3 Best Garmin Watches For Treadmill (Guide)

Editor's Choice
Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced...
Budget Choice
Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch with...
Garmin fenix 6, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, Heat and...
Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced...
Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch with...
Garmin fenix 6, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, Heat and...
$254.95
$129.99
$494.99
116 Reviews
9,257 Reviews
629 Reviews
Editor's Choice
Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced...
Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced...
$254.95
116 Reviews
Budget Choice
Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch with...
Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch with...
$129.99
9,257 Reviews
Garmin fenix 6, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, Heat and...
Garmin fenix 6, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, Heat and...
$494.99
629 Reviews

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Be it because of harsh weather, a busy schedule, or the pandemic, you may want to do all or part of your exercises indoors, which means you need an activity tracker watch that works under the roofs.

However, most fitness trackers are designed for outdoor running and don’t work as accurately indoors. 

Fortunately, we’ve got your back!

Read on to find our three best Garmin watches for treadmills, along with their pros and cons. You’ll also learn how Garmin watches can track your treadmill sessions and how accurate they are compared to outdoor tracking and treadmill.

Does Garmin Track Treadmills?

Gramin watches can track your treadmill runs as long as they have a dedicated mode for it, and you turn on their Run Indoor Setting. Then, you have to link the watch with your treadmill using the calibration method.

Put on your watch and head to the settings to start its “Indoor Activity.” Activate the treadmill, and use it for a couple of minutes. Once the distance reader reaches 1.5 kilometers, tap on the Done (or Stop or Finish) button. Now, go through the treadmill reports, and enter the details from your watch.

Indoor Garmin watches use accelerometers to detect your arm motions, stride length, and frequency. They then calculate your average footsteps based on that data and finally determine your running distance.

In contrast, outdoor fitness trackers rely on GPS to receive signals from satellites, evaluate your position at different intervals, and estimate how far you’ve run. 

Since GPS doesn’t work indoors, you can pair your tracker with foot pods. These wearables capture your cadence, speed, and distance and then transfer the data to your Garmin watch. 

But remember that not all GPS trackers can sync data with foot pods because they may not have the ANT+ technology.

How Accurate Are Garmin Watches on Treadmill?

Your smartwatch and the treadmill may sometimes disagree on the distance you’ve covered. And it makes you wonder, which one is more accurate; the Garmin watch or the treadmill?

Garmin Watches are very accurate on treadmills since they have built-in mechanisms to monitor your body movements and exercising time, thus calculating your training dynamics. If you observe any deviation, chances are you’re using low-quality equipment, or you haven’t calibrated the treadmill correctly.

Fitness trackers that come with a treadmill calibration function can reduce the discrepancy to zero. They gradually learn your gait and running form to improve measurement accuracy. That’s why a Garmin watch can track your treadmill sessions as precisely as your outdoor runs.

If you know your stride measurements and insert the numbers before the watch automatically learns them, the results will be even more accurate.

What to Look for When Buying a Watch for a Treadmill

Indoor Track Settings

As you may know, GPS trackers can’t figure out your indoor running steps, distance, and pace accurately unless they can calibrate with your treadmill. Alternatively, you can choose a watch with an ANT+ mechanism, so you can pair it with a foot pod.

Other options may include sensors for your arm swings and other physical motions to report your treadmill sessions.

Ensure the watch comes with at least one of the above options.

Training Programs

You don’t want to spend pretty pennies on a smartwatch only to use it for one purpose. A multisport Garmin watch can always outweigh one with a few training modes.

Ensure your watch has plenty of preset programs for your common activities. Some devices can even develop and customize their training programs based on your goals, while others let you download plans online. 

Connectivity

Connectivity matters a lot when it comes to buying a digital gadget, let alone a smartwatch.

While you may not access your phone during running sessions, a smartwatch with a Bluetooth feature can let you view and maybe respond to your messages. In some cases, it can even let you sync other data, such as weather, apps, and temps.

Wi-Fi connectivity also comes in handy. Without it, you can’t use the Garmin Connect IQ store to download music, apps, or access contactless payments.

Interface

Garmin watches may vary in terms of control options. But there’s no ideal model when it comes to interface, as it’s all up to you and your habits.

If you tend to accidentally touch the items on a touchscreen, pushbuttons work better for you. Otherwise, you may find buttons a bit restricting.

Music Service

Almost all runners enjoy listening to music while they work out, and that makes the music service option on your smartwatch a crucial one.

Check if your Garmin watch has an onboard playback, or you have to connect to your phone’s music player. Also, see if you need to download music every time or it has enough room to store a few hundred tracks.

3 Best Garmin Watches for Treadmill

Garmin Forerunner 245

Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced...
116 Reviews
Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced...
  • GPS running smartwatch with advanced training features
  • Evaluates your current training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it; offers additional performance monitoring features
  • Get free adaptive training plans from Garmin Coach, or create your own custom workouts on our Garmin Connect online fitness community

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Equipped with GPS and ANT+ technologies, Garmin Forerunner 245 lets you track your treadmill workouts with precision. It also tracks your pace, distance, and heart rate.

You can use the side buttons to customize the main stats on the main screen or add other items such as speeds, location, temperature, running cadence, and elevation.

The optical sensor even works in the water, making it practical for tracking your swimming sessions. It is also one of our recommended watches for tennis.

The Bluetooth feature links it to your smartphone to sync info, connect to the Garmin app, and play music. It also connects to headphones to help you get sound notifications. 

You can even install music apps directly on the watch and stream podcasts and music using its Wi-Fi feature. But while it displays the notifications coming through your phone, it doesn’t let you manage them or respond to your messages.

The watch’s battery lasts up to 30 hours with GPS and music on and up to half a month on standby. So, you won’t need to juice it up more than a couple of times in a month.

Another cool feature is that the watch automatically sets up a training plan to help you achieve your goals. It even examines your sleep quality, says how much sleep you’ve had, and alerts you when it’s time to go to bed.

The watch has six different activity modes: yoga, indoor and outdoor running, swimming, and hiking. Plus, its distance-tracking abilities are top-rated. 

Pros

  • Optical sensor.
  • Preloaded and real-time workout plans.
  • Long battery life.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Advanced sleep tracking.
  • Physical buttons.
  • Customizable interface.

Cons

  • No payment application or on-board messaging.

Garmin Vivoactive3

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Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch with...
9,257 Reviews
Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch with...
  • Garmin Pay contactless payment solution lets you pay for purchases with your watch (available for supported cards from participating banks)
  • Personalize your watch with thousands of free watch faces, apps and widgets from our Connect IQ store
  • More than 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running, swimming and more

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Garmin Vivoactive3 has a treadmill mode that tells you about your running metrics (pace, cadence, stride length, etc.) and health variables (heart rate, oxygen, and stress levels).

But that’s not all. It’s a far-ranging workout tracker with 15 preset exercises such as yoga, golf, Pilates, and swimming. Check 3 Popular Garmin Watches for Golf and Fitness.

An exciting feature is that it counts your steps even while you’re grabbing the treadmill handles. But since it works with a foot pod to recognize your foot motion, you have to calibrate it with your treadmill first, which may put extra effort on your shoulders.

Besides, transferring the data to and from your treadmill screen isn’t an option.

It’s got a personalizable touchscreen that you can arrange based on the metrics you prefer to see. It also displays your phone notifications and lets you pay for your purchases with the inbuilt Garmin Pay. 

Being compatible with the Garmin Connect IQ store means you can even install music services, watch faces, widgets, and apps on the device. 

The battery lasts between 2 to 7 days, depending on how much time you spend exercising and how many functions you activate. Charging it requires only a USB cable and about one hour.

However, although the gadget receives a 5-star rate for accuracy, a few Amazon customers complain it’s not as accurate for treadmill runs. Another setback, it doesn’t include storage for music, which means you have to rely on either your phone or the internet.

Pros

  • Dedicated treadmill mode.
  • Steps counter and food motion tracker.
  • Multiple workout plans.
  • Sleep tracking.
  • SPO2 sensor.
  • Garmin Pay.
  • Displaying phone alerts.
  • Very accurate.

Cons

  • Reports of not being accurate on the treadmill.

Garmin Fenix 6

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Garmin fenix 6, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, Heat and...
629 Reviews
Garmin fenix 6, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, Heat and...
  • Rugged, sophisticated design features an always-on 1.3 inches (18% larger than previous fēnix models) sunlight-readable display with stainless steel bezel and...
  • Enhanced estimated wrist heart rate and Pulse Ox to support advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation at high elevations (this is not a medical device...
  • Performance data at your fingertips includes training load balance, training status, and running and cycling dynamics

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The most full-featured item on our list, Garmin Fenix 6, contains almost every sensor you may expect of a fitness tracker. And treadmill is only one of the tones of activities you can track with this watch.

First and foremost, it does a reasonable job with mileage tracking due to buyers’ feedback. 

Plus, you can rest assured that your distance, timer, and pace are as precise as outdoor running as long as you calibrate the device. That’s because it uses both an accelerometer and a step monitor to track your movements.

The Fenix 6 shows you a bulk of info on its dashboard: calendar, weather data, training load, and dynamics, compass, oxygen levels, altimeter, rep and steps count, heart rate, and music, among others. 

The battery life is also top-notch. It works for about six days in GPS mode, two weeks in Smartwatch mode, a month in expedition mode, and over two months in battery saver mode.

It lets you adjust the screen’s data as well as power modes. The watch feels pretty rugged, and the measurements are absolutely right. 

Plus, it has an integrated map, Wi-Fi, and 32 GB of music storage. But all those functions come as a trade-off for money.

Pros

  • Sturdy frame.
  • Sleep, training, and health indicators.
  • Covers multiple sports.
  • Easy-to-modify interface.
  • To-the-point metrics.
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Smartphone navigation.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Long battery life.

Cons

  • Highly-priced.
  • Push buttons only.

Final Thoughts and Best Pick

Can’t find the best Garmin watch for treadmill? We’ve done the research for you and picked the three best gadgets in this review.

While Garmin Fenix 6 is the most feature-packed option, Garmin Forerunner 245 is the best pick since it offers maximum functionality at a discount price tag. It can connect to all devices, provides you with all running metrics, and has enough sensors to communicate your health status. 

Still, want a more affordable option? Go for Garmin Vivoactive3 instead.