The Best Running Watches | Review & Guide
The running watches are very specific gadgets, not to be confused with the fitness watches. They were created for those who train a lot and very seriously. You can track your workouts in detail, plan your sessions and take care of your well-being. These are very complete objects, which are made for those who need a real support in their workouts. The best running watches market you will improve your sleep, optimize your efforts and choose from a multitude of sports. This type of article is quite expensive, it is an important investment that will need an article like this to help you in your choice. We selected the 10 best running watches that are unbeatable and that will cover everyone’s needs.
The best running watches in 2020
1. Garmin Forerunner 935: The best shows running all categories
The first model of Garmin we see all is the Forerunner 935. This is the predecessor of 945, which is still current with its many options. You will not find so easily such a versatile model.
This model is perfect for those who do not necessarily need the latest technology. During your training, your running watch will measure your level of effort and will tell you if you use excessive force or otherwise, not enough. Here too, there is the Running Dynamics feature which analyzes in detail the way you run. There is also cyclism and Dynamics Swimming, cycling and swimming. For all this, the watch will give you a ton of statistics (useful for some, for others less). The battery is great and can last up to 60 hours without UltraTrac (monitoring heart rate).
Design is the main drawback of the Garmin running watch that is not thinner and pretty. It really is not modern either. For cons, the screen is high resolution, which will be perfect during your workouts.
Compared running this shows the old models from Garmin, it’s just a bit less accurate the statistics. As for the options, it has nothing to envy to others. It regrets that its price remained higher.
2. Garmin Forerunner 645: The best shows running cheap
This model of Garmin we see all is the Forerunner 645. A little less expensive than the other, this watch belongs to the penultimate generation of the brand. She still holds the road thanks to its multitude of options and quality Garmin unwavering.
For starters, this watch fits almost all types of sport profiles. Cyclists will find information of particular interest. The measurements are so precise that during the running, the watch records the time of contact on the ground, stride length, the vertical relationship, etc. This is essential to prepare and improve your fitness. With the information on your heart rate, the application may suggest rest time with the efforts you have made during your session. Underwater, it measures distance, pace, the number of movements, and many other elements … In short, a very precise clock that provides endless opportunities with Garmin Pay here too. The trouble occurs in the heart rate sensor, which is doing its job in the time of rest, but not during training: Sometimes the pulse is lost or is not so accurate. To remedy this, Garmin offers more accessories.
The design is fine and neutral, so it will appeal to many people. With only 42 grams, you barely feel on the wrist. The screen has a nice feature: a button to illuminate in dark conditions.
Our team of experts could not rule out this model of this article, which is one of the best watches of all time. This is a good compromise if your budget is limited compared with the latest models.
3. Garmin Forerunner 245 Music: The watch running at the best value
Garmin is the leader in running watch market and because they were the first to have created these products in early 2000. It is also the brand that offers the widest range of different watches. The Forerunner model has become a great success and we will describe the number 245 Music, which surely please all.
The price Forerunner 245 Music is more than reasonable and is among the lowest in our selection. The options are very interesting: it is one of the most successful watches about positioning. The GPS + Galileo + Glonnass are the best available with a total of 74 satellite operators who will follow your movements with great precision. The battery lasts a long time and you will not need to charge more than 2 or 3 times a week. By cons, with music playing, the watch held 6 hours at most. For more complete this watch, Garmin has included two very useful applications: Garmin Coach for a custom training guide and Garmin Connect App, a data backup tool. There are even collectible badges to motivate you to move (as in video games!).
The design is not the strong point of this watch, it does not really give quality air with its plastic housing. That’s what you get for that price. The good thing is that it will light when you wear it.
To summarize, this watch is running one of the best in terms of value. Do not let its appearance deter you, the options it offers are great.
4. Garmin Forerunner 945: A watch running multifunction, very light and with high performance sensors
The second model of this selection is also part of the Garmin range. This is one of the most popular running watches, thanks to the multitude of options it offers. Performance is also particularly extensive.
Garmin is a pro in the field and we demonstrated once again with the Forerunner 945. This watch is like running the Forerunner 935, but with a completely redesigned interior. On the latter, there was no music and fewer options. Here you will have a real support during your workout, whether for triathlon, running, cycling or swimming … The watch measures your statistics through V02, a tool that allows you to understand and manage your fitness. It describes the maximum speed at which you are able to bring oxygen into your body, transporting it to your muscles and use it effectively. The higher your level V02 is, the more powerful you are. And all thanks to the last sensor Garmin Elevate HR cry surrounding factors do not interfere with its operation, all the noises are eliminated, even underwater.
The accuracy is the same as in the Forerunner 245 with GPS, GLONASS and Galileo. And little more, the cards are in color. Thanks to Gorilla Glass, you will earn 75% more visibility. Add to that a Sony GPS chip high technology, which improves measurement accuracy and battery life (up to 10 hours in GPS mode with music). Finally, to make this watch even more convenient, Garmin has included its Pay Ready app that serves wallet. Here are compatible with this system banks in France Arkea Credit Mutuel Fortuneo, Max, PCS, and Transferwise Boon for Master Card, Visa and Boursorama for Revolut for both.
In short, a very complete model, the 3rd most expensive of this selection, for athletes who spend a lot of time training.
5. Polar Vantage V: The perfect watch waterproof running for triathletes and runners
Weight: 66 grams | Material: Stainless steel | Water level: up to 50 meters | Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels | Battery: up to 40 hours in the drive mode
Polar Vantage V is a running watch that wishes you well. She will take care of you so well that you never want to go!
This measure shows running a bunch of settings that you will not even thought. There is everything you need for any type of sports. In addition, it will measure the quality of your sleep, and even how you have recovered from your stress or workout. There is a called Serene application that will guide you through breathing exercises for a better recovery. The watch also measure your steps and follows your activities. The specific brand that is particularly suited to triathletes. The battery will be enough for average use, which corresponds to 40 hours and two loads a week.
The positioning technology is used GPS + Glonass. It is less accurate than both Garmin seen previously, it will perhaps few more seconds to pick up the signal. Nothing very serious. For cons, the heart rate sensor is very accurate.
Regarding the appearance, it is more “fashion” than other models. The lines are thinner and there are several colors of wristbands: black, orange, blue or white. The screen is black and in color, with a Gorilla glass that allows maximum visibility. By cons, controls and display are somewhat confused, it will take a little practice to get used to.
Our team of experts love this watch because it focuses a lot on recovery and not the drive. It is quite expensive, but its price is way over competitors.
6. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Titanium: Robust, accurate and with few options too
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is the most expensive watch of this selection. Its price is around 1000 euros. It is a great investment that needs a detailed review:
To justify this price, Garmin has included a lot of options. Some will be useful, others are superfluous, but in any case, everyone will find his account. First, we find here also GPS + GLONASS + Galileo trio, with over 2,000 ski resorts cards worldwide. It is perfect for sports enthusiasts in nature, triathletes and runners. The multisport mode lets you change activity just by pressing a button. You can follow your SMS and smartphone notifications, calendar, listen to music, set an alarm or timer … The PacePro options and V02 will give advice to run efficiently on any type of terrain. In summary, your Fenix 6 Pro, you will not need your phone she already knows everything. She even replace your wallet with Garmin Pay Ready. And to easily navigate through all this, the widget menu was very well thought out. Its battery do not let go even for longer activities. In smartwatch mode, it will last up to two weeks.
The titanium version is 11 grams lighter than the steel model, but is still a little heavy on the wrist. It is a defect necessary given the activities you will do with this running watch. Sapphire glass is scratch resistant to gain even more strength.
Compared to Fenix 5 Plus, the battery lasts longer, the screen is bigger and the interface is much clearer. This shows running is considered the best in the high end. This is a real investment, rather satisfy collectors and top athletes. For basic use, you will find much cheaper models that will do nicely.
7. Suunto 9 Baro: The specialist in long-kind sports sessions
Weight: 81 grams | Casing material: polymer reinforced with glass fibers | Lens material: Corning Gorilla Glass 3 | Water level: up to 100 meters | Display resolution: 320 x 300 pixels | Battery: up to 120 hours
The watch Suunto running 9 Baro is one of the top models. With a price that reaches 700 euros is the second most expensive item in this article. We’ll explain what justifies this price and prestige …
Suunto has a unique feature that is the customization of the battery. This offers you the possibility of limiting the maximum refill. You see, there are many options and rest assured, this has no effect on autonomy. Thanks to this feature and that it has a built-in barometer, it is the number one ally of hikers. Apart from this activity, it will bear 80 others. Since this is a watch designed for lovers of sport in nature, it is an option that can detect bad weather, including storms, so you can provide shelter in time. In addition, it has a glass Sapphire crystal scratch resistant, in case where it would fall during your hike. To simplify your life, it will show various graphic live, including measurement of heart rate, the number of steps and calories burned. You can also share your performances on social networks.
We chain with the display, which is in color, a significant point, and that is not found in cheaper models. To navigate it, it will be easy, since there are only three buttons on the side. What we really loved about this model is its original design and variety of colors and bracelets available. By cons, some steel models are quite heavy (up to 81 grams). This is still a necessity, given the sports for which it was designed.
For those who are wondering, this model differs from the old Suunto 9 for two things: the barometer & Sapphire glass. This gives a watch running 20% more expensive, but this is well worth the shot.
8. Suunto 7: shows fitness connected with endless features
Suunto 7 is very good as a smartwatch, less as a sports watch. This may suit those who do not need extensive options for their workouts.
The thing about this watch is running the Wear OS application, which is connected to Google and offers the following functions: dictation, voice control, messages, incoming calls, Google Fit, timer, calendar, translation, Google Play Store … And many others. By cons, when you add to that the core application Suunto, all gets a bit confusing and frustrating time to adapt.
For the sporty, Suunto 7 can boast a very good pulse sensor. It is also compatible with 70 sports, suddenly, everyone will find his account. The Suunto expertise still offers all necessary options for your workouts are followed seriously. A feature caught our attention in particular: offline maps. Even in nature, without connection, you can find your way and it really is a big bonus. The navigation system is GPS only, which will be less effective than previously seen on some models.
In summary, this watch offers the best connected applications while supporting your sports sessions. The only concern is the price a little high compared to competitors.
9. Fitbit Ionic: The best shows Fitbit for running and the gym
This model of running watch is the most complete of the brand Fitbit. For a reasonable price, you get an efficient model and with very effective options.
Fitbit is a Ionic watches the lightest on the market running, with only 30 grams and a very slim design. It has nothing to do with the traditional running watches, quite voluminous and sometimes cumbersome. There are three predefined color combinations: silver gray, blue and flashy orange and finally brown.
As for performance, we enjoyed the navigation system which operates under GPS and Glonass. This watch will measure your steps running, the number of mounted stairs, your distance traveled, calories burned and sleep, 24/24. And the option most original of this review: a reminder to turn on you if you sit too long. Perfect to motivate you! Sometimes we do not realize how much time can pass quickly … For even more fun, you can store up to 300 songs. Only flat, walking and cycling are measured by the number of stairs, a pity that the statistics is not more accurate at this level. There is also the heart rate sensor which is great when you are resting or you exercise heavily, but fails whenever engaging in light activity. Too bad for the drives lovers in “fast burning zone”. Know that you will enjoy personalized workouts, by cons, careful not to spend too much time to follow your running watch.
If you want to spice up your workouts without this makes a hole in your wallet, this is the perfect watch for you. This is the best show running Fitbit for running and the gym, it is really amazing at the options. It is part of the watches that you pamper and we love it.
10. Polar Ignite: For custom training and very accurate
The watch running Ignite Polar is designed for serious amateurs. It offers very good benefits and will be perfectly sufficient to help you improve. And all this at bargain prices.
Options that caught our attention are: training tips and your sleep, a pulse sensor trendy, just a summary of your statistics after your workout and Polar Flow application that analyzes your results in depth. There is also an integrated GPS that allows not lugging his phone during training. The information it records are very relevant and will push you to improve yourself. This is a fairly complete product. However, the accuracy of measurements and navigation will never be as good as on competing models. For athletes who tend towards professionalism, this model is not appropriate.
This watch is very easy to use, since just press a button to start the sport mode that suits you. The operation takes no more than two seconds. The design is the last thing that should worry at that price, especially here it is not really appealing, with a plastic strap that gives a look “cheap”.
Finally, we believe that this model holds the road very well and it did its job for the price it presents. Do not expect anything fancy, just enough for a workout boosted.
Buying Guide: everything you need to know about running watches before buying a
Price is the first thing that you will think, because here it varies between 150 and 1000 euros. Your sporty profile will define in part the price of your watch, but it will also consider the options that you matter. More options you’ll have, the more your watch will be expensive. Similarly for accuracy. This kind of product worth investing because they are very complicated systems and high-tech operating inside. If you define your needs well before you buy, you will be sure not to regret your decision.
Your sporty profile
Whether amateur or professional, what is certain is that a watch running will help. Whether for a simple overview of your performance or for a thorough study of your workouts, you will find your happiness with these products. You will therefore consider the use you make of your watch.
The options are diverse and more or less numerous in running watches. You should make a list of options that you like while reading this article because they are all different from one model to another. This will depend on your sport profile, but also to your own tastes. Some may have no use to have information on their quality of sleep, but it’s always nice to know. This is one of the major points which will need to think not regret a too expensive purchase with too many options, or rather, lack of useful functions for you.
The (or) sports you practice
The running watches cover more sports different, with some models that support more than 80 disciplines. The more you practice sports, more such items is helpful. The brands have been forced to design their models in this way, to fit all. However, some watches offer more relevant statistics for a sports type or another. You will realize by reading our magazines. Keep still in mind that whatever sport you practice, virtually any model appropriate.
This is not the most important point about the sport, but it may be for some users. There are models that have a lot of applications to share your performance on social networks or to customize your watch (eg Suunto 7). This also allows to replace your smartphone during your workouts.
The design will also play on your choice. Although most are similar, with a “sporty” look, some offer a bunch of different colors or materials. The Garmin watches are particularly well thought on this point, there’s really much choice.
That is something that can be very useful, and which we must not forget to think. Most watches are waterproof, given their price. Moreover, swimming is a very popular sport, so for fans of this sport, there will be plenty to do.
FAQ: it answers the questions that you ask about running watches
A running watch is an essential accessory for anyone wishing to make a sport seriously. It tracks your efforts in real time by measuring your heart performance and speed in km / h. On one show to another, the information varies, but what is certain is that no other objects will give as accurate information. For athletes who want to improve their performance and train effectively, these gadgets are a gold mine. Some watches are so complete that they even replace the functions of your smartphone. A very practical, because playing sports with his phone is always embarrassing.
Here are some functions qu’apportent the running watches:
Stopwatch, alarm, calendar, compass, altimeter, GPS, music, SMS, social network notifications, weather, and much more …
You can easily find a running shows on any website that sells this type of product on the brand sites or directly on Amazon, for example. They are also available at stores like Decathlon, Darty, Boulanger, etc.
Prices vary between 150 and 1000 euros. For proper watch, do not plan below 200 euros, and a watch with quite interesting functions can go around 500 euros. This corresponds to a so-called use “basic”. Anything beyond succession of luxury and concerns top athletes who have a critical need for varied and accurate information.
The type of sport you practice will set the clock running it will take. You can find more details on this in our buying guide, but in summary, think first of your budget and your athletic profile. The more you are professional, more you will have a serious watch. Our product already makes it easy because we selected the 10 best shows running the market.
The biggest difference between these two models is the technology used to measure running speed. Garmin is a GPS only system that is not very accurate in urban areas, but the best hiking in nature. By cons, Polar uses an accelerometer that is suddenly much more precise and works everywhere. This is a point that will be very important for marathon runners, for example. See for yourself if that matters or not.
More new series of watches running out, smartphones are less useful. Indeed, most of the watches have connected applications that allow you to view your SMS, to pay or provide for the weather. The goal is, in fact, allow you to train without your phone. It is painful to carry and risky to leave it somewhere in your absence. Today, running watches are even able to store music to give you the most pleasant drives.
Watch ⌚ running or connected watch?
They are two very different products. The running watches have been designed to really push your workouts beyond your limits. This is to help you progress and dissect your sports sessions. This will be really useful for serious hobbyists to large sports professional sports. Whether for fun or only for specific purposes, you will get a real gold mine of information about your physical condition, your performance, and even tips to improve. On the other hand, shows a connected may be able to give you information such as your step count and heart rate, but that’s it. You will have no analysis. Connected watches are much more focused on social networking applications, and instead deal if you transfer your smartphone on your wrist.