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NordicTrack vs Sole – 2 Of America’s Most Wanted

nordictrack vs sole

NordicTrack and Sole are two of the most respected names in home fitness equipment.

Odds are, if you’ve ever searched for the “best of” for any type of home cardio machine, both of these brands where on that list.

Personally, I know these two brands almost always find their way on my “best of” lists for treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and pretty much anything else they offer.

That said, there are differences between these brands.

Choosing a clear-cut winner between NordicTrack and Sole really depends on what features and specs you’re most interested in.

And knowing each brands strengths and weaknesses can make your life easier when it comes time to make a decision on your next fitness machine.

In this guide, I’ll go over each brands key features. I’ll also discuss the areas where each could use some improvements.

After reading, you’ll have a better understanding of each brand.

And don’t worry, I’m not going to call this friendly competition “a tie” or anything lame like that- there will be an undisputed winner at the end of this article.

Eh, I won’t make ya wait, the winner is… Sole.

NordicTrack vs Sole

I mentioned that these are 2 of the biggest home fitness brands around.

I’ll be honest, I don’t have any numbers or anything to back that statement up (and I’m not feeling motivated enough to search for that kind of info), but let’s be real- most people have heard of these brands.

NordicTrack probably more so than Sole.

Even though both brands are at the top of their game, they’re actually quite different from each other.

Check out the following table for a quick comparison:

Lineup sizeLargeLarge
Build qualityGoodGreat
Streaming serviceiFitSole+
Price rangeModerateModerate


nordictrack new commercial 2450
Image courtesy of NordicTrack.

NordicTrack has a ton of brand recognition- I mean who hasn’t heard of NordicTrack (at least in the U.S.)?

The popular brand has been around since they ’70’s, when they came out with their innovative yet kinda goofy Skier Machine.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

NordicTrack has been expanding and fine tuning their lineup over the last several decades.

Even though they started with a single cardio machine, they now have a full lineup of treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and rowers.

And even though they specialize in cardio machines, they’ve recently added a series of strength training machines with their Fusion CSTs, which combine streaming workouts with resistance training.

Speaking of streaming, NordicTrack has jumped on the streaming workouts bandwagon like no other.

Almost all of their treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes come with the option of getting a large, HD display that’s designed to pair with iFit, their streaming app.

They’ve even added rowers to that list, with the RW500 and RW900 (which is giving The Hydrow a run for its money).

It’s no coincidence that NordicTrack is pushing iFit with all of their high-end machines. After all, NordicTrack and iFit are owned by the same company- ICON Health & Fitness.

ICON owns ProForm too, as well as several other less-known fitness brands.

This is actually one of the biggest differences between NordicTrack and Sole- Sole is very minimalistic when it comes to the workout programs and tech of their consoles.

Although this has changed a bit, now that Sole has updated a lot of their consoles, giving them touchscreen displays…

So, NordicTrack is a good brand to consider if you’re looking for workout streaming, but how do their machines stand up in the spec department?

commercial s22i console
NordicTrack is known for their jumbo, HD touchscreen consoles and feature-rich iFit streaming services. Image courtesy of NordicTrack.

Generally speaking, they hold up pretty well.

Their treadmills come with strong motors, spacious running surfaces, large rollers, and decent weight capacities. Their exercise bikes and ellipticals come with heavy flywheels and heavy-duty frames.

In other words, NordicTrack products are well-built and of good quality.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get a bad apple, this happens to all brands, regardless of quality or reputation. There’s always the chance that you can get a product with missing/broken/malfunctioning parts.

Which brings me to one of NordicTrack’s biggest downsides- their customer service.

NordicTrack, as well as pretty much all ICON brands, have a reputation for having less than stellar customer services.

There are complaints ranging from having a hard time reaching anybody to crazy long wait times to receive replacement parts.

If you do end up going with a NordicTrack product, hopefully you won’t need to use their customer service, but be prepared if you do- it could be quite the process.

Otherwise, the NordicTrack brand comes with a good reputation.

When it comes to price, NordicTrack falls in the moderate to high-end range.

Many of their machines cost between $1000-$3000 and some of their highest-end incline trainers and free stride trainers will cost ya around $4000.

NordicTrack does a nice job with their warranties too. They tend to offer 10-year frame warranties, 2-year parts guarantees, and 1 year labor warranties.

For the price range, there are better warranties out there (as you’ll see in a minute), but there are also worse.

Where NordicTrack really shines though is with their HD touchscreen displays.

These hi-tech consoles pair nicely with iFit and are a great choice for people looking for lots of workout variety to choose from.

Many NordicTrack machines come with a lot of built-in workout programs too, so in the case you don’t want to sign up and pay the monthly iFit subscription, you can still have access to dozens of workouts.

And signing up for iFit is optional on all NordicTrack machines- you can still use any of them without signing up (even though they sometimes want you to think you have to sign up to use them).

Overall, NordicTrack is a good brand that offers a lot of cardio machines to choose from. They’re known for their large screens and streaming service, as well as having a lot of workouts to choose from.

Their warranties are good, but their customer service could use some work.


sole f85 treadmill
Image courtesy of Sole Fitness.

If you’re familiar with my reviews, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Sole. I’d even go as far to say that Sole is my favorite home fitness brand.

And no, I don’t secretly work for them or anything.

Sole Fitness started out by producing treadmills for hotels. These were treadmills that could be used in individual rooms or in stand alone fitness rooms within the the hotels.

These treadmills must’ve been popular, because Sole decided to take their products directly to the people, and started offering residential equipment.

I think I read somewhere that at one point, Sole was one of the fastest growing fitness equipment companies in the country (US).

It’s pretty easy to see why- Sole machines are heavy-duty, well-built, and backed by some of the best warranties you’re going to find anywhere (especially for the price).

Like NordicTrack, Sole has a pretty extensive lineup to choose from as well.

They specialize in cardio equipment and have several treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and rowers to choose from.

Not that this is a big thing, but Sole also conveniently names their models numerically, so it’s easy to tell the hierarchy by looking at the name of each model.

Sole is also a very well-priced brand.

The majority of their products can be purchased for under $2000 and even their higher-end models still fall under $3k.

The lower prices makes their treadmills especially great buys when you compare the specs. Sole treadmills come with strong motors, large rollers, and large running surfaces.

All of their equipment comes with durable, heavy-duty frames that usually have significantly higher weight capacities than other brands (375 lb vs 300 lb).

The performance specs on Sole products are stellar, but what really sets them apart is their warranties.

Sole offers lifetime warranties on their frames and motors. They also offer 3 years on parts and 1 year on labor on many of their machines.

Historically, Sole’s consoles were pretty basic, but they’ve been updating a lot of their models giving them touchscreens with streaming capabilities.

sole lcr console
The LCR’s 10″ touchscreen makes it easy to see all stats, but it also comes with entertainment apps and access to free streaming workouts through Sole+. Image courtesy of Sole Fitness.

These touchscreens come with built-in entertainment apps (Netflix, Hulu, etc) and screen mirroring capabilities, meaning you can connect your phone to ’em and see anything from your phone on the big screen.

You can also access free streaming workouts through Sole+, which is a really sweet deal.

With the update of a lot of their consoles, Sole is looking to compete more with brands offering streaming services.

And I have a feeling it’s going to work.

If you’re looking for fitness equipment that can stream workouts, Sole still might be the right choice, depending on what you’re looking for.

It’s true, Sole+ doesn’t offer the same kind of workout variety or Automatic Trainer Control features that iFit offers, but again, it’s free.

And free goes a long way.

Overall, Sole products are heavy-duty, packed with great performance specs, and backed with generous warranties.

Final Thoughts

I like NordicTrack and I think they have some great products in their lineup, but they’re no match for Sole.

To be fair though, I think Sole is one of the best moderately-priced home fitness brand in the world today.

Check out any of my guides for the best treadmills, best ellipticals, or best bikes of the year and you’ll usually find a Sole product at the top of that list.

Sole just offers the best combo of build quality and warranty.

That said, if streaming or overall workout variety is a top priority, you may be better off with a NordicTrack machine- Sole can’t compete with them in terms of console tech and workout selection.

Again, I guess it all comes down to what you’re looking for.


Will's a licensed physical therapist (DPT) with over 15 years of experience treating patients from all backgrounds. He's been lifting weights and exercising in one form or another since middle school and has been working out in his own home gym for over a decade. When it comes to fitness equipment, there isn't much he hasn't tried. In his spare time, if he isn't writing or working out, he's likely playing basketball, watching movies, or hanging with his family.

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