Editor’s Note: This guide has been updated with our selections for 2017.

With all the robust technology around to cheerlead you to activity (one step, good work!), you no longer have to rely on the Rocky-era pen and paper to record your workouts. Trackers both obtain and retain all your precious fitness data, and they provide analyses of it so you can see improvement and have some hard facts to back up those impressive endurance claims.

And, perhaps best of all, most trackers today are not only sleek, but fashionable — so you can track calories burned, sleep quantity and quality, heart rate and steps taken without looking conspicuous or unstylish. In short: there’s no more excuses to be sedentary.

Peter Saltsman and Jeremy Fischer

Apple Watch Series 2

apple-watch-2-gear-patrol-650

Best Smartwatch for iPhone Owners: The new Apple Watch Series 2 is the second generation of Apple’s smartwatch. It boasts a brighter display, improved battery life, improved water resistance and a built-in GPS sensor. You won’t have to carry your iPhone with you on runs or cycling sessions; simply wear your Apple Watch, which will store your data and sync with your phone once it’s in range. You can also pick up the Nike+ Edition Apple Watch; built for runners, it comes stock with a Nike Sport Band and integration with the Nike+ Run Club App.

Compatibility: iOS
Tracks: GPS, heart rate, breathing, sleep, calories
Features: customizable watch faces, smart coaching, notifications
Battery Life: 18 hours
Water Resistance: 50 meters

Fitbit Charge 2

Easiest to Use: The Charge 2 is Fitbit’s best fitness tracker because of its functionality and ease of use. It tracks hear rate, steps, calories burned, and sleep. And its large touchscreen display and simple interface are intuitive, even for those who have never owned a fitness tracker before. The Charge 2 can track a wide variety of sports and walk you through preset exercise regimes — it even can guide you through relaxation breathing exercises. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a GPS, so it’s not the most accurate running without tethered to a smartphone, and it’s water-resistant, not waterproof, so don’t take it in the pool.

Compatibility: iOS, Android
Tracks: heart rate, steps, sleep
Features: Multi-sport tracking, Guided breathing sessions
Battery Life: up to five days
Water Resistance: minimal

Samsung Gear Fit 2

samsung-gear-fit-2-gear-patrol-650

The SmartWatch Substitute, for Galaxy Owners: The Samsung Gear Fit2 is optimized to work with Samsung’s ecosystem of apps, specifically its Samsung Gear and S Health apps. If you own an iPhone or another Android the Samsung Gear Fit 2 will have limited functionality, so we wouldn’t recommend getting it. But if you own Samsung, this works great. Its beautiful curved AMOLED touchscreen tells you everything you’d watch in a fitness tracker: distance traveled, heart rate, pace and calories burned. And its built-in GPS means it can accurately track runs, sans smartphone.

Compatibility: Android
Tracks: GPS, heart rate, accelerometer, gyro, barometer, steps, floors climbed, calories burned
Features: 1.5-inch touch curved AMOLED screen, internal song storage
Battery Life: 3–4 days with typical use
Water Resistance: IP68

Garmin Vívofit 3

Best Budget Band: The Vivofit 3 is an affordable fitness tracker that doesn’t require a smartphone. Owners can sync their smartphones for more functionality, but this watch can track your movement on its own and will stay powered for a full year with a standard watch battery. If you’re looking for an inexpensive wearable that actually tells the time, but still monitors your daily movements, this is the one for you.

Compatibility: iOS, Android, Windows
Tracks: steps, sleep monitoring, calories, distance traveled
Features: Garmin Connect app, 9+ styles
Battery Life: 1 year (standard watch battery)
Water Resistance: 50 meters

Garmin Vívosmart HR+

Best Wristbound Wearable for Runners: The Vívosmart HR+ is similar to Vívosmart HR in design and metrics, but it adds a larger display and, more importantly, an internal GPS tracker, making it an extremely accurate fitness tracker. The device tracks distance, time, heart rate and calories burned. It’ll also show notifications from your phone, such as incoming texts and calls. For runners, this Garmin is ideal; but if you’re looking for a beautiful display that can track other activities — look elsewhere.

Compatibility: iOS, Android, Windows
Tracks: GPS, sleep, all-day steps, calories burned, distance traveled, floors climbed, intensity minutes
Features: push notifications for email, calls, texts, calendar events, ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart
Battery Life: 5 days
Water Resistance: 5 ATM

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

Best Smartwatch for Serious Runners: This is the best smartwatch for runners, period — our reviewer called the Spartan “nothing short of incredible.” It has an accurate heart-rate sensor and comes with built-in GPS. It’s also water-resistant and can track up to 80 sports. Its large touchscreen and intuitive interface make cycling through stats and menus super easy, too. It works like other smartwatches, showing you push notifications, and has an impressive 12-hour battery life. Yes, the $500 price is a little intimidating, but you’ll forget about that when you break personal record after personal record.

Compatibility: iOS, Android
Tracks: distance, time, heart rate, 80 different sports
Features: GPS/GLONASS, Valencell Optical Heart Rate sensor
Battery Life: up to 12 hours
Water Resistance: 100 meters

Withings Steel HR


Your Swiss-Made Lookalike: If you like the refined look of an analog watch, look no further than this hybrid smartwatch. The Withings Active HR has a built-in heart-rate tracker so it can accurately track workouts (steps, distance, calories), sleep and general health. Like other fitness smartwatches, it’s water-resistant and will automatically adjust the time, even during daylight savings. Don’t expect it to send you push notifications when you get a call or text, however. It also has an impressive, near-month-long battery life.

Compatibility: iOS, Android
Tracks: heart rate, steps, sleep, distance, calories burned
Features: Withings Health Mate app, My Fitness Pal integration
Battery Life: 25 days
Water Resistance: up to 50 meters

Moov Now

Best Tracker for Beginners: The Moov Now automatically tracks your workouts, offers motivation and coaches with real-time feedback. The nine-axis motion sensor measures and records specific movements, and the real-time audio coach (who sounds a lot like Siri) gives you the feedback. If your stride is too short, it’ll tell you how to correct it as you continue running. Right hook form needs work during a boxing workout? It’ll tell you that, too. The Moov Now works with different sports, including running, cycling, boxing, and swimming (it’s waterproof). The real pros of the Moov Now are its six-month battery life and its simple coaching for people new to workout regimes.

Compatibility: iOS, Android
Tracks: reps, distance, speed (see website for more information on compatible sports)
Features: activity coaching, precise tracking
Battery Life: 100 hours of active coaching, 6 months of activity-tracking
Water Resistance: waterproof

Stryd Power Meter

Run with Power: Stryd is the first wearable for runners that measures power. (Along with heart rate, power is arguably the most important metric for competitive runners.) Just like cyclists use power meters, runners can use power to measure the intensity of their workout. Power helps runners better calculate pace and thus run more efficiently. It can also help improve technique and prevent overtraining. This small device clips to a runners shoes and syncs with Garmin and Suunto smartwatches, as well as iOS and Android smartphones. Runners can program training regimes, from 5K to full marathons.

Compatibility: Android, iOS
Tracks: power, distance, cadence, pace, elevation, time
Features: measures running efficiency, small size
Battery Life: one month of run time
Water Resistance: light
Best Wireless Headphones for Running

Stop suffering your standard earbuds. Read the Story