A survey of runners at the online community Athlete IQ found that peer and expert recommendations were the most important factors in deciding which wearable tech to get — and that functionality far outtrumped price.
The site asked 732 marathoners, triathletes, and steeplechasers about what tech they used and why. About 84 percent said functionality was the most important reason to pick a device, while price and accuracy were named by around 65 percent. Comfort, appearance and brand were not important at all. Similarly functionality (77 percent) and accuracy (60 percent) were cited as reasons for switching.
What functions are important? Distance (90 percent), pace and GPS (80 percent), and heart rate (65 percent). And if you’re appealing to this hard-core audience, aim for the wrist: 96 percent of them said they were comfortable with wrist-worn devices. About 60 percent said they were OK with it on their gear or clothes, 55 percent on ears or armband. Visors? Dead last, at 21 percent.
There’s a brand preference, too. Garmin was far ahead of the pack at 89 percent. Polar, TomTom, and Suunto were at about 60 percent; Apple and Fitbit at 55 percent followed by Timex and Nike at 50 percent. Everyone else trailed; Intel-owned Basis was lowest, at 9 percent.