If you’re looking for ways to become a better runner, you might have tried fitness tweaks to improve your speed, that’s where smartwatches for runners come in. If you haven’t jumped on the smartwatch bandwagon yet, now might be the time to try one out. Or maybe you already have one, but are looking for an upgrade. Once you learn how to use them, they can provide you with data and information that can help you become a better runner, track your running route, and even remind you when it’s time to refuel.
Whether you’re just starting out and looking for something user-friendly, or you’re more advanced and want to take your training to the next level, there’s a smartwatch to help you achieve your goals. So lace up your sneakers and get ready to hit the pavement armed with one of these smartwatches for running.
Buy the best smartwatches for running
Apple Watch Series 7 — $399.00
“As a faithful Nike Run Club user, I like the Apple Watch for its seamless integration with the Guided Run app. I can keep tabs on my pace, intervals and mileage without the extra bells and whistles that sometimes feel like distractions on the road,” says W+G contributor Kells McPhillips. The Apple Watch is also recommended by Nike Trainer Traci Copeland because it is “friendly for all types of runners”. However, she notes that the GPS isn’t as accurate as some other smartwatches on the market.
If you already own an Apple Watch (or just have Apple products in general) and wondering if you should get this new watch, Ali Finney, Associate Editor of Well+Good Brand Initiatives , collapses why it’s worth upgrading to series 7.
Garmin Forerunner 245 — $300.00
This watch is also recommended by Copeland, who call it “the most accurate watch on the market”. She says it keeps pace and the GPS is perfect, making it ideal for advanced runners. It also tracks your running dynamics to help improve your form. The battery lasts seven days, another big plus (so you don’t have to constantly recharge).
Garmin Forerunner 945 — $600.00
Another pick from Copeland is the Garmin Forerunner 945. Like the 245, it’s “not as pretty as Apple but all the tech is there,” she says. This model has a few extra bells and whistles, like tracking your performance condition and Garmin Pay for making contactless payments. It also has 10 hours of battery life while using both GPS and music.
Polar Grit X—$430.00
If you are looking for a hardcore smartwatch, please direct your attention to this one. It features GPS, compass, and military-grade durability against extreme temperatures and humidity. Two of the coolest features: FuelWise, which reminds you when it’s time to eat to keep you energized throughout your trip (and helps you figure out how many carbs to pack), and Hill Splitter, which can tell if you’re uphill or downhill and gives you stats on your performance every time. It is available in black and green.
Polar Ignite – $230.00
This thin and light tracker has over 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. Reviewers love how comfortable this watch is, saying you can barely feel it even while you sleep. They also like the fact that there is only one button and the screen is intuitive. It tracks your heart rate and has GPS (which isn’t quite Garmin-level but works well nonetheless). It also monitors the quality and quantity of your sleep and how well your body is recovering from the day.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 – $250.00
This watch offers performance-enhancing features, such as V02 max readings to track your heart and lung endurance. The cheapest option, $250, includes Bluetooth, but LTE is available for an additional $50. With LTE, you can call, text and stream without your phone.
Garmin Venu — $235.00
This watch has the stellar GPS capabilities that Garmin is known for, just in a nicer package than the Frontrunner styles. It is available on a beige strap with a rose gold watch, on a granite blue strap with a silver watch or on a black strap with a black or gold watch. While it doesn’t have all the same bells and whistles as the Frontrunner, it does monitor your energy to help you figure out the best times of day to be active. It also tracks your hydration, how your body absorbs oxygen, and your heart rate.
Fitbit Charge 5 — $175.00
What sets the Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker apart is that it offers a Daily Readiness Score (comes with the Fitbit Premium subscription), which gives you stats showing how intense a workout your body is ready for. (or if you need to take a recovery day). The Health Metrics dashboard tracks your SpO2, heart rate, skin temperature, and more. And in terms of tracking your run, the Fitbit gives you real-time pace and distance, and has a built-in GPS system. The downside of the Fitbit is that it doesn’t automatically connect to your phone.
Oh hi! You sound like someone who loves free workouts, discounts on top wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Join Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.
Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.