Looking for an ankle fitness tracker but don’t know where to start?
[ In a hurry? Our top pick is Fitbit Zip Flex 2 (Find it on Amazon)… ]
I went looking for the best ankle fitness tracker available and the result was interesting.
There are definite pros and cons for wearing a fitness tracker on your ankle and as it turns out the choices are kind of different in terms of what you get.
It will really come down to your preference of what features and style etc that you might want.
Below, I’ll run through all those things to help you find the best ankle tracker for your needs.
It is no surprise that Fitness trackers are at the top of the wearables industry today.
They were projected to contribute to over $29 billion in sales in 2018 and are projected to sell nearly 243 million units by 2022.
What are the benefits of fitness trackers?
Fitness trackers not only help you track your heart rate and monitor your vitals, but they also serve as reasonably accurate trackers of your sleep and your overall physical wellbeing.
Data from Fitbits has even contributed to research which has identified several factors that can help lower resting heart rate like sleep, overall activity, and the different effects of age and gender on overall health.
Overall, fitness trackers are pretty damn useful.
So what’s the difference between an ankle fitness tracker and a wrist or clip on fitness tracker?
Well, not much, but the big debate is really over how well they function in each location.
Here are some reasons why you should wear your fitness tracker on your ankle.
Let’s face it.
Many people have a short attention span these days.
I know I’m always checking my phone, often even if there is no need for it.
Distractions are easy and plentiful, especially on a smartwatch and fitness tracker.
By having your tracker on your ankle you can completely avoid continuously checking your heart rate, distances and any other distractions that might occur during your workouts.
Now, not this might not be for everyone, but it does help a lot of people to focus on their training or activity better.
• Accuracy of tracking
Accuracy of tracking devices is pretty important.
I mean, what’s the point of tracking data if its wrong right?
There are a number of reasons why having a fitness tracker on your wrist is not going to get the most accurate reading.
Hell, you can sit there and swing your arms without moving your legs, then pat yourself on the back for all the miles you just ‘ran’.
What if you don’t really swing your arms that much when you are running?
What if you want to do some biking on an exercycle and track the results?
Perhaps you are a nurse or a cook who is not permitted to wear anything on your wrist?
This is why many consider the ankle to be the best place to place a fitness tracker.
If your foot moves, your fitness tracker does too.
It is pretty simple.
And this is a huge reason many people prefer fitness tracker for their ankle.
Here are some things to consider before you start wearing a fitness tracker on your ankle.
• Recording of heart rate data
This is somewhat of speculative.
I should mention many have been able to get good heart rate readings from their fitness tracker on their ankle.
But the wrist is definitely the better place for you to put your fitness tracker for heart rate readings.
It is easier to get readings and the devices are ergonomically and physically designed to fit on your wrists.
• Sleep tracking
If you are also a snooze tracker, then you will want to consider that tracking sleep on your ankle is likely not as accurate an on your wrists.
A number of users who have tried this have reported this to be the case.
• Random acts of flailing
I’m totally the one in charge of cooking and folding washing in my household.
And I can tell you there is a lot of upper body and arm movement that goes on during these activities.
Not to mention, if I had my fitness tracker on my ankle during work, it would likely think I’m dead.
My feet don’t move a whole lot (sadly).
There a whole number of similar activities you could be doing with your upper body and arms during the day that will miss out on being recorded by your fitness tracker when it is located on your ankle.
This obviously goes both ways, but you get the idea.
• Not built for your ankle
The fact of the matter is MOST fitness trackers are designed from the bottom up with the intention that they will be worn on your wrist.
I believe Fitbit even mentions that their fitness trackers should be worn on the wrist.
Ultimately, there are pros and cons of wearing a fitness tracker on your ankle and it will come down to which suits your lifestyle or tracking preferences the most.
Which begs the question.
What are the best ankle fitness tracker options?
I’m glad you asked.
I set out to find which fitness tracker I should buy if I was going to use it on my ankle.
Below I detail what I found, my thoughts, and which fitness trackers I chose and why.
You will need to have a Garmin fitness tracker already for this to be of any use.
And unfortunately, it does not work with other branded fitness trackers.
How is it useful?
If you did have a Garmin, you can purchase this item and use it to transmit your run data from your foot to your Garmin fitness app.
It connects to your shoe, so there would be no issue with comfort on your ankle.
And of course, this foot pod is far cheaper than purchasing a new fitness tracker.
So while it’s may not be much use to a lot of people, if you do have a Garmin, then this could be a good alternative to buying an ankle specific fitness tracker.
Fortunately, in many cases, there is a good solution.
You can purchase ankle fitness bands, which can house your fitness trackers but also provide you with a comfortable experience.
This is a great solution for those who already have fitness trackers that are not made for ankles.
Just bear in mind you won’t be getting any heart rate readings using these.
It’ll connect to your headphones and your smartphone as well as your computer and can sync with most of your mobile devices.
You can have a lot of fun with it by setting goals and making use of the voice coach that helps you along with them.
If you’re an avid sportsman, an enthusiastic gym goer, or are just prone to sweating profusely, or running on rainy days, this is a great option due to the fact it is waterproof.
Another great advantage (for some at least) was that this doesn’t have an option for smartphone alerts, so it’ll keep you occupied with exercise and keep your mind off those pesky notifications that all too often distract us from our fitness goals.
It’s probably the most popular ankle fitness tracker you’ll find on the market.
It’s one of the leaders in fitness trackers and it’s got the numbers to prove it.
The Fitbit Alta HR comes with the classic Fitbit design and features like heart monitoring and being waterproof as well as tracking the duration of your sleep and even a silent alarm which wakes you up with a little vibration.
It’s a solid choice, but since it’s not really made to fit on the ankle, it can be uncomfortable to wear.
Luckily though, you can purchase ankle bands for this popular fitness tracker as we mentioned above.
The only reason that it’s made it on this list is because of its popularity and its band which is very adjustable.
The Fitbit Alta HR also shares a few cons with the Moov Now like it doesn’t have GPS.
Also, its applications aren’t really optimized to be very fast.
However, its main functions are quite fast and you won’t really notice the difference when you slip it on and it counts your steps in the background.
It also has the con of short battery life which is not ideal.
It’s a very simple tracker which has a great personality.
It’ll look more like a bracelet than a fitness tracker because it has a gold tracker and a black strap.
If that’s not enough of a fashion statement, you can customize the wrap bands by switching them up with different materials like leather, nylon, nylon tassel and even stainless steel, though we don’t recommend that for your ankle as it can be quite painful.
The bands are quite affordable and you won’t really add much to the tab of the original fitness tracker if you’re feeling a bit peckish.
The Misfit Ray doesn’t have a screen but it has all the main things that you would need to track all your fitness stats.
It has a lot of the bells and whistles that the above two don’t, including smartphone alerts (which can be a boon or a bane depending on who you are).
It’s also waterproof but has only one size so depending on how thick your ankles are, you will feel slightly uncomfortable while putting this on.
The battery life on this thing is probably the best of the bunch since it lasts for over four months.
This is the advantage of not having a screen.
If you want something that’s off the beaten path and something which will give you a little more style than the average wearable, then you should go for this gadget, but the Misfit Ray isn’t for everybody, especially in this generation of screen hungry zombies.
While the Garmin Vivo Smart 4 doesn’t have as great of a battery life as the Misfit Ray, it definitely has some bells and whistles that you’ll appreciate.
There are two different sizes that you can play with; which are small and medium. These can help you decide which fits best on your ankle.
The best part about the Garmin Vivo Smart 4 is the technology inside.
Apparently, it can measure the blood oxygen saturation which is something that I haven’t seen in other fitness trackers.
It even does this while you’re asleep so it can catch irregularities in your breathing which can be signs of a disorder.
On top of this, it has music controls and can last up to seven days on your ankle.
It definitely deserves a chance to stay on your ankle for at least a week.
If you want affordability, a cute fitness tracker on your ankle, and all the bells and whistles required for it, then the Mi Band 3 is worth considering.
It comes with an OLED display and gives you great water resistance up to fifty meters.
However, the best features of the Mi Band 3 include the fact that it has great battery life.
That’s something that is important in a fitness tracker.
But since this list is pitting different models against one another, we have to go into the cons and there are quite a few with this model.
The first is the screen visibility, which isn’t great at all considering that it has an OLED panel.
It has a number of features that work well with your phone such as message reading, and alerts, weather forecasts sleep monitor and heart rate reports.
For the size and price, it really packs a punch, however like a number of fitness trackers, it is not specifically made for your ankle so you may potentially have to endure a little discomfort.
Which ankle fitness tracker option you choose will depend on your circumstances.
If you are wanting to have an ankle tracker specifically made for your ankle then the Moov Now is your best bet.
Other highly popular trackers such as Fitbit Alta, can be used on the ankle with some help from accessories (or even just worn on your ankle) but are not specifically designed that way.
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