I ran with the cheap Garmin Forerunner 55. It could be bad news for more expensive running watches

The Garmin Forerunner 55 provides more than enough features for beginner runners for an affordable price

Garmin Forerunner 55
(Image credit: Future)

I love me a good running watch, especially if it’s a Garmin, and I absolutely love indulging myself in all the features these capable fitness wearables have to offer. However, even I admit that some of the more premium Garmin watches have way too many features that can overwhelm users easily, which is probably the reason why I enjoyed training with the Garmin Forerunner 55 so much.

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is an entry level running watch that sure doesn’t look as sleek as the Garmin Forerunner 945, nor does it have the battery power of the Garmin Enduro. It might not help you navigate the Great Outdoors as well as the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro does and it probably won’t be the number one choice for triathletes either, like the Garmin Forerunner 745.

However, the vast majority of runners aren’t top athletes; they  just like to go for a jog before or after work. As such, they just don’t require stuff like turbo trainer connectivity or screens with six data fields during workouts. They need an accurate running watch with solid battery life and built-in GPS chip/heart rate sensor for a reasonable price. And guess what, the Garmin Forerunner 55 is a watch just like that.

Of course, the Forerunner 55 has a few more features than that, but nothing that might scare beginners away. This was refreshing to experience as I trained with the watch. It tracks activities all day (steps, heart rate etc.) and even offers daily workout suggestions, should you need a little inspiration. These personalised run workout suggestions are based on your training history, fitness level and recovery time and you should definitely listen to them if you’re new to running.

Garmin Forerunner 55

(Image credit: Future)

To help you get better at running, there‘a Garmin Coach, an adaptive running trainer that can get you ready to run a 5K/10K or half marathon in a set time. It’s pretty cool to use and it also takes the weight off your shoulders if you struggle to put a training plan together in preparation for a race.

Physically, the Forerunner 55 looks exactly how you’d imagine it, a smaller version of the Garmin Forerunner 245. The button layout is the same as on any other Forerunner and as expected, the Forerunner 55 doesn’t have a touchscreen either. The screen resolution is not amazing but good enough for the price. Best of all, the Garmin Forerunner 55 only weighs 37 grams, which is on par with the Coros Pace 2.

For beginner runners, I really wouldn’t recommend any other watch than the Forerunner 55 (maybe the Pace 2 if you aren’t keen on the Garmin ecosystem): it’s light, capable, has just enough features and it’s also pretty cheap. The Forerunner 55 is the perfect wearable to guide you through the bumpy road that is the early days of running training. It certainly gets the basics right!

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is available from today at Garmin for a recommended retail price of £179.99.

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