Are you looking for the best GPS Running watch? We’ve tested a variety of watches from different brands and price-points to bring you a list of our favourites.
The Garmin Forerunner 225 is the first GPS running watch in the Garmin range to allow you to track your heart rate. This feature amongst others means that this watch definitely doesn’t disappoint. It’s an incredibly feature-rich and well put-together running watch that offers insights into your training to enable you to take your running to the next level. It outshines similar GPS running watches, such as the Adidas SmartRun and the TomTom Cardio Runner, and unless you’re doing ironman events, it’s definitely the best GPS running watch currently available on the market.
The Forerunner range of GPS watches from Garmin has been leading the pack since they were first released.
The Forerunner 620 is an incredibly stylish GPS running watch that has a high-resolution, touch screen colour display. This display enables you to track all of your core stats, such as distance, pace and time. You can also track many other things and once you combine it with the built-in heart rate monitor, it estimates your VO2 max, which is the optimum rate at which your muscles, heart and lungs can use oxygen effectively during exercise. This is a great way to measure your aerobic capacity.
#3 Polar M400
While not as much of a looker as some of the other GPS running watches on this list, the Polar M400 is a rugged and very reliable running companion. You can track calories, steps and all of your runs via GPS. Setting the watch up is incredibly easy, and the Smart Coaching feature is good for providing you with a summary of how well you performed on your run.
Like we said earlier; it’s not much of a looker, so the chunky design probably means it’s not something you’d wear at any other time other than to work out. The battery life on this device is also very good, and should allow you to clock up around eight hours of running while using GPS. The great thing about this is that charging isn’t an issue as it is done using a microUSB charging port so you don’t have to mess around with charging cradles like with other watches.
TomTom’s latest offering to the GPS running watch market comes with a built-in heart rate monitor and is perfect for those of you who are serious about cardio and is a huge step up from the watches they used to make for Nike.
Combining TomTom’s legendary GPS skills with a heart-rate monitor that is the industry leader, it works by using innovative sensors to track the flow of blood in your wrist, which means there’s no need to use chest straps.
The TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch is aimed at those of you who like to train in the zone and comes with five different levels of intensity, ranging from basic warm ups, to endurance and sprinting. The watch is also waterproof to 50 metres, which makes it a great watch for swimmers, too.
The Garmin Forerunner 920XT is a true all-rounder, just at home cycling and swimming as it is with running. This watch offers features that cater to all sports.
For swimming it keeps track of swim metrics, for cycling is keeps track of distance and speed and while running it vibrates to let you know when it’s time to eat! The wristband of the 920XT is incredibly comfortable and the display is very easy on the eyes. It also has a feature called “Virtual Racer”, which adds an element of competition to your workouts.
One of the most expensive GPS watches on the list, the Garmin Forerunner 920XT is one of the best that money can buy and lets you delve deep into every fitness stat that you can imagine.
While the Adidas MiCoach Smart Run is an older device, it has regular firmware updates so is definitely work a look. It has a very effective heart rate monitor and a pretty accurate GPS, and along with the fantastic miCoach system these features make it one of the best GPS running watches.
If you’re a music fan it also has a feature called “MixRadio”, which plays motivational playlists to keep you pushing further with your training. It’s also handy as it means you no longer need to take your phone with you on your runs.
The one problem with the Adidas MiCoach Smart Run watch is that the battery life is generally pretty poor and it is also still quite expensive considering its age.
#7 Polar V800
The V800 is Polar’s top of the line GPS fitness watch and double the price of their incredible M400. The V800 has an even larger set of features which includes easy profile switching for different activities, a more feature-packet coaching program and a recovery mode that tells you how long you should wait before starting to train again. Though the V800 has all of these extra features, it’s debatable whether it is worth it over the M400 price-wise.
Though for those of you who thing the M400 is an odd-looking watch and want something that is better looking, spending the extra cash on the V800 may be worth it.
Trumping even the Forerunner 920XT for how versatile it is, the Fenix 3 from Garmin is their most in-depth GPS sports watch yet. The GPS on the Garmin Fenix 3 is as good as it gets and the incredibly strong build has us believe it could survive a nuclear blast. The battery life is brilliant, too.
The feature list, size and price of this watch are a bit too much for most people, but if you’re a serious outdoorsman (or woman!) then this may just be the watch for you.
The Runtastic Orbit is a GPS running watch for those of you who are looking for a more budget-friendly option. The Orbit connects right into Runtastics great smartphone app and then uses the GPS technology in your phone to track your run. You can track all of the usual stuff, such as distance, speed, time and the amount of calories you are burning. It’s also water resistant, which is a nice feature for a GPS watch of this price.
For the price of the Runtastic Orbit it’s actually a pretty good GPS running watch and is fine for most runner’s needs.
We hope this article has been helpful in making your decision on which GPS running watch to buy to improve your training.
If you already have a GPS running watch, which one did you get?