Timepieces have evolved for more than just style, fashion, and timekeeping. These days, watches are capable of keeping your health in check—something that technology has afforded us over the years. There are tons of running watches available on the market today that can also act as heart rate monitors, distance trackers, calorie trackers, and so much more. The best part about it is they’re just as stylish as any other fashion watch you might want to wear. If you’re looking for a running watch that’s stylish, useful, and affordable, here are the five best running watches for under $500 you can buy on the market today.
1. Garmin Forerunner 935 - $499
Just right under $500, you should expect a lot of features from this small GPS running watchthis small GPS running watch. This watch was actually awarded the 2017 Sports Watch of the Year award by Wearable Tech Awards. It’s designed to help the most serious athletes, particularly triathletes, keep track of their data. It’s a hardworking piece of equipment that comes in such a small package; it’s truly amazing what this device could do. If you’re looking to measure your running stats, you’ll be doing more than that with this watch; you can also measure cadence, ground contact time, stride length, and a few more. The Garmin Forerunner also has some of the best battery life capabilities around.
2. Polar M430 - $190
If you’re on a really tight budget, try to squeeze in at least a couple of hundred to get this Polar watch to get this Polar watch because it’s probably the best you could ever get for that price. The distinct Polar designs are featured on this watch, but you can expect better performance when it comes to tracking your heart rate. The M430 also features a training benefit program, which allows you to keep track of how valuable your latest training session was. It’s a great way to measure your performance over time. If you’re looking for an affordable watch that can offer you accuracy, reliability, and a strong battery life, look no further than the Polar M430.
3. TomTom Spark 3 - $100
This watch is perfect for the average runner—someone who does it consistently enough but not seriously. The Spark 3 offers enough features to track your sessions, but it doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles of a fully functional GPS running watch. No, you won’t get the extra running metrics you might get in other watches, but what this watch can measure is enough for most people: distance, speed, and time. It can even store music for you that you can access through your wireless headphones. This means that if you’re going on a run, you can leave your phone at home and really get into the mood.
4. Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - $449
Garmin may be known for its running features, but this is actually the first Garmin that will let you play music. Music has become an integral part of running for most people, so it only makes sense for a modern running tracker to have that capability. However, this watch does more than just offer music for runners. This watch can be useful for the all-around athlete. If you like other sports as well, this is a great watch option for you. It even has some smartwatch capabilities such as reading emails and messages. Of course, the rest of the features such as the heart rate monitor are also top of the line. It also doesn’t hurt that the watch is as stylish as ever. It's just the type of watch you might wear even when you're not running.
5. Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR - $279
The Finnish company has improved upon their designs tremendously to produce a smaller yet more capable product with the Suunto Spartan Trainer. At just under $300, this watch will give you everything you need and more: heart rate sensor, water resistance, a great battery life, and more. This is a good option for those who can’t afford a Garmin but are still looking for the same features. For the price, many are willing to look past the few shortcomings of the watch. Whatever it saves you in price, you can put towards other running gear that can offer you better performance altogether.
Written by Garrett Parker
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