Owning a dependable running watch doesn’t have to break the bank. Choosing the best budget running watch for you is all about picking an option with reliable GPS, heart rate tracking and exercise analytics.
The best value run watches will also offer health and fitness tracking, with some having app compatibility and multiple activity profiles for multisport use.
Here’s our top options for cheap and affordable running watches…
Best budget running watches in 2023
Garmin Forerunner 45
From the multisport tech giant Garmin, the Forerunner 45 is a running-specific smartwatch. The watch uses GPS and wrist-based heart rate monitoring to track pace, distance and more.
The sports watch is also designed to be compatible with smart notifications, with a Bluetooth link to your phone allowing notifications on incoming texts and calls to pop up on the watch screen.
Other features included are incident detection and assistance, which is designed to send your current location during a session directly to your emergency contacts in the event of an incident.
The watch offers additional activity tracking, too, including activity profiles such as cycling, indoor track, elliptical, yoga, and more.
This sleek running watch from Polar combines useful running data and personalised training programmes to make an ideal running companion.
The watch uses wrist-based heart rate, GPS, and a built-in accelerometer to calculate key running metrics.
On top of this, the M430 also offers a fitness test and suggested run programme based on the data collected across a range of your runs.
The water-resistant watch also aims to track your daily activity and sleep, with the option to turn on smart notifications and vibrating alerts.
To find out more, read our full review of the Polar M430.
Huawei Watch GT
Built with both a wrist heart rate monitor and GPS, this running watch from Huawei offers a budget alternative to its competitors when picked up in the sale.
Huawei says the GT watch comes with a colour screen and is able to maintain continuous exercise tracking for up to 22 hours.
The GT also aims to measure resting heart rate and offers several different activity profiles.
Kiprun GPS 500
The GPS 500 was conceived through a collaboration between Decathlon and Coros, with the aim to create an affordable watch that measures running, swimming, cycling and triathlon activities.
Along with copious activity profiles, the Kiprun GPS is designed to measure metrics including heart rate, distance, pace, speed, cadence, VO2 max and training load.
As it’s built with Coros technology, sessions can be synchronised across to the Coros app and Strava.
Fitbit Versa 2
After a run tracker that also doubles as a classy lifestyle and everyday watch? The Fitbit Versa 2 is not only affordable (especially when bought in the sale), but is designed to offer a huge wealth of insights into your personal health and fitness progression.
Measuring all-day calorie burn, heart rate, sleep and more, the Versa 2 also claims to have a six-day battery life, with apps able to be downloaded straight to the device, including useful functionalities like Fitbit Pay.
Decathlon Kalenji CW900
A budget smart watch that’s designed to cover all basic activity and health tracking, Decathlon’s Kalenji CW900 uses heart rate to provide useful analytics on daily activities.
In-build GPS capabilities means that the CW900 should also be able to accurately track your runs, as well as parameters like steps, distance and calories. There are 11 sport profiles, including running, cycling, spinning, hiking, and more.