Best Fitbits for runners

Whether you’re training for an Iron Man or going on your first jog, you’re taking steps to prioritize your health and wellbeing. That’s worth celebrating. 

Having a Fitbit on your wrist can help you keep track of your progress without too much extra fuss, especially because Fitbit can connect to several popular running apps. All Fitbits use proprietary movement tracking technology, and many include GPS functionality, a heart rate monitor and a blood-oxygen monitor. Fitbits also offer information on calories burned, steps taken and distance traveled. 

We’ve compiled everything you need to know about Fitbit for running, including the considerations that might go into your Fitbit purchase. 

What to consider when choosing your Fitbit

Fitness tracker vs. smartwatch 

The differences between fitness trackers and smartwatches have lessened over the years, but the rule-of-thumb is that smartwatches are more versatile and expensive. Initially, the fitness tracker was a simple band without a display, while the smartwatch was equipped with multiple features and phone functionality. Over time, fitness trackers have started to share some features with smartwatches.

Battery life 

There’s nothing worse than strapping on your running shoes only to discover that your Fitbit’s battery is low. Even the most power-hungry Fitbits can hold a charge for 7-10 hours, and some can even last for months. 

Fitbits and heart rate monitors

Fitbits use LED technology to detect blood flow and monitor heart rate. Heart rate monitoring is a crucial consideration for some runners who are working on their endurance. Knowing your physical limits and heart health can help you improve your run benchmarks.

Touch screen vs. no touch screen 

The benefit of a touch screen is that it will allow you easier access to the Fitbit’s features. Switching songs, interacting with notifications and customizing your preferences are all easier with a touch screen. The tradeoff for increased usability is that touch screens offer shorter battery life, feel bulkier against your wrist and cost more.


A clunky or poor-fitting fitness tracker can mess up your rhythm and even bruise your wrist. While Fitbits are known to be comfortable and discreet, your experience may vary. For Fitbit smartwatches, there are alternative band options to personalize your experience and comfort.

Extra features 

Fitbit is an established name in the running community. The brand now offers products that include sleep tracking, work management and quick payment. Individual runners will need to determine if this additional functionality meets their needs.  

Fitbit running watches

Smartwatch trackers

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense 2

Fitbit’s newest offering, the Sense 2, is designed to be one of the most advanced health smartwatches. It features an entire suite of tools to help manage stress, including a blood oxygen monitor and breath coaching.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3

The Versa 3 is Fitbit’s flagship model, with six days of battery life, added GPS and a comfortable fit. The Versa 3 offers GPS, heart-rate monitoring, fast charge capabilities and connectivity with essential fitness apps.

Sold by AmazonBest BuyKohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 4

The Versa 4 is the latest Fitbit smartwatch and features built-in GPS and workout intensity map, Active Zone Minutes, all-day activity tracking and a heart rate monitor. It is also compatible with Bluetooth phones for hands-free calling.

Sold by Amazon


Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4

With a built-in GPS tracker and heart rate monitor, this tracker is one of Fitbit’s most popular trackers. It’s sleek, modern and comes with popular features like GPS, which will allow you to go phone-free on your run.

Sold by Amazon

Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2 

Barebones and straight-forward, the Inspire 2 offers everything you need in a tracker and nothing more. It is sleek, small, highly affordable and comes with impressive battery life.

Sold by Amazon

Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge

The Charge 5 is the latest tracker from Fitbit, and features a Stress Management Score, heart rate notifications, and a Health Metrics dashboard. In addition to all the health trackers, it has a built-in GPS, and the battery lasts several days.

Sold by Amazon

Fitbit Ace 3

Fitbit Ace 3

If you’re looking for a child-friendly tracker, we’d suggest the Ace 3. It’s designed with parental controls and motivational challenges for kids 6 years old and up.

Sold by Amazon and Best Buy

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Chad Vickers writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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