Whether you are an avid runner or a beginner starting to explore the wonders of running and working out, having the right gear which can help you track and improve your performance is pivotal. In addition to having the right shoes which can make a world of difference and clothes that are comfortable, buying a running watch is a purchase you won’t regret.
Choosing a running companion is not an easy task. It will depend on what data you would like to track, training goals, budget, and style. There are so many styles and shapes of running watches, and you just need to find the one that will suit your lifestyle.
The market for running watches for women is a fast-growing one, and it can be quite overwhelming to choose a perfect running watch. You need to take into consideration the price, functions, understand if its characteristics suit your needs, and so on. Luckily, we have done some research for you and will offer you a guide to buying the perfect running watch for women in 2020.
Why You Should Get Yourself a Running Watch
Although each runner is specific about why they love their running watches, there are some features of watches they all agree on and why they think everybody should have a running watch. So here are the three main reasons to get a running watch:
- They record data easily.
- They are lighter than phones.
- They can keep you safe.
Owning a running watch is, without any doubt, a great way to track your running progress. It also gives you an overall impression of your general health since many watches can be used to track everyday activities.
Most running watches for women can record the heart rate, speed, how far you’ve run, and so on. Getting familiar with this kind of data is not only beneficial for tracking the progress, but it also satisfies you when you see how data has changed from the first time you started using the watch.
If you hold a phone in your hand while running, it can be quite bothersome. Even if you have an armband, smartphones these days are becoming bigger, so it can be frustrating having a bulky phone on your arm.
Luckily, getting a running watch can be a perfect solution. They fit nicely on your wrist just like a regular watch, and you won’t even know they are there.
Besides, many running watches for women allow you to download music onto them, so all you need is a wireless headset, and you are ready to go, or better yet, run.
One of the major concerns women have when they start running is how to stay safe. This can especially be tricky if you love running late at night or exploring some wild tracks.
When running, safety should always be your priority. As it has been mentioned, many running watches for women have a GPS, which allows your family to see your precise location if they have any concerns.
Types of Running Watches
Running is the most popular sport in the world. Until some decades ago, if you wanted to track your progress, you would just need a stopwatch and a piece of paper. Nowadays, different kinds of devices can give you information about your progress and help you achieve your running goals.
All of them share the same essential characteristics:
- They track your daily activities. (steps, increased heart-rate work)
- They measure your distances in outdoor and indoor activities.
- They are connected to your smartphone’s notifications and calls.
Running watches for women have an accelerometer that can measure how fast you are changing the speed. This means that they will take into account your steps, but also your running pace.
Some of them can also measure your heart rate. This can let you know how hard you are working out, if you should maybe push yourself a little bit harder, or if you are going too hard and may need a break.
Moreover, they are a handy thing if you are starting your healthy lifestyle journey and need a bit of help with how much you are eating during the day. Most running watches come with an option for counting calories, which can help you get a good insight into how much you are consuming and burning during the day.
Still, some features are specific for each running watch. Your personal training goals are different from someone else’s, which is why you need to choose a device that will be your training guide. We have narrowed down the types of running watches for women to four to make things a lot easier for you.
Basic: Fitness Trackers
If you are looking for the simplest way to track your training progress and keep motivation in check, fitness trackers may be the best option out there. They are simple to use, and the number of functions they offer is not overwhelming. The necessary data, like calorie counting, step counting, and distance run, are usually the features they offer.
If you are just starting your training journey, it is a good idea to get a fitness tracker as it can be an excellent motivator to help you reach your running goals. After all, they are designed to encourage positive thinking and boost your self-esteem with every step you take.
Intermediate: GPS running watches
If you already own a fitness tracker and are considering getting a GPS running watch for women, then go for it! Your training requires good nutrition, a proper plan, and a comfortable pair of shoes, but also a watch that has state-of-the-art features, and that is the GPS running watch.
GPS running watches are designed to track all your movements, your location, but also to give you the overall fitness analysis, which helps you improve your performance. But compared to the fitness tracker, they are a small wrist-worn computer.
If you love running at night and off the beaten track, GPS watches are a go for you. GPS running watches use global position technology and precisely track your route. This allows you to study your cadence (or the total number of your steps per minute), your pace, and elevation (or how high you have climbed during the run).
Advanced: Heart-Rate Monitors
Many women are guilty of pushing themselves too hard when working out, whether they are novice runners or pro athletes. They might not notice the signs of tiredness or heart rate that is not steady.
Heart-rate monitors are excellent devices that can help you while working out to estimate where your heart rate sits and recognize potential issues, like high blood pressure. With the heart-rate monitor, you can measure your pulse and heartbeats per minute. You can also track maximum oxygen consumption and your recovery rate.
Not only is this good news because it can help you be aware of your overall well-being, but it can also help you create a training plan, tailored to your cardiovascular heart.
Heart-rate monitors come in various options, so choose the one that suits you the most:
- Wrist trackers
- Armband trackers
- Chest strap trackers
Specialized: Multi-Sport Watches
If you are an active woman who enjoys various sports, you will be thrilled to know there is a device you can use for all the activities you love doing.
Multi-sport watches have all the features other running watches have, but they are waterproof and can record data specific to whether you are running, swimming, hiking, etc.
They are perfect if you are practicing for a triathlon as their battery life is excellent, given the fact that triathlons can last long.
Another neat feature is that most multi-sport watches have just one button for multi-sport transition, which is quite convenient when you are switching from tracking running data to tracking swimming data.
Determining What You Need
Now that you are familiar with the kinds of running watches for women, how they can make your exercise efficient, and what functions they offer, it’s time to see our picks for each of the categories.
Fitbit fitness trackers have been some of the simplest and among the most accurate fitness trackers to use. This Fitbit Versa 2 is a perfect combination of a fitness tracker and a smartwatch.
For around $150, you get the fitness tracker with essential functions that can still serve you quite well on your fitness journey. Besides being able to track basic functions like steps, calories, distance, flights of stairs, you can also track your menstrual cycle. Moreover, it offers 15 different kinds of exercise to choose from, in addition to running, like yoga, biking, swimming.
Fitbit has taken into account their customers’ wishes and equipped the fitness tracker with a new feature. Their latest product has the most crucial function previous Fitbit trackers were lacking – GPS.
It checks all the boxes a runner wants to have – calories, steps, heart rate, floor climbed, but adding GPS is what put this watch high on our wish list.
The sleek, less bulky design is what will attract a lot of women out there. While having new features, the watch managed to keep the minimalist style and the affordable price. For less than $200, you get a fantastic running wearable.
If you are looking for an affordable fitness tracker, you will love Xiaomi Mi Band 4. For the price of less than $50, you will get quite a nice set of tracking features.
It allows you to choose six kinds of working modes such as running, treadmill running, cycling, walking, pool swimming, but also generic “exercise” mode.
It has a decent battery life, sleep tracking, and heart rate monitoring. Although the design might not be much, compared to other fitness trackers, for the price it stands at, it is tough to complain.
If you are looking for a sporty fitness tracker that is not too bulky like some other fitness trackers out there, you should consider Garmin Vivoactive 4S.
This is one of the best quality running watches out there because it has excellent heart-rate monitoring features, GPS, and also an NFC chip, which allows you to use mobile payments.
For less than $400 (sometimes even $300 if it is on sale), you get an excellent wearable allowing you to watch preloaded exercises, ranging from yoga, strength training, and cardio. If fitness is your passion, then this is a must for you.
If you are already an Apple fan and own an iPhone, this watch will be a fantastic addition to your collection. With its impeccable, minimalist design and an impressive list of features, it is one of the favored running watches out there. The only downside is that it cannot be used with Android phones.
One thing that makes this running watch for women stand out is that it is your personal motivator. You can set daily goals, and your Apple Watch will remind you of your completion by giving you a gentle buzz or showing a ring-closing animation. Moreover, you get awarded with badges once you hit the target! This sure is a nice touch by the Apple company.
You can choose the design of your watch by selecting the size, case, and band. The price of it will depend on the design you want, ranging from $399.
If you are an active woman and also an Android user, you might consider buying Samsung Galaxy Active 2. For around $250, you get a GPS watch that has a battery life better than Apple’s GPS watch.
The design is sleek, modern, and minimal. Weighing 26g for the smaller aluminum (without the strap) and 30g for the larger, you will feel very comfortable wearing this light watch. This is a good thing as many running watches tend to be bulkier and, thus, heavier.
One new feature worth mentioning is having offline Spotify. This means you can download the playlist directly onto your watch and enjoy it while going for a jog.
When it comes to the accuracy of monitoring your heart rate during exercising, Polar H10 is the best choice. For $90, you can get yourself a strap that boasts reliable and accurate monitoring.
This amazingly comfortable strap uses ECG to measure your heart rate, which is then displayed very clearly after the workout. This is undoubtedly important as the watch does not bother you with unnecessary data.
Another extra feature is that it can be used during swimming. This is useful information, especially given the fact that many fitness watches are not good at monitoring your heart-rate while swimming.
Whoop Strap is a popular wearable in the fitness industry. With the monthly subscription of $30, you can get a heart rate monitor that is a wristband but can also be worn as an armband for more accurate readings.
Not only will it track your workouts, but also the effects of it and will suggest the recovery period based on it. For women who are athlete enthusiasts, this feature is unique as it can help you improve your performance.
This chest-worn heart rate monitor continually motivates you to push yourself and beat your records. It is used to make fitness fun and to help you compete against yourself.
For $149, you get a comfortable strap that can store up to 16 hours of data due to its internal storage, so you won’t be needing your phone when you exercise next time.
Although on the pricey side at $599, Garmin Forerunner 945 has everything a multi-sport watch should have. It was made for triathletes, and it gives you exact metrics of the sport you are doing that day.
It supports more than 30 indoor and outdoor sports, and if your activity is not on the list, you can just create a custom entry.
Garmin’s mapping system is one of the most amazing you will get on sport watches. It offers maps in color, which is a very new feature for an indoor/outdoor watch.
Garmin Forerunner 935 is just made for Ironman triathlons! For $499, you get a watch that has been praised as the best multi-sport watch.
The features it possesses are incredible. The battery life of a maximum 24h while using GPS is a fantastic feature for triathletes, and the fact that it is small size and lightweight is pretty good news.
The watch can track your distance, speed, and can give you a detailed analysis of cadence while running. It also switches quickly between different activities, which is crucial.
For long-distance athletes looking for durable multi-sport watches, Suunto 9 is a fantastic choice. For around $450, you get a watch that has excellent battery life, which is the highlight of this multi-sport watch. It also has a smart charging reminder, which is a useful touch.
It is not on the small size and might seem bulky, especially if you get the white one. So if the size is your priority, you might opt for the black one as it looks smaller.
Getting the right running watch is not an easy task. It will be your companion and motivator while doing all sorts of sports.
Counting steps, GPS, heart rate monitoring, and switching between multiple sports are just some of the features running watches for women can have. Make sure you get the running watch that will fit your lifestyle, activities and have features that are important for you. We hope this guide will help you make a good choice.