Nike+ SportBand Review

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Reviews, Running Gear
Tags: , , ,

MSRP: $59.00

Star rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Pros: Easy to use, extra motivation for runs

Cons: Limited display, durability concerns

Runner: Jason Crawford

The Nike+ SportBand comes in a variety of colors.

Runners are always looking for new ways to stay on the cutting edge and keep track of their mileage. The Nike+ SportBand is an attempt by Nike to attract runners who are looking to maintain a mileage log without breaking the bank. The Nike+ SportBand allows runners to track distance, time, pace and calories burned on their runs without having to rely on GPS technology or a smart phone.

The Nike+ SportBand comes out of the box ready to use and is especially easy to set up if you are using Nike+ ready running shoes. You simply place the sensor in your shoe in the handy pouch and put on the SportBand. Press “hold” – the large button on the face of the band – and the small screen will instruct you to begin walking. After a few strides, the monitor will give you the prompt to press the button again to run. While running, the SportBand defaults to total distance but the runner can easily switch the display to show time, pace or calories burned by pressing the button on the side. Upon completion of your run, you simply press and hold the top button again and your stats will flash across the screen.

Once the runner has returned to their home computer, the Nike+ easily connects to a USB port and data is uploaded to a personalized Nike running profile. The Nike+ site offers a fun, easy-to-use way to record your results and connect with other runners. The site can be very motivating for new runners. The Nike+ site tracks simple statistics such as longest run and fastest mile, as well as long-term goals. A novice runner could easily spend hours exploring the different training coach options community bulletin boards available at Nike running.

Overall, the Nike+ system offers an affordable way for runners to track mileage and goals. The system does leave much to be desired for the more experienced runner. The Nike+ system does not manage split times and the lack of a multi-line display forces the runner to toggle between screens if they want to track distance and total time or any of the other  combinations that a runner might be interested in. The system offers no backlighting, which makes training at night challenging. There are also no audio notifications for milestones – a beep notification on each mile completed would be useful. Calibration can also be a drawback, which can range from dead accurate and easy to calibrate to over a quarter mile off per mile and extremely difficult to lock in. Calibration and accuracy may vary greatly depending on several factors, which I have found to be the most frustrating part of owning a Nike+ system. Despite these issues, I found the Nike+ to be a reliable enough system, especially for new or developing runners. More advanced runners might want to look for a system that offers more of the detailed features that would compliment a serious training program.

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Comments
  1. Sarah says:

    I agree 100%!

    It’s really nice to not have to track miles after runs, and I’m happy that I dropped $60 on a sportsband instead of ~$300 on a garmin. If I start to become a runner obsessed with mile splits and all of that stuff, it’ll be time to upgrade, but for the normal/only somewhat obsessive mile tracking runner, the sports band is perfect. Albeit a bit finicky. But. Good enough for what it is.

    (also Hi. I just found your blog & I like it lots)

    • Marnie says:

      Hi Sarah~

      Thanks so much for stopping by, I’m glad you are enjoying the blog! I agree with you that the Nike+ is a great way to track your miles without dropping a couple hundred bucks. I remember the days when I used to use a simple timer and estimate how far I ran by guessing my average mile times (geez, I sound old lol). The Nike+ really beats that.

      • Sarah says:

        yeah, I also got tired of going to mapmyrun.com after every run and trying to remember exactly what route I took so I could accurately figure out distance & then speed! ah, the olden days…

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