The Best Running Tech of 2016
On your mark, get set, track!
Whether you want a simple training companion or the sophisticated tracker of the true wired athlete, we've got your wrist—and your feet—covered.
Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS
Best For: Minimalists
Like its more expensive siblings, the x20 accurately tracks pace and distance, counts laps, and sets intervals. And that’s it. It can’t sync with a heart-rate monitor or third-party apps. But what it lacks in bells and whistles it more than makes up for with its attractive, comfortable design and easy-to-read display.
Best For: Newbies
This is the most intuitive running watch here. The GPS tracks flawlessly, the display graphics are clear, and you can choose from several data screens (think lap time, speed, and heart rate). All that in one of the smallest GPS-enabled watches out there. Bummer: syncing with third-party apps is frustratingly tricky.
Sensoria Fitness Smart Socks
Best For: Fixing Your Form
By embedding electronic threads and thin, surprisingly comfortable anklets into socks, Sensoria helps improve your stride by measuring step count, cadence, and foot strike. The socks send data to a phone, where you can view the metrics and analyze your form.
Epson Runsense SF-810
Best For: Data Geeks
If you’re addicted to fitness data, this is your watch. It happily syncs with third-party apps via a nifty online tool, offers some of the best GPS tracking we’ve ever tested, and boasts an astonishing 20 hours of battery life—with the GPS on. The only caveat: the wrist-based LED heart-rate monitor isn’t quite as accurate as those on other top-flight watches.
Garmin Forerunner 225
Best For: Serious Training
Combine the 225’s superb built-in heart-rate monitor—which proved as accurate as a chest strap—with Garmin’s precise navigation and ten-hour battery life in GPS mode, and you have the perfect wearable for long days in the woods sans phone. The native apps track activity, but we found the 225 too clunky for daily wear.
Suunto Ambit3 Run
Best For: Triathletes
The Ambit3 has a sleek display and a stable of cool features. We especially like the midrun access to lap comparisons and the recovery advice based on metrics. Multisport athletes will appreciate its ability to measure cycling speed and cadence. Even better, it can share that data with many popular apps.