The Best Wearable Running Technology of 2016

Posted by Josh Higgins on

In the not-so-distant past, all a runner needed was a set of sneaks and a couple of miles at their disposal. But that was then. Nowadays, athletic retailers have developed a wide variety of gadgets and gizmos that can measure your heart rate, plan your route, and—let’s be honest—make you feel extremely cool. Here’s a rundown of the best wearable running technology of 2016.

Garmin Forerunner 620

When it comes to wearable exercise trackers, there are almost too many to choose from. One of our favorites is the Garmin Forerunner 620, which uses GPS technology to track your distance as you go. The tracker updates in a matter of seconds, and users can navigate through a variety of features using a sleek touch screen interface. When paired with a chest strap, the device can also analyze your stride—a useful tool to prevent running injuries. The only drawback? The Forerunner is so multi-functional that it takes some time to learn how to use it.

Mino shoe replacement tracker

Once you’ve taken the time to select the perfect pair of running shoes, the last thing you want to do is trash them before they’ve outlived their usefulness. Mino is a thin device that slips under the sole of your shoe and records the impact of your strides. It uses this information to gauge your shoes’ lifespan and alert you when it’s time for a replacement. The device is both comfortable to wear and, at just $15, one of the most affordable running technology gadgets you can buy.

UA Gemini 2 Smart Shoes

This wearable tech has one of the longest names on this list—its full name is the UA SpeedForm Gemini 2 RE—but its sheer awesomeness makes up for it. These full-fledged smart shoes use a dime-sized chip to record your mileage, speed, and stride as you run. Not only do the shoes allow you to run free from phones and watches, they also activate the minute you start moving, meaning you’ll never remember halfway into your run that you forgot to start tracking. Feeling like a cool spy from the future has a price, however: in this case, it’s $150. Still, that’s a pretty good deal when you consider that the non-smart version of the shoes are $130.

Pear Mobile Training Intelligence System

Pear is a virtual coaching system that encourages and guides you through your workout. The system monitors your heart rate, responds to your body, and “speaks” guidance through a pair of earphones (so it's a bit like listening to a podcast on an iPod).  This is especially useful for new runners who are just learning to pace themselves. However, experienced runners might be frustrated with the unnecessary instruction. And if the best part of your run is the long, contemplative silence, this is not the device for you.

OS1st Leg Compression Sleeves

Compression sleeves are all the rage among runners these days, and for good reason: the tension provided by compression sleeves helps support your muscles, reduce stress on your joints, and reduce your risk for injury as you exercise. The sleeves are designed to promote circulation as you run, guiding a maximum amount of oxygen-rich blood to your muscle fibers. Not only are compression sleeves great for runners, they’re also an excellent way to prevent injuries in CrossFit, weightlifting, and other athletics. To browse the latest and greatest in wearable running technology, check out OS1st's line of compression sleeves here. When it comes to running, it’s your own determination and effort that will make or break your success—but adding some cool gadgets to your training sessions won’t hurt. Hopefully, you’re now armed with some great ideas to help you out the next time you’re training for a marathon or gearing up for a tough race.

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