10 Running Watches that won’t leave you Running Poor

If you have read our article on how to buy a running watch, you will know that a good running sports watch is one that supports the following features:

  • Stopwatch Chronograph with large, clear digits that are readable at arm’s length
  • Lap Memory Storage – to record training data for later retrieval
  • Countdown Timer feature, preferably with varying length time intervals for timed intervals

Many people think that to take running seriously it is necessary to splash out on an expensive watch. Thankfully this is just not the case. While a more expensive will certainly offer a lot of advanced features for recording and analyzing training and performances, there are many attractive watch models that perfectly cater to the needs of performance training.

We have selected our top ten running watches that won’t set you back an arm and a leg. All watches on our list will cater to a runner’s basic needs and can be purchased on Amazon for under $55 USD, with most in the $30-40 USD range. Where possible we have included male and female versions.

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Men’s Women’sFreestyle are known for making great surfing watches, however this surf watch company has recently been making waves in the fitness scene with their Freestyle USA Recon Sport Watch. Featuring a respectable 45 Laps of memory storage and dual countdown timer, these watches are a great choice for runners and considering the watch’s target market, swimmers and triathletes who will benefit from supurb water resistance of 100 meters – a nice benefit of buying a watch from a surfing watch company. The men’s version of the watch comes in three attractive colors, Silver/Black Purple, Black Nylon and Blue Nylon, the women’s version four: White/Pink, Black, Light Blue and Gray/Purple.
Timex’s Sleek is an ultra-durable sports watch, with proven sports watch features that feels and looks amazing. With one of these watches on your wrist you will both look and perform at your best. In addition to the standard 100-hour Chrono with lap or split viewing options, these sleek watches include tandard 50-Lap Memory Recall and 2 Interval Repetition Counters, so providing all the necessary tools in a runner’s bag of tricks. The woman’s sized T5K026 is available in five different color options and can be purchased on Amazon for around $40 USD. The mens sized T5H391 comes in three color schemes and sells for around $40 also. T5K026
You could be excused for doing a double take at this unsual looking time-piece, but there is method behind the apparent madness. O.V.A. – standing for Optimal Viewing Angle has been cleverly designed to be worn on the small, narrow part of the wrist for natural viewing at all times without wrist movement – a great benefit in races or in interval training where arm movement can throw out your balance. If you don’t mind a watch-piece that is a little different, the 75-Lap Memory RecallDual Interval Timers and Chrono Training Log features will keep any runner happy.
You might have noticed that Timex Ironman watches are well represented in our list. We are considering watch models from all watch manufacturers, so the watches you see on this list are here because we believe they are the best! Incidentally, not all Ironman watches made the grade either, although we can’t deny their dominance in this category of sports watch. The Timex Triathlon Women’s Sleek T5B721 looks similar to the T5K026. This ladies sports watch has 50-Lap Recall, 2 interval timers and Training Log feature that stores workouts by date, with best lap, average lap, and total segment time. You can pick this one up on Amazon in three stylish color options.
 This is currently one of the best-selling sports watches, which is hardly surprising considering what you get for the price. Runners will delight in the large, tall digits and front Push-Button, an impressive 100-Laps of Memory Recall and 9 Linkable Interval Timers. To be honest, you are unlikely to ever use 9 interval timers in one session, but it allows you to set interval times for different session without re-entry. This watch also has a Training Log, allowing you to scroll back through past sessions by date. It also records Total Activity Time, the cumulative time of the Chrono (less paused time). Needless to say this is a fantastic watch for runners, swimmers and joggers, and that’s without even mentioning the FLIX Indiglo Activation system. Sorry ladies, this watch suits a large-sized wrist.
Little known watch brand Oslo have all but stolen the show when it comes to Lap Memory Storage, this sports watch boasts an incredible 300 Lap Recall. Also included is Dual Split Stopwatch with Event and Lap Counter6 Countdown Timers which can be set to operate independently or consecutively plus large, over-sized push-buttons. To be honest we don’t know much about this watch. If you know more than we do, by all means write in and enlighten us. While this watch is not a brand name watch like Timex, at around only $35 USD on Amazon, we think it’s worth a gamble.
NB Vent Mini
Women’s NB Vent Max
New Balance Vent Mini
Designed for the female athlete, this sophisticated looking sports watch does not skimp on performance performance! With a lightweight feel and advanced functional features the timepiece offers up to 25x 100 Lap Sessions of Memory Storage and includes built in Training Log feature displaying best/average lap, total segment and 9 Interval Timers. This watch will help you train for your next Marathon and is a stylish piece to be worn around the track or in a casual setting. The watch also has a breathable arm band and is available in three colors – Graphite, Aloe and Berry. New Balance Vent Max
This watch is also designed specifically for runners, is suitable for men and women and shares the same features of Vent Mini Sports watch. The watch comes in two colors, black and race red and has a breathable mesh insert on the strap, allowing sweat to evaporate off your wrist for increased comfort on long runs.
When I saw these watches on Amazon, I almost fell off my chair. For these is without doubt the best looking Ironman watches I’ve seen, yet there are currently no comments and these watches are virtually un-promoted on the website. While not only looking amazing, these watches also have the features you would expect from an Ironman like 50 Lap Memory Recall with 99 lap counter, 2 Mode Countdown Timer and Syncro timer that records total activity time and running time. Linked interval timers are the only thing stopping this watch being a runner’s nirvana, but if you don’t think you’ll use it, the other running features are more than adequate for a watch that looks as good as these! T5K160
T5H721 T5B551If you’re like me, lap memory recall capacity is the first thing you look for in a watch. Why? Because I’m lazy! I get side-tracked and forget to update my training diary! This is why I’d choose this watch in a heartbeat! With an incredible 150 laps memory recall, you can store weeks of training session data without that nagging feeling in the back of my mind to update my diary. This watch also has a training log that stores workouts by date with best lap, average lap and total segment time, plus it has a target time feature allowing you to enter distance and projected time, and then presenting you a status report during your event. The watch also has 9 interval timers rounding out the complete package. For around $50 USD on Amazon we cannot recommend this watch enough for serious runners who need maximum lap storage and functionality!
The Nike Triax Speed 50 Watches, just made our list as we feel that only 10 runs (sessions) storage is a bit limited. However we confess, we do love the elegant design of the Triax which has made this watch incredibly popular amongst runners, joggers and fitness enthusiasts making it difficult to leave out! With it’s ergonomic “S” shape design, naturally angled to your line of sight to minimize wrist movement, the watch is also bundled with sporting features including five interval timers10 run storage capacity (50-laps per run) and target time – which reports on your projected time throughout your event. Priced at under $50 USD on Amazon this watch is an attractive option for both casual or serious runner seeking a cheap, great looking, functional sports watch.

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