Treadmills are a fun, efficient way to bring the benefits of running from the outside in. They come in handy when you don’t have time to go out or when the weather is cold. They’ve proven to be particularly useful during times of social distancing.
You can forget the old notion of boring, standard moving machines. Today’s treadmills have high-tech interactive screens, built-in workout apps, and powerful motors.
While nothing beats the rush of running outdoors, a treadmill can offer a convenient and safe way to exercise and stay in shape. There are many great names you can rely on when it comes to treadmills. However, today we’re going to focus on only two.
Keep reading for our in-depth comparison of Sole vs. NordicTrack treadmills.
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Sole vs. NordicTrack Treadmills – Which is Better for You?
Research shows that the level of oxygen your body uses during any physical activity (VO2 max) is the same whether you run outdoors or inside on a treadmill. To make the most out of your indoor runs, we’re breaking down the good, the bad, and the ugly of two of the biggest names in the industry.
Let’s dive in!
Sole Fitness is a highly regarded manufacturer of a wide range of exercise equipment. Currently manufactured by Dyaco International, Sole Fitness offers six different treadmill models.
Each model is designed to withstand years of demanding use. They’re mainly designed for home gyms, but they fit in just as well in fitness clubs and professional gyms.
Many features make Sole treadmills stand out from their competition. The one that we most appreciated is that they’re foldable. At the same time, they manage to upkeep the high-quality standards we look for in a treadmill.
2. Mobile App
All six treadmills are integrated with the new Sole Fitness mobile app available on the App Store and Google Play. With this app, you can set up your smartphone, tablet, or computer as the control center. You can run the Sole Fitness app in the background, then turn on a movie, listen to some music, or do some reading.
3. Surface Features
Sole treadmills pride themselves on their extended platform of 60 inches. They’re great at giving way for long-running strides.
Five out of the six models are 22 inches wide for added comfort as you’re exercising. The only one that’s a bit narrower is the Sole F63, with a width of 20 inches.
We respect how durable and thick the tread belts are on all six treadmills. Even the affordable F63 has strong, hard-wearing double-ply straps.
The cushioning is also top-quality. Featuring CushionFlex technology, Sole treadmills help reduce joint impact by 40%. In fact, their cushioning systems are considered the best when compared with other brands.
Sole manufacturers designed their products with customizable, user-friendly settings. Out of the six models, the F85 is the one that stands out in terms of functionality.
One practical setting is the extra calorie burn for serious runners. It’s also for anyone who wants to lose weight and stay in shape.
Another option is the 15-degree automated incline option. Even at 1-degree, you engage your muscles while strengthening your bones and joints.
For speed, Sole treadmills can go up to 12 mph. That’s an average speed for a serious run. Walking is usually set anywhere between 2 and 4 mph.
The 10-program workout menu is excellent! You can switch it up each time and have fun while working out.
These programs kill the boredom of just walking or running. Exercising on a treadmill doesn’t have to be the same-old tedious routine.
To add to that fun spirit, there are built-in speakers for MP3s on every Sole treadmill. To top it off, each treadmill comes with a brightly lit LCD 10-inch screen. It provides real-time statistics so you can monitor your progress.
5. Pros & Cons
- Durable, high-quality parts
- Low operation noise
- Powerful motors
- CushionFlex technology
- Utility tray, tablet holder, and other convenient extras included
- Adjustable handlebars
- No option of downloading new workouts
- The handrails don’t run along the entire length of the treadmills
Minnesota is the birthplace of NordicTrack headquarters in 1975. Since then, it’s become one of the biggest names of indoor exercise equipment in the world.
Currently owned by ICON Health and Fitness, it now manufactures a wide range of indoor cardio trainers. Some of its equipment includes ellipticals, stationary bikes, and rowers.
Almost all NordicTrack treadmills are foldable. This includes all the models in the Commercial series and the T-series treadmills.
Those that fold come with a feature aptly named the SpaceSaver Design. This innovative idea allows for no-hassle folding and storage.
The ones that don’t fold up are all in the Incline series. It’s hard to fold up a treadmill with inclines that can reach up to 40%. The next best thing is to detach some of the parts, which makes it easier to move around.
2. Mobile App
The NordicTrack treadmills come with several built-in apps. The most prominent is the iFit app. It provides a wide range of exercise programs, with new ones continually being added.
iFit also gives you access to live-streaming workouts. Pick the one that best fits your fitness level, and you’re set to go.
3. Surface Features
One of the best qualities about NordicTrack is its Runners Flex Cushioning system. It’s integrated into all treadmills to absorb the impact while providing optimal support. We’re quite impressed with this feature because it uses a customizable isolator. In other words, you can change the feel from a more cushioned surface to a firmer one, depending on the workout.
We also like that Nodrictrack makes 22-inch running floors. That’s plenty of space for you to walk, run, and jump without the fear of bumping into anything.
When it comes to inclination, nothing beats the Incline series. They can reach an incline that goes from -6% to 40%.
The Commercial treadmills also incline, but at reduced angles. They can decline by -3% and incline by a maximum of 15%. T-series treadmills have the same decline angle but only reach an inclination of 12%.
All NordicTrack treadmills feature built-in sound systems and Bluetooth connectivity. They also come with interactive touchscreens. In the first models, these were 10 inches, but the latest ones feature 32-inch HD screens. That’s impressive!
The speed settings on all treadmills can reach a maximum of 12 mph. Keep in mind that the average jogging speed is roughly between 4 and 6 mph.
5. Pros & Cons
- Top-quality, durable design materials
- Wide interactive touch screens
- Easy control over inclination and speed
- Optional IFit virtual gym
- Extra-wide 22-inch tracks
- DuraStride Adjustable Cushioning
- The belts tend to come to an abrupt stop when you finish a run
- Assembly can be difficult for some users
What to Look For When Buying a Treadmill?
Treadmills are a terrific way to get the exercise you need, build muscles, and burn calories. Yet, some models can be quite pricey.
So, before you purchase your next treadmill, here are a few features to watch out for.
1. The Surface
The surface of the treadmill should provide appropriate levels of traction. It should be long and wide enough to accommodate your typical walking and running styles.
A good surface should also offer traction to prevent slipping or tripping.
2. The Controls
In this digital day and age, it’s easy to find treadmills with high-tech controls and gadgets. Pick a unit with user-friendly controls and programs.
Even if you buy a treadmill with basic manual controls, make sure they’re easy to read and use. It can save you a lot of time and headache when you’re in the middle of a run.
3. The Cushioning
The quality of the cushioning is essential for the safety and well-being of your joints. A good treadmill should provide the proper amount of shock absorption. At the same time, it shouldn’t be too bouncy that you feel unsteady on your feet.
4. The Noise Level
Since motors power treadmills, there’s no doubt there will be some level of noise. However, the operation noise should be moderate so that it doesn’t interfere with other people or activities around you.
You May Also Read: Nordictrack Freestride Trainer vs Bowflex Max Trainer – (Best Comparison)
As you’ve seen in our Sole vs. NordicTrack treadmills review, both are heavy contenders in the fitness industry. Aside from their wide selection of cardio trainers, their treadmills are some of the best on the market.
Sole treadmills are all top-of-the-line, and they offer durable, well-built quality designs. We like that they work hard to stay competitive and up-to-date, and it shows. For example, their interactive screens are continually improving. On top of that, their overall design is becoming more attractive than ever before!
As for NordicTrack, the company has been manufacturing treadmills for the past 40 years, and it’s still going strong. The one feature that stood out the most for us is the customizability. All NordicTrack treadmills can be catered to match your fitness level.
With their touchscreens, built-in sound systems, and extra-wide platforms, you know you can easily find a setting to match a level where you’re comfortable yet still get the best possible workout ever!