Technology is slowly embedding itself into every aspect of our lives. If anything, from the look of things, soon everything will be automated, and data gathering will no longer be reserved for a select few. These technological advancements are evident in the sports world, with revolutionary discoveries that have aided not only professional athletes but regular people too looking to get in shape. I recall watching the Olympic Games some eight years ago in Beijing, China. Back then, I had no idea that there are watches that could measure your heart rate and still track your location accurately as well.
You see, during my stay there, I always wondered why almost all athletes on the track – even the legendary Usain Bolt – had wrist watches, yet there was a mega display in the stadium that showed each athlete’s running times to split-seconds accuracy. I simply didn’t get the concept of personalized data gathering and tracking. Well, fast forward and a few years down the line, these watches are available almost anywhere in the world.
Further advancements have overseen the transition of normal watches into fitness watches while retaining the time and date features. You can wear it with your suit to work, and it still looks fashionable and elegant, but it does more than tell the time. Sports watch manufacturers are making watches that cater to all types of sporting activities. Water resistant watches for swimmers have additional features such as measuring oxygen levels whereas hikers, bikers, and long distance runners prefer the ones with high tech navigation features.
Below are a few of the best sports watches for men.
1. Mio Alpha 2
Gone are the days when athletes used to use bulky chest straps to measure their heart rate. It proved uncomfortable to wear the chest-strap and still run, swim or train effectively. However, watches like the Mio Alpha 2 have tackled this problem. The Mio Alpha 2 reads your blood flow volume through an electro-optical cell and LED technology at the back of the watch to detect your heart rate. Its display shows your heart rate continuously and in real time for proper assessment of your training.
Additionally, it has Bluetooth capabilities that let you connect to selected apps such as Stava and MapMyRun for a thorough report on your workout. This watch the perfect for everyday exercise, those morning and evening jogs will never be the same again. The watch goes for $199.99 and can be pre-ordered via the manufacturer’s website mioglobal.com.
2. Suunto Ambit3
The Mio Alpha is ideal and only works for runners. Now imagine a watch that can encompass skiers, hikers, runners and mountain climbers. That is a broad range of detail to cover but the Suunto Ambit3 does it with ease. This watch gives you your heart rate, altitude, weather conditions, speed and navigation all at your wrist. The Suunto Gambit has an enhanced battery life, advanced heart rate tracking, vertical speed, waypoint GPS an online planning and analysis tool and a barometric altimeter.
The barometric altimeter is what helps you navigate through the hills, mountains and the backcountry providing current heading and elevation, amazing isn’t it? Also, a change in barometric pressure is detected by your watch and then it warns you of incoming stern temperature or weather changes aiding your choice to move on or return to your camp or home.
I mean, this watch will keep a sports diary for you for years. Most sports watches for men have are built to cater for particular sports or perform countable functions, but the Suunto outdoes the norm. The watch goes for $500 and can be bought online at Suunto.com, the official company website. It is also ideal for mountain biking especially because of its waypoint GPS that enables cyclists to navigate through rocky terrain to find paths where there are limited.
There are also more than a thousand apps you can download to your watch such as the Suunto Ambit2 to customize for any athletic pursuit you desire such as incline, maximum speed, calories used and unbelievably, beers burned. These are things you will only find in men’s sports watches.
3. Garmin Swim
What can you talk about concerning sports watches for men, women, and children without mentioning Garmin? This company makes half of the best sports watches there are. It has a vast array of fitness trackers each specially designed for a different type of sports with the best for swimming being the Garmin Swim. If you have not tried this watch by now, you are late for the revolution my friend. Nonetheless, you can get it now for $149.99 at your local; fitness store or on Amazon and the Garmin website.
Specially designed for swimmers, the Garmin Swim can accurately calculate your stroke count, pool length, and pace. Moreover, the watch is also ideal for drill logs and timed sets. It has a slim body that enables it to cut through the water with less resistance thereby not altering your swimming efficiency. The watch provides all statistics needed by a swimmer I any level from novice to professional and it is very easy to read and use.
Men’s sports watches for swimming have gone through a major transformation with the earlier ones not being able to solve completely the water resistance issue. However, the Garmin Swim is as waterproof as they come making it the ideal men’s sports watch for swimming.
At $250, the Magellan is among the best sports watches for men in the market for the triathlon, running, swimming and biking. Imagine a watch that can seamlessly transition from a wrist watch to a bike handlebar. What’s even better, for triathletes, the Magellan can track multiple sports training as one exercise using its GPS-enabled Switch Up. As a mountain biker, ascents and descents make up almost 60 percent of the training, the same applies to runners. The Magellan sports watch delivers accurate elevation data with its state of the art barometric altimeter.
Its high-resolution display shows distance covered, time and pace making it easy to set goals and calculate your improvement. This watch happens to be the first one that I have encountered that can change its display concerning varying light conditions. Its screen changes color for easy readability. Now you do not have to worry about readability whether you are running very early in the morning when it is dark or when you are in an ultra-bright situation, whatever the case, the Magellan has got your back.
Men have strict adherence to time used during workouts; this is because proper timing is what enables the desired result from an exercise. So what would be better for men’s sports watches than one that allows you to set your desired distance and exercise time and provide updates on whether you’re hitting your goal or not? The Magellan does this with the help of an additional feature called the activity pacer. Now you don’t need to focus on the time you use to work out but can dictate your exercise concerning your desired goal.
If you are looking for a simple running watch specially designed for running only, then the Adidas Adizero is the watch for you. The easy to use running trainer has an interval timer, a 100 lap memory; get this, a chronograph and two alarms. This men’s sports watch is similar to the running watches of old that only tracked the time spent from start to finish except it has a larger memory. The price is also very low with a piece going for $95; did I mention it is very easy to use too? You can get one at your local fitness store or on the Adidas website adidas.com.
6. The Vertech 2
Trail running is a sport most people avoid because it seems like you are just running in circles with no adventure to it. It also seems like a less efficient form of running to some runners, but it is exquisite exercise, made even better by Avocets’ Vertech 2. The watch is also ideal for skiers and hikers, especially hikers. The Vertech 2 is among the few men’s sports watches with a thermometer. Alongside it, a barometric trend display warns you for incoming severe weather.
This altimeter watch also has split memory and a stopwatch which makes it valuable to not only runners but alpinists, cyclists, and skiers altogether. Now most watches measure a skiers’ descent at feet per hour, the Vertech 2 is more comprehensive measuring your descent at feet per minute. Moreover, it can store up to 199 runs in ski mode; this means it will be a while before you reset the watch. The downside to this sports watch is it cannot connect to your smart device to save the data. However, that should not be an issue because of its storage capacity, if you do not have time to record the first say 20 runs you made, you can still access them and record them when you get the time.
The watch is available at Avocets website, Avoet.com for $160 and other fitness shops around the world.
7. Nixon Supertide
This watch comes as good news to every surfer in the world. Google will probably be disappointed to learn that there is a watch with details of over 230 beaches all across the world. You do not even need to look it up online, as long as it is on the watch, you know all there is to know. This watch provides data for sunrise, sunset and tides for all these beaches on its high-resolution digital display. Again, what would you need the internet for? If you are looking for a break on the beach and enjoy surfing, this is the watch for you.
The Nixon Supertide also provides real-time data on the motion of the waves by synching you to them. This feature enables you to not only know when the wave is coming by a glimpse of the watch but prepare you for it so you can know when to catch the best ride. Pretty amazing; the watch comes in green, red, white blue or black. It is available for $200 at surf shops or on Nixon.com. Thank me later surfers.
8. Tom Tom Spark
For a watch from a company that is not among the top athletic watches manufacturers, the Tom Tom Spark has undoubtedly surprised many. This watch is arguably the best GPS-enabled sports watch for men. Yes, it does cover the usual speed, pace but it is also among the few that have a built-in optical heart rate monitor. If you are one of those runners who love running with music in their ears, then this is the ideal watch for you. The Tom Tom Spark has built-in storage for listening to mp3s via the pair of wireless headphones that come with it. Additionally, it plugs into nearly every running app there is making it the ideal watch to have for your running exercise.
As noted earlier, it is quite impossible to talk about sports watches for men without mentioning Garmin. Even Casio, the company that is known to be among the first companies to make not only sports but other watches as well would support this claim. However, the company still faces competition for men’s sports watches from the likes of Nike, Adidas, and Fitbit. Garmin running watches are among the best in the market with their Forerunner series of watches for runners leading the way. Below are some of the best Garmin running watches.
9. Garmin Forerunner 15
As mentioned above, it is very hard running with a phone-based app. This is the reason why Garmin created the Garmin Forerunner 15 specially designed for runners making the transition from those apps to a decent watch. This is the cheapest of the Garmin running watches series of Forerunner watches going for $119.99. If your running range is around five kilometers or less, this is the perfect watch for you. However, even for a beginner, it is not just a simple watch; it has activity trackers and processes more information than an activity tracker.
That is not all, for a beginners’ running watch, the Forerunner 15 is quite the accessory. The watch covers calories, distance, time, splits, pace and heart rate. Even better, unlike other watches that have sensors to determine your pulse at your wrist, the Forerunner 15 has a strap accessory. So if you were actually more comfortable running with the chest straps recording your heart rate, you could have that and more in one watch. Garmin also added GPS distance as part of the watches features because, despite being the simplest of the Forerunner series, the watch needed to be up to date with recent technological advancements. The Forerunner 15 is available on Amazon, garmin.com and fitness shops worldwide.
10. Garmin Forerunner 220
After familiarizing yourself with recreational running, you may want to take the next step and run your first marathon or double the distance to 10km and more. Ideally, most people would rather repeat the routine they are used to but then again, how do you get better by doing the same thing and not challenging yourself past what you think is your best performance? This watch is designed for those who are starting to get serious about running; it is the next step after the Forerunner 15.
Some Garmin running watches have the ability to access Garmin Connect and with this one you have full access to Garmin Connect training tools. These are professional guidelines for effective running such as off the shelf half and full marathon training plans to help take your running to the next level. Of course, you still get to see distance covered, heart rate tracking with a chest strap and monitor your pace through the watches’ high-resolution color display. What if you can control your training plans? Well, you can customize training schedules, interval sessions, and single workouts and sync them wirelessly to your phone.
Additionally, the Forerunner 220 has live tracking, auto sharing with Strava, wireless data synching and automated social sharing. Live tracking shows your runs on a web-based map in real time so if you are a casual runner you can know where you have been. If you wish to run indoors supposedly on a treadmill, the watch can cover that too thanks to its inbuilt accelerometer. The Garmin Forerunner 220 goes for $199.99 and is available on Amazon, garmin.com and fitness shops worldwide.
11. Garmin Forerunner 630
This watch gives me the chills; it is among the best in Garmin’s Forerunner watches series. It has color display, auto pause, auto lap, virtual pacer and heart rate-based calories computation. You will fall in love with this Garmin running watch after finding out that it has race predictor, running dynamics and a recovery advisor. That equates to having your trainer on your wrist constantly notifying you of when to pick pace or drop it. You can also customize its screen to your preference and use its advanced running dynamics to shift from a novice to a pro.
People used to run with their smartphones, but this embedding of Smartphone technology to a watch has seen Garmin produce the best running watches.
Alongside the other Forerunner running watches from Garmin, the Forerunner 630 is water resistant, has a longer battery and amazing GPS accuracy. What’s better, it is a hands-free device, so you do not need to worry about a cracked or shattered Smartphone screen.
You may be one of those runners who prefer running with a crowd, literally as opposed to running alone. Well, if you cannot get people to run with you, you can access Garmin Connect through your Forerunner. Here, you can join online challenges, compete, connect and compare your progress to that of friends, family or fellow runners. Additionally, you get to earn virtual badges, which serve as motivation to you. The watch goes for $399.99 and can be found on Amazon, garmin.com, and other fitness shops.
Regular watches have taken the spotlight for many years, yet they only show the time and for some, the date. However, athletic watches have redefined this status by integrating essential features into the simple idea of a watch. One of the most unusual things about athletic watches is they have different designs that suit your preference. By this I mean, you can have a watch that looks like a simple plain watch but in the real sense, it does more than just tell the time. From advanced GPS features to ultimate water resistance, athletic watches have it all.
This begs the question, why would any active man settle for an ordinary watch when you can have better? For some, you will get to know the number of calories you burn even when walking or sleeping. Well, sleeping may not be the intended function of an athletic watch, but it sure does come in handy as an added feature. All watches discussed above pass for athletic watches as does the hundreds of others out there in the market. Soon, athletic watches will redefine sports by having a voice command feature that will serve as an aid to you while training.
Their availability is a non-issue as companies compete to avail their products even in the most remote of areas as they either set up shop there or offer delivery services. Prices for athletic watches have also gone down with regard to the many watches bombarding the market. As more companies come up with new watches with new features, it is evident athletic watches will soon take over the old stereotype of watches.
Imagine you are mountain climbing and reach a point where there is no network coverage for your mobile device or fitness tracker. While you are there, something happens and you cannot go back to your camp or car. This unprecedented event is the main reason most athletic watches are coming with GPS enabled features. Locating you will be easy for others, and this makes mountain climbing among other sports that will see you move further from civilization fun.
The best sports watches for men and women as well have to be GPS enabled. This technology does not only help you or others to track your location but gives you data on the places you have run through as well. GPS is also what enables most watches to detect your pace and provide detailed observations concerning your running style. There are a few sports watches for men that have GPS, and fewer have a full mapping feature.
Sports watches have come a long way from just tracking the time to cover a certain distance via a simple stopwatch feature to lately tracking your movement and advising you on how to be a better sportsman. At this pace, the future can only get better fellas.