Recommended Running Watches

If you’re like me, you NEED to know your mileage, pace, and overall progress. And then obsess over it. You also need something that’s reliable, something that won’t die in the middle of your run or calculate your stats incorrectly. Some of these watches have lasted me for years and years. They’ve passed my neurotic runner test. They also appeal to different price limits so that, no matter your budget, you can have a running watch that gets the job done. 

You’ll notice that I’m a big Garmin fan. I also like TomTom, but they’ve strayed away from their running watch that I prefer. Garmin is always a home run choice. They make quality running watches for every budget that are not only power horses, but also sleek. 

Garmin Forerunner 35


Now, you may be thinking that anything around $100 isn’t a budget option. Well, for a good running watch, that’s a steal. Dip below that price and you’ll start to sacrifice quality and might as well not buy a running watch at all. I love the Garmin Forerunner series and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s economical, beautiful, and tracks all of your necessary stats. It also gets rave reviews. This is a very solid choice for anyone on a budget.

Garmin Forerunner 235


I’ve actually owned the Garmin 230 for years and currently use it for every run. It’s an incredibly watch, but they don’t make it anymore. Luckily, I’ve also used the Garmin 235 and it’s exactly the same except for some additional features. This is a very cool running watch for the price. It has a built in activity tracker, sleep sensor, and heart rate monitor. It can even give you email and text notifications. Even with all of its snazzy features though, this watch is geared towards runners and does everything it needs to do to track your mileage, pace, and goals. 

garmin forerunner 235 review
I've done a review of this guy, breaking down all of its great features. Check it out above.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music


This watch is on my running wishlist. I mean, look at it! It’s beautiful! It also has some great features. As the name implies, it’s equipped with music. Remember the days of iPods and Zunes? Yeah, I was in the Zune club. This watch will bring you back to those days. It can store 500 songs and play through your bluetooth headphones. It can also sync with streaming services like Spotify. If you’re wearing your watch all the time, it can store your credit cards and help you pay at stores with Garmin Pay. Ok, music aside, it’s a great running watch. In addition to tracking the basics of miles, it tracks heart rate, stride length, and even the amount of time you’re in contact with the ground. This is a high quality watch with a lot of great features that are worth checking out.

Garmin Forerunner 945


If you have a few pretty pennies to spend, here’s the running watch for you. It has all of the music features and payment features of the Forerunner 645. On the running side, the 945 tracks your VO2Max, training status, and even your form. It also lets you store or download training plans that you can access right on your watch. No more carrying crumpled pieces of paper around! The absolute coolest thing about this watch is the maps. As someone who gets lost a lot, this is amazing. These maps give you suggestions on trails and paths to follow so that you don’t end up on a freeway or something. There’s A LOT to discover about this watch. Even though it’s expensive, it has enough high quality features to live up to the price.