Using fitness trackers to measure your performance on the field has become an important way of learning what aspects of your game are strong and which areas need improving, making them a popular piece of equipment among professionals and amateurs alike.
They can also be a vital way of monitoring a player’s health off and on the field, especially when it comes to discovering heart problems or breathing difficulties.
Today we will be taking a closer look at seven of the best GPS fitness trackers out there that can be used by soccer players to track their performance.
Each of the trackers included in this includes a wide range of features that can prove useful on the soccer field and in everyday life.
Let’s get into it!
1. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
The first watch on our list is the latest model from one of the market leaders Samsung, making it one of the most mainstream and most purchased trackers too. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best, however.
The features on the Galaxy Watch are more about style than substance for me, with a leather wrist strap and clean display being a little too perfect for what I would want as a player.
This being said, there are plenty of great features on the watch that make it a solid all-around choice for those player soccer (or any other sport really).
This tracker will provide you with all of the basic data that you need to be able to gain a wider knowledge of your overall performance as a player, which in essence is all you need the tracker to do. If you want more detailed information though, you are best going for a different tracker.
The price of the Galaxy Watch is a plus point, however, as at just over $125 it is one of the cheaper product options on the market.
- Less Detailed Data
- Style Over Substance
2. Fitbit Ionic GPS Smartwatch
Before Apple and Samsung truly ventured into the market, Fitbit was the undisputed king of fitness tracking and for me still among the very best out there.
Whilst the Ionic range has gone through some major stumbling blocks over the past year (many of them were recalled due to safety concerns), it remains a great choice now that the matter is resolved.
Unlike many trackers out there, the Ionic is a highly personalized piece of technology that can act as a virtual personal trainer when you want to improve certain aspects of your fitness. This makes it a great tracker to wear when training as it can be tailored to your exact needs as a player.
If achieving pred-determined goals is what drives you to improve, this tracker may be the one for you as it can set fitness targets that need to be achieved by a certain date. This can add pressure to your game though, so ensure it’s what you want before buying.
In terms of pricing, the Ionic is a mid-range model that can be picked up for around $150 via respectable online retailers.
- Clear Goal Setting
- Can Add Pressure
- Previous Safety Concerns
3. Apple Watch Series 8 (Nike Edition)
It’s fair to say that the technological behemoth that is Apple has taken over the mantle as the market leader in the GPS fitness tracker game having released a series of popular models over the past decade.
One of their latest releases is a tracker that has been designed in partnership with American sporting giants Nike, truly a coming together of two of the nation’s most famous brands.
The concern with a partnership of this sort is that it won’t actually make a difference in terms of the quality of the product, often being a mere ‘skin’ to an already complete item. However, this isn’t the case here in my opinion.
The watch has all the features of the six Apple watches that came before it, as well as new features relating to connectivity.
You can connect this watch to both Apple and Nike apps to help get a well-rounded view of your performance and get a personalized training experience from the minds of Nike’s best personal trainers.
The price of the tracker is (as you would expect) considerably higher than many on the market, with it being around $400 when bought new.
- Trusted Brand
4. Google Pixel Watch
Another product that comes from one of the largest tech companies in the world, the Google Pixel Watch is a newer model that will likely become a major player in the market over the coming years.
The watch is designed to be used alongside the Google Pixel smartphone, so its success may also hinge on the success of its sister product.
As one would expect from Google, the watch is sleek and has an easy-to-use interface that will be popular among those wanting a smooth user experience.
The watch also links to Fitbit’s database, meaning that if you have previously owned a tracker from Fitbit you can easily transfer your performance data to Google’s systems.
Another great aspect of the Pixel Watch is that it is among the comfiest watches to wear on this list, which can be great for those that don’t usually like wearing a watch during physical activity.
This being said, battery life is an issue that is yet to be resolved with this tracker. If using the watch on a constant basis, you will likely only get around 24 hours of battery life, making it a less appealing prospect for those far away matches. For nearly $400 I would expect better from Google.
- Battery Life
- Early Edition
5. Garmin Forerunner 935
When it comes to players that want to focus on their speed and agility on the soccer field, the Garmin Forerunner 935 is a perfect choice. This tracker was primarily designed with runners in mind, so as such the majority of its best features related to this part of the game.
This tracker is therefore popular among wingers and full-backs that tend to make darting runs up the field throughout the match.
Some of the best features of the Garmin Forerunner are its ability to measure your stride length as you run, this can be beneficial for players that want to reduce or increase the number of strides they’re taking on and off the ball.
Partner this with the watch’s ability to track the amount of time your feet spend on and off the ground when running, and you have all the data you need to analyze how to go faster for longer.
The Garmin Forerunner also has all of the basic features that you would expect from all of the watches on this list, making it the best choice for anyone that wants to focus on maximizing their speed as a player.
The price may put some off, however, as the watch is currently retailing for around $400 currently.
- Helps Improve Speed
- Accurate Measurements
- Not as helpful for Goalkeepers
6. Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist
Whilst Suunto may not be the technological giants that Google, Apple, and Samsung are, their take on the fitness tracker is one of the best.
When compared to many of its competitors, the Spartan has a great battery life that is sure to last you the duration of multiple matches without needing to be charged.
This tracker is also one of the most water-resistant out there, making it perfect for players that want to keep tracking their performance in the harshest of conditions. It will also survive any drops or falls that may occur during a match.
This variation of Sunnto watch is actually relatively old now, meaning that some of its features may seem slightly outdated. However, it is important to have a budget-friendly option on any list and at around $50 for a refurbished (second-hand) item you really cannot go wrong.
This price makes the Spartan a great option for anyone wanting to try out a GPS fitness tracker for the first time, without having to spend hundreds of dollars on something they may never use.
- Battery Life
- Lesser-Known Brand
7. TomTom Spark 3 Cardio
The final tracker on our list comes from GPS focussed brand TomTom (a company you will likely be more familiar with in terms of Satellite navigation devices).
Despite being a travel-centric brand at heart, the jump to GPS trackers is clearly a small one. Given the wealth of connectivity that TomTom have, it makes sense to use their satellites for this purpose too.
The tracker itself is a basic version when compared to many on this list, as it features less soccer-focused technology. This is a tracker for those that don’t particularly care about specifics and should only really be purchased if you want to enjoy the simple aspects of training.
You can still do things like listen to music and track your distance covered though, so if that’s enough then this may be a great option.
Each of the trackers that we have looked at today at great depending on the budget you have and how often you actually intend to use the device.
As always you should do your own research alongside reading this piece before making any large purchase as you could pick up the wrong tracker for you.
Don’t forget to check that you are allowed to wear a GPS fitness tracker with the match officials before every match you play as some leagues don’t allow them.