Not every treadmill is equipped with the capability of generating advanced metrics. Sometimes even if it has, you still require highly accurate measurements than what a treadmill can provide.
Also, few treadmills do not allow direct sync connectivity for analyzing data where you need to copy it manually and update it each time. So, running foot pods address all these issues by providing direct sync and precise data.
Furthermore, as each part of a second and each step counts in a race, having great accuracy lets you prepare well for your performance. Not to forget the fun it adds by allowing you to sync your data with Zwift and enjoy racing with trainers all over the world.
This running and cycling metrics calculation gadget is designed to provide feedback on several aspects of your movements. Hence you can break down each data to assess your performance specifically for improvement.
However, not all the foot pods are equipped with every facility mentioned above. Here comes the difficult part of checking for the right running foot pod.
Well, you need not take the pain of going through all the foot pods for treadmill running available in the market as I already researched and provided the top 8 foot pods for treadmill here. They come in all budgets with different technologies, compatibilities, and measurements.
Despite the differences, all of them have one thing in common, i.e., whatever output they provide is accurately equal to the value of your action. Though these foot pods are specifically suggested for treadmills, they perform well enough even when working outdoors.
Be it at the gym, home, or track, and you will be equipped with advanced sensor technology that can track the fitness data of your moves, such as running and cycling. It would be apt to purchase the treadmill running foot pods after checking your requirements and available equipment to use with them.
They provide an accuracy level of up to 98% and connect to your smartwatch, mobiles, tablets, or such smart devices for providing you with a complete picture of your data. When you pair the foot pods with such devices, you find that the data syncs automatically.
What Are Foot Pods?
A foot pod is a small tool that tracks running or cycling metrics from basic to highly sophisticated moves in various angles and diverse relativity perception. Metrics are captured using advanced sensor technologies, and the data is transferred wirelessly to a smart device for analysis.
It is attachable to the shoe, and most of them are mounted on the lace where a few models go into the shoe, behind it, or under it. They are capable of recording your running speed, tempo, pace, and so on accurately and send them to the smart device they are paired with.
All this precise data makes it possible to improve your training by focusing on your weaknesses. Also, your data is logged from time to time for comparing your progress.
Outdoor and indoor usability adds versatility to them. They are compatible with several fun apps like Zwift makes your rather boring exercise routine to be a desirable action.
If you want to use a traditional home treadmill with Zwift, you need foot pods to collect and sync your data to the App.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Foot Pod?
The foot pods are easily controlled using smart devices and are light enough for using them daily to track your cardio sessions or treadmill runs. Nowadays, many trainees opt for a foot pod to take advantage of its simple yet effective output.
They have several benefits as below:
- It offers precise results of your workout, such as cadence, intervals, speed, and distance.
- If you plan to use it outdoors, you can calibrate it accurately for distance using GPS.
- You can place it comfortably over the shoe as it is small and light enough to cause no particular difference that might strain your feet.
- A sensitive sensor makes sure to provide you with exact cadence details when you work out on your smart treadmill, which can be displayed on a connected smart device.
Top 8 Best Foot Pods for Treadmill
1. Garmin Running Dynamics Pod
You can use the Garmin Running dynamics foot pod to attach to your waist or onto your running gear, giving you the advantage of keeping your leg free from extra weight (it weighs only 0.5 ounces only).
Using this Garmin foot pod, you can measure stride size, ground contact time, cadence, vertical oscillation, vertical ratio, and equilibrium, giving you 6 dynamics of running. As all of these metrics are sent to compatible devices, you can use them to gauge your fitness in several aspects.
The accelerometer uses torso movement for calculating these metrics while you run. Unique indicators such as vertical oscillation and vertical ratio help estimate your body movement, which can be optimized based on the values.
You can connect to various smart devices to sync the data for analysis, which helps recognize your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to focus on your shortcomings. This level of assessment proves to be advantageous to professional or aspiring athletes.
The battery is replaceable, and it is expected to last for a year up to 1 hour of daily usage. It saves the battery and keeps itself ready when you are by using the automatic on and off facility.
- It is water-resistant and hence can withstand heavy sweating without any issues
- The easy to use clip on the model makes attaching quick
- As it is light-weight, you do not feel that it exists
- It comes with an automatic on-off facility
- Compatible with the free Polar Beat app
- Requires an adapter to form a bridge for Zwift compatibility
- You need to download and install the software as it does not come by default
- It does not show speed and pace information
2. Polar Bluetooth Stride Sensor
Improve your running technique using the Polar Bluetooth Stride Sensor foot pod as it facilitates you to know the distance and pace precisely. This data aids you in enhancing your technique and also in modifying your performance.
It comes with Bluetooth smart technology, which allows you to connect to BT smart-ready devices like Polar beat or other mobile apps. This Bluetooth foot pod is shock-resistant and water-resistant, allowing rough and tough use without worrying about knocking it off.
It supports both treadmills and tracks usage equally well. The Polar website offers support to analyze stride length and running cadence by adding the data online. Though it is not as small as many other running foot pods discussed here, it is small enough to merge well with your shoe.
You just need to attach it to your laces and silently records your every move. It is highly compatible with pol176 – polar v800 HRM watch. This reliable device is equipped with intelligent functions to collect your fitness data.
It does not feel heavy on your foot and allows easy mobility. The replaceable battery allows you to supply it with new batteries and reuse them repeatedly.
- Connects wirelessly using BT technology which offers seamless connection
- Compatible with Polar Beat app as well as Zwift
- The sensor is of high quality with good standards to withstand harsh conditions
- Using this Bluetooth foot pod, saving and analyzing the data is easy
- Works well in both indoor and outdoor conditions
- Battery life of only 25 days
- Large when compared to other foot pods for running
- It does not come with Polar monitor compatibility
3. POLAR S1 Foot Pod
The DSP and the inertial technology are incorporated into the Polar S1 foot pod for providing you with accurate pace, distance, and speed metrics. It displays this data on a compatible Polar device such as FT60, FT80 G1, FT80, RS200, RS300Ssd, rs300x G1, rs300x, RS400, and RS400sd.
This foot pod stays steady and comfortable throughout your run, enduring the jolts caused during your workout while lying on the footwear. As it comes with a water resistance of up to 2 meters, it does not have an impact of sweat or water dropped on it accidentally.
Though the battery life is low, you can replace it easily, and AAA batteries are relatively easy to obtain as you need not worry if the battery is compatible or not. Since the batteries required are standard and not custom-sized or brand-related, it is easier.
It comes with a 97% accuracy by default and can reach a precision of 99% if you calibrate it. You do so by letting it adapt to your stride for a while.
- Allows calibration and provides accurate data
- Useful on the treadmill as well as outdoors
- Shock-resistance and water-resistance offers high durability
- Advanced sensor technologies equip this foot pod with good sensitivity
- Lightweight if the device makes it go easy on your foot
- You need to switch batteries frequently as it lasts only 20 hours
- It looks larger than its counterparts
- It does not suit all Polar devices
4. Wahoo RPM Cycling Speed and also Cadence Sensor
This lightweight foot pod is reputed for its accurate sensor sensitivity by avid trainers. This amazing cadence sensor affixes to your footwear, arm, or the crank of your bike when you are cycling.
It is capable of delivering equally accurate data regardless of the placement and sends it to compatible mobile apps. The Bluetooth, ANT+ connectivity facilities, and RMP sensor technology are integrated into this device.
These technologies allow you to connect to tablets, smart devices, bike computer systems, and so on by the brands of Garmin, Polar, Wahoo, and many other prominent makes.
The Wahoo Fitness App facilitates the recording of data as well as instantly posting it to the Strava kind of training system or any other such applications.
It supports above 50 applications available on smartphones such as Cyclemeter, Fulgaz, Kinomap, Komoot, MapMyRide, Peloton, RideWithGPS, Rouvy, Sufferfest, Trainerroad, Wahoo Fitness, Zwift, and so on.
No magnets are used in this device for attaching to a bike, and that’s the reason it does not get heavy. Its IPX7 rated water-resistance is a lifesaver when you get caught in the rain.
- ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 enabled wireless communication
- Various app compatibility allows you to choose an app of your choice
- Zwift compatibly is an added advantage
- Tracking your cycling metrics is easier as it attaches to a bike
- Connects to both apple and android devices
- Sometimes it has Bluetooth connectivity issues
5. Nike+ Stand Alone Sensor Kit
This Nike+ Stand Alone Sensor Kit is simple to use. It tracks your speed, distance, time, and much more as you run having it on. Nikeplus.com allows you to update your run data to the biggest global running club.
Here you can get yourself into challenges, check out your progress, get in touch with fellow runners or map your run. As this unit is sold separately, you can easily place it in your existing Nike+ ready shoe or go for a new shoe compatible with his sensor.
Since this sensor is inserted into the sole of your shoe under the sock liner, you need not worry about losing it as it lays there snug and safe. It is also apt for people who do not want their foot pod on display for others on the top of their shoes.
You can also connect it to your iPhone, giving it highly flexible options for collecting data. It also shows you the calories burnt, which is a good option to check your efforts. The wireless transmission facility allows the data to be uploaded in real-time so you can check it instantly.
- Provides real-time access to fitness metrics
- Transmits data wirelessly to smart devices
- Compatible with certain versions of Mac, Windows OS
- Secure placement keeps it safe all the time
- Provides access to global fitness club through Nikeplus.com
- Not compatible with older versions of iPhone 6+ and below
6. Suunto Mini Foot Pod
Suunto Foot POD Mini has a long battery life of nearly 400 hours. This Suunto Zwift-compatible foot pod comes with 10m depth water resistance meaning you can also use it outdoors in the rain or while sweating heavily without any worry.
It measures your speed and distance exactly while you work on your treadmill. The ANT technology is used for transmission to keep the process disturbance-free.
This pod is compatible with various Suunto devices of models Ambit, Ambit2, Ambit 2 R, Ambit 2 S, Quest. You can reuse it by changing the battery as it facilitates battery replacement.
As this Zwift foot pod is also useful to measure your activity even during cycling, you can use it for measuring activity on foot and cycle, be it indoors or outdoors. It weighs only 0.32 ounces and does not put any extra weight on your foot, allowing you to perform as usual.
Zwift compatibility is another helpful feature that keeps your workouts interesting as you zoom through trainers all over the world virtually. You can either challenge them or just treat them as companions as per your preference.
- It supports Zwift connectivity allowing you to enjoy a virtual experience
- It gives you precise cadence and distance readings
- Uses ANT transmission technology which has no interference to cause any disturbance
- A replaceable battery allows you to reuse the device for many years
- Water resistance makes it durable to sweat and other inadvertent splashes
- As it is of small size, you may not notice even if you lose it
- Though it works with Zwift, it is not officially mentioned
7. COROS Performance Optimization Device
COROS Performance Optimization Device is a high-performance foot pod for treadmill running that can provide workout statistics such as grip strength, stride ratio, stride height, L/R balance, form power, cadence, and ground time.
This 19 g pod comes with 1-year battery life when you use this device for 2 hours a day. The stride height measure is an important factor available with the pod, and this device is equipped with the capability of doing so using its position of attachment.
You need to attach it to your torso in the core of your back diagonally. Before attaching it shake it to pair with the Chemical Precipitation app or with your watch.
- Easy to use as it pairs just by shaking the pod
- Great compatibility with Zwift application
- Sophisticated statistics data with high accuracy
- Equilibrium measure allows you to check for partial side and to act on it
- Many useful metrics that can precisely improve your performance
- Positioning it on the back correctly is a little difficult
8. Zwift Run Foot Pod
The Zwift Foot Pod is small and clips easily to your shoes from where it can transmit your running data to the Zwift app. Its excellent compatibility with the Zwift app is what makes it an exciting option for trainers for many reasons.
For some, it is the fun involved, and some need the rush of adrenaline that comes with an opportunity to compete with the best runners from all over the world.
Many individuals also prefer Zwift foot pods for avoiding the harsh weather conditions or unfavorable terrains that are hard on your joints. Yet, they want to replace the boredom of working the Zwift app, which does not let you remember you are indoors.
- Train with friends and other people virtually
- Analyze your performance using the tracked data
- Seamless accessibility to Zwift’s virtual world
- Ability to compete with fellow runners
- It does not work with smart TV
- Requires recalibration of different users
How to Choose the Best Foot Pod for a Treadmill?
The best foot pod provides highly accurate treadmill workout output. It is an essential device for gauging your fitness in several aspects precisely. As every device is not equally made, you should choose it only after carefully considering the below factors to be effective.
Ensure that the safety features such as water resistance and shock resistance are up to the required grade of your activity. This ensures that you need not worry about splashing it, sudden movements, or dropping it during the workout.
Compatibility & Connectivity
Your foot pods are capable of connecting to various smart devices. However, they might sometimes be limited to either Android or iPhone devices. So, make sure that the foot pod you select is compatible with the type of device you plan to connect with.
Also, the Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity options require attention as not all devices have proper receivability. Sometimes your device is not advanced enough or might not support the kind of technology that comes with your foot pod.
Ensuring that you have a proper compatible version of the technology on your electronic device with your foot pod will save you a lot of money and mental peace.
A lightweight foot pod does not affect your workout output adversely. If it is heavy, you might have to put extra effort into your body that can cause unnecessary strain. So, when you select a very light foot pod, you will not feel it on your foot.
Though you are aware of the saying – “you get what you pay for”, it’s not 100% true. Meaning sometimes you may find better devices at a lower price or crappy ones at a higher price.
So, a thorough investigation of value for the price is necessary. This way, you can avoid regretting later as most people check features and buy if its price is near to their budget but do not think much about the value it offers for the said price.
Though you might not easily run out of battery power for foot pods, it is useful to know how long the battery will last. Usually, the high-end foot pods come with a battery life of 1 year for average use of 1 to 2 hours a day, depending on the brand.
Similarly, low to middle-range foot pods work using AAA batteries which last from 17 to 19 hours in total. Now you have the information of the battery life each foot pod can have, and so it is easier to choose based on your requirement.
Which Is the Best Foot Pod for Zwift?
The Polar S1 is recommended as the best foot pod for connecting with the Zwift platform as it connects effortlessly and offers excellent tracking suitable for the action. Joining in a race challenge from anywhere in the world using Zwift is exciting.
As Zwift is a virtual platform that heavily depends on the foot pod for accurate pace information, you need to have the best compatibility. Your foot action recording is important to score well, keeping you properly ahead in the race.
When you have connectivity issues, it is difficult to get a proper score or maintain consistency which ruins the fun. Hence you need to check the technologies used by the foot pod for connectivity so that you will not end up buying an incompatible one.
Zwift is useful to improve your fitness using various plans and workouts. When you wirelessly connect to your Zwift enabled device using the foot pod, you get to track your progress efficiently.
Garmin Foot Pod that comes with ANT+ technology, Polar Bluetooth Stride Sensor, Wahoo RPM Cycling Speed and also Cadence Sensor, Suunto Foot POD Mini, and Zwift Run Pod are a few of the other Zwift compatible foot pods.
Does a Foot Pod Monitor Heart Rate?
Unfortunately, the heart rate monitor facility is not available on foot pods as they only measure pace and distance. However, if you are using a smartwatch connected with this foot pod, it is possible to check your heart rate over that device.
How to Connect Foot Pods on Zwift?
First, you need to log in to your Zwift account, where you have the paired devices screen. Find your device using the search box and select your foot pod to pair it with your Zwift account. Click on ok. Now load the screen and once again click OK to complete the process of pairing.
This little wonderful gadget will stay with your shoe all through the walk or run on the treadmill and provides you with the best possible results for the speed, pace, and distance.
When you compare other tracking devices such as an in-built step counting facility on the treadmill, your smartwatch, or any such devices, a foot pod is far more accurate and affordable. It counts every step with precision as it is clinging to your foot right there, noting everything clearly.
If you need a perfect score of your workout output, then a foot pod is a must-have gadget. It does not miss even a step, and your speed is gauged using advanced technology, leaving no scope for error.
Not to mention the Zwift connect ability which takes your exercising experience to the next level. As you start using it, you will wonder how you got on with your workout without it.
Finally, researching these tiny gadgets for top performance is a herculean task, but we have done it for you by scrutinizing many foot pods and settled on these 8 products as the best among them.
You can simply choose from among them for various budgets or requirements as these foot pods are already the best.