Top GPS watches for runners review; what is the best GPS running watches and how to buy?

A list of the Top GPS watches for runners in 2016 market and how to choose the best GPS running watches.

Regardless of whether you’re running on a regular basis or once in a month in the mood for small or large distance, a good GPS running watch can be your greatest ally. We reviewed many options and selected the best GPS running watches for you. These top GPS watches for runners can track a verity of information – from the heart rate to jogging route.
Top GPS watches for runners review How to choose a GPS running watch Which solution to choose between GPS running watches or GPS running app
Given the number of models and the number of new coming out every year, it is difficult to choose the right GPS running watch. Among the top models or cheap, through simple or more complicated watches and models for each sports category (running, trail running, ultra, triathlon), the choice is yours. This comparative ranking can help you choose the running watch that fits your needs.

Top GPS watches for runners review. How to choose a GPS running watch? Which solution to choose between GPS running watches or GPS running app?

Garmin Forerunner 230

Top GPS watches for runners review
Garmin Forerunner 230 is one of the best GPS running watches for beginners or advanced riders. It has an easy to read color display, a 44% larger screen than the 220 and the GPS function works accurately and the battery life of 16h in GPS is very good. It’s a complete watch for running which gives precise indications as calculating the distance, pace, time and interesting features such as the estimation of VO2max, using recovery or running prediction. Forerunner 230 is precise and fast to calculate the position. Compatible GPS and GLONASS, this GPS watch can connect to satellites in 5-6 seconds. It is fairly easy to use for a beginner runner and advanced features can also satisfy a more experienced runner. It gives very practical guidance for the race. This watch is water resistant to 50 meters, but you can not use this on swimming or triathlon.
Discover more and the price here

Garmin Forerunner 920XT

best GPS running watches
Used by many runners, athletes and Ironman, Garmin Forerunner 920XT is a complete cardio-GPS watch. It features barometric altitude and evolved cardio side which allows the calculation of VO2max and of all stroke dynamics (vertical oscillation, time of contact with the ground, etc.) are real jewels that make this product the ultimate solution for anyone have the need or the desire to perfect the race with the precision of a Formula 1 engineer.
Wonderful, for those who make multisport, the ability to use the Easy Mount accessory that allows you to remove the watch from your wrist and put it on the handlebars in a blink of an eye, without removing the strap from his wrist.
A single defect probably is that the heart rate monitor does not record the beating in the water during the swim workouts.

Discover more and the price here

Polar M400 GPS Smart Sports Watch

How to choose a GPS running watch
The Polar M400 in another top GPS watch for runners. It is complete enough for running and as versatile as it offers the choice of sport (running, cycling, trekking, etc.). The Polar M400 is a fairly comprehensive GPS watch for running with measures like the pace, speed, distance, returning to the starting point, the altimeter. Training with heart rate monitoring is possible with the heart rate transmitter Polar H7. The watch also measures the daily activities with the number of steps, distance or calories burned. The Polar M400 is not necessarily suitable for smaller wrists. The watch is also waterproof (30 meters) and the battery lasts 10 hours with GPS. To raise your heart rate, you must choose the version with chest strap which costs $ 30 more because the heart rate is not raised at the wrist with the M400 watch.
Discover more and the price here

Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235 review
The Garmin Forerunner 235 is the best GPS running watch with cardio sensor on the wrist. Weighing only 42 grams, it is the thinnest and lightest GPS watches with cardio. With this, you can avoid using a cardio belt when running, although the measurement of heart rate is not as precise but acceptable.
The Forerunner 235 offers all the features of the Forerunner 230 with the added measure heart rate wrist throughout the day and calculates the resting heart rate. During the race, the watch can target your cardio area in one glance and adjust your speed accordingly. Its color gauge identifies your heart rate zone and your beats per minute in real time. Compatible with GPS and GLONASS, the Forerunner 235 can detect your position quickly and precisely. The autonomy of the watch is very good with 15h in GPS and 9 days in fashion shows.

Discover more and the price here

TomTom Runner GPS Watch

TomTom Runner GPS Watch review
The TomTom Runner is a GPS running watch of entry-level. This watch is perfect for beginner runners. It is easy to use with its extra-large screen and single button operation. TomTom Runner is light and comfortable to wear. It displays the distance, travel time and pace on a high-resolution screen and high contrast.
The TomTom Runner is a connected watch that synchronizes the smartphone and application TomTom MySports. You can easily download information about your activities and access it easily without connecting to a computer.
Compatible GPS and GLONASS satellite reception of the TomTom Runner is fast. The battery life is quite good with 10 hours in GPS mode.

Discover more and the price here

Garmin Forerunner 630

Garmin Forerunner 630 Bundle
The Garmin Forerunner 630 is the best GPS running watch for advanced riders. Coupled with the HRM4-Run monitor, Forerunner 630 provides detailed physiological data and new statistics such as the lactic threshold, the score stress, and the performance indicator. This watch can analyze stride in running. It measures the pace, the vertical oscillation, the contact time on the ground and also the balance of the contact time on the ground.
Forerunner 630 is precise and fast to calculate the position. Compatible with GPS and GLONASS, this GPS watch can quickly connect to the satellites. It has a very good battery life. It lasts 16h in GPS, 12h with Glonass and 4 weeks in watch mode.

Discover more and the price here

Garmin Forerunner 630

Garmin Forerunner 15
Garmin Forerunner 15 is a sports watch for running. Great for those approaching the world of running, it is easy and intuitive. Like other GPS watches, it can track distance, speed, time, pace, etc. You can configure the watch to display the data that you prefer. It has a practical functionality run-walking with time intervals adjustable up to a maximum of 10 minutes. The virtual pacer allows you to set up and maintain the pace during the race. In addition to this, it is also a good monitor of activities through an embedded accelerometer records how many steps you make in a day and how many calories you burn. The battery has a range of about 8 hours in GPS mode or 5 weeks when used as a pedometer and simple clock.
Discover more and the price here

TomTom Spark Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor

TomTom Spark Cardio Music GPS Fitness Watch Heart Rate Monitor
The TomTom Runner 2 is a multi-sport device that allows you to monitor activities related to running, treadmill, bike, swimming, and gym. It has a monochrome touch screen, an integrated heart rate monitor and a memory that allows you to host (and then play) up to 5,000 songs. It is waterproof up to 5 meters and synchronizes data of business wirelessly.
TomTom Runner is extremely simple to use with a very intuitive menu system arrows. As in previous models, a good part of the display is occupied by the main display, while in the remaining space there are two data fields, and all are customizable. Tapping the right side of the screen activates the backlight, useful if you’re running in the dark. TomTom Cardio Runner also has a vibrating alarm, very useful if you train in a noisy environment or wear earphones.

Discover more and the price here

How to choose a GPS running watch?

The most important criteria for choosing a good GPS watch for running:


Before investing between 100 and 400 Dollars for a watch, you must be sure that the device can measure accurately. Despite recent improvements, no show is 100% accurate. The latest models are excellent but a GPS watch is never immune to an occasional error due to the loss of a satellite signal. Not all brands have solid experience of the GPS technology. Smart watches from some companies, such as Garmin, Polar, TomTom, have solid experience of the GPS technology. Other brands do not offer the same guarantee in terms of accuracy.

The size

The latest GPS watches are ultra light and very thin. They adapt well to even the most slender wrists.


The watch must be easy to read not to lose time to read during the run. If the display is complicated, it is very inconvenient.


Some GPS watches offer audio or vibration alert. It’s convenient and it saves watching constantly the time.


Menus of the watch should be intuitive. It sounds simple but some models are very complicated to use.

Heart rate

The watch must be compatible with heart rate strap or heart rate measure device at the wrist because it is an essential element for running.

Which solution to choose between GPS running watches or GPS running app?

Which solution to choose for running? A GPS app or a GPS watch?
In the Apple and Google App Store, you can find many GPS apps for Android and iPhone for running / fitness activities. This is a much cheaper solution because it requires a free app, a sports armband and possibly a sports helmet.
So, do we need a GPS watch and is it really useful to run? Yes because it offers some distinct advantages. Let’s discover them below.

The collected data

Analysis of the data collected is similar between a GPS app and GPS watch. Both solutions collect basic information and allow for analysis. After a race or workout, you can check your race pace, distance, elapsed time, a map of your route and other parameters to measure your performance over time.
But the data accuracy is different between a GPS app and GPS watch. GPS on a smartphone is less accurate than a sensor with a GPS watch that is specifically designed for accuracy. GPS sensors are different and they are of better quality in watches.
To compound the problem, smartphones do not record the location continuously but by the interval of time. To calculate a distance, the position coordinates are connected by the shortest distance between the two points. Therefore the collected data with a smartphone such as the distance or pace is not as precise as with a GPS watch.

The performance monitoring

The real difference between a GPS app and GPS watch comes just run. It is indeed easier to follow your rhythm and performance with a watch.
A GPS watch is always within sight and provides immediate feedback during your run. The pace is easy to see at a glance. With a GPS app, you have to unlock the phone before checking a given.


Another disadvantage of using a smartphone app for jogging is the use of the battery. Indeed, a GPS app tends to drain the battery of the phone pretty quickly.
The battery of a smartphone using the GPS constantly can last 2 or 3 hours. The battery of a GPS watch usually lasts 8-10 hours.

What is the best GPS running watch?

For most runners, the Forerunner 230 is the GPS shows it takes. It is a watch that is complete and easy to use. It is ideal for a novice rider or an advanced rider.