7 Best Running Watches for Runners
Wearable technology has changed for the better in leaps and bounds since the days of the big and awkward pedometer that could be strapped to your waistbands but unavoidably ran out of battery ten minutes into your run.
Watches and other devices have become smarter, thinner and faster-looking and fancier and the market is now tightly packed with price tags to match most budgets. You can expect everything from GPS watching and following and heart-rate supervising, all the way up to barometric height on the more expensive models.
Now is the time to supercharge your run with one of these great gadgets, helping you to keep track of your progress and get motivated more easily than ever before.
Hence, we have compiled this for you.
The Fire brags all the same features as the Charge 2 which is featured below, but this one has a bigger screen and also offers a special function called “Fitstar”, which basically changes it into a mini- personal trainer on your wrist, with instructions for your work-out flashing up the screen. You can blast your abs and change your run into a whole-body workout. Unlike the Charge 2, the Fire also allows you to turn off incoming call notifications, if you don’t want to be disrupted when you head out for that run.
The main difference between the two Fitbit models featured here, though, lies in the design. The Fire has a bigger face and a gun metal casing, which some reviewers have said make it look a little more masculine than the Charge 2, which is a smooth and shiny band. But it’s not as bulky as many of the other pieces available to buy.
This is a great model for people who are looking to include more general exercise intotheir lives. It’s very easy to use and once it’s charged up its ready to go. It continuously monitors our heart rate, step count and sleep, tracks calorie and water intake, reminds you when you haven’t moved for a certain period of time, and also has a function that provides guidedbreathing sessions for relaxation. For running, it records distance, pace and time.
The interchangeable strap is narrow and almost hidden, so fits well under a sleeve. And the display is four times larger than the previous model’s, so it’s easy to read, even while on the go. It’s also the cheapest of the bunch when it comes to reliable, fancy running watches, so if you’re interested in give a fitness tracker a spin but not sure you’ll commit, then this might be a good choice.
Visually the Garmin Forerunner 35 might not quite live up to some of its peers. It looks a little dated and the screen is monochrome and not touch sensitive, but what it might lack in design it tries hard to make up for in function. It hasn’t got the ability to track things like stride length, but it does offer a great summary of stats while you’re running and gives you the ability to switch between different screens to very easily monitor distance, time and pace, heart rate zone, current heart rate and calories burned. The strap, while beautifully is really comfortable and easy to put on and take off, even on a sweaty wrist.
One of the more expensive models out there and a true wonderful bunch of in terms of function, the Garmin Fenix 3 is an all-rounder for the multi-discipline athlete. It may be able to do plenty, but wearing this heavy accessory can feel like a bit of a workout in itself. But despite this, it packs a serious punch when it comes to functions: movement sensors, a barometric height, an electronic compass, a heart rate monitor, Bluetooth and wifi are just some of the strings to its bow. It tells you when the sun sets and rises and has functions specifically designed for anything from skiing to stand-up paddle boarding.
Despite being fairly bulky, the classic- looking watch face gives it a much more rich and beautiful feel than some of its competitors, and makes it just as wearable to work or dinner as on the track or in the gym. Like the Garmin, it can also be described as a bit of an all-rounder. It has a colour touch screen, a compass and about 16 hours of battery life while in training mode. As is to be expected of the price tag, its GPS is reliable, and it offers watching and following features for more than 80 sports. It’s also water resistant down to 100 metres. The strap is especially comfortable, even in warm weather.
This watch is a super smart and low- priced training aid for runners, but also for all round athletes. The paired-up app gives you the chance to download dozens of different sport profiles. It’s strong but not too chunky, with a comfortable strap, has a decent battery life and an accurate sleep tracker, is water resistant, and brags an interesting and pleasing function that estimates your oxygen uptake and therefore your fitness level. Specifically for runners, the GPS is reliable and unlike some other models it also records your average and maximum pace. During testing, it sometimes struggled to detect our pulse immediately, but overall it’s a great model with plenty of excellent features.
The Apple Watch Series 2 doesn’t pack in all of the advanced features that some of the more specialist running watches have – you’ll only get limited information on your location, your time and speed, for instance. But what it doesn’t have in technical features it more than makes up for in style and ease-of-use, and as well as being a running watch it’s also a brilliant activity tracker, a communications device, notifications centre and regular timepiece. It also brags waterproofing and an in-built GPS so that you don’t need to carry your phone along with you. That adds to all the existing features, like easy ways of getting your music from your phone to your watch, and plenty of social features for competing with your running friends.
If you’re a runner with an all round interest in health and wellbeing who’s looking for an easy-to- use fitness tracker that you can keep wearing once you’ve stopped training, and if you don’t want to completely break the bank, then the Fitbit Blaze is your ideal training buddy.