Best Running Apps

Track your distance, progress, and more

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Whether you’re new to running or a seasoned marathoner, finding the best running app to help you set goals, record metrics, and track your progress is key to sticking with a training program. Running apps track health and performance metrics such as pace, distance, mileage, heart rate, and calories. Many also come pre-programmed with training runs at various levels and record running routes through GPS.  More specifically, running apps give you a place to store information about your workouts, running and other fitness activities, as well as nutrition. Some running apps are free to download and use, while others require a paid subscription to access premium features.  

The best running apps consist of pre-programmed routes, virtual runs, audio coaches, support communities, social and competitive features, and personalized running plans. They also provide helpful data via charts and graphs so that you can track your progress and make any necessary adjustments. Here are the best running apps to help you hit your stride.

The 9 Best Running Apps of 2022

Best Overall : Runkeeper


Runkeeper

Runkeeper

Key Specs
  • Price: $9.99 to $39.99
  • Free Trial: Yes
  • iPhone or Android: Both
Why We Chose It

Runkeeper is versatile and has a long-standing reputation as one of the best running apps for all fitness levels.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Appropriate for all running levels

  • Set goals and track progress

  • In-app challenges and virtual running groups

  • Tracks other activities including biking and hiking

Cons
  • Requires paid upgrade for access to premium features

  • Tailored race-training plans only available with subscription

  • Continuous use GPS in background can decrease device battery life

As one of the most popular and tried-and-true running apps out there, Runkeeper gets our top ranking for its wide array of features, accuracy, and ease of use. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced marathoner, this app has something for everyone. You can use the GPS capability to track your distance, pace, and overall time, and mix up your running routine by following one of Runkeeper’s pre-created routes.

Runkeeper also allows you to set goals and watch your progress to stay motivated. If you’re into biking or fitness walking, you can track those activities as well. For runners training for races, Runkeeper has personalized training routines, complete with helpful reminders to keep you on track. It also syncs with other apps and devices, such as Fitbit, as well as your Apple watch. All of these features are available free on iOS or Android.

Best Route Finding and Tracking : MapMyRun


Map My Run by Under Armour

Map My Run by Under Armour

Key Specs
  • Price: $5.99 to $59.99
  • Free Trial: Yes
  • iPhone or Android: Both
Why We Chose It

MapMyRun is one of the most comprehensive running apps online. With features like audio coaching, route finding, easy-to-see maps, and data analysis, this running app is among the best.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Real-time audio coaching

  • Ability to view time, distance, speed, and pace while running

  • Gear Tracker tells you when you need new shoes

  • Syncs with several devices

  • Location sharing options for safety

Cons
  • Premium features require a subscription

  • GPS can be spotty if your device is not in the right place

MapMyRun is another running app that has stood the test of time. It first debuted as a way to measure running routes, but the latest version offers runners many more cool and helpful features. You can use it to track your runs and find running routes locally or in new cities, as well as get feedback on your stats so you can improve your performance.

If you’re one of those runners who never knows when to replace your running shoes, you can add your shoes to the app and the Gear Tracker will notify you when it’s time to get a new pair. You can also join the MapMyRun community to connect with other runners and stay motivated with fun challenges.

MapMyRun is available on iOS and Android and is compatible with hundreds of other popular apps and devices, allowing you to sync your data with your Apple Watch, Garmin, Fitbit, and more.

Best for Beginners : C25K 5K Trainer


C25K® 5K Trainer

C25K® 5K Trainer

Key Specs
  • Price: $1.99 to $59.99
  • Free Trial: Yes
  • iPhone or Android: Both
Why We Chose It

C25K features the popular walk/run method of training for 5K distances designed for entry-level runners wanting to ease into running or train for races.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers a on run/walk method of training

  • Audio coach alerts

  • 5K ready in 8 weeks

Cons
  • Not ideal for intermediate to experienced runners

  • Requires runner’s attention to audio cues

  • Upgrade required for access to premium features like customized programs

New runners rave about how this popular app took them from couch potato to the finish line of a 5K race in just eight weeks. With pre-designed training plans, C25K guides you through three workouts a week and keeps track of your progress and routes.

Perfect for beginners, it starts with a mix of running and walking, gradually building up your strength and stamina, and helping you get into a regular running habit. You’ll also get verbal feedback as you’re running, so you’ll stay motivated to stick with the training. C25K works on any iOS or Android device.

Best Community App : Strava


Strava

Strava

Key Specs
  • Price: $7.99 to $79.99
  • Free Trial: Yes
  • iPhone or Android: Both
Why We Chose It

We chose Strava for its strong commitment to community, support, ability to compare times and runs with other members, and group challenges.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Good choice for competitive runners

  • Focuses on performance analytics

  • Highlights the social aspects of running

Cons
  • Potential privacy concerns with personal routes that are made public

  • Might be too competitive or advanced for entry-level runners

  • Requires premium version for access to all features

If you love the social and competitive aspects of running, Strava is the app for you. It allows you to compare times with other members of the Strava community or with your own group of friends to boost your motivation. It also has a safety feature called Beacon which allows you to share your real-time location with up to three people while you’re running (they don't need to have the app or be Strava members, either).

You can also use Strava to set up group challenges, such as the fastest 5K or most miles in a set period of time, to keep your friends and community motivated. Strava is available on any iOS or Android device and Apple Watch.

Best for Runners Who Want a Coach : Running by Daily Burn


Daily Burn
Daily Burn
Key Specs
  • Price: $4.99 to $39.99
  • Free Trial: Yes
  • iPhone or Android: iPhone
Why We Chose It

Running by Daily Burn is a great choice if you’re looking for a running coach. This app gives you access to personal coaching, customized training plans, and guided runs.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • New runs, challenges, and training plans weekly for all levels

  • Guided treadmill runs or outdoor runs

  • Customized running plans

  • Track mileage, pace, and calories

  • Personal running coach

Cons
  • Only available on the Apple App Store

  • Requires subscription to access certain programs

Daily Burn is known for its incredibly motivational coaching, and its running app is no different. Running by Daily Burn offers in-your-ear coaching for runners of all fitness levels: Choose from tempo, distance, interval, outdoor, beginner, treadmill, and fun runs. You can also set a time or distance to run on your own, and the app will pace you.

Before you start using Running by Daily Burn, the app will prompt you for your running goals (do you want to get faster, build endurance, crush your first race?) and ask how many workouts per week you can commit to. This gives the app a good idea of what type of runs to curate for you. Likewise, the app makes it easy to get up and go, with guided warm-ups to stretch out your muscles and prevent injury, and the ability to share your best runs with other athletes for a little bit of added competition.

Best for Motivation : Charity Miles


Charity Miles

Charity Miles

Key Specs
  • Price: Free
  • Free Trial: N/A; app is free
  • iPhone or Android: Both
Why We Chose It

Charity Miles gives users a platform to donate money to a favorite charity and get healthy at the same time.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Company donates money on your behalf to charities

  • Tracks several activities such as walking, running, dancing, and biking

  • Runners can choose their favorite of 40+ charity option

Cons
  • Not ideal for fitness tracking

  • Limited features compared to other apps

  • Interface is on the lower end of apps

Charity Miles helps you make your miles more meaningful and motivational by donating money for every mile you run to the charity of your choice. Just open up this free app, choose from its list of 40+ charities, and start raising money through sponsorships with each mile you run, bike, or walk. While this app isn’t designed for detailed fitness tracking, it does link to a number of other well-known apps, such as Strava. 

You can also form teams with running friends to combine fundraising efforts. To stay motivated, Charity Miles prompts you with reminders to run and keep raising money. You can use Charity Miles on any iOS or Android device.

Best for Reaching Your Health Goals : MyFitnessPal


MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal

Key Specs
  • Price: $9.99 to $79.99
  • Free Trial: Yes
  • iPhone or Android: Both
Why We Chose It

Reaching your health goals is easier with MyFitnessPal. This fitness app allows you to chart your training runs, track and update weight loss goals, and connect with friends for support.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Tracks runs, food, calories, and other fitness activities

  • Members have access to an active online community

  • Option to customize goals and monitor progress

Cons
  • May underestimate food intake and calorie requirements

  • Requires premium subscription to access daily goal-setting features

If you’re hoping to improve your physical health through running, the MyFitnessPal app can help you achieve your goals. It allows you to track your runs as well as your food/calorie intake in one place, and it updates your calorie balance based on your tailored health goals as you track your meals throughout the day.

Along with charting fitness and health progress, users can connect with friends within the community, so you and your friends can hold each other accountable and maintain motivation.

MyFitnessPal is available on iOS and Android and it syncs with other apps and devices including Fitbit, Strava, Runkeeper, and Runtastic.

Best for Apple Watch : Nike+ Run Club


Key Specs
  • Price: Free
  • Free Trial: N/A
  • iPhone or Android: Both
Why We Chose It

Nike + Run Club app is an excellent choice for Apple Watch owners. Not only is it free to use, but it also comes with guided runs, coaching, and personalized plans.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Quick glance pace, location, distance, elevation, heart rate, and mile splits

  • Audio runs with Nike coaches

  • Coaching and personalized plans

Cons
  • Only for Apple Watch

  • Users report GPS can be spotty

Nike+ Run Club is one of the most popular running apps for good reason—it's got everything you need all in one place. This free app offers GPS tracking, audio-guided workouts, weekly and monthly distance challenges to keep you motivated, and personalized coaching plans. 

The app can connect to Apple Music or Spotify so you can access your favorite playlists. If you’re a social runner, you’ll love the opportunities to compete with friends and cheer each other on during runs. Nike+ Run Club is perfect for runners with Apple Watches who want stats and feedback during their runs, but don’t want to carry a smartphone. Nike+ Run Club is also available to download on iPhones and Android phones as well, plus it automatically syncs with Apple Health or Google Fit for easy fitness tracking.

Best for Marathon Runners : Runtastic


Runtastic GPS Running App

Runtastic GPS Running App

Key Specs
  • Price: $9.99 to $59.99
  • Free Trial: Yes
  • iPhone or Android: Both
Why We Chose It

Runtastic is a great tool for marathon runners who want to save running routes, training runs, stats, and pre-race information in a single app.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Save all your running routes and stats in a single app

  • Track and log over 120 activities

  • Create a plan tailored to your current fitness level and future goals


Cons
  • Certain race and training features requires premium subscription

  • Some users say voice alerts are not as loud as other apps

Reach your goals in your next marathon with this app that tracks all your runs and offers training plans for marathons and other races. You can save all your routes and stats in one place, so you can stay motivated by trying to beat your personal records. Additionally, you can enter your weight, fitness level, availability, and future fitness goals into the app and it will create a custom plan for you based on your individual information. 

The app is available for iPhones and Androids. For Apple users, Runtastic also syncs with Apple Health, is compatible with the Apple Watch, and will run on iPads. If you have an Android, you can stream your workouts on the TV through Chromecast or track your progress through your Wear OS smartwatch. 

Best Free : PUMATRAC


PUMATRAC

PUMATRAC

Key Specs
  • Price: Free
  • Free Trial: N/A
  • iPhone or Android: Both
Why We Chose It

PUMATRAC is a lesser-known app, but it’s full of top features including customized training as well as workout suggestions that are curated based on your activity within the app.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Totally free, there are no hidden subscriptions

  • Features an in-app running scheduler to help you stay on track

  • Syncs with Spotify and Apple Music

Cons
  • General fitness app, so not every feature is running-specific

  • Lesser-known app means the community is smaller

PUMATRAC is an excellent choice for an app that is totally free, without any hidden subscriptions or “premier” features. It offers users running and training workouts that are customized based on their fitness levels and goals. Additionally, the more you use PUMATRAC, the better your workouts will be because it uses your history to curate tailored workouts for you as you progress towards your goal. 

Runners can use PUMATRAC to record running time and distance, monitor their progress, and even create custom running schedules. With this app, you also have access to an online community of athletes, virtual competitions, and more than 120 workouts beyond just running. PUMATRAC is available for iOS devices, including the Apple Watch, and syncs with Apple Health or Android devices, including the Wear OS, and syncs with Google Fit.

Final Verdict 

Whether you’re new to running or training for a marathon, finding the right running app can help you stay focused and on track to meet your goals. A great app to start with is Runkeeper. It’s comprehensive, appropriate for all running levels, easy to use, and provides you with all the tools you’ll need to get started. Plus, it comes with tons of helpful tips for sticking to your training plan or race schedule. If you’re looking for an app that offers running classes and coaching, consider Running by Daily Burn. But if it’s support, structured training plans, and encouragement that you need, then check out C25K.   

Guide to Choosing the Best Running App

What Are Running Apps? 

A running app is an app you can download onto your personal devices, such as your phone, smartwatch, or tablet, that will help you track your running journey. Every app is a little different. Some have features dedicated solely to running, while others serve as broader workout apps that include running features. Regardless of whether or not it is running-specific, a good running app will, at a minimum, allow you to keep track of your runs, including time and distance. Ideally, it will also offer features like custom motivation, access to an online community, goal-setting, training tips, and more. 

Running Apps vs. Walking Apps

Running apps and walking apps are similar in form and function, but they often differ in content, training plans, and support. Both apps are designed to track metrics like miles, pace, distance, and time, but running apps often come programmed with training plans for specific races such as a 5K or marathon. They also feature longer running routes and trails that support a faster pace and workouts. Some have extra tools like calorie counters and heart rate tracking capabilities. The main difference between a running app and a walking app is usually the programmed workouts. With a walking app, the workouts will be slower in pace and often shorter in distance. They also focus on beginners or people new to exercise more than running apps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Running Apps Good for Beginner Runners?

Whether you’re brand-new to running or you’ve taken a long break from it and want to ease your way back, there’s a running app that’s suitable for you. Many of them are very user-friendly and have training programs and workouts that are designed for beginners.

Can Running Help Me Lose Weight?

Running is one of the best forms of exercise for weight loss, as it burns a lot of calories and is very affordable and accessible. The more you run, the more calories you’ll burn, so if you maintain a regular running habit, you’ll likely see better results. To help stay motivated, you can follow a plan, such as a 5K training program for beginners.

You’ll also want to avoid a common mistake that many runners make, which is assuming that running gives you the license to eat anything you want. The basic rule of weight loss is that you must burn (through life functions and exercise) more calories than you take in. The most effective approach is to follow a proper running program and a healthy, calorie-appropriate nutrition plan if you’re trying to lose weight.

Can a Running App Replace Your Gym Membership?       

If you use the gym primarily to run on the treadmill, you may find that using a running app to track your running stats and keep you motivated to run is a sufficient substitute. However, if you like to use other equipment and amenities at the gym and enjoy the face-to-face interaction with instructors and other gym members, you might regret giving up your membership.

In many cases, it works best to keep your gym membership and use a running app as a tool to supplement your training and help you reach your running-related goals.

How Much Do Running Apps Cost?

Most running apps are free to download, but they may include only basic features. You can make an in-app purchase to access a premium version with more functionality and no ads. Other running apps charge a one-time download cost, usually in the range of $2 to $5.

Some running apps also offer a monthly or yearly membership. Members get access to more robust and advanced features such as personalized training plans and in-depth data analysis. They’re available for a monthly or yearly subscription, which can range from approximately $3 to $20 per month. 

Which Running App Is Most Accurate?

The nice thing about running apps is that distance tracking is usually pretty accurate because it relies on your phone or smartwatch’s internal GPS. As long as you’re staying up to date on the app and device updates, you can feel fairly confident that distance tracking is accurate. Where it can get tricky is if you’re tracking physical health stats, such as calories burned, or relying on the app to give you future projections. It’s important to remember that apps are simply technology that relies on algorithms and your app history to come up with these numbers, so there is likely to be some margin of error in even the best app.

Methodology 

We looked at 10 different apps from reputable companies to curate this list of the best running apps. To start, we compared the free version of each app to the premium or paid subscription option. In order to make our list, the free version needed to provide enough features to make the app helpful and worth using, or there needed to be a free trial option for users to decide if the upgrade is worth the price. We also took stock of the training tools each app provided and only selected running apps that offer tracking features, running routes, graphs and charts, and stats. Bonus points were given to apps that focus on community support, challenges, and ways to connect virtually with friends.

Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. "Greater weight loss from running than walking during a 6.2-yr prospective follow-up."

By Christine Luff, ACE-CPT
Christine Many Luff is a personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, and Road Runners Club of America Certified Coach.

Updated by
Ashley Ziegler
Ashley Ziegler The Spruce

Ashley Ziegler is a lifestyle writer specializing in motherhood, family health, and consumer products. She has written for Romper, Moms.com, and more.

Learn about our editorial process
Edited by
Ally Hirschlag
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is a senior editor for Verywell, who covers topics in the health, wellness, and lifestyle spaces. She has written for The Washington Post, Scientific American, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

Learn about our editorial process