Best Running Watches Reviewed for Durability & Quality
But where to start? Running watches offer a wide variety of prices, capabilities, and appearances making it sometimes hard or overwhelming to find the right one. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of our favorite running watches on the market.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Are you are planning on using your watch inside or outside? If you answer is outside, or both, you may want to look for a watch that is waterproof or water resistant. This will ensure that the watch will hold up in the rain or damp conditions. Plus you can use this watch during other activities such as swimming. Also, another handy feature is a watch that can help you track the difference between your runs on the treadmill and your running on the street. This may not seem important now, but as people gain momentum with running, they tend to want to know more for training purposes.
Running is an active sport, and if you enjoy hitting nature trails, then you are also bound to bump up against some trees at some point. A good running watch should not only be able to record and save the data you require to improve your runs and get the most out of every, but it should be able to withstand the different elements you may encounter during your tun. This includes different weather conditions and environmental surroundings. Some watches can be quite as expensive, so you would want it to last a while as well.
Batteries are an important feature of your watch. You need a good battery to last so you can enjoy all the benefits and features throughout your training.
There are two options for batteries for running watches, the normal battery found in most watches or the rechargeable lithium batteries. Rechargeable lithium batteries are found in the more advanced running watches. Typical ion batteries fully charged usually last for up to six hours making it a favorite of runners.
Keep in mind your budget while shopping for your running watch. Keep in mind the features you need and want and try not to splurge on a fancy watch that offers a lot of features that you won’t use. The more add-ons and options you choose for your watch, the higher it will cost. Unless you are seriously into running, choosing a watch with simpler options should suit your needs just fine.
BEST RUNNING WATCHES REVIEWED FOR DURABILITY & QUALITY
1. Garmin Fenix 3 HR
The ideal training partner for the serious runner. The Fenix 3 HR boasts a wide variety of capabilities to help further your training regimen. It has monitoring technology to track heart rate, stride length, pacing, and other components so you can track your progress and reach your goals. Robust, this watch can withstand any conditions you throw at it. This watch also has the option to customize its appearance and formatting, so you can make it truly yours. For the dedicated runner, this watch offers the highest number of capabilities and options to help you reach your goals.
Heart Rate Monitoring
The Garmin Fenix 3 HR gives you the option to track your heart rate without an accompanying chest strap. This helps your watch monitor how many calories you burn in a workout and how intense your run is.
Form and Fitness Monitoring
This watch has the ability to track your pace, overall speed, and even how much oxygen you consume on the run. This helps you track your form and fitness with extreme accuracy to assist you in reaching your goals.
Cost and Value
This watch is one of the highest rated watches on the market with the best features aimed specifically at further your fitness and running form. While it carries a high price tag, this is an excellent choice for the truly dedicated runner looking to fine-tune their bodies for running.
2. Fitbit Charge 2
A crowd favorite across the board. The Fitbit Charge 2 offers so much beyond simply running-related features. When paired with the app, available in the Google Store and in the iOS app store, this watch allows you to track heart rate, daily physical activity, sleep, and nutrition at all hours of the day and night. This lets you see the impact your training can have on your overall health, and conversely, how your nutrition or sleep is impacting your running. Whether your goals are weight-loss, stamina building, or all-around well-being, this watch allows you 24-hour access to your body’s response to your training.
An Accompanying App
When paired with the Fitbit app, this watch offers features far and above simply running assistance. Nutrition, sleep, and basic daily movement can all play a role in your training, and this watch helps you track them all 24/7, effortlessly.
This watch is an excellent choice for those who want a comprehensive running tool, that doesn’t carry a clunky design. Along with its functionality, this watch also has a sleek, small profile for use throughout daily life.
Cost and Value
For an overall wellness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 2 is a great value and it’s still durable enough to withstand daily life. With access to the app, few watches offer the same level of features at this price tag.
3. Timex Ironman Classic 30
Want to start training but don’t want a watch that will bust the budget? This watch is the option for you. Despite its lower price tag, this watch still has much to offer the amateur runner. It has timing, alarms, and a durable design that can last years. Whether you’re just getting started with your running regimen and don’t want to break the bank, or you don’t require heart rate tracking or GPS capabilities, this watch will still offer enough to allow you to track your training process and reach your goals.
For the runner just getting started, or might be intimidated by the large price tags that running watches can carry, this is a great option to start to explore what watches can do for your training regimen without breaking the bank.
Despite its small price tag, this is still an extremely durable product. Able to perform in rain, snow, or shine, its low-tech status also means you’ll spend more time running, and less time fretting over a malfunctioning feature.
Cost and Value
While this watch doesn’t offer as many high-tech features as other watches on this list, it is still a reliable running companion. Basic timing and alarm features work reliably in many different conditions, and its long-life means that this is a small purchase that will still last a while.
4. Garmin Forerunner 910XT
An ideal choice for the athlete training for a triathlon, this watch was designed to maximize training on land and in water. The Forerunner 910XT offers the ability to track mileage and pacing while running, then seamlessly and with the push of a button, switch to tracking the number of strokes you take in the water. While most running watches are waterproof and can withstand the amphibious rigors of preparing for a triathlon, few are designed specifically for this type of training.
Features Specifically for Triathlon Training
This product sports the ability to switch between training modes at the push of a single button. This means you can go straight from tracking mileage on dry ground, to tracking your laps in the pool while losing no time.
The high-quality GPS tracking on this watch works for your running, as well as any swimming you might do across open water. For additional cross-sport training, you can also use this product for paddle boarding and other sports to aid your training.
Cost and Value
A unique product in the watch market, this watch does carry a high price tag. But, for the dedicated triathlon athlete, its features can be worth it, and give you an extra edge to really hone in your training.
5. Suunto Ambit3 Peak
An excellent choice for the adventurous runner, this watch is known for its unparalleled GPS and altitude tracking capabilities. Whether you’re undertaking a long journey up the side of a mountain, or an excursion through the woods, this option will provide the most accurate tracking and monitoring for the adventure. In addition to its wide range of multi-sport capabilities, the Ambit3 Peak is one of the highest rated watches on the market and widely regarded as one of the most reliable choices.
Unique Weather Monitoring
Since this product is geared toward training that experiences changes in elevation, the Ambit3 Peak also offers weather tracking since this type of activity is more affected by rain and snow.
Long Battery Life
For the long runs through woods and over hills, this watch offers a long battery life to ensure you always have access to GPS tracking. Never worry about getting lost in the wilderness with this product.
Cost and Value
For the high price tag it carries, this is definitely a product aimed at serious athletes whose training takes them up and down mountainsides and hills. This type of training needs reliable weather and GPS tracking, and that’s what this watch provides.
An option for the amateur exploring their options. For the price tag, the RUOQINI offers one of the highest numbers of training settings and capabilities at the best value. This product presents an opportunity to explore all the different settings a first-rate running watch has to offer, such as GPS tracking, app syncing, training settings, and other smart features; but without the high price tag of other watches on this list. An excellent option for the amateur runner exploring further capabilities from their running watch, but are not yet ready to commit to a watch that costs several hundred dollars.
Wide Variety of Sport Modes
Besides running, this watch can be used for swimming, cycling, and even gym workouts. This product offers features usually only seen associated with watches that cost several hundred dollars.
Monitor mileage, pacing, and even calories burned to understand the full effect your workouts have. Pair with a heart rate monitoring band for a more comprehensive picture of your progress.
Cost and Value
This watch carries a low price tag considering all the features this product offers. A great option for someone who wants to explore greater running watch capabilities without spending hundreds of dollars.
7. Samsung Gear Sport
For the stylish standout. This watch is brand-new to the market, released in late-2017 and boasting a unique appearance sure to catch the eye of other runners you may encounter. Along with a striking appearance, this watch also offers nutrition and heart rate tracking, timing, and unique settings based on your workout choices. It might not sport as many features of some of the other watches on this list, but it will still enhance your running regimen, and make you one of the sharpest-looking runners on the road.
Unique and Stylish Appearance
New to the market, this watch has a one-of-a-kind appearance that will make you the envy of the rest of your running club. The interface also makes this watch a fun to use product.
Built to Pair with Your Smartphone
A high-tech watch, you can pair the Gear Sports Smartwatch to your phone to utilize extra features. Get text, call, and email notifications, and even make payments using your watch.
Cost and Value
This product carries a high price tag, largely driven by the style factor of this watch. For the athlete looking for a watch aimed at improving their performance, this isn’t the right product. For the athlete looking for a high-tech, multi-sport watch that offers features beyond running, consider this.
8. Rookee Smart Watch
As the brand name suggests, this is an excellent option for the rookie runner. This product delivers GPS tracking, calorie tracking, mileage, and other features offered by higher quality watches, at a lower price. Waterproof, this watch is adaptable for multi-sport uses and also offers a robust and stylish design.
Long Battery Life
This watch can last for longer than a week in normal use. This watch offers one of the longest battery lives on this list.
Features That Don’t Require a Phone
If you’re the kind of runner who doesn’t like to bring a phone on your runs, the Rookee Smart Watch enables the runner to access your watch capabilities without a phone.
Cost and Value
This watch enables you to track mileage, calories, and your route, all for a low price tag. An excellent option for a runner wanting to explore further capabilities without breaking the bank.
9. Polar M430
Another great option for GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring to help further your training regimen. This watch sports a unique, sleek design along with its features, making it a stylish accessory to your running attire. While the price tag for this particular watch is high, the product you get in return offers much in terms of training capabilities and appearance.
Wrist-Based Heart Rate Monitoring
While some watches require straps to monitor your heart rate, this watch houses the heart rate monitoring device within the product, so no extra accessories are needed to get your information.
One of this watch’s key features is its ability to track your sleep throughout the night to see its effect on your training. Paired with the 24/7 heart rate monitoring, this sleep monitoring feature helps you see how all your habits play into your training.
Cost and Value
While nothing necessarily makes this a unique product, its features do make it a handy training companion. The high price tag is largely attributed to its strapless heart rate tracking and 24/7 activity tracking.
10. Epson Runsense SF-810
A watch for the minimalist. Concluding our list is the Epson Runsense SF-810, which has an extremely simple interface for the wearer using this product. It utilizes GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring to help you track your progress. One of the more basic options on this list, this product is great for the runner who wants to access these features, without getting overwhelmed by learning a new tool.
Links with Popular Running Apps
If you have a favorite running app and don’t want to learn a new interface, you don’t have to with this watch. The Runsense SF-180 supports most popular running apps, so you can sync up to a tool you already enjoy using, or adapt the accompanying training app.
Stride and Pace Monitoring
This watch allows you to monitor your stride lengths and pacing to help you fine-tune your running. If there’s a target time or pace you need to aim for, this product can help you reach your goals.
Cost and Value
This watch sports some unique features without carrying a high price tag. While it doesn’t come as highly rated as some other watches on this list, it does offer some great features for someone looking to hit some target times.