Time Your Workouts And Track Your Progress With One Of These Awesome Athletic Watches

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From wearables to smartwatches to rugged sport pieces, the athletic watch realm is bigger and more overwhelming than ever. (Yes, it’s good to have options.)

With prices ranging from $100 to a few grand however, it’s important to figure out exactly what you want in an athletic watch and the price points you want to stick to.

We put together a guide of what we think are the best athletic watches for men. Whether you’re looking for a budget beater or a Swiss hard-hitter, we’ve got you covered!

 
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Things to Consider When Buying an Athletic Watch

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Obviously, style and price are important considerations. But how much you should pay depends on your needs. If you’re an outdoor runner, then a good GPS is equally as important as distance and pace. Without GPS, the tracking could be off. If you have a focus on cardio, you’ll need a good heart rate monitor.

Here are just a few considerations to take:

  • Are you a step-counter? You’ll want daily activity tracking.
  • If you train in multiple sports and activities, you’ll want specific multi-sport features.
  • If you just want distance, pace, and time, you’ll want a basic or mid-level watch.
  • Want to train with friends? You’ll want a watch that can sync with theirs. Often this means getting the same watch as they have, or getting a smartwatch.
  • If you train outdoors, a GPS or basic compass is always preferable if not necessary. A barometer is also helpful.
  • Training outdoors for several days? battery-life is an important consideration.

Budget Picks and Athletic Watches Under $200

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These watches may be considered budget, but don’t get confused: They still are fantastic!

Casio G-SHOCK GWM5610

This watch is a descendant of the original 1983 G-SHOCK, and features the same beloved, rugged aesthetic.

It’s the most basic option on the list, but comes with a great timer and stopwatch. As a durable beater, this watch is great for the outdoors too.

Casio G-SHOCK GWM5610
$106.58

It’s the most basic option on the list, but comes with a great timer and stopwatch perfect for running laps, football sprints, and even swim laps. As a durable beater, this watch is great for the outdoors too.

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Other useful features include multiple alarms and automatic backlighting. They’re powered by Casio’s Tough Solar technology, which means a 10-month battery life without light exposure.

Additionally, this watch features Casio’s Multi-Band 6. This is their radio-controlled timekeeping technology that receives standard time-calibration signals from all six transmission stations worldwide for high-level accuracy.

The GWM5610 is perfect for entry-level G-SHOCK buyers and sportsmen looking for a no-nonsense and maintenance-free athletic watch.

CASIO G-SHOCK GWM5610 DETAILS:

  • 46.7mm case
  • 200m Water resistance
  • Resin strap
  • Atomic timekeeping
  • 1/100-second stopwatch and countdown timer
  • EL backlight

Amazfit GTS Fitness Watch

This entry-level smartwatch features several key sport features including fitness trackers, GPS, and a heart rate monitor.

Amazfit GTS Fitness Watch
$119.00

This entry-level smartwatch features several key sport features including fitness trackers, GPS, and a heart rate monitor.

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Two features that punch above its price are its super clear screen and its 14-day battery life. It’s compatible with Android 5.0, iOS 10.0, and above.

Style-wise, it has the basic rounded-off square face, and its silicon strap comes in various fun colors. If you have an immediate need for an athletic smartwatch on a budget, the Amazfit GTS is for you. 

AMAZFIT GTS FITNESS DETAILS:

  • 43.25 x 36.25mm
  • 50m Water resistance
  • Silicon strap
  • Fitness, multisport, and elevation tracking
  • GPS
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Smartwatch capabilities 

Timex Ironman R300

Leave it to Timex to combine basic smartwatch capabilities with a cool G-SHOCK-like rugged resin construction. Of course, it’s topped off with a distinctly Timex design sensibility.

Timex Ironman R300
$129.00

This watch features extended battery life, on-wrist heart rate, quick and accurate GPS, downloadable workouts from elite athletes and a simple menu interface to tie it all together.

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Workout modes include outdoor run, treadmill, cycling, walking, and gym training. Its battery-life can last up to 25 days without GPS and up to 20 hours with.

We recommend this watch for gym buffs, those engaging in single-day outdoor activities, or those looking for a cool-looking, casual watch.

TIMEX IRONMAN R300 DETAILS:

  • 40.5mm
  • 50m Water resistance
  • Silicon strap
  • 24/7 activity tracking and multiple workout modes
  • GPS 
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Smartwatch capabilities 

Timex Metropolitan R

If you want a Timex athletic watch that’s smoother around the edges than the Ironman, look no further than the Metropolitan. It has a lot of the same athletic and smart features with a sleeker aluminum, ceramic, and leather construction. 

Timex Metropolitan R
$179.00

Metropolitan has all the functionality you need including up to two weeks of battery life.

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The all-day tracking feature includes steps, distance, calories, and sleep. On the style front, there are 20 fun dial designs to choose from. The face is user-friendly and easy to get used to.

TIMEX METROPOLITAN R DETAILS:

  • 42mm
  • 30m Water resistance
  • Leather strap
  • 24/7 activity tracking and multiple workout modes
  • GPS
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Smartwatch capabilities 

Athletic Watches Under $300

Looking for something mid-level? Check out our picks!

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Garmin Venu Sq

Garmin boasts an impressive navigation heritage. Their first product was the GPS 100AVD, and their first customer was the US military. The Venu Sq’s GPS mode will last you 14 hours, but six days in smartwatch mode. 

Garmin Venu Sq
$169.99

Featuring a bright color display, the Venu Sq GPS smartwatch combines daily style with health monitoring and fitness features that inspire you to keep moving. Estimate your heart rate, sleep, stress, 

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It also features GLONASS, a Russian navigation system with better accuracy than GPS at high latitudes, and Galileo, the EU’s navigation system, which often has better accuracy than GPS.

Gym activity trackers include those specific to strength, cardio and elliptical training, stair stepping, indoor rowing, yoga, Pilates and breathwork. And for sports, specific features are available for outdoor recreation, running, golfing, cycling, and swimming. 

GARMIN VENU SQ DETAILS:

  • 40.6 x 37mm
  • 50m Water resistance
  • Silicon strap
  • 24/7 activity tracking, multiple workout modes, and 20 preloaded sports apps
  • GPS, GLONASS, Galileo
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Smartwatch capabilities
  • 20 preloaded sports apps

Casio G-SHOCK Rangeman GW-9400

This watch is the quintessential (and affordable) survival watch, and one of the most popular watches in the Master of G Collection. It features Multi-Band 6, which means it receives time-telling radio waves from six transmission stations around the world.

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW9400
$236.00

This heavy-duty tank of a watch looks like it belongs on the wrist of a combat diver and features a non-traditional digital face.

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It’s also one of G-SHOCK’s Triple Sensor watches, featuring an altimeter and barometer, a compass, and a thermometer, all accessed with a single button.

And as a G-SHOCK watch should be, it’s super durable and resistant to mud and dust. If you want a high-quality beater for hiking, outdoor recreation, and survival-like situations, this watch is for you!

CASIO G-SHOCK RANGEMAN GW-9400 DETAILS:

  • 53mm
  • 200m water resistance
  • Plastic strap
  • Triple Sensor: Compass, pressure sensor, temperature sensor
  • EL backlight
  • 1000-hour stopwatch, 24-hour countdown timer
  • Sunrise/sunset data

Fitbit Sense

The Fitbit Sense gets compared to the Apple Watch a lot, but Fitbit has a genuinely athletic heritage. It offers more compatibility options than an Apple, so it’s a great athletic watch for Android users.

Fitbit Sense
$248.95

This watch helps you tune in to your body and guides you toward better health. Assess your heart for AFib right from your wrist, detect and manage stress, better understand your sleep quality and even keep an eye on patterns in your skin temperature or well-being with SpO2.

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It has all the key athletic watch capabilities, a six-day battery life, and a focus on mindfulness which is great for Yoga. In fact, the Sense has an electrodermal activity scanner that is sympathetic to your nervous system.

This is used to generate your stress management score. That, along with its 24-hour heart rate monitor, also makes this perfect for those of you watching your heart health specifically.

FITBIT SENSE DETAILS:

  • 40mm
  • 50m water resistance
  • Elastomer strap
  • 24/7 activity tracking, 20 goal-based workout modes
  • GPS, GLONASS
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Smartwatch capabilities
  • EDA sensor, stress tracker

Polar Vantage M

This multi-sport watch is super popular with runners, bikers, and swimmers. 

Polar Vantage M

The Vantage series is the only wrist-based heart rate solution on the market that utilizes both optical sensor and bio-impedance technology, which overcomes erratic readings caused by movement. 

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It’s an especially helpful tool for long-distance athletes. Its heart rate monitor is super precise because it combines bio-impedance electrodes (aka measuring the body’s mass, water, etc) with optical sensors. You can also get your individual cardio status, muscle status, and perceived status.

Through its Smart coaching feature, specific swimming metrics are provided, as are a running index and running program.

POLAR VANTAGE M DETAILS:

  • 46mm
  • 30m water resistance
  • Silicon strap
  • 24/7 activity tracking, 130 sport modes, Smart coaching features
  • GPS
  • Heart rate monitor

Athletic Watches Under $400

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These athletic watch picks are great for those who are seriously into fitness.

Casio G-SHOCK GW-7900 Tide Graph

This watch is great for outdoor swimmers, surfers, fishermen, and other high-seas adventurers. It features data on moon phases, which affects tides. Tidal movements are also displayed graphically based on your latitude and longitude.

And of course, it has all of the classic G-SHOCK features, such as shock resistance and unmatched durability, a full auto calendar, and a nine-month battery life. 

CASIO G-SHOCK GW-7900 DETAILS:

  • 50mm
  • 200m water resistance
  • Rubber strap
  • Atomic timekeeping
  • 1/100-second stopwatch and countdown timer
  • EL backlight
  • Tide graph display, moon data

Garmin Forerunner 245

The Forerunner 245 is for serious runners, and features helpful metrics including training effect, training load, and recovery advisory. Its race predictor forecasts your time for 5ks all the way up to full marathons. These metrics are also helpful for other athletes like circuit trainers and football players.

Garmin Forerunner 245
$288.50

The Forerunner 245 is for serious runners, and features helpful metrics including training effect, training load, and recovery advisory.

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Unlike the Venu Sq, it also features audio prompts, a slightly longer battery life, and a specific trail running feature that considers elevation and breadcrumbs your trail.

The Forerunner 245 also has an always-on screen and intuitive button navigation for those of you who don’t like touchscreens. PS- It’s also easier when you’re wearing gloves or are in the shower!

GARMIN FORERUNNER 245 DETAILS:

  • 42.3mm
  • 50m water resistance
  • Silicon strap
  • 24/7 activity tracking and multiple workout modes
  • GPS, GLONASS, Galileo
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Smartwatch capabilities
  • Voice command

Apple Watch Series 6

The Apple Watch is considered the smartwatch gold standard. Unsurprisingly, it has a comprehensive and sophisticated set of features perfect for athletes. 

Apple Watch Series 6

The Apple Watch is considered the smartwatch gold standard. Unsurprisingly, it has a comprehensive and sophisticated set of features perfect for athletes. 

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In addition to athletic apps, features, and metric-tracking, the Apple Watch detects changes in your body, including your blood oxygen level, which is a key health metric. This makes an incredibly intuitive and nuanced health companion.

Other features include an always-on display, a built-in GPS and compass, and a precise, ECG-capable heart rate sensor. The Apple Watch Series 3 is often half the price of the 6, and has most of the features except for the ECG, bloody oxygen app, always-on screen, and family set-up support.

APPLE WATCH SERIES 6 DETAILS:

  • 40mm or 44mm
  • 50m Water resistance
  • Silicon strap
  • 24/7 activity tracking, multiple workout modes, bloody oxygen app
  • GPS
  • Heart rate monitor, irregular heart-rate monitor
  • Smartwatch capabilities

Casio G-SHOCK Move, GBD-H1000

This watch combines sophisticated fitness capabilities of today’s athletic wearables with the simple, rugged survival features of a classic G-SHOCK. If you want a diligent fitness watch without the touch screen face, this is the athletic watch for you.

Casio G-SHOCK Move, GBD-H1000
$399.99

This watch combines sophisticated fitness capabilities of today’s athletic wearables with the simple, rugged survival features of a classic G-SHOCK. If you want a diligent fitness watch without the touch screen face, this G-SHOCK is a great, stylish option for you.

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Some fitness features include training analysis and status, how your fitness is trending, recovery time, training data up to 100 runs with 140 laps per run, calories burned, and much more. For you outdoorsmen, there’s a barometer and altimeter for accurate temperature. 

In addition to GPS and GLONASS, this watch also features Michibiki, a highly-precise four-satellite navigation system based in Asia-Oceania. 

CASIO G-SHOCK MOVE GBD-H1000 DETAILS:

  • 55mm
  • 200m water resistance
  • Resin strap
  • Training analysis, status, fitness level trend, and training load trend
  • GPS, GLONASS, Michibiki
  • 1/100-second stopwatch and countdown timer
  • Mobile linking
  • Digital Compass, altimeter Barometer/Thermometer

Luxury Picks and Premium Athletic Watches

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Looking for an athletic watch that’s on another playing field when it comes to luxury? We got you covered.

Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire

This high-tech athletic watch not only features sophisticated fitness tracking, but is built to last. Its bezels come in stainless steel, titanium or diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating.

Its PacePro features is a unique perk that offers grade-adjusted pace guidance throughout your workout, VO2 max tracking which is the maximum oxygen consumption rate during your exercise, and training status estimates.

Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire
$698.92

This high-tech athletic watch not only features sophisticated fitness tracking, but is built to last. Its bezels come in stainless steel, titanium or diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating.

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This is a serious watch for serious athletes.

If you’re a mountaineer, there are over 2000 preloaded trail maps and topographic maps, and incident detection. It lasts up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, 148 in battery saver mode, and up to 36 hours in GPS mode. 

GARMIN FENIX 6 SAPPHIRE DETAILS:

  • 47mm 
  • 100m water resistance
  • Silicon, fabric, metal straps available
  • 24/7 activity tracking, several health monitoring features
  • GPS, GLONASS, Galileo
  • Heart rate monitor, irregular heart-rate monitor
  • Smartwatch capabilities
  • Compass, barometric altimeter

TAG Heuer Connected

If you want an athletic smartwatch, but still prefer a traditional sport watch aesthetic with Swiss heritage, this is a great option.

It comes with a slew of effective fitness and sports features that range depending on the year of the model.

TAG Heuer Connected

TAG Heuer Connected is equipped with directional wind and weather monitoring, RaceChrono Pro capability, and Google Fit, each designed at the synthesis of style and precision thanks to its innovative interactive counters

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These include an in-house TAG Heuer sports app with a heart-rate monitor and route tracking, access to Google Fit, and even RaceChrono Pro which times laps, logs metrics, and analyzes data for motorsports.

This watch looks and feels a bit like wearing a TAG Heuer Carrera. It’s made with grade 2 Titanium, which is corrosion-resistant and exceedingly durable, and comes with multiple stylish strap options.

TAG HEUER CONNECTED DETAILS:

  • 46mm 
  • 30m water resistance
  • Leather, rubber, stainless steel straps available
  • Google Fit, several fitness apps, or in-house app available depending on model
  • Android or iOS
  • Tracking for motorsports available
  • Smartwatch capabilities
  • Directional wind and weather monitoring

Suunto 9 

The Suunto 9 is another high-end option for serious athletes. Its sophisticated tracking and 120-hour life make it particularly helpful for endurance athletes and outdoorsmen— it features excellent navigation options and an accurate storm alarm. It even downloads local maps for offline use.

Suunto 9
$499.00

The Suunto 9 is another high-end option for serious athletes. Its sophisticated tracking and 120-hour life make it particularly helpful for endurance athletes and outdoorsmen

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Another cool feature for outdoor activity is its FusedTrack technology, which records your movement between different GPS readings, for ultra-accurate outdoor exercise tracking.

In addition to hardcore sportsmen, this watch is also great for casual athletes looking to level up.

SUUNTO 9 DETAILS:

  • 50mm
  • 100m water resistance
  • Silicon strap
  • Multisport including over 80 sport modes
  • GPS, FusedTrack
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Smartwatch capabilities
  • Barometer, Several weather features

The Right Athletic Watch for You

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We hope you found this helpful!

What will you be using your athletic watch for? Whether you’re a serious athlete, just love the different sporty styles, or anything in between, there really are some options out there at every budget.