There are so many fitness trackers on the market right now, and it can be very overwhelming to narrow down the best fitness tracker for running. The very earliest models of trackers were originally geared toward runners, because they started out as primarily a high tech step counter, but now they’ve developed into trackers that have countless convenient features.
A variety of fitness trackers have stayed the course and catered to the runners out there with features that any runner would enjoy. Some of these features include; heart rate monitor, calorie burner, distance and steps, GPS, sleep tracker, and water resistance among others.
Here is a list that we have compiled of the best fitness trackers for running that are currently out on the market and why. It should be noted that this is a list of primarily fitness trackers in no particular order, and not smart watches.
|Fitbit Charge 3||Letscom ID131HR||More Pro||Xiaomi Mi Band 3||Garmin Vivo Sport||Huawei Talkband 4||Moov Now||Polar a370||Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro||Motiv Ring|
|Heart Rate Monitor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (if activated)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Calories Burned Tracked||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Distance and Steps Tracked||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|GPS||Connected GPS via Phone||Connected GPS via Phone||Connected GPS via Phone||No||Built In GPS||Connected GPS via Phone||Connected GPS via Phone||Connected GPS via Phone||Built in GPS||No|
|Battery Life||7 days constant usage||7 days||7 days||20 days||8 hours with constant use of GPS otherwise 7 days||3 days||6 months using watch battery||4 days||3 - 5 days||3 days|
1 . Fitbit Charge 3
Fitbit is the brand name that most people think about when they think about fitness trackers. This brand has been grandfathered into the club of reliable trackers that most people would agree they love. Here are some of the features that they have included on this newer model of Fitbit.
This Fitbit stands out from the pack and is especially exciting for runners because of the breathing coach feature. If the tracker senses that you are overexerting yourself and you need to take a break, then it will train you to slow your breath and calm down. Likewise, it can sense if you are overly stressed and do the same; use breathing techniques to calm you.
You can stay connected at all times with your Fitbit while your phone is nearby. You can receive notifications and alerts and Android users can use quick replies. You can also track the GPS by connecting to your phone, which is something you don’t want to live without if you are an outdoor runner. Though, it is a bit disappointing to some that it doesn’t have built in GPS yet.
Another minor thing that users are less than thrilled about is the screen is monochrome and boring. But this is a small price to pay for the features and accuracy that it offers.
2. Letscom ID131HR
The Letscom ID131HR is a very exciting fitness tracker because it has a lot of the same features as comparable trackers on the market, but at a fraction of the price. Regardless of the price, it has pretty great reviews online for being one of the best fitness trackers for running.
Anytime a fitness tracker has a USB plug, it’s an exciting find. There are so many electronics out there that make life so much more convenient, but it is not convenient to always have to find a cord for each of these devices. With the USB plug, you can attach it to your computer just like a flash drive and within 2 to 3 hours, it will be done charging and ready to go.
The Letscom is one of the best fitness trackers for running, because it does everything you could possibly want it to while being small, simple to use, and inexpensive. In fact, most of the areas that users were disappointed in were minimal, such as the screen being hard to read on a sunny day, which is a common problem among many devices.
3. More Pro
The More Pro is similar to the Letscom ID131HR in some key ways. It can be paired to a phone for notifications and GPS. Like the Letscom, it has a built in USB port for easy charging. As mentioned before, convenience is one of the best features for a runner who wants to track their running and overall fitness, and a USB port for charging is the most convenient method.
The More Pro also is pretty inexpensive for what it offers, and has a customizable screen. This one also has the physiological female tracker for cycles, which is handy and forward thinking.
Some have been less than impressed by the sleep tracker and the app’s accuracy when it comes to distance for cycling. So if you’re interested in either of those aspects, you may want to look elsewhere.
4. Xiaomi Mi Band 3
The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is yet again, another inexpensive option for a fitness tracker with a lot of the same bells and whistles. It stands it’s own on offering a good amount of features for the price, which puts it up in the running for best fitness tracker for running.
Users have found that the screen can be a little temperamental and it may take several swipes for the touch screen to respond. A runner, who cares about shaving seconds off of their run times, may find this inconvenient. It is also not the easiest screen to read in different lightings. Just as you’d have difficulty reading your phone on a sunny day, the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 screen can be difficult to see unless you are in the shade.
The heart rate tracker is only on if activated, and the sensor isn’t completely accurate when it is on. While sitting still, the monitor can be very accurate, but while exercising it’s a little spotty, which can be frustrating, since runners are more interested in their exercising heart rate than resting heart rate.
Another complaint about this tracker is that you cannot start an exercise from the tracker itself, but instead have to start it in the app on your phone first. So your phone will always need to be nearby and you might not get as accurate results, which is important if you’re trying to improve your personal best.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is not as convenient to charge as the Letscom and More Pro. It does not have a typical USB port and will need to be inserted into a charger. Once charging it completes it quickly and the battery life lasts for an impressive 20 days, which makes the inconvenient charging method a little less inconvenient.
All in all, if you are looking for a very basic fitness tracker and have the ability to have your phone on you while working out, this inexpensive choice could be the right one for you.
5. Garmin Vivo Sport
The Garmin Vivo Sport is among some of the higher priced fitness trackers, but it earns its place among best fitness trackers for running with the features.
The absolute best thing about the Garmin Vivo Sport is that it has a built in GPS. This means that instead of carrying two expensive devices while exercising—your tracker and your phone—you can now only carry one, lightweight device. Really, the ideal fitness tracker doesn’t require you to interact with your phone while you are exercising, so this is an amazing feature, especially for runners. People who run, typically like to run outside when possible, so it isn’t as easy to use your phone as it would be for someone who is weightlifting in a gym. Anyone who runs, would be excited about the built in GPS.
Another feature that goes hand in hand with the GPS is the live track feature. So if you are on a run, whether it be in a city or out in the wilderness, your family or friends can track you from the app. This can be useful in several situations; if your partner or friend is concerned about your safety, if you are running a race and your supporters want to know when you’re nearing the finish line, or if you happen to lose your tracker and want to pinpoint where it is.
The Garmin Vivo Sport also has a race predictor in it, which keeps the distance runner on track. If you want to run a marathon with an 8 minute mile, your fitness tracker will constantly update your pace tracker so you can make sure you qualify for that Boston Marathon.
This fitness tracker also has a VO2 indicator and an HRV stress test. Through these tools, you will be able to see what kind of physical shape you are in and whether your body could use a light or hard workout. You can also control music on this device.
The one complaint that some people have is that the GPS takes some time to lock in initially, but once it’s synced it takes much less time to boot up in future uses.
6. Huawei Talkband 4
One of the selling points of the Talkband is that it has a great bluetooth conveniently located in the device itself that you can pop out for calls. Even in noisy areas, the call quality is good and the earbuds fit comfortably. You can even make calls from this device, which is unique, though you get a maximum of ten contacts on your device to select from. You will be able to receive phone calls from anyone, of course. If you’re running, you probably won’t want to make a lot of calls, but it is a nice feature for emergencies.
The Huawei Talkband 4 has disappointed some because of it’s inability to auto detect a workout, which can be inconvenient.
The design has actually been a sore spot with some reviewers for this band. The band actually looks a bit more sophisticated than other fitness trackers, which may be a nice feature for wearing it throughout the day. However, the leather strap isn’t the best material to be sweating in and prolonged exposure to moisture from sweat or splashes will dull the appearance.
7. Moov Now
The Moov Now is a fitness tracker that is a little less interactive as far as screens go, however, it is one of the more hands on tracker on what it can offer you. One of the best features of this fitness tracker is the fitness coach. The fitness tracker will constantly give you tips on how to finish strong, where you’re at in your personal goals, and what you can do to improve your form.
This tracker is ideal for running, weight training, and swimming among other activities. It can be worn on your ankle, which can keep it out of the way if you find the wrist is not as comfortable. You can connect it wirelessly to your phone so that you don’t have to be near it to work out and it will store all the data to your app.
For a runner, this tracker is ideal because you don’t have to interact with your phone, and it will give you tips to improve your form. It will track how hard an impact your footfalls make and how long your strides are as well as your performance in previous workouts.
Some people may not be thrilled that you cannot recharge the battery, but others may like that you don’t have to worry about your battery running low right before a run.
8. Polar a370
The Polar A370 is a standard fitness tracker that has most of the bells and whistles of the other trackers listed here. People like it’s sleek design and all the features that are highlighted on the list above.
Some areas where people were less than impressed was that the small size wristband wasn’t as small as some people needed. It is important to have a snug fitting band to get an accurate heart rate reading.
Other people found it a bit time intensive to start a workout. A user has to flip through several different screens and make several different actions to start a simple run, which isn’t optimal for people who want to have an easy to use device.
9. Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro is right up there with the Garmin Vivo Sport for convenience and features. Some of the features that it includes are built in fitness apps such as MapMyRun, Speedo Go, Endomondo, and UA Record, and having them already installed gets you moving that much sooner.
Like the Garmin Vivo Sport, it is equipped with built in GPS, which is a very exciting feature as explained before. This fitness tracker lets you stay connected, without having to cart around your phone, and that is something to be celebrated.
One of the exciting features that stands out from the crowd and makes this a contender for best fitness tracker for running is that it offers offline Spotify. So even if you aren’t connected to the world wide web, you can still listen to your customized playlists with your wireless headphones. For any runner who likes to run outdoors for long distances, this is an invaluable feature.
Of course all these features will drain the battery quickly. The battery life of 3 to 5 days is at the low end of what’s available in the market today, and reviewers claim that even 3 days can be optimistic.
10. Motiv Ring
The Motiv Ring is unlike any other fitness tracker on the market today. Since it is a ring, and therefore small and screenless, it has a minimal design that won’t be distracting while you work out. It stores up to 3 days worth of data, so you don’t have to bring your phone along with you while you go out on a run or outdoor activity.
Of course with the minimalist design, you won’t get all the features that you might get from a fitness tracker, but you will get a durable, titanium ring that won’t get in the way and is much easier to ignore than a wristband. It still tracks all the important things like distance and activity level, but you will have to view the app to see your progress. When you think about it though, it is nice to have a fitness tracker that is constantly tracking you without feeling like you’re looking at yet another screen.
Some are a bit disappointed that this tracker only works with Apple phones and what it can do is quite minimal in comparison with the other wristband options, mostly because it doesn’t have a screen and it doesn’t vibrate. So you could think of this as an accessory for your phone rather than a device in itself.
There are a lot of different fitness trackers out there, and most of them are pretty accurate. To find the perfect one for you, you need to know exactly what features are most important to you. What features are the most vital for you to achieve your fitness goals?