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The 20 Best Running Watches Money Can Buy

Apple Watch Series 4

It is no secret that running is one of the best forms of exercise that you can engage in. It is good for your heart. It can put you into shape, help keep weight off, improve your endurance, and so much more. In addition to this, running can be a great social exercise that will get you out to meet others. At the same time, many people love to run by themselves to enjoy the fresh air and clear their minds. No matter if you just run for fun or if you like to compete from time to time, it is important to set goals and have a way to monitor your performance. This is why you will want to consider purchasing a watch that is designed for runners.

If you are ready to start looking for a running watch, you will quickly realize that there are quite a few on the market today. Each of these has various functions that are designed to enhance your ability as a runner and to enable you to better track your performance. You will want to look through these watches to find that one that appeals to you the most and fits with your own goals and objectives in relation to the sport. This is why we have put together this list of 20 best running watches that money can buy.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

20. Garmin Forerunner 645

Retails for $269.99

Weighing just 42.2 grams, this is a light watch that has many of the features that runners and fitness enthusiasts are looking for. The case is made of stainless steel. You will find that the screen on this watch is very clear and that it is quite simple to read. The buttons are easy to locate and even easier to use for any reason. This watch has GPS and heartrate monitoring capabilities. It is a stylish watch that contains many different apps that you can customize based on your preferences.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

19. Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Retails for $319.98

Here is a watch that does a bit of everything. There is nothing wrong with wanting to listen to a bit of music when you run, and this watch allows you to do just that. The music can be stored right into the watch itself, so it is always accessible to you when you are ready for it. It has a modern heart rate sensor, so you can count on getting up to the minute results when it matters the most. The battery is quite impressive as well, lasting for seven days when the device is in smartwatch mode.


18. Polar Ignite

Retails for $234.95

When you wear the Polar Ignite watch, it will be like have a personal trainer with you right there on your wrist. This one has a GPS integrated right into the watch itself. This makes it easy to know where you have been and where you are going. It also has a heart rate sensor that works quite well, but keep in mind that you will not be able to store any music on this one. You will, however, receive useful tips and insights about your performance, including reminders to get enough sleep.

Garmin Fenix

17. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Titanium

Retails for $714.99

Here is a watch that is really ideal for triathletes and trail runners. It is packed with features, so almost everyone will find what that they are looking for with this one. It might not be the lightest watch on the market, but it is built to be durable and long lasting. You easily switch between modes on this watch with the touch of a button. The display is quite clear and the user interface is very easy to learn. You will also gain the added benefit of being able to store your music on the watch and use it with the Garmin Play feature.

Garmin Forerunner 935

16. Garmin Forerunner 935

Retails for $519.99

You can use this watch for more than just running, although the features on this one are geared for the track. You will also love the heart rate straps that are used with the Garmin Forerunner 935, as they tend to give much more accurate readings. You have the added advantage of being able to use this watch when you go swimming or cycling, allowing you to keep up with your training regime no matter where you go.

Suunto 9 Baro GPS Watch Titanium

15. Suunto 9 Baro

Retails for $444.99

Suunto makes an entry on this list with the 9 Baro. The first thing you will notice about this watch is how bulky it is. Do not let that fool you, however, as this is one feature rich watch. It even has a barometer built into it to allow you to more easily plan your workouts. The sapphire crystal glass is also made to be scratch-resistant, so you don't have to worry about beating this one up when you are on the trails.


14. Polar Vantage V

Retails for $485.99

It addition to being waterproof for up to 50 meters, you will find that the Polar Vantage V has the distinction of having an ultra long battery life. In fact, it can last for as many as 40 hours when it is being used in training mode. You wear this directly on your wrist. It senses your heart rate with incredible accuracy. You will also notice that this watch looks great, so you would be comfortable wearing it even when not running.


13. Fitbit Ionic

Retails for $199.95

You will find many people wearing the Fitbit Ionic to both the gym and outside running. It has many functions that you would find on a typical smartwatch, even if they are somewhat basic. It will track everything for you so that you can later recall the data and compare results. You will see how your performance is changing over time and be able to make adjustments as needed. This is a compact watch that is very comfortable to wear.

Suunto 5

12. Suunto 5

Retails for $329

Here is another entry for Suunto on the list of the 20 best running watches that money can buy. This one is built solidly and contains more than 80 different sport modes that you can use from the very first moment you put it on. It has an adaptive training guide that allows you to change the intensity of your training. The watch will also analyze your performance during training to recommend new workouts that you can do in the future.

Polar M430

11. Polar M430

Retails for $143.48

The Polar M430 is known for being easy to use and for having a long battery life. It has a heart rate monitor built right into the watch where you can monitor your own training zone. It will also continually monitor your heart rate as long as you are wearing it. This allow you to determine the progress that you are making while you are training. You can get up to 30 hours out of the battery while training.

Garmin Forerunner 235

10. Garmin Forerunner 235

Retails for $179.99

Given the number of features available on this watch, is still surprisingly affordable. You will get many insights into your heart rate with this watch. There is also an aerobic training feature that determines the impact that your heart rate is having on your performance. This will allow you to know when to not push so hard while you are training.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

9. Garmin Vivoactive 3

Retails for $159

With the Gamin Vivoactive 3 watch, you will get a device that can track many different activities. This provides you with a multipurpose watch that you can wear to a wide range of activities. It even has Garmin Play built into it, meaning that you can pay without cash for a number of transactions. It has a rubber strap that is comfortable when worn and can easily be switched out so that you can change colors whenever you want.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 w enhanced sleep tracking

8. Samsung Galaxy Watch

Retails for $223.37

The Samsung Galaxy Watch brings you a number of features that you will find to be quite useful. Given that this is made by one of the leading smartphone makers in the world, you will benefit from a number of useful applications. You will find that it has a fitness tracking feature that will come in handy as you train. It also has a battery that lasts for up to four days. It will be difficult to find another watch that can say that.


7. Suunto Ambit3 Vertical

Retails for $495.18

This watch is designed to go wherever you do. It is rugged and built for just about any situation. That makes it ideal for trail runners. It has a number of navigation features built into it, so you never have to worry about getting lost. It will also help you to map out your routes so that you can analyze them at a later date.

Apple Watch

6. Apple Watch 5

Retails for $499

Apple is also getting in on the running watch game. These watches are great for those casual joggers who want to have a range of information right at their fingertips. You will be able to leave your phone at home while you run, knowing that you are always connected with this watch on your wrist. It is lightweight and the display is always on, so you can easily see what is going on.

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

5. Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

Retails for $559.99

Here is yet another entry from Garmin that makes this list. You will pay a lot for this watch, but you will get a great deal as well. Not only is this watch durable and built to go running with you for years, but it also has many features that you can use while engaging in a wide variety of outdoor activities. The battery life is not as long as you would like with a watch in this price range.


4. Coros Apex

Retails for $350

This watch might not be made by a household name, but do not let that fool you. It has already become wildly popular with the runners that have one, so you should take note of that. You can calculate a range of data with this watch, many of them allowing you to train at an advanced state. It has a clean and simple look to it that allows you to get right to the heart of the information you are looking to glean.

Huawei Watch 2

3. Huawei Band 3 Pro

Retails for $64.99

This watch might not be expensive, but it does so much that you might feel as if you paid much more for it. It has a number of different training plans that you can implement right into the watch, depending on what you are getting your body ready for. This takes the guesswork out of creating your own plan.

Garmin Forerunner

2. Garmin Forerunner 45

Retails for $164.95

You will love the features that are included on the Garmin Forerunner 45. It is packed with features, so almost everyone will find what that they are looking for with this one. It might not be the lightest watch on the market, but it is built to be durable and long lasting. You easily switch between modes on this watch with the touch of a button. The display is quite clear and the user interface is very easy to learn. You will also gain the added benefit of being able to store your music on the watch and use it with the Garmin Play feature.

1. Apple Watch 4

Retails for $399.99

This is a lower priced version of the Apple Watch that still has many of the functions you depend on the most. You will also be able to access other information while you are running, and this is why it has become such a popular choice among athletes today. It is also why it holds down the number one spot on the list of best running watches that money can buy.

Now that you have this list, you can begin looking at various watches that appeal to you most as a runner. What features do you feel are most important to you? How big of a watch do you want? How light or how heavy are you willing for it to wear on your wrist? These are just a few of the questions that can help guide you to the right purchasing decision in the end. Get the watch that you will enjoy the most and then have fun as hit the pavement once again.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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