Track Tech: 10 Best GPS Running Watches

Aug 1, 2018

Category: Tech

Technology makes the world go round and then some these days, as almost everything that we do is connected to the digital world. Depending on who you ask, the integration of technology with our everyday lives could be our downfall or our destined evolution. We believe that one thing is for sure: technology give us the opportunity to live a more healthy lifestyle. If you decide to use one of the many inventions available to improve your physical state, ranging from fitness trackers to A.I. coaching apps, the workout routine not only becomes more detailed, in order to help you reach your health goals, but also fun; we’re talking beyond posting workout photos on Instagram to harvest likes (if you haven’t done it at least once before, you’ve at least thought about it).

GPS running watches are a popular item, not only because running is still one of the top-tier workouts to do, helping you sweat out calories by the gallon. Today, GPS timepieces have everything you need to track every stride you take on any course you decide to stomp on. They go way beyond calculating calories burned and can definitely keep you connected the rest of the day as well. Since there are a myriad of GPS smartwatches out there, we scoured the web to put together a list of some of the best GPS running watches that will benefit you mile after mile. In our research, we’ve found several that will light up your wrist with technology that’s sure to elevate your workouts and give you valuable feedback to grow as an athlete. The right GPS running watch will open up a world of new ways to view your run workout, so let’s get to it.

Timex Ironman GPS Watch

Although this is on the cheaper side, this is one of those rare times where the price of the product doesn’t match the quality. With this finely made Timex Ironman running watch, you can quickly connect to the GPS for real-time pace, speed and distance, helping you keep tabs on your performance. This budget-friendly watch is lightweight, water resistant up to 50 meters and has a soft silicone rubber strap that won’t bother you on your course. It comes with a plentiful amount of tech, including tap-screen technology, hydration alerts, run pace alerts, a customizable vibrating alarm and an ‘Indiglo’ light-up watch dial.

Purchase: $100

Polar M430 GPS Running Watch

If you’re looking for a little more in a GPS running watch, the Polar M430 is packing advanced goodies, including a wrist-based heart rate reader, indoor running metrics, 24/7 activity and sleep tracking and the Polar Running Program, in addition to its integrated GPS. With this waterproof watch strapped on, you can kill your workout and analyze your progress on ‘Polar Flow,’ allowing you to map out both short-term and long-term run goals. Some of the helpful advanced features include, recovery status monitoring, a running index score calculator, training load information and a Polar fitness test.

Purchase: $200

TomTom Spark 3 Cardio Watch

Packed with tons of run features, including a built-in heart rate monitor, live GPS tracking and 24/7 activity tracking, this nifty wristwatch is your perfect run assistant. It also features a route exploration option to help you explore new courses, an indoor training mode for gym time, interval training for beneficial work-rest sessions and race mode, where you can compete against run data from your past self. This water-resistant watch goes well with any casual attire and you can even swap out the watch strap. It’s also not bulky like other GPS running watches out there, leaving you feeling comfortable and balanced on your run.

Purchase: $200

Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch

Water-resistant up to 50 meters, you can train for a marathon rain or shine or dip into the pool after a few miles to cool off without any worries. Furthermore, this watch easily tracks your activity with heart rate and GPS mapping, so you can check out just how many calories you burned at any given time and measure your daily progress. You can even get personal coaching from your wrist during your run to help you finish strong and hit your PR. Samsung also made it so that you can control other compatible Samsung smart devices and appliances, including lights, door locks and the TV all by just working the bezel. If you want to hit up a juice bar after your run, you can pay with this wristwatch as well, as long as there’s Samsung Pay NFC compatibility.

Purchase: $230

Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch

Sporting this fitness tracker smartwatch, you’ll be able to check daily stats, receive personalized insights and get reminders to keep working towards your goals. You’ll also get live stats for your heart rate with ‘PurePulse’ and information on how many calories you’ve burned, along with video workouts that adapt to your skills. Its built-in GPS also has ‘Glonass’ technology that lets you see pace distance, elevation climb, a map of your route and other key details to keep you moving in the right direction. Not only that, but you can store and play over 300 songs or download stations from Pandora or Deezer, keeping your rhythm on point.

Purchase: $290

Apple Smart Watch Series 3

Only the best is expected from Apple and this Smartwatch Series 3 doesn’t disappoint with its aluminum chassis, Ion-X glass and 8gb of storage. Water-resistant up to 50 meters, this smartwatch comes equipped with a heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter and a built-in GPS. With a lengthy 18 hour battery life, this 38mm smartwatch will have you covered for many runs before you need to recharge it. It gives you more options to work with if you’re an iPhone user, but it also still tracks your workout data without one, so you’re pretty good either way.

Purchase: $350

Suunto Ambit3 Vertical Multisport GPS Watch

For dedicated incline runners, the Ambit3 Vertical Multisport will help inform you of the altitude profile of your route, so you can conquer some mountains. You can even keep track of your comprehensive vertical gain from your annual total to day-by-day ascents. This watch will even let you plan your training with the ‘Suunto Movescount’ app and guide you along the way with vibration alerts throughout your run route. Packing a 15 hour battery, with 5 sec-GPS accuracy, you can track your stats for a while before your watch needs a pit stop.

Purchase: $350

Garmin Forerunner 935 Watch

Garmin’s smartwatch offers a little more advanced running and multi-sport features, which explains the price tag, including a bulit-in barometer, altimeter, electronic compass and training status evaluations, keeping you informed on whether you’re overtraining or slacking a bit. It also provides more advanced dynamics for running, including ground contact time balance and stride length, along with wrist-based heart monitoring. Additionally, it has the ability to analyze your technique with biomechanics measurements, such as cadence, vertical oscillation and vertical ratio. It will even evaluate your most current exercises and performance indicators so that you can tweak your run workouts accordingly.

Purchase: $500

Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire

If you want a little more from Garmin, their Fenix 5 GPS smartwatch has some premium tech, including ‘GLONASS’ satellite reception, a 3-axis compass with gyroscope, a barometric altimeter and automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online fitness. Featuring a rugged design with its stainless steel bezel, buttons and rear case, you can run anywhere and be sure that this watch can keep up. Also, you can analyze the effects and progress of your workout on-the-go with advanced running dynamics that will help you improve your form, including information for lactate threshold, cadence, stride length and performance condition.

Purchase: $580

Suunto Spartan Ultra HR Watch

Boasting a state-of-the-art color touchscreen, this wide-angle watch is perfect for running outdoors, as it’s easy to read, even when there aren’t any clouds holding back the sun. It has 80 sport modes that are pre-installed, so you can mix in other fitness activities on your rest days for running. Also, it has a whopping 26 hour battery life with exceptional GPS tracking accuracy and a real time breadcrumb trail, in addition to an altimeter, barometer, compass and 100 meter water resistance. To help you improve daily and chip away at your running goals, it has training insights, as well as community powered progress tools.

Purchase: $840

Sleek Stride: 18 Best Men's Running Shoes

You’ve got the GPS running to elevate your workouts, now it’s time to upgrade those running shoes, as it’s recommended to switch them out every year or so if you use them regularly. Check out our list of the best men’s running shoes on the market.

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