Best Running Watches
We all need that extra boost. In the sports world, equipping yourself with the right gear results in an excellent performance. The best running watch will offer you that additional support to take your running level a notch higher. There are a wide variety of different styles that can give you easy access to your distance, speed, heart rate, elevation changes, and many other features.
You don’t have to be a professional to own one. In the recent past, they have become very accessible to everyone. Many options are available for users with different skill levels. The list consists of a wide selection of watches and the guarantee that you won’t fail to get one that meets your needs.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Built-in barometric altimeter, GPS, and heart rate monitor
Great battery life
Best Running watches
1. Coros Pace
Built-in barometric altimeter, GPS, and heart rate monitor
Great battery life
The user manual is only available online
The Coros Pace is a great addition to an active lifestyle. It is comfortable, fairly easy to use, and versatile. It is equipped with a built-in barometric altimeter, heart rate monitor, and GPS. It is also durable enough to be used for just about any sport- swimming, rock climbing, running, or hiking.Read more
Unless you are venturing to the depths of the ocean, there is no reason that you can’t use this accessory every day. It is stylish, smart, and incredibly versatile. The Pace picks up on which exercise you are engaging in and provides statistics accordingly. It is a great option for hiking, swimming, biking, or simply running errands around town.
Ease of Use
The 1.2-inch display is backlit and easy to read in all lights. It is not a touchscreen but instead is controlled with four buttons. Some customers have been a bit perplexed by the fact that a manual is not included in the box. Instead, it is available online. There are a lot of tips and tricks available. It is recommended to do the research to fully enjoy the features of this device.
The Coros App is useful and intuitive. The Pace is also compatible with Strava if you prefer their software.
The silicone band is comfortable and has a good reputation for being strong. The display is made from aluminosilicate glass, which is suitable for all-day wear, even when rock climbing. It is similar to the well-known gorilla glass. The Pace is waterproof down to 165-feet. Reviewers have been pleased with this device and have no doubts about its durability thus far.
Besides being good-looking, useful, and comfortable, this device has many other compelling features. The built-in GPS system uses satellites from GPS, GLONASS, and BDS for precise location tracking. There is also a built-in barometric altimeter, alarm clock, and heart rate monitor. If you are someone who doesn’t like to miss out on the happenings of the world, you can also receive phone alerts to your accessory, such as calls, texts, and emails. The Pace is also equipped with Bluetooth and quickly uploads your statistics to the app on your smartphone.
What’s not to love? Unless this device simply isn’t your style or is out of your price range, it’s a great option. The battery is also impressive. In standard mode, the battery lasts for thirty days. In GPS mode, it lasts for twenty-five hours.
2. Digital Sports SNE
The option of 12 or 24-hour format
Features an alarm clock
Can’t withstand heavy water contact activities like swimming
With an active lifestyle, comes the need to get an accessory that can keep up with you. SNE not only strives to meet such demand but also incorporates some sense of style into their products. So, if you are keen on sports fashion, you shouldn’t settle for any ordinary device. Get a running watch that will complement your sense of style. You will love it even more if you like military designs.Read more
You can use the accessory when training, especially if you are looking to increase your speed. Why settle for an ordinary stopwatch when you can have this SNE masterpiece. It is waterproof up to 164ft. It can hold its own when in light contact with water. So, you can wash your hands or take a shower, while you’re worry-free. The plus side is that no weather changes will stand in your way if you want to head out for a run.
Ease of Use
Setting up the device will be quick and straightforward. The function and mode buttons are adjustable, allowing you to customize it as much as you want. For better readability, the numbers on the watch are luminous. You won’t strain your eyes, especially where there is low lighting.
The materials are sturdy. The face has a mineral glass of the highest standard. It is very thick at 6.3inches and has a quality build. You can rest assured that it will be long before you need a replacement.
You will be thrilled to know that it has a secure fit design. The watchband has double rows to ensure that it will stay in place. If you hate feeling sweaty when wearing watches, this option will fit you perfectly. The band has perforations, which make it breathable.
The SNE brand initials stand for sporty, nice, and energetic. Each of the company’s pieces embodies the three concepts. With the purchase, you will also be part of the Digital Electronic Movement. There’s no doubt that you will feel proud to own one of their products.
3. Garmin Forerunner 235
GPS and heart rate monitor built-in
Great Garmin app
Has a "do not disturb" function
Screen is dim
Coming from Garmin, you may have already guessed that this device has great GPS capabilities. In addition, this accessory is easy to use, customizable, and comfortable. It is one of the more expensive options on our list, but quality and durability come at a price.Read more
This device doubles as an everyday accessory and an exercise accessory. If you have small wrists, it may appear to be quite large. The Forerunner is best used as a running or cycling tracker, but can also be used for daily step counting and to not miss out on a call or text when you are away from your phone.
Ease of Use
Set up and use of the Forerunner is straight forward and simple. With the Garmin Connect app, you can put in your personal data and goals and then download personalized workout programs to your device.
Another great feature in the Garmin App is the customization. You can set the display to show your favorite picture from your camera roll, be it a lookout spot or your family.
Reviewers have been impressed with the durability of each component. The strap is made from soft silicone and the display is made from chemically strengthened glass. The Forerunner is not marketed as a swimming accessory, however, it does have a water rating of 5ATM. There is also a limited one year warranty included with your purchase.
A few features that you will find here include a heart rate monitor, a GPS system that uses both GPS and GLONASS satellites, an accelerometer, and text and call notifications. The heart rate monitor provides real-time statistics with a colorful gauge that allows you to see your statistics with just a glance. If you have a habit of getting comfortable once you sit down, you will appreciate the reminder to move after one hour of being sedentary.
Another great benefit of the Garmin app is the Garmin Connect Network. Here, you can connect with friends and family. You can create challenges together, compare results, and even race against each other. It is a great way to keep each other motivated.
We love the customizability of this device. It fits comfortably and has great built-in features. The battery life can span anywhere between eleven hours to nine days, depending on your GPS usage.
4. LETSCOM Fitness Tracker
Brightness levels are adjustable up to 5 levels
Lasts for five to ten days before its next charge
Features no mechanical buttons
Some of us run for fitness purposes, while others consider running as their favorite hobby. Letscom offers a device that can suit both kinds of people. However, the product is ideal for those who want to make overall lifestyle changes. The best thing about this item is that it is for everyone. You can get one for yourself, your significant other, or your kids. It’s a great way to keep fit as a family and makes for an excellent gift as well.Read more
When running, this device will keep track of the miles you cover, calories burned, and heart rate. You can also use it for several sporting activities such as riding, badminton, running, and for walking, to mention a few.
Ease of Use
This fitness tracker has a reminder to help you stay on track. It records minutes actively, so you can get the information you need in real-time. You will also be able to access all the reports from the watch on your phone. If you set it up correctly, it will be possible for you to get notifications. The smart notifications can be in the form of emails, texts, calls, and social media, among others. This device helps in keeping its users organized and informed.
As far as readability is concerned, it also has a large screen. The screen is bright and will clearly display all the data.
If you love diving, you can go up to 3 meters without worrying about your accessory. It has a waterproof rating of IP68, making it highly resistant to such damages. You can also swim with it as much as you would like.
It also has a sleep monitoring feature. It has sleep quality diagrams that help track of wake-sleep, light sleep, and deep sleep. The exciting thing is that it has a silent alarm. It will wake you up without being a nuisance to everyone else.
You will also love the remote camera control feature. The tracker will help you control the photos you shoot from your phone. Another convenient feature is the watch’s wrist sense. Its screen lights up immediately, whenever you turn the watch towards you.
You won’t need a charging cable for this device. It has a USB plug that is inbuilt, making the process extremely convenient. The watch is also available in several colors. You can get it in; black, coral, purple, green, grey and blue.
5. Surpro Smart
Long battery life
Reminders to get you moving whenever you’re inactive
Uses both scientific numerical management and 3-axis motion
The watch is still relatively new to the market
If you are still looking for a product that would serve as an excellent gift, this Surpo option could be the one for you. It is unisex, so you can get one for your spouse or any of your friends. If your kid is on the track team or if they merely love running, you could also get them this smartwatch. It’s for people of all ages and gender alike.Read more
The device can support seven different modes. You will be able to diversify between running, walking, cycling, badminton, skipping, football, and basketball. It won’t just be of use to you when running; it will add some value as long as you take part in sports.
Ease of Use
Unlike some of the devices on the list, this particular one has a high-definition touchscreen. It is adjustable depending on your lighting conditions. It has a dynamic user interface and is highly responsive. It can also detect whenever you work out. The feature is automatic and does not need activation.
Very few wristbands can match up to the one on this watch. Not only can it withstand the most stringent conditions, but it also has some smart features. The option is going to be one of your most reliable purchases.
Taking pictures remotely will be easier than ever with this device. It has Remote Camera shooting functions, where you will only need to shake your wrists to take a picture. You will also get weather forecast information, which will make it possible for you to plan for your training efficiently.
This product will also help you monitor your heart rate. It has the latest optical sensors, to help track your bpm as you workout or go about your day. You will be able to understand your health by analyzing your sleeping trends. It will automatically track and illustrate your state for the past seven days. You will also be able to track your steps, calories, and distance in real-time. Getting a review of your training or exercise routines will work to give you a better picture of your progress.
You will have some peace of mind, whenever you are expecting an urgent call or message. You can synchronize the watch with your phone, and you will get instant alerts whenever someone is trying to get a hold of you. The alerts include those of your social media accounts.
6. SKMEI Digital
Even though it is water-resistant, water shortens its useful life
A device that can satisfy your outdoor needs is one of the best things to have in your possession. SKMEI offers the ultimate option for sports-loving guys. It’s a heavy-duty device, with a simplistic design. You will like it if you are a minimalist at heart. It comes in two color options; black and army green. All you have to do is choose the one that best aligns with your interests.Read more
The device is highly versatile. When running, you can use it as a stopwatch to time yourself with. It has shock resistance, which makes it suitable for several high-intensity activities. You can also use it when hiking, fishing, swimming, and indoor sports as well.
Ease of Use
The face is large to make it user-friendly. Its design consists of an LED screen and has backlighting. As a result, you will be able to read the time and statistics easily. It won’t matter whether you are in a dimly lit place.
The date on the device is automatically set. This function eliminates the need to set the time every now and then. You will also have a calendar at your disposal, making it convenient to plan your training sessions. Users can even set alarms, which can serve as reminders that it’s time to go for a run. Its battery is also strategically placed, for a quick replacement process.
We get sweaty when running; it's impossible not to. The SKMEI is water-resistant, to protect it from sweat as you run. Combined with its shock resistance nature, the watch becomes highly useful for multiple kinds of sporting activities. The watch won’t suffer any damage, even if it were to start raining while you’re out for a run. You will be glad to know that it will still be functional even after wearing it while showering.
The back casing is made from stainless steel. The steel highly contributes to its durability. You won’t be in trouble, in case you drop the watch accidentally. It is anti-drop, so it also won’t get worn out as easy. For added protection, the case is quite thick.
This product is comfortable, thanks to its soft (PU) band. When you look at its band in more detail, you will realize that it has an ergonomic structure. It also has Silicon rubber on the part of the casing and band. Using such materials gives the watch a light feel when on your wrist. It’s likely that you may even forget you have it on.
Once you put it on, it will maintain its position and stability. The watch has a loop for this purpose.
If you ever plan to swim with the device, you should follow the instructions given by the company. Users are to avoid pressing the watch buttons when in the water. You should also ensure that you don’t use it in extreme cold or hot temperatures. In case you notice any droplets or mist inside the watch, you should contact the manufacturer instantly.
7. SUUNTO Ambit3
Built-in weather forecast feature
You can track your heart rate when swimming
Has a fair number of training programs
Some users claim the watch may have bugs
SUUNTO is a well-respected brand in the sports accessories industry. The company is globally renowned for its innovation and quality products. Their devices always get stunning feedback from users. You don’t need to second guess yourself, the watch is tried and tested and will make you feel glad that you bought it.Read more
The device is another excellent multisport alternative. You will be able to track several training programs simultaneously. Users are able to record the distance they cover, their pace, and speed as well. You will also find the accessory useful for water-based sports activities.
Ease of Use
One of the reasons why this device has a strong global presence is because it has several language selections to choose from. Users can choose from English to sixteen other languages. With this watch, you won’t just have records; it is capable of creating a movie like documentary based on pictures of you in motion. The company refers to this feature as a “Suunto Movie.” Looking at the highlights of your run or training is a great way to motivate yourself.
This device has one of the most coveted batteries in the industry. You will get 200 hours’ worth with a minute’s worth of accuracy. The screen is long-lasting. It consists of Sapphire crystal, unlike some of its plastic made counterparts. The casing is made from polyamide, making it very strong and durable.
This device is Bluetooth smart. You will get so many other benefits out of it, especially if you make use of the Suunto Movescount App. Like some of the alternatives on the list, you can synchronize it with your smartphone and customize it, as you would like.
Swimming with the accessory is possible thanks to its 100m water resistance. Other benefits include a compass, altimeter and barometer functions. You will also be able to navigate yourself well while outdoors.
Such an accessory equips you well for outdoor situations. You won’t see the need to purchase some gear, once you have this device in your hands.
8. TomTom Runner Cardio
Built-in heart rate monitor
QuickGPSFix technology for speed training
Features a sufficiently large display
Not be useful for an Ironman event
TomTom devices are one of those that you don’t need much convincing to buy. If you’ve never heard of them, then you just need to ask around, and you will get all the answers you need. This accessory offers several ways in which you can challenge yourself and several exciting features. It is an excellent purchase, which you can use both indoors and outdoors.Read more
You will get up to five training zones. For warming up and cooling down, you can use the easy zone. Users who want to lose weight can use the moderate tempo. This tempo is under the Fat Burn zone. From then on, the zone you choose will depend on what you want to train on. The Endure zone is for those who want to train and improve their heart and lung capacity.
Runners, whose focus is on fitness and speed, go for high tempo training. You will find this in the Speed Zone. If you are interested in interval training, the Sprint zone will be an excellent fit for you. As you can see, this device is versatile enough to help different users reach their training goals. Just make sure that you first select the zone you want before you start running.
Ease of Use
This device is lightweight and has a slim design. As a result, you will find it comfortable to run with. It is easy to operate, thanks to its navigation menu. It only has one button that you will use to control its functions.
TomTom claims that the display is super tough. Additionally, it’s suitable for outdoor use because it is scratch-resistant. To top it off, it also has some water resistance. You can rest assured that it will not get spoilt, after the slightest contact with water. However, it can only retain its waterproof capability up to 165ft.
You will be able to use the device continuously for up to 8 hours. It has a reasonable battery life, which you will find quite convenient. Customizing it is going to be easy. Aside from the settings, you can also choose between several cardio strap options. You will find the straps to be incredibly comfortable
It also has Bluetooth connectivity and is simple to synchronize with the TomTom MySports mobile app.
Your purchase will also include a desk dock, for charging the accessory. You can also use it for synchronizing your data. It also has a Graphical Training Partner for adequate training.
9. EZON Outdoor
Has a calorie counter
Doesn’t need a connection to collect data
The manual is not easy to read
A majority of people turn to their smartphone apps to help keep fit. What, they don’t realize is that not all of them are accurate. Ezon boasts of offering results that are more accurate since they are in real-time. The accessory is an excellent unisex alternative, which will certainly give you proper readings.Read more
This accessory has a timer that you can use to gauge your current capacity. It also has a pedometer function. Whenever you move your arms periodically, the watch will detect that and count your steps. The number of steps you take will be displayed and show you your exercise status.
Ease of Use
This device can calculate and record data easily; whether it’s in terms of distance, speed, BMI index, exercise, and even calorie consumption. You will not have a hard time when it comes to making goal-specific adjustments. The battery doesn’t require constant charging; it can even go on standby for 22 months. The battery is replaceable and readily available.
When you look at the design, you will notice that it’s of high quality. On top of that, it is resistant to wear. It can withstand different kinds of weather conditions thanks to its build. It also has anti-shock properties and a long-lasting silicone strap.
The device can store the user’s exercise records for up to ten days. Its resistance to water is only effective as long as you don’t go diving with it. You can safely wear them when skiing, washing, snorkeling, and swimming.
The Ezon has many useful fitness features. You are sure to attain your training and body goals with such support.
10. HONMAX 8200
Comes with a charging stand
Some users find it hard to set up
The Honmax 8200 is not like the other options on this list. Even though it’s designed for running, it is not meant to be worn on the wrist. This shouldn’t worry you though, the device is still portable. It is incredibly light and small enough to fit in a number of places. You will find its size impressive since it’s much smaller than a credit card. So, it will not inconvenience you in any way.Read more
This device is useful when running but it will also come in handy when for; cardio, aerobic training, strength training, meditation, HIIT, and cross fit. Surprisingly, it’s also a convenient kitchen timer.
Ease of Use
You will be able to separate sets of reminders. It also makes it possible for users to track their progress in intervals. You can go with whichever timing you feel works best for you.
This accessory will keep working even when exposed to sweat and rain. It also has discharge, short-circuits, and overcharge protection.
Compared to other timers, this particular one can countdown up to 100 hours. It will last you for some time. In fact, it can go up to 6 months when put on standby. You can also set the reminders on vibrate or chimes, as per your preference.
This accessory is a must-have for people working on their time management skills. It doesn’t have to be regarding sporting activities, but also in other aspects as well.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
What can the product do?
When investing in this type of product, you should check how versatile it is. If you are a sporty person, it is advisable to get a multi-functional watch. It will come in handy when you take on other sporting activities aside from running. Some watches have amazing features that will come in handy, whether you are running or not.
Ease of Use
The device must be user-friendly.
The device you land on should be easy to operate. You don’t want to settle for a watch that you don’t understand. If you do, the chances are that you might not utilize it fully. You may end up not using some of the recommended features and fail to bring out your best. The accessory you buy should be simple to read and user-friendly as well.
The best option will serve you well.
A durable product is worth investing in. You need one that will serve you well and not wear out quickly. If you love spending time outdoors, the watch you buy should have a design suited to such environments. Some devices have high-quality construction and have features that influence their durability. You should analyze different parts of the product before making a purchase, just to be on the safe side.
Excellent features will make the product worth buying.
As previously mentioned, some devices have much more to offer than others. There are options that come with features such as barometers, altimeters, and several other tools. Some devices have internal memories, for record-keeping purposes. Others have weather forecasting capabilities for planning. If you plan to monitor your overall health, there are options that will help you do so as well. Features are important because they help you determine if the watch is a good fit.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
A watch with a short battery life may end up letting you down. You don’t want it to go off before you finish up on your training. Get a watch that has a reasonable battery life, which will last for as long as you will need it to. If the running watch is rechargeable, make sure you carry a backup energy source.
Checking out the device’s compatibility is something else worth looking into. Is it compatible with an app or will you be reading all of the statistics from the small screen on your wrist? There are some options that allow you to upload your exercise data to your laptop to really get a good look at your statistics. Most devices are equipped with Bluetooth, but some will require you to plug in the device to transfer your data.
Other Factors to Consider
This section may be seen to some of you as the most important or as the least. However you see it, there is a reason that you chose that specific color or brand running shirt and shorts. And your running shoes? We doubt you bought them because you think they are ugly. The same goes for your exercising accessories. Even if it doesn't improve the function, a good looking accessory is always welcomed.
In the world of watches, the style can come down to the shape of the face, the display, the band, the overall size, and the color. While this certainly should not be the first feature that you investigate, chances are that you are already choosing your favorites based on aesthetics alone. However, if it comes down to it, choosing an option that comes in your favorite color will help to narrow down the options.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What types of features can I expect to find?
A running watch is a watch specifically for running. Unlike with regular watches, you’ll be able to track your distance, speed, and overall progress. You can also get a ton of other benefits from running watches, based on the brand and model you select.
q: Can I only use this item while I am exercising?
No, many of these products are multifunctional and multisport. As a result, they are also useful when engaging in other sporting activities. You will have the freedom to go hiking, riding, and swimming, among other activities, depending on the kind of watch you plan to buy. You can even choose to use it as an everyday accessory, no exercise required.
q: Do they make this accessory for children?
There are a variety of products in the market which are kid-friendly. In fact, there are about two selections on this list. You just need to make sure that the watch is user-friendly and easy to understand as well.
q: Does the price reflect the quality and durability?
Well, it can. Of course, it is easier to put your trust into some of the big names, such as Garmin or TomTom, knowing that there is bound to be a warranty and decent customer service. However, these styles tend to be higher-priced and have a lot of built-in features that you may not find necessary.
On the other hand, something to think about as well is how accurate the statistics are. Unless you’re just in it for the literal time of day, you will want to know that the step counter, distance traveled, heart rate, and other features are accurate. Many of the inexpensive models will give you a close reading, but not exact. If you are really concerned with all the bells and whistles, including accuracy and durability, this is an item that you will not want to skimp out on.