Garmin Foot Pod Review

In December, my Garmin fenix 2 began miscalculating my pace on the treadmill.  Thus, skewing my data on Garmin Connect, including my VO2 Max.  Read more about it in my Unboxing post.

I ordered the Garmin foot pod at the end of January and after I calibrated it outdoors, I began running with it on the treadmill.  I used the Garmin foot pod as well as the Nike+ foot pod on the runs to compare the data.

Below are the distances calculated for 25 runs – 4 were outdoors and 21 on the treadmill.  The differences were mostly negligible.  There were a few runs, including the most recent, that had a difference of nearly 0.2 miles.  Although, over the course of the 25 runs, the Garmin calculated 1.33 miles more than the Nike+.

Date Run Type Fenix2 Nike+ Delta
1/29/2015 Treadmill 2.02 1.95 0.07
2/1/2015 Treadmill 3.11 3.15 -0.04
2/2/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.92 0.09
2/3/2015 Treadmill 1.76 1.77 -0.01
2/5/2015 Treadmill 1.37 1.30 0.07
2/12/2015 Treadmill 1.30 1.27 0.03
2/16/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.96 0.05
2/19/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.95 0.06
2/22/2015 Treadmill 3.10 2.98 0.12
2/23/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.97 0.04
2/26/2015 Treadmill 2.01 1.94 0.07
2/28/2015 Treadmill 5.01 5.16 -0.15
3/2/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.95 0.06
3/3/2015 Treadmill 2.01 1.90 0.11
3/5/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.95 0.06
3/8/2015 Outdoors 6.21 6.22 -0.01
3/10/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.93 0.08
3/16/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.94 0.07
3/21/2015 Outdoors 8.01 8.08 -0.07
3/23/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.91 0.10
3/26/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.87 0.14
3/31/2015 Outdoors 3.10 3.07 0.03
4/4/2015 Outdoors 8.01 7.98 0.03
4/13/2015 Treadmill 1.01 0.87 0.14
4/22/2015 Treadmill 1.48 1.29 0.19
TOTAL 59.61 58.28 1.33

As far as ease of use, the Garmin foot pod connects much more quickly to the fenix 2 than the Nike foot pod connects to the watch.  The Garmin is also nice in that it uses a replaceable CO2032 battery which can be purchased just about anywhere for a couple of dollars.  Whereas the Nike foot pod does not have a replaceable battery, you have to purchase a new foot pod, costing around $20.

The Garmin foot pod connects directly onto the shoe with it’s included lace clip.  I typically leave it on my shoe and have not had any issues with it falling off.  The Nike+ sensor is not standalone.  You either have to wear shoes that accept the Nike+ foot pod or buy a pouch to connect it to your shoe.  The sensors are approximately the same size.

Garmin and Nike Foot Pods

Garmin and Nike Foot Pods

Overall, I am satisfied with the Garmin foot pod.  It took one outdoor run to calibrate and I haven’t had any issues since.  My Garmin Connect data, including VO2 Max and pace, are back to normal.

Unboxing of the Garmin Foot Pod

Some time in December 2014, my Garmin fenix 2 began miscalculating my pace on the treadmill.  Although most of my runs have been on the treadmill this winter, I am making an effort to do my longer runs outdoors to keep the watch calibration information current.  The watch is calculating my pace between 8:30 and 9:00/mile.  My normal outdoor pace, as well as the pace I run according to the treadmill, is 11:30-12:00/mile.

My data is now skewed in Garmin Connect.  After each treadmill run, I correct the distance in Garmin Connect, and the pace recalculates.  As you can see below, the pace is still recorded in Garmin Connect at the faster pace from the watch, even though the average pace has been corrected.  This has also resulted in the miscalculation of my VO2 Max data as well as my training effect data (because the watch senses me running much faster than what is happening in reality).

Garmin Connect Pace

This is just a limitation of the watch, because it is based off of wrist movements.  Thursday I got frustrated with my data not being correct and purchased the Garmin Foot Pod from Amazon.  It arrived today.  Unboxing was a bit anticlimactic, as it only contains the foot pod and instructions.

As you can see the foot pod is small in size and comes with a lace clip to secure to your shoe.  I didn’t realize this when I purchased it, but the foot pod is powered by a replaceable CR2032 battery.

Garmin Foot pod

Top view of foot pod

Garmin Foot pod

Side view of foot pod

I intend on calibrating the foot pod this week and wearing on my treadmill runs for sure (I’m undecided at the moment whether I will wear it on my outdoor runs as well).  Either way, I plan to use it consistently for the next few weeks and write an in-depth review afterwards.

Update 04/23/2015:  See the Full Product Review