Top 10 Best Gps Running Watches for 2023

Top 10 best GPS running watches

“Step into the future of running with the Top 10 Best GPS Running Watches for 2023. Your dedication to the sport deserves nothing but the best, and these cutting-edge watches are here to elevate your running experience. Say goodbye to guesswork and hello to precision as we dive into the world of distance tracking, pace setting, heart rate monitoring, and beyond.

Let’s explore the ultimate companions for your fitness journey, each one tested and proven to take your performance to new heights.

In the fast-paced realm of 2023, these GPS running watches are not just accessories; they’re your coaches, tracking your every move, and providing invaluable insights. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or just starting your running adventure, these watches are your trusted companions on the road to success.

So, lace up your running shoes, because it’s time to discover the perfect GPS running watches that will empower you to crush your goals and keep you ahead of the pack in 2023. Let’s dive into this exciting world of performance-enhancing technology and gear up for a year of record-breaking runs and personal bests!”

The best GPS running watches to buy in 2023

“Ready to track your progress and achieve those personal bests? We’ve compiled a list of the top GPS-running watches for you to explore and purchase in 2023. Keep reading for our in-depth reviews.”

Best Running Watch Overall

What factors should I consider when selecting a GPS-running watch?

  • Training Features: Basic running watches offer GPS tracking, step counting, and heart rate monitoring. Premium models like the Garmin Forerunner 55 provide additional features such as adaptive training plans, cadence alerts, and in-depth training metrics. Higher-end options may offer training readiness scores and endurance assessments for a more comprehensive training experience.
  • Extra Features: Premium GPS running watches may include features like offline music storage and contactless payments, eliminating the need to carry a phone during runs.
  • Battery Life: While budget-friendly options like the Forerunner 55 offer decent battery life, more expensive models generally have longer-lasting batteries. For instance, the Polar Grit X Pro can last up to 40 hours with GPS tracking, while the Garmin Fenix 7 extends this to an impressive 73 hours on a single charge.
  • Fit: Consider your wrist size and comfort when choosing a watch. The size of the watch face and the comfort of the strap are important. Some watches designed for rugged outdoor activities may have a bulkier appearance, so choose one that suits your style and daily activities.

Top 10 best GPS running watches for 2023

1. Garmin Forerunner 265

Garmin Forerunner 265

Best Running Watch Overall

Price: £430


  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • The bright and colorful AMOLED screen
  • Available in two sizes


  • Lacking some smartwatch features
  • Considerably pricier than the older 255/245 models

Key Highlights and Features of the Garmin Forerunner 265:

  • Comprehensive Feature Set: The Forerunner 265 offers a wide range of features to enhance your running experience.
  • Impressive Battery Life: With up to 15 days of battery life, it provides extended use between charges.
  • Precise Tracking: Offers accurate and reliable GPS tracking capabilities to monitor your runs effectively.
  • Customizable Workouts: Allows you to create and personalize your workout routines to meet your fitness goals.
  • Variety of Sizes: Available in two sizes to ensure a comfortable fit for all users.
  • Vibrant AMOLED Display: The bright and easily readable AMOLED display is ideal for outdoor runs, even in sunny conditions.
  • Advanced Metrics: Provides advanced training metrics, including training status, readiness, and performance condition, making it suitable for serious athletes.
  • Quick GPS Connectivity: The GPS connection is fast and maintains a strong signal throughout your workouts.
  • Competitive Pricing: Offers extensive features without the high price tag of Garmin’s flagship models.
  • Limitations: Lacks built-in maps and smart assistant integration, but this may not be a significant drawback for most users given its feature set and affordability.

2. Garmin Forerunner 55

Garmin Forerunner 55

Price: Now 12% Off – £158 at Amazon, £180 at Decathlon, £180 at John Lewis


  • Affordable price
  • Compact, lightweight, and comfortable design


  • The screen may be harder to read compared to pricier options
  • Lacks some advanced performance features

Key Highlights and Features of the Garmin Forerunner 55 for Beginners:

  • Essential Running Companion: Ideal for beginners transitioning from smartphone apps to a dedicated running watch.
  • Built-in GPS: Offers built-in GPS for accurate run tracking, eliminating the need for your phone.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Includes optical heart rate monitoring for fitness and performance insights.
  • Impressive Battery Life: Up to 20 hours of GPS run time on a single charge and at least a week of general usage battery life.
  • Compact and Lightweight: Designed to be small, lightweight, and comfortable for all-day wear.
  • Versatile Running Modes: Provides five running modes, including track running and virtual running compatible with platforms like Zwift.
  • Garmin Coach: Offers adaptive training plans, daily workout suggestions based on recovery status, and GPS-based pace guidance.
  • Cadence Alerts: Provides alerts to help improve running form by monitoring cadence.
  • Recovery Advisor: Assists in managing rest between training sessions for optimal recovery.
  • Comprehensive Health Tracking: Monitors fitness, stress levels, and body battery energy levels, and estimates fitness age.
  • Women’s Health Tracking: Includes menstrual cycle and pregnancy tracking features.
  • Music Controls: Supports music control but lacks offline music storage.
  • Smart Capabilities: Lacks advanced features like Garmin Pay and other smart capabilities found in higher-tier models.

3. Kiprun GPS 900

3. Kiprun GPS 900

Kiprun GPS 900

Best Value for Money

Price: £200 at Decathlon


  • Superb battery life for the price
  • An impressive suite of training and smartwatch features


  • No offline music or contactless payments
  • Lacking advanced tools like maps

Key Highlights and Features of the Decathlon Kiprun GPS 900:

  • Budget-Friendly Performance: Offers impressive running performance at an affordable price point, making it suitable for budget-conscious runners.
  • Exceptional Battery Life: Stands out with an impressive 35 hours of full GPS usage and an astonishing 80 hours in Ultramax low-power mode, surpassing even more expensive competitors.
  • Coros Training Tools: Incorporates Coros’ comprehensive suite of training tools, providing insights into performance, recovery, and activity. Features include running performance, VO2 Max estimates, training load assessment, impact analysis, and fatigue feedback.
  • Navigation Features: Enhances the running experience with breadcrumb route following, off-route alerts, and back-to-start guidance. It also includes a barometric altimeter for altitude and elevation tracking.
  • Smartphone Notifications: Keeps you connected with smartphone notifications, ensuring you stay updated on the go.
  • Limitations: Lacks advanced features like offline music storage and contactless payments, maintaining its budget-friendly focus.

4. Polar Grit X Pro

Polar Grit X Pro

Best for Trail Runners

Price: Now 20% Off – £369 at Amazon, £439 at, £439 at Wiggle


  • Abundance of navigation tools, including TrackBack
  • Outstanding sleep and recovery features


  • The battery can drain quickly
  • May be too bulky for smaller wrists

Key Highlights and Features of the Polar Grit X Pro:

  • Rugged Trail Companion: The Grit X Pro is designed for rugged and trail running, offering durability and performance.
  • Advanced Navigation Tools: Features reliable turn-by-turn navigation powered by Komoot, elevation profiles, and TrackBack for safe route retracing, ideal for adventurous runs.
  • Impressive Battery Life: Provides up to 40 hours of GPS runtime with built-in optical heart rate monitoring, extending to 100 hours in low-power mode, though it may drain faster in practice.
  • Comprehensive Sleep and Recovery Tools: Incorporates industry-leading sleep stage tracking, Recovery Pro, workout recommendations based on overnight recovery, and new performance and muscle recovery tests.
  • Durability: Boasts a military-grade rating, scratch-resistant sapphire display, and water resistance up to 100m, though it is relatively heavier at 79g.
  • Rapid GPS Link-Up: Quickly connects to major satellite systems and includes a barometric altimeter and compass for navigation.
  • Additional Features: Offers FuelWise fuelling recommendations, Hill Splitter automatic climb detection, and music controls for Spotify and other music apps.

The Polar Grit X Pro combines durability, advanced navigation, and comprehensive training tools, making it a strong contender for outdoor and trail runners.

5. Coros Pace 3

Coros Pace 3

Best Mid-Range Running Watch

Price: £219 at


  • Impressive battery life
  • Dual-frequency GPS for stability
  • Route planning and navigation features


  • Appearance may seem somewhat plasticky
  • Lacks specific workout modes like yoga or Pilates

Key Highlights and Features of the Coros Pace 3:

  • Remarkable Battery Life: The Coros Pace 3 offers exceptional battery life with 24 days of daily use and an impressive 38 hours of continuous GPS usage.
  • Upgraded Heart Rate Sensor: Equipped with an enhanced heart rate sensor featuring 5 LEDs and four light-detecting photosensors for improved accuracy.
  • Dual-Frequency GPS: Maintains remarkable GPS stability, even in densely populated urban areas, similar to high-end Garmin and Apple Watch Ultra models.
  • Advanced Mapping Features: Introduces a route planner for creating custom routes or searching for destinations, along with turn-by-turn navigation via the Coros app.
  • Comprehensive Running Analytics: Provides detailed running analytics, including Running Performance, Training Load, and pace ranges for various parameters like Aerobic Endurance, Aerobic Power, Threshold, Anaerobic Endurance, and Anaerobic Power. Tracks cadence, stride length, elevation, and more within the Coros app.
  • Compatibility: Works seamlessly with third-party running apps like Strava and Apple Health. Offers training plans and workouts for structured training.
  • Value for Money: Despite its appearance, which may lean toward a plastic feel, the Coros Pace 3 offers excellent value, particularly for users seeking a dependable running watch without breaking the budget.

The Coros Pace 3 combines remarkable battery life, advanced training features, and accurate GPS tracking, making it a top choice for runners looking for a reliable and budget-friendly watch for their workouts.

6. Garmin Enduro 2

6. Garmin Enduro 2

Best Premium Running Watch

Price: £1,218 at Amazon


  • Exceptional battery life
  • A comprehensive suite of training tools and features


  • Considerable investment

Key Highlights and Features of the Garmin Enduro 2:

  • Battery Life Powerhouse: Offers an unparalleled 80-hour GPS run time, extendable to a remarkable 300 hours in endurance mode. Solar charging capabilities further boost its stamina, making it ideal for extended adventures and ultra races.
  • Solar Charging: Harnesses sunlight to enhance battery life, ensuring you can tackle month-long run streaks or multi-day ultras without recharging.
  • Comprehensive Training Tools: Provides a complete suite of training features, including reliable heart rate monitoring, precise GPS tracking, training effect assessments, training load analysis, recovery recommendations, and training session suggestions.
  • Versatile Running Modes: Offers various running modes, including road, trail, ultra, and indoor, with trail-specific VO2-max estimates. Features an ultra mode for tracking time spent at aid station buffets during ultramarathons.
  • Downloadable Maps: Introduces downloadable maps, enhancing its utility as an adventure watch.
  • Cost Consideration: Comes at a premium price point, approximately twice the cost of the Apple Watch Series 8. It’s worth the investment for users who plan to extensively utilize its features and capabilities.

The Garmin Enduro 2 is a powerhouse watch tailored for rugged off-road and ultrarunning adventures, offering game-changing battery life, comprehensive training tools, and downloadable maps. While it comes at a premium price, it’s a worthwhile investment for dedicated adventurers and ultrarunners.

7. Polar Pacer Pro

Polar Pacer Pro

Price: £260 at Amazon


  • Impressive battery life
  • Exceptional value for the features offered


  • Lacks offline music playback
  • No Recovery Pro tools

 Features of the Polar Pacer Pro:

  • Outstanding Value: Offers exceptional value with features typically found in higher-priced models, all within a lightweight and stylish frame.
  • Impressive Battery Life: Boasts unrivaled battery life in its price range, providing 35 hours of full GPS run time and extendable up to an impressive 100 hours in low-power modes.
  • User-Friendly Controls: While lacking a touchscreen, it features responsive button controls and a brighter display compared to previous Polar models.
  • Comprehensive Running Features: Provides a comprehensive suite of running, training, racing, and recovery features, including running performance tests, VO2 Max estimates, running index scores, race time prediction, wrist-based running power, and Training Load Pro guidance tools.
  • Advanced GPS and Navigation: Offers all-systems satellite support, rapid GPS link-up, a built-in barometer, turn-by-turn routes powered by Komoot, route elevation profiles, and automatic climb detection.
  • Sleep and Recovery Tools: Features top-tier sleep stage tracking and Nightly Recharge recovery tools, enhancing overall training and recovery insights.
  • Limitations: Lacks Recovery Pro, an advanced orthostatic testing feature that requires a chest strap for monitoring.

The Polar Pacer Pro stands as an excellent-value running watch, packed with features, exceptional battery life, and comprehensive training tools. It competes strongly with other prominent models like the Garmin Forerunner 265 and COROS Pace, offering an attractive package for most runners.

9. Suunto 9

Suunto 9

Best Garmin Alternative

Price: Now 38% Off – £259 at Amazon, £299 at John Lewis, £539 at


  • Exceptional battery life
  • Top-tier pace and distance accuracy


  • The screen lacks sharpness and brightness
  • Menu and controls can be confusing

Key Highlights and Features of the Suunto 9 Baro:

  • Rugged Endurance Design: Designed for rugged conditions, the Suunto 9 Baro is a robust watch weighing 81g, featuring a knock-resistant sapphire crystal touchscreen display, and offering water resistance up to 100m.
  • Exceptional Battery Life: Ideal for ultra-distance runs, it provides an impressive 120 hours in ultra power-saving mode and 25 hours in performance mode. It offers pre-run recommendations on battery mode selection for the entire run duration.
  • Enhanced Distance Tracking: Features fused GPS and motion-sensor distance tracking for improved pace and distance accuracy. Includes barometric and GPS altitude measurements for specific trail running statistics.
  • Training Tools: Offers guided interval sessions and heart rate zone training for regular runners.
  • Drawbacks: The screen could benefit from improved brightness and sharpness. Suunto’s watch menus and controls may require time to learn, and the accompanying app may not offer as in-depth statistics, tools, and analytics as other brands.

The Suunto 9 Baro is a compelling alternative to the Garmin Fenix, excelling in battery life and catering to longer and more adventurous runs. While it may have a learning curve for its controls and app, it’s a valuable companion for trail-running enthusiasts.

10. Garmin Instinct Solar 2

Garmin Instinct Solar 2

Best for Athletes

Price: £249 at Amazon, £250 at John Lewis, £300 at


  • Rugged and durable design
  • Excellent safety features


  • No offline music
  • Lack of maps

Key Highlights and Features of the Garmin Instinct Solar 2:

  • Rugged Adventure Design: Designed for extreme outdoor conditions, it is military-grade with waterproofing up to 100 meters, thermal and shock resistance, and a scratch-resistant display.
  • Versatile Running Companion: Suitable for both on and off-road running, with safety features like incident detection and live location sharing, making it ideal for off-road ultramarathons and explorations.
  • Lightweight Build: Weighing 53g, it’s lighter and less bulky compared to Garmin’s Fenix series, suitable for individuals with smaller wrists.
  • Solar Charging: Offers solar-charging capability, extending GPS battery life from 30 to 48 hours in optimal conditions, with low-power mode reaching up to 370 hours.
  • Specialized Running Tools: Provides access to Garmin’s specialized tracking, training, and recovery tools for running, including VO2 Max estimates, training status, training load assessments, post-run training effect readings, and recovery time recommendations. It also offers suggested workouts.
  • Navigation Features: While it lacks maps, it includes turn-by-turn breadcrumb and back-to-start guidance, distance to destination, and future elevation for loaded routes, catering to trail runners and racers.
  • Music Controls: Supports music controls but does not offer offline music playback.
  • Data Security: Includes a “kill switch” feature for instant data wipe, useful for unexpected situations during city marathons.

The Garmin Instinct Solar 2 is a rugged and versatile running tracker suitable for extreme outdoor adventures, offering solar charging, safety features, and specialized running tools, all in a lightweight design.


In the world of GPS running watches for 2023, numerous options are catering to runners of all levels and preferences. These watches have evolved beyond mere accessories; they are now your dedicated coaches, providing invaluable insights and precision to elevate your running experience. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or just embarking on your running journey, there’s a perfect GPS running watch waiting to accompany you on the road to success.


In 2023, Garmin introduced the Forerunner 265 series and Forerunner 965, marking their first dedicated GPS-running smartwatches equipped with vibrant AMOLED displays.
For runners in 2023, the top choice among Apple Watches is the Apple Watch Ultra 2. This particular model is highly recommended for those who engage in serious running training.
In 2023, the latest watches are the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Ultra 2. These watches boast substantial improvements, including a significant chip upgrade, a brighter display compared to their previous versions, and expanded storage capacity.

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