Staying in shape is hard work (and honestly, that can feel like a humble brag to anyone trying to get into shape in the first place). It’s especially hard to do on your own, without any help, coaching or encouragement. That’s why a lot of people turn to tech to keep themselves active and engaged in their personal health and fitness journey. A fitness tracker—whether it’s a fitness band or a smartwatch—can remind you to exercise, monitor your activity level during and after each workout and track your progress over time. The best fitness trackers are the next best thing to having your own personal trainer.
Choosing the right tracker can be daunting. Fitbit, the company that singled-handedly popularized the concept of fitness tracking, sells no fewer than seven different models on its own. And then there are fitness trackers from Samsung, Garmin, Amazfit and a dozen other companies. It pays to shop carefully, because not all trackers are designed for the kinds of exercise you want to do, and some have extra features, like smartphone notifications, heart rate monitoring, stress tracking and blood-oxygen level sensors.
No matter which fitness tracker you choose, there’s a good chance it’ll cover all the basics pretty well, but you might want extras like water resistance (great if you’re a swimmer), the ability to track stairs and built-in GPS so you don’t need to bring your phone along on a long run. We’ve rounded up 14 of the best fitness trackers you can buy today; no matter where you are on your fitness journey, there’s a model here for you.
Best Fitness Tracker Overall
Fitbit Inspire 2
The Fitbit Inspire 2 captures the flag as the best overall fitness tracker because it represents, in many ways, the template from which all other trackers are created. The Inspire 2 represents the culmination of everything Fitbit has learned about making wearables over the years, and includes pretty much everything the average person needs in a fitness tracker. It counts steps, distance and has sleep tracking features. It automatically recognizes when you’re doing a variety of common workouts and starts tracking—over 20 kinds of workouts in all. It’s waterproof to about 150 feet and you can wear it into a pool to track swim workouts.
The Inspire 2 replaces the older Inspire HR