Watches We Recommend. Our Favorite Running Watches

In an earlier post we selected our best running watch out of a collection of high-level watches. But the problem with a best-of-the-best choice is that to pick just one great sports watch leaves out a lot of well deserving contendors that are great running watches in their own right, so in this article we hope to ammend this by giving due recognition to all those well deserving running watches who missed out in the past.

These watches, while having their differences share one common thing. Regardless of features and price, they are all great running watches, that deliver on the features that runners need.

Some will be simpler than others, some will cost more and many of these watches excel in a specific area. A watch’s individual strengths (and weaknesses) should always be taken into account before making your purchase.

So without further ado, we present to you, our favorite running watches.

Garmin Forerunner 405CX – GPS Running Watch


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Garmin Watches have gained immense popularity in recent times for producing the best gps watches available to runners and athletes of any level.

The Forerunner watches are regarded as the best GPS running watches on the market by many, which we think is deserved. We rate their latest watch, the 405CX highly.

But make no mistake, the Forerunner watches are high-level sports watches intended for those who demand top-line features. If all you seek is a simple runners watch, the 405CX will probably overwhelm you, but if you’re looking for an advanced watch that can just about do it all, then the Forerunner 405CX is definitely worth the investment.

Read more about the Forerunner 405CX here
See how Forerunner GPS Watches Differ here

Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Runners Watch


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The Forerunner 305 is an older Garmin Watch and still represents great value in terms of features. The 305 was even the “winner” of our best sports watches post.

While bulkier than the 405CX, it has the same basic features, plus a few that the 405CX lacks like navigation and tracking abilities inluding a navigation map view mode.

The 305 comes in two options, the 205 watch has the same features as the 305 and looks identical, except that it does not support a heart rate monitor chest strap. Both support an optional foot pod device, allowing you to measure speed and distance on an indoor track if required.

The 405CX was designed more for the average runner, than the 305, but if you can live with the extra size and lack of ANT+ support and touch-sensitive bezel, the 305 is close to being the equivalent of the newer watch.

Timex Bodylink T5F011 – Combo Running Watch Pack


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Includes heart rate monitor strap and data recorder 2. Cheaper options (w/out data recorder) are also available.
The Bodylink series is a group of three of Timex’s top-line sports watches and is targeted at performance athletes. The T5F011 is the most suitable for runners in the series, with multiple heart rate zones, an advanced interval timer mode, 100 Lap History and Timex’s Finish Mode that enables you to predict your finishing time in a race or a long run.

Like all the Bodylink watches the T5F011 is a Timex GPS Watch, but unlike the Garmin Forerunner, a GPS device must be attatched externally to your body.

In order to transfer data to computer the T5F011 Bodylink watch requires the Timex Data Recorder device, a coin-size module that clips onto your body and can interface with a PC. The Data Recorder is an additional purchase or can be purchased as part of a cost-effective bundle.

Read more about the Bodylink Series here

Timex Bodylink T5G311 – Female Size Running Watch Pack


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The T5G311 is a Bodylink watch designed to be a more comfortable fit for female runners. The watch is smaller and a much better fit on a petite wrist.

The watch itself features most of the features of the T5F011, but has fewer interval countdown timers and lacks Finish Mode, the finish time predictor feature.

The T5G311 does feature target heart rate zones including average heart rate and time in the zone over a session. The watch aslo calculates your maximum heart rate automatically. With 100-hour chrono and 100-lap memory recall and GPS speed and distance measurement.

Read more about the Bodylink Series here

Garmin FR60 – Footpod Fitness Watch


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The Garmin FR60 is an upgrade to the Forerunner 50 watch, the only Forerunner watch that does not support GPS tracking, it uses a foot pod to measure speed and distance instead.

The FR60 features several significant improvements on the Forerunner 50 including the inclusion of the Virtual Partner feature, better water proofing, more battery life, better interval timing and more memory storage.

Like all modern Forerunner watches, the FR60 features wireless ANT+ support, that lets you transfer your workout data to PC or Mac as well as support for the Garmin Connect online fitness portal.

The FR60 has all the quality functionality that Garmin have perfected over the years in their other watches, making it a great watch for running or basic fitness.

Read more about the Garmin FR60 Watch here

Polar RS300X


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The Polar RS300X is available in two varieties: the RS300X sd, that uses a footpod device to track speed and distance and the RS300X G1 GPS sensor that uses a GPS pod for speed/distance measurement. It can also be purchased as a stand-alone watch without either.

The RS300X replaces the RS200. The watch has a personal training mode that guides you to the right intensity as well as the Polar Fitness Test feature. With a sophisticated interval trainer feature and support for 16 exercise files, each capable of recording 99 laps.

As you would expect from Polar, the RS300X comes with a top-quality digital heart rate monitor with heart rate-based target heart rate zones, calcualated maximum heart rate and alarms. This watch also features a sophisticated exercise sets mode for extended exercise profiles, speed and distance features such as speed and pace zones, distance summeries and a trip odometer.

If a quality, functional sports running watch is what you seek, the RS300X delivers Polar’s unique style of sports watch excellence.

Read more about the Polar RS300X here.

Suunto Training Series t3c Computer Running Watch


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The Suunto Training Series watches are a sophisticated line of computer watches that assist runners in achieving their fitness and performance goals through a collection of fitness analytics, found only in Suunto watches.

The t3c falls in about the middle of the line and is suitable for runners in training for endurance events, but can also cater to cyclists, skiiers and triathletes. The t3c watch is capable of measuring and presenting your real-time training effect, an indicator of how effectively you are working out that is superior to measuring heart rate alone.

The t3c can also measure calories, can accomodate interval training and speed and distance tracking (when used with an optional GPS pod or foot pod device).

For a sophisticated, personalized training schedule based on your workout results, you might also consider the Suunto t4c and for maximum sporting analysis, the Suunto t6c, provides considerably more functionality including read-time EPOC display, barometric altimeter for elevation data, beat-to-beat heart rate recording and a detailed analysis of 7 body parameters.

Read more about the Suunto T Series here

Timex Men’s Ironman Sleek Triathlon 150-Lap Running Watch


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Not everyone is seeking a running watch computer, or can afford it, but fortunately Timex caters to the entry level runner as easily as it does to the top end. Timex delivers an affordable, robust running watch that has the basic features runners need to follow a structured training program.

The 150 Lap Timex Sleek Ironman Triathlon running watch not only has a stylish, sleek look, but features 9 interval timers, a 100 hour chronograph with 199 lap counter and 150 lap memory. This watch is also water resistant to 100 meters, features the Indiglo illumination system with night mode, three alarms and two time zones.

If you do not seek a heart rate monitor, speed and distance tracking or advanced analysis features in a running sports watch, than a watch like the 150-Lap Sleek Timex is probably exactly what you need.

Timex Men’s Ironman DataLink 200-Lap Running Watch


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For all the running computer hackers community, Timex has you covered too, with this unusual programmable PDA/sports watch. The Timex T5C291 Data Link USB Ironman watch comes with a USB slot that can link directly to a PC (not Mac sorry). The data can be viewed within the bundled software package that comes with the watch.

The watch is programmable to an extent, allowing you to set up hundreds of alarms, timers and interval countdown timers with custom sounds.

The Data Link is an unusual concept, as it was designed to be a cross between a personal organizer and sports watch, but in terms of sports features, we think it the Timex Ironman Data Link makes a great choice as a cheap and extremely functional watch.

Sports features include 200-lap memory with mulitple countdown timers that have custom labels. The watch also supports multi-event interval timers, Indiglo night-light with night mode and is water resistant to 100 meters.

A nice feature of the Data Link watch is that it has a turnable stainless steel crown on the right hand side, allowing you to toggle through settings with relative ease.

Timex Men’s FLIX 100-Lap Running Watch


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This is one of the most popular Ironman Watches and comes bunlded with all the basic features runners need.

Firstly the watch features a 100 hour chronograph, with 199 lap counter and 100 lap memory recall. The watch also has 9 interval timers with countdown/stop and countdown repeat options. A training log stores workouts in the watches memory by date with a summary of the best lap, average lap and total segment time and the watch features Timex’s Indiglo Night Light system with Night Mode and water resistance to 100 meters.

Non sporting features include 5 alarms, dual time zones and the revolutionary FLIX system, that activates Indiglo with a firm shake of the wrist and thus eliminating the need to fumble around in the dark for buttons to view your stopwatch times.

This is another very affordable, yet functional entry level runners watch that should be all you require for simple, structured training.

Timex Women’s Sleek 50-Lap Digital Running Watch


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We have made few ladies sports watch recommendations so far. This is more that there are so many good mens sports watches that caught our eye than a lack of good ladies sports watches, so here is one for the ladies.

The Timex Ironman Sleek 50-Lap watch for ladies features an ultra-durable, feminine design and comfortably fits a slim wrist. This watch has the features you expect in timex sports watches, including a 100 hour chronograph stopwatch, with 99 Lap Counter and 50 Lap Memory Recall.

With two interval repetition counters you can perform, variable length timed interval sessions and this watch is also water resistant to 100 meters, has Indiglo night light and night mode, three alarms and dual time zones.

This is an affordable womens sports watch for those who want a feminine watch, without the need for a lot of fancy features.

The list above are all great running watches, but are by no means a complete list. We will endevor to keep this list up to date, so you can use it as a quick guide to get you thinking about running watch options.

Whatever your budget and requirements, you should be able to find a running watch amongst the ones listed here, however there are runners watches at an even higher end of the market that do much more than the ones listed here.

We will cover them another time, for those who are seeking the maximum analytical performance in an activities watch.

We will also endevor to add to this collection when we find new running watches that we think would make suitable additions.

One Response to “Watches We Recommend. Our Favorite Running Watches”

  1. admin Says:

    Hi Johan,

    SportsWatchInformant.Com sells the Forerunner 305 through Amazon.com. Unfortunately a lot of products on Amazon can only be shipped to certain countries. If you find the Forerunner 305 on Amazon is not shipped to George then the next best place on the internet to look is ebay.com. On ebay You will find a lot of private auctions and sellers who are more flexible with their shipping policies.

    Cheers,
    Rod

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