The Best Sports Watch for Runners

After “that shoe I buy?”, the question that arises is whether a runner buy a watch cardio-GPS or use a specific app for travel. The smartphone application in some cases it may be a good choice but, if you want to make things a little more seriously, opt for the cardio-GPS will be an excellent choice. The real problem is venturing among the thousands of models available on the market, some with very similar characteristics. So here we are to do some clarity and to advise you what to buy.

How to choose?

I think the main parameter affecting the choice is the type of use that they will. For this we split the choice in 4 categories:

Entry level: cheap items but do their work diligently and record the necessary data (heart rate, pace, distance, time) and maybe something more.

Easy run: simple to use, Tuck and go. They are more accurate in construction and for interfaces. Spend more but you have a great product that will be current for a long time. The perfect companion for your running and sports activities.

Multisport/hard run: the true technological cockpit of your ride, are designed to meet the needs of customization of training and the interface that the runner who makes this task very seriously (or that accompanies it, equally seriously, with other sports described on

Trail: long life, resistance, accurate record altitudes and all other benefits related to trail running, and everything you need when you are running in the mountains for hours.

In this way, starting from the use that they make (or are you going to do in the coming days-months-years) you will be able to guide you to the right product for you.

Entry Level

Winner: Geonaute ONmove 200 (€ 99.95)

Probably one of the cheapest GPS and cardio-price refers to the version with Bluetooth heart rate monitor (!!!). This product whose simplicity has everything for those who run (Flash step, middle, heart rate, distance, time) and is coming in an update that enables the parameterization personalized workouts and split times (lap). Less than 100 euro will make much of a struggle to find something to do all this.

It is a very simple and with a few cardio-GPS problem into the (not always convenient to open it and close it) but I think we can forgive this lack.

Honorable mentions: Garmin FR15 (€ 179.00)

Is the cardio-based GPS Garmin range, with everything that the brand can bring. List price 80 euros plus costs almost the Geonaute but offers some more cool features such as activity tracking (track your daily activity warning you when you are in operation for too long) and the “Virtual Pacer” — the ability to set a goal of step/medium and see the visual representation, as if there was someone running with you right at that gait. If you have a budget a little more conspicuous, it’s worth.

Easy run

Winner: TomTom Multisport Cardio (£ 299.00)

In the market since April 2014, was one of the first cardio-GPS to supplement the heart rate sensor inside the watch. So no awkward bands but only the watch strap to fasten right on your wrist. Precise (both the cardio that in GPS) and very fast GPS signal acquisition, this product is the ease of use and the ability to use it to make swimming (no record heart rate) or cycling his warhorses. Its only flaw is the inability to insert personal training complex (you can set the repeated). But it is a product “wears and go”, very easy, fun, and with almost all of the features that will help.

It has the Bluetooth interface with the ability to attach the accessories for cycling or interface with your smartphone via a dedicated app.

Exists also in version only running the list price of £ 269. For 30 euro worth buying the model multisport.

Honorable mentions: Garmin Forerunner 225 (£ 299.00)

Newborn and not commercially released (will arrive in July 2015), this watch has many features in common with the TomTom Multisport Cardio – even uses the same sensor cardio – with the addition of two very interesting feature: the ability to insert customizable workouts and the activity tracking (like Garmin FR15). Despite being waterproof is not swimming (with timing, strokes, distances, etc.) and for cycling only has the ability to see the speed.

MultiSport/hard run

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 920XT (€ 499.00)

Used by many runners, triathletes and ironman is the cardio-GPS complete, both features that customization. Barometric altitude and heart rate evolved that allows the calculation of VO2max and all running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, time of contact with the ground, etc.) are real gems that make it the ultimate solution for anyone with the need or the desire to improve the ride with the precision of a Formula 1 engineer.

Wonderful, for multisport, the possibility of using the accessory Easy Mount that allows you to remove the watch from your wrist and put it on the handlebars of the bike in the blink of an eye, without releasing the strap from your wrist.

A single flaw is probably that the heart rate monitor does not register a pulse in the water during swim practice.

You can connect with your smartphone to transmit the live tracking of performance on the Garmin site and to receive notifications directly on the clock but – less than emergencies – it is much better not to enable this feature. Though there is. 😉

Honorable mentions: Garmin Forerunner 620 (€ 399.00)

Has all capabilities brother 920XT running without barometric altimeter and interface with your smartphone. Lighter, cheap (100 € are not few) and less cumbersome is a great choice for the advanced runner who wants to monitor its performance with watchful eye but is not interested in multisport.


Winner: Suunto Ambit3 Peak Black (€ 449.90)

Has similar performance to the Forerunner 920XT without recording running dynamics but with the battery that lasts up to 50 hours (and a long way can do so much in the mountains) and the recording of heart rate in water.

Barometric altimeter and the ability to customize functions with specific apps make this product perfect even for those who face the most challenging races with differences.