Popular color that looks great in all kinds of lighting. Customers love the toughness and waterproof capabilities. Backlight works well. Watch lasts a long time, owners say. Water resistant to 660 ft.
Larger watch face than some women want. Some owner complaints of glare on the watch face in sunlight.
Good range of useful, basic features. Customers appreciate that the numbers are easy to see in the clear display. Watch stands up to rough treatment.
Doesn't offer many advanced or unique timing features. Only water resistant to 165 ft.
Owners appreciate the value this watch provides. Contains most of the basic features you'll want in a sport watch, and the features are extremely easy to use. Offers water resistance to 330 ft.
Some complaints that display numbers are tough to read. Watch face is a little larger than expected.
Long lifespan. Stopwatch includes a 30-lap memory feature. Water resistant to 330 ft. Owners appreciate the different color combination options.
Band wears out too quickly. Some owners don't like size and placement of control buttons.
Owners like the smaller than average watch face for a women's sport watch. Water resistant to 330 ft. Band is easy to clean. Good set of basic features for a sport watch.
Doesn't come in bright colors. Alarm volume is too low to be heard by heavy sleepers.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Women's sport watches are designed to be worn during workouts and sports. They’re very durable, and some are water resistant or waterproof and can be worn while swimming. Women’s sport watches have the same features as men’s sport watches but differ primarily in the size of the watch face and band – they’re sized to fit a woman’s smaller wrists.
While watch features vary significantly depending on the brand and model, buyers will find solid options at every price point. From budget sport watches with simple functions like a stopwatch to watches with advanced technology like GPS, women’s sport watches come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and styles, so there’s one that’s just right for you.
We’ve compiled this shopping guide to help you as you shop. If you’re ready to buy a women’s sport watch, check out our top picks, too.
Here are the main things to consider when shopping for a women’s sport watch:
There are three main types of sport watch available: low-tech, high-tech, and lifestyle.
Low-tech sport watches: These are simple timepieces with a few extra functions like a backlight and stopwatch. Otherwise, low-tech watches are very limited in terms of features. The quality varies significantly from flimsy budget watches to extremely rugged high-end models.
High-tech sport watches: These include more features and are typically designed with a specific sport in mind, such as triathlon, running, or cycling. Packed with features, many of these watches have a rechargeable battery.
Lifestyle-oriented watches: These models look like regular watches but have fitness-specific features built in. The lower-priced watches may only count steps and offer some basic tracking, while others are capable of much more. These watches are best for those who are looking for a stylish timepiece for daily wear.
Coin cell: Many sports watches run off of coin cell batteries, which last at least a year. These batteries are easily replaced and require no charging. They’re usually used in sport watches with minimal features.
Rechargeable: Many higher-end sport watches have rechargeable batteries. The downside is that you need to plug in the watch frequently to power it up. If you don’t want to take a chance that your watch will die unexpectedly, there are some sport watches with backup solar power.
Women’s sport watches typically have a smaller watch face and band than men’s models. If your wrist is larger than average, check the watch’s measurements before buying. Also search for a watch whose band can be adjusted or swapped out.
Design: Watch styles vary from super sporty to spare chic. Do you plan to wear the watch 24/7? Find one that matches your everyday style or complements with your work attire. Choose a watch with a display that you can read. Women’s watches have a smaller face than men's, but you shouldn’t be struggling to read the time at a glance. The button placement should be intuitive, and the buttons responsive.
Durability: Are you into backcountry hiking or climbing? Opt for a watch that is shockproof and dustproof with a sturdy casing that won’t crack or break in harsh conditions. If you love winter sports, check that your desired watch will keep functioning in extreme temperatures.
Water resistant/waterproof: If you swim laps every morning or often head to the beach, you’ll need a water-resistant or waterproof sport watch. Not a swimmer? Water resistance is still a crucial feature to consider if you want to wear your watch outside in the rain or in the shower without worrying about damage. Even sweat can damage a watch that isn’t water resistant. Note that if you’re a scuba diver, you need a watch that is specifically built for that activity.
GPS: Love to run? Choose a watch with GPS capabilities so that tracking your distance and speed is easy and automatic. A watch that’s capable of this type of tracking is typically designed for those who run, cycle, or swim, but other sports enthusiasts might want to track mileage, too. Just be sure your selected watch is compatible with your sport. For example, not all GPS watches are capable of tracking swimming in open water.
Fitness-specific features: These features vary significantly depending on the type of watch in question. High-end GPS watches for runners may provide recovery time suggestions or built-in calendars. Even no-frills sport watches should have a few basic features, including a timer, stopwatch, and lap counter.
Backlight: For visibility at night, pick a watch that has a backlight that’s bright enough. Not all sport watches are equipped with this feature.
In addition to the time of day, sport watches that cost under $20 offer essential functions like a backlight, stopwatch, and timer. Most watches in this price category aren’t very durable, so they aren’t suitable for rugged activities. Some are water resistant or waterproof, and the battery should last a while.
Between $20 and $100 you’ll find basic sport watches with more durable construction. You might also find some watches with activity-tracking functions. Expect to see a greater number of features on these watches, too.
If you spend more than $100, the choice of features increases. GPS watches are on the pricier end of the cost spectrum. You’ll also find fancy activity trackers, stylish sport watches that can be worn to the office, and rugged timepieces ready for action and adventure.
Check the materials in the watchbands as you shop. If you’re allergic to silicone or any other material, check to find out what each watchband is made of.
Choose digital or analog. Most sports watches have a digital display, but you might prefer a sleeker analog watch face if you wear your sport watch to the office.
Read the instruction manual. Get to know your watch before you use it. Some people go a long time without knowing what all the buttons and menus do. Figure out your watch quickly and you’ll get the most out of your timepiece.
Choose a watch that can store data. If you’re interested in tracking your progress, select a watch that can store data. Even a budget sport watch with a simple timer and lap function should have a limited memory for storing splits.
There are so many women’s sport watches to consider, we wanted to include a few additional suggestions that stand out from the rest. The Timex Ironman Essential 10 Mid-Size Watch pairs a simple design with no-frills functionality. The water-resistant watch has a ten-lap stopwatch memory, too. Next up is the Moulin Ladies Digital Jelly Watch, a very inexpensive sport watch with a chic design and attractive display. It has the basics, including a stopwatch and alarm. We’re particularly fond of the water-resistant Casio Women’s Quartz Resin Sport Watch because of its retro design. Finally, the analog Casio Women’s Dive Series Sport Watch features a trendy all-white design. It’s stylish but durable enough for an active lifestyle. You can swim with it, too.
Q. I’m an avid swimmer. What features should I look for in a sport watch?
A. Waterproofing is a necessity, of course. Also look for a watch with a sturdy strap. This is especially important if you’re training in open water.
Q. I seem to have an allergic reaction to my watch wristband. What’s going on?
A. You might be allergic to the strap material. It may also be that the strap is too tight. Take off the watch, clean the wristband and let it dry completely, and allow any rash to heal before putting the watch back on.
Q. I’m worried about my watch screen getting scratched. How can I protect it?
A. Buy a screen protector. If you can’t find one specific to your watch, get a smartphone screen protector and cut it to fit your watch face. A sports watch can last a long time if you take care of it properly.
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.