Best Cadence Watches Tested & Rated

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If you’re a serious runner, you might be concerned with your cadence. It is the frequency in which your foot strikes the floor in a given period of time. Typically, this is measured in minutes, and an ideal cadence pattern is around 90 strikes per minute (or 180 strikes per minute if you count both feet). If you’re looking to improve or monitor your cadence, counting in your head might not cut it, so a good piece of equipment is required to get the job done. In this article, we look at the best cadence watches. Since a lot of these watches have almost limitless capabilities, we focused on the cadence and measurements along with some of the key features.  Read on and make your tracking top-notch!

Last Updated: October 4, 2017
By Brian Price:

After adding several more great watches to out list, we went back and listed just what we were looking for when we gathered our top picks to share here.

Also check out the frequently asked questions near the bottom, which we were able to put together while conducting our research.

Garmin Epix
  • Garmin Epix
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Exceptional cadence report
  • Price: See Here
Garmin 920 XT
  • Garmin 920 XT
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Loads of different displays
  • Price: See Here
Garmin Fenix 3
  • Garmin Fenix 3
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Outstanding GPS tracking
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Cadence Watches

 

Garmin Epix

Garmin Epix
This one is a pricey affair, but it comes in at the top in terms of cadence tacking. It measures cadence at an extremely accurate level, using a footpod to get the perfect reading. Other features include decent GPS accuracy, a heart rate monitor and a load of interesting, innovative navigation tools.
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Quality/Accuracy of Stats
The accuracy with this watch is fantastic. The heart rate monitor is top-notch, while the footpod produces very accurate statistics, including brilliant measurement of cadence. It navigates in a huge range of ways, including way-points, a compass, colored maps and more. It’s a very good quality watch and with a decent-sized screen and a pretty good battery life. The screen resolution is also decent.

Ease of Use
This has a decent screen resolution, though you could maybe expect a little more for your money. It has good waterproofing of up to 50m, the battery life is pretty good and it has a huge 8gb of storage to give you immediate access to plenty of GPS maps. The GPS tracking isn’t as good as some other models, and it is a little heavy, which can make it cumbersome at times. But other than that, it is very simple and easy to use, with great functionality.

Cost
This is a very steep option, and it certainly isn’t even remotely cheap. That said, if you’re in the market for good cadence measurements, it doesn’t really get any better than this. If you’re willing to pay a high price for accuracy, it’s worth the effort, but you may otherwise want to look elsewhere.
Pros
  • Fantastic measurements with great tracking.
  • Great cadence reports.
  • Good heart-rate monitoring.
  • Lots of good navigation tools.
  • Excellent storage for plenty of maps.
Cons
  • The GPS could be slightly better.
  • Very much on the expensive side.
  • A little heavy on the wrist.

Garmin 920 XT

Garmin 920 XT
Again, you have fantastic cadence measurements here, with a footpod for total accuracy. Again, it’s a little pricey, but it’s a fantastic piece of equipment and would make a good addition to anyone’s running arsenal. It measures a huge amount of interesting stats, which makes for good monitoring and improvement, and can be used for swimming and cycling.
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Quality/Accuracy of Stats
The accuracy of stats here is absolutely great, and you’ll get measurements including cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, speed, distance, ascent, descent and more. The quality is also very good, with an accurate heart monitor, good battery life and a ridiculous amount of fantastic GPS mapping settings and displays, with a compass and more.

Ease of Use
The GPS tracking here is decent, but could perhaps be slightly better. It’s slightly more lightweight than some other options, which is good if you’re looking to run long-distance, and the battery life is fairly impressive. Considering it works for other sports, this may be a good option if you like to change up your workouts while keeping things serious. It is waterproof at up to 50m, which is great.

Cost
Again, it’s a little pricey due to its high quality and impressive technology, but it’s not as expensive as some other options on the market. It’s definitely worth the investment if you’re prepared for the outlay.
Pros
  • Fantastic tracking and monitoring.
  • Brilliant cadence monitoring.
  • Loads of GPS settings and displays.
  • Decent battery life.
  • Pretty lightweight.
  • Can be used for other sports.
Cons
  • Somewhat pricey.
  • The GPS tracking could be slightly better.

Garmin Fenix 3

Garmin Fenix 3
Another Garmin, and another watch with a footpod for absolute accuracy on cadence. It has good measurements and good stat monitoring along with great GPS features. You’ve probably begun to notice the prevalence of Garmin stuff on here, and they do indeed excel on the cadence front.
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Quality/Accuracy of Stats
Yet again, the stats here are excellently accurate and you can really get to grips with a whole range of stuff, including elevation data, cadence, oxygen use and plenty more. It also tracks stats for golf, swimming, rowing and other sports, which is good if you like to stay versatile in your exercise regime. If you want to stay well monitored, this is another good option and performs similarly to the other Garmin options above.

Ease of Use
The accuracy of the GPS is pretty great with this, arguably more so than the other two Garmin options listed above. It has 100m waterproof ability, which is useful if you like to scuba dive or something similar, and there are many GPS options yet again. This isn’t as advanced as some other options, but it’s still a brilliant buy.

Cost
It’s another expensive one, and is in fact the priciest on the list. It’s not a bargain buy by any means but it’s another good investment.
Pros
  • Great stat management.
  • Very good GPS accuracy, with lots of cool features.
  • Good cadence tracking.
  • Useful for lots of sports other than running.
  • Waterproof up to 100m
Cons
  • It’s very pricey, but this is the only real catch.
  • The battery life isn’t quite as good as some other Garmins, but it’s still decent.

Suunto Ambit3 Run

Suunto Ambit3 Run
The cadence in this isn’t quite as good as the options above, but it’s still way better than most other running watches out there, and it comes with lot of other handy features. The battery life is really fantastic, the GPS is good and the interface is nice.
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Quality/Accuracy of Stats
Once again, this one has a footpod to help you measure your cadence. When using this, your stats are going to be pretty on the mark, but if you rely on the internal counter without utilising the footpod, you’re going to get an inaccurate reading, which isn’t the case with the Garmins above. That said, the footpod is great, and the stats for how far you’ve ran and your altitude are very accurate. It doesn’t measure quite as many variables as some other watches, but it still has plenty to keep you tracking.

Ease of Use
The GPS tracking in this is great, and you really can rely on this to track you and keep you updated on your whereabouts. The battery life is also absolutely brilliant, with up to 200 hours of life, which you’ll struggle to find elsewhere. It’s a little bulky and slightly big, but not obnoxiously so. It’s also pretty comfortable, which is always good, and it’s not hard to manage or navigate the interface.

Cost
Like any good watch, this is going to cost you a fair amount of money, though it is one of the cheapest options on this list.
Pros
  • Good interface.
  • Fantastic battery life.
  • Really great levels of GPS tracking.
  • The footpod is good.
  • A little cheaper than some other options.
  • Comfortable.
Cons
  • For accurate cadence readings, you have to use the footpod.
  • A little big and bulky.

Polar V800

Polar V800
The cadence on this one isn’t as good as some of the others on this list, so if this is your absolute priority, you may want to look elsewhere, but it’s still much better at tracking cadence than most other options on the market. Again, this is a high-tech piece of equipment with many great tracking features. And its GPS tracking accuracy is some of the best that money can buy. You won’t get lost with this one!
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Quality/Accuracy of Stats
This is a little patchy in terms of results – while it is accurate in measuring distance ran, and pretty good for cadence, it’s not great at measuring pace. The GPS tracking is really good, perhaps the best on this list on that front, so if this of importance, this might be your pick.

Ease of Use
Again, the GPS makes this very easy to use. You can also use it for cycling and swimming too. Unfortunately, it has a very big screen, which makes it a little bulkier than some may like, and the way it fastens to your wrist is a little impractical and unreliable. Other than that, it’s simple to use.

Cost
Another pricey one! Considering that this brand is less well-known that most others on this list, the cost might surprise you, but it’s a good investment and it is indeed worth the money.
Pros
  • Very good GPS accuracy, perhaps the best on this entire list
  • Multi-sport applications
  • Great distance measuring ability
Cons
  • Pricey given its relative lack of reputation
  • Quite bulky and heavy
  • The wrist strap is a little impractical.
  • Not the best for cadence

Suunto Ambit 2

Suunto Ambit 2
This one measures cadence with a footpod. It’s not as accurate as some of the options higher on this list, but it’s still absolutely one of the best options on the market for accurate cadence. It is perhaps the most basic option on the list which also makes it the best bargain if you’re looking to save a buck or two. It has great GPS accuracy and a nice design.
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Quality/Accuracy of Stats
It’s fantastic at measuring distance and the cadence tracking is pretty good. It doesn’t track some of the more complex stats like the other watches on this list, but it does the track the basics pretty well. The GPS accuracy is pretty good and out performs GPS tracking in some of the more expensive options. However, the navigation functions are a little simple, but they should prove sufficient for most runners. The heart rate monitor isn’t as good as some pricier alternatives.

Ease of Use
It is very simple to use. Also the strap is very soft and comfortable. The watch itself is a decent lightweight option. It’s one of the more attractive watches on this list, which might be of importance to some people.

Cost
This is absolutely the best option on this list if you’re price-conscious, which is completely justifiable given the hefty price tag of many running watches. As a compromise between quality and cost, this is maybe the top pick, even if the cadence tracking isn’t perfect.
Pros
  • Price
  • Decent cadence tracking
  • Great at measuring distance
  • Very good GPS
  • Incredibly comfortable
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with as many features and stats as more expensive options
  • It’s the most basic option here.
                                                                                                                                                                                 

TomTom Spark 3

TomTom Spark 3
Your running,  your fitness level is developing and this watch will monitor and show the resulting positive effects.

Featuring treadmill tracking in a user friendly format, water resistant casing, 11 hour battery life to support your GPS centered training regime.

Check out the high tech audio feature built in to tell you if your running too fast or too slow, these are just a few of the features, read our review and see if this is the watch for you.

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Quality/Accuracy of Stats

Many of us like to run while hearing our favorite tunes, with this watch you can store over five hundred songs (wow), you get 5GB storage engineered into this phone. Hook up your Bluetooth- head-phones into the Spark-3 Cardio system for your audio training companion, it will alert you to your cadence style, are you going too slow or fast, listen be guided and comfortably stay well within your heart ratio target zone.

With treadmill tracking designed into the watch along with a nice interval training system and backed up by eleven solid hours of battery life.

Featuring impressive multiple sports support, route guidance, reliable protection against water penetration, this watch is a high tech companion to take with you while you continue to develop your running skills. As you develop, the watch will keep you updated as to your fitness age ratio.

Very comfortable strap mechanism giving solid security and comfort while wearing the watch.

Cost

The cost is nicely set, especially when you consider the good array of features provided by the watch.
Pros

Spark-3 Cardio system

5GB storage

Interval training system

Cons

Some runners prefer a more traditional watch face

                                                                                                                                                                                 

TomTom Adventurer 

TomTom Adventurer 
A very well designed Multiple Sports watch and packed with features which are very useful for runners. The versatility and combination of features engineered into this light weight comfortable watch are very impressive.

If you are looking for accuracy, functionality, performance and reliability, read our review and get insight into why this could be the watch you are looking for.
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Quality/Accuracy of Stats

This is a very impressive watch, packed with the features which we runners want.  A nice altimeter to give you an accurate readout, built in compass for directional information,  superb GPS system which is accurate and stays on target. The watch is engineered with an impressive array of sensors to ensure that all statistical requirements are solid and in real time. For Age Fitness functionality, the watch features superb monitoring and reliable performance via V02-Max, the system will tell you your current fitness level, monitor you while you improve and keep you accurately updated. You will want to improve quickly and with this device you will receive great guidance to help you achieve your aims. Featuring multiple sports functions, this is great for runners and you can use it for other sports.

You can track your heart rate very accurately via the high tech heart rate monitoring system, there is a choice of fifty fitness level workouts which are designed for you to step by step move up your level of fitness. This watch will help you find your current fitness level and set you on track to gradually improve.

While you are improving and having your rate of improvement monitored and guided, enjoy the stylish tech for playing music while you run, you get 3GB which lets you carry around 500 tunes.

A very light and comfortable watch which sits securely on your wrist and has excellent water proof qualities, nice user friendly display screen and the menu of functions are easy to use.

Cost. 

The price is higher than some other models and this is due to the quality, durability and impressive choice of very useful features which are built into the model. You get value for money.
Pros

Track your heart rate very accurately

3GB which lets you carry around 500 tunes

50 Fitness Level Routines

V02-Max

Cons

The price is higher than the basic models

                                                                                                                                                                                 

Suunto Spartan

Suunto Spartan
The Spartan journey continues with this well constructed and solid watch with a stylish durable glass screen, this watch is packed with the type of reliable tech which runners need for self monitoring and improving cadence-fitness level.

The predecessor to this watch was the Spartan Ultra watch, this one needed a separate chest strap feature, now you get this tech engineered into the rear of the watch for convenience, comfort and functionality, check out our review and get a full picture of the fabulous  selection of features being offered.
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Quality/Accuracy of Stats

The first feature to note is the suave optical heart rate monitoring system built into the rear of the watch, no more separate chest strap. Excellent 24 hrs activity-tracking for a full up to date record of your actions on a daily basis. A sturdy watch with high tech durability blended with functionality.

The model gives a nice long battery life, eighty pre-loaded sports modes with space for more, extensive map features, insights for your training combined with user friendly charts. The sports modes are customized to suit your aims/regimes, the impressive (Optical) HR sensor delivers very accurate measuring, the GPS tracking tech will perform in very challenging environments via GPS tracking which is dialed. T

Twelve hours of life for the battery, which is more than enough for marathons or your daily running schedules. If you want very in-depth analysis of your daily work-outs, simply use wireless to transfer the info via (Saunto's) Movescount app on your smartphone to an online platform.

This is a robust reliable watch and serves as a high tech precision instrument for runners, with Bluetooth features, a USB port and reliable water proofing, this watch will perform admirably for the expectations of runners.

Cost

A higher price than some other selected models and this watch represents a good quality investment for runners looking for quality performance

blended with reliability.
Pros

Eighty pre-loaded sports modes

(Saunto's) Movescount app

(Optical) HR sensor

Optical heart rate monitoring system built into the rear of the watch

User friendly charts

Robust and comfortable.

 
Cons

The price is a little higher as this is a high performance watch

                                                                                                                                                                                 

Samsung Gear S2

Samsung Gear S2
Samsung offer differences via this smart phone watch model, this watch includes most features runners look for and has a surprise in the form of a phone at 3G along with a useful messaging app.

Take a look at our review and see why Samsung continue to make inroads into the market for watches used by runners.
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Quality/Accuracy of Stats

If you would like to try something different to other models on the market you can consider the smartwatch approach to help set your own cadence.
A nice selection of home screen functions for weather, your heart rate, step ratio along with access to a choice of useful sources of information.

The fitness features designed into the watch offer a nice wide choice of options, the Samsung health APP is a good feature, an efficient performance is given for movement tracking during the day and constant reading for the heart are provided. 

The water proofing is great and your device is well protected from the elements. Monitoring for your heart rate is accurate and offers better functionality than some other smart watch models.

A nice step-tracking system which performs to the standards required by runners. Built into the watch is the Centric ESPN  APP and connectivity is reliable and constant. An on-board GPS function can serve towards recording all workouts through Under Armour or Nike charts.

The resolution in this model is 360-360 and the screen displays at 1.2 inches. A comfortable watch which looks stylish, the amoled panel allows a function for being ambient, you can constantly see the time but when you do a wrist flip and look at the watch face it will fully activate.

The screen is responsive to being touched but you can also use the bezel system for user friendly interaction with the watches menu functions.

Cost. The cost is on par with other models and offers a smartwatch alternative.
Pros

Works with a good selection of Andriod phones.

Nice round feature.

Interesting rotation bezel

Polished Tizen OS

Cons

Voice control could be faster.

Could have a few more apps.

Few customization choices.

So there you go – the best watches for effective tracking! Although this list may seem small,  all of the options listed will help you keep an eye on your cadence, and all come highly recommended.

Please look at the criteria which we used for our review and enjoy the article afterwards which gives you:
 8 interesting points about time.

 

Our Criteria For Reviewing Cadence Watches

We closely evaluated Quality, Accuracy of Statistics, Ease of Use and Cost.

The challenge for a runner when selecting a watch are how good is the quality, accuracy, how easy to use and the cost-value for money. The option can be sometimes confusing and you need to match your choice of the product to your own methods for fitness goals.

We looked at how realistic is the performance of the watch being offered in relation to a runner establishing an ideal running cadence for themselves?

We looked closely at the accurate functionality of the foot-pod, how accurate are the stats produced? We wanted to evaluate the watch ability for measuring cadence accurately? this is very important for runners so that they have clearly understandable information in statistical terms  through which they can monitor their own individual performance.

Does the watch offer a range of navigational options to provide choice for the runner?  We looked closely at mapping features offered through the watch and how functional and user friendly is the mapping tech, is use of color clear and the visuals for the map are easy to understand at a glance?

If the watch includes a two way points feature, how good is this feature and how easy to use? The compass systems engineered into the devices were interesting because given the basic system functions of a compass, we expected ( and noted) that all compass tech met user friendly standards.

The resolution of the screens were interesting to evaluate and generally the more a runner invests in a particular watch model the better the screen performance, however, even the lower cost models met screen expectations even if the qualities offered were at different levels.

We scrutinized closely battery ” life” power and how long the batteries last because for runners this is a very important feature as all the watch performances stem from the fact that the battery provides the power and therefore we looked at how long each model battery can perform?

The majority of runners have a very regular running routine, they will want automation designed into the watch for automated recognition, solid heart monitoring, health and convenience of use.

Our review was attentive to GPS perform-ability in terms of accuracy and how good this system works in conjunction with mapping?y the GPS system kicks-in and how reliable accuracy is maintained?

Water proof features in the watches attracted our review because no matter how good a watch model is, all the functionality can be hindered or at times actually cease if the watch fails to be water proof and keep out water.

We felt memory capability was very important for reviewing, how much memory does the device offer and how well this works with accessing or storing map features?

It was interesting to review heart rate monitoring capabilities designed into the watch and we looked at how accurate and consistent the feature performed?

Weight differences between the different models was an important review criteria because a watch at a decent weight is comfortable to wear and will not be distracting or create an over awareness for the runner of being heavy to wear. Though we carried out a review of the watches for runners, we also looked at where the watches can be worn, swimming, running or other activities.

Cost was interesting to review and the cost criteria was very consistent in that the more a runner invests in purchasing a product, the higher the quality. However, we noted that some lower costing watches still offered good functionality and the only differences were along the lines of memory capacity or increased “depth” of the usual functions offered in the watch models.

 

8 Interesting Points About Time

Time is the most predominant feature in our lives, from the moment we are conceived, we are living to the rules of times.

Here are 8 interesting points about time for you to enjoy reading.

1.  Time is with us constantly, every second of every day time is with us and governs our lives, yet it is a total mystery to us? We know it exists but we don’t know how it works,? Can we touch it, manipulate or alter time? So far the answers are no, we can measure it, we can use time for deadlines and for performing tasks, creating schedules but all the time it remains in full control of us.

2. Every moment in the past time is equal in terms of influence on time to “right now”  the past and the future time directly impact in conjunction to the time you are using right now while you are reading this article about time. The past time brought you to this article and the future aims in time will decide how much time you spend reading this article.

3. Is time a force, like the weather or gravity? We can feel gravity by simply jumping out of a window, the force of gravity will take us down. We age, plants age, the planet ages, so it is reasonable to say that time is really close to being a corrosive force because as everything ages it wears out. Something cannot wear out unless forces are impacting on it and time is one of those forces along with other forces which “wear away” at everything.

4. Time is not the same everywhere, if you leave the planet, you become free from the Earths gravitational influence, the rate of time changes as you get away from this planet and how much the speed of time changes is also dependent on how fast you travel. If you left the planet and traveled away from it at double the speed of light for around ten years, when you return to the Earth everybody you had known will have passed away and you would meet their descendants.

5. Is time travel actually possible?  This is very interesting to think about because time travelers do exist, its all about concept. You are a time traveler which you are reading this article, you are personally right now travelling forward through time. We are constantly in time travel but in only one direction which is forward, we cannot “yet” travel back wards in time.

6. You are constantly living 80 milliseconds behind the time that you now perceive. This is because your perception of the time and accuracy in the present is dictated by how fast you think. Touch your ear and your knee at the same time, of course the touch of the knee send a nerve impulse which is slower that the sensation of touching your ear, though the message from your knee to your brain is slower, your brain interprets the late message and assembles the ear touching and knee touching to be at the same time.

7. As time continues, the universe is on a constant trip towards increasing disorder, we can understand this better by looking at the function of our own bodies, at birth everything is in order and the body is set on a path of development through aging in which the final result is our bodies function less better, our memory skills decrease. we pass through moments of peek functionality but the final result is a disorderly breakdown of our mental and physical capabilities.  Time wears out everything and this results in a “disorder”. Eventually we die.

8. The bigger the creature the longer it can live?  The metabolic rate in larger living things is slower so life is a longer amount of time. Here is a simplified explanation, the heart of a mouse could just for arguments sake beat two billion times during its life time, an Elephants heart can also beat two billion times but those heart beats will be slower than the mouse heart beats so the elephant will longer. 

FAQ

Q: Why is Cadence so important?

A: It is the number of times your feet touch down during a minute while you run, if you can measure or establish a comfortable ratio, this will  be perfect and will improve your running efficiency.

Q:  Why monitor our heart rate while we run?

A: If you monitor your heart rate you can see if you are running too fast at a too often ratio, you can see how hard your heart is working. You will be able to establish what runners call a “zone” this is the heart rate at which your heart performs comfortably.

Q: What the best way to carry a GPS, a watch or handheld device?

A: This will depend on your own personal preferences. You’re best choice is to read a review on hand held GPS and a review on watches with GPS and then you will be in a better position to make a choice.

Q: How can I figure out the best cadence for me? I have no idea how to do this.

A:  Some people get confused or daunted at how to establish a personal running cadence. Your best option is to read a professional review on how to establish your own cadence and then put into effect the advice which is given

Q: How often should I drink water during a long run? I feel I don’t have time to do this if I’m in a race?

A: It is incredibly important that you have drank the right amount of water before a race, you should keep your body hydrated during a race and after a race.  Read this review, know about running and drinking.

Q: I find that wearing a watch while I run is way too distracting for me but I do want access to a GPS at times. The problem for me is that no matter how light the watch is I just know it’s there on my wrist and I find it really distracting. Any suggestions?

A: You could consider attaching the watch to a belt loop or carrying it in a pocket though these choices can also be distracting. There are other alternative ways to carry a GPS device for runners.  Take a look at the best handheld GPS devices and you might see something for you.

Q: Is there one ideal cadence rate for all runners?

A:  With regards to an ideal cadence rate for all runners, it can be said that their is not a set rate which all runners should keep to. While using performance monitoring tech such as Cadence watches, many factors are taken into account as to what will be an individually good cadence for a particular runner. Read a detailed review on how you can achieve a cadence rate which is ideal for you.


Here are a few sources that came in handy during our research:

Sources
  1. well.blogs.nytimes.com What running can do for your heart. New York times. Article  2014.
  2. active.com The importance of cadence and Stride. Article: Mackenzie Lobby 2017.
  3. wareable.com Best GPS Running watches. Article/Blog/Review. James stable. September 2017.

 

 

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