5 Best Smartwatches for Running and Swimming(2024)

Discover the best smartwatches for running and swimming. Compare top Garmin, Apple, and Samsung models to find your perfect fitness companion.


In today’s fitness landscape, smartwatches have become indispensable tools for athletes and fitness buffsThey seamlessly track activities like running and swimming, offering vital metrics for performance improvement.

Choosing the right smartwatch isn’t just about features—it’s about finding a companion that enhances your workout experience and supports your fitness goals effectively.

smartwatches for running and swimming
smartwatches for running and swimming

Key Features to Look for in a Running and Swimming Smartwatch

1. Waterproof and Durability

When choosing a smartwatch for running and swimming, ensure it’s waterproof and durable. Look for a high waterproof rating (e.g., 5 ATM or higher) to withstand immersion in water for swimming and durability to handle the rigors of daily workouts.

2. GPS and Tracking Accuracy smartwatches

A reliable GPS is essential for accurate tracking of running routes and distances. Ensure the smartwatch uses advanced GPS technology to accurately record your outdoor activities and provide detailed maps of your routes.

3. Heart Rate Monitor and Other Health Metrics

Look for a built-in heart rate monitor that accurately tracks your heart rate during workouts. Additionally, consider other health metrics like sleep tracking, stress monitoring, and activity tracking to gain comprehensive insights into your overall health and fitness.

smartwatches for running and swimming
smartwatches for running and swimming

4. Battery Life and Charging Time

Check the battery life of the smartwatch, especially if you engage in long-distance running or extended swimming sessions. Opt for a watch with a long battery life that can last through your workouts without frequent recharging. Also, consider the charging time to ensure minimal downtime between uses.

5. Compatibility with Apps and Devices

Ensure the smartwatch is compatible with your smartphone operating system (e.g., iOS, Android) and preferred fitness apps. Compatibility ensures seamless integration and easy synchronization of your workout data for analysis and tracking progress over time.

6. User Interface and Ease of Use

Choose a smartwatch with an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to navigate through menus and access features quickly during workouts. A user-friendly design enhances your overall experience and reduces frustration when using the watch’s functions.

1. Garmin Forerunner 945

Key Features

  • Advanced GPS: Provides accurate tracking of your running routes with detailed maps.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Tracks your heart rate throughout workouts for precise performance metrics.
  • Swim Metrics: Offers detailed swim metrics like stroke count and pace in the pool.
  • Music Storage: Store and play up to 1,000 songs directly from the watch.
  • Battery Life: Up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, 10 hours in GPS mode with music.
smartwatches for running and swimming
smartwatches for running and swimming
– Excellent battery life for long-distance activities.– Higher price point compared to basic fitness trackers.
– Robust swim tracking features.– May have a steeper learning curve due to advanced features.
– Supports music storage and playback.
– Comprehensive health monitoring tools.
Smartwatches for Running and Swimming

Price Range

The Garmin Forerunner 945 typically ranges from $500 to $600, depending on promotions and sales.

2. Apple Watch Series 7

Key Features

  • Large Retina Display: Provides a larger and brighter display for easy viewing of metrics and notifications.
  • Fitness and Health Tracking: Monitors various workouts, and heart rates, and offers insights into overall health.
  • Water Resistance: Suitable for swimming and water sports with water resistance up to 50 meters.
  • Built-in GPS: Accurately tracks outdoor activities like running and cycling without needing a phone.
  • ECG and Blood Oxygen Monitoring: Advanced health features for monitoring heart health and blood oxygen levels.
  • Sleep Tracking: Helps track your sleep patterns for better rest and recovery.

Price Range

The Apple Watch Series 7 prices typically start around $399 and can go up based on the model and customization options.

– Sleek design with a large, easy-to-read display.– Higher price point compared to some other smartwatches.
– Extensive health and fitness tracking capabilities.– Limited compatibility with non-Apple devices.
– Seamless integration with Apple ecosystem and apps.– Requires an iPhone for full functionality.
– Available in various styles and colors.
Smartwatches for Running and Swimming

3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Key Features

  • Sleek Design: Stylish and lightweight design suitable for both fitness activities and daily wear.
  • Fitness Tracking: Tracks various workouts including running, cycling, swimming, and more.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Continuously monitor your heart rate to provide insights into your health and fitness levels.
  • ECG Monitoring: Allows for on-demand electrocardiogram readings for heart health assessment.
  • Sleep Tracking: Monitors sleep patterns and offer insights for better rest and recovery.
  • LTE Connectivity: Optional LTE version for standalone calling and messaging without your phone.

Price Range

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 prices typically start around $249 for the Bluetooth model and can go up for the LTE version depending on the carrier and features.

– Stylish and lightweight design suitable for all-day wear.– Limited app ecosystem compared to Apple Watch.
– Comprehensive fitness tracking capabilities.– Some advanced features require a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
– Advanced health monitoring features like ECG and stress tracking.– Higher price point for LTE model.
– LTE connectivity option for enhanced functionality.
Smartwatches for Running and Swimming

4. Suunto 7

The Suunto 7 offers a variety of features suited for outdoor and fitness enthusiasts

Key Features

  • Wear OS by Google: Provides access to a wide range of apps and services via Google Play.
  • Outdoor Maps and Navigation: Integrated GPS for accurate tracking of outdoor activities.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Continuous heart rate monitoring for fitness insights.
  • Offline Maps: Ability to download maps for navigation without needing a phone connection.
  • Fitness Tracking: Tracks various sports and activities with detailed metrics.
– Access to a wide array of apps through Wear OS by Google.– Battery life may be shorter compared to some dedicated sports watches.
– Excellent outdoor navigation capabilities with offline maps.– Requires regular charging, especially with GPS and continuous heart rate use.
– Comprehensive fitness tracking features.– Limited customization options for watch faces compared to other smartwatches.
– Stylish design suitable for both sports and daily wear.
Smartwatches for Running and Swimming

5. Polar Vantage V2

Key Features

The Polar Vantage V2 is designed for serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts, offering advanced features

  • Precision Prime Sensor Fusion Technology: Provides accurate heart rate monitoring and performance metrics.
  • Training Load Pro and Recovery Pro: Advanced training insights to optimize performance and recovery.
  • Built-in GPS: Accurately tracking outdoor activities like running, cycling, etc.
  • FuelWise: Smart fueling assistant to help maintain energy levels during long workouts.
  • Sleep Plus Stages: Advanced sleep tracking for insights into sleep quality and recovery.
smartwatches for running and swimming
smartwatches for running and swimming
– Accurate heart rate monitoring with Sensor Fusion Technology.– Higher price point compared to basic fitness trackers.
– Advanced training and recovery insights with Training Load Pro and Recovery Pro.– May have a steeper learning curve due to advanced features.
– Built-in GPS for precise outdoor activity tracking.– Limited smartwatch functionalities compared to some other models.
– Long battery life for extended use between charges.
Smartwatches for Running and Swimming

Price Range

The Polar Vantage V2 typically ranges from $499 to $599, depending on promotions and sales.

How to Choose the Best Smartwatch for You

1. Assessing Your Fitness Goals and Needs

When choosing a smartwatch, consider your specific fitness goals and activities. If you’re into running and swimming, prioritize models with accurate GPS and waterproof features. Look for heart rate monitors and sleep tracking capabilities for comprehensive health tracking. Assess whether you need advanced metrics like VO2 max or specific sports modes.

2. Budget Considerations

Set a budget that aligns with your needs and preferences. Smartwatches vary widely in price, from basic models to high-end devices with advanced features. Consider what features are essential versus nice-to-have, and compare prices across different brands to find the best value for your money.

3. Brand Preferences and Warranty

Research reputable brands are known for quality and customer support. Consider factors like brand reputation, user reviews, and availability of accessories or support. Check the warranty terms to ensure coverage for potential issues or repairs.

smartwatches for running and swimming
smartwatches for running and swimming

Maintenance and Care Tips

Regular maintenance is key to ensure your smartwatch stays in optimal condition for years to come. Start by keeping your device clean and dry, especially after intense workouts or swimming sessions.

Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe down the screen and body to remove sweat, dirt, and water residue. Rinsing it under fresh water after swimming can help remove chlorine or salt buildup for models with waterproof features.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the screen or seals. Additionally, consider storing your smartwatch in a cool, dry place when not in use, and periodically check for software updates to maintain optimal performance and security.

Following these simple maintenance routines will help prolong the life of your smartwatch and ensure it continues to function at its best.

smartwatches for running and swimming
smartwatches for running and swimming


Choosing the right smartwatch is crucial for enhancing your fitness journey and daily life. Whether you prioritize advanced health metrics, robust fitness tracking, or seamless integration with your smartphone, the right smartwatch can significantly impact your experience.

Consider your specific needs—whether it’s for running, swimming, or overall health monitoring—and match those with the features offered by different models. Our recommendations cater to a variety of preferences and budgets, ensuring there’s a suitable option for everyone.

Before making a decision, we encourage you to delve into user reviews and conduct personal research to find the smartwatch that best fits your lifestyle. By doing so, you’ll make an informed choice that enhances your fitness goals and daily routines effectively.

How accurate are smartwatch heart rate monitors for swimming?

smartwatches for running and swimming

Smartwatch heart rate monitors are generally accurate for swimming, providing reliable tracking of your heart rate underwater.

Can I use a running smartwatch for triathlons?

smartwatches for running and swimming

Yes, you can use a running smartwatch for triathlons, as many models offer features like GPS, swim tracking, and cycling metrics to support all three disciplines.

How often should I charge my smartwatch?

smartwatches for running and swimming

You should charge your smartwatch every 1 to 2 days, depending on your usage and the model’s battery life.

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