10384586.jpgEver since the very first Fitbit took the wearables market by storm, there have been fitness trackers and smart wearables cropping up by the dozen. Most of today’s fitness trackers are wristwatch-style ones, but did you know that there are quite a few fitness trackers that don’t have to be worn on the wrist at all?

That’s right: plenty of brands offer non-wrist (or wrist-optional) models of fitness trackers, and they get just as much done as the watch-style ones. There are pros and cons to each, of course; watch-style fitness trackers are great if you’re already used to wearing a watch, or if you’re about to partake in a rigorous activity that might displace a clip-on fitness tracker. But watches just aren’t appropriate for all things, and that’s where fitness trackers that don’t have to be worn on the wrist come in!

I’ve picked out five of the coolest options available at Best Buy, and each comes with its own unique set of advantages.


The classic clip

To start us off, Fitbit offers not one, but two clip-style fitness trackers: the more basic Fitbit Zip and the newer, sleeker Fitbit One.

10252524.jpgI really like the design and functionality of the Fitbit One, which tracks your steps, calories, distance, and general activity levels. It’s very small and designed with smooth, non-disruptive edges, so it fits onto most basic items of clothing (like shirts, socks, and belts) and slips into pockets easily. The Fitbit One, like most recent fitness tracker launches, also tracks your sleep cycles and can be set to gently wake you with a silent alarm.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Fitbit Zip, however! The Zip has more of a classic design (think old school Tamagotchi) and doesn’t have quite the same functionality as the Fitbit One, but it’s easy to use and very affordable. It tracks steps, distance, and calories burned, and has a replaceable battery instead of a rechargeable one. Whereas the Fitbit One’s battery needs to be charged a couple times a week, the Zip runs for up to 6 months on a single battery charge, at which point you’d need only to switch out your battery for a new one to keep going.


The watch with options

I’m a big fan of the Misfit line, and their Shine Activity Monitor is an excellent blend of both worlds. It comes with both a watch band and an activity clip, so you can wear it as a watch throughout the day or slip it into your pocket for a night out.

10403902_1.jpgThe Shine is water-resistant up to 164′, and–this part is really cool–it can also be worn as a necklace pendant. It comes in a great range of styles and colours, from bright red Shine in a simple corded choker to a rose gold Shine worn in a floral cage or behind a glamorous Swarvoski crystal


The Cute Chameleon vs. the Invisible Layer

If this last section sounds like a comic book to you, well, that was probably my super-subtle (okay, my not-so-subtle) attempt to make you envision the following two products fighting each other, Spiderman-style.
These two fitness trackers are a far cry from the standard watch model, but they couldn’t be more different. On one hand, theBellabeat LEAF Fitness Trackers (available in Silver and Rose Gold) are made to hide in the spotlight. They can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, pink, or brooch, and track everything from sleep, activity, and respiration to the wearer’s menstrual cycle.

10374401_1.jpg(And can I please just take a moment to say finally? Half the population gets their period; it’s kind of silly that most apps track your food intake right down to the last calorie but only this one helps integrate your menstrual cycle with your fitness regimen. As all my fellow people who menstruate know, your period can play a big role in how much activity your body will or won’t be ready to handle!)

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the super-manly Hexoskin Men’s Smart Shirt, which is pretty cool. It’s a biometric shirt made from breathable, machine washable Italian fabric that can monitor your breath volume, heart rate, activity and sleep.
Like the Bellabeat, the Hexoskin tank top hides in plain sight: to the untrained eye, it looks just like a regular workout shirt. There are no chest straps or bulky devices that get hooked up to your body (and jostled as you run and move),
The wearables market has been making some really interesting steps recently, but I think that “invisibly integrated” products like the Bellabeat LEAF and Hexoskin Smart Shirt are where the industry is headed. Get ahead of the curve by picking out a new, up-to-date fitness tracker now!
Rae Chen
Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at thenotice.net, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.