Best Pedometers for Getting in Shape Reviewed

The first pedometer was invented in 1780 in Switzerland by a gentleman named Abraham-Louis Perrelet. It is a piece of technology that has become even more popular in recent years as science has come up with new and better ways to track our activity levels. Nowadays it has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry as both laypersons and athletes have begun to discover the amazing benefits that tracking your steps can offer.  Though the general public has been tracking their steps for decades, this tool is also useful for fighters and those looking to take their training to the next level. There are many benefits to tracking your steps that even the most premier martial artists can draw on.

There are many reasons that you as a fighter or an athlete may decide to begin tracking your steps. First of all, figuring out just how many steps you’re getting in in a given day helps to establish a baseline of how much physical activity you’re getting. After all, it’s hard to move forward or to plan effectively if you don’t have an accurate baseline around which to establish your routines. Secondly, once you’ve established a baseline of physical activity, you can begin to set goals for yourself to take your training to the next level. Once you’ve begun to set goals for yourself, you can begin to apply yourself to improving your routine and changing your life.

 

 

Featured Recommendations

Omronimg
  • Omron
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • <1 Ounce
  • Mode Button
  • Price: See Here
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3DActive
  • 3DActive
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Simple to Use
  • Extra Large Display
  • Price: See Here
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OZOimg
  • OZO
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy to Use
  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Price: See Here
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There are many benefits to tracking your steps, and many ways to use step trackers. While it may bring to mind a grandmother power-walking around the neighborhood, nothing could be farther from the truth. Many activities involve moving your feet, and the majority of them are far more energy intensive than power walking. Using a step tracker can help you keep track of your movements as you jog or sprint, do jumping jacks, or engage in interval training. No matter what kind of training you’re engaged in, step trackers can give you detailed reports on our activity levels.

Step trackers can give you real insights into your activity levels. It also can provide you with a concrete set of numbers to show your activity levels for the day. Once you’ve seen those numbers, you’re able to better hold yourself accountable for your training regimen. After all, starting a regimen is one thing–following through on it is another. For many people, fighters included, motivation can be hard to come by at times. When the only thing holding us to our regimen is our own willpower, we’ll lapse eventually. That’s another reason why step trackers are so great–having a detailed report is an external accountability mechanism. When there’s something physical outside of ourselves that we can look at to tell us what we have been (or have not been) doing, it can give us the extra “oomph” we need to dig back into our training.

 

 

10 Best Pedometers

 

 

1. Omron

This is a product designed and sold by the company Omron. Omron is a company that specializes in home health products to help you improve your physical well-being. They have numerous products in their inventory, including but not limited to digital blood pressure cuffs, Body Max Index Measurement Devices, as well as TENS units. This is an excellent addition to their product line and can display seven day's worth of data and has an auto-stride function. Additionally, it is able to count steps that are taken horizontally, laterally, or vertically.
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<1 ounce
One of the biggest draws of these kinds of products is that they perform their function unobtrusively. If a product is weighty and bulky, there's hardly any point to using it at all. This product is extremely lightweight so you'll never encounter this product. Weighing less than one ounce, it is small, unobtrusive, and portable.

MODE Button
This nifty little button allows you to access all of the features and capabilities of this device. With a simple press of the switch, you can view multiple different kinds of data, such as steps, distance traveled, calories burned, and more.

Cost and Value
This product is among the least expensive items included here. It is tied for the place of the second least expensive item when compared to the other items on our list. Despite the fact that it is low on price, it is high on value. The fact that it is extremely lightweight and also multi-function just sweetens the deal.
Pros

<1 ounce 7-day display Auto-stride Function MODE button Vertical counting

Cons

Issues getting count started

2. 3DActive

This product is designed and sold by the company 3DActive. 3DActive is a company that designs and sells health and wellness lifestyle products. Their product line includes, among other things, socks, resistance bands, electronic products, and wristwatch-style fitness trackers. This product is a fitting member of their product line. It sports an included battery, extremely accurate readings, and daily tracking totals.
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Simple to Use
Sometimes, products can be difficult to use and are not intuitively designed. These products a headache in and of themselves and tend to create more problems than they solve. This product is designed to be the polar opposite. It manages to be both intuitively designed and easy to navigate.

Extra Large Display
Sometimes it can be hard to view the numbers on the displays of products like these. You may have to hold it up to your face and squint to see how many steps you've taken. This product has an extra-large display and extra-large numbers so that you can read your numbers quickly and easily.

Cost and Value
This product may have a small cost, but it has a huge value. It is tied for the position of the second least expensive item when compared to the other products that we've included on our list. It has many outstanding features, such as its intuitive design, accurate readings, included battery, and large display. You won't want to miss this opportunity.
Pros

Simple to use

Daily step tracker

Accurate reading

Extra large digit display

Battery included

Cons

Slow-responding customer service

3. OZO Fitness

This product is manufactured and provided by the company OZO Fitness. OZO Fitness is a company that provides fitness products to the general public. They have numerous fitness products in their inventory, some of which are various models and designs of step trackers, resistance bands, and others. This tracker is a welcome addition to their product line and has numerous features. It boasts that it is a smart tracker, has an easy to read display, and is compact and travel-friendly.
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Easy to Use
It can be difficult to use these products sometimes. In the name of cramming in every possible feature that they can possibly think of, some companies overload their products and make them just plain difficult to navigate. This streamlined device is powerful in its simplicity.

Satisfaction Guarantee
If a product is poor, then the company won't stand by it. This is why those cheap products made overseas never come with a warranty. Only the best products come with warranties and guarantees because the company is confident in their product. This is one such device. You'll love it, guaranteed, or your moeny back.

Cost and Value
This is by far the least expensive item when compared to the other products that we've included on our list. Despite that low price, it has everything that you would expect one of these products to do. It has a sleek and streamlined design and user interface that helps the user to avoid confusion. It may be no-frills, but the functions it has work, and work well.
Pros

Smart tracker

Easy to use

Easy-read

Compact

Satisfaction guarantee

Cons

No advanced features

4. FitBit Charge

4. FitBit Charge
This product is brought to market by the company FitBit. FitBit is perhaps the most well-known company in the landscape of fitness and step trackers. They have numerous models of fitness trackers for every lifestyle, priority, and body shape. They are perhaps the premier company in the industry, and at the very least they certainly started the fitness-tracking craze. This product syncs to your device wirelessly and also comes with an OLED display. Finally, helps you identify target heart rate zones tailored to your body, age, and health.
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Cardio Fitness Score
This product doesn't just track your steps; it measures your biometrics and gives you health information unique to your body. One of those pieces of information it gives you is your cardio fitness score. This score helps you identify your level of cardiovascular health, and identify areas for improvement.

PurePulse
This product has a unique technology that lets it track your biometrics. Among those technologies is PurePulse. PurePulse is FitBit's unique and patented pulse-tracking technology. It monitors your heart rate via its LED wrist-tracking system for round-the-clock monitoring.

Cost and Value
This product has a middling to high cost when compared to the other items we've included on our list. It has many features that make it outstanding, though it is a bit pricey. This product is perfect for someone who not only wants a step tracker, but a health tracker to get accurate and reliable biometrics.
Pros

PurePulse

HeartRate Zones

OLED Display

Cardio Fitness Score

Syncs Wirelessly

Cons

Difficulty syncing

5. Bellabeat Leaf

5. Bellabeat Leaf
This product is brought to you by the company BellaBeat Leaf. BellaBeat is a company that makes products that measure the body's activity and biometrics. Unlike most such devices, theirs tend to be not only unobtrusive but stylish and unconventional. Their products tend to look more like jewelry than their contemporaries and are wearable on either the wrist or around the neck. This product has many strong features, such as the fact that water and sweat resistant and syncs wirelessly to your device.
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Stylish
Most products in this vein aren't something that you would want to wear visibly--they're clunky and tend to be awkwardly covered in bright, primary-colored plastic. This device, though, is more easily mistaken for a necklace than for step tracker. It is designed to look like a pendant, not a monitoring device.

Doesn't Need Charging
This product comes with a lithium-ion battery pre-installed. What this means is that you won't have to ever charge this device. The pre-loaded battery has a lifespan of up to one year. Whereas with other devices you need to take them off to give them more juice, this item gives you twelve months of uninterrupted life.

Cost and Value
This product has a middling cost when compared to the other item we've included on our list here. The products here can roughly be categorized into three tiers: very low cost, middling cost, and high-end. This product is the least expensive of the middle-grade products but gives you all of the features you would expect from one such product.
Pros

Doesn't need charging

Bundle package

Water-resistance

Multi-tracker

Syncs to device

Cons

Doesn't measure short activity bursts

6. Garmin VivoFit

6. Garmin VivoFit
This product is sold and produced by the company Garmin. Garmin is perhaps best known for their initial forays into the world of GPS tracking technology. They were once the premier GPS units for sale in vehicles before smartphones took over. Their high-end products and tracking technology still live on in their extensive product line, though. For example, take this product. It has many great aspects, such as the fact that it has an audible alert, a backlit display, and a move-bar--and, of course, the company's signature GPS technology.
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1+year battery life
One of the biggest pains with products such as these is their need to be constantly charged or have their batteries changed. Every moment that you waste charging or changing batteries is a moment that you're not getting your data, or able to spend time working out. This product comes with over a year of battery life so that you can get back to the gym.

Activity Timer
When you're putting time and attention into tracking your steps, sometimes you switch between different varieties of exercise. This product is able to help you out with this. It comes with a built-in activity timer to help you switch between activities for maximum yield. This is also useful for interval training.

Cost and Value
This product has a middling to low cost when it is compared to the other products that we've assembled on our list. It is not as budget-friendly as some of the more basic models, but of the fitness-tracker category, it is among the most affordable. It is also backed by a well-known company and comes with a slew of great features.
Pros

Move-bar

Audible alert

Backlit display

Activity timer

1+year battery life

Cons

Difficulty syncing

7. RealAlt

7. RealAlt
This product is designed and sold by the company RealAlt. RealAlt is a company that makes electronic products for the in-home health and fitness industry. Their products are designed for use by everyday people and thus are designed simply and intuitively. They have many models of step trackers available, of which this product is just one. This device features not only records the number of steps you take but also the distance you travel.
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Tri-Axis Sensor
A big problem that many of the products in this category suffer from is their inability to track steps if they are not strapped on to a specific part of your body, be it your wrist, or clipped onto your waistband. This product has a Tri-Axis sensor; this means that it is capable of performing all tracking functions whether it's in your pocket, in your bag, or elsewhere on your person.

30-day memory
Another failing that many of these products have is that they have an extremely short-term memory. If you want to recall older data, you're out of luck. This is especially prevalent with budget and basic products. However, this item has a thirty-day memory that lets you look back at a month's worth of data.

Cost and Value
This product is among the least expensive items when compared to the other products that we've included in our list. Despite its low price, it has many standout features. It has an extensive memory, which is uncommon for budget step trackers. Additionally, its Tri-Axis sensor, among other things, make it well worth its low cost.
Pros

Tri-Axis Sensor

30-day memory

Record daily steps

Records distance

Highly accurate

Cons

Difficulty with setup

8. OneTweak

8. OneTweak
This product is designed and sold by a company called OneTweak. OneTweak is a health and wellness lifestyle company that makes a variety of products for their niche. Their product line has many great products, including many models of step-trackers, accessories thereof such as belt clips and the like, and various kinds of activity trackers. This product is an excellent example of their product line, and measures many things besides steps: it also tracks calories, time, distance. Finally, it was ranked #1 by Fit&Me Happier Living.
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Included Accessories
Oftentimes when you order a product, what you see is what you get. Companies don't typically include anything more than they have to. This company, though, goes the extra mile and includes several accessories. These include a clip-on holder, lanyard, battery, User Manual.

Accelerometer Technology
Sometimes a downfall of these products is that they are inaccurate or rely on outdated technology. The result is inaccurate information, which is almost more useless than no information at all. This product uses cutting-edge accelerometer technology to deliver the most accurate information straight to you.

Cost and Value
This product falls onto the lower end of the cost spectrum when compared to the other products that we've included on our list. You get a lot for that low cost, though. It has several great features you wouldn't expect to find in a basic model, such as calorie, time, and distance tracking. It also has accelerometer technology and several included accessories.
Pros

Accelerometer technology

Ranked #1

Calories, time, distance

Automatically resets

Included accessories

Cons

May glitch

9. Apple Watch

9. Apple Watch
This product is made and sold by a well-known company, Apple. Apple is a conglomerate that hardly needs an introduction. First getting their start in the 80s, they have grown into one of the most well-recognized technology companies on the market, with one of the most dedicated and loyal customer bases. This is because their products are simple and long-lived. This item is no exception and has all of the perks, attributes, and updated tech that one would expect from an Apple Product.
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Digital Crown
The crown on a traditional watch is the small knob on the side of the device that allows you to adjust the date, time, and other dials. This product is a smartwatch, so it features a digital crown. This digital crown allows you to do all of the above, but also to scroll, select, and navigate.

Gyrscope
A gyroscope is a measurement tool that a device uses to figure out how fast it's rotating along an axis. When combined with step-tracking and GPS technology, this gives extremely accurate data on how, when, and what distance you are moving. This provides extremely detailed and accurate feedback for your step-tracking needs.

Cost and Value
This is by far the most expensive product when you compare it to the other items we've included in our list. However, quality comes with cost. This product isn't just a step-tracker, but a smartwatch with all the bells and whistles. Not only that, but it comes from one of the most trusted and well-known electronics companies in the world.
Pros

GPS

Large display

Digital crown

Haptic feedback

Gyroscope

Cons

Price

10. Garmin ForeRunner

10. Garmin ForeRunner
Garmin brings a second high-quality product to our list with the ForeRunner. This product is produced and brought to market by Garmin, one of the most well-known GPS companies in the world. Though many people may not know it, they have diversified their product line to penetrate a diverse array of new markets, and this is just one example. This product has many strong features, such as
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Heart Rate Monitor
Some people don't just want to track their steps. Sometimes you want more detailed biometric information on your workouts, which basic models just can't give you. This item can. It has many high-end functions built in, one of which is a heart rate monitor to help you track your workouts.

Watch
Many products in this category are bulky and single-function. You clip them onto your belt and take them off at the end of the day, and you can't do much of anything with them in between. This product though doubles as a watch so that you can get multiple functions out of it as your day goes on.

Cost and Value
This product is among the most expensive items when you compare it to the other products we've included on our list. It ranks as the second most expensive item. However, high-end devices do tend to cost more. And with this, you're not just getting a step-tracker, you're getting a smartwatch. When compared to other products in its category, it's actually very reasonably priced.
Pros

Heart Rate Monitor

Wireless

Clock

Lithium ion battery

Workout compatible

Cons

Price

 

When you’ve decided to take your physical training to the next level, you need to be able to establish a baseline for how much activity you’re getting in a given day. Once you’ve decided to purchase a step tracker, though, you need to be able to decide what your priorities are, and what kinds of features you need in your device. For some, a bare-bones model that only tracks steps will suffice. For others who want something more top of the line, they may spring to purchase a more expensive model that can serve as an overall fitness tracker. Whatever your motivation and desires, the right model exists out there and is just waiting for you to find it. With the information we’ve equipped you with here, you’re more than ready to make a decision that is right for you.

 

 

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Pedometers

Construction

Battery Life: When considering purchasing a product, you’ll want to take the battery life into account. Some products last for months, or even years without needing to have the battery changed. If you purchase a rechargeable product, you won’t have to worry about changing the battery. However, if you do purchase an item whose battery will eventually give out, you’ll want to know the processes and procedures for replacing that battery. Some products have preprogrammed obsolescence as soon as the battery goes out; this means that when the battery dies, you will need to purchase an entirely new product.

Size and Weight: This may go without saying, but if you’re going to be wearing a product day in and day out, you’ll want to consider how bulky and/or heavy it is. If a product weighs you down and is uncomfortable, you may end up discarding it, and thus will not only miss out on the benefits of tracking your steps, but also will have wasted money to boot. There are many options for wearability; some clip onto your belt loop, some are worn around the wrist, and some are jewelry that simply lays against the skin.

Charging: Some, but not all, products are able to be charged. For those that are able to be charged, you’ll want to consider two things. First, how long does it take the battery to run down before it needs to be charged? Secondly, how long will recharging take? Most fitness trackers that have built-in pedometers are able to last a week or two on a single charge. Secondly, most devices should be able to recharge within a matter of a few hours. If recharging your device is going to take the better part of a day, then that’s a whole day’s worth of step tracking that you’re missing out on.

 

Additional Features

Biometrics: Some products are more advanced than others, and are able to track your biometrics. This means that they are able to read detailed information about your health. Some products have the ability to track not only your steps taken that day but also your calories burned. Many are even able to track your heart rate on a minute to minute basis. Still, others are able to track your sleep information, including how deeply you sleep, the length of your REM and other cycles, and the overall quality of your sleep.

Clock: Perhaps the most basic function that a step tracker can offer other than its primary function is to tell the time. Being able to keep track of the hour is useful for anyone. With today’s society, everyone has an extremely busy life, and being able to keep an eye on the time is vital to living a productive life. As a side note, some products even have more advanced time-keeping functions you can use, such as stopwatches and calendars.

Memory: With the most basic models of a pedometer, you only get access to your data for that day. Once you reset it, you lose any information it may have held. This is a problem for those who like to take a long-term view of their goals and their health. At the very least, it causes an inconvenience as you have to physically write down or type in the data to some external mechanism or place in order to keep track of it. Many of these products have built-in memory nowadays, though, so that you can access previous day’s steps and information so that nothing is lost.

 

Data Access

On-screen: Perhaps the simplest way to get access to your data is to purchase a model that displays it right there on the screen. The downside of these products is that they tend to be larger; at the very least, they have to be large enough to have a screen to read. Oftentimes devices that have a screen are either clipped onto the belt or worn around the wrist.

In-app: Many of the smaller products, such as those that pass for jewelry, do not have screens on which you are able to view your biometrics or step information. For these devices, they are oftentimes linked to an app on your smartphone. In order to see how many steps you’ve taken that day, you’ll have to open up the app in your smartphone to get access to that information. The plus side of these step trackers is that they are small and discreet, and many won’t even recognize them as a pedometer.

Downloadable: Some products need to be physically plugged into another device, such as through a micro-USB cable, in order to gain access to the information. The information is then downloaded onto a computer, laptop, or tablet. Once the information has been downloaded, you are able to view all of the information that the device has collected. This is perhaps the most cumbersome and inconvenient method. For the other two, all you have to do is open an app or look at the device itself.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will this device measure my heart rate?
A: 
Some of the more advanced or top-shelf options may. However, more basic models will only track your steps.

Q: How do I wear this device?
A: 
This will largely depend on the individual product you purchase. Many simply clip onto your waistband. Others are worn around the wrist. Some even simply slip around the neck and look like jewelry.

Q: Will this device displays the time of day?
A: 
Most products that have a readable screen will display the time of day, yes.

Q: How do I know if the device comes with additional features?
A: 
You’ll need to do some reading on each of the individual products. As a selling point, the sellers will usually list all of a device’s capabilities and functions.

 

Sources

  1. Chris Woodford, How Pedometers Work, Informational
  2. Patrick Austin, Taking the Pulse of Fitbit's Contested Heart Rate Monitors, Magazine
  3. Belle, How does your fitness tracker know when you're asleep?, Informational
  4. Multiple, Activity Tracker, Informational