Sports watches are obviously great for wearing while working out, but they also make excellent accessories for daily life. Having a watch that is durable, shock-resistant and can keep track of steps is also a great accessory for time spent outside of workouts, including wearing at work, at school, or when running around after your kids.
When looking for a new sports watch, there are many factors to take into consideration. If you’re going to be playing contact sports where watches are allowed, a less expensive model means less financial heartbreak if the watch strap or face is broken. For those who want to monitor their heart rate, distance traveled and calories burned, a more sophisticated watch that can withstand rigorous training could be a better fit. If you need to be connected at all times without being tethered to a smartphone, a sports watch that has smartwatch capabilities is ideal for wearing while grabbing a quick workout during your lunch break.
Whatever your sports watch requirements, there is a model that’s a perfect fit for you. Check out some of our favorite options below.
1. PALADA Men’s Digital Sports Watch
For an affordable sports watch that includes all the basics that users will need to work out, we like the PALADA Men’s Digital Sports Watch. The military-inspired fashion-forward sports watch has a rubber band and an all-black design that allows users to wear it from the board room to the gym floor. Water-resistant up to 50 m, the Palada is backlit with an LED light and is shock resistant for added durability. Users can keep track of their workouts thanks to the watchs’ digital stopwatch. The watch also includes a calendar function, an hourly alarm and alarm clock function, and can be set to either 12 or 24-hour formats.
Pros: Affordable and stylish, water-resistant, includes alarm clock.
Cons: The watch face can be very difficult to read in bright lights.
2. Cakcity Mens Digital Sports Watch
For a watch that can stand up to tough workouts and won’t break the bank, we like the Cakcity Mens Digital Sports Watch. Available in four color options, including black, red, black camo and blue camo, the Cakcity watch has a durable resin band and a shock-resistant design. Waterproof in cool or cold water up to 50 m, the Cakcity has an LED backlight function that makes it a great fit for users who like working out early in the morning or late at night. Suitable to also be worn as an everyday watch, the Cakcity includes an auto date function, an alarm setting, and a stopwatch function. Users can also choose to set the watch in 12 or 24-hour mode. A Japanese battery provides a long lifespan and a high transparency resin watch face is clear and resistant to pressure.
Pros: Available in four color options, waterproof, includes commonly used functions like alarm, date and stopwatch.
Cons: The watch face is quite large and some users may find it cumbersome to wear.
3. Suunto Core All Black Military Men’s Outdoor Sports Watch
For a sports watch that stands out from the crowd thanks to its impressive features for outdoor living, we recommend the Suunto Core All Black Military Men’s Outdoor Sports Watch. Hikers, campers, hunters, fishing enthusiasts and anyone who loves to work out in the great outdoors will appreciate the impressive Suunto Core, which includes an altimeter for tracking vertical movement and a barometer, which tells trends in air pressure and can help alert users when inclement weather is approaching. The watch also includes a compass for navigating and a weather trend graph and storm alarm, which stores data for up to seven days. Users can quickly check the temperature by glancing at their watch face. The Suunto also has all the basic functions of a sports watch, including an interval timer, a stopwatch, a calendar, and an alarm function. Safe in water up to 100 meters, the Suunto also has the best waterproof protection of all the watches on our list.
Pros: Includes altimeter, tracks weather and features a weather alarm, impressive waterproof capabilities.
Cons: The Suunto has a high price tag and may include features that users won’t utilize.
4. Willful Fitness Tracker
For users who want an affordable fitness tracker that also has smartwatch capabilities, we recommend the Willful Fitness Tracker. The Willful helps users track their steps, their daily distance traveled, and can provide heart rate numbers during workouts. The waterproof watch also features a sleep tracker and includes a vibrating alarm that gently wakes users up. Available in six colors, the Willful connects to the user’s smartphone to provide alerts for phone calls, calendar alerts, text messages, emails and social media messages. The rechargeable watch has an impressive seven-day battery life.
Pros: Includes smartwatch alerts, step tracker and heart rate monitor, seven-day battery life.
Cons: The heart rate monitor and step counter are more accurate than an exercise machine or pedometer, but not as good as higher-quality fitness trackers.