Welcome to our feature post all about the best pedometers for walking!
We have gathered together all the info one could need to explore this subject, answering all the top questions and offering some of our favourite models of pedometer to get you out the door and hitting the pavement (or some easier-on-the-feat alternative, as it were – a nice forest trail, perhaps?).
Use the table of contents below to navigate this post, as we have a lot of ground to cover here!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Pedometers for walking – Do you need one?
- Are step counters accurate?
- How do I reset a pedometer?
- What makes a great pedometer?
- How does a pedometer know you are walking?
- How much is a pedometer?
- Choosing the best cheap pedometer (up to $15)
- Mid-priced pedometers ($15-$35)
- Premium pedometers
- How accurate is an iPhone pedometer?
- Where do you wear a pedometer when walking?
- How does the pedometer app work?
- Which pedometer is the most accurate?
- Can a pedometer measure heart rate?
- The best cheap pedometers – Buyer’s Tips
- Talking Pedometers – Tips and Hints
- How to choose the best pedometers for seniors
- Which wristband is best?
- What are the best pedometers to buy?
- Best Pedometers – We review the Top 4
- Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer
- OZO Fitness SC2 Digital Pedometer
- Realalt 3dTrisport Walking 3D Pedometer
- 3DFitbud Simple Step Counter Walking 3D Pedometer
Alright, that’s what’s on the menu. Onward!
PEDOMETERS FOR WALKING – DO YOU NEED ONE?
It’s February. It’s cold outside. Your motivation is shot and your New Year’s Resolutions are lying in tatters.
What should you do to boost your determination to get out there and exercise, in the face of cold weather, apathy and tempting slabs of chocolate cake?
Well, get a pedometer of course!
A pedometer is just the ticket for getting you motivated and encouraging you to walk more. What’s more, as we find out in our review below, they don’t have to cost a lot either.
Here you will find some of the most commonly asked questions we’ve been hearing, as well as the reviews of some of our favorite models.
Use the table of contents to navigate this post – we cover a lot of ground on this one – pretty much all your daily 10,000 steps, in fact!
So, ladies and gents, now is the time to get your ass off the sofa and into gear!
We’re sure you can do better than some of these cats! Lazy things 🙂
ARE STEP COUNTERS ACCURATE?
A lot of things can determine the accuracy of your step counter or pedometer.
If it is spring lever operated, then make sure it fits snugly to your waist. Being at an angle may interfere with the pendulum of its arm.
And if… this is slightly delicate… you have a larger than average midriff, then it could be hard to get it to stay in position properly.
Additionally, if you are more of a tortoise than a hare, then this could also affect the accuracy of your step counter.
Basically, move slower than 2.5 miles an hour and it could be impacted.
These are things to bear in mind when determining whether your pedometer works properly.
Meanwhile, you can check the accuracy of your own pedometer by carrying out this easy experiment.
• Put the pedometer around your waist, flush with your knee.
• Now set it to zero.
• Walk twenty paces at your normal speed.
• Check and see how many steps it’s counted – an accurate pedometer ought to register somewhere between 18 and 22 steps.
If it counts twenty, then you know it’s spot on!
HOW DO I RESET A PEDOMETER?
…And if it doesn’t pick up the correct number of steps you have taken straight away?
Don’t panic. There are ways of resetting a pedometer.
However, there is no one simple answer to the question “how do I reset a pedometer” as instructions will vary, depending on which make and model you have purchased.
The only real way to be sure is check with that manufacturer to know.
But for a general tip if your pedometer fails the accuracy test, we just mentioned, the try checking the position it’s at.
Sometimes, if it’s wonky it can affect its’ accuracy.
All the same, if a few tweaks haven’t resulted in an improvement, then consider getting a new one (suggestions below!)
WHAT MAKES A GREAT PEDOMETER?
Besides accuracy, there are other things to look for in a pedometer. One area that is often overlooked by customers searching for a device is the battery.
Like anything else, your pedometer requires batteries and for a trouble-free experience, you naturally want the one which is going to last the longest.
Doing your homework here can really pay off. Entry level models have a battery that needs replacing after a few months. But more complex fitness trackers are often rechargeable.
Once again, here the quality varies, but usually these need a charge each week.
HOW DOES A PEDOMETER KNOW YOU ARE WALKING?
So how does your step counter or pedometer know you are walking? Is it psychic? Well, not really.
A pedometer relies on sensors to detect movement. This comes in the guise of a spring-loaded arm or sometimes, an accelerometer.
The pedometer with a spring suspension arm moves in time with your hips as they walk. This movement activates an electrical circuit, which records your step.
How do you know your pedometer is spring-loaded? Give it a shake. If it makes a clicking noise, then you have found the spring activated arm.
Although an accelerometer sounds like something that Marty McFly might have had in Back To The Future, the reality is a little more mundane.
This is a piezoelectric strain gauge, which measures the difference in the acceleration you make when you walk or run. They are used in gaming consoles which track movement.
Additionally, some pedometers come with a GPS device, to collect information on how much ground you have covered and the speed you were traveling at.
HOW MUCH IS A PEDOMETER?
The good news is that a pedometer shouldn’t set you back that much. Generally, they range from a few dollars up to about $35.
Like all things, you can spend more and like all things, you only get what you pay for; up until a point.
Although the models costing silly money may seem impressive, for simple accuracy, you really don’t have to spend that much.
CHOOSING THE BEST CHEAP PEDOMETERS (UP TO $15)
For the best cheap pedometers, you are probably looking at something that retails on the slightly higher end of this price bracket.
Sure, a basic model can be found online for a dollar or two. Sometimes promoters might even hand out free pedometers – but it’s worth shopping around to get a reliable one.
It all depends what you want. If you’re not interested in recording every step you take over the month, or knowing the temperature or location, then one of the simpler models will suit you fine.
The most common complaint about cheaper pedometers is their accuracy.
The lower priced pedometers usually utilize spring loaded tech and this eventually wears out.
MID PRICED PEDOMETERS ($15-$35)
The pedometers in this price range can record how far you walked, how long you walked and how many calories you have burned.
For most people, this is enough information – although the models in the next category go even further.
Because these mid-range pedometers usually use a type of accelerometer, they are more accurate than the cheaper model. The battery is usually better too.
This price range represents pretty good value for money, but you can’t expect them to last forever.
Consistent use will eventually result in wear and breakage.
Spend a bit more and you can get more information than you ever needed about your daily walk!
The more expensive pedometers are a walking weather forecaster, with a myriad of information about stuff like the air humidity, as well as utilizing GPS technology to pinpoint your whereabouts more accurately.
To be honest, the only real issue we see with the premium products is their expense and the fact for many of you, you simply don’t need to know how well you slept last night.
A lot of the premium end models have more gimmicks than you can shake a stick at – but do you really need them?
HOW ACCURATE IS IPHONE PEDOMETER?
If you are using your iPhone as a convenient step counter, then you might want to read this.
The accuracy of using an iPhone has come under some scrutiny. It seems, that it is not as good as having a purpose-built pedometer.
In a recent study conducted by the University of British Columbia, researchers discovered the iPhone undercounts the steps of the average daily user by up to a fifth!
So, if you have been dismayed about the amount of walking your iPhone reckons you are doing, the good news is, you could well have done more!
The reasons for this are varied, but one reason is that the slower steps taken are not recorded – the device simply does not pick them up.
And since your everyday life probably doesn’t require you to move about the office at the speed of Usain Bolt, then there’s potential for a lot of missed steps!
Should you use your iPhone as a step counter? Well, it’s certainly better than nothing, but we think you should probably take the results with a pinch of salt.
For true accuracy, we recommend purchasing an actual pedometer – preferably one with an accelerometer.
WHERE DO YOU WEAR A PEDOMETER WHEN WALKING?
There is a debate about where a pedometer should be worn about the person, in order to record steps accurately.
Quite a lot of this depends on the type of pedometer you have.
Put simply, the models on the cheaper end of the market are better worn on the waist for maximum accuracy.
This is because they are utilizing the spring-loaded technology and are relying on the movement of your hips to count steps.
If you put one of these devices elsewhere (like your ankle) it might overcount the steps taken, by mistaking any movement of the foot as a step.
But if you have a pedometer with an accelerometer, then wearing it anywhere about your person should work fine.
For walkers with these devices, they might choose to place the pedometer on their wrist or ankle.
Don’t worry – it only looks slightly as if you have been released from prison on a tag!
On the whole, the waist is probably the best place to put your pedometer if you are in any doubt.
To find out more about where to wear a pedometer, watch this video!
Let’s take a closer look at the app.
HOW DOES THE PEDOMETER APP WORK?
The step counter on your phone utilizes accelerometer technology. It knows which speed, direction and angle you are walking at.
Depending on which make and model of smartphone you have, your pedometer app might be more or less reliable.
WHICH PEDOMETER APP IS MOST ACCURATE?
For recommendations about which apps to download, check out these reviews here; https://www.maketecheasier.com/free-android-pedometer-apps/
But for a few pointers, check out;
FITBIT – FREE APP
The free app works across all smartphone devices and allows you to track your movement accurately.
With a nicely designed and easy to use interface, Fitbit keeps you motivated about your exercise with features such as weekly challenges and more.
PEDOMETER – ISO TECHNOLOGIES FREE APP
This is so simple. Switch it on, put it in your pocket and go for a walk!
For an easy and no nonsense app, which is straightforward to use, we recommend this free software. It’s also light on your phone’s battery and offers all the basics of a pedometer.
ZOMBIES, RUN – BY SIX TO START FREE APP
If just counting steps is getting a bit, well, dull then introduce some excitement with the Zombies Run app!
After all, there’s nothing quite like having your guts ripped out by the impending zombie apocalypse, to add some spice to your daily workout.
Devised by tech company Six To Start for the NHS, this free app adds a touch of fun to achieving your 10,000 steps!
CAN A PEDOMETER MEASURE HEART RATE?
Generally speaking, a simple pedometer is a straightforward step counter. Trackers are the more complicated beast, which count your calories, monitor your heart rate and do just about everything apart from cook your dinner for you!
However, there is a crossover between devices which may be labeled or marketed as ‘pedometers’ which do, in fact, monitor heart rate as well.
THE BEST CHEAP PEDOMETERS – BUYERS’ TIPS
When looking specifically for a cheaper model, it’s a good idea to write a list of things that really matter to you.
This will help you discount all the models offering features or gimmicks which perhaps are not vital for your purposes.
So, for example, you want to have an idea of calories burned, but not so much your heart rate, then this gives you a clue of the criteria to check against reviews.
Likewise, a heads up about cheaper pedometers is to be mindful of the lowered battery life expectancy – are you prepared to change it after a few weeks have elapsed? Or can it be charged up?
To find the most accurate and durable in the price range, you might have to be prepared to make compromises with the design and wear-ability.
BUYING THE BEST TALKING PEDOMETERS – TIPS AND HINTS
Ideally, you will be looking for a talking pedometer that can both count your calories and your steps. And offer a whole lot more.
But exactly what you should get in the best talking pedometers depends mainly on your priorities?
The best talking pedometers for the visually impaired may be completely different to the best choice for someone more concerned with keeping motivated throughout their workout.
There is also again a difference between pedometers for the blind and those for whom merely need a larger digital display.
Also, some people choose a talking pedometer for safety purposes – as some come with panic buttons to emit a loud noise, should you need assistance.
An alarm clock is another useful feature of a talking pedometer, as it can help time limit your workout, if that’s what you want.
HOW TO BUY THE BEST PEDOMETERS FOR SENIORS
Do seniors need to consider different things to other people purchasing pedometers? Well, yes, in a word.
The reasons for this are the differing needs of the older walker.
By and large, seniors walk more slowly than a standard pace. Whilst this in itself is no barrier to exercise, it can be impede the accuracy of a pedometer.
Having gleaned the lowdown from studies conducted on the elderly and pedometer accuracy, this website can advise seniors that the better devices may be the fitness trackers worn as a wristband, or necklace.
Generally speaking, these devices outperformed the pedometers worn around the waist for accuracy, although we must point out that there was a degree of error for all models tested at slow speeds.
The wristband option might mean a more techy approach, which not every senior might want. However, savvy shopping should find some lower tech models.
Other issues to consider include maybe looking at a talking pedometer or one with a large digital display, for those whom reading small print is an issue.
WHICH WRISTBAND IS BEST?
Inexpensive and with a great battery life, Moov Now comes out tops for one of the most impressive all round wristbands on the market.
It’s not over complicated and won’t bore you with unnecessary details – just the basics, at a price that is right.
FITBIT FLEX 2
Not the newest model available, but still a tried and trusted device to count your steps and record your exercise endeavours!
APPLE WATCH NIKE+ SERIES 4
No, it’s not cheap, but for a smart watch that can really do more, we still like the Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4.
This is swimmable, wearable, trackable, tells the time and takes phone calls!
WHAT ARE THE BEST PEDOMETERS TO BUY?
The first thing you need to know, is what you actually want this thing for?
Are you a tech head, looking for a gadget with a million extra features?
Or do you just want something to count your steps.
Where are you going to wear this device? Or might you carry it in your pocket?
Do you need any extra assistance with the display, or require sound?
Once you have worked out your requirements, you are halfway to finding the right pedometer for you!
BEST PEDOMETERS – WE REVIEW THE TOP FOUR
Here are four pedometers for walking you certainly can’t go wrong with! Read our reviews below!
OMRON HJ-112 DIGITAL POCKET PEDOMETER
• MANUFACTURER: OMRON
• MODEL NO: HJ-112 DIGITAL POCKET PEDOMETER
• WEIGHT: 1.1 OUNCES
• SHIPPING WEIGHT: 2.9 OUNCES
• DIMENSIONS: 0.6 X 2.1 X 1.4 INCHES
• STEP RANGE: 0-99,999 STEPS
• WEIGHT RANGE: 70-300 LBS
• STRIDE RANGE: 1 -4 FEET/12 – 36 INCHES
• ALSO: DUAL AXIS TECHNOLOGY/ 7 DAYS DATA STORED/ SIX TRACKING MODES/ AUTOMATIC RESET/CALORIE COUNTER
• ACCURACY: -/+ 5%
• BATTERY: LITHIUM
• PRICE GUIDE: $73+
• OUR RATING: 4.2 OUT OF FIVE STARS
THE OMRON HJ 112 DIGITAL POCKET PEDOMETER REVIEW
With an approval rating of over 80% this is pedometer from Omron is one of our favorites.
Whilst it’s far from being the cheapest model out there, it is the most expensive pedometer of our mini roundup.
So, what do you get for your buck?
With dual axis technology, the Omron is a reliable step counter and much more beyond. Simply clip on your waistband and start walking!
A geeks dream, with six different modes tracking different types of step, calories burned and distance traveled, this is a comparatively accurate piece of technology.
Store up to a week’s worth of information of your activity with ease. Marvel as it resets automatically at midnight!
ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS?
By and large, this is a trouble-free experience. Compared to some pedometers on the market – naming no names – this works a dream.
The only slight issue is with the clip, in a few cases it might let you down and can be hard to attach to your waistband.
In a minority of instances, it has broken, however Omron have been diligent in sending a replacement out to people.
WOULD WE RECOMMEND IT?
Yes. In a word we would recommend this pedometer to anyone looking for a reliable step counter and a lot more besides!
OZO FITNESS SC2 DIGITAL PEDOMETER
• MANUFACTURER: OZO FITNESS
• MODEL NO: SC2 DIGITAL PEDOMETER
• SHIPPING WEIGHT: 1.6 OUNCES
• DIMENSIONS: 1.5 X 0.85 X 1.5 INCHES
• WEIGHT RANGE: 44-441 LBS
• STRIDE RANGE: 12-71 INCHES
• ALSO: 7 DAYS DATA STORED/ ESTIMATED CALORIE BURNED/CLIP ON/ WITH CLOCK/ AUTO RESET/ GOOD BATTERY LIFE/ 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
• BATTERY: LITHIUM
• PRICE GUIDE: $18.99+
• OUR RATING: 4 OUT OF FIVE STARS
OZO FITNESS SC2 DIGITAL PEDOMETER REVIEW
There’s a lot to like about the OZO Fitness SC2 Digital Pedometer. Not least of all, is its price. At under $20 this is around about the amount many people are looking to spend on a pedometer.
So, what do you get for your money?
In short, something simple, reliable and that works as advertised, straight out of the box.
Despite being nice and easy to use – many users have remarked upon its uncomplicated set up – this pedometer is still capable of holding your data for seven days at a time and also estimates the calories you burned and comes with an automatic reset.
ARE THERE ANY ISSUES?
While we don’t think there are any serious issues, beyond the usual small percentage of faulty models, which could happen to any make, we note that one or two users complained this does not count steps taken in the home as well as it might.
It seems for the everyday stuff, this perhaps does not recognize the walking done around the home. This is because it falls short of the amount and pace required to record them.
This, in fact, is a feature of pretty much all pedometers and not one that is just limited to this make. So, in all, we don’t think that is much of a reason not to choose this pedometer – unless you really don’t get out much for walks.
One thing we have got to say is that the customer service provided by OZO is second to none and many of you were highly impressed by their attentive attitude.
SHOULD I PURCHASE THIS PEDOMETER?
Yes. We think for under $20 you can’t go wrong, really!
REALALT 3D TRISPORT WALKING PEDOMETER
• MANUFACTURER: REALALT
• MODEL NO: 3D TRISPORT WALKING 3D
• WEIGHT: 1.44 OUNCES
• SHIPPING WEIGHT: 3.7 OUNCES
• DIMENSIONS: 1.3X 0.4X 3 INCHES
• COLOR: GREY/BLACK, BLUE, MAGENTA, STEALTH BLACK, WHITE
• ALSO: 30 DAYS DATA STORED/ TRI AXIS TECHNOLOGY/ LARGE DISPLAY/ ESTIMATED CALORIE BURNED/CLIP ON/ WITH CLOCK/ AUTO RESET/ GOOD BATTERY LIFE/ 18 MONTH WARRANTY
• BATTERY: LITHIUM
• PRICE GUIDE: $22.99+
• OUR RATING: 4.3 OUT OF FIVE STARS
REALALT 3D TRISPORT WALKING PEDOMETER REVIEW
Want peace of mind? The Realalt 3D Trisport Walking 3D Pedometer comes with a stonking 18 months guarantee – and some seriously good customer support.
This is welcome news, in a world where manufacturers do not sadly always stand by their products when something goes wrong with them.
Best Walking Shoe Reviews notes that their customer team has been out in force, offering help and advice to online customers who have experienced problems with their device. This is not always the case with manufacturers!
Boasting ease of use and a simple set up, this utilizes tri axis technology for an accurate result.
It also comes with a large display, which may be of interest to anyone struggling to see.
ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS WITH THIS UNIT?
There are always some folk who will experience problems with any model.
However, we here at Best Walking Shoe Reviews have not managed to detect any specific problem associated with the Realtalt Pedometer.
Of course, some devices are faulty or simply break down, but we don’t see a lot of that happening.
And should something go wrong with your pedometer, you get a full 18 months to return it in – check terms and conditions.
SHOULD I BUY THIS PEDOMETER?
At under $25, we think with the customer support and generous warranty, this is well worth a purchase!
3D FITBUD PEDOMETER
• MANUFACTURER: 3DACTIVE
• MODEL NO: 3d FITBUD A420S
• WEIGHT: 0.84 OUNCES
• SHIPPING WEIGHT: 2.4 OUNCES
• DIMENSIONS: 2.3X 1.57 X 0.4 INCHES
• STEP RANGE: 0-99,999 STEPS
• COLOR: BLACK, BLUE, PINK WHITE
• ALSO: 30 DAYS DATA STORED/ LARGE DISPLAYCLIP ON/ MANUAL RESET/ BATTERY LIFE ONE YEAR/ 18 MONTH WARRANTY/ 3D TRI-AXIS SENSOR
• BATTERY: LITHIUM
• PRICE GUIDE: $19.99+
• OUR RATING: 4.3 OUT OF FIVE STARS
3D FITBUD PEDOMETER REVIEW
If you want simple, why not go for the 3D FITBUD. With ‘simple’ in the name, this device should be ease itself to get started.
And for most people, it is. Available in a pleasing selection of simple colors, this is a lightweight device that has a large display.
It is especially beloved of seniors, because of its large display and uncomplicated use.
You shouldn’t spend hours poring over the instructions, because this simple step counter really does do what it says on the tin. And it ‘only’ counts your steps.
So if you are in the market for something that counts steps, not calories, or doubles up as an alarm clock, this is for you.
It won’t map your walk, measure your stride, set you unrealistic goals or predict your horoscope, but it will count steps taken – pure and simple.
ARE THERE ANY ISSUES WITH THIS PEDOMETER?
For 70% of customers, who gave this pedometer a five star rating, there are no issues at all with this device. And even the majority of people who scored it slightly lower were satisfied with its overall performance.
However, for a small minority, it seems that there were problems with it over counting steps.
But we are glad to report that the company’s customer support seems keen to help with any problems there may be and take a proactive attitude to service.
And we can’t say fairer than that!
SHOULD I BUY THIS PEDOMETER?
We think for the under $20 mark, this is as accurate and straightforward as you can hope to buy.
SO, WHAT IS THE BEST DEVICE TO TRACK YOUR STEPS?
Hopefully, if you have got to the end of this review, you should have some ideas of which are the best devices to track your steps with.
There is everything from the simple – pure step counters – to the more advanced models, with additional features and functions.
You can opt to buy a talking pedometer, or a more traditional, silent display model.
You can wear some as a wristband, others around your waist or neck. With some pedometers, you can do all three, or just keep it in your pocket.
Hopefully, as you have discovered, you do not need to spend a lot of money in order to get a quality pedometer. But, if you do, to check the criteria carefully, to be sure of getting what you pay for.
Finally, the main point of getting a pedometer is to get motivated.
And that is one thing that any make or model can deliver.
By keeping an eye on your activity levels, you can boost your fitness and spur yourself on to do more – whatever your goal!