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Best GPS Running Watches of 2017: Comparison and Reviews


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Garmin Forerunner 620

Only $380* $449.99
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The Garmin Forerunner 620 seems currently to be the best watch on the shelves today. It is among the group of GPS running watches that carry a heftier price tag, but the extra money is well worth the features you will be getting with this model. For the serious runner looking to examine many different factors when it comes to his form and function, and for those who are keeping close tabs on their health in conjunction to their workouts, this watch is “the one”. Customization was never so important – with the Forerunner 620 you can gather so many tidbits of data concerning your current running patterns, you should be able to develop a watch equipped with a regimen that fits all of your body’s needs, and delivers obvious results no matter what your goal.

Compare: Top 10 Best GPS Running Watches of 2015

GPS WatchFull ReviewRatingPriceBattery Life (With Active GPS)DimensionsWeightRecords PositionSpeed/Pace
Garmin Forerunner 10
Garmin Forerunner 10

Read Full Review
4.5/ 5$$5 Hours0.81" x 0.77"1.3 ouncesYesYes
Garmin Forerunner 110
Garmin Forerunner 110

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4.1 / 5$$8 Hours2.7" x 0.6" x 1.8"1.8 ouncesYesYes
Garmin Forerunner 220
Garmin Forerunner 220

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4.4/ 5$$$$10 Hours1.8" x 0.5" x 1.8" 1.4 ouncesYesYes
Garmin Forerunner 310XT
Garmin Forerunner 310XT

Read Full Review
4.2/ 5$$$20 Hours2.1" x 0.8" x 2.2"2.6 ouncesYesYes
Garmin Forerunner 620
Garmin Forerunner 620

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4.8 / 5$$$$$10 Hours1.8" x 0.5" x 1.8 "1.6 ouncesYesYes
Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Garmin Forerunner 910XT

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4.6 / 5$$$$20 Hours 2.1" x 0.6" x 2.4"2.6 ouncesYesYes
New Balance NX950
New Balance NX950

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3.8/ 5$12 HoursN/AN/ANoYes
Nike+ SportWatch
Nike+ SportWatch

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3.7 / 5$$8 Hours2.3" x 0.6" x 1.4"2.3 ouncesYesYes
Timex Marathon
Timex Marathon

Read Full Review
3.9/ 5$8 Hours2.5" x 0.625" x 1.75"1.9 ouncesNoYes
TomTom Runner
TomTom Runner

Read Full Review
3.6 / 5$$$10 HoursN/A1.75 ouncesYesYes

Best GPS Running Watch ReviewsStill using your smartphone as your running companion? You may want to consider reserving that phone for making calls and checking your FaceBook, and take a look at the newest method for monitoring your workouts. GPS running watches have become an immense, in some cases crucial, part of today’s workout world. For seasoned athletes preparing for their next major marathons or newbies with finish lines around their own blocks, these watches are becoming indispensable fitness partners. Some can be used by cyclists and swimmers, too.

Either way, they are changing the fitness world by helping athletes keep a closer eye on how their bodies are responding to their current workout regimens and how they can improve those regimens to ensure they are not under- or over-training. Most importantly, GPS watches provide a way to monitor progress with sophisticated detail so that ultimately, athletes can follow a program accurately developed to match their bodies’ health limits – and ultimately reach their fitness goals.

The term “GPS” is typically associated with pinning locations and not getting lost, however GPS running watches provide a lot more information than “You Are Here” and shortcuts for getting “there” more quickly. These devices deliver precise data concerning running distance, duration, pacing and meticulous measurements of your movement including close heart rate monitoring, perhaps the most valued feature since the advent of these sophisticated gadgets.

Even for those people who aren’t that serious about their workouts, GPS running watches offer a way to mix it up a bit when it comes to an activity that has the capacity to become mundane. Tweaking the same old workout to prevent it from becoming dull not only makes a routine more fun, but helps build motivation in an athlete who may be on the brink of quitting simply because it is no longer interesting.

Along with their growing popularity, different kinds of GPS running watches are growing, too; so much so in fact that it’s becoming a little difficult to pick one. These types of devices are an investment not just monetarily, but in your health; so you want to be sure you are choosing one that is precisely suited for both your budget and your body. You can consider this article your personal GPS for steering you in the right direction when shopping and reaching your destination: the most appropriate GPS running watch manufactured exclusively for you.

To start honing in on the device that’s right for you, it’s best to gain knowledge about what GPS running watches are in general and the features that distinguish one from another. One way to conduct this research is by asking yourself several basic questions about what you’ll need the watch for, and then having a look at the features available. Next, you can take a look at the recommendations we have researched and complied including top leaders in the industry – like the elite line of Garmin watches – and be well on your way to the finish line where your GPS running watch – along with a healthier, more comprehensive method to triumph over your fitness goals – await.

How often will you use it – Can’t I Just Use My Smartphone?

Smartphone vs GPS WatchIf you do not use a device too often when running, or a only short distances, you may not benefit from a GPS running watch at all, but would instead benefit from a phone app. That in mind, remember phone apps are way less dependable, not nearly as accurate, and offer minimal features. Naturally, cell phones are a lot less convenient and durable, too. Most runners will find a GPS running watch handy when they are trekking into unknown territory, that which they aren’t familiar with the distance or the terrain of. Instead of digging into a pocket for a smartphone on which to fiddle with for double-checking pacing, distance and location, it’s a whole lot easier for a runner to take a quick glance at a watch for instant feedback concerning her workout and whereabouts.

Another word about smartphones: to-date, smartphone battery technology has not kept up to speed with runners’ energy needs. A running application will suck energy from its phone allowing less left for use towards storing and tracking your running progress. This is especially because a smartphone needs to constantly update and sync data throughout your workout. Therefore, if you typically run more than 2-3 hours per day, your best bet is to secure a GPS watch, as their batteries can capture up to a whopping 8-10 more of activity and can stand by for a week when not in use.

Plus, if you want to record your running progress with a smartphone on an indoor track, you can pretty much throw that idea to the birds – as you know smartphone signals just won’t have that. While GPS running watches are not as effective indoors either, you can pair your device with a footpod that will record with decent accuracy (with the exception of plotting where you are). In places where GPS cannot automatically pick up a signal, footpods serve as a back-up, or secondary data storing source that you can automatically tap into when in range. Thus, you are never running blindly, or idly waiting for a signal for return.

If you are a tri-athelete and wish to use your GPS running watch during cycling or swimming as well, you’ll want to consider finding one with applicable features like water-resistance (Note: Contrary to belief not all GPS running watches are water proof!). Some watches even have cycling-matching features that allow runners to attach them to bikes and power meters for tracking and storing data related to a ride.

It’s important at this point to mention what may be the two most important features when looking for a GPS running watch; other features which will be covered later on in this article.

Linking to GPS Satellites: At times, it’s hard enough to get yourself up and motivated to start your run. When you’ve finally got the momentum pulsing, the last thing you want to do is stop – even for a few seconds – to wait for your watch to get ready for you by syncing up, and staying linked despite any environmental obstacles like trees or underpasses. Decent GPS running watches are equipped with fast linking and solid signal maintenance, even if running you are in a tunnel.

GPS Accuracy: When it comes to a hardcore workout where you can concentrate on your run and not worry about your gadget keeping up with your progress, you want to feel secure with a watch that is going to consistently and precisely be recording your every move.

Believe it or not, without these two important features, all of the other features these watches boast may not be of much use at all. With a higher GPS Receiver Sensitivity, you should have no worries about catching and holding onto signals.

Will you go the extra mile on price?

Going the extra mileA typical, basic but adequate GPS running watch will cost you around the same as a high-end pair of sneakers: approximately $100 and depending on the features can go as far up as $600. Here’s a basic rate schedule:

$100- $ 150 – will grant you the bare minimum. With watches in this price range, you will be able to track your time, distance, calories and pace. However, this grade of watch will not come with some valuable add-ons like a heart rate monitor (see more about heart rate monitors below), and you will not be able to transfer your data onto a computer for further analyzing and perfecting your regimen.

$150 – 200 – will offer you some additional features. In watches that fall in this margin, you will probably find features like an optional heart rate monitor, foot pods, speed and cadence sensors, and many can be programmed with interval workouts.

$200 + – most created for specific activities (otherwise equipped for triathelete-friendly features), these watches will offer advanced training tools with complex programming abilities as well as the ability to download data and analyze progress on a computer. These watches also come with longer-lasting batteries.


There are so many features offered by the newest GPS running watches on the market today, it makes it even more difficult to choose. But by pacing yourself when browsing through and learning about these features, the upshot is that you should feel a little bit more secure in knowing what you want and need from your watch – enough so you can get up and go get it!

Accuracy, Accuracy, Accuracy!

Once you’ve pinned down your satellite acquisition, your next concern is just how precisely your watch will function throughout your workouts. In other words, you’ll want your watch to provide decent training, as though you have a live personal trainer there right by your side. Training data you’ll want your GPS watch to pick up on and follow diligently is how fast you are going at what particular mile, your pace, your current elevation, et al.

Do you want your watch to tell you how much of a vertical ascent or descent you have achieved? Do you want your watch to monitor your body’s condition on particular hilly runs, so you know whether to slow down or speed up in order to achieve the greatest performance? Many upscale watches will bleep when you are running too fast or hard on easier runs – something most overachievers could use, certainly. Of course, you do not want a watch that is too complex to figure out – which is actually something you rarely have to worry about these days. Most of these devices are created specifically to be user-friendly so that you can easily refer to it while you are running, as well as afterwards when you are ready to assess your workout.

Look for watches with decent display sizes and resolution, too, since you will most likely be looking at it when you’ve got momentum, and don’t want to stop. Top watches provide several fields from which to choose from for displaying on your watch so that you can glance at just the info you are interested in without having to scroll around for that one particular detail. As previously mentioned, not all GPS watches are water-resistant, so if you are a lover of running in the rain – or the pool – make sure your watch is, too.

Smartphone Pairing

Contrary to the somewhat negative spin put on smartphones throughout this article, when paired with the right GPS watch, they can of course come in great handy. Some watches allow for you to share your progress with friends through LiveTrack. With it, you pair your smartphone with your watch via Bluetooth. As you run, your route is mapped as a colored line, above it which real-time stats are posted concerning your speed, distance covered, elevation gain and other details so that your friends can keep track of your progress, too. NOTE: Not all watches have this capability – and trading in another feature for this one might not be the right decision in the long run.

Location and Workout Memory

Some GPS watches can store location, or even let you program locations into your watch allowing you to plot your course and allow your watch to be your guide – you can also pin a pace to follow. To prepare for having a look at your progress on a computer later on, you’ll want to know how much a watch can store before deleting. Can your watch even transfer data to your home computer?

Watches vary when it comes to downloading data onto your computer and using software to manage your workouts or share them with others. Figure out what software (if you’ll need software at all) your watch is compatible and how much this software can do for you. Make sure the software makes accessing your training data a breeze. Also make sure connecting your watch to your computer does not cause any annoying snags.

Running in the Rain

Running in the rainMost runners are known to dabble in water sports now and then, too. But like mentioned before, not all GPS watches are made to cater this type of multi-fitness fanatic. If you’re one of those runners who likes diving into a pool or take off in a kayak once in a while, look for a watch that is water-resistant. If you are a strict runner, particular one that takes off rain or shine, the waterproof feature may be equally as important.


It is a given that these types of watches will be worn by active people. Therefore, a watch that can stand up to decent wear and tear is crucial. If you’re browsing through a line of watches and are turned off by their bulkiness, remember this added clunky element might actually be a good thing – it means less worry for you when it comes to damaging your watch. This being said, aesthetic wise overall, GPS running watches are not the daintiest, prettiest wristwear around. If looking fashionable is a high priority for you, these watches may not be the best investment for you – or else your choices will be very limited. NOTE: wearing a not-so-attractive watch on your wrist for a few hours is an adequate trade-off for the way your whole body will look (and feel) after having donned that bulky thing in the first place!

Don’t Forget to Breathe!

Simply because not too many people know about it so far, V02 estimation is not a feature on the top of most runners’ lists when it comes to choosing a GPS running watch. Yet, next to a heart rate monitor, it may quickly become many a runner’s top priority. VO2 estimation measures how much oxygen an athlete is taking in during a workout. In order to achieve a maximally successful workout one of the most important things for a runner to be mindful of is their breathing. An athlete that maintains a steady, decent intake of oxygen throughout a run is likely to realize results better than he whose breathing is erratic and at times, not there at all (we all forget to breathe sometimes). The VO2 estimation allows a runner to keep a precise gauge on how much oxygen is being taken in. Clearly, the more oxygen consumed the more energy an athlete has to use during a workout – and vice versa. Not only does this feature help runners keep an even, steady pace during a workout, but it allows for the athlete to schedule adequate recovery times between workouts in order to, once again, attain maximal results from their overall fitness routine.

Stay Young At Heart

Heart rate monitors are a feature of GPS running watches for both those who are training for marathons and more casual runners who want be sure they are following their running or workout regimen to the fullest and healthiest way possible. They not only make for what could be that extra little motivation needed to get off the couch and pound the pavement, but they are the very best way to monitor progress, keep track of pace, analyze workouts and lower the probability of over- or under-training.

To begin, it is best to start off with a baseline of your heart rate in order to decipher the level of intensity of existing workouts and come up with the best way to tweak those routines for maximal performance. Keeping in mind that determining your maximum heart rate and the margins to stay within throughout your runs is a best handled my your managed care provider or sports medicine specialist, there is a way to conduct the test on your own. Here’s how:

After a sufficient 5-10 warm-up session, run at an even rate for three minutes, building up to running as fast as you can. Then allow yourself to cool down, but not completely, and jog for 2 minutes. Begin running again as fast as you can for 3 minutes and record your heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is that which is attained at the end of your second three-minute run-as-fast-as-you-can session. Remember your maximum heart rate does not vary much with fitness. However, obviously the rate will differ substantially than your heart rate at rest. NOTE: This test is best conducted indoors on a track or treadmill. Not only is this a safer way to perform the test, but results will be more precise, too.

Considering the fact that a heart rate monitor has become one of the most important of factors those when choosing a suitable GPS running watch, it can’t hurt to learn a bit about its history and how it became so deeply integrated as a crucial part of the fitness world.

In short, and according to Wikipedia, a heart rate monitor is a personal monitoring device that allows one to measure his or her heart rate in real time or record the heart rate for later study. It is largely used by performers of various physical exercise.
The earliest version of a heart rate monitor has been determined as a monitoring contraption or box with several electrode wires or leads attached to the chest – sort of like today’s EKG machines.

Invented in 1977, the device became popular after being used as a training aid for the Finnish National Cross Country Ski team, launching the retail sales of the world’s first set of wireless personal heat monitors in 1983.

Through several evolutions, the heart rate monitor now delivers data like heart variability, activity and breathing rates and pace, core temperatures and dehydration to examine boundaries of a subject fitness level in order to assess the optimal workout regimen fit for that subject. More modern versions of the heart rate monitor contain a microprocessor that is consistently keeping tabs on a person’s EKG and heart rate. Unique signals prevent a user’s receiver from being muddled by signals emitted from nearby transmitters (cross-talk interference).

Although threaded throughout this article, now is a good time to list an overall review of what could be included in a GPS running watch:(this list is extracted directly from Wikipedia.com):

  • Display (Illuminated or passive)
  • Time display
  • Speed/pace display
  • Map display
  • Route tracking
  • Heart rate monitor compatibility
  • Running cadence and speed sensor (footpod) compatibility
  • Cycling cadence sensor compatibility
  • Cycling power meter compatibility
  • Weight scale compatibility
  • Compatibility with sport transitions (such as triathlons)
  • Training programs (such as intervals)
  • Computer connection for logging, mapping and sharing data
  • Hydration/nutrition reminders
  • Reminder alarms to alternate between running and walking
  • Accelerometer for tracking indoor swimming
  • Touchscreen
  • Larger add-on rechargeable battery for longer events (marathon, etc.)

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Now that you are prepared with an adequate amount of information concerning GPS running watch features, you’ve probably created some kind of a blueprint in your mind’s eye about the watch you’d like to be sporting on your next run. With that in mind, have a look below at several models handpicked straight off the shelves as some of the very best devices available today. Whether or not you make your final decision based on this list, it will certainly navigate you at least a few paces closer to the model that finally wraps itself around your wrist.

The Timex Marathon Watch

Timex Marathon WatchAt below $100, this watch offers all of the basic fundamentals that a runner – or swimmer or cyclist – may need for their workouts. A no-frills type of device, the Timex Marathon provides several core functions including the ability to track current and average pace, distance, a guess at how many calories you’ve burned, speed – and can be used indoors like a chronograph watch. It also provides hands-free auto split which means you can track your workout even when running in intervals. The watch boasts an 8-hour battery life, is water-resistant up to 19 miles and comes with a one-year limited warranty. This Timex model can store up to 30 workouts in its memory before auto deletion.

Because the Timex Marathon is considered somewhat of a budget GPS watch, there are bound to be some Cons to weigh out the aforementioned Pros. First and most importantly, although you can review your progress on the watch itself, it is not capable of uploading information onto your computer for deeper assessment and more detailed access to revamping your workouts to better manage your fitness regimen. The watch also lacks a heart monitor. Also, the watch is known to have very sensitive buttons, which means there may be quite a bit of pressing the wrong buttons before getting a better handle on what button is where and being able to pinpoint it quickly when in motion. Another con here is that the watch takes a bit longer (maybe a ½ minute, which for many runners can translate into an eon) than more advanced watches to pick up a GPS signal which can be frustrating for those who are ready to just get up and go. On the flip side, the watch will remember a satellite location, so that the next time you are running in the same location, it should be able tap into a signal immediately. On that note, this Timex is not compatible with accessories like other sensor activities, heart rate straps or footpods. The Timex Marathon is notorious for being quite bulky. While most GPS running watches are generally bulky, this one seems to take the cake – especially for smaller wrists, so if aesthetics is a priority of yours, you may want to look elsewhere. Lastly, there have been some complaints that the band on the Timex Marathon GPS watch is not too easy to handle, so a bit of fiddling may be necessary when it comes to putting this watch on and taking it off – which again, could be a nuisance for those athletes ready to hit the pavement without a glitch.

The Verdict

When it comes to this watch’s limited features, the Timex Marathon GPS Watch can either be a runner’s first choice, or his very last. For core fundamental features, extreme user-friendliness and a more-than-decent battery life, this device makes for a great beginner’s watch, or one for seasoned athletes who simply don’t need all of the fancy doo-dads that more costly watches feature. It also makes for a great transition watch. If this is your first time using a GPS running watch, the Marathon is a has everything you need to get a handle on what these watches are for, as well as gathering more information on what type of a device you’ll want to upgrade to, when the time is right.

Click here to read our full Time Marathon GPS Watch review

The Garmin Forerunner 310TX

Garmin Forerunner 310XTEnter one step up in both budget and sophistication: The Garmin Forerunner 310TX . Multi-athletes and simply-runners that are serious – or about to get – will be especially enticed by this Garmin model – which by the way comes from a long line of progressively and consistently upgraded versions, each more useful and adept at helping you calculate your current fitness situation.

Despites its sharpest refinement yet, The Forerunner retains – if not gains more of – its handsome ruggedness. If this cosmetic element of the watch allures you, you’ll be happy to know that the display is a cinch to read, and it doesn’t take a big, clunky screen to make it so.

Garrmin touts one of the strongest GPS capabilities and – thanks to its collaboration with Hotfix.com – can pick up a signal and lock you into mode quickly. Off the bat, you’ve got the same – but better, stronger, more reliable and easier to use – – features of basic GPS running watches. But you’ll also run into a separate dimension where you can spy on your workouts, examine them, assess them for over- or under-training, and ultimately draw up the keyhole you know will lead you to a more effective, better-for-your-health workout. It’s clear the goal of Garmin to is to have its users get lost in their running adventure, not on the terrain.

For detailed specs (aside from the several mentioned above), take a look at the list below courtesy of the Garmin site itself. It’s a long one, but even skimming through it should secure you with a good idea about where the Foererunner stands along the spectrum of features you want and don’t want:

  1. High sensitivity GPS Receiver with a GPS
  2. Heart rate monitor compatible
  3. Foot pod compatible
  4. Virtual Partner (train against a digital PERSON)
  5. Virtual Racer (compete against other activities)
  6. Auto Pause (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)
  7. Auto Lap (automatically starts a new lap)
  8. Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout)
  9. Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts)
  10. Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace)
  11. Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal)
  12. Vibration alert (choose between alert tones and/or vibration alert)
  13. Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals)
  14. Customizable screen(s)
  15. Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible 3rd party ANT+-enabled POWER METERS )
  16. 20-year battery life
  17. 1-year limited warranty

This watch is highly praised in chief due to its performance when working body-to-body with a heart monitor, an optional add-on. The heart-rate monitor unswervingly captures beats per minute and accesses data for calculating calorie information. Note: swimmers cannot take advantage of this feature as it cannot record data beneath the buoys.

As you are working out, your Garmin is, too: it is tracking body fat, body water and several other measurements via the use of what’s called the Tanifa BC-100 body composition scale. Readings are logged into you watch and automatically transferred to Garmin Connect™ (an online runners community exclusive to Garmin owners) as soon as it is in range of your computer – a feature courtesy of the aforementioned ANT + wireless technology (see more about ANT technology below). After your run, you can return home, slurp down that protein smoothie you prepared before your workout and plop yourself down in front of your computer where all of the information about your run is right there in front of you, ready for personal analysis, and (optional) sharing with Garmin Connect™.

What is ANT Technology? In short, ANT is a proprietary open access multicast wireless sensor network technology featuring wireless communications (Wikipedia.com). For details about the technology, you can research further on your own computer or simply ask a Garmin representative to explain to you more precisely what ANT does, is capable of, and how it applies to you and your needs. (NOTE: Garmin Connect™ is compatible with Windows XP or higher and PowerPC and Intel-based Mac OS 10.4 or higher with Safari).

Concerning the Garmin Forerunner 310XT’s multi-athlete capabilities, this watch can be used alternately when swimming or biking. It is waterproof up to 164 miles, and can time your swim and estimate distance and average swim speed. For cyclists, the watch will automatically track bike data and send it wirelessly to your PC and can transfer from your wrist to your bike in a matter of seconds. For use on a bike however, you will have to purchase a separate quick release kit because, the watch does not receive accurate data on a bike if you wear it on your wrist. Plus, for foot cadence to track indoors, you’ll need to purchase footpods.

The Verdict

Dishing out the few extra bucks for The Garmin Forerunner 310TX, a watch that offers a higher level of technology and state-of-the-art complexity is worth it for so many reasons. With the advanced capabilities and options to add on (particularly the heart rate monitor), you will find yourself wondering how you ever worked out without these specs in the first place. The final upshot is the collection of data that is easier to work with when it comes to tweaking your runs, swims or bike rides. Most importantly, this greater group of leading-edge features will quickly give you the return on your investment in the form of feeling more satisfied from your regimen, and visible improvements when it comes to how your body is responding in terms of getting closer to your fitness goal(s) whether that be weight loss, muscle gain, higher endurance, improved heart function or whatever objectives are waiting for you at your finish line.

Click here to read our full Garmin Forerunner 310XT review

The Garmin Forerunner 220

Garmin Forerunner 220Just because it costs more money doesn’t mean it’s a better watch – for you, at least. These days, new device versions have an obligation to be more “forerunning”, or cutting-edge. One of the latest Garmin upgrades, The Garmin Forerunner 220, offers some form-related alterations as opposed to an overload of function-related manipulations.
This watch has been pegged as that which possesses an inner coach shouting, “Go! Go! Go!” “More! More” more often – and in a language you understand. Thinner, lighter, and with a color display and resolution (you can customize your display to showcase different scenes, too) some feel it trumps previous Garmins. It considers itself low-profile, being less bulky than other GPS running watches – so much so it can be worn as a wristwatch – and it’s got a bunch of other cutting-edge perks, too (removable, band, changeable wrist strap, et al.). Of course, all of this requires a whole lot of customization, which means you may encounter a small learning curve upon purchase of this device understanding your own masterpiece: a small price to pay for a watch that fits you like a mold.

You can expect your Forerunner 220 to deliver all of the essentials like distance, pace, and heart rate. But courtesy of a few other features, this Garmin piece acts more like a coach coaxing your inner Rocky. Aside from using GPS, the F220 is equipped with an accelerometer, so runners can determine their distance and pace when indoors on a track (no need for a footpod, either!) The watch is also compatible with free fitness regimen plans from Garmin Connect™ which can be transferred directly to your watch. Consider it like creating a coach avatar to take with you on your run (and when you need a break from him, vent with your running partners via Garmin Connect™).

  1. High sensitivity GPS Receiver with a GPS that can mark directions back to start
  2. Heart rate monitor (some versions)
  3. Bike speed/cadence sensor
  4. Foot pod
  5. Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer)
  6. Auto Pause (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)
  7. Auto Lap (automatically starts a new lap)
  8. Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout)
  9. Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts)
  10. Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace)
  11. Vibration alert (choose between alert tones and/or vibration alert)
  12. Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals)
  13. Heart rate-based calorie computation
  14. Customizable screen(s)
  15. Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible 3rd party ANT+-enabled POWER METERS)

The Verdict

When it comes to form before function, or whether or not the raise in cost is equal to the tweaking of features in the Garmin Forerunner220, the answer is unclear. If you are looking for a watch that you can train as your ideal personal trainer or coach, this may be the option for you. A more slender, less bulky design and rechangelable wrist straps are also a couple of this watch’s highlights. The more flexible arena of customization seems to the Forerunner 220’s claim-to-fame, an option that makes it hard to resist.

Click here to read our full Garmin Forerunner 220 review

The Garmin Forerunner 620

Garmin Forerunner 620…then there are the times when spending the extra money is something you can’t afford not to do. The Forerunner 620 is the poster child for GPS Running Watches. Instead of mixing it up too much, it simply combines the winning features of the versions recently past. This watch is an advanced GPS running watch with high resolution color display, comfy and lightweight design already fortified with an accelerometer, V02 estimation, Garmin Connect™, and other top features you may be shocked to find are available in the first place.

This watch is the first to offer runners feedback on their running form – a major factor when it comes to whether or not your workout gives you the very best results possible. In conjunction with the HRM-Run monitor, you’ll be provided a report on your cadence, the total number of steps you take per minute, vertical oscillation, the degree of “bounce” in your running movement, and ground contact time, the amount of time your foot spends on the ground during each step. Reports are delivered via metrics, and the Forerunner 620’s color gauge makes it easier for you to take a good look at your form with the option of comparing it to other runners.

Of course, the model comes with all of the fundamental needs:

  1. High sensitivity GPS Receiver with a GPS that can mark directions back to start
  2. Heart rate monitor (some versions)
  3. Garmin Connect-compatible
  4. Virtual Partner (train against a digital person)
  5. Foot pod (yes, optional)
  6. Auto Pause (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)
  7. Auto Lap (automatically starts a new lap)
  8. Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout)
  9. Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts)
  10. Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace)
  11. Time/distance/alert (triggers alarms when you reach your goal)
  12. Vibration alert (choose between alert tones and/or vibration alert)
  13. Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals)
  14. Heart rate-based calorie computation
  15. Training Effect (Measures impact of an activity on your aerobic fitness.
  16. Customizable screen(s)
  17. Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible 3rd party ANT+-enabled POWER METERS )

Here’s an in-depth look at V02 Estimation and how it affects your experience as an owner of the Forerunner 620. Being aware of your body’s maximal oxygen intake at any given time is an advanced, reliable way to measure your current output and set off to improve your performance overall. To obtain your V02 max estimation, pair the 620 with a heart rate monitor, and 620 “crunches data” like running speed, bpms, and heart variability. The product is a number indicating the maximum volume of O2 you can consume per minute. In the 620, a color gauge displays a comparison of your VO2 max data alongside other runners in your age and gender margins. The watch can predict your race time for several distances, lending you the opportunity to set a time objective the next time you’re out there.

Based on the heart rate data that your watch gathers which includes your overall physiology based on factors from your last workout, you’ll be shown how much time you need to fully recover before you are ready to attack a hardcore running workout again. When wearing the HRM-Run, the 620 can practice a recovery check, a real-time assessment of your typical state of recovery within the first few minutes of your take-off. Upon completion of your run, applicable colors will appear on a color gauge on your watch: green indicates you’ve had sufficient recovery time and are ready to hit the trail again, while a red light suggests you take a rest for a day (if you’ve got ants in your pants, try just going for a light recovery stroll).

About the author

Tory Reiss

Hi! I'm Tory Reiss. I built this blog to share my fitness quest and provide informative reviews of fitness equipment, gadgets, and supplements that you can use to help reach your health goals. Hope you enjoy it!