The most used running watch on Strava is... an 8-year-old Garmin!?

Strava members seemingly prefer older wearables and newer running shoes

Young woman turning her collar up wearing the Garmin Forerunner 245 GPS running watch
(Image credit: Garmin)

Getting more active is on top of everyone's New Year's resolution list, and if Strava's latest 'Year In Sport: The Trend Report' is anything to go by, people using the social media platform were more active than the year before. The biggest surprise, however, is which running watch Strava members used the most to log runs: the Garmin Forerunner 235, a wearable that came out in late 2015.

This might come as a surprise to most, considering the interest in modern Garmin watches and performance wearables, such as the Garmin Forerunner 965, Polar Vantage V3 or Suunto Race. These top-tier watches have the most accurate sensors and are often more feature-packed than older models. But once you start digging into the report's details, you'll notice why this might be the case.

under global embargo until 3rd of January 2024 at 8am UK time/ Strava Releases Year In Sport Trend Report 2023

(Image credit: Strava)

Strava groups users into four age brackets: Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. According to the report, Gen Z logged the fastest median run and ride pace on Strava. But they also logged the shortest runs and second shortest rides.

The youngsters going fastest in no surprise, but as we know, endurance racing is not a young man's game, which suggests that the other age groups, who as an aggregate represent the bulk of Strava users, logged more miles.

And said mature Strava members are likely to use an older wearable, as once you hit 40/50/60, keeping up with the latest triathlon watches becomes less and less important. For them, the accuracy of the Forerunner 235 probably feels more or less enough.

under global embargo until 3rd of January 2024 at 8am UK time/ Strava Releases Year In Sport Trend Report 2023

(Image credit: Strava)

These days, you can log all sorts of exercises on Strava, but the sport that saw the most uploads in 2023 was running. In fact, the share of Strava athletes uploading runs increased by 4%. Cycling is the second most popular sport, and the top five activities also include walking, trail running and gravel/mountain biking.

Strava says in its report that gravel riding is one of the fastest-growing sports on that platform, with a 55% increase in the share of athletes who’ve given it a shot. The best gravel bikes are in high demand, chiefly because they can be used for cycling both on and off-road.

Electric bikes are also going strong. The share of cyclists on Strava who’ve ridden a metric century (100km) rose 5% in 2023 – and the share who recorded an e-bike ride rose 23%.

under global embargo until 3rd of January 2024 at 8am UK time/ Strava Releases Year In Sport Trend Report 2023

(Image credit: Strava)

Hoka's Clifton franchise is the most popular among women and men on the platform, coming in first and second positions, respectively (we loved the Hoka Clifton 9, so it's completely understandable).

The second most popular women's running shoe is the neutral runner Brooks Ghost (maybe not the new Brooks Ghost Max, but who knows?). Men prefer their Nike Pegasus the most – it's also the platform's second most popular running shoe overall.

Interestingly, the Asics Novablast franchise saw the most significant spike in interest from 2022, despite Asics doubling down on modernising both the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 and the Asics Gel-Kayano 30.

The top three bike brands among Strava users are Trek, Specialized and Giant, while the most popular cycling computer is another Garmin device, the Garmin Edge 530. Yet another older model (spring 2019, to be precise).

For more info about the report and to sign up, head over to Strava today. For the best prices on all Garmin wearables, check out T3's cheap Garmin deals roundup.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.