There are heart rate monitors made by every major fitness brand and high-tech personal apparel company out there: Adidas, Garmin, Fitbit, and Mio, to name just four.

Adidas had to get in on the act with their miCoach Heart Rate Monitor. Find out how it performs as a basic fitness accessory and whether it’s got the tech to be more than just a step tracker.

Getting into Detail with the miCoach

Adidas wants consumers to gather all the knowledge they can about the way they run, cycle, or hike. When you can track performance in detail, this makes it much easier to tweak little features of performance and enhance them to meet personal goals or perform at the highest levels professionally and in amateur competition.

Their miCoach is a Bluetooth-enabled Smart-monitor with a fabric chest strap, compatible with other Adidas heart rate monitors.

Perfect Pair

Use the miCoach in tandem with an Adidas miCoach app on your BT fitness tracker by Adidas, an iPhone, Windows Phone 8, or Android phone. This will enable you to connect data from the chest strap to your handheld device and follow more than just your heart rate but also obtain online coaching.

If this device is a wrist band, it’s even easier to workout while hearing professional advice. The miCoach app was designed as a customizable guide so you don’t have to hire a real person and can set your own standards of excellence.

Every time you work out, this app measures performance and supports your three fitness goals: strength building, cardiovascular training, and stretching. Receive coaching in real time, which you can hear as you huff and puff; it’s loud enough to get past the noise of your beating heart.

Create your own objectives and receive comments as to whether you are achieving those goals or not based on heart-rate measurements taken from the strap. The whole system is professional from start to finish.

What to Expect

A wrist watch-style heart rate monitor makes sense to the laymen: everyone knows how to wear a watch.

It’s familiar. The heart rate monitor strap, like an Adidas miCoach, is a little unfamiliar and potentially daunting if you’ve never worn a chest strap before.

The strap is soft and comfortable, designed not to chafe. This supports a small device resembling a game console but with two metal “nipples” or electrodes which measure your heart rate while you run.

Don’t worry: they aren’t long, pointy, or sharp in any way and the metal is rounded to create a smooth feel. They’ll barely touch your skin and aren’t meant to feel obtrusive or uncomfortable.

Your product comes in a black Adidas case so you can keep it dry, clean, and prevent damage to the strap which could ruin its comfortable finish. Look after your $90 system and it should look after you for about a year or more.

Why So Cheap?

How can Adidas make the miCoach for so little money? That’s easy: you need a Smartphone or smart watch and app. The miCoach is not a stand-alone item.