Best Free Walking Apps for Fitness Walkers

Track your walking workouts with these free mobile apps

What app do you like best for walking? There are two basic types of walking apps. There are those that track your walking workouts and use GPS or step cadence for speed and distance, and pedometer apps that track your all-day steps and activity using the accelerometer chip in your mobile phone.

Some apps are more workout-based while others allow you to track workouts and all-day activity. These apps are all available for free, although they also have an opportunity for an upgrade or in-app purchases.

1
Map My Walk

MapMyWalk app
MapMyFitness Screen Capture

MapMyWalk is part of the MapMyFitness family of apps. It has stood the test of time and deserves first consideration for any fitness walker. What does it do?

  • When you start a workout, you can see a map of the area. As you walk, the route you have taken is marked in red. The map allows you to explore, and by seeing where you've walked so far you'll be able to find your way back to where you started.
  • As you walk, you can see the elapsed time, distance, pace, speed, elevation, and calories burned. Your speed is determined by GPS.
  • You can get audio feedback as you walk. The app can announce your distance, pace, calories burned, and other data every mile, half mile, or another interval.
  • When you finish, you can upload and save your workout data and view it both on the app and on the MapMyWalk website.
  • See your mile-by-mile splits to analyze your performance.
  • You can also load a saved route to use again, or select routes that other MapMyWalk users have done in your area.

MapMyWalk is available for iOS or Android and comes in an ad-free version for a small fee.

2
Walkmeter by Abvio

Walkmeter
Walkmeter. Courtesy of Abvio

The Walkmeter app has features that are excellent for fitness walkers who want to improve their speed and distance. It's available for iOS, Android, and Apple Watch.

  • Walkmeter uses GPS to measure the distance of your walks and hikes outdoors.
  • It functions much like a stopwatch. Open the app, tap Start, and use Lap when you want to log an interval.
  • It maps your walk, and you can view time, speed, distance, and pace as you walk.
  • You can select workout types including Walk, Walk for Time, Walk for Distance, Walk Intervals, Nordic Walk, and Hike.
  • You can create your own custom intervals.
  • View your splits, laps, intervals, history, and more.
  • Upgrading from free to Elite is less than $10 per year, far less than with some other apps, such as Endomondo. Upgrade features include tracking your daily steps, including cadence coaching, and using the Apple Watch app.
  • You can use their free training plans to transition from walking to running your first 5K, 10K, half-marathon, or full marathon.

The drawback is that Walkmeter doesn't track your steps for workouts unless you upgrade to Elite. But for walkers who are interested in their speed and interval training, it is a very useful app.

3
Argus by Azumio

Argus App
Azumio Screen Capture

Argus packs a lot into one lifestyle app. It functions as an all-day pedometer app using the motion sensor in your phone. But you can also track workouts with GPS. It's available for both iOS and Android.

  • The workout tracker displays your time, distance, and the map of your route. 
  • When you finish, see your workout calories, steps, elevation gain, best pace, average pace, average cadence, graphs, and map.
  • Your daily step count updates from your phone's motion sensor data and includes active time, distance, calories, steps, and an hourly graph.
  • Measure your heart rate at any time using their integrated heart rate app that uses your cell phone camera. You can easily take your heart rate during exercise and at rest.
  • You can link to a heart rate sensor band.
  • Track your water intake with a tap.
  • You can use the app's food diary (which includes a barcode scanner) and sleep timer.
  • Premium subscribers get a wide range of fitness and diet plans.

Argus is easy to use.and it has an interface that encourages you to interact with it and track many items for health and fitness.

4
Fitbit App MobileTracker (No Fitbit Required)

Fitbit MobileTracker
Fitbit Screen Capture

Did you know that you don't need a Fitbit device to use the Fitbit app? The free app can be used to track your walking workouts with GPS as well as your all-day steps using the motion sensor on your phone. It won't work with older phones, but as of the iPhone 5s and later models, you can just use the app. This is good news if your Fitbit died or if you aren't ready to buy one.

You can download the free Fitbit app for your operating system. Then when you set up the app, it will ask which tracker you are setting up. Choose "No Fitbit Yet" and it will set up the MobileTracker. Now it will track your all-day activity sensed by your phone's built-in accelerometer. You'll get a step count and hourly graphs.

Whether you have a Fitbit tracker or not, you can track workouts with GPS speed and distance using the Track Exercise function. From the home screen, tap the + icon and select Walk, Run, or Hike.

  • When you start a workout, you will see the elapsed time and your average pace.
  • Swipe to see a map of the route you have taken.
  • You can get voice cues and updates at selected times.
  • When you finish and save your workout, you can review it by tapping on the Exercise tile on the home screen.
  • You can review your route on a map, distance, time, pace, mile split times, calories burned, and steps for each workout.

The Fitbit app also includes virtual adventure races and challenges with friends. If you have friends with Fitbits, you don't have to be left out of the fun. The Fitbit app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows phones.

5
Endomondo

Endomondo App
Endomondo Screen Capture

Endomondo is a workout tracker that aims to be a personal trainer in your pocket. You can use it to track your outdoor exercise duration, speed, and distance via GPS. You can also track the duration of indoor workouts. It is available for iOS, Android, and Apple Watch.

  • You can choose hiking, walking, walking fitness, and walking treadmill as your sport.
  • Then select a type of workout, including a basic workout, a goal-based workout of a set distance, time, or calories, or following a route. You can search for nearby routes that others have used, or create your own route. Premium users can also race their previous time and do interval workouts.
  • As you walk, you view your route map or your stats.
  • You can set audio feedback including pep talk, distance, duration, lap time, and more.
  • You can connect a heart rate monitor.
  • When you end, you see a map of your route. The summary stats include distance, duration, average pace, maximum pace, average speed, maximum speed, calories, hydration, minimum and maximum altitude, total ascent, and total descent.
  • You can share your workouts on social media.
  • You can connect to friends who also use Endomondo.
  • A regular account does not include a step counter, but you can connect Endomondo to your Fitbit account or other activity monitor accounts.

A Premium account includes a step counter, graphs, heart rate zones, interval training, training plans (for runners), and competing with yourself.

Overall, Endomondo and MapMyWalk are similar in what they do, and both are sponsored by Under Amour. But the lack of step counting by Endomondo may be a drawback for some walkers.

6
Charity Miles

Charity Miles App
Charity Miles Screen Capture

Charity Miles gives your walking a purpose (and your running and biking, too). Open up this free app (iOS or Google Play) and choose a charity. Start a workout, choosing walking, running, or cycling. For each completed mile, you'll have earned a donation for your chosen charity. The basic rate is 25 cents for walking and running miles and 10 cents for cycling miles, subject to a periodic cap.

Along the way, you can view your exercise time and miles. When done, you must post to Facebook or Twitter in order to accept sponsorship and earn money for your charity. You can also form teams and work together to raise money for the charities.

The fitness tracking is minimal, but you can use it at the same time as other apps and put your miles to good use.

7
Virtual Walk

Virtual Walk
Virtual Walk. Virtual Walk LLC - Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

Virtual Walk is a motivating app that you can use to spice up your everyday walk indoors on the treadmill or outdoors. You can use this for iOS or Android.

Your distance is plotted on a virtual walk through a scenic or historic place. These include the Appalachian Trail, the monuments in Washington DC, the Grand Canyon, the Pyramids of Giza, and more.

At checkpoints along the way you can view photos and information about the sights on your virtual walk. Some routes are available for free and others are for purchase. At the end of your walk, you receive a medal. The Virtual Walk Treadmill or GPS versions get better ratings than the Street View versions.

A Word From Verywell

Walking apps can help motivate you and turn your walking sessions into fitness workouts. You may be inspired to walk faster and go farther. Try a few before you pick your favorite—everyone likes something different!

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