Best GPS for Running of 2021

Best GPS for Running of 2018

Running is among the most famous activities to do to lose weight, and nowadays, this activity is usually paired with a GPS tracking device. You may be thinking, “Why would I need a GPS when I run?” Yes, a nice pair of shoes should be enough to keep you going. However, if you want to monitor how your training is going, then GPS–if not the best GPS for running, is necessary.

A GPS tracking device can give you information on how fast you ran, what is the distance you traveled, how many calories you burned, and other measurements that will tell you what your current fitness level is.

Whether you just want to keep track of your fitness progress, or you are training for a race or marathon, a GPS tracker will help you reach your target. It will also benefit those who love to explore and run new terrains because it can keep track of your map, so you do not get lost and find your way back.

In this article, we will compare the features, pros, and cons of the top three favorite GPS devices on the market today, so we can help you choose the best fit for you.

Best GPS for Running: Top Six Picks

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Polar Vantage V  

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Polar has made strides with cutting edge heart rate monitors and other wearable tech innovations since 1977. Its latest addition, the Polar Vantage V gives pro athletes a smart training option that guarantees optimal performance.

Initially popular in cycling, running power is now a key component part of a runner’s performance indicator. Currently, the Polar Vantage V is the only wrist-based running power monitor for athletes. With this watch, you no longer need a foot pod or a power meter when running.


Monitoring the rate of change of mechanical energy, also known as running power, is vital in for any professional athlete. Running power is an indicator of how hard an athlete is working towards utilizing his/her full potential.

Other Features

    • The Polar Vintage V watch is a 7 ounces GPS watch measuring 6 x 4 x 4 inches.
    • It provides accurate heart rate data based on skin contact and optical heart rate dimensions. This drastically reduces the possible margin of error when recording in strenuous training conditions.
    • The Polar Vantage V watch monitors your recovery from a strenuous workout. This ensures you maintain good training and rest balance that keeps you free from injury.
    • All your historical training data is compiled on the Polar Flow platform. The data can then be analyzed and compared against industry standard rates. You may opt to synchronize and transfer this data to other external devices such as Strava and TrainingPeaks.
    • This watch can provide feedback based on various running power zones. This is also based on varying levels of maximal aerobic power. Such measurements provide feedback of key parameters including the athlete’s basic endurance training and performance in preparation for a marathon.


  • Long lasting battery life
  • Classy design
  • Running power measurement from your wrist
  • Waterproof
  • Ideal for over 130 sports


  • Premium priced

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music


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The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music has superior tracking data attributes giving a head start to any competitive runner. For, this 2019 release replaces the Forerunner 235, retailing in music and standard versions. With the music style, you can download up to 500 songs/3.5GB from Spotify®, Deezer, and Amazon Music.

Garmin strives to make cutting-edge running watches in the smallest size possible. In turn, the Forerunner 245 is much smaller and lightweight than its predecessor, with a standard band that fits most wrists. 

Other Features

  • Sleek Lightweight Construction

The watch has a 42.3mm case, 12.2mm thick, and a standard 20mm band. Plus, it weighs 38.5g, staying water-resistant up to 50 meters in water. 

  • Health Metrics

Monitor your calories, intensity, menstrual cycle, steps, heart rate, and stress. Next, get notifications about your 24/7 activity and sleep patterns. The latest feature is a Body Battery™ Energy Monitor that tracks your energy levels to calculate and suggest the best time to exercise.

  • Pre-loaded Activity Profiles

The Forerunner 245 has swimming, running, and cycling tracking mode. Plus, it tracks strength training, walking, indoor rowing, and yoga. 

  • Transflective Display Technology

The 1.2-inch transflective LCD display has no glare. Instead, you can read your metrics even under direct sunlight or when wearing polarized sunglasses.

  • Smart Features

Get notifications, weather forecasts, and calendar notifications from your iPhone or Android smartphone. Control the music on your phone. Download widgets, watch faces, training apps, and other data fields. This smartwatch uses GPS/Galileo/Glonass sensors in addition to its compass and health sensors. 

  • Synchronization

The smartwatch can connect to Apple Health, MyFitnessPal, and Strava, synchronizing your runs via Bluetooth or wifi. In particular, the Strava synchronization is more accurate than other leading GPS running smartwatches. 

  • Battery Life

For a smartwatch with a versatile tracking feature, this Forerunner 245 promises seven days of battery life when used as a smartwatch. This duration comes to 24 hours when on the GPS mode. It’s a plus or minus, depending on the features you tap each day. 

The Downside

The Garmin Forerunner 245 uses a super layered menu system. Here, it may take up to 12 clicks at the side buttons to get to the feature you want. For sure, an upgrade to a touch screen is welcome.


  • A very lightweight fitness watch
  • Over 3.5gb space to store your favorite tunes
  • Easily integrates with most Garmin apps and devices.
  • Has additional body and overall health trackers.
  • Comfortable straps


  • The battery is not as long-lasting.The music software is not very user friendly.

Polar M200 GPS Running Watch

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Do you need to monitor your heart rate while running? Try the Polar M200 GPS Running Watch with Wrist-Based Heart Rate. The watch features an easy to use wrist-based heart rate monitor. The feature uses the optical heart rate module to accurately measure your intensity levels and use this measurement to adjust your heart rate zones.

This watch also tracks your activities 24/7 while guiding your workouts towards achieving optimal performance. It utilizes a running index analysis to predict how long you will take to finish your next race. Its GPS tracking enables you to view your training route, with highlights on your best sessions.

Other Features

  • This is a 40g waterproof smartwatch with a display screen measuring 26mm.
  • It can display data in sixteen different languages.
  • It has a rechargeable battery, a USB A-connector, vibration alerts, an alarm and, a backlight.
  • The smartwatch has various sport profile settings that you can customize to suit your training needs.
  • This watch has a set of daily activity goals based on your historical physical activity data. It counts all steps taken and the overall distance covered.
  • It also utilizes the Polar Flow App to summarize your activity data. This App warns you when you have been inactive during the day for too long so as not to slow down your blood circulation, energy levels, or metabolism. It also tracks the number of hours you spend sleeping.

Use Bluetooth to connect your smartphone and any other compatible device to the Polar Flow App.


  • Accurate heart rate monitoring
  • Compatible with most Windows, Mac and the Polar Flow Web/App and third party services
  • Compatible with Strava and FitnessPal
  • Has comfortable fitting straps
  • Excellent for swimming
  • Long lasting battery life
  • Has various alerts to monitor your training


  • Lacks cadence measurement vital for a runner

Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit

Tuomas Vohlonen founded Suunto in 1936. He also invented the production method of the liquid-filled compass. Since then, he has been considered as the forefront of innovation and design for dive computers, sports watches, and instruments used by adventurers. Suunto aims to equip adventurers mentally and physically through the products they offer, so they can readily conquer the outdoors.

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  • It measures 5 x 4 x 4 inches and weighs 4.6 ounces.
  • It comes with a Lithium-ion battery and has a battery life of 200 hours with an accuracy of one minute.
  • It has a liquid-filled compass that can provide navigation and then trackback.
  • It can show accurate weather information and altitude.
  • It can measure multiple sports in one log.
  • It can be programmed for different languages that include English, French, Italian, Russian, and Japanese, to name a few.
  • It has a built-in barometer and altimeter.
  • It has a GPS with 100-meter water resistance.
  • It displays messages, calls, and push notifications
  • It measures your heart rate while swimming.
  • It comes with the Suunto Movescount application which helps you discover new routes while also keeping you safe with the right directions.


  • The package includes one battery
  • 200 hours battery life with one-minute accuracy
  • Liquid-filled compass
  • Shows accurate and stable altitude and weather information
  • One log tracks multiple sports
  • Can be used in many different languages
  • Built-in barometer and altimeter
  • GPS is water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • Comes with the Suunto Movescount application
  • Can be synced with your mobile phone
  • Displays messages, calls, and push notifications
  • Monitors heart rate when swimming


  • Incapable of counting your daily steps
  • The synchronization and settings have steep learning curves, especially for a beginner.

Garmin Forerunner 230

Garmin products are engineered for the outdoor life so that consumers can pursue their passion while making the most out of their time. They bring wearable technology and GPS navigation to aviation, automotive, outdoor, marine, and fitness industry. They have a knack for seizing opportunities to discover and innovate.

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  • It measures 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.5 inches and is lightweight at 1.44 ounces.
  • It has a color display with high resolution.
  • It has a built-in accelerometer that tracks pace, distance, and heart rate.
  • It can identify your personal records.
  • It has connectivity features like social media sharing and live tracking via the Garmin Connect mobile application, allowing you to get motivating feedback from friends real-time.
  • It comes with extra training features so you can set up alerts for your pace, heart rate, and run or walk intervals.
  • It has audible and vibration alerts that you can easily customize.
  • It shows a post-run summary immediately.
  • It comes with a hinged wristband which is sturdy yet comfortable for any wrist size.
  • It comes with simple buttons which are easy to operate.
  • It stops and continues timer based on your speed
  • It notifies you when you hit your record or target.


  • Lightweight
  • High-res color display
  • Built-in accelerometer
  • Identifies personal records
  • Connectivity features and Garmin Connect mobile application
  • Extra training features
  • Audible and vibration alerts
  • Post-run summary
  • Comfortable hinged wristband
  • Easy to operate buttons
  • Automatic timer pause and continue based on speed
  • Notification for hitting your target


  • Not recommended for triathlon training since there is no bike functionality
  • Does not get accurate data when used in the water
  • Settings and synchronizations may be too complicated for a beginner

U Wear UW90 Outdoor Sports Smart Watch GPS

U Wear was built in 2007. It is a new high technology local enterprise that is committed to providing smart wearable one-stop services through sales and manufacture. The company is focused on developing native smart wearable technologies in the industry, and their mission is to ascend into an international brand and continue to self-develop.

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  • It comes with 11 professional modes such as cycling, running, climbing, hiking, treadmill, skiing, rock climbing, surfing, boating, marathon, and golfing.
  • It has GPS positioning, and it is easy to navigate.
  • It can be connected to your mobile phone via Bluetooth.
  • It can monitor your heart rate real-time.
  • It has an IP68 construction which makes it waterproof.
  • It can display your workout data from the application.
  • It can function as a compass, an alarm clock, and a stopwatch
  • It has a standby time of 10.5 to 15 hours in GPS-operating mode, and the battery can last for 20.5 days under regular mode.
  • It is made up of a steel dial plate that has military-grade quality.
  • It comes with a shatter-resistant and anti-scratch display screen.
  • It comes with a silicone strap which ensures comfort and stability.
  • It is fit for both women and men.


  • 11 professional modes
  • Easy to navigate
  • GPS positioning
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Real-time heart rate monitoring
  • Waterproof
  • Workout data display through the app
  • Can be used as a compass, an alarm clock, and a stopwatch
  • Long battery life, whether in GPS mode or under normal usage
  • Military-grade steel dial plate
  • Shatter-resistant and anti-scratch screen
  • Silicone strap for comfort and stability
  • Applicable for indoor and outdoor sports, as well as professional training
  • Unisex


  • There may be skips when used in prolonged training.
  • Continues to track steps even on rest

The Verdict

After a detailed comparison of the features, pros, and cons of the top GPS products on the market these days, you should be able to choose the best GPS for running. 

Our top pick is the No products found. because it is offered in a reasonable cost yet it is also rich in features. It is lightweight, and it comes with a sturdy and comfortable-to-wear wristband.

It also has buttons that are easy to operate so you can continuously enjoy your training. Plus, it has social media sharing and live tracking capabilities which allow you to contribute and get motivational feedback from your friends and loved ones.

Overall, we can say that these devices are competitive. What you need to consider is the level of training and activity you are after so you can weigh each product’s features and see which will best match what you need.

26 thoughts on “Best GPS for Running of 2021”

  1. Oh my goodness!

    I was just telling my friend  how I have not worked out in a long time. I am very young and working out is a must. Otherwise, it can affect me when I get older. Unfortunately… This GPS tracker is great in monitoring it! I really hope it motivates mi in proceeding though…

    • Hi, Linda and thank you.

      Most of the people I know talk a lot about that using running watches raise their motivation. It is something which let you enjoy and push a little bit harder when you get all this data and see how you are developing. Set a goal and enjoy watching you get it!

      Good luck.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  2. Garmin Forerunner 230 sounds amazing. And it’s not very expensive too.

    I bought a running gps some time ago, but must say, it’s too heavy so I’ve given up on it.

    I will check your #1 recommendation, especially for lightweight qualities and it’s not too expensive either.

    GPS for running is such an amazing help to have. They are packed with useful features and every new design is more attractive and lighter than the last.

    • Hi, Alenka and thank you.

      Garmin Forerunner 230 is an excellent and trendy watch. So the experience about it is enormous. I am very confident that you will like it.

      Like so many things, you need to feel comfortable when you run. And watch which is heavy will in almost all circumstances let you feel as well as possible.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  3. How about newer smart watches? Can they be used just as well or do you need one of the products you mentioned?

    I would rather use the watch i have but if it can’t be used i guess i need to buy one of the products. Can you please help me?

    • Hi, Ebbe Bollen and thank you.

      Always when people talk about best, you take some which you believe is best but you usually could add many more items.  That is why I use many times some of the best.

      What I have in mind when I select which product can be on the list of course number one the quality. But I try to have in mind wide range of people. So as many types can find a product which is good for them, and they have a benefit of it.

      I stress again that I have always first in mind what product I believe have the quality to be on a best of a list.

      If you are happy with your GPS running watch, as I´m sure you are, there is no reason at all to change it.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  4. I already fallen in  love with the U Wear UW90 Outdoor Sports Smart Watch, just because of the inclusion of the cycling mode. I am a cycle racer and usually every day at around 17.00hrs, I will be exercising with my cycle, so having the U Wear UW90 tracker will definitely keep me motivated. 

    Can it give you an accumulative result like, how long you would have traveled for a week or month? 

    • Hi, Ngonidzashe Manzwangani and thank you.

      I understand it very well that you like the UW90 Outdoor Sports SmartWatch. Great watch and the battery is excellent too.

      Yes, it late you about the distance and have very good data information.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  5. The UW90 looks great! The one I had was a very cheap one and broke after a month.

    And it’s great that it’s waterproof because I usually forget to take it off when I go for shower after running. Yeah, I know, it’s stupid, but if you forget, you forget. The last couple of weeks I usually set a reminder just for it. 😛 

    Does it have a warranty? This time, I wanna get a good one and usually, when they have a warranty, it means they are sturdy. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi, Jenny and thank you.

      The UW90 Outdoor Sports SmartWatch is an excellent watch with an excellent battery too.

      You are not the only one who forgets to remove the watches before the shower!

      After sales service, it has a 1-year warranty.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  6. Hi

    I am so glad that I came across this GPS buying guide because I have been looking for one as a Christmas present for my brother, so i am really glad that I no longer have to search because you have done all the work for me with this very informative article.

    I like to look for the Garmin Forerunner 230 which I think my brother would love and this is really good that you have it as your fav.

    Thank you for this buying guide really helpful.


    • Hi, Jennifer David and thank you.

      Great to hear your benefit of the article. 

      And your brother is lucky to get such a great gift. Sometimes some things which are so popular that they be trendy and stay there for a long time. Garmin Forerunner 230 is an example about that, outstanding running watch. 

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  7. It is a great article and very helpful.  I am a person who has just started running.  I am focused on losing weight and getting healthier.  What I have noticed is that this getting healthy is addictive.  

    And all tools which help me in that development is essential. I want to have as much data as I can, and GPS gives me a lot of data. When I was searching for GPS, I saw your article and like it, a lot,  thank you very much for it.

    • Hi, Dale and thank you.

      Great to hear about your happiness of the article. And I am absoulute agree the data you get from the running watches is very motivated plus it is beneficial to have your training plan as good as possible. All information help you.

      Good luck.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  8. The best GPS for running is the Garmin forerunner 230.

    I really love the information you give on these GPS watchs. I love all the information you give on this whole article but this watch really has all the pros that I need an a GPS device. I can’t stress how proud I am to have found this article and be able to get the two that I need to do my job.

    Thank you again for this informative article I appreciate it.

    • Hi, Quinn and thank you.

      Good to hear.

      Garmin Forerunner 230 is a great running watch and very popular. Always great when there comes an item which keeps the popularity because then you know it is high quality. 

      In the end, you must decide what you want to have in the running watch. When you know that it is always easier to take the final decision built on the pros and cons.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  9. Even those who are not fan of sports will be attracted to the Garmin Forerunner. I also love the idea of sharing updates about my sporting activities and receiving feedback in return. Quite motivating. 

    It also has a more attractive appearance compared to the other. By the way, I saw nothing mentioned about Waterproof for the Forernner 230. Is it water resistant?

    • Hi, NSOH ALIEH LAURINE and thank you.

      Yes, I agree. You can use the Garmin Forerunner 230 so much in your daily life even so you aren´t planning your exercises. Walking, going up and down the stairs, etc is all example of great activities you have in your normal daily life.

      About the waterproof, yes it is waterproof. I wrote an article about it, you can see it here if you like.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  10. When I think of GPS running watches, I think of Garmin, so thank you for these other options! I am a runner, but I also walk a lot and I love the ability to track my daily steps. And since I like to track my daily steps, that means I like to wear my device the entire day. To be honest, the Suunto and the U Wear don’t exactly look the best to wear around all day. 

    In fact, I wish they were all a little more female-friendly, but I do feel that the Garmin Forerunner is pretty good. It looks nice, especially as compared to the other 2. I do love how long the battery life is for the U Wear. 20 days is pretty incredible! You gave me a lot to think about. 

    • Hi, Christina and thank you.

      Well, taste is different. What one person feels excellent looking, other feel not the same. And that is fine; we are different in both body and taste.

      But I agree that the U Wear is more for young men than female. But the reason is that I work hard to let all kind of people know about things that are good for it, both in practice and looking.

      And you can be happy about that in very few weeks come to a review of a few good quality, but on same time great looking, running watches made special for women.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  11. I can see how cross-country runners would want to have information about their where-a-bouts, the distance they have travelled and their running map if they are in new territory. I noticed that some of the newer devices are blue tooth capable. I wonder if that is for connection to a blue-tooth enabled headset or to your phone? Most times – unless you have VERY high-end equipment, you can’t do both.

    • Hi, Duncan and thank you.

      The reason for many runners use GPS is not because they are in new territory but because they use all the information they can get about their running data. Both because of their training plans, see how their development is and how well they follow their training plans, and/or because they know how incredibly motivated the data is for most people, no matter if they run, walk or jogging. It is very difficult to explain how motivated it is without having tested it yourself.

      So I am pretty sure that the Bluetooth factor is all about the headset. Many like to listen to them to music or book etc.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  12. I have never considered a GPS  for running, but after reading your article, you really made some convincing points.  I really like the look of the U Wear Smart Watch, and like that it is waterproof as well.  The battery life on this one sounds great too, with Christmas coming up, I just might have to add it to my wish list.  Do you know if it is lightweight? Also, does it have a warranty?

    • Hi, Jenny Hennig and thank you.

      U Wear is an interesting watches. The company started in 2007 and is very focused on developing native smart wearable technologies in the industry, and they are growing. The price too is really, really good!

      I´m not sure how lightweight the watch is but most of the watches, and I don´t believe that it is not a lightweight.

      And yes. Uwear comes with 1-year warranty.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  13. Thanks for making it easier for me, a non-tekkie, if there ever was one.  Describing the features and then offering pros and cons and analysis makes it more clear for me by far.  Through boating and scuba diving I am well aware of the tools that Garmin and Suunto have created for those activities.  U Wear is a new one for me.  Going to Amazon and checking the prices I see the U Wear model is much cheaper, but you have selected the Garmin model as your choice.  That makes sense to me as they are the iconic company when it comes to GPS and your review makes it clear, as well, that their product is the one to choose.

    Best regards,


    • Hi, j52powell and thank you.

      Good to hear that this article help you to make your choice.

      Garmin and Suunto are outstanding brands with a long story of their qualities. And what is more important that they always focus on the qualities and haven´t let their fans be disappointed about it.

      But having said that, U Wear is an up-and-coming company, and this watch is excellent even so I choose the Garmin number one of this three. I will follow U Wear closely, and it is interesting to see how they will develop.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.


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