2015 Run Nerd Gear Awards
We put the latest gadgets through rigorous testing to find the hottest new items to light up your run.
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Sure, you don’t need gadgets to run well. But watches, fitness trackers, headphones and heart-rate monitors can bring your game to a whole new level—and make the miles a little more fun. We sought out the latest gear and put dozens of gadgets through rigorous testing to find the hottest new items to light up your run.
Hot features: The newest addition to the FitBit family allows you to actually see the time, your current steps, stairs climbed and total calories burned on the easy-to-read screen instead of having to check the app.
Why we love it: You can monitor your sleep patterns, nutrition, movement and exercise—and look a little more stylish doing so with one of the four color options.
Geek-out factor: When your phone is nearby, see incoming calls light up on your wristband. Never miss a buzz again because your phone is on silent!
Related: Best Running Watches
Sensoria Fitness Bra + Heart Rate Monitor
Hot features: The heart-rate monitor snaps right onto the front of the bra, so you can barely tell it’s there, and you don’t need to worry about doubling up on chest bands. One warning: Use BodyGlide to prevent chafing on long runs.
Why we love it: When we opened the Strava app, our tester’s 87 bpm showed up instantaneously. Plus it works with a bunch of other apps depending on your preference.
Geek-out factor: Sensoria offers cadence-measuring socks that you can order as well—and we’re excited to see what other wearable tech appears down the pipeline.
Related: Winter Sole Mate Awards
Adidas MiCoach Fit Smart
Hot features: The face of the watch is brightly lit (as opposed to the normal gray and black screen), and displays your real-time heart rate while tracking distance, calories and pace.
Why we love it: There’s no need to wear an uncomfortable chest strap to get your beats per minute. And for every mile you blast through, the watch buzzes, so it’s easy to keep track of your mileage and stay motivated.
Geek-out factor: The Fit Smart lives up to its name by syncing wirelessly to the miCoach Train & Run app (free!), where you can set up a personalized training plan, track your workouts and create goals.
Taylor Smart Scale Body Fat Scale
Hot features: This scale doesn’t just show you lbs. Body fat, water, muscle mass and calories are all measured to give you an accurate view of your fitness gains—and losses.
Why we love it: Connect via Bluetooth to transfer your data wirelessly, and with the free SmarTrack app you can set weight goals and easily monitor fluctuations.
Geek-out factor: A mini nutritionist, this device provides guidelines for the caloric intake that will help you maintain your weight. There is also an option to select “athlete mode,” which takes into account your body’s water weight and bone density.
Related: Weight Loss Training Plan
Soleus Chicked Watch
Hot features: Sometimes you don’t want to navigate a wristband with a billion different applications. This device simply measures splits and time. Two alarms and an understated style make the wrist piece work for everyday wear.
Why we love it: The design is feminine while still feeling sporty, and the slim band aids in a comfortable and secure fit. We also love that Soleus defines Chicked as “the act of getting passed by a stronger woman athlete.” Watch out, dudes! Challenge accepted.
Geek-out factor: With 30-lap memory and five interval timers, the Chicked is perfect for an interval workout.
Yurbuds Inspire 200
Hot features: These buds are made with flexible silicone making them easy to wear and super comfy on the run.
Why we love it: The way they twist and fit snugly means they lock in place for hours without any discomfort. Some testers reported forgetting they were wearing headphones at all.
Geek-out factor: This year’s updated version offers earbuds that magnetically attach when not in use—no more spending an extra 15 minutes untangling your cords before you hit the road.
Related: Reflective Gear
Suunto Ambit3 Sport
Hot features: Lighter yet larger than its predecessor with a super-soft silicone band, this top-shelf device tracks daily activity, recovery time between workouts and heart rate (with an accompanying band). Plus, the battery life is up to 50 hours with GPS.
Why we love it: Bluetooth capability uploads your run to your iPhone without the use of a cord. Plus, the endlessly customizable display lets you see what you care about—and ignore what you don’t.
Geek-out factor: Connect to the online app and see your run overlaid on Google Maps. The watch also features a storm alarm and sunrise/sunset information.
Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless
Hot features: These earphones can also track heart rate, distance, calories, training zones, pace and more—just make sure to charge them regularly, since the battery life is around four to five hours.
Why we love it: Not only are these wireless (the chord wraps around the back of your head), but they are also comfortable and have great sound quality. You can even use the ‘buds to take phone calls on the go.
Geek-out factor: Headphones that track GPS and your heart rate? So cool! The Jabra Sport app opens up a variety of other features (like a test to tell if you’re over-trained, as well as coaching recommendations) that would mean buying a few different devices in the olden days.
Related: Running Apparel For A Cause