Gear Review: Garmin Forerunner 55

A runner wears the Garmin Forerunner 55 watch

By the Fleet Feet Review Team. With over 80 years of combined experience, our review team is dedicated to providing in-depth gear and shoe reviews to help you find the best shoes and gear for your next run.

Upgrade your run with the all-new Garmin Forerunner 55.

Designed for runners of all levels, the Garmin Forerunner 55 features the best of Forerunner technology with detailed updates where it counts.

Between the enhanced battery life, new colorways and lightweight feel, there’s a lot to love about the Garmin Forerunner 55.

Tech Specs

Garmin Forerunner 55

Dimensions

1.04” display diameter

Weight

37 g

Battery Life

20 hours GPS mode;

2 weeks SmartWatch mode

Water Rating

5 ATM

Heart Rate Monitor

Yes; wrist-based monitor

Lens

Chemically strengthened glass

Smartphone Compatibility

Yes (iPhone, Android); Smart notifications

Navigation Sensors

GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO

Our reviewers put the Forerunner 55 to the test through long runs, track sessions and cross training. Here’s what they thought:

Forerunner 55 Features Longer Battery Life, Updated Fitness Tracking

The Garmin Forerunner 55 running watch

The Forerunner 55 boasts a two week battery life (smartwatch mode) and up to 20 hours in GPS mode, so you can spend more time on the go and less time charging.

That’s double the time in smartwatch mode, and an extra seven hours of GPS mode compared to the Forerunner 45.

Between workouts and daily use, the Garmin Forerunner 55 should last you over a week between charges, making it easy to wear all day long.

“I love how lightweight this feels. I put it on and pretty much forget about it until I start a workout,” says one reviewer. “It’s really easy to sleep in, and the strap is flexible enough to adjust easily without it sliding around.”

A view of the activities the Forerunner 55 can track, including HIIT, yoga and pilates.

While the longer battery life is a great upgrade, the tracking systems in the Forerunner 45 and 55 are fundamentally the same.

Garmin uses a trifecta of tracking perfection (GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO) to provide the most accurate distance and pace readings across a wide range of activities like swimming, HIIT workouts, yoga and pilates.

The Forerunner 55 also offers a virtual run feature for greater accuracy when tracking treadmill runs.

Additionally, the Forerunner 55 makes an excellent fitness tracking watch with performance wrist-based heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, Body Battery and stress tracking.

These metrics all help you better understand your sleep patterns, how much recovery time you’ll need between workouts and how much stress you might experience in your day.

The Forerunner 55 offers an hourly breakdown of your stress levels throughout the day.

The Forerunner 55 will send you Calm Reminders throughout the day so you can take a moment to breathe and center yourself when you need it most.

“The Calm Reminders are really cool, especially working from home, I don’t realize how high my stress level gets throughout the day. It’s nice to have a watch that can actually help me live a healthier lifestyle, not just track it,” says a reviewer.

A new feature of the Forerunner 55 is Women’s Health Tracking, which helps female athletes better track their menstruation and pregnancy, and understand the impact on training. This a huge addition to the Garmin health tracking suite, as both menstruation and pregnancy can impact training load, recovery times and more.

All of these features come together to provide you a clear picture of your fitness you can easily see on your wrist or in the Garmin Connect app.

New Running Metrics Make Training A Breeze

The Garmin Forerunner series consistently offers technical insights without the intimidation of a super technical watch face. The Forerunner 55 is no exception.

The 55 offers new running metrics and a widget-enabled watch face without being visually overwhelming or distracting on the run.

The Garmin Forerunner 55 running watch

Whether you’re just beginning to get into running or you’re training for a big race, guidance is key. This can help you better understand how much mileage you should be doing each week, and the most effective ways to increase your fitness.

Garmin takes the guesswork out of deciding workouts and race strategy. Using the Daily Suggested Workouts option, the Forerunner 55 will draw on your historical workout data and suggest what workout would be best for you, based on your recovery and training load.

Additionally, the Forerunner 55 now includes PacePro Pacing Strategies, Finish Time Estimator and Predicted Race Times for 5K, 10K, Half-marathon and Marathon races.

“I find the Predicted Race Time feature to be really helpful when setting race-day goals. I feel more informed about what I can actually do, rather than just shooting for a time and hoping I can hit it,” says one reviewer.

Each of these features uses data from your past workouts to not only predict your finishing times, but to help you pace yourself along the way, taking the guesswork out of your race day strategy.

A favorite feature among our reviewers is the inclusion of Track mode in the Forerunner 55. This helps your watch more accurately count lap distances on the track.

“Track workouts are a huge part of my training regimen but were such a pain to track with my Forerunner 45 because the distances were never quite right,” says one reviewer. “I saw a big difference in accuracy and ease of tracking using Track mode on the Forerunner 55. I could finally focus on my run instead of being preoccupied with my watch.”

Forerunner 55 vs. Forerunner 45

Garmin designers kept a lot of design features the same between the Forerunner 55 and the Forerunner 45. The watch faces are the same size, wristbands the same size, and button configurations remain the same.

One thing you may notice is that the Forerunner 55 is not available in small sizing, as the Forerunner 45s is. While the watches are not particularly large, this could be a setback for those with small wrists or individuals looking for a small watch.

Tech Comparison

Garmin Forerunner 55

Garmin Forerunner 45

Dimensions

1.04” display diameter

42 x 42 x 11.6 mm

1.04” display diameter

42 x 42 x 11.4 mm

Weight

37 g

36 g

Battery Life

20 hours GPS mode;

2 weeks Smartwatch mode

13 hours GPS mode;

7 days Smartwatch mode

Water Rating

5 ATM

5 ATM

Heart Rate Monitor

Yes; wrist-based monitor

Yes; wrist-based monitor

Lens

Chemically strengthened glass

Chemically strengthened glass

Smartphone Compatibility

Yes (iPhone, Android); Smart notifications

Yes (iPhone, Android); Smart notifications

Navigation Sensors

GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO

GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO

A comparison of the Garmin Forerunner 45 and the Garmin Forerunner 55 running watches

Final Thoughts

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is the Forerunner you know, elevated.

Longer battery life takes away the stress of frequent charging so you can spend more time doing what you love, not looking for an outlet.

Updated running metrics and enhanced fitness tracking help to paint a fuller picture of your fitness and race strategy without making things too complicated or visually overwhelming. The easy-to-use button configuration is familiar and allows you to easily navigate between features on the run.

Plus, the Forerunner 55 remains connected to the Garmin Connect app, allowing you to create workouts, schedule training and view more in-depth analytics of your fitness from the convenience of your smartphone.

Overall, the Forerunner 55 proves durable, reliable, and easy to use for any runner, walker or fitness enthusiast.

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