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Best running watches in 2022

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The best running watches will fit your wrist and provide accurate information about how far you have run and how fast. These watches will be easy to read on your wrist and allow you to navigate when you move.

Nearly all watches now have GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring. Many of the top running watches can also be used for other sports like cycling or hiking. Most are also waterproof so that they can withstand a shower, or even a swim workout. You can get premium features for a small fee, such as customized workouts, music storage, advanced smartphone capabilities, and a battery that lasts for weeks instead of days.

There are many sizes, and some watches are better suited to smaller wrists or daily use. We have selected the best devices in different categories.

Note that all watches in this list have GPS, Bluetooth connectivity, and heart rate monitoring.

Which watches are best for running?

Garmin Forerunner Music is currently the best running watch. The Garmin Forerunner 255 Music is one of the most popular Garmin watches. It has everything you need in a running watch. It’s lightweight, has a great battery and can store up to 500 songs. The Forerunner245 is an excellent time to save money.

The Amazfit T-Rex is a great option for those on a tight budget. Although it doesn’t have the same sleek design as other watches, the most affordable smartwatches has many features, including an altimeter, compass and AMOLED display — all in a $140 package.

The Garmin Fenix 7 is a premium option that will provide you with weeks of battery life, and perhaps more tracking capabilities than you can imagine. For runners who spend a lot time outside, this is the best running watch.

1. Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

Overall, best running watch

Specifications

Battery Life in GPS Mode: 6.5 hours (with Music), 30 hours without Music

Sizes: 42mm and 46mm

Weight: 39g and49g

Water resistance 5ATM

Music Storage: 500 Songs

Workout Recommendations

Sleep tracking

Notifications for Smartphones

Mobile Payments: Yes

+Lightweight+Easy reading and use during runs+Robust train metrics+Available at two sizes+Has an option for triathlon mode

Avoidable reasons

-Garmin’s Training Readiness Score is not affected by touchscreens

The Garmin Forerunner Music is our choice for the top sports watch. The lightweight Garmin Forerunner 255 Music offers everything you need in a running watch. It can track your progress, play music, and create custom workouts. Garmin’s extensive range of training metrics is also available to the device, which can help you plan your workouts and recover time.

Despite being in direct sunlight, the transflective display on Garmin Forerunner 255 music was easy to read during testing. You can also pause or resume your run by pushing a button. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road and trail, rather than looking at your watch. Even with music on, the battery will last for several workouts.

Garmin’s Forerunner 255 has some of the most advanced health features normally reserved for more expensive watches. Garmin’s new Elevate V4 sensor is included in the watch. The green light records heart beat, while the red light records blood oxygen levels (known as Pulse Ox). This sensor can be used to calculate stress, HRV and breathing rate. This sensor can now track multisport training sessions within the triathlon mode.

This watch is a significant improvement to an already great watch and a great purchase for runners of all levels. It was also awarded the best running watch in 2022 Tom’s Guide’s health and fitness awards.

Are you looking for a deal? Garmin Forerunner 245 music is now on sale. You can’t choose between them. Check out our Garmin Forerunner 245 vs Forerunner 255 face-off here.

2. Garmin Forerunner 55

Garmin’s top entry-level running watch

Specifications

Yes, heart rate monitor

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 50 m

Display: 1.08 inch MIP

There is no music onboard

Mobile payments: No

Yes, sleep tracking

Battery life: 14 days/20 hrs with GPS

+PacePro recommended workouts+Brightscreen +Easy-to-read stats +Battery Life

Avoidable reasons

-No onboard storage. -No interchangeable band. -Only available in a single case.

You will want something that is more than a simple fitness tracker. It won’t overwhelm you and it won’t be too complicated if you are just starting to run. The Forerunner 55 is the clear choice among Garmin watches.

The Garmin Forerunner 55, which replaces the Forerunner45 earlier in the year, is an entry-level fitness tracker. Although it is very similar to the predecessor, Garmin has made significant changes and added some advanced training tools that are normally reserved for more expensive watches. Garmin’s PacePro technology is now available on the Forerunner 55. This gives you gentle speed alerts and cadence warnings while running. Based on your training history, fitness level, and recovery, there are suggested recovery times and workouts. This is an advantage over similar-priced watches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Activity and the Fitbit charge 5, which track your workouts but do not offer customized coaching plans.

Garmin Forerunner 55 does not support mobile payments, music storage, third-party apps, or music storage. The display is also very small, measuring just over 1 in. These are essential features to have on your Garmin watch. You might consider upgrading to a more expensive model. The Forerunner 45, which is a more affordable watch, is on sale now. This comes after the Forerunner 55’s release.

3. Garmin Forerunner 955

Triathletes: Best running watch

Specifications

Yes, heart rate monitor

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 50 m

Display: AMOLED display 1.3 inches

Yes, on-board music

Mobile payments: Yes

Yes, sleep tracking

Battery life with GPS mode: 42 hours/49hrs with solar

+Touchscreen+Solar power (on solar model)+Training readiness functionality+Amazing battery life

Avoidable reasons

-Can’t sync running energy sensors to watch

Garmin Forerunner 955, an upgraded version of the Forerunner 95. This is a top-quality running watch and the best we have ever tested. You can read our Forerunner 955 vs Forerunner 945 comparison here.

There are two versions of the Garmin Forerunner 955: non-solar and solar. The watch’s solar version has a Power Glass screen. This harnesses the sun’s power to extend the battery life. The solar version of Forerunner 955’s battery life is impressive at around 20 hours in smartwatch mode and 49 hours without music in GPS mode. Ultratrac mode lasts 110 hours.

The watch was very easy to read on the run. Garmin added a touchscreen to the watch for a more modern look. Garmin also offers a number of useful training metrics, such as the new Garmin Training Readiness metric. This shows how prepared you are to face a challenging day of training. It is based on recovery time, sleep, HRV status and acute load.

This watch is great for running, and it has all the same features as the Fenix7. We don’t think you would want anything else on your wrist unless you plan on doing extreme sports or rock climbing.

4. Coros Vertix 2

Best Coros running watch

Specifications

Battery life in GPS mode: 140 Hours

Size: 50.3mm, 89g

Water resistance: 328 feet

Yes, music storage

Workout Recommendations

Sleep tracking

Notifications for Smartphones

Mobile Payments: No

+Waterproof construction+Good battery life+Swappable wristbands+Customizable watch faces+Compatible with Strava (and other 3rd party apps

Avoidable reasons

-Premium price tag -Bulky and clunky on wrist-Can be uncomfortable for long periods of time-Manual HRV readings rather than auto-Proprietary Charging Cable-No solar options

Coros has created this monster-running watch to compete with the Garmin Fenix7. The Fenix 7 is available in three sizes (42mm, 47mm and 51mm), and there are multiple editions to fit different fitness goals and wrist sizes. However, the Vertix 2 only has one model. Its case diameter is 50.3mm. This is an increase of 47mm from the original Vertix. The Coros Vertix 2 is not available in solar editions.

This high-spec watch can do everything you want and more. It’s also designed for multi-day adventures. We were impressed by the battery life of the running watch. It can last up to 240 hours in UltraMax GPS mode. The watch is also extremely durable with a reinforced screen and bezel to protect it from scrapes and knocks on the trail.

This watch is great for marathon training (we tested it in the lead-up to a trail race), but if you don’t plan on swimming, skiing, or going off-road there are better watches.

5. Fitbit Sense

Smartwatches that run best

Specifications

Battery life in GPS mode: 12 Hours

Size: 40mm case, 46 grams

Water resistance: 165 feet

Music Storage

Workout Recommendations

Sleep tracking

Notifications for Smartphones

Mobile Payments: Yes

Today’s Top Deals

View at Amazon

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There are many reasons to buy

+Battery life+Ranges of wellness features+All day design

Avoidable reasons

Limited Edition Smartwatch

Some smartwatches are not good for running. It can be difficult to use touchscreens with gloved or sweaty hands. Battery life is usually less than two days. You will need to touch the button or shake your wrist to see the screen.

The Fitbit Sense is the best smartwatch to run with. The Fitbit Sense is not able to make untethered calls, such as the Apple Watch Series 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. However, it offers more health and fitness features.

Fitbit Sense provides EDA and skin temperature readings that aren’t possible on other smartwatches. The device also has an FDA-approved ECG sensor. Fitbit users can also view cross-training videos. The battery life is also better than the new Apple and Samsung watches that most users have to charge each day.

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