Garmin Forerunner 55 Review – Top Tips & Comparison to FR 45

garmin Forerunner 55 review specificatrionsGarmin Forerunner 55 Review – what’s new compared to Forerunner 45?

The Garmin Forerunner 55 has come of age and here is my quick-look review of it. We have some new, high-quality features that make this a sensible first ‘proper’ running watch at around the Eu/£/$200 mark, sure the more expensive Forerunner 245 is better and has MUSIC but is that worth the Eu/£/$50 extra? Let’s see…



Garmin’s entry-level watch is now competent and worth buying. It has had a significant boost in the number of health and fitness features to match ever-improving competitor watches. You would buy a Garmin for the security of knowing it is a ‘just works’ running watch. Even better…it’s great for gym, cycling, swimming and many other class-based sports too like HIIT & Pilates.


  • Covers ALL the essential running requirements showing your route, heart rate and speed
  • Great range of sleep & stress features like Menstruation tracking
  • Solid running features, including several advanced ones like PacePro


  • The app can seem complex at first

RECOMMENDED: Garmin Forerunner 245 Review – the best running watch 2020-21

Garmin Forerunner 55 Body Battery Review

Garmin FR 55 – What’s New?

The Forerunner 55 is a notable improvement to the Forerunner 45 and adds all these goodies

  • Suggested daily workouts – Good
  • Recovery time – an hourly countdown until you are next ready to GO FOR IT
  • PacePro – race strategies that vary target paces by gradient
  • New HIIT sports profiles, swimming, virtual running, Pilates – Perfect additions for this level of watch
  • Greater compatibility with Connect IQ (Garmin’s app store) – Better than you think
  • Menstrual cycle tracking – Good
  • Race time predictor – #Shrug
  • Respiration rate recording – Mostly useless
  • Intensity minutes – Interesting
  • Physiological age – Of Passing interest
  • Better GPS battery time – Sometimes highly useful
  • Estimated time of arrival

Garmin Forerunner 55 Stress LEvels Review

Garmin Forerunner 55 Review – Key, Basic Running Features

  • Built-in GPS tracks how far, how fast and where you ran – set this on GPS-only mode to make the battery last longer
  • Wrist-based heart rate gives you workout scores and overnight sleep/recovery scores – wear this overnight so that Garmin recovery algorithms work properly
  • All-day activity tracking counts steps, calories and sleep
  • Daily suggested workouts are the optimal workout tailored for you today – you don’t have to follow these but they are a great way to add variety
  • Free Garmin Coach training plans are more structured leading to  5k, 10k or half marathon races (or fitness goals) – structure helps some of us achieve our goals and these plans are good even for 5k runners faster than 25 minutes.
  • Safety features let runners send a message with their location to family and friends – peace of mind certainly helps me enjoy running more.

Garmin Forerunner 55 – Key, Advanced Features

These are next-generation tools to give you greater insights and guidance

  • PacePro provides guidance to tailor your efforts over a specific course taking into account gradients
  • The finish time estimator gives you a race time ETA
  • You probably overstride and risk injury. Cadence alerts keep your legs ticking over in the right zone to ultimately help you go faster and avoid injury
  • You do other stuff like HIIT, Pilates, treadmill workouts and Swimming, the Forerunner 55 has special modes to guide you and log them all
  • Following a workout, the built-in recovery time lets you know how long to wait until your next big workout.

Garmin Forerunner 55 – You still get…

You still get a great range of longstanding Garmin fitness features including these

  • On-the-fly intervals, just select your quick interval targets and go
  • Garmin Coach – personalised race programs
  • Accident detection/SOS message via smartphone
  • LiveTrack – Your loved ones can see where you are
  • Body battery – check your 24×7 stress
  • VO2max – a definitive measure of fitness

Garmin Forerunner 55 Menstruation Review

Price and release date

It’s available now and the RRP price of this improved model is unchanged at £158, $199, 199€

Wiggle has US, UK & EU fulfilment

Take Out

If you are training 2 to 5 times a week then the Garmin Forerunner 55 is the one for you. Only if you are training very seriously, love analysing your data, listening to music or doing triathlon will you need to consider more expensive Garmin watches

The Forerunner 55 is all most recreational athletes need. It perfectly blends running with other sports and with a holistic view of you from your sleep and HRV. Body battery and Menstruation tracking are good features offering further insights.


Reader-Powered Content

This content is not sponsored. It’s mostly me behind the labour of love which is this site and I appreciate everyone who follows, subscribes or Buys Me A Coffee ❤️ Alternatively please buy the reviewed product from my partners. Thank you! FTC: Affiliate Disclosure: Links pay commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

14 thoughts on “Garmin Forerunner 55 Review – Top Tips & Comparison to FR 45

  1. How does the cadence alert feature work?

    Would the stryd workout app work on this watch?

    Been looking for a simple no-frills watch to use with my stryd pod, the 245 still has the edge I guess. I may hold out longer in hopes of the elusive higher-end release with native power support.

    1. just a cadence alert AFAIK.
      yes the stryd app would work
      still not hearing when the ant+ (native power) changes drop. intel for earlier this year was patently wrong!

  2. I agree, they should have just reduced the price of the 245 to $199 and released it in a new color instead. Surely this will be cheaper while still creating free marketing for them. It will also making software supports for the Forerunner easier. Instead, they created a whole new watch just to compete with the Coros Pace 2?

    On the flip side they released the LTE Forerunner as the 945 LTE.

    1. i guess the fr55 was always ‘coming’…it was just what would be inside
      this probably gives more scope to raise the price of the 245+/255 beyond that commanded by the 245

  3. I see that Start Fitness sell this watch and the usual found 10% discount code works too.
    At £160, what’s not to like!

  4. I have a 230 and have been thinking about upgrading to a 245 but this new 55 looks very good. Does it do track intervals and how does it show the cadence alert? How does the 55 compare to the 245? Any replies gratefully received, Thanks.

    1. the 245 is the (almost) all-singing all-dancing running watch. the fr55 has cut down features in many places but a decent featureset nevertheless. the 245 will be replaced within a year but i would still get the 245, i could probably tell you feature X is fine for the fr55 but then if you are a feature hungry person you ill ultimately end up disappointed as the fr55 won’t have it. fr245 has LOTS of features. fr935 and then fr945 are the models above but they are tri watches (but have more running features…just)

  5. I have an FR35 and I find it fine, but one annoying thing is that during the intervals program I can’t see my heartrate and the data fields seem fixed. It would be good to see how close to max HR I’m pushing, especially on short intervals. Would I be able to see HR with this watch on the interval program? I usually wear a HR strap. Of course, with the FR35 I can see HR when doing a free ‘outdoor run’. Thanks.

      1. Thanks for this. Readers, please ignore my comment. You can see HR and other data in the run interval program on the FR35. I was pressing the wrong button!

  6. Thanks for the review.
    I’m thinking about getting the FR55, FR245 or an AW6/7 as I already own an iPhone.
    I recently got back into running and have the goal to run 5K in 20min as I did 15 years ago.
    The Forerunners are running watches with smart watch features and the Apple Watch is a smart watch with running features.
    I gravitate towards the AW as I also want to use it as a day to day watch but I’m not sure if it can support me with my training goals, intervals etc. like a FR could.
    What are your thoughts on this @the5krunner?

      1. 😉 get a stainless steel model. the glass is stronger. if you get the cheap one (aluminium) the glass WILL scratch…i’ve scratched my SE and AW6. get the aw6…the always on screen is better than aw se.

Comments are closed.