Top 10 Best GPS Running Watches in 2021 Reviews

Over the past few years, advancement in technology has been witnessed in almost all aspects of life. In the sports sector, especially athletics, most runners have opted to up their training schedules through the use of unique designed watches or devices equipped with GPS technology. Others use mobile Apps such as Map My Run and Strava to monitor and offer guidance during their daily exercises. The only challenge that comes with the use of these mobile apps is that they are expensive in terms of data consumption and the draining of battery life.

Today’s running watches have been equipped with powerful GPS systems and sport-specific features. These features allow you to track every single stride you make while running. Additionally, they come with supplementary sensors that ensure you stay connected throughout the day. With a variety of GPS watches available in the market, purchasing your next watch becomes a difficult choice to make. Though this list is not comprehensive, it provides you with the best-rated GPS watches. It will help you simplify your decision-making during your purchase.

#1. Garmin Black 1.2'' LCD Display Premium GPS Multi-Sport Forerunner GPS Running Watch

Forerunner 935 is an ideal running watch that delivers rich data like wrist-based heart rate, running dynamics, training status, VO2 max, and FTP. This is a premium GPS triathlon watch that helps dedicated athletics to fine-tune their training and recoveries to become better. It offers advanced running, swimming, and cycling dynamics such as stride length, ground contact, and time balancing among others. This ergonomically designed GPS watch is equipped with advanced multi-sport features. It comes in an extremely lightweight design of 49 grams. With a built-in barometer, you can record elevation changes during your workout. Additionally, an electronic compass and an altimeter help you record your bearings.

Features:

  • Comes with a built-in barometer for monitoring elevation changes
  • Offers advanced dynamics for cycling, swimming, and running
  • Compatible with Android, iPhone, and windows phone
  • Equipped with multisport advanced running features
  • The straps are made of silicone material

#2. TIMEX Black/Grey Simple Interface Lightweight Universal GPS Running Watch

Timex Ironman is a GPS-enabled running watch designed with straps made of silicone material. GPS allows you to monitor real-time speed, pace, and distance. It is equipped with multi-sport training features for swimming, biking, and running. Also, it has various metric displays, race modes, and interval timers. All these features make it useful to advanced athletes when completing their goals. This GPS running watch comes in a slim and lightweight design that is comfortable to wear. It is also packed with a universal USB cable for charging and uploading your workout. Training features of this watch are more advanced and allow the watch to accommodate your growing abilities. Additionally, it has water resistance up to 50 meters.

Features:

  • It is designed with TapScreen technology
  • Features pace and hydration alerts
  • The battery life lasts up to 12 hours
  • It is slim and lightweight in design
  • Comes with a universal USB cable

#3. POLAR Black 0.22Kg Integrated Accurate Heart Rate 24/7 Activity Tracking GPS Running Watch

Polar M430 is a GPS integrated running watch that tracks your daily workout and analyzes your training progress. This complete training and fitness program is available on both mobile and desktop. Polar flow running watch enables you to schedule, synchronize, and analyze all your daily workouts. It also lets you monitor your long-term progress, identify training inspiration, and customize it to suit your needs. This running watch is equipped with several features that are very attractive to a dedicated runner. You can set your training goals and crush them using this waterproof running watch. The features of this watch include wrist-based heart rate, running metrics for indoor workouts and GPS integration, running program, activity tracking, and sleep monitoring.

Features:

  • Comes integrated with up to 6 LED optical sensors
  • Compatible with Bluetooth enabled devices
  • Designed with metrics for indoor running
  • Equipped with a polar running program
  • Offers 24/7 tracking of activity

#4. DR.VIVA Touch Screen GPS Activity Tracker GPS Running Watch for Men & Women w/17 Sport

This is a multipurpose GPS watch that tracks your all-day activities, monitors your sleep, and acts as a vibrating alarm. It can record all your activities throughout the day. It gives you accurate information such as calories burned, steps taken and distance covered. This watch is equipped with up to 17 professional sporting modes that give you the easiest ways of staying active. This GPS running watch can give accurate HRV analysis and heart rate. It gives 24/7 monitoring of your dynamic heart rate. Due to its compatibility with Strava, you can synchronize all your data to Strava. It can sync data such as distance, moving time, elevation gain, pace, routine, and calories. Additional features of this watch include automatic recognition of running and ball sports.

Features:

  • Has the ability to set a schedule and gives alarm
  • Fitted with changeable and quick release straps
  • Programmed with a sedentary reminder
  • Equipped with a long-lasting battery
  • It has up to 7 running modes

#5. POLAR Grit X Outdoor Rugged GPS, Altimeter, Compass & Military Level Ideal for Hiking

Polar Grit X-Rugged is an outdoor running watch integrated with a GPS, altimeter, and compass. This running watch is also equipped with military-level durability that makes it an ideal watch for hiking activities. It can withstand an extreme drop in temperatures, humidity and has resistance to water up to 100m. Polar Grit X allows you the current weather of a place and also a weather forecast of up to 2 days. This multi-sport comes with long battery life and unique training features. The Fuel Wise assistant for fueling ensures that you remain energized in all your training sessions. Polar Grit X watch automatically detects downhill and uphill statistics using a hill splitter. This will provide you information on how you ascended and descended in your route based on the distance, speed, and altitude data.

Features:

  • It is integrated with a compass, GPS, and altimeter
  • Uniquely designed with polar training features
  • Has a powerful battery with a long-lasting life
  • Comes in a lightweight design
  • It is highly durable

#6. COROS ANT+&BLE 35H GPS Battery Sapphire Glass APEX Multi-Sport GPS Running Watch

Coros Apex is a GPS integrated multi-sport watch programmed with Training and Strength modes. These modes allow you to develop and build your customized interval workouts and training circuits. It features over 200 pre-installed exercises. Other workouts are available for download from the Coros website. This running watch is compatible with heart rate monitors, Bluetooth enabled devices, and other training apps installed on smartphones. It will use the connected monitor to display the heart rate data. This watch provides navigation tracking that allows you to use a pre-loaded route when racing or training in an unfamiliar location. It provides you with real-time information about elevation, heading, and alerts that keep you on track. Additionally, redirect back to your starting point in case you miss a turn during your training.

Features:

  • Fitted with a digital knob for ease of control
  • Allows you to customize your training
  • Designed to monitor the heart rate
  • Equipped with a nutrition alert
  • Facilitates easy navigation

#7. SUUNTO Black Ambit3 Peak Altimeter, Compass, GPS, Barometer GPS Running Watch

Suunto Ambit3 Peak is an ultimate watch with the integration of GPS. This is an ideal watch for both sporting activities and adventures. It is designed to guide you in all the steps you make by providing all the necessities for your progress and safety during your journey. With the help of the freely available Suunto Moves count mobile app, you can remotely connect your watch to your smartphone. After establishing a connection you can easily synch and customize your activities. It has a built-in barometer, compass, GPS, and altimeter with up to 100m water resistance. This running watch gives you stable and accurate weather and altitude information. Additionally, it has been equipped with a powerful battery that can last up to 200 hours.

Features:

  • Equipped with route navigator and a compass
  • Allows you to access weather information
  • Measures pace, distance, and speed
  • Supports Bluetooth smart
  • It is a multi-sport watch

#8. Tomtom Grey Glass 1.88'' Ultra-Slim Lightweight Waterproof Runner GPS Watch

Tomtom Runner is a GPS integrated watch designed for running, swimming, or cycling. This running watch allows you to monitor real-time and detailed metrics of your running. Therefore, it will keep you motivated and help you attain your training goals. This GPS watch is designed to track your pace, time, and distance. It displays the results through an extra-large display unit with high-resolution. This watch has been equipped with one button for easy control. The intuitive button allows you to easily navigate through the pre-installed menus. With the full-screen graphics, you can now train and achieve more effective results. You can access your running performance with 3 unique training modes. These modes are; race, challenge, and pace yourself.

Features:

  • Delivers effective graphical training
  • Easy-to-operate with one button
  • It has an extra-large display unit
  • Equipped with vibration alerts
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters

#9. Intoval 245/645 Classic Leather Compatible Forerunner 20mm Replacement Running Watch

This is a 20mm leather band from Intoval stores. It is compatible with Garmin forerunner 245/245 Music, Vivo move HR, Forerunner 645/645 Music, Vivo active 3/ 3 Music, and Delta Smartwatch. The running watch is suitable for use by both women and men. It is ergonomically designed and feels very comfortable to touch. Also, it has an attractive appearance that suits any occasion. This GPS running watch is equipped with an upgraded connector that facilitates 100 percent tight fixation. It is made of premium quality soft leather and a classic buckle made of polished stainless steel. Additionally, it adopts a sweat-absorbent and anti-slip leather style. Furthermore, the straps are equipped with easy-to-replace straps.

Features:

  • It is of sweat-absorbent and anti-slip material
  • Comes with an elegant appearance
  • Fitted with genuine leather straps
  • Ideal for both women and men
  • It is ergonomically designed

#10. SUUNTO Rubber Quartz Smart Sensor Ambit3 Run Black HR Monitor Running GPS Kit

SUUNTO Ambit3 a running watch that has been optimized to offer you an ideal running experience wherever you are running in. This running watch has an integration of a GPS and route navigation tool for exploration. It is compatible with Suunto Moves count mobile App that allows you to schedule your workout. This mobile app allows you to adjust the watch, relieve, and share the experience. This running watch has been designed to allow you to track your performance during the run and the averages of the previous runs. Suunto Smart Sensor can help you check recovery status at your own comfortable time. Additionally, you can connect your GPS smartwatch with your phone to sync all of your activities. After syncing, you can see calls and receive notifications through the watch.

Features:

  • Programmed with movescount training program
  • Delivers up-to-date GPS satellite and time data
  • Has a built-in trackback and route navigator
  • Integrated with Training Peaks and Strava
  • Up to15 hours of battery life

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best GPS Running Watch

Design

The design of your GPS running watch is an important factor to put into consideration. This design involves weight, physical appearance, and how it feels to wear this watch. The majority of running watches are uniquely designed from other watches. They are mostly designed from hypoallergenic materials that prevent them from causing skin reactions. It should have a lock and that keeps it secured as you run.

Durability

Consider the durability of the watch you are intending to purchase to avoid buying a running watch now and then. Your watch should be able to withstand all the rough training conditions you subject yourself to. It should be weather and water-resistant. Ensure it has the IP ratings that can handle all the levels you intend to use it on.

Display

Different sports and running watches come in various display options. The display option you choose will largely depend on the purpose you are purchasing the watch for. Running watches are designed with a mechanical display unit for timing performance. This is suitable for anyone who does not like smartwatches as smart watches are equipped with digital display units and have more features.

Conclusion

Finally, when you want to purchase your GPS running watch, you must put into consideration all the features you desire to have in your watch. Apart from the main features, scout for additional features that might be useful to you. Before settling on purchasing one particular watch, you have to do extensive research and comparisons to settle on buying the best running watch. Above all always be guided by your budget, intended purpose, and desired features before making your final decision.

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