Whether you’re just getting yourself up from the sofa, training to run a basic 5K, or just trying to get more out of your daily walk with the dog, a pedometer can go a long way to help you keep track of your performance.
These top pedometers will collect all the basic data you need to keep track of your progress and in a way you understand. Everything from the number of steps you’ve taken, your average pace, and sometimes even the number of calories you’ve burnt.
So want to give your outdoor activities a little bit of an extra boost, you’ve come to the right place. The devices come as low as £16 for the cheaper pedometers, and at the top end transition firmly into the arena of fitness bands.
Our pick of the best pedometers to buy today
This is Fitbit’s smallest fitness tracker, and just clips somewhere on your person to track how many steps you take, how far you’ve walked, and how many calories you burned off in the process. All that data syncs with your phone or computer, and Fitbit’s online services will break it down and present it in a way you can understand. Fitbit also lets you set your own daily goals to get you moving more.
A nice minimalist pedometer, the Misfit Shine does everything without letting pesky things like buttons and displays get in the way. What it does is all fairly basic –tracking steps, calories, and distance before syncing with your phone– but it does offer all that in a fairly clever way. While wearing it on your wrist has its advantages, like being able to use it as a watch, the Shine will do its job anywhere on your person It’s also fairly durable since it’s made of metal and is waterproof up to 50 metres. It also has a stellar four-month battery life.
Another wristable, but this one is designed to stay on your wrist to get the job done. This one is designed to be more of an all-round health and fitness tracker rather than just a pure pedometer. It’s a multi-use activity, and sleep monitor that’s designed to be worn, with a mobile app that keeps track of your food intake. It’s mainly designed to be worn all the time, and uses the data it collects to offers personalised insights to help you achieve your own fitness goals. The battery only last nine days, but all the data is saved for a whopping nine months, and since it’s small and unintrusive you shouldn’t really notice that it’s even there.
The Walking style IV uses a ‘3D’ sensor to help you keep count on your normal daily and active steps without erroneous tracking caused by other movements. It does this by automatically detecting your active steps from your normal walking routine and there’s an ‘active’ mode for this. It’s also A CLOCK!
In most respects the very definition of ‘bog standard fitness band’, the Vivofit 3 excels in one area: shove in a standard watch battery and it lasts for a year.
That aside it counts steps adequately, and attempts to detect exercise, Fitbit style, but does so fairly inadequately. It logs steps, sleep and ‘intensity minutes’, although again, the Vivofit’s concept of ‘intensity’ may not quite chime with yours.
For those who are allergic to charging, this could be a decent choice. Personally, I wouldn’t wear something that ugly for 12 minutes, never mind 12 months. There are some replacement ‘designer’ straps available for it but seriously, they’re beyond hideous.
A lot of these fitness bands are great at telling you what you’re doing wrong, but not how to improve. Moov Now isn’t satisfied with that.
With a six-month battery life from a standard watch battery, waterproofing to 30m and a choice of wrist and ankle straps, Moov Now is a very interesting and potentially brilliant device.
The lightweight, reasonably attractive band syncs with an app which takes you through runs, actually telling you when to slow down, lengthen your stride or speed up.
It’ll also track and, to greater and lesser degrees, coach you through swimming, cycling, running, cardio boxing and seven-minute HIIT workouts.
When we say coaching varies, it really does. Cardio boxing is almost like Guitar Hero but with punching, with lots of voice input. Seven-minute interval workouts do encourage you to “feel the burn”, but cyclists just get vague tips on cadence, and inaccurate data on RPM and power.
Moov Now also handles day-to-day step and sleep tracking and is very reasonably priced.
There are two quibbles here, though: the app is still quite basic, and fundamentally, we question both the accuracy and usefulness of some of the coaching advice. When it’s good, however, it’s very good.
Although the Jawbone UP3, the big brother to this, is packed with sensors including a tri-axis accelerometer, bioimpedance sensors, plus skin and ambient temperature sensors and a heart-rate monitor that uses electrical sensors rather than light-based ones, we actually prefer this one, which is lacking the bio sensors and only has movement-based ones.
That’s because both Jawbones’ crowning glory is a very friendly, easy-to-use app which tells you next to nothing of any use. So why bother getting a more complicated band to use with it?
The Jawbone app shows you how your daily stepping and sleeping are improving (or deteriorating), letting you challenge other users to “duels” and offering reasonably helpful health tips and more context to the data than most tracker apps (although sadly, that’s not saying a lot)
This is a pure “lifestyle” tracker, designed to be worn 24/7. There’s no display, so you’ll have to check your stats on the iOS or Android apps, but the band is light and discreet enough to just put on and forget about it (unless you go swimming – the Jawbone UP2 is okay in the shower, but not waterproof). Battery is also good at around 10 days.
On the other hand, we know from experience that these have a habit of malfunctioning, and in terms of improving fitness, as opposed to taking the first ‘steps’ towards it, Jawbones are a bit of a non-starter.
At the current price it’s currently going for, however, it’s a decent deal.
Counting the steps you take is only one part of fitness tracking, and if you want something that can gauge how active you’ve been with a lot more accuracy then you’ll want one with a heart-rate monitor built-in. Along with counting your steps, This pedometer also instantly tracks your heart-rate and sends all the relevant data back to your smartphone. There’s no sort of motivational tools included, but if you want a good record of everything then this could be the pedometer for you.