For many runners, fitness trackers are absolutely essential. With these (usually) wearable pieces of technology, you can log your steps, calories burned, training progress, and more.
Having a fitness tracker opens up a world of possibilities for many, but contrary to popular belief, not all fitness trackers are the same. And believe it or not, the fitness tracker you choose can say a lot about your personality as a runner.
Here are 11 of the most popular fitness trackers on the market, as well as what they say about their owners.
If you choose the Moov Now tracker, chances are you’re someone who thrives off coaching. Some athletes like to be left alone to do their own thing, but that’s not you. The Moov wearable tracker gives you real-time audio coaching whether you’re running, cycling, kickboxing, or doing something else. If you choose this tracker, you’ll benefit from coaching during your workout, not just from your own post-workout analysis.
The Moov Now looks a little like a watch, but it comes with a stylish mesh cover that adds a striking pattern to what might otherwise look like a regular tracker. You can get this fitness tracker in Stealth Black, Blizzard White, Aqua Blue, or Fusion Red. It comes with small and large bands so you can wear it on either your wrist or ankle.
Athletes who choose Moov Now are go-getters who enjoy multiple sports and don’t like to be hindered by limitations, and they’re also the kind of people who like to show off their tech, with its bright colours and state-of-the-art functions.
If you choose the Garmin Vivofit 2 tracker, chances are that you’re committed to fitness. The Garmin needs a battery change less frequently than once yearly. If this is your tracker of choice, chances are that you tend to be a bit sedentary, or just want to stay on a schedule. After and hour of no activity, the tracker will display a red “move” bar suggesting you do some sort of activity. It also can help you track your sleep.
With Vivofit 2, you get a free pass to Garmin’s online fitness community. You can also choose a sleek fitness tracker in either black, navy, white, or magenta, so you’re bound to find one that matches your fitness gear.
Garmin athletes value well-made tech (Garmin has been a reliable tracker for years), but they don’t like to brag about it, as the watch’s demure colours blend in with any outfit.
If you choose a Fitbit Flex (the most popular tracker under the Fitbit brand), chances are you’re a numbers girl (or guy). The Fitbit makes it very easy to track your stats, so after each run, you’ll be able to see your time, calories burned, etc. The stats sync automatically to your phone, too, making it easy to track them.
This tracker also lets you set goals and see how you measure up to them. It comes in a wide variety of colours to suit nearly everyone’s mood. Like the Apple Watch, the Fitbit is one of the more popular trackers.
For many, counting the number of steps they take daily is important, and the Fitbit is one of the original wireless step counters. Flex comes in black, blue, navy, pink, red, slate, tangerine, or teal.
Runners who choose this watch stay on top of trends and like to boldly accessories, as the colours of Fitbit Flex are made to stand out.
Update: Flex has now been replaced with the Flex 2 which is more customisable and packed with more features.
If you choose Jawbone UP3 as your tracker, you’re the type of runner for whom getting good sleep is paramount. This tracker tracks light, deep, and REM sleep so you can assess how much and what type of sleep is most beneficial to your run performance. It’s also quite stylish and looks like a piece of jewellery. It comes in several colours and patterns.
Users of UP3 also tend to be people who value heart rate monitoring, since UP3 also does this. It is one of the most jewellery-like of the fitness trackers, and you can get it in black, indigo, ruby, sand, or silver. Its colours come in an attractive streaked pattern, which helps UP3 further stand out from the crowd.
Jawbone runners are outdoorsy, borderline-crunchy athletes who like high-tech with a surfer aesthetic.
If you’re a Soleus person, you’re the type of runner who wants real-time, easy-to-read stats. Soleus Go! was designed by runners, and their rugged fitness-tracking watch has a large face that lets you see times and other stats as you’re running, so you won’t have to wait to check them until after your run is over. Unlike the earlier models, Soleus Go! looks very much like a Fitbit or other bracelet-style fitness tracker.
Unlike some trackers, though, it offers the ability to show you text messages and calls as they come in. When you sync your smartphone, you can run hands-free but still be connected.
Soleus runners are busy, successful, connected people who like to maintain connectivity. Even on a run, they don’t skip a beat.
If you’re a Misfit person, chances are that you’re the type of runner who also cross-trains. Unlike many fitness trackers, the Misfit Flash is swim-proof, meaning that you can use it to track swimming activity too. Many runners do other exercises to stay at their most fit, and with Misfit, you can keep track of those training days too.
If you like the look of a traditional watch, you may like this tracker, as its circular silver face looks a little like a watch. You can choose reef, wave, fuchsia, frost, or onyx to complete your running gear.
Misfit runners are energetic people with eclectic taste, and it shows in the watch’s bold aesthetic.
The Samsung Fit2 fitness tracker says that you’re a runner who still likes to keep in touch with integrated technology. With Samsung’s fitness trackers, you can answer calls and messages easily, without having to carry your phone on your run. It combines the benefits of a heart rate and fitness goals tracker with the convenience of your cellphone. If you like the idea of the Apple Watch but not the hype around it, the Samsung is a good alternative.
This watch also says you’re an adventurer if you choose it. With its built in GPS, you can go out on long runs in the countryside without having to be worried about getting lost. This watch is a music player, too, so if you like to streamline your gadgets into one small piece of wearable tech, the Fit2 is just for you. It comes in muted yet stylish tones of blue, black, and pink.
This tracker fits the business set – it lets you stay in touch with your contacts at all time, and the classic tones are reminiscent of a business suit.
Polar fitness trackers indicate that you’re frugal and like to save money without sacrificing quality. These watches are rechargeable, meaning you don’t have to spend money on batteries. The Polar fitness app they automatically sync to is also free.
Like many fitness trackers, this one is sleek and resembles a bracelet, so it does not draw attention to itself. Athletes who choose this are quiet, focused types who like to integrate fitness into everyday life.
The Polar A360 is an all-sport watch and fitness tracker with an easy-to-read face. This is important if you like to check interval times while running. This watch is also Bluetooth compatible. If heart rate (and specifically target heart rate) is an integral part of your training, the A360 is a great choice, as it gives real-time, spot-specific feedback based on heart rate.
It also provides some of the most accurate calorie-burning feedback, as it takes into account your age, sex, intensity of exercise, weight, and more. It is offered in black, pink, blue, and white, so you can pick the best colour for you.
If you choose the TomTom tracker, you’re a runner who really values running to music. The TomTom Cardio + Music model lets you save up to 500 songs and play them wirelessly. And if you are particular about the ordering of songs, this is a great player for you.
The large touchscreen lets you skip forward and backwards to get to that perfect song to motivate you. This function also helps to streamline your workout, as the watch takes the place of an additional phone or mp3 player. However, the streaming ability means it is not suitable for use while swimming or when in heavy rain.
There is not a lot of colour variety, as this model just comes in black. However, the underside of the band is a catchy scuba blue colour.
If you choose this tracker, you’re a runner who is particular about what you wear on a run. This tracker, unlike many, is not just a watch. It can be worn as a clip-on if you prefer. It is not sweatproof or waterproof, so it may not be the best for use in the rain or pool.
However, the Pulse Ox tracker has an important function that sets it apart: it will track blood oxygen when asked. This is important for a variety of reasons, and choosing this can help asthmatic athletes make sure they’re getting the oxygen they need.
This advanced tracker is great for runners who run through hill country, as it monitors elevation climbed as well. The adjustable wristbands come in classic black or eye-catching blue, and additional colours may be available depending on where you are.
Runners who choose Pulse Ox push it to the limit, but still take care that they’re getting all the air they need.
Bonus: 11. Apple Watch
If you choose the Apple Watch, you’re a runner who likes to be both connected and on-trend. This watch is one of the more popular fitness trackers, partially because it’s basically like having your phone on your wrist.
If you are a runner who worries if you’re missing calls or messages while out running, the Apple Watch may help to ease your worries. You can get it in silver, space grey, gold, or rose gold, and have what is essentially a tiny iPhone on your wrist all through your run.
Apple Watch runners are always on-trend, and they’re driven to achieve their goals.
Fitness trackers may be designed to be subtle, but each of these communicates a great deal about its wearer. Maybe the colour communicates something about your personality, or the range of functions says a lot about your training goals.
What do you think? Did your tracker make the list? Is what it says about you accurate?