Product Review: Soleus Ultra Sole running watch

The Soleus Ultra Sole running watch in Bright Blue/Orange - Photo by Matt Rasmussen

The Soleus Ultra Sole running watch in Bright Blue/Orange
- Photo by Matt Rasmussen

I run with Nike+ to log my miles. It's not my 100% favorite, but I have logged all my miles on their app, leaving me with no thoughts of starting over with a new tracking app or product. The new(ish) hotness in run tracking is the GPS watch. I, for one, have not ventured into this realm yet. Just give me time telling and a timer and I am typically pretty happy. Enter the Soleus Ultra Sole, a watch that keeps things simple and opens new doors all at the same time.

Features: Even though the Ultra Sole is catered towards an Ultra runner – with its long interval chronograph (100 hours) and hydration alarm – it is the perfect watch for me at this point in my running. There are enough bells and whistles that go along with running, that I really didn’t want something additional I needed to tinker with pre-race and pre-run. I wanted something as straightforward as I could make it – obviously understanding that there was going to be some sort of mini learning curve.

Watch on my arm for size reference. - Photo by Matt Rasmussen

Watch on my arm for size reference.
– Photo by Matt Rasmussen

Some specs (aside from those already mentioned):
– 5 interval timers
– 10 run data storage
– 35 lap/mile memory
– Dual time
– 3 alarms
– 15 second backlight
– 100m water-resistant

Initial Impressions: First and foremost, I personally believe it toes the line nicely between fitness watch and casual watch. I have worn it with non-running clothes (i.e. jeans and a shirt) and I feel it is able to slide in to this capacity nicely. It fills a nice gap and interchanges with the Citizen watch I wear the majority of the rest of my life.

Sizing: I have a small, bony wrist. Sizing and finding a comfortable watch can sometimes be difficult. However, I experienced no issues with this. There are a large amount of closely spaced sizing holes, so everyone should be able to find a slot they find comfortable.

Running with it: My first race with the Ultra Sole was the Cascade Half Marathon on January 19. This was my first real attempt at tracking my lap/mile splits. After forgetting to start my watch on the first mile, and breezing past the mile marker on the second, I finally got it in my head to remember to start tracking miles. A simple button click each mile for the next 11 yielded my mile pace. Each mile click along the way showed my total time, as well as the pace for that mile underneath. Simple, effective, and exactly what I wanted to see. Following the run, the watch stored my run so that it can be accessed in the future.

This simple little nub is a feature that I love! - Photo by Matt Rasmussen

This simple little nub is a feature that I love!
– Photo by Matt Rasmussen

What I like: My favorite feature of the watch is the little “nub” on the strap. As is able to be seen in this picture, it fits into the band when fastening. I can’t tell you how many times my old watch bands have got caught on my leg or clothes, causing the strap come undone. It’s a minor inconvenience in the big scheme of things, but annoying nonetheless. With this feature, it has not happened one time.

What I want: If I could change one thing, it would be the backlight. While it is nice to utilize a “long press” on the light button for a 15 second light, I wish it shone a little brighter. It makes a faint blue glow, but I find it difficult to see at times without squinting.

Other than that, I like all the simple, yet technological aspects of the Ultra Sole. This watch comes recommended by yours truly. If you are looking for less expensive running watches, or even GPS watches, Soleus also has these available for prices that won’t break the bank.

MSRP: $75.00
Colors: 9 choices

About Matt Rasmussen (1600 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
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