The 12 Best Women’s Sports Watches of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

The Fitbit Versa 3 will keep all your workouts on track

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best women's sports watches

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

A sports watch is a useful addition to your fitness routine, whether you’re a casual runner or a multisport athlete. Sports watches are designed to withstand the wear and tear of your favorite activities, and they’re often packed with features that make it easy to collect data on all your go-to workouts. Most sports watches can track basic metrics like distance, time, intervals, and steps, and some track heart rate, sleep quality, and more.

Reviewed & Approved

Our best overall selection is the Fitbit Versa 3 Fitness Smartwatch for its long battery life and ability to measure classic metrics like steps and time. The Amazfit Bip 3 Smart Watch is a durable and wallet-friendly option that’s comfortable and easy to use for 60+ different sports.

“Sports watches can provide motivation, accountability, and helpful life and performance feedback,” Megan Roche, Strava running coach, and five-time national ultrarunning champion says.

When looking for a sports watch, consider how you will use it. For instance, wearing it all day versus just for workouts will have an impact on battery life. Also, consider what metrics you're interested in monitoring. Many sports watch models have advanced features and metrics that may not be of importance to you, so they can be distracting if they're not needed.

We sorted through many options and selected watches to put through our regimen of testing, making sure we included devices at various price points and those that offered a wide variety of functionality. For four weeks, we tested the watches by wearing them during workouts and everyday activities. We evaluated each device for its ease of setup and use, features, comfort, battery life, durability, accuracy, appearance, and value.

Based on our research and testing, here are the best women's sports watches on the market.

Best Overall: Fitbit Versa 3

4.8
Fitbit Versa 3

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Accuracy
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Versatile

  • Accurate

  • Very user-friendly

Cons
  • Touchscreen needs a hard touch

If you like to track lots of fitness data but don’t want a super-complicated device, the Fitbit Versa is a very versatile option. Its exceptional design, fit, and performance make it suitable for exercisers of all levels and an easy pick for our best overall women’s sports watch.

Right off the bat, our tester was impressed with the easy setup and user experience. The Versa 3’s widgets are very intuitive and simple to navigate, and you can seamlessly change the settings right on the display. The watch also has a clean design and smooth, comfortable band that makes it easy to wear for workouts or all day, if you like. In fact, the Versa 3 received a 4.5 out of 5 for comfort.

Our tester also appreciated the built-in GPS functionality, so you don’t have to bring your phone on runs, walks, or bike rides. And once you’re finished, you can view a workout intensity map on the Fitbit app. What’s more, the Fitbit Versa 3 is smartphone-compatible, so you can use it to keep up with messages, emails, and more while on the go.

Testing Notes: “This watch is very user-friendly and has a very comfortable, sleek design. I like that I can use it for a variety of different workouts or to track stats like step count, as well as sleep and heart rate data.”

One minor annoyance that our tester noted is that the touchscreen sometimes required a hard poke to wake up. However, if it’s an issue, the display can be set to always on or motion-activated. Overall, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a user-friendly watch that can be used for a variety of activities.

Battery Life: 3 days | Water-resistant: Yes to 164 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Size: 1.59 x 1.59 x 0.49 inches | Price at time of publication: $157

Fitbit Versa 3 sports watch

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Best Budget: Amazfit Bip 3 Smart Watch

4.6
Amazfit Bip 3 Smart Watch

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Accuracy
    4/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Slim, lightweight design

  • Good battery life

  • Robust tracking capability

Cons
  • No GPS functionality

  • Screen is not easy to read in bright sunlight

The Amazfit Bip 3 Smart Watch is durable, stylish, water-resistant, and capable of tracking all your favorite activities, all at a budget-friendly price. With 60+ sports modes, it allows you to get key metrics like steps, pace, and distance, as well as get in-depth stats related to heart rate and sleep quality. It's also smartphone-compatible, so you can get text and phone call notifications without looking at your phone.

During our test, the watch felt lightweight and comfortable when worn for activities, casual wear, and even sleeping, earning a 5 out of 5 for comfort. Our tester noted that the slim design, robust features, and ease of use felt very similar to the Apple Watch. The biggest difference in terms of functionality is the Bip 3’s lack of built-in GPS. Additionally, the screen was a bit harder to read in bright sunlight compared to the Apple Watch. However, during our test, the watch’s accuracy was still relatively on par with top-notch watches. It also crushes some of the high-end watches’ battery life, lasting seven days with heavy usage.

Testing Notes: “I was really impressed with this watch’s comfort, ease of use, and long battery life. I’m not sure if it will be as durable as other high-end watches, but it’s a nice entry-level option for those who want a robust fitness tracker and aren’t ready to commit to an Apple Watch or similar expensive option.”

Overall, although it doesn’t have the name-brand recognition and high-end features as some competitors, this watch checks all the boxes for those who want a comfortable, versatile fitness tracker without a big price tag.

Battery Life: 7 days with heavy usage; 14 days with normal usage | Water-resistant: Yes to 164 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Size: 1.73 x 1.43 x 0.37 inches | Price at time of publication: $60

Amazfit Bip 3 Smart Watch

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Best for Beginners: Fitbit Charge 5

4.6
Fitbit Charge 5 sports watch

REI

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Accuracy
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Built-in GPS

  • Stylish design

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Some advanced features require a Fitbit premium account

The Fitbit Charge 5 is technically categorized as a fitness tracker, but it offers everything you’d want in a sports watch, too. And since it’s not as complicated to use as your average smartwatch, it’s an outstanding option for beginners.

The easy-to-use watch can track your pace, calories burned, sleep quality, and even your heart rate, with all stats available to view on the clear, colorful display. Our tester was impressed that the device, like other Fitbits, was easy to set up and use, scoring it a 5 out of 5 for our ease of use and ease of setup categories.

Despite a reasonable price, the watch includes built-in GPS to track your outdoor workouts, with the ability to view your route maps in the Fitbit app. Plus, the watch is water-resistant up to 164 feet, so you can use it to track your swimming workouts. Our tester was also impressed with the battery life, which lasts up to seven days with regular use.

Testing Notes: “This is a great option for those who want the sports watch functionality without the sporty look. I love how it’s very easy to use and comfortable to wear, and the long battery life means I can go several days without even having to think about charging it.”

The lightweight, sleek design scored a 4.5 for both comfort and appearance, making it a nice option for those who want to wear a fitness tracker all day and night. And since it’s smartphone-compatible, you can keep up with text and call notifications as you’re working out. The tracker does offer some advanced features, such as music streaming and workout suggestions, that require a Premium Fitbit membership to access. However, those seeking a beginner-friendly device should find that the Charge 5 meets all of their needs without paying for more functionality.

Battery Life: Up to 7 days | Water-resistant: Yes up to 164 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Size: 1.45 x 0.9 x 0.44 inches | Price at time of publication: $150

Fitbit Charge 5 sports watch

Veyrwell Fit / Christine Luff

Best for Running: Garmin Forerunner 55

4.7
Garmin Forerunner 55 sports watch

REI

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Accuracy
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Running-specific metrics

  • Easy-to-read display

  • Lightweight and comfortable

Cons
  • May be too much functionality for beginners

Runners who like to track all their stats—including distance, pace, heart rate, and more, are bound to be impressed by Garmin’s Forerunner 55. The watch’s lightweight feel and sleek design make it not only ideal for running but also a nice choice for all-day wear, and helped to earn it a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for comfort.

During our test, the watch was fairly straightforward to set up and use. Our tester liked that the initial set-up included prompts with tips and helpful advice that guide you through the user experience. With five different buttons, the watch can feel a bit overwhelming at first and may be too much functionality for a beginner runner. However, runners who love to dig into their stats will appreciate the Forerunner 55’s personalized guidance and suggested workouts, based on their training history and fitness level.

We also like the large screen, which is easy to read and allows for customization, so you can view stats that are most important to your running goals. Another cool feature for runners is the recovery time predictor, which our tester found to be extremely accurate and prompted her about the need for rest days.

Testing Notes: “I’ve been using Garmin devices for many years, so I trust their high-quality, durable products. This version of the Forerunner is lightweight, comfortable, easy to read, offers GPS tracking, and has an impressive battery life, so it really meets runners’ needs and preferences.”

Although it has a lot of features and functionality for running, the device also tracks stats for a variety of cross-training activities, such as cycling, swimming, hiking, HIIT, and Pilates.

Battery Life: 10 days in smartwatch mode; Up to 20 hours in GPS mode | Water-resistant: Yes to 164 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Size: 1.65 x 1.65 x 0.46 inches | Price at time of publication: $200

Garmin Forerunner 55 sports watch

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Best High-Tech: Polar Vantage M GPS Watch

4.6
Polar Vantage M GPS Watch

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Accuracy
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Built-in GPS

  • Accurate, reliable data

  • Excellent battery life

Cons
  • Face may be too large for smaller wrists

The Polar Vantage M GPS Watch is higher-tech than your average sports watch, giving you access to all kinds of detailed metrics for 130+ sports. The watch boasts classic activity-tracking features that make it easy for you to keep tabs on your heart rate, sleep quality, and daily activity.

During our test, we were impressed with how easy it was to set up using prompts on the display, which earned the watch a nearly perfect score of 4.5 out of 5 for ease of setup. Although the watch has five buttons, our tester found them to be very intuitive and straightforward to use.

The slim, lightweight design and super soft, airy band earned the watch a 5 out of 5 for comfort. The wide display is crisp and easy to read, although the face may actually be a bit too large for those with very small wrists.

Testing Notes: “This is a great option for multisport athletes who like to get feedback on their workouts, as well as sleep data, to help fine-tune their performance. The battery life is superior to similar watches with built-in GPS, and that’s a big selling point for me as an endurance athlete and coach.”

For those who really like to dig into advanced metrics, the watch’s Training Load Pro feature breaks down workouts by cardio load, muscle load, and perceived load to help you get insights into your workouts and recovery. Additionally, the watch is waterproof and features a long-lasting battery, built-in GPS, and smartphone compatibility. It’s a great option for those looking for a performance-oriented, comfortable watch that can track a wide variety of sports and activities.

Battery Life: Up to 30 hours in GPS mode; 10 days in regular mode | Water-resistant: Yes up to 98 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Size: ‎5 x 3.8 x 3.3 inches | Price at time of publication: $280

Polar Vantage M GPS Watch

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Best Low-Tech: Timex Women's Ironman 30-Lap Digital Quartz Mid-Size Watch

4.6
Timex Women's Ironman 30-Lap Digital Quartz Mid-Size Watch

 Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Comfort
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Accuracy
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Customizable alarms and timers

  • No battery to charge

  • 30-lap memory recall

Cons
  • Not as stylish as other options

  • No connectivity, GPS, or heart rate tracking

This Timex pick is a classic, no-frills sports watch that’s a dependable option for athletes of all levels. It’s budget-friendly, water-resistant, and easy to use, giving you everything you expect from a basic, reliable sports watch without any complicated functionality.

During testing, our tester found the watch to be a cinch to set up and use, with buttons that are very intuitive and easy to press. In addition to being a convenient wristband stopwatch, it can record splits during track workouts or races and saves them for you to review later. And, if you don’t like the hassle of charging a smartwatch or worrying about the battery dying in the middle of a workout, you’ll like that the Timex comes with a non-rechargeable (but replaceable) battery that lasts for years.

Testing Notes: “Timex’s Ironman is a classic, tried-and-true sports watch. It’s very simple and straightforward to set up and use. I like to use a basic watch like this for running races because I can use it to time my splits, and I don’t have to worry about the battery dying or inaccurate data due to unreliable GPS tracking.”

Our tester also appreciated the watch’s backlit display, which makes it easy to see when working out in low-light conditions. And since it’s water-resistant up to 330 feet, you can safely take it swimming. The durable resin strap and the easy-to-read display are also huge pluses, but the watch definitely doesn’t get any extra points for style. However, if all you want is a classic, easy-to-use sports watch to time your workouts and splits, this one is sure to deliver.

Battery Life: 2+ years | Water-resistant: Yes up to 330 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: No | Connectivity: None | Size: 3.5 x 3 x 2.5 inches | Price at time of publication: $57

Timex Women's Ironman 30-Lap Digital Watch

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Best Splurge: Apple Watch Series 7

4.7
Apple Watch Series 7
Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Accuracy
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Large display

  • Integrates seamlessly with iPhone

  • Great heart rate monitoring

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Shorter battery life than some other options

Packed with tons of high-tech features and functionality, the Apple Watch Series 7 is truly a splurge-worthy watch for athletes of all levels. For starters, its heart rate monitor ranks among the best for wristband watches, and it continuously tracks your heart rate, alerting you if it gets unusually high, low, or irregular.

Our tester found that the set-up, like other Apple products, was hassle-free and seamless when using it with other Apple products. The watch comes equipped with a GPS system you can use when running, walking, biking, hiking, and more. Multiple activity tracking modes and sleep tracking allow you to monitor and analyze your activity and rest data.

During testing, the watch nailed our accuracy tests, receiving a 5 out of 5 for that attribute, and our tester was impressed with the large display and easy-to-navigate functionality. Beyond its fitness tracker features, the watch offers the convenience of taking calls, replying to texts, and streaming music, right from your wrist. It also boasts a water-resistant design, so you can use it for swimming workouts and don’t have to worry about sweat or rain ruining it.

Testing Notes: “As an iPhone user, I love how the Apple Watch seamlessly integrates with it. It’s also very comfortable to wear, stylish, and easy to read. One downside is that I have to charge it every day, but it’s not a huge deal considering how much functionality and useful data the watch provides.”

While the watch’s battery life is only 18 hours, the charging speed has improved from previous versions, with the battery reaching a full charge in about an hour. With a sleek and streamlined design, it’s a nice option for those who want a smartwatch they can use for fitness tracking as well as all-day wear.

Battery Life: 18 hours | Water-resistant: Yes to 164 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular | Size: 11.65 x 2.99 x 1.42 inches | Price at time of publication: $297

Apple Watch Series 7

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Most Stylish: Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch

4.5
Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Accuracy
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Looks like a normal watch

  • Impressive battery life

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • No built-in GPS

  • Display screen is small

Although it looks like a regular watch, the Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch is durable, water-resistant, and can track metrics for 30+ sports and workouts.

During our test, it was clearly one of the best-looking and most comfortable options, earning a 5 out of 5 for both appearance and comfort. It also performed well and seemed to accurately track steps, calories burned, sleep, and heart rate. Our tester also appreciated not having to constantly charge the watch, as it has an impressive battery life (up to 25 days).

One trade-off for a discreet watch with a traditional face is that the embedded display screen is very small, so the data shown is limited. To view your complete workout stats and really analyze them, you have to use the accompanying Health Mate app. You also need to have your phone for GPS connectivity during outdoor workouts.

Testing Notes: “This watch is so elegant-looking, and I was pleasantly surprised by its functionality, performance, and ease of use. I wouldn’t necessarily want to wear it when doing a long run, but it’s a nice option for those who want to track their daily activity and don’t want to wear a sporty-looking watch.”

The watch gives vibration and smartphone notifications for calls, texts, and selected apps, so you can stay connected on the go. While its impressive features make it a great sports watch, the Withings’ stunning design is also perfect for those who want a sports watch that looks like an everyday, stylish watch.

Battery Life: Up to 25 days | Water-resistant: Yes to 164 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Size: 15.63 x 4.8 x 2.01 inches | Price at time of publication: $180

Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Best Waterproof: Amazfit GTR 3 Smart Watch

4.6
Amazfit GTR 3 Smart Watch

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Accuracy
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Built-in GPS

  • Easy-to-read display

  • Excellent battery life

Cons
  • Doesn’t come with instruction manual

If you need a waterproof watch for tracking swim workouts or wearing in the rain or shower, the Amazfit GTR 3 Smart Watch is a durable, versatile option. With over 150 sports modes and built-in GPS, it can track metrics like steps, pace, calories burned, distance, and more.

When unboxing, our tester was surprised to discover that the watch, unlike others we tested, didn’t come with an instruction manual. However, the set-up was simple using the app, and a user guide is available online if needed. The watch was easy to pair with an iPhone, and the simple two-button design made it straightforward to navigate during testing.

The watch’s sleek, lightweight design and classic, elegant round screen earned it high ratings of 5 out of 5 for both comfort and appearance. Our tester also liked the display, which has exceptional clarity and is easy to read. Despite its slim body, the watch has a powerful battery, which can last up to 21 days with regular use.

Testing Notes: “This watch is easy to use and has lots of advanced features, making it a good option for both beginners and more experienced athletes. I don’t know of another smartwatch at this price with this much functionality and such an impressive battery life.”

Our tester was also impressed with the accuracy of the watch’s advanced functions, including sleep monitoring and heart rate tracking. And since the watch is smartphone-compatible, you can use it to keep up with your notifications while on the move.

Battery Life: Up to 21 days | Water-resistant: Yes up to 164 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth  | Size: 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.42 inches | Price at time of publication: $180

Amazfit GTR 3 Smart Watch

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Best for Triathlons: Garmin Forerunner 945

4.7
Garmin Forerunner 945

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Accuracy
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Extremely versatile

  • Good battery life

  • Wide range of functionality

Cons
  • Expensive

  • A bit heavier and bulkier than other options

Designed with multi-sport and triathletes in mind, Garmin’s Forerunner 945 Smartwatch is ideal for those who want an “all-in-one” smartwatch that can track a wide range of activities and provide in-depth metrics.

Although our tester has previously used other Forerunner devices, she felt like she was strapping a mini-computer onto her wrist with the 945. She noted that the breadth of features felt a bit intimidating at first, but setting it up and using it was quite simple and straightforward.

In addition to providing all the basic performance data for your workouts, including pace, distance, and heart rate, the 945 takes the analysis to the next level. Its performance monitoring features include Vo2 Max, training load focus, recovery time, aerobic and anaerobic training effects, heat acclimation, and more. It even has onboard maps in color to help guide you during outdoor workouts.

The watch also gives you a body battery score based on your activities and recovery times. Our tester found the body battery score, as well as the device’s sleep tracking, to be very accurate and useful measures of fatigue.

Testing Notes: “I would recommend Garmin’s Forerunner 945 to friends and family who participate in a variety of activities and really like to geek out over their metrics.  For a casual runner or walker, it might be way too much functionality and not worth the hefty price tag and size.”

Of course, the extensive functionality and very large display make for a heavier watch, and the 945 feels a bit bulkier than other options we tested. However, our tester noted that the larger size was worth it to have a wide range of features and easy-to-read data. Overall, it’s a great option for triathletes or fitness-minded people who like to analyze their data and want a smartwatch with a wide range of functionality and good battery life.

Battery Life: 10 hours in GPS mode; 2 weeks in Smartwatch mode | Water-resistant: Yes to 164 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Size: 1.9 x 1.9 x 0.54 inches | Price at time of publication: $500

Garmin Forerunner 945 sports watch

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Best for Hiking: Polar Ignite 2 Smartwatch

4.5
Polar Ignite 2 Smartwatch

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Accuracy
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Has a hiking mode

  • Easy-to-read display

  • Very accurate

Cons
  • Expensive

If you’d like a smartwatch for measuring your hikes, the versatile Ignite is worth considering. Unlike some rugged-looking watches geared toward outdoor enthusiasts, it’s not bulky but actually very light and stylish. During our test, the tester found it comfortable to wear, even for long periods, scoring it a 4.5 out of 5 for our comfort attribute.

Despite its sleek look and feel, the watch also offers robust functionality, including GPS tracking, and can be used to measure your distance, heart rate, calories, sleep patterns, and more. The large, color touchscreen display is easy to read, even in bright sunlight, making it a nice choice for hikes, runs, and walks.

Testing Notes: “This watch is very accurate and durable for hiking and other outdoor adventures. Yet it’s also sleek and comfortable, even for casual wear and while sleeping.”

Additionally, the watch is very durable and performed well in our accuracy tests, earning a 4.5 out of 5 for our accuracy attribute. Unlike some sports watches that feature built-in GPS, it didn’t lose its signal during testing, even on wooded trails. Our tester was also impressed with how the tracker uses sleep data to measure recovery and then suggests adaptive training activities.

Battery Life: Up to 5 days in regular mode; 20 hours in GPS mode | Water-resistant: Yes to 98 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Size: ‎1.69 x 1.69 x 0.33 inches | Price at time of publication: $210

Polar Ignite 2 Smartwatch

Verywell Fit / Christine Luff

Best for Golfers: Garmin Approach S42 GPS Golf Smartwatch

4.5
Garmin Approach S42 GPS Golf Smartwatch

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4/5
  • Comfort
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Accuracy
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Very accurate

  • Easy-to-read color display

  • Stylish, lightweight design

Cons
  • Band gets sweaty

  • Expensive

With its lightweight design, precise accuracy, and sunlight-readable color display, Garmin’s Approach S42 is perfect for the golf course but also stylish enough for the clubhouse.

During our test, our tester found the watch fairly easy to set up, scoring it a 4 out of 5 for our ease of setup attribute. Our tester also found it simple and straightforward to use for recording shot distances and measuring distances to the greens. Plus, the display features razor-sharp graphics, and the stats are easy to read, even in bright sunlight. The watch also scored a 5 out of 5 for its impressive battery life, which is a huge asset when you’re hitting the links for hours at a time.  

In addition to golf game stats, the versatile Approach S42 can track your steps, sleep data, heart rate, and stats for other activities. You can also get smartphone notifications, including texts, calls, and app alerts, so you can stay connected as you’re playing without having to take your phone out.

Testing Notes: “This watch is very durable and accurate, and I appreciated its ease of setup and intuitive use on the golf course. The big numbers mode when playing golf makes it easy to get your distance to the green.”

Our tester noted that the watch band, while comfortable, sometimes got a bit sweaty and irritating, but it can be swapped out with a more exercise-friendly one if desired. Overall, the Approach S42 is an excellent choice for accurately tracking your golf game and more.

Battery Life: Up to 10 days in smartwatch mode; 15 hours in GPS mode | Water-resistant: Yes to 164 feet | Heart Rate Tracking: No  | Connectivity: Bluetooth  | Size: 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm | Price at time of publication: $300

Garmin Approach S42 GPS Golf Smartwatch

Verywell Fit / Angelique Jurgill

Compare

Overall Rating Setup Comfort Ease of Use Accuracy Value
Fitbit Versa 3
Best Overall:
Fitbit Versa 3
4.8
4 4.5 4.5 5 4.5
Amazfit Bip 3 Smart Watch
Best Budget:
Amazfit Bip 3 Smart Watch
4.6
4.5 5 4.5 4 4.5
Fitbit Charge 5 sports watch
Best for Beginners:
Fitbit Charge 5
4.6
5 4.5 5 4.5 4.5
Garmin Forerunner 55 sports watch
Best for Running:
Garmin Forerunner 55
4.7
4 5 4 4.5 4
Polar Vantage M GPS Watch
Best High-Tech:
Polar Vantage M GPS Watch
4.6
4.5 5 4.5 5 4
Timex Women's Ironman 30-Lap Digital Quartz Mid-Size Watch
Best Low-Tech:
Timex Women's Ironman 30-Lap Watch
4.6
5 4 4.5 4.5 4.5
Apple Watch Series 7
Best Splurge:
Apple Watch Series 7
4.7
5 4.5 4.5 5 4.5
Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch
Most Stylish:
Withings Hybrid Smartwatch
4.5
4.5 5 4.5 4.5 4.5
Amazfit GTR 3 Smart Watch
Best Waterproof:
Amazfit GTR 3 Smart Watch
4.6
4.5 5 4 4.5 4.5
Garmin Forerunner 945
Best for Triathlons:
Garmin Forerunner 945
4.7
4.5 5 4 4.5 4.5
Polar Ignite 2 Smartwatch
Best for Hiking:
Polar Ignite 2 Smartwatch
4.5
4 4.5 4 4.5 4.5
Garmin Approach S42 GPS Golf Smartwatch
Best for Golfers:
Garmin Approach S42 GPS Golf Smartwatch
4.5
4 4 4 4 4

How We Rated Women’s Sport Watches

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best sports watches we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These sports watches are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.4 stars: We think these are great sports watches, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These sports watches are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend sports watches with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Tested and Selected the Best Women’s Sports Watches

To choose the best women’s sports watches, we first asked Megan Roche, Strava running coach, and five-time national ultrarunning champion, and Wesley Trimble, hiking expert and communications and creative director for American Hiking Society, for their expert opinions on which features every sports watch should have. 

Then, we researched a variety of sports watches and selected products to put through our regimen of testing, being careful to include devices at different prices and with a wide range of functionality. Each watch was evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being not recommendable and 5 being exceptional) in eight categories: setup, ease of use, features, battery life, accuracy, comfort, appearance, and value.

We spent four weeks testing the watches by wearing them for exercise and during everyday activities. If the device offered sleep tracking, our tester wore it to sleep as well. We tested water resistance by wearing the watches in the shower and in rainy conditions, in some cases.

Testers wore each device to track daily activity and did at least one 3-mile run while wearing each watch. For watches that were recommended for a specific activity, such as hiking or golfing, the tester also did that activity and noted how the watch performed.

Additionally, we did two accuracy tests: one to test the step-counting functionality and another to evaluate the distance measuring if the device offered it. To assess the battery, we tracked how long the battery lasted with regular use and recorded how long it took it to reach a full charge.

What to Look For in Women’s Sports Watches

Metrics

The range of metrics you can monitor with a sports watch is immense. On basic models, you’ll find stats like time, pace, and distance. On advanced watches, you’ll find data for altitude acclimation, training load, and sport-specific dynamics. “Performance metrics such as average and max heart rate while training, pace splits, average pace, elevation gain and loss, and average cadence or RPM can help athletes and coaches evaluate training sessions and even think about biomechanics and running form,” Roche says.

Of course, more in-depth data isn’t always better, so look for a watch that tracks the metrics you care about most.

Battery Life

If you plan to wear your sports watch every day or frequently use the GPS functionality, make sure it features a long-lasting battery.

“Using GPS tracking will greatly reduce the battery life of any sport watch, especially if you use more accurate tracking settings,” Wesley Trimble, hiking expert and communications and creative director for American Hiking Society, says.

Frequent recharges can be a hassle, though they aren't as tedious if you only plan to wear your watch during workouts.

Water Resistance

Many sports watches are water-resistant, but some can handle submersion better than others. Be sure to note how water-resistant a watch is before taking it for a dip.

Price Point

Sports watches exist across all price points, and it's important to remember that a larger investment doesn’t always make for a better watch. Look for one that does everything you need it to do, and avoid paying for features that don’t matter to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I choose the best sports watch for me?

    Consider the following when choosing a sports watch:

    • Fitness goals: If you only want to record your time, a watch with a stopwatch should be enough. If you want to track other training elements, you can find a watch that monitors pace, distance, heart rate, and sleep patterns. If this isn't important to you, you can stick with a simpler, less expensive model.
    • Budget: Sports watches range widely in price. A sports watch is an investment in your health, but you don't want to break the bank to purchase one. Consider starting with a budget model and see how you like it before spending more.
    • Reviews: Read customer testimonials. If you're not a tech person, reviews on user design and how intuitive the model is are important.
  • What are the benefits of a sports watch?

    You can use a sports watch to time your workout intervals, track your pace, and see how much distance you’ve covered on a run, bike ride, or swim. “Tracking fitness metrics can be helpful for better understanding overall fitness,” Trimble says. “The GPS functionality can help with navigation and tracking distances can help folks track their progress and timing.”

    Understanding and logging your performance can be very motivating. Plus, many higher-tech options will track your heart rate, sleep quality, and stress levels, too.

    “Resting heart rate and heart rate variability are my go-to features for evaluating adaptation to training and overall training strain,” Roche says. “The breakdown of sleep by different sleep phases can help athletes prioritize sleep hygiene and adjust training and life stressors.”

    Luckily, with tons of sports watches on the market, you can easily find one that’s as high- or low-tech as you want it to be—and that’s great at tracking all the data you care about.

  • How do I care for my sports watch?

    You should first check the watch’s instruction manual to see if they have specific cleaning instructions for the device.

    In general, if your watch is water-resistant or waterproof, you can clean it with warm water and soap. Before you wash any sports watch, make sure all components are screwed down. Gently wash the band and face using a light circular motion and allow it to air-dry.

    If your sports watch is not water-resistant, use an alcohol wipe or a disinfecting wipe. If the watch has a leather band, wipe it off with a dry cloth or paper towel.

    Additionally, you can take measures to protect your watch when using it, especially for active sports. “I've had rocks scratch my watch face in the past, so I now buy screen protectors that can be changed when the screen gets scuffed,” Trimble says.

  • How much does a quality sports watch cost?

    You can expect to pay between $57-$500 for a quality sports watch. If you're looking for a sports watch with basic tracking features—like step count, calories burned, and distance traveled—you'll likely be satisfied with the functionality of a budget-friendlier watch. But, if you want a watch with higher-end features, like built-in GPS functionality or more detailed analytics about performance and recovery, you may want to invest in a pricier option. The cheapest device on our list is often available for less than $57, while our top recommendation, the Fitbit Versa 3 Fitness Smartwatch, was $157 when we published this list.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A certified personal trainer, running coach, gym buff, and fitness writer, Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, spends countless hours researching and testing the latest exercise gear and gadgets. She only recommends products that she can genuinely stand behind and that she believes would be a good investment for her readers.