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The Best GPS Running Watches

Updated Dec 11, 2022
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A GPS running watch can be a game-changing tool to inform your training and track your miles. To find the best one, we’ve put 21 watches through the paces since 2014. We have covered more than 500 miles, taken hundreds of heart-rate readings, tapped the expertise and opinions of a certified running coach and longtime competitive runners, reviewed dozens of features, and worn the watches individually 24/7. In the end, we think the Coros Pace 2 is the best choice for people who are zeroed in on finding the ideal watch for running. The Garmin Forerunner 255 is our pick for those who want a running watch that also offers plenty of what a smartwatch would.

Coros Pace 2, the best gps running watch

Coros Pace 2

The best GPS running watch
Flush with features that will please runners of all levels, this lightweight watch has quick GPS acquisition, a long battery life, and detailed metrics, all at a reasonable price. However, the Pace 2 has fewer smartwatch features than the Garmin Forerunner 255.
We recommend
Garmin Forerunner 255, the best gps running watch/smartwatch combo

Garmin Forerunner 255

The best GPS running watch/smartwatch combo
This well-rounded running watch offers dependable on-the-run data and handy smartwatch features. Its GPS acquisition times match the Coros Pace 2's.
We recommend
Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, the same watch, plus music

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

The same watch, plus music
This upgraded version of the Forerunner 255 includes music streaming and storage capabilities.
We recommend
Garmin Forerunner 45, a basic running watch with some smartwatch features

Garmin Forerunner 45

A basic running watch with some smartwatch features
This comparably pared-down watch delivers solid running and activity tracking, but it has a slightly less-robust slate of features than our top picks.
Budget friendly

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