The 10 Best Sport Watches from The 10 Best Sport Watches
The 10 Best Sport Watches
The following list ranks our top 10 favorite sport watches. In choosing these models we considered several factors, including watches chosen for last year’s picks, our own personal experiences, average customer ratings and online reviews, and outside expert opinions. From the best GPS watch for runners to the watch with the best heart rate monitor capabilities, the following 10 watches came out as the best of the best in each of their respective categories.
#10 Mio Alpha
LED and “electro-optical cell” technology on the back of this watch read blood flow volume to detect your heart rate, eliminating the need for a chest strap. While working out the display reads your heart rate stats continuously and in real time for a constant assessment of your training intensity. Although much simpler than many of the other watches on the market—there are no GPS, calorie burn or multi-sport features—the device’s Bluetooth capabilities allow you to connect to apps like MapMyRun and Stava for a more detailed report of your workouts.
Best for: Cross training, everyday exercise
#9 Garmin Swim
Designed specifically for pool training, Garmin’s swim watch has the ability to record important metrics like pace, stroke count and pool lengths, plus advanced features like timed sets and drill logs. Constructed with speed in mind, its slim build easily cuts through the water. The watch also calculates swimming efficiency, making it a valuable training tool for swimmers of all levels. “It is very easy to use and read, and does exactly what it was designed for. Provides plenty of useful statistics and has many, many features,” says one reviewer on Amazon.
Best For: Swimming, triathlon
#8 Tom Tom Multi-Sport
This Tom Tom watch was designed with easy use in mind. Whether running, swimming or biking the large display and one-button control allows for a quick view of your stats, but the sleek design means your wrist won’t feel weighed down. Bonus specs for those who spend lots of training time in the pool: the built-in swim sensor can record metrics like stroke efficiency, type and length.
Best For: running, swimming, cycling
#7 Polar V800
Described as a GPS enabled multisport device for “ambitious triathletes, runners and endurance athletes,” the Polar V800 tracks that typical stats like route, distance, speed, pace and altitude for running swimming and biking, but it goes beyond the abilities of your average watch with features like 24/7 activity tracking for a better picture of your recovery periods, customizable profiles for each sport and seamless sport transition capabilities for triathletes. The watch package also includes a Bluetooth heart rate sensor that can be worn even while swimming.
Best For: triathlon, running, swimming, cycling
#6 Casio PAW1500-1V 'Pathfinder' Multi-Function
With features like a digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer tide and moon graphs, moon age data and atomic timekeeping capabilities, this solar-powered watch from Casio is the perfect accessory for a wide range of outdoor activities and exploration. “I expect this watch to last 10+ years and thousands and thousands of hiking miles. I consider it part of my hiking survival kit,” one reviewer wrote on Amazon.
Best For: hiking, sailing, kayaking, mountain biking, camping
#5 Nike+ Sportwatch GPS
Designed entirely with runners in mind, this GPS watch from Nike boasts features like distance, pace, time split, elevation, calorie and route tracking, workout reminders, goal setting capabilities and social sharing functionality. Runners can personalize the display to show only the stats they want to see while working out and data from the watch can easily be uploaded to your computer. One reviewer on Amazon says, “If you're looking for something [sleek] with great online activity, and an overall powerful motivating device, this Nike+ GPS is for you.”
Best For: running
#4 Suunto Ambit 2
Designed with all sports in mind, the Ambit 2 from Suunto offers GPS capabilities with the option for heart rate functionality as well. Dubbed by Suunto as the “GPS for explorers and athletes”, this multi-sport watch is chock full of high tech capabilities including navigational functions, the ability to record speed and altitude and weather condition information. What’s more, the watch can adopt more functions through thousands of Suunto Apps and it promises a battery life of up to 24 hours. “[It] works incredibly well for speedskating, running, biking, swimming, hiking, treadmill runs, skiing and general gym things,” one reviewer wrote of its versatile capabilities.
Best for: outdoor sports, hiking, trail running, mountain biking
#3 Polar FT7
Best for gym-goers in search of a simple but reliable heart rate watch that will help monitor the effects of their workouts, the FT7 from polar offers a continuous view of your heart rate while you work out, plus post-workout data for everything from the amount of calories burned to your average and maximum heart rate. While you’re working out the watch’s “Energy Pointer” function will indicate the main effect of your training (fat burning or fitness improvement) while also identifying the center point between the two effects.
Best For: Cross training, everyday exercise
#2 Garmin Forerunner® 220
Described as a “colorful running companion with connected features,” the Forerunner 220 provides runners with accurate GPS tracking capabilities while also offering the ability to track pace and heart rate. Other specs include automatic data uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, social media sharing and training feedback. “The value lies in being able to train on heart rate and [log] decently accurate mileage without having to map it out beforehand,” one reviewer wrote on Amazon.
Best For: running
#1 Timex Ironman® 30-Lap
Features for this simple yet useful 30-lap watch from Timex include: three alarms, three time zones, a customizable menu, month, day and date display and an easy-to-use interface. Many online reviewers complement it for its comfortable band as well as easy access to the different modes. Frequently described as dependable, durable and multi-functional the Ironman is also waterproof for up 100M.
Best For: athletes of any level, track running, swimming, everyday use