2015 Gift Card Gift Guide: Affordable Fitness Wearables

It’s obvious during the recently passed Christmas season that the big wearables for this year were the Apple Watch and the Samsung Gear – with the occasional entries from Pebble and Motorola muscling their way into the fringes of the fight. All of the above fall in the smartwatch category — with each also filling in as a fitness wearable.

On the pure fitness side of the wearable tech range, you’ve got players like Fitbit and Jawbone cashing in big. However, I recently got the opportunity to test three newer wearables from prominent competitors looking to focus more specifically on hitting either an appealing price point or monitoring one particular activity to carve out that marketshare.

Also: 2015 Last Minute Holiday Golf Gift Guide

During the holiday gift season, I had a chance to try out some of these fitness-centric offerings. Now, if you have some of that gift card purchasing power in your arsenal, you can consider which is right for you.

Timex Ironman Run X50+ Fitness Smartwatch: Made by a legendary watch company that took a licking and kept on ticking for decades, the Ironman is intended mainly for runners. But, it’s feature packed for a price tag of about $200.

It streams workout information from a smartphone fitness app, monitors sleep levels and offers a stopwatch, interval timer and alarm. The Ironman throws in the smartwatch friendly ability to see text alerts, incoming calls, emails, Facebook notifications and other alerts.

Misfit Shine: The smallest wearable here, the $70 Shine can be worn around the wrist, on a chain as a locket, against the waist, etc. It tracks distance traveled, calories burned and steps taken while walking, running, swimming (…Yes, it’s waterproofed…), cycling and however else the body moves. Unless the smartwatches on this list, the Shine is powered by a replaceable battery, lasting up to 6 months.

Epson Runsense SF-810 GPS Watch: The most expense wearable here at around $300, the Runsense SF-810 GPS watch and heart rate monitor is endorsed by marathon champion Meb Keflezighi (…Don’t ask me to pronounce that. That name looks like a bad Scrabble hand. I guess I don’t run enough…). With a GPS tracking system and heart rate measured at the wrist’s pulse point, it tracks distance, pace, altitude and calories. It also works with running apps like MapMyRun, Strava and Runkeeper.

Garmin vívofit 2 Activity Tracker: Getting away from the Smartwatch category, the vivofit 2 is a part activity monitor and part boot up the arse. It offers a  battery life guaranteed to last for more than a year. It’ll remind you to get up and move with audible alert. It should help you hit a movement goal for the day while proposing a personalized daily mark to hit.


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