A running foot pod can supply runners with near 100 percent accurate running data for tracking metrics related to their stride, cadence, distance, speed, and more. Running foot pods can give runners accurate data on a treadmill and a complete picture of their training. I review the ten best running foot pods at a variety of price points with a variety of features.
A running foot pod is a small device that you put on your shoe by sliding it onto your shoe laces to help you track your running metrics. A foot pod can give you near accurate metrics like your speed, stride length, cadence, vertical oscillation (how far you move up and down), ground contact time, calories burned, distance, duration, and running power. They can also measure your left to right ratio balance, hip placement, leg spring stiffness, running efficiency, and foot strikes.
This small, lightweight bit of technology is about the size of a quarter and you simply connect the bluetooth to your GPS watch, and then attach it to your shoe. (No, you do not need to have a foot pod that is the same brand as your running watch).
It’s accelerometer overrides the data on your watch so it gives you more accurate metrics when you are done with your run–particularly your treadmill run. You can use footpods outside but the jury is out on if they are much more accurate outdoors (though they may add data your watch does not include giving you a more complete picture of your training).
A few notes on the below foot pods:
- Some of these foot pods are rechargeable but most need a new battery after a year (they use button batteries or watch batteries).
- Some require their own app to share data.
- Others attach to your chest or waist, and may have heart rate data, as well.
- Some footpods are bigger than others.
- How I Found the 10 Best Running Foot Pods
- 10 Best (& Most Accurate) Foot Pods for Runners
- Polar S1 Foot Pod – $74
- Garmin Running Dynamics Pod – $69.99
- Coros Performance Optimization Device – $69.99
- Stryd Running Pod – $249
- Wahoo RPM Cycling Speed and Cadence Sensor – $69.99
- SHFT Pro-World’s Most Intelligent Running Coach – $199
- Timex Foot Pod Sensor – $69.99
- Zwift Run Pod – $39.99 (On Sale for $19.99!)
How I Found the 10 Best Running Foot Pods
I worked with a researcher to find the 10 best and most accurate running footpods.
To develop the list, I asked my thousands of Instagram followers for the footpods they use and love. Then my researcher and I compared that information with reviews and recommendations on line. We culled the ones that had bad reviews, or little reviews, and kept the high-rated foot pods–aiming to have a variety of prices and features.
Below is the list of the best running foot pods, includings pros and cons.
Related: Smart Treadmill Tips for Busy Moms
10 Best (& Most Accurate) Foot Pods for Runners
Polar S1 Foot Pod – $74
The Polar S1 Foot Pod is a moderately priced, high-quality, foot pod that can give you accurate data about your run in real time. This foot pod is water resistant so you can still use it even if you are running outdoors in the rain or mud without having to worry about damage.
The LED display is easy to read and will display your current pace, distance, calories burned, strides per minute, elapsed time, and the average pace. The device is wireless and Bluetooth compatible, and it is to clip onto your running shoes.
This foot pod is shock resistant so the measurements will remain accurate even on bumpy trails. When it comes to accuracy the Polar S1 foot pod has a 97% accuracy rate straight out of the box, and you can achieve 99% accuracy if you calibrate it. Calibrating it is easy, just allow the device to adapt to your stride for a little bit while wearing it.
This foot pod uses a single AAA battery, which is nice because they are commonly found, but the battery life is short, at only 20 hours. The app for this foot pod can be used to track workouts in real-time and set goals for yourself, and you can even share your workouts and progress with your friends and family.
- Can be used for indoor and outdoor workouts.
- Very accurate, and can be calibrated for even greater accuracy.
- Uses a common battery.
- Battery life is short, only 20 hours.
- Not compatible with all Polar devices.
- Looks larger than some other foot pods.
Garmin Running Dynamics Pod – $69.99
The Garmin Running Dynamics Pod weighs less than half an ounce, so you won’t even notice it’s there, and it’s bright green so you don’t have to worry about losing it. The Garmin foot pod measures a variety of running metrics and will send them to all of your compatible devices.
This pod can be attached to your shoe or your waist and you will still get accurate run data points about your workout. The running metrics provided by the Garmin footpod include ground contact time, stride size, cadence, vertical ratio, equilibrium, and vertical oscillation.
You can use the Garmin Connect app to send these metrics to your compatible mobile devices. This data can then be used to identify your strengths and weaknesses, so you know what to work on to improve your running performance.
The foot pod turns on and off automatically, and the battery is replaceable. The battery is expected to last roughly a year with daily use of one hour. The foot pod is also waterproof so you don’t have to worry about running in the elements or heavy sweating.
- Long lasting battery life.
- Turns on and off automatically.
- Easy to clip on.
- Must be paired with a Garmin Smartwatch.
- Does not show speed or pace metrics.
- Software must be downloaded and installed.
The Coros Performance Optimization pod is not actually for your feet, but it does provide you with lots of helpful information about your running workouts. Instead of going on your shoe, the Coros pod attaches inside the back waistband of your pants in the small of your back.
The pod weighs in at 0.67 ounces so it’s unlikely that you will even know that it’s there. This pod is good for amateur runners who are trying to improve their running form, and for advanced runners who want to track their running metrics both for single runs and over time.
The running metrics you can see from the Coros pod include stride height, Left/right balance, form power, ground time, cadence, and stride ratio. You can see all of these metrics in the app and see where you have improved and what you still need to work on.
The Coros Performance Pod is activated by shaking it before you put it on, and once you stop moving it will turn itself off automatically. The battery will last for up to one year with a use time of two hours per day. Replacing the battery is easy and takes a CR2032 battery. The Coros watch will pair with this foot pod, however it will not pair with any different devices.
- Highly accurate statistics.
- Easy to Use
- Long battery life.
- Positioning on the back can be a little awkward.
- Only pairs with Coro’s devices.
- The elevation profile is not always accurate.
Stryd Running Pod – $249
The Stryd footpod is said to be one of the best foot pods on the market currently, but the price point may put it out of reach for some runners. Like most of the running pods, the Stryd pod attaches effortlessly to your running shoe.
The Stryd device is practically weightless at 0.3 ounces so it definitely won’t have a negative impact on your runs. The goal of this running pod is to change the way you train by giving you instant access to data about your run. In addition to the running metrics this pod provides it also offers access to training programs and workouts to strengthen your run.
The metrics you will receive from the Stryd pod include cadence, ground contact time, leg stiffness, vertical oscillation, and form power. You also get metrics on your pace and distance, running power, and elevations. The pod is highly accurate and does not use GPS, instead it relies on accelerometers.
In addition to the metrics provided, you will also have access to the Stryd app where you can find running workouts, design your own workouts, and get post run advice about how you are getting closer to your running goals. The Stryd pod has a rechargeable battery with a 20 hour lifespan from a single charge, and it is compatible with most fitness watches and phones.
- Compatible with most watches and phones.
- Tracks running power.
- Use, pair, and go, no calibration required.
- Expensive, but possibly worth the extra cost because of the info you receive.
- Extreme ground conditions will lead to inaccurate readings.
- Need a membership to access some features.
The Polar Bluetooth Stride sensor is one of the first Bluetooth running pods to hit the market. Attaching it to your shoes is a little more complicated than other models since you have to unlace your shoe to attach it. This might be annoying if you only have one sensor and multiple shoes that you use for running.
The Polar Bluetooth Stride Sensor is lightweight at just 3.5 ounces. It is, however, larger than some comparable devices. The Stride sensor uses an accelerometer to track your metrics, so if it has been off for a while you will need to shake it to wake it up.
The sensor pairs with your phone after you download the Polar Beat app. It is important to note that this sensor ONLY works with iPhones. The sensor will not work with an Android phone, even if it’s a new one. The Stride sensor will need to be calibrated on a known running course or treadmill so that the device can analyze your stride for accurate future measurements.
The Stride Polar sensor measures a variety of running metrics that you can use to improve your performance. These metrics include calories burned, distance, cadence, pace, heart rate, speed, and training load. The Stride Polar sensor is compatible with all other Polar devices.
- Easy to use.
- First Bluetooth running sensor on the market.
- Not compatible with Android devices, and only works with Apple iPhones.
- Larger than other comparable devices.
- Only supported by one app.
Related: 6 Treadmill Workouts for Runners
The Wahoo Speed and Cadence sensor is an affordable option that is particularly attractive to those who like to run and cycle. The small sensor weighs less than an ounce and can be easily attached to your running shoes or to your bicycle with mounts that are included. The mounts are not magnetic so you don’t have to worry about excess weight.
There are two blinking LED lights so that you can see that the sensor is active and working properly. The metrics you will receive from the sensors are speed, distance, cadence, calories burned, and duration.
The Wahoo sensor works with the Wahoo Fitness app to track your metrics. The sensor is also compatible with a wide range of other fitness apps, watches, and monitors. You can use these tools simultaneously to get a big picture of your workouts, performance, and improvement.
The Wahoo sensor uses a CR2032 battery, and a single battery should last for a year. The sensor is highly accurate straight out of the box, but it can be calibrated in conjunction with GPS or Bluetooth for even higher accuracy.
- Compatible with many phones, apps, and watches
- Perfect for running and cycling
- Long lasting battery life
- Bluetooth can have connectivity issues
- The battery is difficult to change
- Battery saving mode often doesn’t work.
If you want the most accurate running data that you can get about your running form and biometrics outside of a professional running lab, then the SHFT Pro running pod is for you. This running pod is the world’s first virtual running coach.
The SHFT Pro pods have one pod for your feet and another that you wear on your chest. The data is transmitted to you with actionable tips in real time through the app on your phone. The metrics you will receive include pace, distance, speed, and cadence. You will receive biometrics information too including body bounce, step length, body angle, landing and toe-off angle, watts, and brake effect.
To use the app and monitor your run in real time, you will need to download the SHFT Pro app and carry your phone with you on your run. You will need to use the app to manually start, stop, and pause during your run. You can find a description of the metrics in the app.
The SHFT pods are charged by attaching them to a strip with a USB connection on the end. If you use the sensors regularly and follow the advice of your virtual coach you will notice a marked improvement in your running performance and your running form.
- Your own virtual coach in real-time.
- USB rechargeable.
- Easy to use, just download the phone app and go.
- Manual start and stop to monitor your runs through the app.
- Might feel overloaded with information and metrics.
Timex Foot Pod Sensor – $69.99
The Timex foot pod sensor is a small sensor that you can easily clip to one of your running shoes, and receive the metrics in real-time on your Timex Ironman wristwatch, and some other compatible running watches. You can also review the data via an app on your phone, or tablet.
This foot pod is very user friendly and easy to set up straight out of the box, with a 95% accuracy rating. With calibration, the accuracy rating improves to 97%. The running metrics provided by the Timex foot pod include distance, pace, stride rate, and cadence–making it a great pod for those who need it just for those sporadic tread runs.
The foot pod uses ANT+ wireless technology, which can come in handy to continue tracking even in areas where there may be connectivity issues and little to no GPS reception. The foot pod comes with a waterproof case that attaches to your shoe so you don’t have to worry about rain, sweat, or splashing in puddles.
The Timex foot pod uses a long lasting battery with 400 hours of battery life. The sensor begins recording data as soon as you begin moving, so you don’t have to worry about turning it on and off before and after your workout.
- 400 plus hour battery
- Auto shut on and off
- Trusted name
- Doesn’t provide as many metrics as other foot pods.
- May not connect to watch correctly.
- Some come with defective batteries.
Zwift Run Pod – $39.99 (On Sale for $19.99!)
The Zwift run pod is an affordable running sensor that is lightweight at just under half an ounce in weight. The Zwift run pod is designed primarily to turn your treadmill runs into a more interactive workout. The foot pod attaches easily to your shoes with two magnets.
The running metrics provided by the Zwift foot pod include stride length, pace, steps taken, and cadence. The running pod is easy to set up, simply download the Zwift app and pair it to your phone. The Zwift app is compatible with both iOS and Android phones, tablets, and PCs.
This running pod can be used for outdoor runs by using your phone to use the app. The Zwift running pod and app can make indoor workouts more fun by running with others in the Zwift community, participating in virtual races, and improving your running form.
The Zwift pod is powered by a CR2032 battery that is easy to replace by removing the back of the device. You should get approximately 50 hours of run time from a battery. The pod can be used with other devices that also use Zwift’s mobile app.
- Makes indoor runs more fun in a virtual world.
- Available for Android and iOS
- Short battery life.
- Pacing can be inaccurate.
- Must be calibrated for each user.
Coros Pod 2 – $99.99
The Coros Pod 2 is the newest version of the Coros foot pod, and there have been some improvements made to it. The Coros pod 2 can be used on your running shoe, or on your waistband to track your running metrics. Whereas the original version was only used on your waistband.
This running pod weighs in at just over half an ounce, so it’s one of the most lightweight running sensors on the market. When worn on your shoe the pod tracks running pace, distance, cadence, and stride length. When worn on the waistband it also measures ground contact time, stride ratio, stride height, and your left/right balance. The running power measurement is no longer included on the pod, but it is still available on your watch.
The new features of the Coros 2 include more accurate pacing, distance, and elevation measurements. Being Bluetooth enabled means that you can get a more accurate picture even when you are working out, out of GPS range.
The battery on the Coros 2 is rechargeable and will last for 28 hours and will last for up to 50 hours in standby mode. The pod comes with a portable charging dock that will charge the pod for up to 150 hours (5 full charges) so you’ll never have to worry about the battery dying on you.
- Comes with a portable charging dock for 150 hours of run time.
- More accurate measurements.
- Can be used on your waist, or your shoes.
- Only works with Coro’s watches.
- Does not support Bluetooth smart foot pod profile.
- Can’t be paired with Zwift or any other indoor treadmill apps.
As you can see, there are running foot pods available for every budget, and operating system. Choose the foot pod that tracks the running metrics that are most important to you, with the features that you feel are the most important to improve your running performance.
If you want a custom plan to fit your running goals this year, including running a marathon on your period!, check out my run coaching services. Also, be sure to check out my free training plans:
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