Strava vs Runkeeper: How Do They Compare For Runners?

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Finding the perfect app for your running adventures can sometimes be as hard as finding the ideal route to take. Strava and Runkeeper are two of the most popular apps made for runners, but how do they compare? 

Both apps record your running data and provide insights into your routines and progress. Strava is great for runners who enjoy the social aspect of running. While Runkeeper offers the same, it focuses more on the individual’s training and goals. Both apps offer premium subscriptions to their users. 

To find the app that works for you, we’ve compiled an in-depth list of all the features, advantages, and disadvantages of both trackers.

Let’s take a look at how they compare in our Strava vs Runkeeper analysis

Strava vs Runkeeper – The Features And Advantages

Strava vs Runkeeper

At face value, Strava and Runkeeper might seem fundamentally similar. However, there are unique features perfect for some yet impractical for others. 

The Hot List Of Strava Features 

Strava has quite an impressive list of features, from challenges to a safety element that allows your friends and family to keep track of your whereabouts. There is a database of routes, new places to explore, and so much more. 

1. Tracking, Analyzing Tools, And Supported Devices 

Strava’s app can be used on Apple and Android devices. You’ll be able to keep track of your performance and take a closer look at the breakdown once you complete the run. 

What makes this feature really useful is that you’re not stuck with information you don’t need; you choose the performance data that adds the most value to your training requirements. 

While runners enjoy the feeling of fresh air and rubber soles slapping the asphalt, some days are just not made for jogging. You can still use Strava to record other indoor activities such as cycling, rowing, swimming, or treadmill running. 

And if you don’t like to run with your phone, you can connect your wrist unit to the app. According to Wareable, Strava is compatible with most newer fitness trackers and sports watches. 

BrandCompatibilityPopular Devices
Garmin   Most newer devicesForerunner series
Vivoactive 4
Fenix series
MARQ series
Enduro
Swim 2
Fitbit  Selected/limited devicesCharge 5
Versa 3
Sense
Apple Watch Selected/limited devicesSeries 3
Series 7
Series SE
Polar Most newer devices Grit X
Vantage V
Vantage M
Samsung  Selected/limited devicesGalaxy Watch 4
Galaxy Watch 4 (classic)
Suunto Selected/limited devicesSuunto 9
Sunnto 9 Peak
Trainer Wrist HR
Sport Wrist HR
Coros  Selected/limited devicesPace 2
Apex Pro
Vertrix 2
Amazfit Selected/limited devicesGTS 3
GTS 2
GTR 2e
Bip U Pro

If you can’t find your watch or tracker listed, Strava appears to be open to suggestions; send them an email to see if they plan on adding your preferred device in the near future. 

2. Social Media Connection And Safety Features 

The Strava app is a great platform to connect with other athletes. You can share your adventures and become part of a community that uplifts and support each other. If you don’t care for biking, you can join groups – or clubs – exclusive to runners. 

Share your adventures with your followers, family, and friends with photos of all the fantastic places you explore; this is a great way to find new spots when you’ve grown tired of the same beaten path. 

The social connection goes a step further by incorporating a safety feature. Beacons are designed to work of your device’s GPS to let your loved ones know where you are. The person you selected as your safety contact will be able to keep an eye on your progress and know when you might be in trouble. 

3. Adventures, Challenges, And Running Routes 

Segments are like the runner’s version of pinball. If you start to feel unchallenged, you can search for a challenge and see how your skills compare to others on the leaderboard. You can also create your own segment and see if anyone can beat your time. 

The Strava app has a complete list of the available running routes you can explore. It claims to have the best trail network and, just by giving your location, provides you with many options around you. You can also use your device and GPS for navigation, an excellent feature for people who get lost easily. 

Another handy feature is heatmaps; this function will show you the trials around you and where the people enjoy running the most. 

4. Free Vs. Paid Subscription 

With the free download, Strava offers the following to runners:

  • Activity recording 
  • Device support
  • Social Network
  • Beacon on phones

The paid subscription of $6.99 per month (or $4 if billed annually) will get you the four essential functions of the free account and the following additional set of features:

  • Beacon on all capable devices
  • Route planning  and personal heat maps
  • Segment competition
  • Training dashboard and log
  • HR & power analysis
  • Advanced metrics
  • Goal setting
  • Compare efforts

The Hot List Of Runkeeper Features 

ASICS Runkeeper is an app dedicated to runners. So if your preferred activity is jogging, this app might be what you need. But how does it compare to Strava and all its fancy tools? 

1. Tracking, Analyzing Tools, And Supported Devices 

For the goal-orientated individual, this app will allow you to set goals and track your progress towards them. Runkeeper also has a trainer function that you can use according to your objectives and fitness level. It will show you the best way to make it to the finish line – so to speak. 

A unique concept ASICS brought to the table is keeping track of the mileage your running shoes have achieved. Not only is this interesting data, but very helpful when you need to be reminded to start looking out for a new pair. You can use this function to save for your new trainers – if you know how long they’ll last, you’ll have a good idea of how much to put away each month. 

If you are tired of timing your fast/slow pacing, this app will be perfect for you. Runkeeper has audio cues that allow the user to keep track of pace and distance without breaking a stride. 

Are you looking for more motivation? Is there anything better for the body and soul to look back and see how far you have progressed? This app got you covered with progress reports and valuable insights on your fitness journey. 

If you like some variety in your fitness regime, Runkeeper can also be used to track and record other activities such as cycling, yoga, pilates, skating, hiking, rowing, etc. 

Runkeeper works on iOS and Android devices; however, it only supports a selected few fitness devices according to their website. The four fitness wearable brands it is compatible with is:

  • Apple Watch for iPhone users
  • Garmin
  • Fitbit
  • TomTom MySports 

The following devices all have good compatibility with Runkeeper:

  • Apple Watch Series 2
  • Polar M600
  • LG Sport Watch
  • Fitbit Alta HR & Charge 2

See more: Garmin vs Apple Watch – which is best for runners?

2. Social Media Connection And Safety Features 

Runkeeper’s social features are not as fancy as Strava’s, but you can still have the social experience of tagging your running buddy on the app. You’ll also be able to see your friend’s running journeys, pictures, and activities. 

Spotify might not be a social integration in technical terms, but is there anything more potent than to run to the sounds of your favorite music? Runkeeper lets you connect to your Spotify account to listen while you run. 

Regarding safety, Runkeeper has a function similar to Strava’s beacon. Here you can also share live information about your workout and location. 

Strava beacon

3. Adventures, Challenges, And Running Routes 

Runkeeper holds virtual races that you can take part in and experience the adrenaline rush only a running competition can give you. Using this feature is great to determine if you are ready for your upcoming challenge or need to step up your game. 

Preplan your training sessions by selecting a route from anywhere in the world. The data from the different paths will give you great insight into how the terrain influences your performance. 

4. Free Vs. Paid Subscription 

You can download the Runkeeper app for free, but with the paid subscription of $39.99 a year, you receive more tools to enhance your jogging experience. With Runkeeper Pro, you’ll be able to: 

  • Get personalized workout plans and training schedules
  • Review your history and insights into your progress towards your goal
  • Compare your workouts 
  • Set a program that is designed around your needs
  • Select options from 5k to marathon
  • Performance reviews and corrections 
  • Wheater updates to plan your runs
  • Access to athlete’s journeys as they prepare for races

Strava vs Runkeeper – The Disadvantages

Athletes who want to train for competitions, races, or marathons will find Runkeeper more useful than Strava. Some runners believe that setting up your training goals on Runkeeper is quicker and easier.  

While Runkeeper does have route mapping, it appears that the path must first be created on their website. While with Strava, you’ll be able to select a route from the app on your phone. 

While social media is fun and can be an excellent source of motivation, it can also be dangerous if we’re not careful. Some runners feel Strava can pose a safety risk with location sharing and other personal information. It is imperative always to review the privacy settings on your apps. 

With Runkeeper, users appear frustrated that warm-ups and cool-downs are included in the total pace stats. It might not sound like a big issue, but this can significantly impact your overall performance data or training progress. 

GPS is an essential function for running apps; if there are spots on your route where the signal is not great, the data feedback can be inconsistent with the total mileage. For training purposes, this is not ideal. Out of the two apps, it appears that Runkeeper has the most snags with GPS functionality. 

Strava users have had issues with customer support regarding billing issues. Subscribers warn that Strava automatically renews your subscription (and deducts the yearly fees) a day before the end date. Also, make sure you want to purchase the app before you put in your details – you can apply this rule to the Runkeeper subscription as well. 

If you plan to use either app without a wrist unit, you’ll have to invest in a proper holder for your phone that attaches securely to your body. You can look into armbands, backstraps, or thigh bands for this purpose. You do not want to risk your phone smashing to the ground while you perdue your personal best. 

How To Make The Decision Between Strava And Runkeeper? 

While Strava and Runkeeper are both excellent apps for runners, they are not the same. You probably liked one or two of the unique features listed for each app and found yourself wishing you had one app that included all these features. 

That is not entirely impossible. Using a syncing platform like tapiriik will allow you to experience both apps and their exclusive features by syncing your data from multiple fitness tracking apps. 

Using this method will give you the time to establish if Strava or Runkeeper is the best option for you. Of course, you can always keep both, but for people on a budget, it might not be possible to pay for two subscriptions every year. 

If your wallet is a little thin, you can always keep an eye out for free trials on offer and use tapiriik to make your final decision. While it is a good idea to compare options through other runners’ experiences, you might find that what works for them is not necessarily the best option for you. 

The Bottom Line: Strava Or Runkeeper?  

Strava is the better option for social butterflies who also like to analyze (and share) their running adventures. Runkeeper has a fuss-free interface that caters to the runner who has specific goals and wants to keep track of the progression data. 

If you are still unsure which app would better suit your running needs, try using both for a month or two. The best way to find your ultimate tracking experience is by experiencing the ups and downs for yourself.

Happy running! 

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