitness coach and a believer in the power of running and jogging for weight loss and cardiovascular health. With so many treadmills in the market and the entry of foldable treadmills, is hard to choose one for your home gym.

Sole and Life fitness are manufacturers with many years of experience. Which one would be a better pick? Here we compare Sole’s F80 and the F3 from Life Fitness to find out which one is a better treadmill.

What Are The Differences Between Sole And Life Fitness?

Sole F80
Life Fitness F3
Top speed
12 mph
10 mph
Pre-set programs
Power incline
0% – 15%
0% – 12%
Impact reduction
Up to 40%
Up to 30%
Motor Horse Power

Sole Vs Life Fitness – How Do They Compare?


Durability is a major concern when you are investing in a piece of fitness equipment. Sole put a lot of thought into this and gave the F80 a reversible deck when it upgraded its previous model. This kind of deck lets you use the treadmill for as long as it takes before the deck starts to show signs of wear. When that happens simply flip it over and it is as good as new. This not only doubles its lifespanbut also makes it quieter when in use. These benefits are further enhanced by a 2-ply belt and 2.5 inch rollers.

The Life Fitness treadmill doesn’t have a reversible deck.

Sole F80 is a better treadmill in this regard. A reversible deck increases overall durability as well as maintains a new look for longer.

Energy Saving Capability

One of the outstanding features of the Life Fitness treadmill is that it is energy smart. It is built to conserve energy by only drawing as much power as it needs. When it is plugged into a power source, but is not in use, it reduces its power draw.

The motor is also energy smart. It automatically adjusts to the weight of the user and only draws as much power it needs to support that weight. The heavier the user, the more power drawn and vice versa. The effect is that the machine rarely or is never triggered to draw maximum amounts of power.

The Sole treadmill is not energy smart.

The Life Fitness F3 is the better treadmill because it is built to conserve energy.

User Experience

Top speed

The Sole F80 has a slightly higher top speed (12mph) than the Life Fitness machine which has a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour. For a majority of users, thisdifference doesn’t mean much because they never even approach the top speed. The point is that you can push yourself to the limits, run as fast as you can on either and never outrun the treadmill’s maximum capability.

Deck size

Some treadmill have such a small deck, it interferes with your walking and especially running ease. With the Sole F80, this will not be a problem because it has a fairly roomy deck measuring 22 by 60 inches. The Life Fitness treadmill is smaller, measuring 55 by 20 inches making it a little less comfortable to use especially for big-bodied users.

To make the workout more challenging users increase incline levels. Different machines have different minimum and maximums. For the Sole treadmill, inclines can be adjusted between a minimum of 0% and a maximum of 15%. In the Life fitness you have a slightly smaller range because the minimum level is 0.5% and the maximum is 12%. Although Sole has a wider range, Life Fitness lets you make very small increments (0.5%) at a time. This makes gradual progression for users smoother and easier.

If you are looking for maximum speed, the Sole is a better treadmill albeit by a small maximum margin. It is also better in terms of space because it has a larger deck. The Sole F80 gives an overall better user experience.

Sole Vs Life Fitness – A Comparison Overview

Sole Overview

[amazon box=”B003Z4AAPI” template=”horizontal” ]

With this foldable treadmill you have a strong steel frame which can take users weighing up to 375 pounds. It comes equipped with a 3.5 horsepower motor which is more than enough for long runs and high intensity interval training.

Your workout data is displayed on a 9 inch LCD screen which is also what is used to run the 10 pre-set programmes the machine comes with. There is tablet holder which comes in handy when you want to use a tablet or your phone to run data tracking applications as you run.

For heart rate monitoring, you could choose to use the integrated monitors built into the handrails or a wireless chest strap which is included when you buy the bike.

For users who have challenges with their knees or other joints, this treadmill’s cushioning system will help to reduce impact. The Cushion Flex Whisper Deck can reduce impact by up to 40% (compared to road running) allowing you to keep your workout effective and painless.


  • 9 inch LCD screen
  • Roomy, reversible deck
  • 5 HP motor
  • High user weight capacity


  • Short side rails
  • Limited workout programs

View Price on Amazon

Life Fitness Overview

[amazon box=”B0089W560A” template=”horizontal” ]

The Life Fitness F3 treadmill is a foldable piece of equipment therefore making it a good choice for users without sufficient space to dedicate to a treadmill. It’s running surface measures 55 by 22 inches. Some users have complained that is it is too small, especially for running.

Life Fitness gives buyers two options for a console. The ‘Go’ console or the ‘Track’ one. The former is more basic and allows two users to create custom profiles. With the ‘Track’ console you get what ‘Go’ has to offer as well as connection to Apple or Android devices for third party apps.

To reduce impact on joints, this treadmill has FlexDeck cushioning which reduces shock by up to 30%.  Cushioning generally helps to minimize risk of injury and improve the user’s endurance.

There are 13 pre-set workouts which are a great help for users who don’t want to think about the nitty -gritty of every workout session. Just follow the session and achieve your workout goals for the day.

In regards to extras, this treadmill comes with two dish-washer safe cups, and a tablet holder which can be used for a phone or as a reading rack.


  • Energy Smart
  • Choice of 2 screens
  • Wireless and contact monitors available
  • 13 pre-set workouts


  • Short track unsuitable for running
  • Large footprint

View Price on Amazon


The two are both great quality treadmills from reputable manufacturers in the industry. Both are foldable giving users the convenience of reclaiming the space the machine is on after a workout is done. There is a significant amount of cushioning to be enjoyed from both machines and just about anyone can use the treadmill comfortably thanks to high weight capacities.

Verdict: So which is better Sole or Life fitness?

The Life Fitness treadmill will no doubt make a good addition to your home gym especially because it is energy smart. However, the Sole F80 proves to be a better treadmill because of its reversible deck which is also quite spacious. It also has a stronger motor, more incline capability and more cushioning capability.


I read that I should clean my Sole treadmill regularly. How do I do that?

  • Use a long terry towel. Make sure it is long enough to fit under the belt (width wise) with some of it left over on either side.
  • Pass the towel in between the belt and deck and hold it down firmly.
  • Turn on the treadmill so it does several revolutions.
  • Turn it off and slide the towel out. You should notice some dirt on it.

What does the Life Fitness F3 weigh?

It weighs 264 pounds (120 kg)