The Best 5 Fitness Trackers for Running 2021

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Tonya McIntosh

Tonya McIntosh—The main person behind TGFFitness as its Founder and Chief Editor. Get to know more about Tonya


best fitness trackers for running

Today, you can find several gadgets and gears that can aid you in your fitness journey. And since you are here, I believe you’re looking for the best 5 fitness trackers for running. A fitness tracker can be your ultimate running buddy! How? Let’s discuss more on this in the latter part of the article.

You can also look through the reviews of the top 5 fitness trackers and hopefully pick the one that suits you best!

Before anything else,

Top 5 Fitness Trackers for Running
Editor’s Choice
  • Heart Rate Tracker
  • Sleep Tracker
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 days
  • Compatibility: Android & iOS
  • Heart Rate Tracker
  • Sleep Tracker
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 days
  • Compatibility: Android & iOS
  • Heart Rate Tracker
  • Sleep Tracker
  • Battery Life: Up to 2 days
  • Compatibility: Android & iOS
  • Heart Rate Tracker
  • Battery Life: Up to 2 days
  • Compatibility: iOS
  • Heart Rate Tracker
  • Sleep Tracker
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 days
  • Compatibility: Android & iOS

What exactly is a fitness tracker?

Fitness trackers are also known as activity trackers. It is an innovative device designed to help you keep track of your daily fitness-related data. Most fitness trackers for running may help you monitor the running distance, heart rate, and calorie burn.
Other additional features available on a fitness tracker watch may include music players, sports apps, inbuilt GPS, and lots more.

How to choose the best fitness tracker for running?

There are several companies out there that manufacture some of the best fitness trackers for running. Different fitness trackers offer different features. Thus, choosing one from the options available mostly depends on your preferences.

For instance, if you’re someone who enjoys music and wants to listen to your favorite tunes while running, you might want to consider a fitness tracker that offers music streaming features.

Choosing the right fitness tracker also depends on your fitness goal. Are you running just to remain fit? Or, are you training for a triathlon? Ask yourself similar questions first! This will help you choose the best tracker to meet your objectives.

Having said that, there are certain essential aspects you should keep in mind while choosing the best fitness tracker for running:


Before you spend thousands on a fitness tracker, make sure that it is compatible with your smartphone. Just imagine buying the latest fitness tracker only to find out that it doesn’t connect to your phone. That would be such a bummer!


The display on a fitness tracker is one of the most important things to consider. Most modern and advanced trackers offer a more convenient display. All your fitness data is easily shown on its mini display using numbers, symbols, lights, or words. On the other hand, some trackers may share information only through a light beep or on your phone.

I usually opt for the tracker that shows all data on its inbuilt display because I think it’s just easier that way. But if you want to go for the second option, make sure to check the tracker’s app on your phone first to ensure that it’s easily interpretable and up to your expectations.

Waterproof feature:

The waterproof feature is not a must if you don’t plan to swim wearing the fitness tracker. But during the rainy season or if you hail from a region with high rainfall, you may want to consider this feature.


The battery life on different fitness trackers can vary from 24 hours to several weeks. Battery life isn’t an issue for many since most people don’t have a problem charging their trackers after use. But if you’re taking your fitness tracker on hike or camping, you might want to consider a tracker that offers a longer battery life.

Also, check if the tracker is rechargeable or operates on cell batteries.

What are the advantages of fitness tracker?

If you love working out or have set specific fitness goals you want to achieve, a fitness tracker can benefit you in many ways. Fitness trackers are available in different shapes and features. From the simplest tracker to high-tech heart rate devices, fitness trackers can help you personalize your workout regime and achieve your goals better.

With a fitness tracker, you can keep track of your running data. Thus, you can record your progress and be motivated by how far you have come. Some trackers also allow you to set achievable running goals and beep on whenever you’ve reached the target.

Another benefit of a fitness tracker is that it helps you monitor your health as well. It can record your heart rate, sleep, or calories burnt. Thus, all these features give you an idea about how your body is reacting to the exercise.

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker

Editor’s Choice

Who isn’t a fan of Fitbit! In the realm of fitness, Fitbit needs no introduction. The brand has been manufacturing some of the best fitness gadgets for years now. And this fitness tracker by Fitbit is no exception.

The tracker comes in three color options – Black, Black/Granite Reflective, and Rosewood. It features an inbuilt GPS to keep track of running distance and pace. You can also choose from over twenty goal-based exercise modes and monitor your progress in real-time.

What I love most about this tracker is its Active Zone Minutes feature, which alerts me when I’m close to my target heart zones. This helps me work out more efficiently. Also, the advanced Charge 4 heart rate sensors on this tracker monitor calorie burn and heart rate zones 24/7.

Another excellent feature of this tracker is that it is waterproof and swim-proof. The battery life is also awesome, which may last up to a week. And while the GPS is in use, it lasts for around five hours.


  • Inbuilt GPS
  • Active Zone Minute features
  • Monitors heart rate and progress 24/7
  • Waterproof
  • Fitbit premium membership available
  • Music streaming on Spotify available
  • Over 20 exercise modes


  • Does not feature a color display

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Vivoactive 3 is one of the best smartwatches for fitness that you’ll find in the market. It easily beats some of the top players in the game when it comes to exercise tracking.

The smartwatch comes with a built-in heart rate sensor and a GPS that is vital for tracking your exercise. It is worth noting that Garmin provides one of the most accurate sensors in the game. It latches on a GPS signal in almost no time at all. You can straight away start running without wasting any time at all.

The brightness level on this watch is also excellent. You will have no issues using it under broad daylight. It shows some of the important stats like heart rate, mileage, and pace.

When you buy the watch, you will get around 15 preloaded fitness apps, including swimming, running, yoga, and many more. It normally lasts up between 2 to 7 days in basic smartwatch mode and around 5 hours with music and GPS.


  • Gorgeous design
  • Excellent brightness level
  • Accurate sensors


  • Plastic build

Garmin Forerunner 945

The next product on this list is another smartwatch from Garmin, which is the Forerunner 945. Most fitness enthusiast considers this watch as the ultimate watch for fitness. And personally, it is also one of my favorite smartwatches.

The Forerunner 945 comes with some amazing features like music streaming, and storage. It also comes with colored on-the-go navigation. What makes this watch special is its comfortable and lightweight design. Additionally, it also comes with excellent battery life. It normally lasts for about two weeks in basic mode and ten hours in music and GPS mode.

One feature that most reviewers loved about this watch is the Garmin Pay. This feature allows you to easily pay for your purchases using the watch.


  • Impressive battery life
  • Color maps
  • Music storage
  • Lightweight and comfortable


  • The sleep tracking is not very accurate

Apple Watch Series 5

Possibly the most popular smartwatch on this list, the Apple Watch Series 5 comes with a ton of design options. While it is not the most affordable watch on the planet, you’ll absolutely love the features that come with it. It features an always-on retina display that allows you to see your watch face at all times.

The Series 5 comes with a heart rate monitor along with a bunch of amazing apps. You’ll also find the Cycle Tracking app, which can help women track their menstrual cycle.

The watch will help you achieve your fitness goals with the help of its workout metrics and activity rings. It is water-resistant up to 50 meters underwater.

Before you buy the watch, make sure that you have an iPhone as it is not compatible with android.


  • Always-on display
  • Accurate heart rate monitor
  • Excellent sensors
  • Music streaming


  • Expensive

Garmin Forerunner 245

The Forerunner 245 is another amazing smartwatch from Garmin. It comes with a GPS function along with music storage and streaming. You can easily stream music from Spotify.

One thing I love about this watch is the performance analysis feature. This feature allows you to track your training and see if you’re overdoing or underdoing it. You’ll also get an advanced running dynamics that include stride length and ground contact time.

It has a fairly good battery life that can last up to 7 days in basic smartwatch mode and up to 6 hours in music and GPS mode.


  • Lightweight
  • Bright display
  • Allows customization
  • Decent battery life


  • Requires 12 clicks to play music

Wrapping Up

All the products reviewed above are among the most popular fitness trackers out there. They offer some amazing features that may take your running or workout regime to the next level. Thus, choosing one from the above products completely depends on your training goals and needs.

If I were to pick a winner, it would be the Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker for all the right reasons. It is a decent tracker with all the necessary features that you can expect – waterproof and swim-proof, good battery life, inbuilt GPS, user-friendly display, music streaming, and lots more.

Also, the best part is that even if you are on a budget, you won’t be disappointed as the Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Tracker isn’t expensive compared to other similar products in the market.

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Chief Editor
Tonya McIntosh

Hello there! My name is Tonya McIntosh, and I’m the Founder and Chief Editor of TGFFitness. I’m also a NASM-certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer. With eight years of experience under my belt, I’ve found that one of the most common issues my clients struggle with is remaining consistent.

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