7 Best Running Watches

7 Best Running Watches

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After 12 hours of research evaluating 75 products, we picked Garmin Vivoactive as our top choice.

Runners really only need three things for a proper training session: a good pair of running shoes, music, and a running watch. Running watches do more than just track your lap time or total run time—a good GPS running watch will also help you monitor your location, map your route, and analyze your performance.

Never run without one!

Finding a good GPS running watch may be easier said than done, given how many models are available on the market. But don't sweat it: we've done the work of analyzing each watch for you to make finding the best running watches a breeze.

Here's what we did:

We read thousands of reviews for dozens of running watches, wore a few of the top-rated watches during our runs (with the sweat stains to prove it!), and put the various features through their paces. We dug deep into the various options to ensure you got the best, most reliable options for your training sessions. Read on to find the best running watch for you...

Editorial staff

Quick Look: 7 Best Running Watches
CakCity Digital Sports Watch
  • A simple, practical digital watch to take on every run
  • Can survive rain, snow, sleet, and hail; fully waterproof
  • The perfect watch for hardcore workouts and long-distance runs
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Garmin Forerunner 235
  • An incredibly easy-to-use interface; control all the features easily
  • Monitor everything from heart rate to oxygen uptake to calories burned
  • Practical, simple, and built to be a runner's best friend
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Polar M400
  • A simple, reliable, highly versatile running watch
  • Feature-rich without the crazy high price tag
  • Compatible with the Polar Flow app and web-based community/tracking software
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Garmin Forerunner 935
  • The watch built for running, cycling, and swimming
  • Sleek and lightweight, yet packed with features
  • One of the most versatile non-smartwatches ANYWHERE
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Garmin Fenix 5X
  • Sapphire glass watch face will never crack or scratch
  • Durable, reliable, and highly versatile; the ideal watch for marathoners
  • Loaded with features to help you track and analyze your run performance
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TomTom Spark 3
  • The ideal GPS watch for running on trails and streets
  • Built-in music player with plenty of storage space for your workout playlist
  • Ideal for runners, cyclists, AND swimmers
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Garmin Vivoactive
  • Wide range of apps (available via Connect IQ) makes this a highly functional device
  • Accurate GPS function
  • Syncing, charging, and uploading made easy via the Garmin apps
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