Runners today enjoy easier access to sporting innovation and technology than ever before. From running watches, GPS trackers and heart rate monitors, to inventive approaches to laces, scales, and clothing, promises of a tech-rich future have largely borne out.
Old movies and books asserted by 2018 we would have flying cars, auto-fastening shoes, laser guns, and jet packs - and they were right. But what they didn't see coming was how runners would be able to feed their own futurist fandom with a huge choice of top running tech.
We may still need roads, but we may no longer need laces, maps, hardcopy schedules, analogue stop watches, or personal trainers.
Here are some of the latest tech, inventions, and innovations to feed your futuristic fitness fantasies.
High-spec training watches
GPS watches have revolutionised training effectiveness for many runners, providing personalised training assistance and incredibly accurate progress tracking. Packing the power of an old desktop computer into a wrist watch and adding wireless connectivity has given today’s runners a completely new way to maximise the effectiveness of their training.
The latest watch from Garmin comes full of features, including full-colour mapping, multiple sport capability, a wrist-based heart rate monitor, Garmin Pay, and storage for up to 500 songs.
Push your limits with the ultra-rugged GPS watch that comes with over 80 different sports modes, GPS navigation, and a wrist-based heart rate monitor
Take it to the next level with the Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical (HR). With all the features you'd expect from a multisports watch, a heart rate monitor and the ability to plan and track your elevation gain with ease.
The vívosmart HR+ activity tracker uses the Elevate wrist heart rate technology to monitor your heart rate from your wrist while awake and asleep. That gives you the freedom to work out however you want, with no additional heart rate strap needed.
Next-gen heartrate monitors
It was only a short time ago when accurately monitoring your heart rate involved an analogue stopwatch, standing still, counting, and a bit of mental arithmetic. Now, a simple arm strap, or even some advanced headphones can take care of it, and use the information to build incredibly precise assessments of your fitness peaks, troughs and potential.
These wireless, sweat proof headphones deliver energising music and heart rate tracking into your endurance sports training, all in your ears. When used with Under Armour's bespoke training interface, you can view in-workout training analysis and analyse your performance as your training progresses.
The TICKR Fit is a heart rate monitor that provides important data, including calorie burn, to give you insight into your overall fitness levels when working out.
If your scales only measures weight, then we recommend packing it up and bringing it immediately to the Antiques Road Show for a valuation. Modern scales can tell you so much information that it won’t be long before they start predicting your favourite colour and providing relationship advice. They’ve become invaluable tools for the modern runner and offer invaluable information for those training toward a goal.
The Polar Balance Connected Smart Scale works in conjunction with your Polar device to help you reach and maintain your target weight. Track your weight and BMI and follow your own personal activity plan to reach your goals.
Track your weight accurately and consistently on Garmin connect with the Garmin Index Smart Scales. The Index Smart Scale can recognize 16 users to help everyone in your household or sports team stay in shape. It measures weight, body mass index, body fat, muscle mass and more and can interact with your wearables for complete analysis of your fitness.
Compression running wear is an innovation many saw coming. Skin-tight clothing seemed a common feature in every future-gazing Hollywood sci-fi movie, and we assume this was only because of its anticipated fitness benefits and nothing to do with showing off the actors’ toned physiques. Anyway, recent advancements sees compression wear offer measuarble benefits for runners and sports enthusiasts of all disciplines as the technology is continually refined and improved.
SKINS A400 Starlight Women’s Long Tights compliment the existing A400 range with the inclusion of reflective graphics, making it the perfect addition for people whose external workouts are restricted to early mornings or evenings.
The under Armour Sleeveless Tee features HeatGear® fabric, with all the benefits of UA Compression, allowing it to be comfortable enough to be worn all day.
Innovative running shoes
Manufacturers are still mining the make-up of the running shoe for new ways to handle the pressures and stresses running has on the ligaments, joints, and bones. From lace-less models to see-through soles, the running shoe continues to be re-examined and reinvented. If anything, the famous self-lacing sneakers predicted by 1980s blockbusters are starting to look a little dated.
Sporting a full-length Infinity Wave sole - the latest innovation in cushioning and shock absorbency - the Mizuno Wave Prophacy 7 Shoes provide unrivalled support and protection for long distance and high-impact running.
With a lace-less design, the UltraBoost Laceless Shoes take things back to basics with the responsive cushioning to inspire performance.
From no-spill next-gen water bottles to newfangled non-slip lacing systems and injury-reducing insoles, today's running accessories have solved all of the problems runners face on the road or trail. All, that is, except for the awkwardness of not knowing what to say to other oncoming runners. No one knows how to fix that.
A travel power charger capable of charging most USB powered devices such as your phone, GPS or music devices while your out on a long run.
The Ultimate Performance™ Elastic Laces combine an incredibly tough elastic bungee cord with a spring-loaded lock giving firm, secure and comfortable fit to your shoes. Now you will never need to tie another shoelace.
Footwear design moves fast, so why do we keep tying our shoes with strings? Fasten HICKIES® laces once, and turn any shoe into a slip-on that's ready for the road in no time. It's convenient, easy and saves time.
Combining a carbon fibre-reinforced stabiliser cap with a durable, ultralight foam layer, Superfeet Carbon’s distinct biomechanical shape and low-volume design can help improve the fit and feel of tight-fitting athletic footwear.
The Eddy bottle is a 600ml spill-proof bottle for hydration, whether for cool clean water or a carb and electrolyte mix.
Whether racing, training or adventuring into the unknown, the Ultimate Direction Access 600 is the ideal hydration belt to keep you going morning, noon and night.