Hands-on Gear Review

Garmin Foot Pod Review

Garmin Foot Pod
Price:  $70 List | $64.90 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to mount. targeted at athletes.
Cons:  Inaccurate, requires Garmin watch.
Editors' Rating:   
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Dimensions:  1.4 x .9 x .25 inches
Weight:  1/4oz
Battery Life:  months
Manufacturer:   Garmin

Our Verdict

The Garmin Foot Pod is a specialized accessory for Garmin training watches. If you use, or intend to use, a Garmin GPS watch such as the Fenix for tracking running, and will need foot speed information and indoor distance data, this product is for you. (Garmin watches use GPS for tracking speed and distance outdoors. GPS signal doesn't work indoors, which is where the Foot Pod comes in.) If you are looking for more general, day-to-day activity monitoring, check out the other options in The Best Pedometer Review or The Best Fitness Tracker Review.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter

Last Updated:
Friday
October 31, 2014

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This piece of equipment, more than any other in our test, is targeted to athletes. If you already use a Garmin training watch like the ones found in our GPS Watch review, and want indoor functionality and/or running cadence data, this is the tool for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

Performance Comparison


The Garmin Foot Pod removed from its clever  clean  and easy to use lace clip.
The Garmin Foot Pod removed from its clever, clean, and easy to use lace clip.

Interface and Data Management


The entire interface and data management for the Foot Pod is dependent on the Garmin GPS watch you use with it. Some are easier to use than others, but all display running cadence while on the go. And most will take the Foot Pod data to calculate distance and step count. We tested this device in conjunction with the Garmin Fenix. Garmin's "Training Center" is an effective and comprehensive computer-based tool for organizing running and training data.

View of the data generated by the Garmin Foot Pod on the Garmin Fenix GPS watch. Many other models of Garmins can be used to collect data from the Foot Pod.
View of the data generated by the Garmin Foot Pod on the Garmin Fenix GPS watch. Many other models of Garmins can be used to collect data from the Foot Pod.

Portability


This is the most secure and easily attached device in our entire test. The simple two-part plastic construction intertwines with the runner's shoe laces and remains there securely through vigorous running. In our testing, we had no issues with the Pod becoming unclipped. It's closest competitor in our test, the Nike+ Stand Alone is not nearly as versatile. The Nike is also a foot mounted distance tracker, but requires either dedicated Nike shoes, or an improvised lace pouch. Neither of these is as slick as the Garmin Foot Pod's attachment method.

The Garmin Foot Pod mounted to the laces of one tester's New Balance 10 Trail shoes
The Garmin Foot Pod mounted to the laces of one tester's New Balance 10 Trail shoes

Durability


Our testers had no problem with the durability of this product. The built-in battery, according to Garmin claims, will last years. Our testing did not last that long so we cannot verify this claim.

Accuracy


The Garmin Foot Pod, as compared to the other devices in our test, had the second poorest accuracy. Only the free and Best Buy winning, Pacer app was less accurate. Watching the step count derived from the Garmin while actually walking showed that one step out of every 30-50 was simply ignored by the devices. Incidentally, it only counts the footfalls of the shoe its mounted to. All the pedometers we tried other count every step. In order to compare, the user must double the number delivered by the Garmin set up.

Ease of Set-up


Set-up is as easy as the associated Garmin wristwatch allows. Most potential users will either have a Garmin they already use and know, or be willing and able to put in the time associated with learning the ins and outs of the linked devices. We tested the Foot Pod with the Garmin Fenix GPS watch. Setup there was quick and intuitive.

Garmin Foot Pod next to the compatible Garmin Fenix training/GPS watch.
Garmin Foot Pod next to the compatible Garmin Fenix training/GPS watch.

Best Application


This is a specialized tool, perhaps the most specialized in our test. Only dedicated runners looking for real-time step cadence data and indoor distance information on their favorite Garmin GPS watch need apply.

Value


For as simple as this tool is, it is fairly expensive. Especially if you add the price of a Garmin watch to the cost of this step counter. Again, dedicated training runners will justify the cost. Others will do better to look elsewhere for walking and running data collection.

Conclusion


This device is a specialized training aid for those that are looking for ever more detailed data on their foot travel.

Testing the Garmin Foot Pod in classic East Coast trail running conditions. Being able to note step turnover speed is a valuable piece of data for serious runners.
Testing the Garmin Foot Pod in classic East Coast trail running conditions. Being able to note step turnover speed is a valuable piece of data for serious runners.

Jediah Porter

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Most recent review: October 31, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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