There are lots of wearables on the market, they have slowly become mainstream but multi-sport and running watches tend to be some of the top performers. These sportwatches are geared for people who take fitness and sport seriously, athletes and pros that require accurate measurements of their activity. With better battery life, improved performance insights and smarter design, the demand for better running watches grow each year. We have gone through the latest offerings from Garmin, Polar and Suunto in search of the best of the best.
Deciding on the best sportwatch is no easy task. The good news is that there are solid sports watches for men and women now, offering more designs, fits and looks than ever before. But be mindful, these watches are for the serious athlete, the range of features and depth of accuracy is designed for a very particular client, those who thrive in pushing their bodies to the limit, and beyond.
‘But what’s the best? Well, from the perfect partner for trail running through to the ideal watch for marathons, we’ve run with every watch on this list and selected the best devices for every running need.
U.S. Military standard 810G passed for extreme temperatures, drop, humidity and water resistance (up to 100 meters). Polar Grit X shows you current weather and a 2-day forecast.
This multi-sport watch comes with a compass and altimeter (in a training mode), ultra-long battery life and Polar’s unique training features.
Automatically detected uphill and downhill stats from Hill Splitter tell you how you performed on the ascent and descent sections of your route by using your speed, distance and altitude data.
The real-time turn-by-turn route guidance and route import from Komoot keep you on the right track and help you explore new areas safely. Plan multi-day routes, create personal collections, use worldwide offline maps and much more.
Three predefined battery modes – Performance, Endurance and Ultra – deliver from 25 hours to up to 120 hours* of recording time with GPS tracking on. When you start a recording, you’ll get an estimate of how much battery you have left with the current mode. If it’s not enough, switch to another mode at any time.
On long ultra runs, battery life is often the limiting factor for recording distance and track accurately, as GPS is a heavy drain on the battery. Suunto’s unique FusedTrack algorithm combines GPS and motion sensor data to improve track and distance accuracy. This allows you to extend battery life by lowering GPS power without significantly compromising accuracy.
Pair Suunto 9 with the new Suunto app to track all your adventures, as well as follow your long term trends, including daily activity and sleep. Easily share your greatest achievements and connect with others in the app community.
70+ sport modes, from running and cycling to swimming and skiing; Suunto app for detailed training insights; Compatible with the leading sport services like Strava, Endomondo, and Training Peaks
Accurate exercise tracking with GPS, barometer and wrist heart rate sensor; Music controls on the watch
Free offline outdoor maps for finding your way. Built-in heatmaps of 15 activities to know the best tracks to follow; These offline maps can be used without phone and network connectivity; Maps download automatically when connected to Wi-Fi and charging
Battery life: Up to 48h in smartwatch use or up to 12h in GPS tracking mode
Smartwatch features that make everyday life easier: Help from Google Assistant, quick payments with Google Pay, personalized coaching from Google Fit thousands of apps on Google Play plus daily features like notifications, calendar reminders and weather
Monitors underwater estimated wrist-based heart rate during swim activities
Pool swim mode: records distance, pace, stroke count, stroke type and SWOLF (gauges swimming efficiency)
Open-water swim mode: uses built-in GPS for swims in lakes, oceans or rivers; records distance, pace, stroke count, SWOLF, stroke rate and stroke distance
Offers advanced features for staying on pace, logging drills and more
Connected features (paired with a compatible smartphone) include smart notifications and automatic uploads to our Garmin Connect online community
Battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, 13 hours in GPS and optical heart rate (ohr) mode and 72 hours in pool and ohr mode
Premium GPS running/triathlon smartwatch with music
Download songs to your watch, including playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music or Deezer (may require a premium subscription with a third-party music provider)
Performance monitoring features include Vo2 Max and training status with adjustments for heat, altitude Acclimation status, training load focus, recovery time, and aerobic and anaerobic training effects
Garmin Pay contactless payment solution (available for supported cards from participating banks) lets you make convenient payments with your watch so you can leave your cash and cards at home
Full color, onboard maps guide you on your run so you never get lost during your workout
Push new limits and explore new challenges while adding mapping, music, intelligent pace planning and more to your workouts.
Wrist-based heart rate¹ and Pulse Ox² sensors add insight to your fitness activities
Dynamic PacePro™ feature helps you run smarter over various types of terrain
Preloaded ski maps for more than 2,000 resorts around the world
Measure running and cycling performance in ways you didn’t know were possible
Navigate your world with multi-GNSS satellite reference and outdoor sensors
Sync your favorite streaming services, and listen to music without your phone
THE GPS WATCH FOR ATHLETIC AND ADVENTURE MULTISPORT Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro is a multisport GPS watch for active outdoor athletes. Compass & barometric altitude with FusedAltiTM ensure you stay on course. The durable color touch screen, 100m water resistance and practical wrist HR measurement make Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro your ideal training and racing partner for running, cycling and outdoor sports.
Train like a pro with the Polar Vantage V multisport performance GPS watch. Measure the power you produce while next-generation optical heart rate technology lets you accelerate the effectiveness of your training. Display the metrics, data, and recovery of every workout with an awesome waterproof colour touchscreen.
Premium GPS running/triathlon watch with wrist-based heart rate. Strap material: silicone; Smartphone Compatibility: iPhone, Android, Windows
Offers advanced running and multisport Features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
Provides elevation changes with a built-in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring Features
Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more