The Greatest Sport Watches for Runners, Hikers, and Swimmers

Smart Watches

Even if your workouts don't involve logging miles on foot, GPS watches have long been a runner's best friend. Most are now capable of multi-sport tracking, allowing you to keep track of all of your activities, including swimming, yoga, and hiking, as well as niche sports like stand-up paddle boarding.

choosing a sport watch

When searching for a sport watch, there are a few factors that can make a significant difference in how well the watch meets your needs and performs. Battery life is one of the most critical factors to consider. If you are an endurance athlete, you need a watch that can withstand your competitions and workouts. While it may be reasonable to assume that any watch can last through an ultramarathon or Iron Man, many athletes have discovered midway through the event that their watch's battery is inadequate.

If health tracking is important to you, you must also ensure that the information you wish to track is accessible on your watch. The majority of devices will monitor sleep and heart rate, but oxygen levels, temperature, and irregular heartbeat monitors are not standard.

Finally, consider GPS capabilities. Every sport watch will have some form of GPS tracking, but the more satellite systems a watch uses, the more accurate its tracking will be. This is also essential for athletes who venture into the wilderness, as it allows for location monitoring when cell service is unavailable.

Forerunner® 255 Music Sport Watch - Garmin

This Garmin watch is an excellent choice if running is your primary sport. It features a slim, lightweight design that will not weigh down your wrist, a full-color, always-on display, and up to 30 hours of battery life in GPS mode. It provides a morning report that summarizes your sleep, HRV status, and daily workout recommendations based on your recovery.

It has estimated completion times based on course details, weather, and past performance for over 30 activities, including swimming. Those who prefer to leave their phone and wallet at home can also store up to 500 songs and make contactless payments with this device.

Sense Advanced Smartwatch - Fitbit

Fitbits have long been favored by users for their health tracking capabilities, and the Sense Advanced is an excellent option for anyone who wants to track more than just their workout progress.

It can track land-based activities such as walking, running, hiking, and cycling, but its true value lies in its ability to collect health data. It features an EDA scan, which indicates your response to stress, a temperature sensor that logs changes in your body temperature over time, a heart ECG that monitors irregularities in your heartbeat, as well as monitoring your blood oxygen levels, sleep, and other parameters.

Due to the fact that this is not medical-grade technology, there may be some slight inaccuracies in the tracking data, but overall, it's a fantastic way to monitor your health and stay informed of any sudden changes.

APEX Premium Multisport GPS Watch - Coros

Need some reminders to stick to your training regimen? This timepiece has your back. It can guide you through personal training plans, remind you to refuel during long runs, and even track sunrise and sunset so you know how much time you have for your workout. It also features precise multisport tracking for running, cycling, and other land-based cardio activities, as well as strength training, swimming, and other water sports.


This watch is slim and lightweight, but it has all the multi-sport tracking features you could want. It has advanced wrist-based HR tracking, GPS, running and cycling performance tests, FuelWise, route guidance, sleep tracking, and training load and recovery tracking to prevent overtraining.

Apple Watch Series 7 - Apple

Apple Watch is the best choice if you want a multifunctional sport watch. The most recent model, the Series 7, can monitor all of your activities, including running, hiking, and cycling, and also provides fairly accurate metrics for indoor and open water swimming.

Additionally, SUP, HIIT, and Tai Chi can be tracked. Due to the fact that this is primarily a smartwatch, it also offers great features for daily use, such as Apple Pay, music streaming, voice control, texting without a phone, and more.