The 7 Best GPS Running Watches to Buy in 2018

We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.

Yes, it's true that running is a low-maintenance sport, for the most part, and all you really need is a good pair of running shoes. But a running watch can definitely come in handy. For beginners, running watches can be helpful to keep track of how long you're running or to measure your run/walk intervals. More experienced runners like to use advanced features such as heart rate monitoring and GPS to help improve the quality of their training and their performance.

If you're thinking about buying a running watch, here are several good options. Whether you're looking for a powerful GPS watch to track all your stats or just a basic running watch, we've got a watch for you.

Garmin Forerunner Series

Any runner who is into gadgets or tracking their distances will love one of these Garmin Forerunner wristwatch GPS systems. They track all kinds of information, including how far you ran, how to get back to your starting point, and lots of statistical data that can all be downloaded onto your computer. The Forerunner tracks the amount of calories burned and calculates them over the course of a workout. It also lets you know when you achieve a personal record for a distance. Another feature that runners like is that it pauses and resumes based on speed, so you don't have to keep pressing the stop and start buttons. The latest models feature a wrist-based heart rate monitor and also allow you to get text, call, and email notifications from your smartphone.

Timex Ironman Triathlon Watch

If you're looking for an inexpensive running watch without GPS technology, the Timex Ironman Triathlon Watch is simple and very easy to use, yet it's powerful enough to meet your training and race timing needs.

It features a 100-hour stopwatch with 1/100 second resolution; 50 lap memory, 50 split memory, 50 workout memory; a training log with best lap, average lap, and total segment time with date; indiglo backlight for easy viewing in low light conditions; 3 alarms; and 2 interval timers with 99 rep counter. In addition, it's very sleek, stylish, and available in several different colors.

Buy Timex Ironman Women's Triathlon Watch on

Buy Timex Ironman Men's Triathlon Watch on

Garmin Vivoactive

This ultra-thin, lightweight smartwatch is an all-in-one device, allowing you to track all your runs and other activities, and also get alerts for incoming calls, texts, email and calendar items plus notifications from social media and other apps. The battery charge lasts through all your activities for up to 3 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode or up to 10 hours using GPS. Users also rave that it's comfortable to wear all day and is easy to read in low-light or very sunny conditions.

TomTom Runner GPS Watch

This GPS watch from TomTom features an extra-large display, allowing you to see your key running stats at-a-glance. You can view distance, run time and pace on a high-resolution and high-contrast display. Runners also like the one-button control, which allows them to navigate easily through functions and key stats. Another great feature is the QuickGPSFix, which helps your watch find your precise location quickly so you can start your run.

Casio Women's STR300 Runner Eco Friendly Digital Watch

If you're just getting started with running and don't want to invest in an expensive watch, this basic running watch from Casio is perfect. Very inexpensive and lightweight, it also features an auto LED light, alarm, countdown capability, and stopwatch with 60 lap memory.

Nike+ SportWatch GPS

Another GPS watch option, this Nike+ SportWatch GPS running watch does more than just tell time. You can get accurate speed and distance for your runs, indoors or out — even if the GPS signal gets interrupted. This running watch also shows mapped routes, marks laps ran, and tracks heart rate and calories burned. Use it to get a motivation boost by viewing previous runs (up to 50 runs) and PRs, and setting automatic Run Reminders when a run hasn't been logged for a period of time.

Polar M400 GPS Sports Watch & Activity Tracker

If you crave information about your runs and other activity, the Polar M400 may be the watch for you. It's a GPS running watch with built-in activity tracking features for runners of all levels. This water-resistant unit, available several different colors, combines the best features of a GPS watch with 24/7 fitness activity and sleep tracking, so runners can monitor and analyze the complete picture of their daily activity and exercises.

Was this page helpful?