Shape Best In Fitness Awards 2023: Best Wearable Tech

From data-driven watches to solar-powered headphones, these high-tech gadgets are the future of fitness.

Meta / Garmin / Adidas.

What's the future of fitness look like? If this list of Best Wearable Tech products is any indication, it's easy to predict it includes lots of personalized biodata, fitness trackers that offer holistic views of your health, and sunglasses straight out of a sci-fi movie. Read on to discover what Shape editors and experts named the Best Wearable Tech of 2023.

Best Heart Rate Monitor: Polar H10

For a more individualized, accurate way to track your workout intensity, the Polar H10 is both easy to set up and simple to use. It connects to any fitness device with Bluetooth or ANT+ (wireless tech that allows your devices to talk to each other) compatibility, and it can also show your data on the Polar app. Plus, Polar has a trusted reputation in the fitness industry for its incredible accuracy and reliable results.

Polar H10 $90.00

Expert Review: "I'm not especially tech-savvy, but I was pleasantly surprised when the Polar H10 connected immediately to my Peloton Bike. I was curious if the chest strap would cause chafing, but it was actually super comfy — I forgot I was wearing it most of the time." Kristen Geil, NASM-certified personal trainer and Shape senior fitness editor

Best Affordable Fitness Tracker: Amazon Halo View

An upgraded version of the Amazon Halo Band, this fitness tracker comes with a screen so you can easily track your heart rate, activity points, sleep score, and blood oxygen levels. It connects to an app on your phone to provide more metrics, and you can choose from multiple sleek-looking bands to fit your style.

Halo View
Amazon Halo View $50.00

Expert Review: "I'm not usually a fan of wearable technology, but this minimalist fitness tracker gives me just the right amount of information without interfering with my wardrobe. I enjoy checking in on my stats through the user-friendly app on my phone." Christie Calucchia, Shape news editor

Best Fitness Tracker Watch: Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE is the most affordable of the Apple Watch line-up, but we find that its features are more than enough for the average user. It's water-resistant, able to detect dozens of workouts, and shows your workout data in clear, user-friendly graphics.

Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch SE $249.00

Expert Review: "I've used my Apple Watch to track my workouts religiously for the past several years, and I love how easy it is to start, pause, and end workouts with a simple tap. Plus, the extra info on my heart and sleep health gives me a more holistic picture of my health beyond just fitness." — Geil

Best High-Tech Tracker: Garmin fēnix 7S – Solar Edition

Our expert has loved Garmin's fēnix 5 Plus for years, and this new upgrade packs the same must-have features — and then some. Despite its classic watch design, the touchscreen fitness tracker is equipped with high-tech features, including heart rate monitoring, built-in navigation sensors, a battery that can last up to 14 days with the help of solar charging, music streaming, and tracking for your VO2 max, lactate threshold, recovery time, sleep stages, and more. A unique mapping feature shows you ski runs and golf courses around the world. Plus, the device has a safety feature that allows you to send your location to your emergency contacts with the press of a button.

fēnix® 7S
Garmin fēnix 7S – Solar Edition $800.00

Expert Review: “Beyond counting daily steps, the fēnix watch keeps me in the know of so many health stats, from heart rate to sleep quantity and quality — it even measures my daily stress levels. As an avid hiker, I also hugely appreciate the GPS capabilities so I can be sure I stay on the trail when I’m out of cell range.” — Maggie Peikon, Shape assistant social media editor

Best Running Watch: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Garmin has built a solid reputation as a running watch brand because of its superior metrics and tracking abilities. Beyond just mileage, heart rate, and pace, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music can also track cadence, show real-time maps, and record fastest miles and races, as well as schedule workouts and store and stream music.

Running Smart Watch
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music $350.00

Expert Review: "I've been a Garmin watch owner for more than 10 years, and my favorite features are scheduling workouts and customizing data screens — I've been focusing on running cadence this year and having that number on the watch face and reviewing it over time has made a big difference to my training. I would recommend the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music for anyone who wants the data insights and music at a slightly lower investment than other models." Shannon Bauer, Shape and InStyle senior commerce editor

Best Headphones: Adidas RPT Sol

These high-tech headphones use the power of the sun (and artificial light) to play your favorite tunes while you work out — for up to 80 hours. Sweat-proof and splash-proof, the headphones are made from 87 percent recycled plastic and feature removable, washable parts so you can keep them ear gunk-free.

Adidas RPT Sol $230.00

Expert Review: “These babies make the perfect outdoor headphones — no cords required. (They don't even come with one!) The sound quality is incredible. My boyfriend loves them for running, and I love them for lifting. And we both especially love them because they can be easily washed in between sweat sessions.” — Marietta Alessi, Shape social media director

Best Running Headphones: Shokz OpenRun

A pair of running headphones need to do so much more than just play motivational music. First, they need to be comfortable for long runs, and the fit needs to stay put and not slip and slide once sweat starts to drip. The Shokz OpenRun does all that, plus the open ear bone conduction technology means that the bud sits outside your ear (by your cheekbone) so you can also hear traffic or conversations around you. This safety measure ensures you're aware of your surroundings on early morning or late evening runs. The sound quality is excellent and heavy bass turns a run into a concert experience. 

Open Run
Shokz OpenRun $130.00

Expert Review: "I could write a full love letter to these headphones, oh wait, I already did. The open-ear design and long battery life made these my best running friend. My original pair played its swan song this fall and I express shipped a new pair faster than you can say running PR." — Bauer

Best Swimming Headphones: Zygo Solo

For too long, swimmers have been left with their own thoughts while in the water. Not anymore: The Zygo Solo headphones allow you to stream directly from your phone to these (waterproof, obviously) headphones. The accompanying Zygo App comes with downloadable guided audio workouts to make the most of your time in the pool.

Zygo Solo $299.00

Expert Review: "I grew up swimming, and I can't tell you how many times I wished something like Zygo Solo existed. Most other waterproof headphones on the market require you to upload content from a computer to headphones, which gets tedious and time-consuming. I love the seamless streaming of Zygo's headphones, and the guided audio workouts are an awesome bonus." — Geil

Best Sleep Tracker: Fitbit Luxe

In addition to the standard fitness tracker features, this wristwatch automatically logs how much you sleep each night, particularly in each stage, and gives you a personalized Sleep Score to denote your sleep quality. You’ll also be able to turn off your blaring alarm clock indefinitely — the watch will gently vibrate to wake you during the optimal sleep stage so you feel refreshed, not groggy.

Fitbit Luxe
Fitbit Luxe $130.00

Expert Review: "I'm a Fitbit Luxe fan because the bracelet-like strap is non-intrusive to my slumber, and I can switch out the band to fit any look. On the technical side, I love how the app gives digestible sleep information that not only details your last night's zzz's but also gives you insight into your sleeping habits on a monthly basis." — Alessi

Best VR Training Experience: Meta Quest 2

These VR goggles will help you escape from reality and get in a solid workout through games that entail laser sword fighting, rock climbing, and even mini golf. The headset tracks the movement of your head and your body, so you don’t need to set up additional sensors around your home for your VR character to move in sync with your IRL self.

Quest 2
Meta Quest 2 $400.00

Expert Review: “From fitness to meditation to guided experiences, this VR headset has spiked my curiosity and taken me to places I never thought I would go. It brought the fun back into my life during the thick of the pandemic quarantine and allowed me to try new sports both real (climbing around the world) and imagined (I played baseball using a foam finger as a bat!).” — Alessi

Best Fitness Tracker Ring: Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon

Loved by athletes and casual gym goers alike, Oura’s fitness tracker provides users with insight into their activity and sleep, period prediction, and guided meditation sessions. 

Oura Ring Gen3
Oura Ring Gen 3 Horizon $349.00

Expert Review: “The Oura Ring is small but mighty; a lot of people are surprised when I tell them it’s a health and fitness tracker. I love that you can use the app to get granular with heart rate variability balance, sleep efficiency, etc., or you can quickly glance at a readiness score based on your metrics to gauge whether your body is ready for another workout or you need more time to recover.“ Renee Cherry, Shape associate editor

Best Screen-Free Fitness Tracker: WHOOP 4.0

For those looking for less screen time in 2023, the WHOOP lets you access your fitness data on your own terms. The screen-free device features biometric tracking (skin temp, blood oxygen, and heart rate, for example) in addition to the usual workout tracking. Its coolest feature: You can now slide the tracker into WHOOP's technical garments (such as a sports bra) to ditch the strap but not your data.

WHOOP 4.0 $300.00

Expert Review: "I have a tendency to get a little obsessed with my movement data, so the WHOOP has been invaluable in helping me prioritize movement I love over metrics — and yet, the data is incredibly thorough and helpful when I want to check it out on the app. I also love how WHOOP prioritizes recovery, which gives me the nudge I need to take a rest day." — Geil

Best High-Tech Sunglasses: RayBan Stories Wayfarer Smart Glasses

Not only do these sunglasses protect your eyes from powerful and damaging rays, but they also take photos and videos — up to 500 pics and 30 clips on a single charge — with the touch of a button on one of the arms. The sunnies are equipped with open-ear speakers and three microphones, so you can easily take calls and listen to music while walking your pup around the block.

Stories Wayfarer Smart Glasses
RayBan Stories Wayfarer Smart Glasses $299.00

Expert Review: “This is without a doubt my favorite fitness-adjacent product I've come across the last year. These stylish glasses play music and power my runs while capturing video. I've taken them on countless hikes, and the footage I get is just breathtaking. I also love using them for my hot girl walks because I can safely be aware of what's going on around me, so I can hear cars or if people are trying to talk to me.” — Alessi

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