Are you interested in trying out the latest fitness tech but not sure which gadget you need? We've got the lowdown on the most popular running gadgets so you can know what's worth your time and money before you buy.
Bone conduction headphones
Bone conduction headphones allow you to listen to music while you run more safely. Unlike regular headphones, bone conduction headphones rest outside of the ears and send sound vibrations through the jawbones and cheekbones. This means you can listen to music and still hear ambient sounds like traffic. Though some say the sound quality isn't as good, you might find the safety tradeoff is worth it.Price: $ - $$
There are quite a few apps on the market for runners if you like to run with your smartphone. The simplest of options tracks your time and steps, but many use GPS tracking so you can map your runs. Some count calories and provide additional running data. A few use the data to give motivation during your run and feedback when you're finished. There are also apps with social aspects so you can connect with other users, apps that sync up with other apps for more in-depth health tracking, and safety apps that let your contacts know where you are when you're running.Price: Free - $
Fitness trackers are great for general activity tracking. From sleep quality information to steps taken per day to heart rate and calories burned, the data they collect is beneficial for getting a good picture of your overall health. Newer models are outfitted with GPS, so they can measure distance, which is great for runners. Some brands operate like a much simpler version of a smartwatch with text, email and app capabilities.
Price: $ - $$
GPS sports watches
The main difference between a fitness tracker and a GPS sports watch is data tracking capability. GPS sports watches do what fitness trackers do plus more with greater accuracy. Depending on your budget, fitness tracking features in GPS sports watches range from simple to complex. Most track your heart rate, steps, speed, distance and calories, but some offer more detailed mapping and running data (ground contact, cadence, stride length, vertical oscillation, left/right balance and more). Some operate like smartwatches so you can take calls and texts, listen to music, and use contactless payment on your run. If you don't want to receive calls or texts but still want music, that's an option, too.
Price: $$ - $$$
Smart footwear includes smart socks and smart shoes. The socks or shoes record basic fitness tracking information plus more data that's useful for runners like stride length, cadence and foot strike. The information is then transmitted from the sock or shoe to an app on your phone. While some smart footwear products require you to run with your phone, others have GPS so you can leave your phone at home.Price: $$Are you running or walking in the 20th Flying Pig Marathon? Go to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to #GetPiggyWithTCH and show us how running gadgets are helping you train.