From serious triathletes to the weekend warrior, sport watches are quickly becoming a staple piece of equipment for almost every type of athlete.
With models that boast everything from GPS and heart rate capabilities to high tech navigation features, sport watch manufacturers are creating kits that cater to all different levels of a wide variety of sports.
As a result, finding one that’s right for you and your training needs might feel a bit overwhelming.
Not sure what type of watch you should invest in? Well, first decide what type of training you’ll be using it for most. Running? Swimming? Hiking?
Then think about if you want something simple or whether you’d prefer a model with a few extra bells and whistles. Your budget should be a factor in this part of the thought process too, because more features typically means you’ll have to cough up more cash. But even with limited funds, you can still get a great watch.
To help you narrow down the scope, we created the following list of our top 10 favorite sport watches. In choosing these models we considered several factors, including watches chosen for last year’s list, 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