Best Cadence Watches Tested & Rated
If you are an avid runner, then you may be on the hunt for one of the best cadence watches. Here we go over the top 10 picks for this season, along with their Pros and Cons and what to look for before making your purchase.
Cadence refers to the frequency at which your foot strikes the floor during any given time period—typically measured in minutes. The ideal cadence pattern is around 90 strikes per minute (180 if you count both feet).
Since many of the cadence watches featured on our list also have multiple features and capabilities, we decided to focus mainly on their cadence and measurement features—although we do highlight additional features we think you will love.
When compiling our list we made sure to take into account all budgets, so that everyone can find something that works for them. We also know how difficult it can be to narrow down the best cadence watches—which is why we have meticulously research and reviewed each product on our list.
- Garmin Forerunner 935
- Multiple training functions
- Apple Series 3
- Easy to use
- Garmin Forerunner 235
- Accurate tracking
10 Best Cadence Watches
Garmin Forerunner 935
This watch can accurately track your progress in several different activities--running, swimming, cycling, and many other sports (including golf, paddling, and skiing). It also accurately tracks your heart rate and allows you to keep track of your training and progress--making it an exceptional option for triathletes. It also accurately calculates elevation thanks to its barometric altimeter. It also comes with an accurate GPS, a compass, and even tracks your sleep patterns!
Ease of Use
This slim and lightweight watch is pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. Triathletes can transition between activities with just the touch of a button and the menu options are easy to use. It easily pairs with your smartphone so you don't have to get your phone out separately to check on every little thing. It also has an excellent battery life--2 weeks on normal mode and 24 hours if you were to need to run the GPS constantly.
This one is pretty pricey and a big investment. If you are a serious runner that engages in multiple activities and need the many features this watch has to offer then this might be the right for you.
• Sleek design
• Multiple training functions
• Accurate Statistics
• Excellent battery life
• Pairs with your smartphone
• Takes time to get acquainted with all of the features
• No music playback
Apple Watch Series 3
Like previous Apple watches, this one is also pricey and durable. While it isn't as pricey as our number one pick, it is still an investment that comes loaded with lots of features. This watch accurately measures your cadence, pace, and rolling mile pace--this adjusts your current mile pace at every point in your mile, similar to how many treadmills do. This watch will also accurately track your heart rate as well as your miles while also pairing with your phone so you can send and receive texts.
Ease of Use
Like almost all Apple products, this watch is really easy to use. It pairs with your phone so you can easily send and receive texts and allows for activity sharing--where you can even engage in friendly competitions with your friends (it even has a "smack talk" feature. The walkie-talkie feature is also easy to use and it runs on wifi or data--so it's always keeping track of everything. It also has an automatic workout detection feature, which reminds you to workout or to log it if it senses you are running. It also able to track several other activities and comes with both a GPS and altimeter built in.
This one is pricey but also durable and well worth the investment if you are an Apple user.
• 4 color options
• Water resistant for up to 50 meters
• Heart rate monitor
• GPS and altimeter built in
• Syncs with your phone
• Easy to use
• Not the best battery life
• Only compatible with apple
Garmin Forerunner 235
This watch has a sleek, simple design and comes in 3 different color options. It tracks your heart rate. The screen is easy to read and it can track your cadence and pace both outdoors and on a treadmill. Aside from cadence, it also tracks your pace, distance, and elevation. It comes equipped with a GPS and its screen adjusts to the light so you can always read it. It has a pretty good battery life as well--9 days on normal mode and 11 hours on GPS mode.
While this is not the most affordable option out there, its definitely the best budget-friendly watch available and much more affordable than our top 2 options.
• 3 color options
• Good price point
• Tracks your heart rate, cadence, distance, and pace
• Screen adjusts to outdoor lighting
• Great battery life when not in GPS mode
• Battery life isn’t the best on GPS mode
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.
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.
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.
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.
The price is a little higher as this is a high performance watch
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.
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.
- Very good GPS accuracy, perhaps the best on this entire list
- Multi-sport applications
- Great distance measuring ability
- Pricey given its relative lack of reputation
- Quite bulky and heavy
- The wrist strap is a little impractical.
- Not the best for cadence
TomTom Spark 3
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.
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.
The cost is nicely set, especially when you consider the good array of features provided by the watch.
Spark-3 Cardio system
Interval training system
Some runners prefer a more traditional watch face
Garmin Fenix 5
This one features accurate readings and provides you with precise measurements to keep track of your progress. It comes equipped with a GPS and has a wrist heart rate to track your rate during your runs or workouts.
Ease of Use
This one is also incredibly easy to use once you the hang of the watch's features and how to navigate through them.
This one is super pricey--but it is highly durable and offers many of the same features as the Garmin Forerunner 935.
• Durable outcasting
• Accurate and precise reading
• Tracks your progress
• Has GPS
• Easy to use
• Heart rate tracker
• Bulky design
• Difficult to get accustomed to
Samsung Gear S2
Take a look at our review and see why Samsung continue to make inroads into the market for watches used by runners.
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.
Works with a good selection of Andriod phones.
Nice round feature.
Interesting rotation bezel
Polished Tizen OS
Voice control could be faster.
Could have a few more apps.
Few customization choices.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT
This one is available as a standalone watch or you can purchase the bundle that comes with additional accessories for more accurate readings. It tracks your data for several sports, swimming, and cycling--and is actually marketed as a triathlon watch. It accurately measures your cadence, ground contact, and vertical oscillation (bounce). It also track and stores your data.
Ease of Use
Although it looks a little bulkier than other Garmin options, it is still their most lightweight multisport watch. It also automatically updates your data on Garmin Connect and allows for smart notification, audio prompts, and social media sharing.
This one is pricey, but not as pricey as other options on our list--and it is definitely worth the investment if you are a triathlete or in need of the features it offers.
• Durable design
• Multisport capability
• Garmin Connect
• Additional coaching and activity tracker
• Smart notification
• Great for triathletes
• No altimeter
• Lacks quick release mount
• Only 14 hours of battery life when left on GPS mode
• A little clunky
• Takes time to get accustomed to
This one is great for athletes all around--from runners to bikers, to swimmers. It accurately tracks your cadence, pace, and heart rate. It also tracks how many calories you burn, steps, elevation, and the duration of your workouts and runs--all the thanks to 3-axis gyroscope, compass, and, 3-axis accelerometer. The running menu on this device allows you to choose between free, lap, and treadmill mode--the treadmill mode actually uses a step algorithm instead of GPS.
Ease of Use
The Fitbit is extremely easy to use and syncs with your smartphone via bluetooth. It stores your data on the cloud and even graphs it out so you can visibly see your progress. It easily monitors your sleep and even has a silent alarm to keep your sleep cycle stable.
This one is budget friendly and offers lots of additional features we are sure you will love.
• Monitors your heart rate
• Comes in three color options
• Built-in GPS
• Allows notification alerts from your phone
• Simple to use
• Has 3-axes accelerometer, 3-axes gyroscope, and a
• Tracks cadence, pace, and heart rate
• Short battery life
• Not waterproof
• Not the best display
• GPS is not as accurate on longer runs
• Will not support other tracking devices
Our Criteria For Reviewing Cadence Watches
When selecting a watch, it’s important to take into account the quality of the watcg. Even the more affordable options can be a bit pricey for some runners, so knowing the watch is properly made, durable, and of high quality is highly important. Furthermore, it will be used to track your cadence and other factors and quality plays a big role in this. is 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.
If you are tracking your cadence and looking to establish an ideal running cadence for yourself, or if you want to improve your current cadence, then accuracy is a very important feature to look for. Here we ask ourselves how accurate the watch’s statistics truly are.
Here we look at several different factors as well as their functionality and how easy they are to use. Many watches here offer a range of navigational options to keep you safe and on track. We took into account any mapping features the watch may offer as well as how easy it is to use, how accurate or up to date the software is, and how easy it is to understand at first glance. This category also includes the two waypoints feature–a compass system engineered into the watch.
Many watches also offer heart rate monitoring capabilities. If the watch offered this, we took a look at how accurate and precise they are.
Since many runners also have a very regular running routine, we looked at the watch’s automation design–so you don’t have to track things separately or try have to remember numbers from a previous day.
Waterproofing capability is an important feature to many runners as well–especially triathletes who need something that can be submerged. Here we looked at the watch’s true waterproof features and how it functions–just because it is waterproof doesn’t always mean it is meant to function when fully submerged.
Screen resolution was also something we took into consideration–this covers the overall quality of the screen and how easy it works. Even our more budget-friendly options have a screen that meets the standard expectation of quality.
Lastly, we looked at the watch’s memory capability and how well it works with accessing and storing map features.
Battery life s another important factor to consider since it is what powers the watch.
Though we carried out a review of the watches for runners, we also took into consideration if the watches could be worn for swimming, running or other activities.
When looking for anything it is always important to consider your budget. Here we considered whether the watch was worth its overall cost and whether or not the features it offers ranks among other options available.
Q: Why is Cadence so important?
Cadence refers to how many times your feet strike the ground during the course of a minute. It can help you measure and establish your cadence ratio, which will help you improve your running efficiency.
It is the number of times your feet touch down for 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 should I monitor my heart rate during my runs?
Monitoring your heart rate will allow you to pinpoint if you are running too fast as well as see how hard your heart is working. By doing so you will be able to establish what is known as a “zone” in the running world–this is the heart rate at which your heart performs comfortably.
Q: What’s the best way to carry a GPS or handheld device vs a watch?
Q: How do I figure out the best cadence for me?
This may be a difficult task for those of you who don’t know how to do this. We recommend you read a professional review and put into effect the advice they recommend.
Q: How often should I hydrate on my long runs or during a race?
It is incredibly important you drink enough water the day before a race as well as during your runs. We recommend you read this review to learn more about how to hydrate properly.
Q: I find that no matter how light the watch is, I still find it distracting during my runs–but I do need access to a GPS and the ability to track my progress. Any suggestions?
You can also consider attaching the watch to a belt loop or sticking it into a pocket–however, this too can be distracting. There are other alternative GPS devices for runners that don’t have to be worn as a watch, we recommend you take a look at the best handheld GPS devices and see if these are more suitable for you.
Q: Is there an ideal cadence rate for all runners?
There is not an ideal cadence rate all runners should adhere too. So, many factors come into consideration that it cannot be assumed the majority of runners are the same. We do recommend you take a look at this review to help you achieve the right cadence rate for you.