When it comes to fitness watches for women, there are oodles of options on offer. And sure, while most models track mileage time, heart rate, calories burned (and beyond!), not all of them are tailored to the many health factors specific to those of us with two X chromosomes. Well, at least, with one notable exception: Garmin watches. For those who love to track their fitness stats, what sets Garmin apart from its competitors is the brand’s innovative Women’s Health Tracking application, which is designed, as the name would suggest, specifically for women. The app makes Garmin a go-to brand for women who want a full picture of their health and fitness. There are several models to consider, but we narrowed down the field to bring you the best Garmin watches for women.
These are the 7 best Garmin watches for women.
First, an answer to the question “Why Garmin?” Unlike other fitness trackers, Garmin provides a fuller picture of your overall health through some of its smart watches (we’ll get to those soon) and, more specifically, the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone. One specific Garmin feature takes into account how different hormones affect women, which make everything from nutritional choices to workouts fluctuate over the course of any given month. Tracking these details in the Garmin app helps it create customized reports to help you make the best decisions for yourself, your life and your goals.
Now that we’ve narrowed it down to the best brand on the market, we rounded up some of the best Garmin watches for women by scouring reviews from real shoppers, comparing stats and specs and conducting our own exhaustive research. Read on for our suggestions, below.
Display Size: 1.2 inches | Weight: 2.08 ounces | Battery Life: Up to 9 days
From the get go, it’s rather obvious that, based on specs alone, the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is outstanding. No matter how you decide to use it—be it on a run, hike or walk—this watch can use an array of global navigation systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) to deliver the most accurate distance, elevation, speed and health data. And, if that weren’t enough, the advanced training features like PacePro pick up on your pace and offer training advice to get the most out of your workout. It has myriad different workouts to choose from and can advise on how to get the most out of your recovery time post-exercise too. As is the case with many other fitness watches, this one syncs to your phone and your texts, calls and other notifications can appear on-screen if you’d like.
Advanced health metrics include heart rate, pulse-ox, sleep monitoring and more. The watch has an “always-on” display as well, so it has the appearance of a regular timepiece with bezels in stainless steel, titanium or carbon.
Display Size: 0.75 Inches | Weight: 0.58 ounces | Battery Life: Up to 7 days
If you’re looking for something minimalist, this watch delivers. But don’t assume it’s not also delivering a clear display. You can track your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, sleep and stress levels with this Garmin and it can also help reduce any anxiety with a built-in breathing timer. There’s also an array of activity profiles for different workouts like strength training or rowing, and it’s safe to wear while tracking laps in the pool. The notifications that pop up on your phone can be forwarded here, too—and Android owners can even reply to texts from the watch.
Tracking your mileage occurs when syncing to your phone’s GPS, but this watch can tell you when you should opt for a rest day too after building a profile of your workouts.
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Display Size: 1.2 inches | Weight: 1.36 ounces | Battery Life: Up to 7 days
Like others here, this Garmin watch is equipped with the Women’s Health Tracking feature, but, if you’re keen, it also can put the app front and center with daily notifications to help track each aspect of your health. However, what truly sets this timepiece apart is its dedication to music. The Forerunner 245 syncs with your phone to provide all of the fitness metrics you’d want and expect, but it can also store up to 500 songs after logging in to your Spotify, Deezer or Amazon music account.
So, the next time you want to jump into a workout free from distractions, with only your music and thoughts to guide you, this watch can stand as the only piece of tech that accompanies you out the door (along with Bluetooth headphones). Plus, Body Battery technology can let you know how hard you should workout or, conversely, if you should even exercise at all. Best of all, it backs up a full week’s worth of data, ensuring your hard work stays on record for time to come.
Display Size: 1.08 inches | Weight: 1.31 ounces | Battery Life: Up to 14 days
There are a few iterations of the Forerunner worth noting (it’s also worth noting that another Forerunner model also made this list), but the 55 stands as the no-frills option that delivers the basics you need from a fitness watch without overcomplicating things. The lack of over-the-top components means the battery life here is substantial, but you still get the health data you need, along with some serious perks, like Garmin’s innovative predictor that lets you know if you’re peaking during any given workout or week. This model also puts the Women’s Health Tracking info front and center if you’d prefer, and it can track various workouts. The display, sadly, isn’t a touchscreen, but five easy-to-use buttons allow you to toggle between menus, as well as workouts and stats.
And while you can’t store music, you can still expect your phone’s notifications to show up on the display. You’re also encouraged to view your previous workouts and health stats after you’ve had a chance to catch your breath.
Display Size: 0.91 inches | Weight: 1.89 ounces | Battery Life: up to 54 days
If you’re someone who absolutely hates when your watch dies on you at the worst possible moment (like the second you happen to leave your house for a run), this is the watch for you. The Garmin Instinct Solar harnesses the power of the sun to keep the battery charged. As long as you’re directly exposing the screen to the sun, the watch has virtually unlimited battery. It’s also built to military-grade standards with materials like Gorilla glass for those of us (all of us, to be honest) who beat up on our devices. Under the hood, advanced mapping courtesy of GPS, GLONASS and Galileo help guide the way and a built-in coach lets you know how your week is going before offering up a potential workout. Oh, and speaking of directions, this watch also uses Garmin’s proprietary Tracback Routing that basically helps you find your way back after setting out from any given location.
The watch is equipped with all of the necessary sensors to track calories burned, mile splits and sleep habits. It also syncs with your phone to display your notifications at a glance or, if you’d prefer, the weather, calendar events and alerts.
Display Size: 0.95 inches | Weight: 1.48 ounces | Battery Life: Up to 7 days
This stylish hybrid smartwatch combines the features of a fitness tracker with the looks of a traditional analog watch. You can set it to look like a regular timepiece that also displays a small, digital time on the face, or you can play with the settings to change up the colors and customize the face to suit your preferences. Read your texts, track all of your health and fitness stats, pay for goods with contactless payment, keep an eye on your stress levels, and more. This watch is also a champion of the Women’s Health Tracking tool found on your phone, but you can do most of the logging and learning straight from your wrist.
All of the workouts and exercises you could possibly adopt are likely already loaded here, and the built-in GPS makes capturing data a breeze. Plus, this watch takes an extra step towards keeping you safe by allowing you to share your live location to any of your contacts either manually or automatically when you begin an activity like an outdoor run.
Display Size: 1.1 inches | Weight: 1.35 ounces | Battery Life: Up to 10 days
You might compare the display size of the Venu 2S to the other Garmin watches on our list and wonder what makes this one special, especially for women. Average display size aside, the stunning graphics of this watch (thanks to AMOLED technology) make it the most aesthetically pleasing to look at—which might make you wear it and use it more often than other options. Even the built-in workouts and breathing exercises are animated, adding a little flair to otherwise mundane functions.
This watch can store hundreds of songs and can play directly from your streaming account too, and it can forward your phone’s notifications and calendar updates to your wrist where you’re encouraged to respond and interact. The watch keeps track of all the standard health and fitness metrics of its sibling devices, and interactive Women’s Health Tracking is available as well. All of these features might drain the battery more quickly than other smartwatches, but a rapid recharging option can supply you with enough juice when you’re in a pinch.
When it comes to watches, like many things, it’s important to keep in mind that in most cases, one size does not fit all. It’s also important to choose a timepiece that fits both your wrist and your personal style. Unlike, say, a pair of glasses, there’s no set rules that define the most appropriate size watch and for that reason, we’d like to offer some tips that will help you make the right choice.
While these aren’t hard and fast rules, one thing to consider is whether or not the watch is comfortable. Is it too tight or too loose? Does the band width feel too narrow or too bulky? If it doesn’t feel quite right, chances are you’re not going to wear it, and you’re out the money (and no closer to determining any of your wellness statistics). If you’re unable to test the watch out in person, it may help to determine your wrist size. Wrists that are 14 to 16 centimeters are considered very thin, 16 to 17 cm are slender, 17 to 18 are medium and anything above 18 is large. If your wrist is a smaller size, try to avoid anything too bulky and opt for a slim band. On the other hand, if you have a larger wrist, go for something sportier (but don’t go crazy and pick the chunkiest thing on the market). The goal is to balance size with style.
A smartwatch, beyond helping you track your wellness goals like steps and hours of sleep, can help you stay on top of your digital life. It can share texts, phone calls, social media notifications, handle touchless payments, sync with various apps and more. But not all smart watches are created equal. Some things to consider include: whether your watch is compatible with your smart phone; what its battery life is; what fitness features it offers (and what apps it works with); whether or not it is water resistant; if it shares notifications; if it continues to work when it is away from your phone; whether it can answer incoming calls, emails, or texts; whether it can be personalized.
Generally speaking, most Garmin watches range between $100 and $400, depending on the features they include. Ultimately, it comes down to what you hope to get out of your watch. If you’re looking for something stylish with a long battery life and access to myriad features, choose one of the spendier options. And if you’re looking for something that covers the basics, like telling time and tracking some (but not all) biometrics, go for something on the lower end of the spectrum.
As of this publishing, the smallest Garmin watch for women is the Garmin Forerunner 255 (released June 1, 2022). At just 41 millimeters in diameter, it is fairly close to the size of a traditional women’s watch, however, it contains many of the same fitness and health tracking tools of its larger peers. If you’re looking for something lightweight and simple, this is it.
The short answer is yes. Garmin designs some of the best sports watches and fitness trackers on the market. That being said, there are various options to consider from Garmin and other brands, and we’d recommend making a point to test multiple options before investing in one.
Short answer: not really. With the exception of the Garmin Menu 2 Plus (which comes with a built-in speaker and microphone), none of Garmin’s watches feature the ability to text or respond to messages directly from the watch itself.
We get it—you’re in the market for a new smartwatch and you want the best option you can buy. But when the time comes to choose between Apple and Garmin, remember that it all depends on what watch better meets your needs. Garmin watches, generally speaking, are designed for those looking to track sports and fitness metrics. The Apple watch, on the other hand, may be more limited in terms of fitness offerings, but if you already have other Apple products, it syncs seamlessly with the iOS ecosystem.