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Finest Operating Watch 2023: The very best wearables for working

12 min read

Operating watches could make all of the distinction to your coaching, offering detailed insights into efficiency and the power to simply observe traits over time. The one actual drawback is deciding which one is greatest on your wants.

Whether or not you’re simply getting began with the Sofa to 5K program or coaching intensively on your subsequent marathon, in our expertise, a dependable working watch could make it a lot simpler to maintain observe of and in the end obtain your targets.

However, with so many alternative choices to select from, a few of which may price in extra of £1000/$1000, understanding which one to go for might be tough – even for essentially the most seasoned of runners.

That is very true based mostly on our expertise. There are many working watches doing the rounds in 2023 that look nice, however fail to ship on key components like monitoring accuracy and battery life in real-world testing.

On high of that, if you happen to simply desire a fundamental watch to trace your treadmill runs or the odd 5km, you definitely don’t have to spend tons of on a working watch. Most of the cheaper health trackers supply greater than sufficient options to accommodate this sort of informal train.

Protected to say it may be complicated – however that’s the place the professional staff at Trusted evaluations is available in. We’ve created this information detailing the most effective choices we’ve tried and examined to be sure you get the precise working watch on your wants and price range.

Each watch on this record has been utilized by one in all our reviewers for no less than per week, monitoring indoor and outside runs to gauge its efficiency, accuracy and battery life, so you may belief our purchasing recommendation.

On the off likelihood you don’t discover what you’re searching for you may also take a look at our greatest smartwatch, greatest health tracker and greatest Garmin Watch guides, which provide additional shopping for recommendation.

Finest working watch at a look

How we take a look at

Discover out extra about how we take a look at working watches

Each working watch we take a look at is utilized by the reviewer for no less than per week – or longer, if the battery life lasts past that time or we want extra time to trial its options. Throughout testing, we consider key metrics together with app assist, usability, battery life, and the accuracy of health and distance monitoring.
For distance monitoring, we assess how precisely the gadget information runs on tracks we all know the size of. We additionally consider the extent of battery life misplaced per hour utilizing options reminiscent of built-in or linked GPS. To verify coronary heart fee accuracy, we examine the outcomes from the wearable to a devoted HRM strap.

Subsequent, we mix the information recorded with our common expertise of utilizing the wearable day-to-day, revealing whether or not the gadget proved snug to put on, alongside any points we might have encountered with sudden bugs over the assessment interval.

Garmin Forerunner 955 Photo voltaic

The very best for severe runners and athletes


  • Snappy and correct multi-band GPS connectivity
  • Snug discrete design
  • Native music playback


  • Restricted smartwatch performance

Should you jump over to our greatest Garmin Watch of greatest health tracker guides, you’ll see the Garmin Fenix 7 is the most effective “high finish” choice we advocate for severe athletes. However, if you happen to’re not all in favour of a tracker for excessive sports activities or solely care about working particularly, then the Forerunner 955 is definitely a greater choice.

Regardless of costing lower than the baseline Fenix 7 it really shares numerous the identical options and some exclusives lacking on its extra premium sibling that in our assessments made it as, if not higher, for runners.

For starters, the gadget is lots smaller, that includes a 1.3-inch transflective contact display screen and chassis that’s a couple of millimetres thinner than what you discover on the Fenix. This made it way more snug to put on throughout longer runs, and day-to-day for our reviewer, who was really utilizing the Fenix 7 as his day by day tracker previous to reviewing the 955.

On high of that, it supplies the identical multi-band GPS assist because the Fenix. This meant location monitoring was correct all through testing and we by no means had any points discovering a GPS connection.

Add to this the identical native music playback and native maps assist and it grew to become a straightforward advice. These are two key options that allow you to get guided, turn-by-turn instructions on routes you’re not aware of. The native music additionally let our tester take pleasure in a soundtrack to their run with no need to deliver their cellphone alongside.

However what actually units it aside is its post-run analytics and training options. In contrast to the Fenix and plenty of different trackers, in addition to distance, coronary heart fee and coaching impact (which tells you ways efficient your final exercise was) the gadget has a couple of helpful add-on options. Our favorite was its coaching readiness service. Coaching readiness is an add-on that tells you ways ready your physique is for a race or run. 

The function flags causes for decrease scores, like poor sleep and gives energetic suggestions about how you can get race prepared. As an added bonus, the watch additionally elements races you’ve put into your calendar into its day by day suggestions, making it simpler to keep away from overtraining forward of the massive occasion.

This plus the week-long battery life we loved reviewing it, makes the Forerunner 955 the most suitable choice we’d advocate to any severe runner or racer in the mean time. The one motive we advocate the Fenix 7 over it for extra generalist or adventurous athletes is the truth that it has a plastic, not steel, chassis. This plus the dearth of a Sapphire Glass choice means it’s not as rugged because the Fenix and a much less dependable choice for climbers, watersports and excessive sports activities athletes.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full assessment: Garmin Forerunner 955 assessment

Garmin Enduro 2

The very best for battery life


  • Full-colour mapping added
  • New Multi-band mode boosts monitoring accuracy
  • Barely refined design


  • Costly
  • Design will nonetheless be massive for some
  • Smartwatch battery numbers are down

The Enduro 2 is Garmin’s newest wearable for excessive runners. It’s additionally one in all its costliest. The Enduro 2 differentiates itself from the opposite watches on this record with its overt deal with battery life above all else.

Garmin’s designed it to supply as much as 46 days of use as a smartwatch (with photo voltaic) and as much as 150 hours GPS battery life (with photo voltaic). Throughout testing we simply managed to get 3.5 weeks of heavy use out of the wearable. This included day by day 5km runs with the GPS on and 10km’ jogs over the weekend.

Add to this its close to indestructible design, wholesome portfolio of health and well being analytics, that are an identical to what you get on the Fenix 7, correct distance monitoring and native mapping assist, and the Enduro 2 turns into a straightforward advice for hardcore runners.

The one actual draw back is that you must pay an actual premium to get the battery life with it costing considerably greater than the Fenix 7. Because of this, we advocate most runners, that don’t want 150 hours of GPS monitoring, to go for the cheaper Fenix 7.

Reviewer: Michael Sawh
Full assessment: Garmin Enduro 2 Evaluate

Fitbit Versa 3

Finest entry-level working watch


  • Characteristic-packed for the value
  • GPS is lastly right here
  • Six-day battery with intensive use


  • Fitbit’s apps and app retailer nonetheless want work
  • The step depend is simply too keen
  • Nonetheless no assist for offline Spotify
  • Fitbit Premium is important for getting your cash’s price

Should you’re a beginner runner who’s simply beginning out then the Fitbit Versa 3 is at present our really useful inexpensive working watch. For lower than $200 we discovered it gives a splendidly aggressive function set that features all of the bells and whistles any new runner might want to cut back their 5km instances.

On take a look at we discovered the gadget atypical to many of the sub-$200 working watches we’ve reviewed in a few methods. For starters, it seems very like an Apple Watch, that includes a pebble-shaped sq. display screen. Second, it really comes with built-in GPS. Each are uncommon options on a watch at this value, placing the Fitbit Versa 3 above competing band-design trackers. Most inexpensive trackers – such because the Vivosmart 5 that we reviewed lately – depend on linked GPS.

Whereas the Versa 3’s GPS connection speeds don’t match these of some other wearables on this record, the truth that the gadget helps you to observe distance with out you having to take your cellphone with you is a particular bonus. Monitoring itself was additionally fairly uniform, with the gadget throwing up anomalies solely in metropolis areas, the place tall buildings interrupted the GPS connection. Coronary heart fee monitoring proved stable, too, with points thrown up solely with speedy spikes – throughout a very nasty take a look at route, for instance, that featured a really tall hill. 

The one severe disadvantage is that, in contrast to the Polar and just about each different wearable on this record, the Fitbit locks a number of the extra superior post-run analytics behind a paywall. Fortunately, this isn’t a deal-breaker; the free information on supply is strong and sufficiently detailed for newbies and extra informal runners. Nonetheless, it’s a motive we advocate extra severe athletes make investments a bit extra and choose up the Polar as a substitute.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full assessment: Fitbit Versa 3 Evaluate

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Professional

Finest for Put on OS


  • Stable health monitoring companies
  • Rugged, sports-ready design
  • Splendidly vivid show


  • Route planning course of feels clunky
  • Battery life doesn’t match rival health trackers

The Galaxy Watch 5 Professional is the most suitable choice for runners that desire a full-functioning smartwatch too. The tracker is powered by Put on OS and which means you’ll discover a way more developed utility library than any of the opposite trackers on this record. In fact, you want an Android cellphone for this gadget, so it’s additionally for individuals who don’t have an iPhone.

There’s assist for all the most important working ecosystems together with Strava, Runkeeper, my Health Pal and Samsung Well being. 

On high of that, you’ll get Spotify assist and dependable GPS that, throughout our assessments, proved splendidly quick and dependable.

The rugged watch impressed when it got here to analytics. The Samsung Well being app gives detailed breakdowns of your working efficiency. These embrace widespread metrics, like how lengthy you spent in every coronary heart fee zone in addition to extra detailed ones like contact time and stiffness. It was the latter that helped our reviewer determine points along with his approach and can show particularly helpful to different runners.

The one actual draw back to the watch in comparison with a number of the different choices on this record, just like the Forerunner 955, is that the Watch 5 Professional has a distinctly shorter battery life. Like many smartwatches, our reviewer by no means managed to get three days of normal use out of the gadget. 

It’s additionally barely annoying that regardless of supporting GPX route planning, the function doesn’t assist working. As an alternative it’s restricted to biking and mountain climbing. However if you would like a correct smartwatch in addition to a working companion and don’t just like the look of Apple’s then that is the most suitable choice accessible.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full assessment: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Professional assessment

Garmin Forerunner 255

Finest mid-level working watch


  • Dependable health monitoring
  • Correct well being metrics
  • Sensible, light-weight design
  • Good battery life


  • Few sensible options
  • Unspectacular display screen

Should you’re a assured runner who needs a dependable and correct working watch – however you don’t want all the additional bells and whistles of the top-end variants – then our advice is the Garmin Forerunner 255.

Regardless of its mid-range value level, this wearable gives an ideal vary of health metrics, not simply providing extremely correct readings from its 24/7 coronary heart fee sensor and GPS, but additionally measuring your SpO2, VO2 Max, and delivering dependable sleep monitoring too. You’ll discover that this wearable works as a superb companion whether or not you’re simply tracing your working routes or as a day-to-day health tracker.

What’s extra, this wearable is waterproof as much as 5ATM, and it has long-lasting battery life that may get you thru a busy week on a single cost.

When you won’t have all of the smartwatch accoutrements supplied by all-round units, and it could not look as flashy as a few of its rivals, this delivers the place it issues for runners, supplying you with a superb and balanced image of your health progress.

Reviewer: Peter Phelps

Full Evaluate: Garmin Forerunner 255 assessment

Apple Watch Extremely

Finest for watchOS


  • Improved battery on earlier Apple Watches
  • Surprisingly gentle design
  • Good sports activities monitoring efficiency
  • Larger, brighter Retina show


  • It’s not low cost
  • Design may very well be sleeker
  • Some outside options are a piece in progress
  • New straps are a blended bag

Should you’ve been seduced by the sheer smoothness of Apple’s software program, then the Apple Watch Extremely is your greatest guess for a dependable working watch that may see you thru all weathers.

The development high quality of this wearable is way extra rugged than the common Apple Watch Sequence 8, on condition that the case is created from titanium and the display screen is of sapphire crystal – in truth it’s even been examined to the MIL-STD-810H navy normal for toughness, so you may relaxation assured that it’ll cope with no matter is thrown at you on the path.

We additionally discovered the dual-band GPS to be very correct, even when coping with weaving across the notoriously difficult high-rise buildings that dominate the Chicago marathon. It held up in addition to a high-end Garmin watch, so you may belief this to present you pretty correct outcomes when monitoring the gap of your runs.

Moreover, battery life is sufficiently robust although not sensible by this class’s requirements; it will probably get via 36 hours in regular mode, 60 hours in power-saving mode, and that aforementioned marathon took simply over 20% of our cost after three and a half hours.

Nonetheless, there are nonetheless a few minor teething issues with this all-new watch. For one factor, the strap isn’t as snug as we’d like, and for one more there have been some inaccuracies within the coronary heart fee readings when close to our most effort, as measured in comparison with a chest strap.

Nonetheless, if you happen to want a rugged working watch that also has all of the creature comforts of Apple’s wonderful wearables software program, then that is the one to plump for.


Do you want GPS for a working watch?

GPS lets your watch observe the gap you run in addition to location. Should you plan to make use of the watch to run open air then we’d advocate investing in a tracker with the know-how.

Are working watches all full waterproofed?

Not all working watches are absolutely waterproofed. Should you want one that may survive underneath water it’s best to put money into one with an ATM or IP score. These are certifications that what depths and lengths of time a tool can survive underwater.

Comparability specs

You possibly can see detailed breakdown of the core specs of all of the working watches included on this record. The principle factor to look out for is their GPS assist, if they’ve native music playback and key extras, reminiscent of a SpO2 sensor.







Display screen Dimension

IP score



Dimension (Dimensions)



Working System

Launch Date

First Reviewed Date



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