Runners often find wrist-worn fitness activity trackers to be a useful gadget because of how light and easy to use they are on a run. Fitness trackers for running typically track the number of steps taken, distance traveled, and chart this information on an iPhone or Android app, or sync with a website dashboard to track your running goals. Here are some of the most popular fitness trackers for runners.
Check out our comparison chart and then the reviews.
Fitness Trackers for Runners Comparison Chart
Check out our comparison chart for running fitness trackers. If you want to read our in-depth review of each tracker, scroll down to the next section.
|TomTom Runner 3||GPS, Activity Tracking, Waterproof, Bluetooth Music, Running Programs|
|Runtastic Orbit||OLED Display, Sleep & Activity Tracking, Waterproof, Wristband or Clip|
|Garmin Vivofit 3||1 Year Battery, Waterproof, Move Reminders, Garmin Connect app, Daily Goals|
|Garmin Forerunner 935||GPS, Heart-rate, Triathlon Training, Smart Notifications, Customizable|
|New Balance GPS Runner||GPS, In Watch Run Logging, Alarms, Backlight|
Want to compare all of the fitness trackers we’ve reviewed? Check out our Fitness Tracker Comparison Chart.
Fitness Trackers for Runners Review
TomTom Runner 3 GPS Watch
The TomTom Runner 3 GPS Watch is a specialized fitness tracker for runners that offers several benefits. It’s meant both for the treadmill and outdoor running and has different modes for both. It also syncs with popular online running community websites like MapMyFitness, RunKeeper and TrainingPeaks. The TomTom Runner GPS Watch will measures distance run, pace, and runtime information. It also offers easy-to-navigate menus so you can adjust settings without having to pause your run.
This newest version has tons of features for other workouts as well, so you’re not limited to just running. The multi-sport mode can track cycling, gym workouts, and even swimming (this running watch is waterproof as well). If you need some variety to your runs, use Run Free to track your path so you can find your way home or upload new routes and explore them without worrying about getting lost.
Available colors: black
Tracks: 24/7 activity tracking, time, distance, speed, pace, calories burned, multisport (running, cycling, swimming, treadmills, gym workouts, etc.)
Notable features: waterproof up to 40 meters, Bluetooth music player & headphones, interval training, recovery indicator, heart rate monitor compatible, GPS, customizable straps
Runtastic Orbit 24 Hour Activity (Fitness & Sleep Tracker)
We’re not going to lie. Runtastic is kind of a ridiculous name for anything, but don’t let that put you off. The Runtastic Orbit 24 fitness and sleep tracker monitors your daily activities (not just running), with special attention paid to your sleep duration and cycles.
The Runtastic Orbit 24 also has an app for iPhone and most Android models to keep track of the number of steps you take, and your calories burned, your active minutes during a workout and, of course, your distance traveled. All of this data syncs with your smartphone which can help you track your running goals and help motivate you.
This tracker is wonderfully flexible to wear too, come with two wristbands (blue and black) and a clip, so you can wear it whichever way is most comfortable for you.
Tracks: Steps, Active Minutes, Calories Burned, Sleep, Goals, Ambient Lighting
Notable features: OLED Display, Time, Alarm, Waterproof 300 feet, Runtastic Me app, clip and wristbands, mood tracking, 5-7 day battery
Garmin Vivofit 3 Fitness Band
If you love to run and also enjoy some variety in your workouts, the Vivofit 3 is a great option for tracking all of your activity. The built in Move IQ automatically tracks your activity, so you don’t have to worry about starting any workout before you being your run. This model is great for office workers because it has built in move reminders and will track your steps all day. That really helps for you to keep active all day long, not just during your runs.
Since this is a 24 hour activity tracker, you can also wear it to track your sleep and its water resistant so you never have to take it off, not even to shower. If style is important to you, there are tons of accessory bands available so you can always match your Vivofit to your outfit. The only big features it’s missing that runner may want are GPS and heart rate monitoring.
Available colors: black, white (additional colored accessory bands available)
Good for: People who do a variety of activities, if you hate charging your band
Tracks: steps, calories, distance, intensity minutes, sleep, inactivity
Notable features: 1 year battery life, silicone band, waterproof 5 ATM, auto activity detection, move bar and move reminders, displays time of day & steps, personalized daily goals, Garmin Connect app
Garmin Forerunner 935 GPS Watch
If you like the Garmin products but want to make sure you can get GPS tracking and wristbased heartrate for your outdoor runs, you can get all that and more with their premium Garmin Forerunner 935. Designed for triatholon training, this is the ultimate GPS watch for runners, with tracking for tons of exercises like cycling and swimming. It even has a treadmill mode so you can get your run data indoors. For runners, it monitors your running form as well as distance, speed, and other running data.
In addition to all of the cool workout features, it also can sync with your smartphone and Garmin Connect IQ to receive alerts from your favorite apps like Uber and Accuweather, making it function like a smartwatch as well. You can also customize the watch faces and swap out the bands to make the Forerunner match your style. With all these features, the Forerunner 935 is pricey, but if you can afford it you will be pleased with how well it supports your running and training.
Available colors: black
Tracks: steps, sleep, floors climbed, distance, running dynamics, heart rate, VO2 max, training, recovery, biomechanical measurements
Notable features: Time/date display, GPS, alarm clock, customizable watch faces, compass, wrist-based heart rate, battery is 2 weeks (watch mode) or 24 hours (GPS mode), swappable bands, smart notifications, VIRB remote
New Balance GPS Runner
If you want GPS tracking for your runs with a lower price, then New Balance offers a great fitness tracker for runners. This GPS watch is best for runners who don’t want a fancy smartwatch or something they have to sync to their smartphone. It does all the tracking you could want right in the watch, including GPS, lap splits, and total run time. It monitors your speed and distance and keeps 100 runs logged right in the watch.
The watch also features basics like a backlight and five programmable alarms. This is a simple runner’s watch that is a great budget option.
Available colors: Black
Tracks: speed, distance, pace
Notable features: GPS, 5 daily alarms, backlight, logs 100 runs
Stay hydrated while running with these convenient handheld water bottles for running. Or go handsfree with these hydration belts for running. Want to get yourself something nice? Check out these fabulous gift ideas for runners.