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The Best Garmin Watch for Women: 10 Great Choices for Female Runners

You know what?

As a woman, you may find it hard to choose a suitable watch for running and during your workout.

Especially when there are so many options flooding the market.

And the vast majority of them are for men.

It also applies when you want to shop for fitness trackers such as Garmin.

But worry no more.

Because in this guide, I will provide you with the 10 best Garmin watches for female runners as well as answer several frequently asked questions about the brand Garmin.

Want to see them?

Stay tuned!

  1. MY TOP PICK: Garmin Vívoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch
  2. Garmin fēnix 5S Plus, Smaller-Sized Multisport GPS Smartwatch
  3. Garmin vívomove HR, Hybrid Smartwatch
  4. Garmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display
  5. Garmin vívosmart 4, Activity and Fitness Tracker

Top 10 Best Garmin Watches for Female Runners – Quick Comparison

Product imageProduct nameEditor's ratingPrice
Garmin Vívoactive 3, GPS SmartwatchGarmin Vívoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch[usr 4.9]cta
Garmin fēnix 5S Plus, Smaller-Sized Multisport GPS SmartwatchGarmin fēnix 5S Plus, Smaller-Sized Multisport GPS Smartwatch[usr 4.8]cta
Garmin vívomove HR, Hybrid SmartwatchGarmin vívomove HR, Hybrid Smartwatch[usr 4.8]cta
Garmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen DisplayGarmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display[usr 4.8]cta
Garmin vívosmart 4, Activity and Fitness TrackerGarmin vívosmart 4, Activity and Fitness Tracker[usr 4.7]cta
Garmin Forerunner 235, GPS Running Watch, Frost BlueGarmin Forerunner 235, GPS Running Watch, Frost Blue[usr 4.7]cta
Garmin Forerunner 35, Easy-to-Use GPS Running WatchGarmin Forerunner 35, Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch[usr 4.7]cta
Garmin Forerunner 45S, 39mm Easy-to-use GPS Running WatchGarmin Forerunner 45S, 39mm Easy-to-use GPS Running Watch[usr 4.6]cta
Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Multisport GPS Running WatchGarmin Forerunner 735XT, Multisport GPS Running Watch[usr 4.6]cta
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music, GPS Running WatchGarmin Forerunner 645 Music, GPS Running Watch[usr 4.6]cta


Vivoactive 3

Garmin Vívoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch

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The Garmin Vivoactive is our top pick today for the best value.

This smartwatch from Garmin is highly recommended by many users, especially women.

It features heart rate tracking, built-in GPS, and a lot of sport-related apps to help you keep track of your workout progress, including running, cycling to snowboarding, skiing, or any other outdoor activity.

It also comes with smartphone notifications. If you’ve been still for too long, there will be a reminder to nudge you.

Customize what you want to appear on the screen by choosing apps from the Connect IQ app store.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 makes a great option for ladies as it looks more like a fashion accessory than those bulky fitness trackers.

Even though this piece of technology mostly focuses on fitness-related features, it still has many other versatilities for you to pay attention to.

It is compatible with both Android and IOS platforms.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 features a simple design with a round face, 1.2 inches display in diameters.

As for the battery, this watch can last up to 13 hours with GPS on and up to 7 days in smartwatch mode. Quite an impressive battery life you have there.

So, what’s the catch?

Besides being quite pricey, you’ll be disappointed to know this watch doesn’t support text message reply to IOS users.


  • Keep track of a wide range of fitness activities
  • Heart sensor and sleep tracking included
  • Long-lasting battery thanks to the smartwatch mode
  • Compact design


  • Pricey
  • Music playback is not available on base models
  • A bit thick and heavy for a woman’s watch

Fenix 5S Plus

Garmin fēnix 5S Plus, Smaller-Sized Multisport GPS Smartwatch

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The Garmin Fenix 5S Plus has many useful smartwatch features that you cannot miss trying.

First of all, it doesn’t come with a touchscreen.

Instead, there are 4 buttons on the side to help you control the watch.

Watches with a touchscreen may be trendy these days, but you will find those with buttons to come in handy more, especially in wet conditions.

You can now freely play your favorite songs when working out as this watch has a memory of 16GB, helping you save up to 500 songs and podcasts.

The major drawback of the Garmin Fenix 5S Plus is its price ranges are not for all, and some people may find it hard to use buttons instead of a touchscreen.

Yet, you’ll be surprised with how much technology is packed inside.

The Garmin Fenix 5S Plus is for those who have a bold personality and is looking for something to stand out from the competition on the market.


  • Astonishing features
  • Built-in sensors
  • Excellent battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode
  • Large capacity memory
  • Water-resistant


  • Quite bulky
  • Expensive

Vivomove HR

Garmin vívomove HR, Hybrid Smartwatch

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This version of the line Garmin Vivo is an update to a traditional watch, jam-packed with smart features.

At first glance, Garmin Vivomove HR looks like a traditional watch.

In fact, it can collect plenty of data and transfer them to your phone.

It comes with many wellness monitoring tools to help you with daily activities: stress levels, a relaxation timer, an advanced REM sleep monitor, and many more.

You’ll just have to see for yourself.

The small/medium size makes it great for ladies who want to go for a classy yet trendy look.

What happens when a traditional, ticking hand watch meets a touchscreen with astonishing extra features? – Garmin Vivomove HR!

Unfortunately, this piece of technology from Garmin doesn’t have GPS tracking, and you may also find the screen too small for notifications.


  • Solid fitness tracking features
  • Compact design
  • Decent battery life


  • No GPS built-in
  • Hard-to-use touchscreen

Forerunner 735XT

Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Multisport GPS Running Watch

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The Garmin Forerunner 735XT looks a bit hardcore to be for women,

But it’s a must-have for triathletes who are looking for a fitness tracker that offers great performance monitoring and control to aid you during your training session.

The combination of black and frost blue really makes this watch stand out from other watches or fitness trackers, not to mention the features.

One of the best things about this watch is the 5 ATM rating, meaning it can survive a depth of up to 50m and still function properly.

You’ll be pleased with the accuracy it gives when monitoring your fitness metrics, and the quick click-in GPS is just amazing.

However, being 11.7 mm thick, the 735XT is definitely not the slimmest tracker on the market.

If you’re looking for something fashionable and trendy, you might want to skip 735XT because of those chunky buttons on the sides.


  • Accurate daily activity monitoring
  • Precise built-in GPS
  • Relatively long-lasting battery
  • 5 ATM waterproof


  • Plastic feel design
  • Quite bulky
  • Pricey

Forerunner 45S

Garmin Forerunner 45S, 39mm Easy-to-use GPS Running Watch

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The Garmin Forerunner 45S is an update to Garmin’s previous success – the Garmin Forerunner 35.

It’s packed with the best of the Forerunner 35 and a bunch of new features like running metrics or fitness trackers.

The circular design measures 39mm with a silicone strap and 2 color options: lilac and white, making a great fitness tracker for ladies who love running and workout.

The Garmin Forerunner 45S is packed with everything you need in a running watch: distance, pace, speed, calories burnt, heart rates, and more.

Create your own training plan or use the ones available on Garmin Coach.

The only downside to this watch is the display glass.

Garmin used strengthened glass instead of Gorilla glass which can be found in other Forerunner watches.

Your Garmin Forerunner 45S will be likely to get scratches easily if you’re not careful.

Even though these scratches don’t cause any functional problems, it is best to get a screen protector.


  • Affordable
  • Accurate GPS built-in
  • 5-button navigation
  • Sleek design


  • Easily scratched screen
  • No advanced running metrics

Forerunner 35

Garmin Forerunner 35, Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch

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Garmin Forerunner 35 is one of Garmin’s first entry-level running watches for basic metrics.

Let me explain why this watch is still worth taking into consideration when it has been upgraded to the Forerunner 45.

This watch is ideal for ladies who are beginners and looking for a not-too-overwhelming fitness tracker with physical activity metrics.

You can expect essential classic metrics like distance, calories burnt, or heart monitoring.

It can also receive notifications from your smartphone with an updated display screen suitable for both indoor and outdoor viewing.

Garmin Forerunner 35 packs a bunch of features for such a decent price.

And because of that, there are not that many supported sport trackings rather than running, cycling, and swimming with simple data.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight design and comfortable to wear
  • Easy to use


  • Unattractive design
  • No advanced fitness tracking
  • HR sensor was not cut out for high-intensity exercises

Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235, GPS Running Watch, Frost Blue

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Even though the Garmin Forerunner 235 has been on the market for almost 5 years (2015), it still offers you a few things to take into account, not to mention the decent price.

Like most entry-level watches of Garmin, the Forerunner 235 is no exception when you fully control the watch by 5 sided buttons.

If you’re a fan of touchscreens, this is a huge disadvantage.

Compared to its previous model, the Forerunner 225, 235 is much lighter, thinner, with a higher resolution display screen.

You will have access to heart rate monitoring, receive notifications from your smartphone, music controls, and more.

With the accurate GLONASS supported built-in GPS, it tells you the exact running metrics: distance, calories burnt, speed, etc.

However, you should know that the heart rate sensor is not perfect, but I can say it’s quite precise.

It will run continuously as long as you keep the watch on your wrist.

What is more, you might get confused with the Connect IQ apps, making it hard to navigate these apps effectively.


  • Good value
  • Lightweight design and comfortable to wear
  • Built-in GPS with GLONASS support
  • Relatively precise wrist heart rate monitor


  • Plastic feel
  • Occasional connection and syncing problems
  • Need better work on sleep tracking

Vivosmart 4

Garmin vívosmart 4, Activity and Fitness Tracker

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At first glance, you’ll be impressed with the slimline look that Garmin Vivosmart 4 gives.

If you ladies are looking for an affordable fitness tracker with more daily features, Garmin Vivosmart 4 is your go-to option.

The strap is installed with the display screen, which means you should think twice about what color to get because you won’t get to change it.

This watch measures your daily metrics and activity tracking, from heart rate to steps or calories burnt.

The biggest downside of this watch is probably the small screen.

It’s going to take some time for you to get used to navigating through the interface.


  • Slimline look
  • Decent battery
  • Decent price
  • 5 ATM waterproof


  • Small screen
  • No built-in GPS
  • Not responsive sometimes


Garmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display

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The Garmin Venu is quite similar to the Garmin Vivoactive 4, but with a glossy AMOLED display screen, making it easier for you to see in the dark.

This smartwatch supports a wide range of sports tracking: running, biking, yoga, cardio, and many more.

Garmin Venu even supports underwater heart rate monitoring thanks to the 5 ATM water-resistant feature.

However, the battery doesn’t last long: up to 5 days in smartwatch mode and up to 8 hours when the GPS is on.

This is considerably less than the Vivoactive.

Yet, Garmin Venu offers a much better look; some people even mistake it with a fashion accessory, not a fitness tracker or smartwatch.


  • AMOLED display screen
  • Different sports tracking
  • Compact design


  • Pricey
  • Quite low battery life
  • Fiddly touchscreen sometimes

Forerunner 645 Music

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music, GPS Running Watch

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Last but not least, it is the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music.

It is the first smartwatch of Garmin to support music playing with a stylish design.

Despite what kind of training you’re taking, you can have access to features like Training Status, Training Effect, and Training Load to help you with recovery between work out.

They can even alert you when you’re not ready to participate in another training.

There’s enough storage to store up to 500 songs and podcasts, and you can get access to Deezer, Spotify, and iHeartRadio in just a few taps on the touchscreen.

However, there are other alternatives to this watch that also offer Music features but at a more affordable price.

Paying so much more for one additional feature doesn’t seem to be worth it unless the music is really essential to you.


  • Rapid built-in GPS
  • Good looking design
  • Spotify support added
  • Advanced training metrics


  • Poor battery life
  • There are cheaper alternatives

Buying Guide to Choose the Best Watches for Women

best garmin watch for women

So, what are the factors to consider when buying a smartwatch?

In terms of capabilities, pay close attention to these things:

  • Make sure the watch you’re buying is compatible with your smartphone (IOS or Android platforms)
  • Choose what fits you best: do you want a circular watch or a square plane or one with a slimline look? It’s just a matter of preference. Also, the watch should feel comfortable on your wrist.
  • Another thing to consider is battery life. It depends on the frequency of use that you choose a suitable watch.

A good wearable should have a battery life of 5 days at the least (on smartwatch mode)

  • The water-resistant feature might not be essential to some people, but I recommend you buying watches with a 5 ATM water-resistant feature in case you ever drop your watch into a pool or so.
  • Wireless chargers are preferred these days. The snap-on docks and cables are still available, yet they’re not quite convenient.
  • Touchscreen or buttons? Think carefully.

Check out these tips and tricks to help you buy the most suitable watch:

  • A good smartwatch should at least be packed with a heart rate sensor and built-in GPS to track your training process as well as sleep and relaxation.
  • The watch brand is also an important thing to consider. As you may know, Garmin is said to be the best brand to make smartwatches, with a wide range of products to meet your needs.

Aside from Garmin, there are other alternatives that are worth your consideration, like Apple Watch or Fossil.


Which Garmin smartwatch is the best?

Even though Garmin offers you a wide range of smartwatches to serve different purposes, hands down, Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is their best product.

Even though the price is a bit high, but you will see it’s worth the quality.

Are Garmin smartwatches good?

Garmin is one of the first smartwatch brands on the market, and there are reasons why they have been thriving in such a competitive industry for so long.

Their smart watches are packed with many useful features, and they come at various prices to fit your budget.

Is Garmin better than Apple Watch?

To be frank, Apple Watch still has a long way to be as good as Garmin, and I’m not saying this because I’m anti-Apple or anything.

Garmin smartwatches come with better data, better runs, and other multi-sport features that Apple doesn’t have.

Apple may be strong in the smartphone field, but smartwatches? Maybe not.

Are Garmin watches touchscreen?

Garmin has both touchscreen and button navigated products.

Some touch screen watches you can check out are the ones of the Vivo, Forerunner, or Approach line.

How many years does a Garmin watch last?

It depends on how much you use it.

A realistic lifespan of a Garmin watch can be up to a few years if you keep it under good maintenance.

The biggest issue over time is the battery life.

Just like any other technology device, the battery of a smartwatch deteriorates too.

My Final Verdict

We ladies need a decent working smartwatch to help us monitor our training progress and fitness levels.

Even though you’re not a fitness junkie, having a smartwatch to measure some daily metrics sounds like a good deal too.

I hope our list of the best Garmin watches for women cut across your divide and that it helped you make the best decision in choosing a watch for yourself.

Thank you for reading.

Further reading:

Benefits of Running – 6 Ways Running Improves Your Health