After researching over 50 watches and affordable activity trackers, we’ve come up with the best running watches available in 2018. Almost all of these are GPS watches – these have become the go-to watch for runners the past ten years.
1) Garmin Fenix 3 HR, Gray | 2) Casio Men’s STL-S110H-1BCF Tough Solar Runner Digital Watch | 3) Aposon Mens Digital Sports Watch | 4) Garmin Forerunner 15 Small | 5) Timex Women’s Ironman 30-Lap Digital Quartz Mid-Size Watch | 6) Garmin Forerunner 630 Fitness GPS Touchscreen Smart Watch | 7) Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS Smart Watch | 8) Armitron Sport Women’s 45/7012 Digital Chronograph Watch | 9) Garmin Forerunner 25 GPS Fitness Watch | 10) Polar M200 GPS Running Watch | 11) Parnerme GPS Running Watch | 12) Bia Multisport GPS Watch | 13) Aposon Men’s Digital Sports Wrist Watch | 14) Epson ProSense 17 GPS Running Watch | 15) Garmin Forerunner 25, Small | 16) Suunto Ambit3 Run HR Monitor Running GPS Unit | 17) Fossil Q Marshal Gen 2 Smoke Touchscreen Smartwatch | 18) Soleus Men’s Tempo | 19) Fitness Tracker, DG2CHU Activity Tracker | 20) Timex Ironman GPS Silicone Strap Watch | 21) Suunto Ambit3 Run HR Monitor Running GPS Unit | 22) TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch | 23) Timex Men’s T5K8149J Multicolored Resin Running Watch | 24) Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor |
You want to start tracking your miles but with so many running watches out there it’s difficult to know which one to choose. Here is everything you need to know about running watches and how to choose the best one for you.
What are the Benefits of a Running Watch?
From simple fitness trackers to the latest GPS watches and heart rate monitors, running watches are designed to optimise and personalise your training to help improve your performance.
The running watch you choose will depend on your training goals and budget, but remember, the highest-priced option isn’t always the best running gadget for achieving your goals.
More and more running watches are able to pair with your smartphone allowing you even easier access to your data as well as giving you smart notifications to alert you to texts, calls, and emails. With a longer battery and operation inside a wider temperature range running watches are less likely to fail in hotter and colder conditions too.
Running Watch Vs Fitness Tracker?
Fitness trackers offer the most basic running data; a step count, calories, and distance. More advanced fitness trackers can always monitor your sleep and record your heart rate too. They often have excellent battery life and are lightweight and easy to use. If you’re a beginner runner this is probably enough for you.
GPS Running Watches
In addition to giving you all that a fitness tracker has to offer, GPS running watches use global position technology to accurately record your route so you can later analyse your pace, cadence, and elevation to optimise your training.
If you’re running longer distances or on hilly terrain GPS watches are ideal as they can record vertical gain, giving you more accurate data than a fitness tracker. Newer GPS watches are often GLONASS, the Russian version of GPS, enabled allowing more accuracy all over Europe.
Heart-Rate monitors and Running Watches
The ability to record your heart-rate, either through a built-in monitor on your wrist or an external chest strap, is seen as the next level in terms of running watches. Being able to track your pulse and beats per minute during exercise allows for a much more tailored training plan, using heart rate zones to boost fat burn, speed, strength, and endurance.
Heart-rate monitors can also estimate your VO2 max, your maximum oxygen consumption, and your recovery rate. While these watches are usually more expensive, many brands offer their bestselling models both with and without a heart-rate monitor to cater to different budgets.
Multi-sport watches are waterproof and can record all of the above statistics but specific to whether you’re running, cycling, swimming, and even hiking, snowboarding, skiing and paddleboarding to name a few. Perfect for triathlons and outdoor adventures.