Nike+ has long been an amazing tracking technology for runners, making measuring your time and distance pretty easy. The Nike+ system has always included a chip you insert below the shoe of your Nike+ shoe, and your iPod will display the information. What the shoe innovator has not included in this line to date is GPS technology, that is, until their recent release of the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS.
Now Nike+ runners have a simple, automated way to map their trek without carrying an iPod along with them. The new Nike+ SportWatch GPS has partnered with TomTom to include a GPS chip in its new watch, which not only tracks speed and distance, but also maps your runs and counts calories. You can also strap on a heart-rate monitor and it will track that, too. And with the in-shoe sensor, you’ve got all the gauges you’ll ever need, in a light, and I might add, a very good looking watch.
With good looks, modern colors, and a design that you can wear on your run or at work, an additional cool feature is the hinged clasp on the band that locks it in place. It also doubles as a hidden USB port to connect with your computer.
As a time piece, the big numbers are extremely easy to see, giving you the time of day, while three buttons on the side let you navigate menus. The intuitive user interface is so easy, it was rare when I had to consult the user manual. The satellite connection also seems to be more advanced than former GPS technology on a watch. Connecting was quick and painless.
When uploading your data to your PC, Nike has bypassed iTunes and now offers your data to be sent to Nikeplus.com. Your data automatically maps your run and lets you swap between map, satellite and terrain views. Additionally, Nike’s web-based software is a lot easier to use than Polar’s or Forerunners versions.
The Nike+ Sportwatch GPS runs around $200 and is probably the most intuitive and easy-to-use GPS sport watch on the market. It also looks sharper than a stealth bomber. With about 40-miles logged into this sucker, it has become my number one running accessory ever. I love just looking at this technological marvel on my wrist. It’s light, functions like a small computer, and is marvelous at helping me set distant and speed goals. And I can’t say enough for its simplicity, something that has been missing from every other GPS sportwatch to date. It’s a breeze to transfer data to the software, it’s super-easy to read, super-easy through which to navigate, and as I said, wearing this to the office is not only a trendy fashion statement, but a nice little ego-booster and conversation-starter as well. If you’re a runner or sportster, BUY IT!