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The Sole TT8 Treadmill – Commercial Grade & Affordable [A Review]

sole tt8 treadmill review

The TT8 is Sole’s highest-end treadmill to date- and this being Sole, this is saying a lot. And with a sales price just over $2000, the TT8 is also one of the most affordable commercial grade treadmills on the market.

Highlights of this machine include a 22″ x 60″ running surface, a 4.0 CHP motor, 3.0″ rollers, and a ridiculously heavy-duty frame.

It’s also backed by Sole’s famous warranty.

Put all this together and you’ve got one heck of a tough treadmill that can handle the most strenuous workouts you can throw at it.

But before you start pulling out credit cards, it’s important to do your homework and make sure this is the right fit for your home gym.

And that’s where I come in.

In this review, I’ll take ya on an up-close-and-personal tour of everything Sole’s TT8 has to offer. I’ll also provide my 2 cents on how this model compares to other similarly-priced treadmills.

After reading, you should know everything you need to in order to decide whether or not this machine is worth investing in.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

The Sole TT8 Treadmill

sole tt8 treadmill review

Photo courtesy of Sole Fitness

Before Sole Fitness became one of the hottest home fitness brands around, they were providing hotel chains with light commercial treadmills.

As their reputation grew, they decided to diversify into home fitness and the rest is history.

With a high standard for quality, they’ve rapidly become one of the most highly-rated brands around. And even though they’ve branched out to offer a little bit of everything cardio related, it’s their treadmills that still seem to get the most prestige.

And it’s easy to see why.

Sole treadmills are heavy-duty, come with strong motors, and are easy to use. They also come with some of the longest warranties in the world.

They’re also surprisingly affordable.

Of the 6 models in Sole’s lineup, 5 of them cost under $2000- the TT8, their highest-end model, is the only one that costs more.

Speaking of cost, on sale (don’t worry, it’s always on sale if you purchase directly through Sole) the TT8 will cost ya about $2500.

Pros

  • 22″ x 60″ running surface
  • 4.0 CHP DC motor
  • 3″ rollers
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • 400 lb weight limit
  • Top speed of 12 mph
  • -6 – 15% incline
  • 10″ LCD screen
  • 10 built-in workout programs
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Fitness tracking through apps
  • Quick touch speed/incline buttons
  • USB charging port
  • Chest strap heart rate monitoring compatible
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t fold
  • Rather basic console

Running Surface

If you’ve ever read any of my other treadmill reviews, you know I always start by looking at the running surface. To me, I think this is the single most important spec to consider on a treadmill.

This simple spec tells you whether or not it’s going to be big enough for you to use.

Measured in inches, the running surface describes how large the belt is (usually written as “width x length”- that is, how much room you’ll have at your disposal during your workouts.

I’m of the opinion that larger is better, regardless of how tall you are, because it’s going to make for a more comfortable experience (and more commercial like).

It’s true, shorter folks will be able to get by with smaller running surfaces, but taller folks will have to pay close attention to this spec, especially if they plan on running.

If the belt is too short, you can literally run out of room during your runs (pun intended).

Most quality home treadmills will come with a running surface of at least 20″ x 60″ because at this size, the treadmill will be able to fit pretty much all users comfortably.

Although if you are taller than norm, say, well over 6′ tall, you might want to consider going with an extra long treadmill to be safe.

With all of this in mind, Sole’s TT8 comes with a running surface that measures 22″ x 60″.

The extra 2 inches of width will make for a more spacious feel, giving you a little more wiggle room from side to side. And as I mentioned, the 60″ length will be long enough for most folks to run at top speed without any issues.

So the TT8 scores highly with a running surface of this size, but honestly, there are plenty of treadmills in this price range that come with the same running surface.

When we look at the frame through, the TT8 is a step ahead of most competitors.

The TT8 comes with a very heavy-duty frame- and when I say heavy, I mean that this thing weighs 322 lb assembled.

I like a really heavy treadmill because it adds stability to the machine. A heavier treadmill is less likely to wiggle and shake during use than a lighter option.

Heavier machines usually come with heavier weight capacities too.

This is true in the case of the TT8, which comes with a weight limit of 400 lb.

The combination of the heavy frame and high weight limit is indicative to me of how structurally sound this treadmill is.

For the sake of comparison, most residential treadmills come with weight limits in the 300 – 350 lb range and commercial models are usually more in the 400 – 500 lb range.

The TT8 is warranted for both residential and light commercial use, so it makes sense that we’d see the higher limit.

Overall, this treadmill scores highly with the large running surface and heavy-duty frame. The TT8 should feel very stable during use and most folks will be able to stretch out fully without fear of running out of room.

Motor

A treadmill’s motor is another key spec to consider when comparing machines. After all, the motor is responsible for powering every workout you’ll do.

Generally speaking, when it comes to treadmill motors, stronger is better.

This is because a stronger motor doesn’t have to work as hard as a weaker motor to provide the same output.

For example, a 3.0 HP motor and a 4.0 HP motor may both have a max speed of 12 mph, but the 4.0 HP motor will be able to reach that top speed faster and more efficiently.

This means that stronger motors should run more quietly and last longer than their weaker counterparts.

Most home treadmills come with motors in the 1.5 – 4.0 HP range (and with higher-end models falling in the 3.0 – 4.0 HP range).

With this in mind, consider that Sole’s TT8 comes with a 4.0 CHP motor.

This treadmill has one of the strongest motors you’ll find on a residential treadmill, allowing it to run smoothly and efficiently, regardless of your speed.

Speaking of speed, the TT8 can reach a top speed of 12 mph and a top incline of 15%. And unlike most treadmills, the TT8 can also offer decline training (up to 6%).

The motor on this treadmill is of the DC variety, which is what you should expect on a home treadmill, especially in this price range.

This is opposed to an AC motor, which is usually found on commercial models, because of its ability to run longer without heating up.

And yes, before you ask, the TT8 is designed to handle light commercial use, meaning under 5 hours of use per day- but you aren’t gonna find AC motors on treadmills this affordable.

(Spirit’s CT850 is one of the most affordable AC motor treadmills I’ve seen and it costs around $4k).

So, the TT8’s motor is strong, which is a good thing, but I also like how large the rollers are.

FYI, the rollers are the parts that allow the belt to slide across the deck- having larger rollers is a plus because it makes for smoother operation, puts less stress on the motor, and prolongs the life of both the motor and the rollers.

Treadmill rollers vary in size, but most respectable treadmills will come with rollers in the 2-3″ range.

Sole, being full of self-respect, puts 3″ rollers on their TT8.

Having a strong motor paired with large rollers is a great combination- not only does it mean smooth operation, but it means extended life for the treadmill.

Overall, Sole’s TT8 scores very highly in the motor department.

Features

The Sole TT8 comes with the following features:

10″ LCD console- of all the things Sole is known for, hi-tech consoles isn’t one of them, but at least the screen is large and brightly-lit, making it easy to see.

10 workout programs- this isn’t a ton of workouts to choose from, so if you’re looking for a treadmill with loads of workout options, this isn’t the right choice for ya. The TT8 comes with 5 standard profiles (hill, fat burn, etc), manual, 2 heart rate workouts, 1 custom, and 1 fitness test.

Bluetooth speakers- you can listen to your favorite workout jams from your phone or tablet wirelessly through the built-in speakers.

Bluetooth connections to apps- you can also use bluetooth to connect the TT8 to Sole’s free fitness app (aptly named “Sole Fitness App”) for data tracking. The Sole Fitness App can sync with other apps like iHealth, MyFitnessPal, and Fitbit.

USB charging port- you can plug your phone or tablet for a convenient charge during workouts.

Quick touch buttons- these are a handy feature, allowing you to instantly set the speed and/or incline to a predetermined value with the push of a button. They work especially well for interval training.

Tablet holder- the tablet holder on this model is conveniently located above the console, so you won’t have to worry about blocking your view of the screen if using your tablet.

Chest strap heart rate monitoring- the TT8 is compatible with wireless heart rate monitors, making it easier for you to keep an accurate eye on your exertion during workouts (one isn’t included with purchase though).

Cooling fan- yup, there’s a fan built into the console, which is there and ready in case you need cooling down during those more strenuous workouts.

Water bottle holders- there’s a place to store a water bottle on either side of the console for easy hydration during workouts.

Assembly

Sole does a pretty good job with their assembly manuals. The images are large enough to see fairly clearly and there are informative written instructions guiding you through each step.

I think most people who are at least a bit handy should be able to assemble the TT8 on their own- it’s a pretty straightforward procedure.

The deck comes pre-assembled, you’d be responsible for attaching the uprights, attaching the console to the uprights, and attaching a few covers.

The hardest part of assembling a treadmill like this is the sheer size of the machine itself- remember when I said this things weighs over 300 lb?

Getting a treadmill this heavy inside your home and in the correct room is usually the hardest part of the whole procedure. So if you plan on assembling yourself, make sure you have some able minded folks available to help.

Especially since most standard deliveries mean dropping it off at your front door (it took 3 of us to get my Horizon 7.8 AT up 3 steps and into my front door).

Overall though, putting this treadmill together is very doable.

Warranty

Sole backs the TT8 with the following residential warranty:

  • Lifetime frame
  • Lifetime deck
  • Lifetime motor
  • 5 year electronics
  • 2 year labor

I mentioned a few times at the beginning how awesome Sole warranties are- well, now ya know.

You can’t beat a lifetime guarantee on the frame, deck, and motor because that’s as good as it gets. And as much as I’d like to say all treadmills in this price range offer this, it just isn’t true.

Five years on electronics is always pretty generous.

Most high-end treadmills offer 3-5 years on parts, so Sole is near the top in this category too.

Two years on labor is also great, considering 1 year is standard operating procedure for most.

Sole also offers a light commercial warranty for the TT8: lifetime frame, 5 years motor/deck, 3 year electronics, 1 year labor.

Overall, Sole provides some of the longest warranties in the biz- the only brand I know who has them beat off the top of my head is Spirit, who offers a 10 year parts warranty on some products.

Final Thoughts

I love Sole – I can confidently say they’re one of my favorite home fitness brands. I love that they focus more on performance and warranties than hi-tech consoles (because I rarely use the built-in workouts to begin with).

And I think the TT8 fits their mold nicely.

The TT8 scores highly in the performance realm with its large running surface, powerful motor, and large rollers. I also like how big and heavy this treadmill is- I think it would work great with families with multiple users.

And the warranty is obviously a nice added bonus.

The biggest downside I see is that it doesn’t fold and the console is pretty basic.

Personally, I’m ok with a simple console, but if you’re looking for more workouts, you’ll want to go with another treadmill.

Speaking of which, I think the TT8 can hold its own with any treadmill in this price range, but Sole’s F85 might be a better buy. The F85 folds, comes with a more advanced console, and is about $500 cheaper.

The TT8 is a little heavier and comes with slightly bigger rollers, but otherwise the 2 are very similar.

Either way, Sole’s TT8 is one hell of a treadmill. Highly recommended.

 

Will

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