Gone are the days where the only fitness bands available were oversized and clunky options with even bigger, ill-fitting bands. Seemingly designed strictly for someone with larger arms, these fitness trackers of old were highly likely to slide down your wrist, rendering their tracking ability nearly useless. Thankfully, many fitness wearable brands these days now manufacture products specifically with women in mind, offering smaller sizes and sleeker, more feminine designs.
What’s better is that many of these same trackers are built with female-specific features such as menstrual tracking, ovulation recording, pregnancy monitoring, and other vital women’s health data. Some maintain the classic smartwatch look while others took on a more stylish, fashion-forward aesthetic. Since the market is flush with fitness trackers these days, all offering their own unique feature set, it’s hard to know which is best for you. To help, we’ve sorted through the market to compile this list of the best fitness trackers for women — no matter your lifestyle.
Best for running — Polar M430
Whether you’re a long-time runner or starting out, the Polar M430 is one of the best training tools available for women. It offers a small size option for more petite wrists and features plenty of running-specific features including a metric called Running Index. This tracks your running over time and assigns a customized running score based on your speed, heart rate, and other amassed data. The device also features a stride sensor and a built-in GPS unit so you won’t tote your phone on runs. Its internal GPS even offers different accuracy modes to help conserve battery when precision is less important and crank it up when you want your route mapping to be hyper-accurate.
The device can detect whether you’re running uphill or downhill and its optical heart rate technology means there’s no need to wear any bulky chest straps. Best of all, it has a feature called Running Program which creates a personalized coaching plan. You can select from 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon, and it will then examine your training history and current activity levels to outline a custom training program. The durations start at nine weeks for 5K, 10 for 10K, and 14 for a half-marathon or marathon — it’s even smart enough to tell you if your target is unrealistic.
Best for swimming — Fitbit Versa
Many fitness trackers are waterproof but not all of them track how many laps you swim or count the number of meters you’ve logged during your session. The Fitbit Versa — female-focused smartwatch — is the perfect swimming companion, capable of being fully submerged up to 50 meters and comes standard with a custom Swim Mode that tracks your laps in real-time, along with duration and calories burned.
It’s also chlorine-, salt-, and wind-proof so you can wear it in the pool, ocean, or while sitting by the lake. Fitbit built the Versa to be rugged and durable yet it still looks stylish with a slim, petite design. On top of monitoring general health metrics like sleep, cardio fitness level, all-day activity, steps, heart rate, active minutes, and weight, it also offers female health tracking that allows you to log your period, record pre-menstrual symptoms, and compare your cycle against other health data.
Our full Fitbit Versa review
Best for hiking — Suunto Spartan HR Baro
If you’re someone who spends weekends trekking into the backcountry, be it the high mountains or scenic lowlands, the Suunto Spartan HR Baro is a sensational fitness tracker to bring along. Although it’s a great all-around fitness tracker, it does have a number of features which make it especially great for hiking. First, the device features built-in GPS and global satellites navigation (GLONASS) support to provide ultra-accurate real-time positioning. That means you can use the watch as a navigational tool to guide you down the trail, in addition to mapping out your route ahead of time.
Its altimeter also records barometric pressure measurements via FusedAlti technology to track precise elevation data. Suunto designed the Spartan HR Baro to be fully waterproof so if you’re in wet, rugged terrain, you’re covered. Beyond that, it offers hiker-friendly features such as sunrise and sunset times, along with inclement weather alerts. Finally, it boasts 40 hours of battery life when used in power save mode, making it a superb option for lengthier backpacking trips.
Best for cycling — Garmin Fenix 5X
The Garmin Fenix 5X is the perfect fitness tracker for bike lovers of all types. Constructed with a speed tracker, elevation monitor, built-in compass, and a thermometer to track the temperature, the device also features three pre-loaded, cycling-focused activity modes including Bike, Indoor Biking, and MTB (mountain biking). Each activity has customizable screens with metrics specific to that type of cycling. The internal GPS and GLONASS features work together to deliver topographical maps, as well as street maps — it even generates cycling routes for you and lets you create your own.
Garmin’s Trackback feature can also be used as a handy navigational guide, helping get you back to where your trip started. You can zoom in and out on the maps or layer them on top of each other with a downloadable isobar. The lightweight watch — which has a sapphire screen and wifi connectivity — weighs only 88 grams and showcases an impressive battery that’s capable of lasting for up to two weeks in power-saving mode, making it a great choice for bike-packing and multi-day trips.
Our full Garmin Fenix 5X review
Best personal trainer — Suunto 3 Fitness
Sometimes you want more than a simple fitness tracker — you want a personal workout coach. There are plenty of devices which offer training programs but the Suunto 3 Fitness was designed with customized coaching in mind. The new smartwatch is a bonafide personal trainer, built with an innovative new feature called Adaptive Training Guidance that evaluates your current health before designing a seven-day training plan to match.
The length and intensity of each workout is based on a combination of your current fitness level and prior training metrics, delivering the most ideal program for your specific goals. The holistic device, which offers 24/7 activity tracking that includes sleep, stress, and optimal recovery levels, knows if you’ve missed a workout or gone gung-ho and exceeded your plan. When either of these things happens, it automatically adjusts your workout plan accordingly, and alerts of the new schedule.
Our full Suunto 3 Fitness review
Best around town — Bellabeat Leaf
Silicone fitness trackers are great when you’re at the gym but once you head to the office or hit happy hour, they look a bit out of place. The Bellabeat Leaf is a fabulous choice for women who want to track their activity throughout the day but don’t want to wear an ugly plastic band. Made of chic stainless steel and sophisticated natural wood, the clip-on device comes in silver or rose gold and can be worn as a bracelet, brooch, or necklace. It’s also splash-proof and durable despite the delicate design, meaning you won’t have to worry about it being too fragile to handle around-the-clock use.
The leaf-shaped tracker monitors exercise, sleep, steps, distance walked, calories, and even breathing data to detect stress levels. Additionally, it tracks reproductive health with menstrual monitoring, fertility and ovulation tracking, birth control pill reminders, and pregnancy tracking. You can log guided meditation sessions and set mindfulness goals within its companion app. As an added bonus, the coin cell battery lasts six months.
Our full Bellabeat Leaf review
- The best hurricane trackers for Android and iOS in 2022
- REI Sale: Steep discounts on Garmin Fenix 5S and Vivofit fitness trackers
- Polar’s Ignite fitness watch puts a fire into workouts, sparks your recovery
- The best smart helmets for 2019
- The Garmin Forerunner 35 gets a $50 price slash on Amazon