Watches That Count Steps: A Complete Guide

Maybe you’re a fitness-obsessed individual who likes to push their body every second of every day, even when they’re simply walking from one place to another.

Maybe you’re a Type-A person who’s highly competitive and needs to keep up with the steps per day count set by the rest of your friends or fitness group.

Maybe you’re simply someone who likes to keep up to date with the latest fashion or tech trends.

There are any number of reasons why a Fitbit or other step-counting watch might appeal to you, but whatever reason motivates you most, the question you have to ask is, which watch is best?

Let’s take a look at step-counting watches – how they work, what to look for, and which ones are in step with the latest fashions and trends on the market today.

How They Work

Fitbits and other watches that keep track of steps do so by way of an accelerometer. These devices sense movement along a 3-axis plane. When you move the directions covered by these axes, it is registered as steps and recorded by the computer.

The best such devices are able to store this data for long-term comparison, helping you keep track of how many steps you have taken in a day, which you can then compare against previous days. In the best models, that day-to-day comparison is available on the device itself.

In addition, the best step-counting watches often have or are compatible with popular apps which feature a step counter, allowing you to keep track of your steps via the app, and feature “rewards” to help incentivize your fitness even more.

For true fitness fanatics, some of these watches take things a step further by including other fitness tracker capabilities as well, such as heart rate and total calories burned.

The Top Five Step Counting Watches for Men and Women

Garmin Fenix 2 Watch

A blend of a sports watch and step tracker, this option can help you keep track of time spent exercising, distance covered, pace of walking, calories burned, heart rate, and other essentials. Priced around $140, it’s also reasonably affordable.

It automatically connects to the Garmin Connect and LiveTrack apps.

What’s more, it features special swim and ski modes. The former gives you 3D speed measurements along with your vertical drop and other ski-specific data. The latter measures distance, pace, time spent swimming, and your stroke count.

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Watch

Few fitness watches have made their mark quite like the Fitbit. Its efficient futuristic design paired with its accuracy and connectivity have made it a perpetual favorite in fitness circles. This model will cost between $100 and $120, depending on which variation you buy.

Like other Fitbits, this one is able to automatically sync to iOS, Android, and Windows systems, allowing you to take your fitness info with you wherever you go.

This model is able to give you different types of up-to-the-second heart rate readings, so if heart-smart workouts are your thing, this may be the model for you.

In addition, you can track your total steps and workout routines over time via statistics such as distance traveled, calories burned, and minutes active. It can also convert your distance into “floors climbed”, so if you’re used to climbing up and down stairs to get your daily dose of exercise, this Fitbit can keep track of that.

It also comes with a GPS device to help you keep track of where you are.

Polar M400 Sports Watch

This step-tracking smartwatch for men comes with a built-in GPS, allowing you to not only keep track of your steps but also your pace of walking, how far you have walked, and in a unique twist, your altitude.

In addition, you can keep track of how many calories you have burned, and there is even a setting for measuring the quality of your sleep. It is able to achieve all of this with the help of an H7 heart rate sensor.

All of this makes it a fair choice for someone looking to keep track of their fitness status around the clock.

For those who like to go swimming and don’t want to risk damaging their watch, this option is also waterproof.

This is also another smartwatch with a built-in app. You can connect to the Polar Flow app on the go and plan, share, and sync your training records while enjoying advice and Internet connectivity.

This model has a wider range of prices, which range between $200 and $300.

Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbits dominate the women’s step-counter scene, offering a sleek appearance with great step-counting substance to match. The Versa 2 is a perfect example of this. From black to Bordeaux, petal rose to mist grey, it comes in a wide range of colors.

The watch face is big, easily readable, and incredibly sleek, giving the whole thing a chic appearance that’s second to none.

It’s also Alexa-certified, meaning you can sync this smartwatch with your Amazon smart home setup.

That Amazon connectivity allows for a ton of features. You can get the latest news, connect the Fitbit to your smart home at the sound of voice, connect to Spotify and Pandora, store your playlists, and much more.

It gives you readouts on your heart rate, time spent sleeping, total activity, calories burned, total steps, distance traveled, floors climbed, and other essential metrics.

The battery life can last for more than six days at the right settings.

It also has full smartphone capability, allowing you to call, text, and connect to social media on the go, all for around $200.

Letsfit Fitness Tracker

We finish with another step counter for women—by far the most affordable option—which costs just $30. This offering from Letsfit comes in a variety of primary colors and a sleek, slim fit, with a stylishly curved screen measuring 0.96”.

It gives you real-time feedback on essential metrics such as your heart rate, total steps, calories burned, total distance, and total minutes active.

It can also give you exercise data for fourteen different sports.

The unit gives notifications with a gentle vibration, alerting you to workout goals and work and social appointments. It also comes with a built-in USB plug, can connect to the VeryFitPro app, as well as to iOS and Android systems.


With one of these step counters, you’re sure to stay in step with style while getting your workout on.

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