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Top Five Watches for Running

Updated on September 22, 2014

Best selling running watches review, comparison and everything you need to know about buying a perfect watch for running.

We can divide running watches in GPS watches and non GPS watches. GPS watches have become significantly cheaper in short period and accessible to almost everybody. Today watch is essential for every real runner and also for beginners which can get useful help in gaining physical preparedness from the watch. The main question is whether buy GPS watch or non GPS watch. I would prefer GPS watch because price difference is not as big. With GPS watch you can record and monitor distance, burned calories and pace. Heart monitor is also essential because it helps you to adjust your training to the training plan. Gaining physical preparedness has become much easier with appropriate running technology. Watch is definitely the most important part of the running technology.

If you don’t know which watch to choose, the best tactic is to look at bestselling watches on the market. They are not best selling without a reason. Normally bestselling watches have one thing in common and that is good quality to price ratio. After you have a list of bestselling watches you just choose the one which fits you criteria. Every person has different watch style and functions wishes.

So which are the bestselling watches in year 2013?

Comparison

Model/Specification
Polar FT4
Nike SportWatch
Polar FT7
Garmin FR10
Garmin FR210
Battery
User Replaceable
Rechargeable Lithium Polymer
User replaceable
Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Battery Life (Training Mode)
Over 1 Year
8 hours
Over 8 months
5 Hours
8 Hours
Water Resistant
30m
50m
30m
50m
50m
GPS
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Maps
No
No
No
No
No
History
10 Activities
50 Activities
99 Activities
7 Activities
1000 Activities
Heart Rate Monitor
Yes
Available Separately
Yes
No
Yes
Foot Pod
No
Yes
No
No
Yes (Some Versions)
Data Transfer
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Heart Rate Based Calories Consumption
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes

Polar FT4

Polar FT4
Polar FT4

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Polar FT4 (Non-GPS)

Polar FT4 is the perfect running watch for beginners. It’s got fashionable design and comes in pink, orange, bronze and silver color. Watch is comfortable for wearing as it is included heart rate belt which is made of fabric not plastic. Watch itself determines your heart rate limit and helps you train safely and effectively. Heart rate can be shown by beats per minute or percentage of maximum heart rate. You can also adjust heart rate alarms, which helps you to train in desired heart rate zone. Heart rate belt is coded so there will be no interference from other watches. Watch can save up to 10 trainings. Polar FT4 also supports basic watch functions which makes it appropriate for everyday use.

Pros:

  • Design
  • Comfortable
  • Fabric heart rate belt
  • Colors

Cons:

  • No data transfer
  • No GPS

Polar FT4 Quick Guide

Nike Sportwatch GPS powered by TomTom

Nike Sportwatch GPS powered by TomTom
Nike Sportwatch GPS powered by TomTom

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Nike Sportwatch GPS powered by TomTom

Nike SportsWatch has been created by Nike and TomTom. Watch has got fashionable design and it is good looking. But is it also good for running? Let’s see what it offers. Nike SportsWatch has got built-in GPS from the company TomTom and can measure your time and distance. Watch supports data transmission via USB port and is compatible with Nike+ database. You can measure heart rate with it, but you will have to buy a Polar heart rate belt, which is additional investment. Foot sensor is included and it helps you to measure distance when GPS coverage is poor. Battery is rechargeable via USB port. The main functions of this watch are average pace, calories, instant pace, stopwatch, distance, history, laps, intervals and run reminders. You will definitely not miss your next planned training with it.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Comfortable
  • Battery

Cons:

  • Bad GPS
  • Only basic functions

Nike SportWatch Video

Polar FT7 (Non-GPS)

Polar FT7 (Non-GPS)
Polar FT7 (Non-GPS)

Polar FT7 (Non-GPS)

Polar FT7 offers more functions then Polar FT4 and is also appropriate for experienced runners. Watch style is almost the same as of Polar FT4 but has few functions more. Due to more functions price a bit higher. Well it is worth to risk more money for those functions if you are planning some serious running. Polar FT7 will help you find balance between rest and training and show you effect of your training. Burning fat or improving fitness. The main benefit of Polar FT7 in comparison to Polar FT4 in that FT7 supports data transmission. This means that you can upload your trainings to computer and have long-term training overviews. You can use polarpesonaltrainer.com features like training analysis, training load, training programs etc. It also saves 99 training on the watch so you don’t have to upload trainings from the watch to computer so often. Other functions are similar to Polar FT4 functions. I think that it’s worth risk a little more money and have a watch with these additional functions.

Pros:

  • Price
  • User Friendly
  • Colors

Cons:

  • No GPS

Polar FT7 Quick Guide

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Garmin Forerunner 10

Garmin Forerunner 10
Garmin Forerunner 10

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Garmin Forerunner 10

Garmin FR10 is the cheapest GPS watch from Garmin’s. It is very simple watch, small, compact and light. Somebody would think it is appropriate only for beginners but the functions will delight even experienced runners. It will show you time, pace, distance, calories and other functions every GPS enabled watch should show. Also data transmission is possible and it is compatible with Garmin Connect. You connect the watch to computer via USB port. With Virtual Pacer you can compare your current running pace to your goal running pace and it keeps your trainings saved. The biggest problem is the lack of the heart rate functions. Many are disappointed because of that.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Virtual Pacer

Cons:

  • No heart rate function

Garmin FR10 Video

Garmin Fore Runner 210

Garmin Fore Runner 210
Garmin Fore Runner 210

Garmin Fore Runner 210

Garmin FR 210 is a professional watch with built-in GPS. The watch has high class style and it is very comfortable to wear. It offers you to track your distance, course, pace and burned calories. In comparison with Garmin FR10 the main benefit is heart rate monitor. You can set heart rate zones to train effectively. It is also equipped with ANT+ wireless products like foot pod and other equipment. Locating satellites is fast and measured distance accurate. It also supports interval training. The battery is rechargeable so you won’t have problems replacing the battery. Garmin FR 210 is compatible with Garmin Connect which allows you to upload your exercises.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Weight
  • Hear rate monitor

Cons:

  • Terrible USB connector

Garmin FR210 Video

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Comments

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    • critic thinking profile image

      Fernando Mateo 3 years ago from Barcelona

      Good hub!

      Which one would you recommend?

    • BobbySD profile image
      Author

      BobbySD 3 years ago from All around the world

      Thank you, I would recommend Garmin FR210 which supports GPS and Heart Rate function. It costs a little more in comparison with others but I think it's worth it.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 3 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This is a great comparison of products. Based on the specs, the Garmin FR 210 provides more. I think the extra cost is worth it.

    • BobbySD profile image
      Author

      BobbySD 3 years ago from All around the world

      Thank you. I agree with Garmin FR210.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      Good hub on running watches. This is very useful for those that are looking into buying running watches and trying to decide which watch they should purchase. The table comparing the watches and showing their specifications really helps so readers can easily see the differences between the watches.

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