This Garmin was the most popular running watch on Strava in 2023

If you logged your runs or cycles with this one, you certainly weren't alone
Wareable strava most popular running watch 2023
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Strava has revealed that a Garmin watch was the most popular device for uploading Strava workouts in 2023 - but it's almost certainly not one you would suspect.

Released as part of the social workout platform's annual 'Year in Sport: The Trend Report', the Garmin Forerunner 235 was found to be the most common watch used to log runs, cycles, and more. 

The running watch that debuted way back in 2015 managed to beat out not only the latest crop of top Garmin watches - the Forerunner 965, Epix Pro, and Fenix 7 Pro - but also the previous two generations, as well.


In a way, this makes plenty of sense. Unlike running shoes, also logged in Strava's annual review (as shown below), a running watch's longevity is far superior. And, as we've seen with the current-gen Forerunner 265, this line represents a great middle ground between premium features and price.

Stravastrava year in review most popular gear

Strava's data also picks out that more mature members were also more likely to use an older watch, which perhaps also contributes to this spike in 235 models being used.

After all, while the 235's heart rate accuracy pales in comparison to modern Garmin devices, the fact it provides built-in GPS and any heart rate tracking is perhaps enough for most users. 

As a point of reference in how much running watches have developed in the time since the 235's release, though, it's also worth pointing out that VO2 Max insights were still reserved for the more premium ranges. Offline Spotify on a Garmin also wouldn't arrive until the end of 2018.

We suspect that, as we head into 2024 and beyond, later generations like the Forerunner 255 or Forerunner 55 may begin to take up the role held by the Forerunner 235, but only time will tell just how long these running watches can stand up for.

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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