The Best Fitness Watches & Trackers for Every Kind of Activity

Whether you’re running, biking, swimming, or just walking, these devices can help you reach (and surpass) your fitness goals.

By Megan Gray Jan 23, 2024 12:24 AMTags
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If you're looking to increase your fitness levels or just get out more, wearing a fitness tracker, smart watch, or other kind of wearable device is a great way to keep you on point and record your stats. You can wear it on your wrist or your finger, and find out your steps, miles, laps, calories burned, REM, and so much more. In order to make sure you get the right device for you, you'll find that the best fitness watches and trackers are water resistant, have a battery life that matches your lifestyle, and include the features that fit your activity level. There are a lot of options out there, with a lot of bells and whistles, so let's look into what specs are most important.

What Features to Look for in a Fitness Tracker

  • Battery life: You want your device to keep up with you and your lifestyle, so battery life is key. There's nothing worse than finishing a workout and realizing that it wasn't tracked.
  • Water resistance: Whether you're swimming, running in the rain, sweating, or just leaving your device on in the shower, it should have some level of water resistance (which also helps with durability). Look for a water resistance level of 1 ATM for showering to a level of 20 ATM for diving into water and snorkeling.
  • Price point: The higher the price tag, the more features you'll typically get. 
  • Your activity level: Invest in a device that also matches your activity level and what kind of data you're looking to track. You don't want a tracker that has a ton of features and stats that you'll never use.

 So keep on scrolling to find the best fitness trackers for every kind of activity, style, and price range. Let's get physical.

The Best Budget-Friendly Fitness Trackers

Amazfit Band 5

Coming in at $38, the Amazfit Band 5 is a great tracker at a budget-friendly price. The battery lasts for 15 days on a single charge and you can even wear it swimming and showering (it has a water resistance grade of 5 ATM). It's equipped with Alexa and can track your activities, sleep, menstrual cycle, distance, heart rate, calories burned, and up to 11 sports.

Fitbit Inspire 2

With 10 hours of battery life and a water resistance level of 5 ATM, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is a solid fitness tracker, comparable to a lot of more expensive options. Get call, text, calendar and smartphone app notifications, plus a free 1-year premium trial with guided workouts. The tracker features a slim design and tracks 20+ exercise modes.

Amazfit Band 7

The Amazfit Band 7 is a step up from the Band 5, but still features a sleek build and budget-friendly price tag. It includes an 18-day battery life, 120 sport modes (including running, cycling, yoga, and more), and a water resistance level of 5 ATM for swimming and showering. You can also track your heart rate, blood oxygen, stress levels, and menstrual cycle if those features appeal.

The Best Fitness Tracker For Using with Your iPhone

Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen)

If you're looking for a fitness tracker that seamlessly connects with your iPhone and offers a lot of smart watch features, the Apple Watch is for you. You can send texts, make calls, listen to music and podcasts, use Siri, as well as track your workouts, sleep, and heart rate. The watch has a water resistance level of 5 ATM for swimming and showering and the battery lasts up to 18 hours on a full charge.

The Best Fitness Tracker for Steps

Fitbit Inspire 3

Great for steps, all-day activity tracking, heart rate, 20+ exercise modes, stress management, automatic exercise tracking, and reminders to move, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is an all-around solid choice when it comes to fitness trackers. It has a 10-day battery life, a water resistance level of 5 ATM for swimming and showering, and it's less than $100. Backed by over 6,000 5-star Amazon reviews, it also comes with a few color options (like gold and lilac).

The Best Fitness Trackers for Running

Garmin Forerunner 255

I've finished a few marathons with the Garmin Forerunner and love the updated features of the 255 GPS watch for running. Not only does it track your runs, it also gives you training tips, personalized daily suggested workouts, completion time predictions, and the weather. There's more than 30 activity profiles, including triathlon, cycling, swimming and more, plus 14 days of battery life and a 5 ATM water resistance level.

Garmin Forerunner 45

Featuring a slightly lower price tag, the Garmin Forerunner 45 is another great choice for running. It uses GPS to track your pace, distance, intervals and more, plus smart notifications for incoming texts and calls. You can use the app for tracking running, cycling, indoor track, treadmill, elliptical, cardio, yoga and more, and the battery lasts up to 7 days with a water resistance level of 5 ATM.

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The Best Fitness Trackers for Swimming

Garmin Swim 2

The Garmin Swim 2 was designed for swimming in pools and open water. The battery lasts up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, 13 hours in GPS and 72 hours in pool mode, and it has a 5 ATM water resistance level. In pool mode it records distance, pace, stroke count, stroke type, and swimming efficiency, and in open water mode it uses a built-in GPS for lakes, oceans or rivers, where it records distance, pace, stroke count, efficiency, stroke rate and stroke distance. It can also track cycling and running when you're out of the water.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

If you're an over achiever and want to track swimming, running, and cycling, the Garmin Forerunner 735 is the way to go. The battery lasts 11 days on a single charge and the water resistance rating is 5 ATM. It's a GPS watch that also features a VO2 max estimate, race predictor and recovery advisor, plus smart notifications.

The Best Fitness Tracker for Hiking

Garmin Instinct 2

Rugged for the outdoors, the Garmin Instinct is the way to go for hiking. It features a 10 ATM rating and a battery life and the battery can last up to 28 days on a full charge (that's like a whole month!). You can track your hikes with a built-in compass, plus multiple satellite systems for helping you figure out where you are. And like other trackers it can record your sleep, heart rate, plus running, biking, swimming, strength training and more.

The Best Fitness Tracker That Doesn't Look Like a Fitness Tracker

Garmin vivoactive 4S

If you're looking for a fitness tracker that looks more like a watch, the Garmin vivoactive is the one for you. It also comes with 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running, swimming and more, plus smart notifications and a battery life of 7 days. There's a water resistance of 5 ATM, so you can even wear it in the shower.

The Best Fitness Tracker That's Also a Ring

Oura Ring

Want to track your activities but don't care to wear it on your wrist? Then the Oura Ring is the perfect solution. It measures your blood oxygen, sleep, heart rate, skin temperature, and steps, has a 10 ATM water resistance rating. The ring lasts for 7 days on a single charge and looks like a sleek piece of jewelry.

The Best Fitness Tracker That You Don't Need to Charge

Garmin vívofit 4

You'll never need to charge the Garmin vivofit because its battery lasts up to 1-year. It's safe for showering and swimming and tracks your steps, distance and calories burned, plus your sleep and daily step goal. Sync it with the app for more in-depth stats and challenges. 

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