As the fitness tech industry grows, companies are churning out better, less gimmicky products. Say goodbye to the novel but impractical and hello to gear that not only stands up to your workout, but will also make it more intelligent and comfortable.
Sony SmartWatch 3 ($250)
It's the first watch with built-in GPS, so you can leave your phone at home and still utilize all your running apps. A rubber strap instead of the usual leather stands up to sweat and the elements. Android only.
Lululemon Ultimate No Show Run socks ($18)
Plenty of companies use silver to kill bacteria on running apparel, but most spray their clothes with a compound that can wash out after a few rinse cycles. Lululemon’s Ultimate No Show Run socks are made with silver thread, so you’ll stay funk-free longer.
Hyperice Vyper foam roller ($200)
Studies show that a little post-exercise muscle therapy helps you bounce back more quickly. Hyperice’s Vyper foam roller takes it a step further by adding a motor for a vibrating massage.
Garmin Fenix 3 GPS watch (from $500)
Garmin’s Fenix 3 GPS watch combines the step-cadence and VO2-max measurements of the company’s multisport model with the advanced navigation features of its trekker. Two satellite receivers give you a fast and accurate signal, and the Virtual Racer lets you download routes before you head out the door.
Sennheiser PMX 686G Sport earphones ($110)
Research shows that music boosts performance during interval training. But unless you’re prepared to strap a boom box to your back, you’ll need a solid set of headphones that stay put during high-intensity output. These earphones wrap snugly around your head and, at 0.8 ounces, don’t feel bulky.
Fitbit Surge ($250)
Fitbit's Surge combines a 24-hour fitness tracker, for metrics like sleep and nutrition, with GPS and a heart-rate monitor, so you can analyze trends in your health and training all day long from a single device.
Bonus: The Best Streaming Service You Didn’t Know You Needed
Shell out $10 per month for YouTube’s Music Key and you get ad-free streaming, offline and background playback (which means songs run even when your phone is locked), and access to Google Play’s 30-million-strong library. Bonus: the millions of rare remixes, bootlegs, and historical curiosities you simply can’t get anywhere else besides YouTube—like Stevie Wonder’s 1973 performance of “Superstition” on Sesame Street.