Whether you’re training for a specific race or just looking to be more active in general, a fitness watch can help you more closely monitor your activity and training. Track your heart rate, map routes, and even receive smart phone alerts on some of these devices. Here are our top fitness watch picks.
Whether you run, climb, cycle, swim, or adventure race, this watch can do it all. It can track over 80 types of activities, is waterproof up to 300 feet, and has both GPS and a barometric altitude meter, so you can track how much you climb. It also comes with a heart rate chest monitor so you can keep an eye on calories burned and recovery time.
Material: stainless steel, polyamide, silicone
Key Features: color touch screen, route navigation, 26 hours of battery life, digital compass, barometric altitude, 100m water
If you’re the mud running, obstacle course type, this wristwatch was made for you. It’s both mud and shock resistant, so it can withstand any obstacle in comes in contact with…literally. The large face allows you not only to see the time, but also what direction you’re headed and the temperature. Plus, it’s 200-meters water resistant, too.
Material: urethane band, resin
Key Features: mud-resistant, digital compass, 200m water resistant, 31 time zones, countdown timer, shock resistant
Love listening to music when you run or cycle, but hate having to carry your phone along with you? This watch eliminates that issue as it can store up to 500 songs directly on the device. And it comes with Bluetooth headphones that connect wirelessly. Use the watch to your heart rate and calories burned while you workout, too, thanks to the built-in heart rate monitor.
Key Features: activity tracking, GPS, built-in heart rate monitor, music storage, multisport mode
You may be familiar with the Apple watch (and it’s capabilities), but the company paired up with Nike to create a more sports-specific option. The main difference? The watch featured the Nike+ Run Club app, which not only tracks runs but also provides coaching, reminders based on friends’ activity or weather (i.e., 5 miles to catch Mike, or It’s 70 degrees—time to run!), and a run scheduler to help keep you active.
Key Features: GPS, bright display, water resistance 50 meters, smartphone alerts, built-in heart rate, camera, music
Sync this wristwatch with Polar Flow (the company’s free app or online web service) to use the running program feature, which allows you to choose whether you’re training for a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, or marathon. You’ll get a customized training plan on your wrist, tailored to your level and goal. The watch also tracks daily activity, and can be paired with your phone to receive alerts for incoming calls, messages, evens, and even social media notifications. The built-in GPS and heart rate sensor allow you to analyze your metrics closely. Plus, it tracks sleep, too.
Key Features: wrist-based heart rate, all-day tracking, GPS, smart coaching, running program, sleep tracking, water resistant,
Not only can you track essential data like distance and pace with this GPS-enabled watch, but also keep an eye on your heart rate sans chest strap thanks to the built-in sensor. When you’re not using the device on runs, it keeps tabs on your daily activity as well. Connect it to your phone via Bluetooth to receive alerts when you get phone calls, texts, emails, and for event notifications. Your data is also automatically uploaded to Garmin Connect, a free online fitness community where you can see your history, create challenges for yourself and others and set personal goals.
Key Features: GPS, all-day tracking, built-in heart rate monitor, smart notifications, 9-day battery life
If you’re training for a race, the interval timer on this watch will help you work on your speed. It can store up to five workouts with 50 laps each. Set the target time pacer to receive real-time audible feedback, and the large display makes it easy to check on your lap or split times. It provides hydration and nutrition alerts as well.
Key Features: touch-screen enabled, 100-hour chronograph, target time pacer, alarm, 150 lap memory, interval training timer, hydration alerts
While Fitbit is known for its trackers, the company put that all-day monitoring technology into this watch. The built-in GPS feature allows you to map routes while the heart rate sensor tracks workout intensity and calorie burn. The watch also automatically knows when you start exercising and doesn’t require any button pushing to begin recording. Use it on runs, rides, or while cross training, and if you’re not sure what to do, use the FitStar workout option with guided exercise instructions.
Material: elastomer, stainless steel
Key Features: all day tracking, sleep tracking, multi-sport mode, GPS, built-in heart rate, on-screen workouts, smartphone alerts