Best Watches for Strava App

(Last Updated On: January 7, 2019)

If you are in need of the perfect watch to sync with your Strava Running app, then you are in the right place.  Advancements in technology are making it realistic for the production of smartwatches or wrist “computers” that are almost a necessity to own if you are a runner or athlete.

The Strava app is able to connect with many watches, to show you live performance metrics so that you can track your vitals and set goals for your daily run ( or monthly run if you are like me).

For those who are eager to cut to the chase, and get back to their run, here is what we have as the number one watch to sync with the Strava app: the Suunto Spartan Sport. You can not go wrong with the sleek, modern design and unique qualities and features of the Suunto Spartan Sport. It is definitely a top choice and would make for an EXCELLENT gift for any avid runner.

To check out the other top watches that will easily sync with the Strava app, continue reading…(or running)

Best Watches that Sync With Strava What Makes it Great Overall Ranking
Suunto Spartan Sport Durable build, outdoor grade touch screen, sport specific training modes ★★★★★

Garmin VivoActive 3

Seven-day battery life, sleek modern design (and everyday watch),  Great value ★★★★
Samsung Gear S3 Classic wrist watch look, military-grade performance, steel bezel ★★★★
Garmin Forerunner 235 Large screen for visibility,  Oxygen volume estimate, affordable ★★★★
Apple Watch Series 3 Great battery life, Top smartwatch brand, innovative features ★★★

Top Smart Watches for the Strava App

Suunto Spartan Sport 

You can not go wrong with the Spartan Sport. Not only is this a smartwatch, but it is literally made for the active runner.

When it comes to style, durability, and overall functionality, it is no question that the Spartan Sport takes the cake. Take your mind off cake though… We have some calories to burn.  Quick points to cover why the Spartan Sport reigns supreme: up to 12 hours of battery life, beautiful steel bezel with many colorway options, and easy connection with the Strava app. It could not be any simpler to set up your watch to the app.

Best Features in a Sport Watch

Not only can you easily sync to your Strava app to track your run, but you can also track over 80 other sports and activities on the Suunto Spartan Sport.  If you enjoy running in the evening, after the sun sets, no worries. The Spartan Sport offers easy visibility with it’s “art color” touch, which can be easily seen in the dimmest of light.

At the end of the day, with the Spartan Sport, you get the most accurate data about daily activity levels, a durable watch that is built for outdoors, features that are unique to the Spartan and a great looking watch.

Top Features

  • Sapphire Glass, Durable Steel Bezel
  • Control over watch battery life (adjusting GPS tracking frequency)
  • Accurate heart rate monitor
  • Easily syncs with Strava Via Suunto app or in Movescount

Garmin Vivo Active 3

Garmin is known for creating great GPS and tracking devices. They did an excellent job with the Vivo Active.

Functionality wise, Garmin is pretty close to the Spartan Sport. However, it falls short in a few areas, a big one being the design and build. The Garmin Vivo Active 3 has a basic look, with nothing spectacular about the bezel or case. It is a good watch for those who are more of a minimalist. The one unique feature that stands out with the design, is the ability to change the face of your watch with thousands of options to choose from.

On to what makes the Garmin VivoActive 3 AWESOME! Like previously mentioned, the Vivo Active has a lot of similar features as the Spartan Sport: long battery life, V02 tracker and many sports trackers.

Garmin excels in making GPS functions. So you know you are getting an accurate GPS when purchasing a Garmin watch.  It is definitely a comfortable watch. Although not that stylish, the band is VERY comfortable on the wrists. Owners of the Vivo Active rave about the comfort of the watch.

An Everyday Watch

Comfort is definitely a top priority to make a watch an “everyday” watch. But otherwise, the watch is also very easy to use and provides features that are important for everyday use. You can sync to Strava straight from Garmin Beacon, and stay connected unless you decide to cancel.

Garmin pay is an added feature that lets you make purchases with your watch (need to stop for a bottle of water, you can pay straight from your Garmin)! Overall, the Vivo Active is a top choice for the everyday watch. One you can wear even after you are done with your run, swim, yoga class etc…

Top Features

  • Comfortable band, light build, easy to take off
  • Stress level indicator (see their website for details)
  • Customizable Face
  • Truly waterproof (up to 50M)
  • Easily syncs with Strava

Samsung Gear S3

Nothing beats the design of the Samsung Gear 3. It is a smartwatch that you would never guess is a smartwatch.

At first glance, you would never guess that the Gear 3 was a smartwatch. The distinctive stainless steel bezel resembles the high-quality bezels of a dive watch. Customize the face of your watch with a realistic dial, that can mimic any automatic watch you would like.

The functionality is similar to the Spartan Sport and Vivo Active, yet not as robust. You can count on the GPS, the accelerometer for counting repetitions with cross-fit activities and the updates from the watch that entice you to get moving. (If you have not been active, the watch will update you to get in a run or a workout). That is a feature that those leaning more on the lazy spectrum should have.

All In the Design

The design and look of the Samsung Gear S3 is the main reason why it is number 3 on today’s review. Other than that, the watch performs well, is quite durable and syncs with the Strava app. This is a top choice for those who look for style in their smartwatch, rather than pure functionality.

Top Features

  • Stainless steel bezel
  • Durability
  • Smart updates to keep you active and track fitness benchmarks
  • Sync to Strava straight from the Samsung Health app

Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin makes the list yet again. The Forerunner 235 is a good choice for those seeking an affordable and innovative smartwatch.

The Garmin Forerunner makes today’s list because of its accurate GPS tracking, a wrist-based heart rate monitor, large display and comfort. If you are looking for an all-around smartwatch like the Samsung Gear S3, go with the Samsung. The Forerunner 235 is not great with smartwatch features. It shines in the ability to track runs and to be your fitness companion.

Because of the focus on running and sports activities, the watch is perfect for those who are more concerned with the fitness capabilities. The battery life is GREAT; current owners claim they can run 18-25 miles a week on 2 charges.

A True Fitness Watch

The best way to describe the Garmin Forerunner 235, is a true fitness watch. It does not have any fancy features like many other smartwatches, it simply tracks your fitness goals.

When it comes to counting steps, runs, calories burnt and alert motivator to get you up and running, the Garmin Forerunner 235 excels. This is a TOP pick for those who want a reliable and durable fitness watch.

Of course, the watch syncs with the Strava app easily, hence why it is on the list.

Top Features

  • Robust activity tracking
  • Long lasting battery life (longest on the list)
  • Comfortable and easy to read
  • Syncs with Strava App

Apple Watch Series 3

Lastly, we have one of the most popular, and one of the first smartwatches. The Apple Watch series 3.

Apple is one of the biggest names in EVERY tech industry. It is no surprise that they create some of the best smartwatches. The Apple Watch Series 3 comes in last place today because of a few key factors.

For one: the Apple watch is a true smartwatch. Yes, it can track your fitness goals, but the main use case for an Apple watch is owning a smart computer, that can sync easily with iPhones and keep the user up to date straight from the wrist

What makes it great is definitely the all-around use of the watch.  Similar to the Vivo Active, it is a comfortable everyday watch. To be honest, if you own an iPhone, this may be the NUMBER ONE pick for you. I say that because rather than spending money on two smartwatches; you can have it all with Apple.

The True Smartwatch

Apple is continuing to advance the fitness tracking abilities of their smartwatches. As of today, the series 3 is a decent watch for heartbeat monitoring, trail tracking, and total steps. When compared to other watches on the list,  it falls a bit short.

Where it shines, is all of the other capabilities that are innovative and highly advanced. iPhone owners will love how easy the Apple Watch syncs with their phones, and keeps them up to date with all notifications. Runners will enjoy the easy syncing process with Strava.

Top Features

  • Everyday use for iPhone users
  • Comfort and high tech design
  • Music streaming (for runners who enjoy music while running)
  • Syncs with Strava App

The Final Verdict

When it comes to smartwatches for runners, it is not a simple process to rate a watch. There are many factors that determine which watch is best for an individual, my goal was to help lead you towards the top 5.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. You will be happy with any watch that you choose; they are all highly-regarded on Amazon and by yours truly!

When purchasing a watch, make sure you go to a trusted retailer like Amazon, to ensure you get an authentic watch.

Happy watch shopping everyone!

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