Whether you are training for a marathon or a multi-day adventure, in this crowded market, finding the best running watch to keep up with how you may be feeling is a challenge. The Garmin Forerunner 955 is Garmin’s newest top-notch Forerunner watch, and it replaces Garmin Forerunner 945 In the catalog of running watches of the brand. It’s been three years since the launch of the Forerunner 945, and Garmin has given its high-spec look a serious improvement.
But how does it compare to some of the other best Garmin watches, in particular, Garmin Fenix 7 and the Garmin Epex 2, which was also released this year? I’ve practically worked with the watch over the past few weeks to put it through its paces, and it’s a great tool. Read our full Garmin Forerunner 955 review below to learn more.
Garmin Forerunner 955 review: Price and availability
The Garmin Forerunner 955 was released in June 2022 and comes in two different versions: solar and non-solar. As its name suggests, the solar version of the watch has a Power Glass display, which harnesses the energy of the sun to increase the watch’s battery life. Apart from this, the two versions are identical.
The Garmin Forerunner 955 and Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar are now widely available at Garmin and other retailers. The Forerunner 955 costs $499 / £479 and is available in black and white. The Forerunner 955 Solar costs $599 / £549 and comes in black and white.
The cheaper, non-solar version of the watch is $100 cheaper than the Forerunner 945, which cost $599 when it was first released.
Garmin Forerunner 955 review: Design
As we’ve seen with the Garmin Fenix 7 and Garmin Epix 2, the Forerunner 955 now has the addition of a touchscreen. As I said in my review of the Garmin Fenix 7, this is usually a huge running watch-style red flag for me, as I’ve never found touchscreens and sweaty fingers to work so well together.
Fortunately, there are no touchscreen dependencies with the Forerunner 955 and most of the time, I ignore them completely. By default, the touch screen is disabled in almost all sports profiles, and Garmin has left its five signature buttons – three on the left and two on the right, allowing you to move around the watch without having to touch the screen. However, if touch screens are your bag, go to your heart’s content, but Garmin’s approach here lets you decide.
Both versions of the Forerunner 955 have a 64-color display, the same as the Fenix 7 series version. It’s not in any way as bright as the AMOLED screens on the Garmin Epix or Venu series, but it’s still very easy to see, even in direct sunlight – I’ve tested the watch on the UK’s hottest day and had no issues (other than a visor The sun enters my eyes. Both the solar and non-solar versions have a 46.5mm screen, which is quite bulky on the wrist, though at 52g for the non-solar version, and 53g for the sun, it’s much lighter than the Fenix 7 series, which starts at 63g.
The Forerunner 955 uses the same Elevate V4 sensor as the Fenix 7, Epix and Venu 2 series. The green light records your heart rate and the red light records your blood oxygen levels. These two metrics are important to two of Garmin’s best features: body battery, which is your energy level, and willingness to train, which is new to the Forerunner 955, and gives you an idea of how hard you’ll train that day based on your sleep quality, training load, recovery, and more.
Garmin Forerunner 955 review: Battery life
When it comes to battery life, there are a few key differences between the solar and non-solar versions of the Forerunner 955, which I’ve highlighted in the table below. Similar to the solar panel design on watches like the Fenix 7 and Enduro, the Forerunner 955 has a thin 4mm bezel around the screen that can catch the sun’s rays. There is also an invisible solar panel under the glass.
As you’ll see in the table below, Garmin bases its solar estimate on “all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions.” For those not interested in the science class, lux is a measure of light intensity. Generally speaking, 50,000 lux will be a cloudy day, and 100,000 lux will be a sunny day, so if you’re walking around in the sun most of the day, you can expect the battery life of the Forerunner 955 Solar to last longer than the times estimated below.
|Raid 955||Raed 955 Solar|
|Smartwatch Mode||15 days||20 day|
|GPS only without music||42 hours||49 hours|
|All systems and multi-band GPS||up to 8.5 hours||up to 8.5 hours|
|All systems, multi-band GPS and music||20 hours||22 hours|
|Ultratrac . mode||up to 80 hours||110 hours|
Garmin Forerunner 955 Review: Running and Sports Features
Of course, the main reason to buy a running watch is to run with it. The Forerunner 955 has a massive amount of sport modes to track just about everything.
The watch can track: Run, Map, Run, Run, Treadmill, Bike, Indoor Bike, Pool Swim, Open Water Swim, Triathlon, Multisport (Custom), Virtual Running, Indoor Track, Track Running, Ultra Run, MTB, eMTB, Cyclocross, gravel bike, bike hopping, bike touring, road bike, e-bike, hiking, climbing, golf, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, back country ski, XC Classic Ski, XC Skate Ski, Snowshoe, SUP, Kayak, Rowing, Indoor Kayaking, Tennis, Pickleball, Padel, Walking, Yoga, Pilates, Breathing, Strength, Indoor Climbing, Bowling, Cardio, HIIT, Floor Climbing, Elliptical, Stair Stepper. Got all this?
All of these sport modes can be fully customized, both on the watch and in the Garmin Connect app—a useful feature that Garmin introduced with the Fenix 7. From your phone, you can configure almost anything on the watch, from data screens to menus.
I’d take advantage of the other health and fitness features that really make this watch a lot more than just something to track your running downhill, but while running, the GPS on this watch is impressive. I tested it along with Eagle 255 and Fenix 7, and they found that the GPS was pretty much identical on all hours. It also connects to GPS in seconds.
The Forerunner 955 has many of the same running features as the Fenix 7, including Stamina, which tells you how much energy you have left to give during your workout, Race Tool, which gives you a race-day performance prediction, race day weather and a countdown clock, all in one one place. Forerunner 955 also gives you suggested daily workouts based on your past performance and running features like the PacePro.
Garmin Forerunner 955 Review: Health Features
The average runner is unlikely to use 90% of the sport modes on the Forerunner 955, so why buy this is for example 55- Ali Or the flagship 255? Simply, because of the battery life and additional health features present in this watch.
I’ll start with the Morning Report, which gives you a summary each morning of how well you slept, how well you recovered, and how hard you trained the day before, plus additional information like the day’s weather. The report is fully customizable – but only to a point, you can add your body battery, minutes and steps, yesterday’s intensity, and your calendar.
The huge thing missing in my opinion is my period tracking. In addition to using a period tracker app, I track my cycle on Garmin so I can see if I need to smooth things out at certain times of the month, but there is no way to add this to my morning report, or even see my period from my wrist without the difficult steps of downloading a gadget Track women’s health first. If you have tracking technology, why not make it easier to access, right?
There’s also a new Health Snapshot feature that debuted on Venu 2 last year. It’s a two-minute measurement that looks at heart rate, blood oxygen level, respiratory rate, pressure, and heart rate variability (HRV). These measurements should be taken while sitting and relaxing, at the same time each day, to help you get a quick snapshot of your overall health.
As noted above, the Forerunner 955 has Garmin’s new Training Readiness Scale, which shows you at a glance how well you’re ready for a tough training day based on sleep, recovery time, HRV status, acute load and stress. Each class has a different weight, so your willingness to train may go up during the day, as the required recovery time goes down. It’s a useful feature, and during testing, I found that it accurately reflected what I was feeling. I also appreciate that it looks at sleep history and stress, so my preparation for training wasn’t thrown off by a bad one night’s sleep after taking too many Aperol Spritz the night before.
Finally, anyone who’s experienced “unproductive” training status flashes will be happy to hear that Garmin has made some tweaks here as well. Training status depends on acute load, HRV status, load concentration, and VO2 Max trends. Usually the fruitless message appears when you do too much of one thing, for example too much high-intensity training, or too much low-intensity training. Garmin has added more data to the Training Status screen, helping you see what you need to adjust at a glance.
Garmin Forerunner 955 review: Smartwatch Features
Major 955 for sure look Like a sports watch on the wrist, but features like the touchscreen and interchangeable wristbands mean there’s no reason why you can’t wear it 24/7. In addition to Garmin Pay and the ability to store music and podcasts on the watch, the Forerunner 955 has smartphone notifications, although you can’t answer any messages from your wrist.
There is also the option to download apps to the watch from the watch by connecting to the Connect IQ App Store, although not many apps are available.
Garmin Forerunner 955 review: Verdict
There is no denying that the Forerunner 955 is a great running watch, in fact, I would go so far as to say that it is the best flagship on the market at the moment. It has all the features of the Fenix 7 in a much cheaper package, so unless you’re planning on rock climbing or doing really extreme sports, I’m not sure why you would choose anything else on your wrist.
The degree of willingness to train is smart, and as someone who has had a running coach for years, it feels like a virtual trainer on your wrist. If you feel fatigued, my coach will ask about my sleep, nutrition, menstrual cycle, and general health, not just how well I ran yesterday, and the degree of willingness to train will help you do the same from your wrist.
If you’re looking for a cheaper watch, you’ve also liked the Garmin Forerunner 255, which was released at the same time as the Forerunner 955 and shares some of the newer features. If you’re looking for a watch with a more distinct look, the Fenix 7 line looks beautiful on the wrist and has gold and silver-tone bezel models that won’t look out of place at the office or on a date.
All in all, this is a great running watch, and for now, it’s the one I want on my wrist for my next marathon.