List Of Best Garmin Running Watches in 2023 - User Opinions, Features and Reviews

List Of Best Garmin Running Watches in 2023 - User Opinions, Features and Reviews

When it comes to running, each individual has unique needs and expectations. If you run marathons, are on a budget, are interested in a multisport watch, or want a watch that can do a little bit of everything, then these Garmin running watches will satisfy your needs.

Over many years, Garmin has maintained its position as the industry leader in GPS watches. It is not a coincidence that they manufacture the most advanced gadgets and watches that can be purchased. Garmin watches are not inexpensive; nevertheless, for the price, you receive a watch that is of great quality and has a long lifespan, as well as outstanding technical assistance and a warranty that lasts for one year.

We’ll take a look at some of the greatest running watches made by Garmin. In addition, we will examine who the ideal customer is for these watches and the qualities that set them apart from the competition.

Additional Reading: Best Smartwatches For Diabetics

Garmin Forerunner 245

There is no specific new material contained inside The Forerunner 245. You are instead provided with a number of capabilities that were previously only accessible in more expensive Garmin running watches. You can obtain several high-end capabilities that are not available on the previous Forerunner 235 for a total cost of $300 (for the version without music) or $350 (for the version with music).


Both the weight and the dimensions of the watch shrunk. Nevertheless, the resolution is higher while maintaining virtually the same screen size. You get a watch that is lighter, more compact, and easier to see, in addition to having a longer battery life thanks to a superior battery that can last for 24 hours if using GPS instead of 11 hours on the Forerunner 235.


The Forerunner 245 also offers improved interoperability with a variety of accessories, such as Garmin’s Running Pod.

This compact piece of technology provides you with information regarding your running style that is more accurate and in-depth. Tracking is done for cadencing as well as vertical oscillation and ground contact. If you do not use the pod, you will have a less clear insight into your running style than if you combine the two pieces of information.

For cyclists, the Forerunner 245 is compatible with Garmin’s Varia bicycle safety devices, which warn you of approaching vehicles and make it easier for those vehicles to see you. These devices are designed to keep you safe.


A recent addition to the realm of preventative measures, the Assistance button may be found on this particular Garmin. If you need assistance, pushing the button will send a text message and an email to your close friends and family, informing them of your current location. The incident warning goes one step further by contacting your friends and family as soon as possible if you have an accident while riding your bike.


Both point-to-point navigation and a real-time breadcrumb-style map are now included in the mapping and navigation features available. While not as detailed as the city and topo maps on the Fenix 5+, Breadcrumb maps provide some sense of direction by indicating where you started and how far you still have to travel. If you stray from the trail’s intended path, the TracBack feature will bring you back to the journey’s beginning.

Sport modes

The 245 is responsible for monitoring swimming in both pools and open water. However, although it can track bikes, it does not have a multisport option that enables you to switch between other activities while you are still working out.

All the 235’s activity monitoring functionality and regular GPS run tracking have been ported over. (time, distance, pace, auto-pause, auto-lap, etc.).

Additional Reading: Best Fitness Watch For Yoga


Lastly, similar to the Vivoactive 3, the Forerunner 245 is offered in music and non-music versions. The music edition of the watch costs an additional $50 and comes with the capability to store music on the device. You may also adjust the volume, pause the music, skip tracks, and play new songs with the watch (providing you have a smartphone).


  • An acceptable display, a good battery, and safety features
  • The version of the music that is optional
  • Decent maps


  • Swimming stats can be viewed, but there is no automated mode switching for those who compete in triathlons
  • Additional fees apply for the music version

Garmin Forerunner 945

The newest and most advanced multisport and triathlon GPS watch from Garmin builds upon the Forerunner 935’s already exceptional battery life, music storage, and new functions to make your training runs more dependable and secure.


The Forerunner 945 is a portable gadget with a battery life of up to 35 hours (if using GPS, but not music). It keeps track of your runs, bike rides, and swimming (in both pools and open water), and it also has a multisport option that lets you record all of these activities in a single file so that you can use it for brick workouts and triathlons. Because of a newly installed Galileo sensor, GPS monitoring and precision have both been enhanced.


On the full-color screen, you’ll find detailed maps of the city and the trails, which will assist you in navigating wherever you go. Additionally, new to the 945 is support for Garmin Pay and music storage. On-the-go listening is made possible by the ability to save songs and control them directly from the watch. You can also listen to music via Spotify, but you’ll need a tablet for this option.


The prior Garmins were able to track training load, which is a measurement of how strenuously you were working out, and training status, which is a measure of how effective your workouts were. However, the 945 takes things one step further by integrating temperature and altitude in these measures.


Additionally, new are safety features that allow you to select friends and family members to receive notifications regarding your position while you are working out. Simply pushing a button will allow you to communicate your whereabouts to a select group of people in case you want assistance. Automatic incident monitoring can be turned off if desired; most cyclists use this feature in the case of a collision.

Additional Reading: What Smartwatches Are Compatible With Motorola Smartphones?


The Running Dynamics Pod, which can be acquired on its own, is compatible with the 945 and can be used in conjunction with it. The monitoring of proper running form and the enhancement of the cadence measurement are both facilitated by this feature, which is available on all Garmin running watches.


  • Excellent battery
  • Decent sport modes
  • Conveniently small and unobtrusive on the wrist
  • Access to music for playback and storage, as well as detailed mapping and navigation


  • Does it provide so much that it becomes overwhelming?

Garmin Forerunner 745

This multisport watch was meant to be the Forerunner 945’s brother or sister. But in addition to that, it is a great watch for running in general, which is a pleasant departure from Garmin’s previous flagship running watch, the 645.


The Forerunner 745 boasts a sleek appearance, a screen that is simple to see and is quite comfortable to wear. It enables activities such as swimming and cycling in addition to providing all of the characteristics necessary for running, including the capacity to store music.

Four color options are available for the 745, and they are black, white, frost blue, and red. Rubberized in appearance, the straps can be adjusted with relative ease and offer sufficient width. The resolution is very high, and in comparison to earlier iterations, the watch is significantly more lightweight.

Sports modes

The Garmin Forerunner 745 allows for the programming of various running drills. Additionally, it is able to track sophisticated running form characteristics thanks to the Garmin Running Pod. It has a heart rate monitor that can be worn on the wrist, but it also includes a chest strap that can be worn with it.

Athletes that compete in many sports might benefit from swim tracking in the pool and open water. Cycling monitoring is also quite good, and the 745 is compatible with a wide range of accessories designed specifically for cyclists.

Additional Reading: Which Is The Best Non Bluetooth Fitness Tracker

In what ways is it distinct from the 945?

You might be curious about the key differences between this Smartwatch and its predecessor, the 945. To begin with, the battery does not have the same level of efficiency. In GPS mode, you may expect up to 16 hours, compared to 36 hours with the 945 (note that this is with GPS turned on but without music playing — battery life can vary greatly depending on how the device is used).

It does not come equipped with the same navigation system or maps as the 945. Additionally, it only has half of the music storage capacity of the 945. The 945 includes some capabilities that are only useful for golf, but we’re not sure how many runners or triathletes would find those functions useful.

However, because it costs $100 less than the 945, it is an excellent choice for athletes who participate in running or triathlons and are searching for a watch with a lower price tag.


  • The display is quite large
  • Training options that allow for individualized adjustments
  • Easy on the body and pleasant to sit in


  • The battery in this model is not as powerful as the one in the 945 model

Garmin Forerunner 45 And 45S

Garmin has succeeded in raising the bar once again with its user-friendly and straightforward GPS watch. A wrist sensor allows the Forerunner 45 to record runs using GPS and serve as a fitness tracker and a heart rate monitor. Additionally, the Forerunner 45 tracks step taken throughout the day.

The Forerunner 45 is a high-quality Smartwatch with an uncomplicated design. We’d refer to it as fundamental in contrast to other, more pricey options. However, it comes with a few additional features that set it apart from other options while maintaining a reasonable pricing point.


The Forerunner 45 is offered in two dimensions: the standard 45 and the 45S, which is noticeably more compact and lighter. In a needless display of gendering, the 45S can be purchased in either white or purple, whereas the 45 can only be purchased in either red or black.

However, in contrast to the Forerunner 35 and 25, neither of these models has a monochrome display anymore; instead, they each feature a color screen with a higher resolution. Battery life remains comparable with a mode that operates for 13 hours continuously.

Additional safeguards have been integrated.

The Forerunner 45 comes equipped with brand-new safety measures. In the event that you require assistance while you are going through your training, you can press a button that will notify selected contacts via text message and email of your whereabouts. The incident detection will function normally even if you fall while you’re pedaling.

These devices can control the playback of music on an Android phone; however, they do not store or stream any music themselves. Because of this, you won’t have to remove your phone from your pocket every time you want to alter the level.

Further Reading: Best Smartwatch For OnePlus

Sports modes

With the release of the Forerunner 35, Garmin included interval training into its previously basic watch. That capability is expanded upon with the Forerunner 45, which enables you to perform more difficult workouts. Said, these are individualized workouts that you (or your personal trainer) can design in any way that you see fit.


  • Pleasant ease of reading
  • Two sizes to accommodate a variety of wrist sizes
  • Condensed while maintaining its lightness
  • Exceptional in all the fundamental categories
  • Added precautions for safety are always welcome


  • There is no requirement for colors to indicate gender
  • Costly for a less complicated choice

Garmin Fenix 6x Pro

The Garmin Fenix 6X Pro is the most advanced and feature-packed watch the business offers. It is ideal for more conventional outdoor activities such as cycling, swimming, and hiking, as well as more daring sports such as skiing and paddleboarding.

Drafting and construction

The watch is quite large, which is the first thing that stands out to you. Running watches manufactured by Garmin are known for their sleek, industrial aesthetics, and this model is no different. It features a widescreen display that has a resolution of 280 pixels across and 280 pixels down.


The Fenix 6X Pro comes with color street maps and topographical maps, which can be viewed directly on the watch itself. It is essential to have this ability whether you are traveling to unfamiliar areas or attempting to find your way through the trails. In addition to that, it features a barometer for monitoring elevation. The watch comes equipped with a number of useful functions for tracking ascent and altitude already.


The usage of a heart rate monitor that is worn on the wrist is extremely popular. Garmin Pay is included in the 6X Pro, just like in earlier models, enabling you to use your watch to pay for purchases. It is also one of the few gadgets that can store music and sync with Spotify at the same time (up to 2000 songs).

The Fenix 6X Pro can be programmed with exercises or used in conjunction with the virtual training tools offered by Garmin in order to keep track of a runner’s speed. Tracking of more advanced metrics, including cadence, fitness level, and fitness recovery time, is carried out.

Additional Reading: Which is better: Fitbit Charge 5 or Samsung Galaxy Watch 4?

Battery capacity

The duration of the battery life is remarkable. In normal watch mode, you’ll receive 21 days. It has a potential runtime of up to 60 hours when set to GPS mode and a potential runtime of up to 15 hours when set to GPS mode along with the music. On the other hand, Power Manager is something completely new to the Fenix 6X. This figure shows how the different characteristics affect the amount of time a battery lasts. You may extend the watch’s battery life by customizing it to your preferences, which includes using the functions you like and removing the ones you don’t. Alterations can also be made on the fly, even while you are jogging.

It is possible to quickly and easily personalize both the watch band and the watch face.


  • Data storage for music
  • Detailed topo and Garmin Pay Street maps are displayed on-screen.
  • Huge screen
  • Longer than average battery life


  • Costly
  • Because of its heft, it cannot be worn by people with wrists of a smaller size.
  • You might want to hold off till the Fenix 7 comes out

Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4s

The Vivoactive 4/4S is Garmin’s take on the popular smartwatch category. It is intended for day-to-day use, but the addition of GPS monitoring makes it ideally suited for competition.

However, in contrast to the Vivoactive 3, the new iteration is offered in two different sizes: 4 and 4S. The Vivoactive 4 is a little bit bigger than the one before it. However, the Vivoactive 4S is more compact and hence more suited for runners with wrists that are not as thick.

The Vivoactive 4 and 4S have a wrist-based heart rate monitor that also functions as a fitness tracker and shows phone alerts on the watch face. This feature is standard on the majority of Garmin’s running watches.


You will also see that there are several additional functions for day-to-day use. Downloading different watch faces and games gives you the ability to create a more individualized display on your smartwatch. On-the-go transactions can be completed with the help of Garmin Pay. In addition, it consists of a single button and a touch screen for operating the watch. If you write with your left hand, you need to invert it and move the button to the opposite side of the keyboard.


The Vivoactive 4/4S has a contemporary feel to its design. It’s one of the few Garmin running watches that looks more like a regular watch, discarding the bulky, rugged style in favor of a sleeker, more modern look. It’s one of the only Garmin track watches that looks like a normal watch. This version of the Fenix is less expensive than the Fenix 6, yet it still has numerous functions that are useful for workouts.

The 1.3-inch widescreen display on the Vivoactive 4/4S has a resolution of 260 by 260 pixels, and the device’s secure strap bracelet is easy to put on and take off. Because it is water-resistant up to 50 meters, you can wear it with complete assurance while you’re in the shower or swimming. The watch’s screen is shielded by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which contributes to its exceptional resilience.

In addition to monitoring the user’s progress in time, speed, and distance, auto-pause, advanced workouts, and downloadable training plans are included in each sports mode. It is possible to take advantage of LiveTrack, which grants family and friends the ability to track your present location in real time. This feature helps track you down during important races.

Additional Reading: Best Stress Monitor Apps for Apple Watch


Both the storing of music and the ability to play it back are built-in to the Vivoactive 4/4S. It has the capacity to store approximately 500 songs (including Spotify playlists that may be downloaded), and you can also use it to access music stored on your personal computer.


The Vivoactive 4/4S has been outfitted with several safety features. When you push an emergency button, it notifies your loved ones of your current location and sends the message to them through email or text message. If you are riding a bike and have an accident, the auto-crash detection feature will also crash.


  • choices that are less expensive
  • Does not skimp on desirable characteristics or capabilities
  • Choices available in a variety of sizes
  • There is music pre-installed


  • You won’t receive the more advanced functions that are generally seen on more costly Garmins if you go with the cheaper one

Garmin Venu 2

A brief closing comment…

The original Venu, which was released at the same time as the Vivoactive 4 and 4S, is essentially indistinguishable from the Vivoactive 4/4S, with the following three exceptions:

The AMOLED show, in particular, is straightforward, clear, and vibrant. Garmin’s display may be the finest and clearest it’s ever been on any watch. Depending on your preference, it can be purchased in either a square or a circular form.

A second iteration of the Garmin Venu was introduced in 2022, known as the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. This recent improvement makes it possible to receive and make phone calls and connect to the voice assistant on your phone, which is a significant benefit.

The original Venu has a battery life of up to five days when used as a smartwatch, and it has a battery life of up to six hours when used in GPS mode with music. To reiterate, when in smartwatch mode, the Venu 2 has the potential to last up to 11 days, whereas in battery-saver mode, it can last up to 12 days. In conclusion, the battery life can be up to eight hours long when using the GPS mode with music, while it can be up to 22 hours long when using the GPS mode without music.

Additional Reading: HP vs. Lenovo Laptops

Finishing Thoughts on Garmin Running Watches

Although this list of the top running watches manufactured by Garmin is not comprehensive, it should give you a general idea of the variety of options available from just this one brand. Garmin has products suited for triathletes of all skill levels, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an experienced competitor. As a result, this applies to all budgets.

Leave a Reply