Product Review: Nike+ (Plus) SportBand

3SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/2/2009 7:00 AM   :  71 comments   :  57,750 Views

Once or twice a week, I run. I can go for about 3 miles (4 on a good day) before boredom officially sets in and I'm ready for something else. Don't get me wrong. I love the time I spend running—time outdoors, a kick butt workout, zoning out with my iPod—I'm just not a hardcore runner. I don't care (or even know for that matter) how fast I run, how far I go, or how many calories I burn. I just track the total time I spend running. I accept the fact that I might be slow or that I might not get very far, but I'm not competing with anyone or training for a race, so why should it matter? I like the simple pleasure of it—running just for the sake of running, without caring too much about the numbers.

Recently, however, Nike released the Nike+ SportBand (SRP $59), which promises to tell you—in real-time—all of those details: pace, mileage, calorie burn and time. You've probably seen the version they released for the iPod nano earlier, but you have to have a nano to use it. This one is all-inclusive: a sensor for your shoe and a wristband/watch that displays all the details.

Sounds pretty cool, right? SparkPeople bought a Nike+ SportBand for us to test and review for our readers. I jumped at the chance to try it. After all, I never spent much time looking at pace or distance of my runs before. Plus, fitness gadgets, like workout clothes, can be fun and motivating. I tested the band for a few weeks and asked several SparkPeople members (who bought their own SportBands) for their reviews, too. Want to hear what we thought about it?

There are two pieces to the Nike+ SportBand: the sensor (which goes in or on your shoe) and the wristband. Since I don't have Nike+ ready shoes, which have a special place in their sole for the small sensor, I had to buy a pouch for the sensor. It costs about $5 and allows you to hold the Nike+ sensor on your shoelaces. This worked out well for me. I didn't have any problems with it slipping or coming undone. However, I do NOT know whether this case or the sensor itself is waterproof or not; if you were running in heavy rain, you could potentially run into trouble.



The wristband doubles as a digital watch. It was kind of a weird design—not like a normal watch. They have you clip it on so that the display is on the INSIDE of your wrist, and it can only be read in one direction. I made the mistake of putting it on upside down the first time, making it hard to read, but I remembered each time I used it thereafter. The wristband is comfortable and lightweight. The display lets you toggle between your stats with the touch of a button so you can see the chronological time of your run, your pace or distance (in miles or kilometers per hour, based on your initial setup), and your estimated calorie burn. The display part of the wristband snaps out and fits into the USB port of your computer. This is how you charge the wristband and how you upload the data from your runs to the nikeplus.com website, which shows you lots of cool graphs of all your runs over time. There's a lot more to that site (challenges, workouts, etc.), but to be honest, I didn't spend much time exploring it.



Here are some general pros and cons, based on my opinion of training with the Nike+ SportBand for several weeks. I tested it outdoors, uphill, on the treadmill and while walking and running. I also measured the pace/distance it showed me against a treadmill display and against an online map of my route to see how accurate it really was.

SHOE SENSOR AND WATCH DISPLAY
The Nike+ SportBand is easy to use. I was surprised just how simple it was, actually. Setting it up, creating your free account at nikeplus.com, uploading your workouts, charging it, starting it and toggling between the views on the display—all of it was straightforward and uncomplicated. During the initial setup, there was a great tutorial video on the nikeplus site that explained all of these details. This is extremely helpful and worth watching.

You do have to charge the watch/display portion regularly. I was all geared up for a run one day and found it was dead—completely unusable. In my experience, the battery lasted about a week or so and then needed to be re-charged (plugged into the computer USB port). Now I make sure to give it a quick charge the night before I know I'm going to run—just in case.

This was kind of a big con for me, but is no backlight on the display screen. You cannot read the display AT ALL when it's dark outside. However, you could still use it and track your runs even if it's dark out—you just won't be able to see your stats until you finish and upload your run.

PACE, DISTANCE and CALORIES BURNED
My initial thought when viewing my pace during my first run was, "I AM FAST!" I did not think I ran that fast. At first, it was a big ego boost. I felt like I was on top of the world! Look at me go, I thought!

But after a while, I became suspicious of the readings. I think that the Nike+ tends to overestimate your pace—at least for me. On average, it clocked me at an 8:30-minute mile, sometimes faster. I think that I tend to run closer to a 10-minute mile pace. Sometimes I'd be looking at the pace display and see it toggle itself between very different paces, like from 8:30-minute miles to 7:30-minute miles within a second. Maps of my runs (mapped with SparkPeople Fitness Maps to measure distance and pace) and even a treadmill test proved my hunch. On the treadmill, I ran at a specific pace, such as 6 mph or 7 mph. The Nike+ wristband showed me running 30-45 seconds faster than I really was going, according to the treadmill. Sure, treadmill running isn't exactly the same as outdoor running and this wasn't a super scientific test. But in my experience, it consistently told me I was running faster—and therefore further—than I actually did run.

To be clear, the Nike+ is NOT a GPS device. Like a pedometer, it works by sensing motion on one of your feet. Then, it assumes your strides are a certain length and calculates your pace and then distance based on your foot strike. Nike's promotional materials say that the Nike+ is "accurate for most runners," but what does that even mean? You won't know whether it's accurate, too fast or too slow for you unless you try it yourself and then measure its readings with some other control. Unfortunately, I have no idea what stride length they use to calculate pace and distance—and you can't edit it. Apparently, you can calibrate the Nike+ if you have access to an outdoor running track on which you can accurately measure your distance while running. Then you have to do something to your online settings that I couldn't figure out. I did not find easy or detailed instructions in any of the support materials about how to do this. Coach Jen gave up trying to test the Nike+ because she couldn't get instructions for this process from their support team either. Other reviewers (below) did figure out how to calibrate theirs, but said it doesn’t last long before needing calibrated again.

I tested the Nike+ while walking, too, although they market it to runners and their support materials seem to indicate that it's more accurate for running. I actually found that it was much MORE accurate (pace/distance) while I was walking, compared with running. On my treadmill experiment, it was pretty much dead on with the pace I walked.

In terms of calorie burn readings, I didn't notice anything that seemed too far off in either direction. I think its calorie burning estimates are pretty good, but like all trackers and even heart rate monitors, they are just estimates.

OTHER REVIEWS FROM RUNNERS
I solicited reviews from SparkPeople's 53,000-strong Road Runners SparkTeam. Like me, each of these people bought their own Nike+ device long before I asked if anyone would be willing to share a review. Here are some of their thoughts.

DRAGONFLY1974: "Downsides: Battery life is only at best 6 months, then you have to buy a new [shoe] sensor, which in my opinion is a little too high when you have the other piece of hardware. It had to be calibrated too often (anytime my pace/turnover changed) so I made the switch to a Garmin.

"Upsides: It was fun to see the graphs of my run. I didn't pay attention to pace (it always had me faster than I actually run), just how steady my run was and how long and if my speed increased or decreased as I went. It was easy to use. It is great for the user who would like a simple, easy to use monitor who doesn't have the money to spend on the GPS units. I would completely recommend it to a new runner/walker with the note to calibrate it about once a month."

CHER120: "I love my Nike+. It is never accurate, but it keeps an average and I can take off from my front door in any direction and run about as many miles as I want. However, I'm not training for a race. I just want to run for fun and know about what I've done. For that, I love it."




JONNYSMOMMY: "I just replaced my hubby's old SportBand for the new version. He has only used it a couple of times and just used it while running a half marathon. Even with calibration, it gave him an extra mile! I also would not recommend it if you ever run in dark/low lighting conditions as it has no backlight and is impossible to read at night even under street lights."




FHAMWEY: "I do love my band but I wouldn't say it is totally accurate. I have been using it since Oct. I have only calibrated it a few times but it does seem to make me faster than I am (good for the ego though). I noticed on hills it actually makes me faster rather than slower and I believe it is because I take short little steps so it appears that I am going faster. For the price and convenience, I love it. It has just enough info on it for me. I always just add a little more (about 0.2 miles) to my distance and that seems to be OK.

"My funny story with this is that I used it for about 2 weeks while training for my first half marathon. I did a practice run to see if I could actually go the 13.1 miles. At the end, I was thinking I was doing great, finishing it and in a good time. Come the actual race day, I was running and happy and then reached the 13 miles on my Nike+ and I was nowhere near the end. I convinced myself that I missed the 12 mile marker and kept running, for what I thought was forever, looking for the finish line and then what did I see? The 12-mile marker! Long story short, my Nike+ registered 15 miles by the end of the race, so I had never really run much over 10 miles before this race! I immediately calibrated it before I ran again. Now it is just a little off."

CONCLUSION
For many runners, accuracy is a must. I'm not a serious runner, but I thought the inaccurate pace and distance displays were disappointing. That's pretty much the whole reason anyone would use this device. Being 30 seconds to a minute off (maybe more or less depending on the person) may not seem like much, but it adds up over the course of several miles. I started reading the Nike+ display with a grain of salt. I knew I probably wasn't going as fast as it told me, but I'd look for trends—like making sure I was staying consistent at my pace, even if I wasn't running as fast as it really said. I learned that I tend to go fastest during the middle of my runs and slowest at the end, and I'd use that info to try to keep my pace steady and strong toward the end. I didn't know this before using the Nike+.

I would recommend the Nike+ to walkers and runners who like gadgets for motivation or who want to know, generally, how fast they're going. I think it is a helpful and fun device, even if it's not 100% accurate. For casual runners (like me), it's not bad for the price. If your budget allows and you want something more accurate, many runners—including Coach Jen and Nancy—use Garmin GPS devices, which cost several hundred dollars. I'm not in the market for that (and I'm not training for the Chicago marathon as they are), so I think I'll stick with my Nike+ for now. How about you?

Have you tried the Nike+ SportBand? If so, what do you think of it? Do you want one?


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Comments

  • 71
    I've been using nike plus for about 4 years now with my nano. It was given to me as a gift from my daughter when I started my weight loss fittness journey. I love it.
    Those early days were really tough and hearing some big time althlete come on every time I had a personal milestone really motivated me. I'd push to try to get them to talk to me. On the treadmill I'm very suspicious and somewhat so outside. I find the mileage is always more than the treadmill says and my calorie burn on the nike plus is usually dramatically different from what the treadmill says.
    So I just decided I was giong to believe the nike plus higher numbers, happier me even though I know they are probably not true. but when you only use the nike plus numbers you can still see if your improving over all. All in all I think Nike + is awesome. I have it on my phone as well, but couldn't imagine going for a run and using all the data on your phone to track a run. The armband sounds kewl but I'm assuming if you need music you have to also take your ipod so I think my set up is the best. I just go with my nano and have everything I need. - 3/9/2013   10:41:18 AM
  • 70
    I calibrate it every so often. It's easy in the window that pops up when you plug in your Nike+. I measure runs on google maps and then enter those distances. I do different days, different distances and times, so it takes an average of my strides. I measure runs and they always seem to be pretty accurate. At one point, I made a conscious decision to take smaller strides, to I started calibrating more often to maintain accuracy. If you are looking for something more accurate, Nike now has the GPS which can use the Pod and/or the GPS. - 8/28/2012   12:31:14 PM
  • 69
    I can't believe how many people complained about the accuracy. It only takes a few seconds to calibrate it after traveling a known route. You calibrate a walk AND a run, do it once a week and you'll never have a problem. - 4/23/2012   9:05:04 PM
  • 68
    I have both the Nike+ with my nano and a garmin 405 - Nike+ is not consistently accurate, but a couple of friends set challenges with each other and that really got us through the dark cold winters here in Canada - so set up some challenges or join others - it's great. - 4/15/2011   12:46:38 PM
  • 67
    I don't have the sportband but I do use the Nike Plus with my ipod nano and I love it. I have never calibrated it but plan to this weekend at a local track. I do think it over estimated the distance/speed a bit but only by .2 every 3 miles. I know ipods are expensive but they offer much more, in my opinion, than the wristband. Not only can you listen to your favorite music, but you can utilize coaching programs already installed on the ipod. For instance, I practiced for a 10k this past weekend. I chose the 10k option and started. After 1k the music lowered and the coach said "one kilometer completed". Every kilometer I was notified by the coach until the halfway mark where she told me "you have reached the halfway point, five kilometers to go. Then she proceeded to count down the kilometers until one kilometer to go and then she broke it down into 100 meter marks. At the end the coach read out my statistics and then congratulated me on my longest run to date. For me personally, I loved this. I normally don't listen to music while I run but already owned a compatible nano and just bought the receiver/sensor kit for 30 dollars. After using the coaching program I am hooked. I have my very own personal coach now to help me train for a 10k trail run May 22nd. I guess its a matter of personal preference. I personally loved it. You can also save up to 1000 workouts on your nano and it keeps a running total of all your statistics. I just think its pretty cool;) - 4/13/2010   11:56:42 AM
  • 66
    I wish this level of detail were available for all product's I'm thinking of buying! Thanks for the review. It sounds like the device is not for me. If a device is going to pretend to have precision, I want it to be easily calibrated. It sounds like its assumptions about stride length would be a problem for me because I walk and vary my stride on purpose. And I walk frequently after dark, when I couldn't read the display anyway.

    I'll stick with the SparkPeople run tracking maps, which I learned about today. Thanks for the pointer!
    - 3/18/2010   1:33:46 AM
  • 65
    Accuracy lives in the calibration. For a ped, I'm amazed at it's accuracy. .08 mile off on a 7 mi walk is pretty good! I also use mine w/ a Nano, don't wear Nike shoes, but keep mine in my laces (I'm writing a blog about it as we speak). It's too bad that the misuse of the product turned some folks off from this fun & motivating (& comparatively inexpensive) gizmo. - 1/16/2010   6:51:46 PM
  • 64
    Thanks for all the reviews. With all the comments regarding the lack of accuracy I know that this product is not ideal for me.

    Thanks again! - 11/18/2009   4:51:13 PM
  • WHITNEETHEYOGI
    63
    yeah thanks for testing this product out. the reviews are very helpful. while i am not a hardcore runner, i do enjoy running and would much prefer to get something more accurate so i have a real idea of what kind of pace, distance im going. the ego boost of this device's inaccuracy sounds nice, but unrealistic, so i dont think i will try it out. also, i cant understand why they wouldnt havea backlight on the screen, kinda makes me think nike didnt take much care in designing the product well for the consumer - 11/3/2009   1:29:12 PM
  • 62
    I have the version that snaps onto the iPod Nano, and I love it! Calibrating it is simplicity itself. (You just go to the Calibrate item on the Nike+ menu on the iPod and then walk or run for a specific distance.)

    I found that it was so easy to use that I never even had to look at the user manual.

    I bought an external pouch as Nike shoes don't fit me well, and the sensor works great. (OK, once I put it in upside down and the receiver didn't read the sensor, but I soon figured that one out.)

    I'm considering buying a second pouch and sensor because you are supposed to lace the pouch into the base of your shoe laces, which is kind of a pain to unlace and relace when you want to change the sensor to another pair of shoes.

    I tried using a Garmin GPS, but I walk on trails in canyons and under a lot of trees, and I could never pick up the satellites. - 10/23/2009   11:55:42 AM
  • ERAALPERT
    61
    Just wanted to say that, from the pictures, it looks like you tested the older model. The new one (which came out in July) has a display with black numbers on a standard gray-ish screen (I'm not sure what color to call it - it's the same as my normal digital watch). (and I also agree with the comments who have said that you should place the pouch lower - and flatter - on the shoe, and those who have said that calibration is not that difficult to figure out... ) - 10/7/2009   7:28:11 AM
  • 60
    Thank you for the objective review. I am very happy with my Polar f6 - 10/3/2009   8:41:31 AM
  • GRANDMO1
    59
    Thanks for doing the testing and reporting on it for the rest of us. I will stick with my polar hart rate monitor for now. - 9/17/2009   3:42:44 PM
  • 58
    Thanks for testing these gadgets for us SparkPeople and saving us money when they don't live up to the hype. I will stick to my Polar F11 even if it calculates fewer calories burned than the fitness equipment. - 9/14/2009   9:22:19 PM
  • 57
    Ok I have an I Pod touch and I never knew what that nike thing was on it. Thanks for the article because now I know. I am not a runner so I dont see a need for it but who knows maybe one day I could become one. - 9/10/2009   9:12:20 PM
  • 56
    I LOVE mine. I use it faithfully and like others have found it to be accurate to within .1 miles at all times... Regardless of whether I'm walking or running. Granted, I'm not using it with a sportband. My results are with the newest iPod Touch, with the sensor calibrated, and with it situated properly near my forefoot with a SwitchEasy RunAway. It doesn't bounce... - 9/10/2009   7:22:12 PM
  • 55
    great blog i may get one for my hubby for x-mas.. i know it is early but i am always looking !!! - 9/6/2009   12:05:06 PM
  • NPAUL929
    54
    I the Nike+ with my Ipod and I am very satisfied with the accuracy of the recorded miles. The picture shows that the reviewer did not put the sensor on the shoe correctly. It ought to be laced near the toes not the ankle. Not accurate due to user error? Possibly, I checked my route using a map tracker and driving it with my car and checking the odemeter - the results? All three are different but very close to the same.
    I love being able to track my pace, distance and time. - 9/4/2009   8:01:59 AM
  • 53
    I really like my Garmin Forerunner 201, although it does have its problems some days too. Like the day I came out of the bank in December and it took forever to find the satellites. Then it kept beeping that it had done the miel distance over and over. I shut it off and restarted. When I got home and downloaded it onto the computer it showed I was heading to the North Pole. So it has its quirks too but I feel it is pretty accurate most of the time. Much more so than a pedometer. - 9/3/2009   8:56:46 PM
  • 52
    I agree with EADAVENP; the instructions I read (I think for my sensor sleeve) say that the sensor needs to be parallel with bottom of your shoe, the red label needs to face up, and it needs to be secured tightly enough not to bounce. I've had decent accuracy with mine. - 9/3/2009   6:17:57 PM
  • 51
    I'm too frugal to spend money on gadgets like this. LOL - 9/3/2009   3:08:25 PM
  • EADAVENP
    50
    It looks like the reviewer tied their pod on sideways, which could account for the problems with accuracy. I've never calibrated mine, and I usually find my distance to be off about .1 miles for every mile I run. Since I only wear my running shoes while running, and I don't run much (maybe 10 mile a week at the most) my second pod has lasted almost a year. I'm considering switching to a garmin gps or a polar gps for more accuracy when that pod dies, but until then, I like it, and I do find setting goals and using the nike plus site motivating. - 9/3/2009   1:58:20 PM
  • 49
    Thanks to everybody (coach and comments) for the interesting article! I have done a little search myself bout the topic and I could not decide whether to buy the Sportband or not. I run about 3 times a week, 10k each time but I do not participate in races, that is I mostly run for exercise and fun. The option of the graphs and of the world wide goals of amateur runners that can be found in Nike.com looks pretty much motivating to me. I also understand that the Sportband is very easy to use, you just wear it and go outside and run. And it is so cheap. I already have a pair of running Nike+ shoes. So, why not? I will buy it and I wil have just the fun and not the accurate readouts.
    Uhura - 9/3/2009   12:24:24 PM
  • 48
    I use the Nike+ with my iPod (rather than a sport band) and love it. I too started out using a pouch, and that made my distances wildly inaccurate because of the sensor bouncing around more than my foot was actually moving. After a while, I switched to LaceLid ( www.lacelid.com ), and my distances became incredibly accurate on my first sensor. My second sensor, which I just bought 3 weeks ago, seems to be a little off - maybe 0.05 short on a 4 mile run - but I can live with that rather than go through the calibration routine. Besides, I'll be running farther with each run. :)

    As far as the sensor life goes, my first sensor lasted only 600 miles compared with the Nike-suggested 1000 miles. But I think a lot of that was my fault - I travel for business, and many times I packed the sensor in my luggage without turning it off. Bouncing around on an airplane is a sure way to burn up extra juice.

    All in all, I'm very satisfied. Someday I'll get the GPS, but considering I already had an iPod, the $30 for a sport kit and less than $10 for LaceLid was a small price to pay for being able to ditch FavoriteRun.com and MapMyRun.com. :) Especially now that I can run on business travel and have no worries figuring out exactly which streets I ran on! - 9/3/2009   10:31:44 AM
  • 47
    Great review and great comments from all you SparkPeople! Thanks so much from a beginner runner. Won't be needing this device just yet, but it's nice to have the info for when I am ready. - 9/3/2009   9:57:33 AM
  • 46
    Thank you for the review. After reading about the accuracy and calibration problems, I will continue to save for a Garmin. - 9/3/2009   9:41:36 AM
  • 45
    I really appreciated this review. I guess for now anyway, I'm sticking with my sportline watch....for a casual runner, it gives me my HR and though the pedometer is accurate for walking, I could probably make it more accurate for running if I entered in my run stride instead of the walk stride....frankly that's not how I use it. Thanks - 9/3/2009   9:27:40 AM
  • RLMCCUE
    44
    Thank you so much for the review, I found it really helpful! I feel like the Nike+ would be a good gadget for me for the money, as I'm just starting a walking/running program. I really appreciated reading the reviews of the members, as well as the comments. - 9/3/2009   8:36:24 AM
  • 43
    I have a Garmin 305 and a Nike + and I LOVE them both. It does take a little more work to set an accurate pace on the Nike, but if you have access to a HS track and put the foot pod on correctly it's nearly identical to my Garmin. Also, placement of the food pod is key to an accurate reading and the photo attached to this post makes me think that the foot pod might not have been in a good position. If you google information about the Nike + you will find lots of help to set it up for an accurate reading. For the price, you cannot beat the Nike +. - 9/3/2009   7:47:14 AM
  • CARRYANET
    42
    I've found mine worked pretty accurately for me after I calibrated it once, and I've never redone it. For example, when I ran my marathon, it thought I'd gone 26.3 miles instead of 26.2. Similar to what someone else said earlier, if you position the sensor higher up on the laces, it may bounce too much and throw off your reading. I have mine snugly positioned closer to my toe, and it seems to work pretty well. That said, one day I hope to upgrade to a Garmin, but I really like my Nike+ for now, and I think it's a good tool for the money. - 9/2/2009   11:21:33 PM
  • 41
    I love my Nike+. I use it with my iPhone and with my Nano, and with calibration it's really accurate. My last ten mile run I was with someone with a Garmin and someone with another brand, and we all hit the ten mile mark within about 20 yards of each other. I find the most inaccurate results when I do speed workouts on the treadmill, because my stride changes, but a GPS system wouldn't work either. - 9/2/2009   8:41:16 PM
  • 40
    i did a little more research. here's the url for the RunKeeper website: http://www.runkeeper.com / - 9/2/2009   6:00:58 PM
  • SITEREPORT
    39
    I can wholeheartedly recommend RunKeeper Pro. It really is excellent. Not only that, but you can use it for keeping track of other activities such as cycling too. Plus it's much cheaper than Nike+, doesn't need replacing periodically and has regular updates of great features. Try it, you won't be disappointed. - 9/2/2009   5:10:46 PM
  • 38
    Thanks for the review. I almost bought one of these when I started running. Then, decided to splurge on the Garmin 305 (about $150). I am so glad I did. Thanks for confirming my decision. I love my Garmin and wouldn't dream of running without it! - 9/2/2009   3:38:32 PM
  • 37
    after reading the reviews i wont purchase one of these-i can get almost accurate readings from cheaper models! - 9/2/2009   2:51:22 PM
  • 36
    I am just recently, within the last week, getting into running. I have the iphone, and was going to get a pair of nike+ shoes when I get to my "new shoe" goal of 145. After reading this article, I just downloaded the runkeeper app and am going to try that out. I ride my bike to and from work and it sounds this will work for running as well as cycling. Might still go with the Nike+ shoes, but have more to consider now. Thanks for the article! - 9/2/2009   12:44:10 PM
  • 35
    I would recommend a Garmin GPS device - although it's not accurate to say that in order to do so you have to spend "several hundred dollars." I use a Garmin Forerunner 305 that is really excellent for this type of use. It is extremely accurate, and the receiver can be either worn on the wrist or, if bicycling, attached to the handlebars of a bike. It also comes with a heart rate monitor and there are other accessories available for very reasonable prices (like a cadence sensor for cycling). The Forerunner 305 is typically priced at under $200, and can often be found at around $150. - 9/2/2009   12:40:05 PM
  • 34
    I wonder if it is more accurate with the Nike+ shoes with the spot for the sensor rather than the shoelace pouch. I don't know if that would make a difference or not. My husband loves his Nike+ system with his ipod nano. He says it's fairly accurate, even when training for races. Thanks for this review! If anyone tried it with the actual Nike+ shoes, could you please let me know if it is still inaccurate? - 9/2/2009   12:37:19 PM
  • 33
    There's no way I'd buy this after reading about how often its inaccurate. Too bad, as its a good idea. - 9/2/2009   12:16:54 PM
  • 32
    I too have an iPhone and have downloaded RunKeeper. That program works a lot like the fitness maps on Spark but the benefit is that you have a reading the entire time you're running - it's like holding a treadmill in your hand while you run outside. It's really awesome and really motivating - especially if you need numbers to keep you going the way I do (I can't be like you Nicole! Not yet anyway!). Anyway, it also generates an awesome little map of your route which is super inspirational when you complete your run!
    The only drawback I find - which you wouldn't get with the Nike+ (and is a reason I'm still considering getting it in addition to my RunKeeper) - is that it runs on GPS so if you run indoors, it won't track those runs. this obviously doesn't apply to everyone, but it's a good thing to mention. - 9/2/2009   12:02:55 PM
  • 31
    I loved my Nike+ when I started running...without it I don't think I would have ever become a runner. I don't really like the treadmill, so the Nike+ allows me to run wherever I want and know about how far I went. Now that I run more often, am training for races and trying to get faster I am saving for a Garmin...but I would truly recommend the NIke+ for anyone starting out...it's a great tool:)
    - 9/2/2009   12:01:09 PM
  • 30
    I have the Nike+ for the Nano. I did calibrate it without issue, and it does the job for me. The Nano was a gift from a friend, so I only bought the Nike+ pod, insert for the Nano, and the pouch for my shoe. It is waterproof. :) It has been tested here and no issues yet. I have been using mine since May without any difficulty. I am training for my first marathon. I like the voice telling me how far I've gone and how far is left to go b/c I don't like to have to stare at devices more than necessary. I actually drove my route to see if my calibration was correct...and it was! I am not a fast paced gal...so maybe the faster runners won't get a great result. Not sure! There is a SparkPeople challenge on Nike+ that is associated with the Nike+ group on SP. :) I'll consider a Garmin when I feel like I can't live without it. This was the cheapest option for me and it has proven to be reliable so far. - 9/2/2009   11:55:56 AM
  • 29
    When are they ever going to come up with something like this gadget for swimming? - 9/2/2009   11:43:39 AM
  • SHORTTOOTH1
    28
    I use this with the iPod attachment instead of the wristband. It works pretty well for me. - 9/2/2009   11:43:33 AM
  • SUSAN20855
    27
    What a valuable resource you all are! THANK YOU! - 9/2/2009   11:37:53 AM
  • 26
    I agree with the guys who use the free RunKeeper App. I recently got an iphone and found out that my Nike+ that I used on my nano isn't compatible (I didn't get the 3G S). I was really disappointed because I was addicted to my Nike+, BUT RunKeeper is a FREE GPS tracking device and way better than Nike+ can ever be until they change over to GPS (which I think they eventually will). It keeps an accurate pace, time, and draws you a cool map when you are done. Its my new favorite thing!
    BTW (in case you are in the market for running apps) I tried iMapMyRuns to compare to RunKeeper, and the pace was way off during the run even though the total mileage and mapping was right in the end. It had me from a 4 minute mile all the way up to a 145 minute mile at any given time. And while I'm not a serious runner and probably don't NEED to know my pace, it was really annoying to not be able to know. I definitely recommend RunKeeper. - 9/2/2009   11:37:32 AM
  • AMARANTHA2
    25
    Excellent review. Thank you.

    I have a Garmin that I never use so probably wouldn't use one of these either. It looks way too much trouble for something that isn't apparently even very accurate. - 9/2/2009   11:06:37 AM
  • JAZZERCISEGENIE
    24
    I have never heard of it. Would think about it but cost right now. we are trying to budget - 9/2/2009   10:52:58 AM
  • GERRIT2
    23
    Very useful review. Thanks. Guess I'll stick with my Garmin and continue to save up for one for my husband. Accuracy is high on my list of importance. - 9/2/2009   10:44:48 AM
  • BBGIRL71
    22
    Sounds like the Garmin is a better idea. Thanks for the review. - 9/2/2009   10:19:07 AM

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