The 9 Best Running Watches in 2022 – Top Rated Picks

Having a good running watch allows you to play sports and physical activity in total safety, having your physical parameters constantly under control.

You will surely already know that each watch has its own characteristics and particularities that distinguish it, which is why it is good to analyze each individual product before purchasing.

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Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch...
  • Rugged GPS watch built to withstand the toughest environments
  • Constructed to U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100 meters)
  • Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Glonass and Galileo) support helps track in more challenging environments than GPS alone
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Garmin Forerunner 45, 42mm Easy-to-use GPS Running...
  • Gps running watch with Garmin Coach training plan support
  • Easy to use running watch estimates heart rate at the wrist and features GPS to track your pace, distance, intervals and more
  • Works with free Garmin coach adaptive training plans that bring expert, personalized coaching right to your wrist
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Garmin 010-01689-00 Forerunner 35; Easy-to-Use GPS...
  • Easy-to use GPS running watch tracks how far, how fast and where you run
  • Estimates heart rate at the wrist, all day and night, using Garmin elevate wrist heart rate technology
  • Connected features: Smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking and music controls (when paired with a compatible smartphone)
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Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, GPS Running...
  • GPS running smartwatch with music advanced training features, Lens Material:Corning Gorilla Glass 3, Bezel Material: fiber-reinforced polymer, Strap material:silicone
  • Sync with music streaming services, such as Spotify, to easily store and play your favorite songs right from your watch
  • Evaluates your current training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it; Offers additional performance monitoring features
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Timex Men's T5E901 Ironman Classic 30 Gray/Black...
  • Adjustable black 16 millimeter resin strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference
  • 100-hour chronograph with 30-lap memory; 24-hour countdown timer. On-screen prompts make setting easy forward or backward setting
  • 3 daily, weekday or weekend alarms; 24-hour military time mode; 3 time zones; Day, date and month calendar
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Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch, Black (Renewed)
  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring - warm gives you heart rate all day and night -no additional Strap required.
  • Vibration alerts - helpful vibration alerts notify you of running prompts, activity tracking milestones, smart notifications and virtual pacing progress.
  • Updated display - new high resolution display that is perfect for indoor/outdoor viewing.
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Garmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright...
  • Watch case size 43mm; Fits wrists with a circumference of 125-190 mm
  • Beautiful, bright AMOLED display and up to five-day battery life in smartwatch mode; up to six hours in GPS and music mode
  • The broadest range of all-day health monitoring features keeps track of your energy levels, respiration, menstrual cycle, stress, sleep, estimated heart rate and more
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Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE, Premium GPS...
  • LTE connectivity (must have an active subscription plan and connectivity to a Category M1 LTE network) enables phone-free safety and tracking features, including LiveTrack and Assistance Plus, a feature that connects you to the Garmin IERCC, a professional 24/7 emergency monitoring and response center (Assistance Plus is not available in all markets where Category M1 LTE network connectivity is available), plus you can receive messages from fans during your race
  • Train for triathlons with run, bike and swim metrics plus multisport modes that allow you to easily do brick workouts and tri races
  • Bring music for every mile by downloading from music services (may require premium subscription with a third-party music provider) such as Amazon Music, Deezer, Spotify and more to easily store and play up to 1,000 songs from your wrist when paired with compatible headphones
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Garmin Forerunner 55, GPS Running Watch with Daily...
  • Easy-to-use running watch monitors heart rate (this is not a medical device) at the wrist and uses GPS to track how far, how fast and where you’ve run
  • Take the guesswork out of training with suggested workouts of varying intensities based on your training history, fitness level and recovery time
  • Plan your race day strategy with the PacePro feature (not compatible with on-device courses), which offers GPS-based pace guidance for a selected course or distance

Buying Guide to Select the Best Running Watches

Deciding which is the best running GPS watch is a very personal choice. Each watch offers a large selection of data and performance, some are aimed at beginner runners who want to keep things simple, others at athletes who want to get advanced information on their training.

The integrated GPS is essential for any running watch as it allows you to detect all the key data of the race in a much more precise way.

Uses and Structure

Light and discreet but incredibly professional, the running watch is an accessory that can not miss on the wrist of athletes and sportsmen – but also of those who want to start leading a healthier lifestyle without leaving anything to chance.

Despite being specifically designed for running, this device can accompany us at all other times of the day, allowing us to get a complete overview of our state of preparation and monitor our progress – so as to achieve our goals in time minors.

As the name suggests, these accessories have the structure of a watch, and are made up of the essential elements that we would also find in any walking model, namely:

  • Clock face
  • Display
  • Strap
  • Side keys

The difference between a running watch and one of the classic models is the fact that the running variant is integrated with a greater number of features.

In other words, it acts almost like a heart rate monitor – which allows us to monitor our fundamental vital parameters and that we allow you to evaluate the effectiveness and benefits of each exercise session (running or otherwise).

Clearly, having to accompany us in physical activities of a certain intensity, it is important that the mileage count is made of sturdy materials (able to withstand shocks and efforts) but at the same time light and discreet, which do not weigh us down while we are on the move.

In addition to exercising, we can wear running watches throughout the day – and even at night – so that it can detect our fundamental data (heart rate, body temperature, calories burned, sleep quality, etc.) without interruption.

On the other hand, the recovery phase is as important as the activity phase, especially for athletes and sportsmen who want to prepare for a competition in the best possible way – therefore the possibility to monitor also the moments of rest is an opportunity not to be missed.

Moreover, being light and discreet, it is not uncomfortable to wear and the most modern models are so sophisticated as to adapt to any look. Once we become part of our daily lives, we will no longer be able to do without the running watch and its many features.

Running Data

Being a device to be used mainly during running sessions, some of the main factors to be evaluated at the time of purchase are precisely the information relating to the physical exercise that the device in question is able to detect.

The best running watch is the one that can detect a wide range of data precisely – in order to give us a complete and comprehensive idea of ​​our performance. Even the clarity with which the data appear on the display, however, is not to be underestimated.

While we are running, in fact, we only have time to take a quick look at the dial in order to understand how we are proceeding (and if we have to increase or decrease the intensity) – therefore the data must be clear and the display legible.

To these main values ​​are added other additional data, thanks to which we can get a more precise idea about the whole session. Time and distance are also essential values ​​to be kept under control.

Especially for those who set themselves medium and long-term goals and want to improve their performance by running longer distances or reducing timing. The time is calculated from the moment the session starts, but it is possible to stop the count and reset the device at any time.

Finally, another essential data to always keep under control is the percentage of beats with respect to the maximum frequency – which is defined as the number of beats per minute beyond which our heart cannot go.

Before starting to train, everyone should calculate their maximum frequency using (rather complex) formulas or simply by doing one of the various recognized tests.

Once the maximum ceiling has been identified, we will be able to understand in which heart rate belt we are at each moment of the session:

  1. 50-65%: this band is suitable for less trained individuals and for those who want to burn fat.
  2. 65-75%: the intensity suitable for improving endurance.
  3. 75-85%: the ideal band to improve aerobic capacity.
  4. 85-95%: the highest level is useful mainly to professionals and to those who wish to carry out targeted exercises in order to be able to sustain particularly high rhythms for a few moments.

In many cases, we have the possibility of identifying the heart rate belt in which we find ourselves simply by looking at the screen of the running watch.

Where very easy to read graphic supports are often available, thanks to which we will know whether to increase or decrease the intensity of the run in order to keep us in the desired range to achieve our goals.

Functions

Undoubtedly, the main function of each running watch is to detect and monitor data related to exercise but also to other phases of the day.

But it does not end there – these sophisticated accessories, in fact, are integrated with a series of other very practical functions that greatly increase their versatility and effectiveness, making them the perfect allies at any time of the day.

In other words, the running watch is incredibly versatile and is able to satisfy all our needs and requirements. Beyond these functions, however, the best functionality of these devices is the integrated GPS system.

GPS running watch is able to trace the route, is always able to provide us with information on our position and allows us to return to the starting point without ever getting lost. Some models boast:

  • GPS function
  • Compass
  • Altimeter
  • Map and layout

Thanks to all these features, GPS running watch is the perfect ally for those who want to push on unexplored paths without having to worry about finding their way home.

Moreover, some models – after being connected to their reference app – even allow us to download courses and tracks in order to make it easier for us to orient ourselves even if the GPS signal should get lost.

Comfortable and functional, the cardio GPS watch is incredibly functional and differs from other similar devices in terms of precision and accuracy. In addition to running, the GPS running watch can also be useful during walks and bike rides.

Additional Information

Beyond the information strictly related to running, running clock is able to detect many other data, performing a function rather similar to that of the activity tracker.

For example, if worn all day it allows us to monitor many other vital parameters in an accurate and constant way and invites us to follow a more active lifestyle in order to achieve our goals. Among the most useful data that this device is able to detect we have:

  • Distance travelled per day
  • Number of steps
  • Ascents and gradients
  • Body temperature
  • Sleep quality

The number of steps refers to the total number of steps taken during the day. It is also possible to set some minimum objectives regarding the number of steps that we necessarily want to do every day, so that watch running GPS sends us notifications that encourage us to achieve our objectives.

The number of steps, of course, is related to the total distance covered during the day – and it is often possible to differentiate the steps taken in running and those taken simply by walking.

For an even more accurate analysis, some models are even able to count the number of stairs made and to provide us with precise information on the height differences and the percentage of steps taken uphill.

Furthermore, since the recovery phase is no less important than the activity phase, it is advisable to wear a running watch even at night so that it can detect the beat and the vital parameters – including body temperature.

In the case of the most sophisticated models – and that allows us to get a complete picture. During the night, the running clock monitors the quality of sleep, the number of awakenings, breathing, the time taken to fall asleep and even the length of the various stages of sleep.

Clearly, not every running watch is integrated with all these options, but the most sophisticated models are able to detect a wide range of data which are then stored – or saved on an external device – in order to have a complete overview of our activity. and our state of health at all times.

Connectivity

One of the major strengths of the running watch is the fact that it can be connected to other electronic devices – such as smartphones, tablets and PCs – via cable connection or more simply via Bluetooth through compatible apps.

By downloading the app of the same brand of the running watch to your mobile phone (generally these are free apps), we will have the opportunity to synchronize the two devices so that they can communicate and interact in different ways.

This operation offers a number of advantages, first of all, the fact of being able to control the running clock settings directly from the application, on which we will also be able to view the new programs, set goals, check the goals and share our results with the entire community of users, sometimes also using social platforms.

Beyond the data transfer and the possibility to manage the device in a simpler and more intuitive way, connectivity has further advantages and transforms the cardio watch into a real wrist phone. Thanks to the wireless connection we can:

  1. Receive notifications
  2. Answer calls
  3. Read messages

Receive Reminders

Notifications and reminders also include those associated with social networks and the messages received can be SMS but also messages on WhatsApp and messenger (and in some cases also other online communication platforms).

The apps associated with running watches are generally compatible with almost all the most used and popular phone brands and can be easily used even by less experienced users. The fact that the two devices can communicate constantly makes each running session a unique and more fun experience.

Moreover, the fact of being able to control the device via the phone and the possibility of creating complete and comprehensive statistics – even of months and years of operation – helps us to stay motivated as it allows us to have visual support thanks to which we can identify clearly our improvements.

Furthermore, sharing our experience with other users creates an atmosphere of healthy competition that will help us give 100% of each session.

Practical, functional and professional, the running watch will revolutionize our training method and make each session unique and unforgettable.

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