Garmin running watches is perceived as the market leader, and the number one choice for athletes who are serious about their performance.
With Garmin, you have an in-depth understanding of your runs, from best pace and average cadence to stride length and maximum elevation, that will help you achieve your training goals.
The majority of Garmin running watches have excellent GPS features that provide accurate information about your pace, distance, and other metrics while running – without the need for a phone.
They also provide advanced heart rate monitoring, with the optical monitor capturing your heart rate multiple times per second, allowing for a more detailed reporting of your fitness metrics than any other smartwatches.
Other features include:
Smartwatch Capabilities that connect you to your social media accounts and notify you of text messages, phone calls, and emails.
The Garmin Connect Companion App that analyses all of the data that your watch has gathered about you (i.e.: metrics on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis). This is very motivating, and it makes it simple to track your progress over time.
The app also allows you to access training plans, upload routes, and communicate with other Garmin users.
All of the best Garmins in this guide have Body Battery, an advanced feature that calculates your energy levels using a variety of metrics.
This helps you determine when to tackle difficult training, when to rest and when to recover.
So which are the best Garmin running watches out there?
#1. Garmin Forerunner 55 GPS Running Smartwatch
This is one of Garmin’s more affordable watches, with some decent features.
These include performance-enhancing training tools, predicted race times, and post-workout advice on how much rest you’ll need. Running beginners will appreciate the personalised workout suggestions based on past performance and current fitness.
When used as a smartwatch, the battery can last up to two weeks on a single charge, but drops to 20 hours when GPS tracking is enabled.
This is a lightweight, comfortable watch, but the small, low-resolution screen may not be for everyone.
#2. Garmin Venu 2 Plus, GPS Smartwatch
This watch has a sleek design that is appropriate for any occasion, but it still has everything you need to track your workout sessions efficiently.
The GPS and heart rate monitor functions are flawless, and the tracking tools include body battery, sleep, and stress monitoring, a health snapshot feature that generates a report on your key stats, and a Pulse Ox sensor.
The fitness age feature will compare your data to your true age and tell you whether your body appears younger or older than it is, and will also give you advice on how to reduce that number if it is too high.
#3. Garmin Instinct 2 Solar GPS Outdoor Watch
This watch is ideal for outdoor running and has solar charging capabilities (as long as the weather conditions are good), giving you nearly unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode. When GPS tracking is enabled, this time is reduced to 48 hours.
No matter the weather, the screen is easy to read, and there are some great outdoor-specific features, such as a built-in 3-axis compass, multiple global navigation satellite systems, and a barometric altimeter.
With this watch you get all of the necessary tracking features, such as VO2 max tracking, training effect insights, fitness age, and more. The PacePro feature allows you to calculate your pace strategy when applied to a course on your watch.
#4. Garmin Fenix 7 Solar Multisport GPS Smartwatch
The Fenix 7 has a highly responsive touchscreen interface, unlike many of the best Garmin runners watches, which have the brand’s typical five control buttons.
You can create your own data screen, which is a great feature because there’s no need to switch from screen to screen to find the information you require.
The ability to load routes is also a huge plus, and we especially like the TracBack feature, that allows you to explore new paths.
Fenix 7 is one of the most impressive runners’ watches due to features such as long battery life with solar charging, a visual race predictor, PacePro technology, and advanced 24/7 fitness tracking.
#5. Garmin Forerunner 955
The Forerunner is very similar to the Fenix 7 in terms of button and touch screen combination. However, there are some significant differences: this model is less expensive and lighter on the wrist, with a smaller case and lower profile.
When running at high speeds, these features make it feel more stable.
The 955 is primarily designed for running and multi-sport activities. With built-in profiles for triathlons, duathlons, brick workouts, and swim runs, you can switch between sports with the click of a button.
The real-time stamina gauge tells you how much effort you’re putting in, helping you avoid overexertion too early in your run. There is also a training readiness feature that uses the data gathered by your watch to recommend how you should train that day.
#6. Garmin Enduro 2, Ultra-Performance Watch
If you enjoy long-distance running, you understand the critical importance of long-lasting battery life in your watch. That’s exactly what you get with the Enduro 2!
This model has one of the most impressive battery lives on the market, lasting up to 46 days in smartwatch mode and an incredible 150 hours in GPS mode, thanks to SatIQ technology, which automatically selects the best GPS mode to pinpoint your navigation while conserving battery life.
The watch enables you to use the physical control buttons or a touchscreen, and there are some endurance-specific features. The ‘ultrarun activity’ with rest timer allows you to log time spent at aid stations, whereas the adventure racing activity profile shows your heart rate, elevation, segment times, and other metrics throughout the race.
#7. Garmin Forerunner 255 GPS Running Smartwatch
Since its release in 2019, the Forerunner 245 has been one of the most popular running watches.
This new version takes everything that was good about the original and improves on it to make it even better! It now has a battery life of up to 14 days when used as a smartwatch or up to 30 hours with GPS, depending on the tracking mode.
The updated Elevate V4 heart rate sensor allows for more accurate metrics, while the multi-band GPS provides dependable and consistent positional accuracy. You can customise which metrics appear on the screen, and a daily report summarises your energy levels and recommends the ideal workout for you.
Due to all these enhancements, the Forerunner 255 is more expensive than it used to be 4 years ago. Nonetheless, improvements such as the ability to use Garmin Pay, triathlon support, and improved accuracy make this watch well worth the investment.
So, which is the best Garmin watch for running?
Well, there’s no right answer to this question.
Each of the models has its own distinct features, and based on the type of running and the type of athlete you are, the best watch for you will be within your budget and include features that you will use on a regular basis.
Whatever Garmin watch you choose, you can rest assured that you’ve invested in a high-quality training “gadget”!