The Best Running Watches for 2023

Train for your next race with a running watch to improve your performance!

As an athlete, a runner, or a sportsman you are always looking for ways to improve your performance, get better, and be faster. While many factors could affect your productivity, how you train and how you keep track of your performance data could go a long way in telling you where to improve, how to improve and help you remain on track while your overall performance gets better. That is why a running watch is a professional’s running companion!

While you can find plenty of running watches on the market, there are a few factors to look for when shopping for a G.P.S. running watch. You’ll want to consider the battery life, tracking accuracy, and compatibility. We have put all this into consideration and provided you with the best running watch options in the market!

How We Picked

  • Data tracking accuracy

    The accuracy of your result could either motivate you on the right track or completely mess up your training. Here we stick to the brands that prioritize the basic metrics you are looking to measure.

  • Wearability and ease of use

    Here we looked for watches that should be comfortable for wearing while running for long hours. They should also be strong enough to withstand the hours of knocking and sweating they’ll be exposed to.

  • Battery life

    The last thing you want during extensive training, a marathon, or a triathlon is to get a beep saying your running companion is low. We recommend going for a watch with longer battery life.

  • Price

    With loads of running watch options in the market, one could buy a running watch that won't be useful. Here we looked for brands with great value for a great price.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

Best running watch for serious runners!

You will love its post-run analytics and coaching features, with its training readiness service that tells you how competent your body is for a run. Plus, the watch also considers future races set on your calendar in its daily recommendations, to help prevent overtraining ahead of the big event.
With its 42 hours-lasting battery life this pick is indeed the best option for a serious runner.

Buy Now for $492.29

Has a 1.3-inch touch screen and sleek chassis, making it perfect to wear during longer runs.

Runner Up

Polar Pacer Pro

Perfect running watch for mid-level athletes!

With an amazing 35-hour battery life (with G.P.S. and tracking) you will love that this watch also offers post-workout analytics that covers all the basics like pace and cadence. It also comes with some custom metrics such as FuelWise, a measurement that utilizes data captured on the watch to calculate when and by how much you need to refuel your body at the end of a run.

Buy Now for $299.95

Has custom metrics like FuelWise, to help predict when you need to refuel your body.

Most cost-effective

Amazfit T-Rex Pro

Very affordable running watch to prepare you for a marathon or triathlon!

This running watch is feature-packed for tracking your run, monitoring your heart rate, and analyzing your sleep!
You will love that added to its G.P.S. tracking, the Amazfit T-Rex Pro works with other forms of satellite navigation like GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou to provide more accurate G.P.S. This is a wonderful, cost-effective option to bear in mind when making your purchase!

Buy Now for $159.99

This multipurpose watch can tolerate the coldest temperatures( -40°F to 158°F), It’s also water-resistant.

Almost made the cut

Coros Pace 2

Very lightweight running watch for comfortable runs!

You’ll love that this watch measures running power on the wrist without any extra sensors needed and it also has an accelerometer, barometric altimeter, and compass sensors to monitor outdoor activities and provide you with all the extra data. The Coros Pace 2 is one of the lightest running watches on the market today, weighing 1.2 oz. Although this didn’t make the top three, it is certainly a worthy competitor.

Buy Now for $199.00

The Coros Pace 2 runs for up to 30 hours in G.P.S. mode.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

Best running watch for serious runners!

$492.29

Buy Now

Runner Up

Polar Pacer Pro

Perfect running watch for mid-level athletes!

$299.95

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Amazfit T-Rex Pro

Very affordable running watch to prepare you for a marathon or triathlon!

$159.99

Buy Now

Almost made the cut

Coros Pace 2

Very lightweight running watch for comfortable runs!

$199.00

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This review is for those who want to keep track of their improvement, measure training, and record performance. It is also for those looking for a running companion to keep you motivated and increase your productivity. This review is perfect for mid-level runners and if you want a watch to help you boost your next marathon performance, providing you with the best options on the market!

Fitness Tracker vs G.P.S. Running Watch

For most people, a fitness tracker is what you need, but for the selected few that love running then we suggest a running watch, and here is why:

A fitness tracker measures running distances using your steps and an accelerometer, right after you instruct it to start monitoring your workout. 

Fitness trackers are best at tracking steps, stair climbing, gym sessions, and jogs where accuracy isn’t all that on the top of your list. Because of these less strenuous tasks, fitness trackers could last a full workweek. 

If accuracy matters to you then a running watch will provide you with the most accurate breakdown of your workout. From the distance you covered and your speed, both while you’re running and after. Also, most G.P.S.-running watches boast more secure synchronization with satellites than your phone would provide. 

A running watch also lets you show up to four total stats at once for quick feedback on crucial measures such as heart rate, split time, and total time elapsed. While most fitness trackers are limited to showing one or two of these stats at a time, making them less useful during an actual run. 

G.P.S. running watches also deliver more refined metrics, like step cadence or VO2 max score(

the volume of oxygen consumed per unit of time) which doesn’t matter to most people but can be helpful to track if you’re practicing for a long-distance race.

A G.P.S. watch works well for other sports like cycling, hiking, distance swimming, cross-country skiing, or any sport where distance and speed accuracy is needed.

Can’t I Just Track These Metrics On My Phone?

Yes! In fact, most people do this instead of splurging 200 bucks on a watch. You can use your smartphone’s G.P.S. to track your geolocation and paired with a heart rate monitor you can track your heart rate.

But think of it this way… 

First, trying to check your phone while in the middle of a training session or marathon could just be distracting or even nearly impossible, considering you will be sweating with wet hands and your phone won’t respond well to that. 

Plus with a phone, you need to pair external devices, download a bunch of apps and maintain those devices to make sure they are accurate. But with running watches you get all-in-one.

Running watches provide heart rate monitoring, running power metrics, and G.P.S. tracking all on your wrist. They are also handy (pun intended) for checking your performance while on the track, this way you can keep an eye on all your data in real time.

If running matters to you, get a running watch. You don’t have to invest in the most expensive to start but it definitely serves you best.

Are they only for athletes?

Yes and No.

Yes, running watches are mainly used by athletes to help train and keep in shape for their next competition. However most running watches could double as a fitness tracker for those that just want to keep healthy and fit. And running watches are also smartwatches in a sense therefore could be used as an added piece of technology.

But given that most running watches are more expensive than regular smartwatches or fitness trackers there might be no reason to buy them if you aren’t using them for athletic purposes.

Why You Should Trust Us

To find the best running watch, we examined watches from brands with guaranteed performance, and user reviews, and compared quality across different prices. We looked for a running G.P.S. watch ideal for mid-level athletes and running enthusiasts, considering your budget, needs, and specifications (battery life, and accuracy).
Plus…We want to be a small part of the reason why you perform a lot better in your runs and enjoy the confidence that comes with your success!

How We Picked

Tracking accuracy

What is the use of a running watch if it doesn’t show you the correct analysis of your training right? The accuracy of your result could either motivate you on the right track or completely mess up your training. With the plethora of cheaper options in the market, we stick to the brands that prioritize the basic metrics you are looking to measure. Of course, you might not get absolute numbers but it should be as close as possible and give you insight to up your game.

 

Size + weight

A running watch should be big enough to show important information clearly on the screen but small and lightweight for easy movement and comfort. Here we pay attention to the weight as most of our picks prioritize a portable screen size.

 

Wearability

Another key feature of a great G.P.S. watch is how comfortable it is. Here we looked for watches that should be comfortable for wearing while running for long hours. They should also be strong enough to withstand the hours of knocking and sweating they’ll be exposed to.

 

Ease of use

To enjoy using a running watch its functions should be straightforward to anyone that owns a smartphone, however, depending on your preference a watch with buttons you can use could be preferred to a full touchscreen watch.

Some have a combination of both. The most important thing is that its function is straightforward.

 

Battery life

The last thing you want during extensive training, a marathon, or a triathlon is to get a beep saying your running companion is low. We recommend going for a watch with longer battery life. The latest releases deliver between five to 35 hours of power, while some high-end models go as high as 120 hours.

 

Heart rate tracking

Most running watches offer heart rate tracking directly from the wrist, however, look closely for more accurate options. Heart rate tracking could be very helpful in keeping records of your heart letting you know when you are not going hard enough, going too hard, or need to rest. It’s the most recommended way of measuring stress levels and intensity training.

 

Display

In comparison to size, the type of screen used is very important as well as the way the watch represents information on standby mode. Here we prioritize the latest LED screen technology with brighter screens.

 

Compatibility 

Some running watches connect by pairing up well with your mobile device which means access to your text messages, emails, social media notifications, and even calls directly on your GPS watch. While on the run this could matter to you especially when you want to leave your phone behind. Also if you are considering pairing with external devices like Foot pods, heart rate monitors, and cadence sensors for more accurate metrics compatibility is important.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

Best Pick

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

Best running watch for serious runners!

You will love its post-run analytics and coaching features, with its training readiness service that tells you how competent your body is for a run. Plus, the watch also considers future races set on your calendar in its daily recommendations, to help prevent overtraining ahead of the big event.
With its 42 hours-lasting battery life this pick is indeed the best option for a serious runner.

Buy Now for $492.29

Who it is for

If you are looking for a running watch that prioritizes features specifically to keep runners in shape and perform better, then the Garmin Forerunner 955 is the best option for you. It costs less than other high-end Garmin watches like Fenix 7 but shares loads of its features and a few exclusives for itself. The small design of this watch allows for a more comfortable and lightweight experience. It has a 1.3-inch touch screen and sleeker chassis than its higher-end brothers, making it perfect to wear during longer runs and even day-to-day activities.
This watch also provides the most accurate G.P.S. navigation and a fast G.P.S. connection.
For those that like to enjoy some music for motivation while running, this watch also supports local music playback so you don't need to carry your phone along!

Potential flaws

If you are looking for a sports watch suitable for swimming, hiking, or other non-running sport this watch is not for you. Some reviewers also say it doesn't provide the most accurate sleep and active recommendations on how to get race ready. However, for runners, this pick is top-notch!

Other features

You will love its post-run analytics and coaching features, with its training readiness service that tells you how competent your body is for a run. Plus, the watch also considers future races set on your calendar in its daily recommendations, to help prevent overtraining ahead of the big event.
With its 42 hours of lasting battery life, this pick is indeed the best option for a serious runner!

Product specifications

This watch has a battery life of 42 hours/49 hours with solar, on-board music, sleep tracking, and G.P.S. tracking, weighs 1.9 oz, has a water rating of five A.T.M., and a screen size of 1.3" with an AMOLED display

Runner Up - Polar Pacer Pro

Runner Up

Polar Pacer Pro

Perfect running watch for mid-level athletes!

With an amazing 35-hour battery life (with G.P.S. and tracking) you will love that this watch also offers post-workout analytics that covers all the basics like pace and cadence. It also comes with some custom metrics such as FuelWise, a measurement that utilizes data captured on the watch to calculate when and by how much you need to refuel your body at the end of a run.

Buy Now for $299.95

Who it is for

Get the Polar Pacer Pro if you are looking for a running watch for powerful athletic tracking and post-run analytics. The Pacer Pro offers one of the most credible distances and heart rate tracking on the market, competing with high-end running watches at its friendly price. The Pacer Pro also supports a variety of G.P.S. navigations like GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS satellite systems, with assisted-G.P.S. tech to speed up signal connection and help runners stay on track when running on unfamiliar routes. In addition to its slim lightweight design, it also supports third-party apps like Strava for useful training guides!

Potential flaws

If you are looking for a running watch that doubles as a smartwatch this watch might not be for you. Some reviewers also say it has an unattractive design. But these are small prices to pay for a machine like this.

Other features

With an amazing 35-hour battery life (with G.P.S. and tracking) you will love that this watch also offers post-workout analytics that covers all the basics like pace and cadence, plus some custom metrics such as FuelWise, a measurement that utilizes data captured on the watch to calculate when and by how much you need to refuel your body at the end of a run.

Product specifications

This watch has a battery life of 35 hours, with continuous tracking, weighs 1.7 oz, has a touchscreen display, G.P.S. tracking, a screen resolution of 240×240, and a screen size of 1.3" with a Gorilla Glass 3.0 lens display

Most cost-effective - Amazfit T-Rex Pro

Most cost-effective

Amazfit T-Rex Pro

Very affordable running watch to prepare you for a marathon or triathlon!

This running watch is feature-packed for tracking your run, monitoring your heart rate, and analyzing your sleep!
You will love that added to its G.P.S. tracking, the Amazfit T-Rex Pro works with other forms of satellite navigation like GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou to provide more accurate G.P.S. This is a wonderful, cost-effective option to bear in mind when making your purchase!

Buy Now for $159.99

Who it is for

Get the Amazfit T-Rex pro if you are looking for the best accessible running watch for all-weather. Under its rugged-looking design, this running watch is feature-packed for tracking your run, monitoring your heart rate, and analyzing your sleep! It also comes with over 100 workout modes, including running, HIIT, swimming, and weights — it can double as a running watch and a fitness tracker. And that's not all!
This multipurpose watch can tolerate the coldest temperatures ( -40°F to 158°F), It’s also water-resistant, making it perfect for you who enjoy triathlons or other sports like surfing, swimming, skiing, or mountain climbing.

Potential flaws

For those that like to link your stats with other fitness apps like Strava or MyfitnessPal you might not like that Amazfit can’t connect to third-party apps.
Also, some reviews do not like its poor G.P.S. navigation. However, the overall features of this watch are great for its price.

Other features

You will love that added to its G.P.S. tracking, the Amazfit T-Rex Pro works with other forms of satellite navigation like GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou to provide more accurate G.P.S.

Product specifications

This watch has a battery life of 18 days, weighs 2.1 oz, has a touchscreen display, G.P.S. tracking, has a water rating of 10 A.T.M. and a screen size of 1.3" with an AMOLED display

Almost made the cut - Coros Pace 2

Almost made the cut

Coros Pace 2

Very lightweight running watch for comfortable runs!

You’ll love that this watch measures running power on the wrist without any extra sensors needed and it also has an accelerometer, barometric altimeter, and compass sensors to monitor outdoor activities and provide you with all the extra data. The Coros Pace 2 is one of the lightest running watches on the market today, weighing 1.2 oz. Although this didn’t make the top three, it is certainly a worthy competitor.

Buy Now for $199.00

Who it is for

Get the Coros Pace 2 if you are looking for a running watch that supersedes its Garmin and Polar competitors by providing improved battery life and sensor accuracy at a great price.
The Coros Pace 2 boasts a sharp and bright screen, making it easier for you to see your running time and stats even on a sunny day. Compared to other brands with similar features its bright display doesn't eat away at battery life. The Coros Pace 2 runs for up to 30 hours in G.P.S. mode which is sufficient for a week worth of running without charge. In smartwatch mode, it can last for as long as two weeks without having to charge the watch.

Potential flaws

You should expect a few wrist-based H.R. sensor inaccuracies, especially at the start of the training section, and some reviewers don't like the nylon-like band design. But those are minor compared to the hefty benefits of this watch.

Other features

You would love that this watch measures running power on the wrist without any extra sensors needed and it also has an accelerometer, barometric altimeter, and compass sensors to monitor outdoor activities and provide you with all the extra data. The Coros Pace 2 is one of the lightest running watches on the market today — weighing 1.2 oz.

Product specifications

This watch has a battery life of 30 hours in G.P.S. mode, weighs 1.2 oz with a nylon band, has a Screen size of 1.2" a screen resolution of 240 x 240 pixels, and has a Water rating of five A.T.M.

Care and maintenance

To clean the screen of your running watch, use a non-abrasive soap and water mixture to clean the display. A micro-fiber or a soft cotton cloth should then be used to remove any excess water. Please be sure to wipe the screen gently, as hard rubbing may remove the anti-reflective coating.

To clean the strap you can dip the bracelet or strap of your watch into a bowl of soapy water for 15 to 20 seconds then take it out and gently scrub it with a clean, damp toothbrush.

When you need to charge the battery of your running watch, use an available U.S.B. port on a personal computer or a U.S.B. wall charger, varying on the output of the outlet the speed would also vary.