Best Running Watch 2023 for Beginners

Best Running Watch 2023 for Beginners

The coolest thing about finding the perfect running watch is that it doesn’t always have to be the most expensive one out there.

It’s all about choosing the features that truly enhance your training and match your lifestyle and running preferences.

Some runners dig the wrist-based heart rate monitoring, while others crave the elevation tracking for those trail runs and helpful reminders to refuel during long sessions.

Then there are those who just want a watch that seamlessly fits into their daily routine with handy notifications and accurate distance tracking.

If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate running companion, look no further!

This article has got you covered with the best running watches for 2023, neatly categorized for your convenience.

Plus, I’ll share some key factors to consider when buying a running watch, so you don’t fall into the common pitfalls that runners often encounter.

Get ready to find your perfect match and hit the ground running!

Best Running Watch 2023


If you’re thinking of investing in a new running watch for 2023, here’s where I’d recommend putting your money.

I’m constantly testing out the latest models, so I’ll keep this list updated as things evolve.

But here’s a little insider tip: I’m all for snagging last year’s model if it means saving a cool $200!

When it comes to fitness wearables, the best running watches are the epitome of versatility.

They go beyond being mere smartwatches and offer a whole range of features specifically designed for runners.

A top-notch running watch should, at the very least, include an integrated heart rate sensor for tracking your beats per minute, along with quick and reliable GPS capabilities.

It should also cover your health and wellness needs, providing valuable insights into your overall fitness.

And let’s not forget about the importance of a smart algorithm that accurately estimates all the key running metrics you care about.

In the race for the title of the best running watch, brands like Garmin, Polar, Amazfit, Coros, and others are fiercely competing, each striving to deliver the ultimate running companion.

Our recommendations for Running watches for Beginners

1. Garmin 55

ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+
Battery2 weeks
WaterproofYes, to 50 meters

The Forerunner 55 may look strikingly similar to its predecessor, the Forerunner 45, but that’s actually a good thing.

It retains separate buttons for different functions like accessing menus, going back, and starting activities.

This means that new runners won’t have to stress about figuring out complicated multi-function controls, and the watch can be easily operated even while wearing gloves.

Heart rate monitoring on the Forerunner 55 is truly exceptional.

Just like the other top-notch Garmin watches, it features a ‘body battery’ function that assists in managing your daily rest and exertion levels.

However, it’s a bit disappointing that you can’t view your sleep score directly on the watch.

While it does track sleep stages, you’ll need to access the data through the Garmin Connect app.

One standout aspect of the Forerunner 55 is its ability to guide and structure the training of new runners.

It offers workout suggestions based on their previous activities and fitness level, ensuring they don’t fall into the routine of running the same distance and intensity every time.

The watch even recommends rest periods after each session, helping new runners determine the appropriate amount of time to rest between workouts and minimizing the risk of injury.

2. Polar M200

Battery1 week
WaterproofYes, to 30 meters

The Polar M200 is a really affordable option, and it’s packed with lots of cool features for a cheap running watch.

You’ll be amazed at what you get: it can track your heart rate from your wrist, has built-in GPS, and even sends notifications from your smartphone.

It keeps track of your activities all day long and has personalized training programs through the app. You can choose from different colors, and the battery lasts for a whole week if you use it for an hour of running each day.

The watch looks nice with its round face and is made to be water-resistant, so you can wear it most of the time without worry.

The app that comes with it, called Polar Flow, works great with other fitness services like Training Peaks and Strava.

It’s super easy to use, and you’ll have no trouble switching between them. Just remember, it won’t make your training sessions any less tough, but at least the watch will make it a little more fun!

3. Polar M430

Battery6 days
WaterproofYes, to 30 meters

The Polar M430 is a major upgrade from the popular M400, packed with better heart-rate tracking, super accurate GPS, and even sleep tracking.

This affordable running watch is perfect for beginners taking on a couch-to-5K challenge and seasoned marathon runners alike.

It has all the standard run-tracking features you’d expect, plus some cool extras like sleep tracking, a simple Fitness Test to track your progress, and recommended recovery times.

And guess what? They even added a cool find-your-way-home feature, so you can explore new paths and not worry about getting lost.

Now, let’s talk about the design. It has a bit of a retro vibe, and the screen is pretty basic.

You won’t find all the fancy features of the elite Polar V800 or top-of-the-line Forerunner models here.

But hey, considering the price, it’s more than enough to make most runners happy and satisfied.

4. Amazfit GTS 2

Battery3 weeks
WaterproofYes, to 20m

Check out the Amazfit GTS 2! It’s a super cool and affordable running watch that gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

It’s got built-in GPS to track your training sessions and even lets you jam to your favorite tunes with its onboard music player.

Just connect your headphones via Bluetooth, and you’re good to go!

The best part is its awesome always-on AMOLED display. You can easily see your workout stats, even in bright daylight.

Though its battery life isn’t as impressive as the original GTS, it still keeps going for up to 20 days in basic mode or 25 hours with GPS on. Not bad for the price!

Oh, and the Amazfit app is pretty neat too. It shows you clear maps of your routes and cool graphs with all your current and past data.

While it may not be as fancy as the Apple Watch, the Amazfit GTS 2 is a steal for what you get.

It’s a reliable and feature-packed buddy for your running adventures!

5. Amazfit Bip 3 Pro

Battery2 weeks
WaterproofYes, to 5 ATM

The Amazfit Bip 3 Pro is like the king of affordable Amazfit watches with built-in GPS.

It’s perfect for tracking your runs and comes with an app that gives you loads of stats after your jog. The other Amazfit Bip U and non-Pro Bip 3 models don’t have GPS, so if you’re into running and want to know all about your speed and time, the Bip 3 Pro is the one to get!

Not only does the Amazfit Bip 3 Pro have GPS, but it also has an amazing battery life.

It can last up to two weeks, but in our tests, we found that with regular GPS runs and normal use, it lasted about 10 days. That’s still really impressive!

6. Coros Pace 2

Battery20 days
WaterproofYes, to 50m

The Coros Pace 2 is a special watch for runners that costs less than $300.

It has a really long battery life for its GPS feature – it can last up to 30 hours! If you use a low-power mode, it can even last up to 60 hours, which is way better than other watches.

This watch has different settings for different types of running, like on the road, on a trail, or on a treadmill.

It also has a mode for running on a track, where you can choose which lane you’re in to make the measurements more accurate.

It can even estimate how much energy you have left during your run by looking at your heart rate. When you’re not running, it shows you a percentage that goes up to show you when you’re ready to run again.

What makes this watch really special is that it can give you a lot of information about your running.

Besides showing you how fast and far you’re running in real-time, it can also tell you about your running power, and the effect of your training, recommend how much rest you need, and keep track of your overall training.

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