It doesn’t matter if you’re working out from your living room or your local gym, training for a marathon, or doing your first 5K, here at Tom’s Guide, we believe in helping you find the products that’ll help you reach your goals.
The Tom’s Guide Fitness Awards 2023 is a chance to celebrate these products — from the running shoes that might get you across the finish line with a shiny new personal record, the fitness tracker that might give you a better understanding of your body, to the new fitness app that’ll transform your home workouts if you’ve finally canceled your expensive gym membership.
Our Fitness Awards recognize innovation, admirable efforts in safety, and those making waves in terms of sustainability in the fitness world. We’re excited to highlight the products that are the best of the best — the ones worth buying this January to help you reach your fitness goals, whatever your budget.
The awards are judged by us, the Tom’s Guide fitness team. Together, we have years of expertise in the sector and we know what we’re looking for when it comes to the latest gear. From marathon runners to personal trainers, our team has put all of the winning products to the test to ensure they’re worth recommending. We’ve tracked down the best products on the market. During testing, we’ve looked at how easy the products were to set up and use, how enjoyable they made working out, and whether or not they’d actually make a difference in the busy lives of our readers.
After hours of running, lifting, squatting, and sweating, we present the winners of the 2023 Tom’s Guide Fitness Awards.
Best Innovation Award: Peloton Guide
We’re always looking for the most innovative products on the market, and one of the coolest bits of home workout equipment we’ve installed in our homes is the Peloton Guide. The Guide is Peloton’s strength offering — designed to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help you reach your strength training goals. You plug it into your TV, and the device uses machine learning and smart camera technology to provide that in-person coaching experience, from the comfort of your living room. For a much cheaper price than most of Peloton’s other products, you get all of the magic and motivation of Peloton’s instructors and its classes. This is a clever upgrade your home workouts.
Best Safety Feature Award: Apple Watch
It’s a sad problem for tech companies to face, but more than ever, keeping lone runners and walkers safe is a priority. One brand that seems to be leading the way is Apple. The Apple Watch Series 8 has fall detection and crash detection — in the event of a fall, or crash, the watch will automatically call the emergency services and provide them with your location, as well as alert your emergency contacts.
The newly released Apple Watch Ultra goes one step further, with an onboard Siren, designed to draw attention if you’re lost or injured out on the trails. These safety features are, hopefully, additions you’ll never have to use, but it’s nice to know they are there.
Sustainability award: Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat
From gyms going ‘green’ to brands using more recycled products in their manufacturing, sustainability is, as ever, important in 2023. When it comes to making small decisions that’ll have a positive impact on the planet, a few brands stood out from the crowd, one being Manduka. The Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat is one of the best yoga mats on the market; from a sustainability perspective, it’s built to last forever, and is manufactured using a process that ensures no toxic emissions are released into the atmosphere. As a yoga mat, it’s super comfortable to use — the 4.7mm thickness ensures you can still feel the ground during practice, and the mat is available in three different sizes, standard, long, and long and wide, to suit every yogi. You’ll feel good using this mat in more ways than one.
Best Running Watch Award: Garmin Forerunner 255
The award for the best running watch was a hotly contested one, but one watch that came out on top was the Garmin Forerunner 255. Along with an accurate GPS, a long-lasting battery, and the ability to track many types of workouts, the watch features the same fitness metrics as Garmin’s latest higher-end GPS watches: Training Status to track progress, Training Load to see workouts over a seven-day period, and Training Effect to measure anaerobic and aerobic performance. It also supports sleep, stress, blood oxygen saturation, and menstrual cycle tracking, plus the ability to track triathlon and multisport activities. And, it’s pretty affordable, too. Read our Garmin Forerunner 255 review to find out more about why this is our favorite model.
Best Fitness Tracker Award: Fitbit Inspire 3
The Fitbit Inspire 3 proves that tracking your steps, sleep, calories, and more doesn’t have to cost the earth. At just $99, this little fitness tracker blew us away with its bright AMOLED display, lightweight feel on the wrist, and excellent battery life. For a third of the cost of the company’s smartwatches, the Inspire 3 gets basic health metrics, automatic workout-tracking, and accurate sleep insights. It also comes with a free year of Fitbit Premium. Read our Fitbit Inspire 3 review to find out more.
Best Workout App Award: Nike Training Club
Whether you’re back to working out in the gym, or you’re still exercising in your living room, the best workout apps are like having a personal trainer in your pocket. Our winner? The Nike Training Club app, is engaging, motivating, and completely free. With nearly 500 different workouts to choose from — and now the option to take classes on your TV thanks to a collaboration with Netflix — getting fit doesn’t have to be expensive with this app. Read our Nike Training Club review here to find out more about what this app can do.
Best Running App Award: Runna
Runna stormed its way to the top of the best running apps thanks to its personalized running plans — whether you’re training for your fastest 5K, or your first marathon, there’s something for everyone on this app. The app itself is easy to use and extremely motivating, with the sessions clearly marked each week along with helpful pointers from coaches Ben Parker and Steph Davies. There’s the option to switch between kilometers, miles, and treadmill paces at a glance, to change your goal at any point, and add strength training to the plan at the click of a button. Plus, the plan can sync to your watch seamlessly — all you need to remember to do is the sessions themselves. Check out our Runna app review to find out more.
Best Meditation App Award: TRIPP
The Tripp app wins this award hands down thanks to its immersive VR meditation experience. Whether you’re a pro meditator or struggling to find your zen, Tripp has you covered with incredible graphics and plenty of customizable personalized experiences based on your mood. The app is available on various platforms like Meta Quest 2 and PlayStation VR2, making meditation accessible for all lifestyles and experiences through one handy headset. Guided meditations and interactive gameplay elevate this meditation app levels above competitors by allowing users to choose their next adventure and log progression. Fancy floating above the ocean, visiting space, or flying around a giant glowing flower? Now you can take a Tripp, no problem. Check out our Tripp review here.
Best Treadmill Award: Peloton Tread
When it comes to the best home workout equipment, Peloton still delivers one of the best connected home workout experiences and after miles of testing, the Peloton Tread is still worthy of the top spot. The company might have gone through a bit of a rough patch, but this doesn’t have anything to do with the build quality of its products — the Tread is expertly designed, with a neat footprint and handy speed and incline wheels on the arms. On top of that, the magic of Peloton lies in its classes, and there are hundreds of live or on-demand workouts to choose from. There’s no question about it — it’s an expensive investment, but if you use the treadmill regularly, we’d argue that it’s still cheaper than most gym memberships. Read our Peloton Tread review here to see if it’s worth the price for you.
Best Exercise Bike Award: Wattbike Atom
We won’t sugar-coat it: the second-generation Wattbike Atom is an expensive piece of equipment, but it’s one of the best exercise bikes around if you’re looking to up your training. Designed for elite athletes, this is like having an Equinox gym in your living room. It’ll track your performance, power, and technique with every pedal stroke, and we were blown away by how realistic the riding experience was. Unlike Peloton, there’s no built-in screen or additional ongoing cost, so you can use the app of your choice on the bike. We used Zwift to race friends, and Apple Fitness Plus on days we wanted to spin to Taylor Swift. Read our Wattbike Atom review here.
Best Workout Mirror Award: Lululemon Studio Mirror
The world of workout mirrors is relatively new, but we’ve been impressed by the Lululemon Studio Mirror. Unlike some of the other connected home gym equipment, the Studio Mirror looks like, well, a mirror, meaning it’ll slot unobtrusively into most homes. Once installed, the Mirror allows you to access thousands of workouts, as well as classes from popular partner studios. Last year saw Lululemon take this partnership further, and Studio members can now book discounted classes at AARMY, Y7 Studio, DOGPOUND, FORWARD_Space, Pure Barre, AKT, Rumble and YogaSix. Home workout equipment is only worth its price tag if you use it, but since installing the Lululemon Studio Mirror, it’s transformed our home workouts. Read our Lululemon Studio Mirror review here.
Best Recovery Tool Award: Hyperice Hypervolt Go 2
This quiet little massage gun surprised us with its power. Weighing in at just 1.5 pounds, this little everyday massage gun packs a punch on tired muscles — the gun has three speeds, the top speed going up to 3200 pulsations per minute. That’s more than bigger, and more expensive massage guns on the market. We were impressed with how powerful, quiet, and portage this massage gun is, making it a brilliant recovery tool to carry with you on the go. Plus, the battery life lasts three hours, meaning you can take it with you to a race or competition, and probably won’t have to worry about packing your charger. Read our Hyperice Hypervolt Go 2 review to find out more.
Best Walking Sneaker Award: Skecher Go Walk workout walker
We’re the first to admit, we weren’t blown away by these shoes at first glance, but after walking 50 miles in them, our fitness editor wrote “sure, they might not look as cute as my Veja’s, but I’m never going back.” These shoes were seriously comfortable — the arch support was second to none, and right out of the box they were a joy to float around in. During testing, the midsole cushioning was super plush, and the rocker-style Hyper Arc design of the midsole helps your foot roll forward, for a comfortable toe-off, whatever speed you’re walking. The result is a bouncy, cushioned walk. Read our full Skecher Go Walk Workout Walker review to read why these scooped the top spot.
Best Long Distance Running Shoe Award: Nike ZoomX Invincible Run 2
If you’re looking for a pair of shoes that’ll help you up your distance, it doesn’t get more cushioned or comfortable than the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run 2. Nike originally designed this shoe for marathon runners, looking for a super-cushioned, protective shoe for easy miles on tired legs. Since then, it’s become popular with long-distance runners looking for a bouncy, fun shoe for long miles. While faster runners probably wouldn’t want to race in this shoe, it’s definitely the one we reach for on most of our long runs. The third iteration of this shoe is dropping soon, so keep an eye out on Tom’s Guide for a full review once we have it.
Best Speed Running Shoe Award: Saucony Endorphin Pro 3
We’ve tested some of the best carbon fiber running shoes on the market, but the ones that surprised and impressed us the most was the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. A huge improvement on the Endorphin Pro 2’s, the third iteration of Saucony’s super shoe has one of the most breathable uppers on the market, and more PWRRUN PB foam underfoot to completely change the ride of the shoe — it’s extremely fast, yet comfortable. It allows you to pick up the pace and hold it without trying as hard. Read our Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 review here to find out what else we loved about it.
Best Running Accessory Award: Lululemon fast and free running belt
The best running accessories make heading out of the door that little bit easier, and if you’re a runner who doesn’t travel light, the Lululemon fast and free running belt will soon become your go-to. Unlike other running belts, this one won’t bounce against your hips as you move, or have to be re-fastened every time you reach a stop light. The Lululemon Fast and Free Belt might be more expensive than its competitors, but you get what you pay for here — this belt does not budge, even when you’re picking up the pace. It’s big enough for your phone, gels, keys and lip balm, and allows you to run unrestricted.
Best Women’s Health App Award: Flo
Of course, health is about far more than just tracking your activity. Our best women’s health app of the year goes to Flo, which tracks ovulation and periods, as well as giving women reassuring advice, written by experts. The app has a new anonymous mode, recognized as the best privacy innovation in the 2022 IAPP Privacy Innovation Awards, designed to keep your personal information safe. It’s an excellent, easy-to-use app, that allows you to really get to know your body.